Huxley and Orwell were both right
“The perfect dictatorship would have the appearance of a democracy, but would basically be a prison without walls in which the prisoners would not even dream of escaping. It would essentially be a system of slavery where, through entertainment and consumption the slaves would love their servitude”
- Aldous Huxley
Huxley, who wrote more than 50 books, warned us of a future in which the ultimate dystopia is ushered in via precision engineering, mind altering substances, constant dopaminergic entertainment and the removal of any pain, suffering, struggle and [therefore] meaning in life.
Orwell took on a more somber tone in his seminal work; 1984, warning of a tyrannical dystopia where the thought police monitored everything you say and do, and through the use of double speak and the constriction of vocabulary successfully stripped life of all its meaning and colour. …
Bitcoin Times Edition 3
An interesting meme has been circulating on the Internet over the last few years (at least). The words used for the caption come from the 2016 post-apocalyptic science-fiction novel “Those Who Remain”, by G. Michael Hopf.
Two of the pictures used actually come from the 1833–1836 series of paintings “The Course of Empire”, by Thomas Cole:
The meaning of the paintings themselves are very similar to the meaning of the meme, surprisingly. Or perhaps unsurprisingly, since many artists, philosophers, and even historians throughout the centuries have expressed the same concept, or concepts.
Another famous example would be the Strauss- Howe generational theory. …
The Bitcoin Times, Ed 3
One of the most important parts of the Bitcoin journey is learning to talk about Bitcoin in a way that connects with people. There have been a lot of approaches.
There’s the investment case for bitcoin, the self-sovereignty case for bitcoin and even the societal case for bitcoin. What there hasn’t been is the moral case for bitcoin. The moral case for anything is a different beast than the others because we’re not appealing to self-interest, we’re appealing to something that’s deeper in the human soul.
For this reason, a moral argument resonates deeper and trumps other arguments. By making this argument for Bitcoin, we’re taking the moral high ground, an argument that’s stickier and more lasting. …
Bitcoin Times Ed 3.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete”
— Buckminster Fuller
Breakthroughs, that step-change our lives for the better, invariably come from something that most people couldn’t see. Our belief of how the world should exist and operate is shaped from looking backwards, not forward, so it makes sense that new paradigms that change everything — face resistance in our minds. Because most people don’t see them, breaking through an existing paradigm needs to provide enough compelling value for users to disrupt an old paradigm. Apple’s iPhone for instance, didn’t copy the market leader, Research in Motion’s Blackberry design of needing a keyboard or selling to businesses who required RIM’s security. It created a digital interface when that wasn’t ‘needed’ and created an entirely new platform that changed the industry as a result. …
The Bitcoin Times, Ed 3.
“The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the ‘state of emergency’ in which we live is the rule. We must arrive at a concept of history which corresponds to this. Then it will become clear that the task before us is the introduction of a real state of emergency; and our position in the struggle against Fascism will thereby improve. Not the least reason that the latter has a chance is that its opponents, in the name of progress, greet it as a historical norm. — The astonishment that the things we are experiencing in the 20th century are “still” possible is by no means philosophical. …
Have you ever had a financial advisor (or maybe even a parent) tell you that you need to make your money grow? This idea has been so hardwired in the minds of hard-working people all over the world that it has become practically second nature to the very idea of work.
The line has been repeated so many times that it is now a de facto part of working culture. Get a salaried position, max out your 401-K contribution (maybe your employer matches 3%!), select a few mutual funds with catchy marketing names and watch your money grow. Most folks navigate this path every two weeks on auto-pilot, never questioning the wisdom nor being conscious of the risks. It is just what “smart people” do. …
Bitcoin Times Ed 3
The dawn of a new decade has a knack for conjuring up visions of endings or new beginnings, each which seems to have an affinity to the legendary or supernatural.
Two decades since the turn of the century, the dotcom bubble and the twin towers, and just a touch over a decade since the GFC we’ve seen the world continue to hurtle toward disaster; economically, morally, socially & structurally. All the while catastrophe has been kept at bay via the counterbalancing forces of innovation, production and free speech.
2020 now ushers in the new decade along with a timely reminder of how precarious things actually are beneath the surface. …
Dedicated to the Sovereign Individual in us all.
What a journey.
To be quite honest, I expected 30–50 pages, but we’ve ended up with the Bitcoin version of “war & peace”.
Oh well…I know if you’ve come this far, you’ve got a lot out of it.
We are truly at an exciting time in history.
10yrs after the launch of bitcoin, and the closure of the decade, we’re looking ahead once again, into a fog none of us can really make sense of or see-through.
It makes you wonder…was Bitcoin’s introduction 10yrs ago not so much about 2008 and the GFC, but actually about being ready today or for what’s to come? …
The Fall of the State
“The greatest danger to the state is independent, intellectual criticism”
I wrote an article on Hacker Noon about a year ago now, which is entitled “Why Bitcoin Matters”.
I explored Bitcoin from first principles, starting with an examination of the societal stack, money’s role in society, how it evolved over time, it’s fundamental attributes & functions, and finally culminating into an analysis of why Bitcoin is superior both as a monetary unit & a monetary network (aka; a monetary operating system).
For this piece, I’d like to take a more, perhaps, ‘revolutionary’ approach to why Bitcoin matters. …
Evey: Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot… But what of the man? I know his name was Guy Fawkes and I know, in 1605, he attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. But who was he really? What was he like? We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail.
He can be caught, he can be killed and forgotten, but 400 years later, an idea can still change the world. I’ve witnessed first hand the power of ideas, I’ve seen people kill in the name of them, and die defending them… but you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it, or hold it. …