I became a Bitcoiner in late January 2022. So I am still a newbie, and my prior background was an intellectual adventure in pursuit of a proper economic system that works by way of Physics, although now it’s less searching and more building. In my introduction to the history of money and banking, I studied Professor Yuval Noah Harari’s book Sapiens where I learned that money is an efficiency increasing inter-subjective reality (“we made money up!”) and that banking works because it is more efficient to lug around receipts of payments instead of one’s golden wealth.
Also, the invention of credit enabled us to consume future resources today and pay tomorrow. It discounts the future, but it makes consumerism happen a lot faster. The increasing need by the world to hack its way to the future instead of getting there by merit is problematic—the degradation of global cultural values for money. The fact is that even as we build better iPhones and Technology, it never gets easier.
The billionaires get more, and the starving masses increase in number and starve even more. The world did not make sense, and the magic of credit was not working for everybody.
Then I realized – fractional reserve banking was to fault. I had bought into the energy-backed currency philosophy where I saw many flaws in fractional banking pioneered by Lordship Henry Ford. Though I do not recall brooding much on this particular ill of the fifty-year-long fiat era, I discovered a proper treatment of this entire fiasco by Saifedean Ammous, ‘The Bitcoin Standard and the rest is history.
I want to share with you one particular truth I have observed as a satoshi-owning pleb. Bitcoin is complicated because it goes against the culture of idea broadcasting. A culture like fast food and sugary treats has eroded our love for patience, collectiveness, and giving our best.
Idea broadcasting and Ponzi schemes have a very pernicious premise at their core – “Aim to command the public’s attention to become rich and famous.” Instead, “Aim to do your best for only the best things should become famous. To inspire everybody else”.
If you do not see the problem with this idea, consider that the entire thing of leading people into anything is not something the average human does for most of the day or can do it. Believing everyone can have one million-plus followers, fans, customers, and names is a ridiculous and self-help lie.
The average human trades with other humans and has done so for thousands of years. They trade information in conversation and goods and services like food and current news for other goods and services like phones and education through money.
They trade opportunities with their future selves for time, money, etc.
In other words, the default state of an adulting human is self-autonomy, sharing, and trading. The collective we call society somehow functions through these trade relationships. And as you can imagine, this goes against the belief that people ought to be guided or led towards some great mission by enlightened leaders.
Leaders should emerge naturally from the best of us, the most skilled take the lead, and others follow. Not to be chosen by the throwing of dice via power jostling. No wonder we end up with ever more half-baked, quarter-baked, nefarious leaders. People get into influential social roles simply because they make the most noise and flash the most teeth. Society would be better if there were more whispers and fewer shouting for attention.
That is what Bitcoin advocates, which is no walk in the park.
As I type this, I barely know the secret keys to any of my Bitcoin wallets, and I have them written down somewhere. But in the future, as I accumulate sats and responsibilities in the information society, writing things on paper will not be good enough, and it will not be safe.
I’ll need to commit some more keys to memory. I’ll also need to keep track of my network and how I care for it.
A lifestyle of secrets may feel alien because genetically, we descend from hunter-gathering, and nature kept the secrets. We lived freely with nothing to hide, for there was nothing to be stolen.
But things will change, and we shall get used to it. The way you might look at some kid on the block today and think, “That’s just some kid,” yet that is a million-dollar net-worth superstar! Exacting seriousness aside, it will be fun. Keep your eyes and mouth shut, and don’t spill any precious secrets.
This is a guest post by Marvin Kenneth Maali. You can follow him on Twitter @MaaliMKen. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Satoshi’s Journal or Satoshi’s Entertainment Company.