We’re Living in Someone Else’s Movie Set

To a child, this world of toys and cartoons, every artificial meme and construct, all the things that influence them and create their world view, is theirs. It belongs to them. What is strange about this is that, although they assume it, they had no hand in its creation— it was imparted to them by a bunch of 35 year olds in a design studio somewhere.

When I was a kid, the world as I knew it was made up of Sesame Street, Lincoln Logs, and Fisher-Price Little People. Later that became Lego, Star Wars, and Dungeons & Dragons. Those things made me the person that I am today. What I didn’t know, couldn’t have grasped, was that there was some 30-something somewhere imagining all these things for me. If I had, I would have thought it was a little weird. Why is this old guy making kids’ toys?

Of course, who else is going to make them? The kids themselves can’t, obviously, so somebody has to. Thing is, the vast majority of companies aren’t out to craft some grand milieu. They wanted to derive profit Z, saw need X, devised solution Y, and took it to market. What the sum total of this activity meant in terms of mise en scene, let alone the effect that living in such an environment has on the human psyche, rarely enters into the equation.

But couldn’t it? And, more importantly, shouldn’t it?

When profit is the only motive, so many other things just get left by the wayside. There just isn’t room for them. Wouldn’t it make more sense, rather than externalizing all these costs and their associated unintended consequences in order to make a profit, to turn the model on its head?

A better way might be to ask the question — if we can accomplish this thing exactly the way we want to, the way that we think is best for everyone, achieves the most ideal outcome, minimizes the downside i.e. external costs/unintended consequences, and maximizes the return on resource/energy investment, will it still turn a profit, or at least be sustainable?

If life is a movie, then the built environment is its stage and the artifacts of daily life the props, and we the directors, production designers, and cinematographers framing and creating it. Now imagine your favorite film, its carefully calculated construction, the attention to detail, and compare that with what you yourself are creating in the world. Hopefully there is as much thoughtful consideration given to your work as there was to theirs.

The Human Race is Over

Bitcoin is dead, and has been ever since it was assigned a value relative to fiat currency, which has no inherent value beyond that as a medium of exchange. Really, Bitcoin was dead before that, because once all the coins are mined, how do you incentivize people to maintain the ledger, particularly when it becomes more resource intensive over time?

So what are we going to do with this knowledge? Sit back and wait for the crash?

The crash is not coming.

We cannot afford for it to, because the system is so complex that no one has any idea what is causal to what anymore. We’re simply protecting the downside, which is total implosion. The markets have been hacked by algorithms, so they can no longer be trusted. Big data is the new battlefront. Plan for infinite monetary growth, whether that is dollars or coin. Because it is meaningless.

This is the mentality already in employ in Russia and China. They care nothing about monetary policy, except in relation to USD. Within their own borders it is of no consequence — the state simply demands activity, initiates it, or creates money to motivate it as needed.

Hyperinflation is a chimera in this new reality, both because the total quantity of money is at once inconsequential and unable to be known, and because it leads to an impossible situation, which is the barter of goods at real value. It will never be allowed to happen, or more to the point, we should hope that it does.

The American Dream is defunct.

Now there is only hegemony. But rather than the dominance of one nation state over another, it is now a global dominion over each individual’s own state of being.

So what is to be done? Buy gold and guns and wait for the collapse? Certainly not, because that is never coming. Buy Bitcoin futures? To what end?

The value of Bitcoin was in its immutable nature, just as the value of stock was in minimizing the risk to any one person for a venture that many deemed necessary and important, just as the value of a bond was that it allowed a multitude to fund a common benefit that none alone could bring to fruition. Any derivative of this value is worthless, because it fails to provide any realizable motivation.

The trouble that the world faces today is that it fails to accept that we have moved beyond these primitive tools. In fact, a majority have forgotten that they are indeed tools, thinking them certainties. But they are not, able to be changed or abandoned altogether.

Thus we see Bitcoin reverted into something more familiar, rather than investigated for its potential as an entirely novel approach. People are buying it, but no one is employing it.

So what’s the point?

One point is that it is motivating the investment of our best intelligence into making it useful and deployable at scale. Blockchain based on proof of useful work will be one outcome — a distributed accounting of quantity, ownership, and allocation of everything known to man, secured by the need to collectively harness and effectively deploy the computing power of the world.

But again, to what end? Because the only thing that really matters is what we are doing, not the tools we are using to do it. Blockchain itself doesn’t contain value. The fact that it engenders trust without the need for a central authority does. The coins themselves don’t hold a thing, except perhaps the confidence in ourselves and others to achieve outcomes.

We have arrived at a point beyond scarcity, a circumstance for which none of our current systems are prepared. In an attempt to resolve this reality to our legacy construct, we are creating artificial scarcity. Bitcoin is an example of this. It is both scarce and consumptive by design. Stripped of any real value, at best all it can hope for is to reach its designed limit and inevitable demise.

What is required, more than any technology or organizational solution, is that we unshackle ourselves from the notion that there is anything left for us to fear.

America is no longer in competition with Russia or China, nor any other nation or people on Earth.

There is no difference between any of them. Every country in the world runs the same operating system. There are no Macs, and certainly no Linux. Bitcoin was Linux, until it became Red Hat.

Our goal, as a species, ist to ensure the well being of every single member therein, as well as the machinery and framework that serves to sustain them. It is with that in mind that we design the operating system, create the tools, and employ the same. The entirety of their value is found in what leverage they provide toward actually achieving that goal.

Before money, there was not this need to motivate a member of the tribe to act justly and contribute their full effort for the benefit of the group. That motivation came from the internal and external dynamic between the biological imperative toward personal survival and the beneficial network effect of broad collaboration. Those motivations have value, because they serve both the individual and the common good. Money is an abstraction of that value and, without the trust that it can engender similar motivation, utterly worthless.

Before blockchain, there was trust.

Bitcoin was an attempt to outsource trust to the cloud. As a tool for documenting the existence, title, and transfer of property by way of an interconnected, instantaneous, and transparent distributed ledger, it is beyond compare. In its current form, as an energy squandering substitute for an already outmoded construct, it is no better, and many ways worse, than money.

We do not live in the same world as before, and we cannot apply the same thinking, the systems of organization, motivation, production, and exchange. We have completely terraformed the Earth, forever altered its physical, chemical, and biological makeup. We have eliminated scarcity and constructed a global nervous system linking every human actor, and many non-human ones, into a single, gigantic brain. While people scramble to develop AI, they fail to recognize it is already in existence. Who knows what it is thinking?

It is time to free ourselves from the past and move boldly into our collective future.

We are all members of the same tribe, and accountable to one another. Give freely. The human race is over. We have emerged victorious.