Bitcoin Speaks To The Human Condition
Bitcoin will succeed not just because it is the best monetary technology, but because it is the money most aligned to principles fundamental to human nature.
(Adaptation of “The Vitruvian Man”/CoinsureNZ)
In The Bitcoin Rorschach Test, I examined how technology shapes human culture. For most of humanity’s existence, only those with access to industrial-sized resources or political power could create, develop or produce technologies at a sufficient scale to have influence. The invention of the internet and the emergence of the peer-to-peer economy described in this article allows us to break free from these limitations. It opens the floodgates for the vast majority of the world’s population to become producers and creators of the technologies that impact the direction of our civilization without the oversight or influence of a privileged few. The implications of this are tremendous and profound, a world where the nature, function and form of the technologies that shape our lives are born not of states and companies, but of humans cooperating directly with other humans. For this to be a sustainable, meaningful cultural shift, what is needed is a monetary technology congruent with this same spirit.
Since about the mid-19th century, our world has been drifting from an industrial production economy to an information-based economy. In an industrial production economy, value is created primarily by producing material things. To make these at a large scale requires significant amounts of capital to acquire the raw materials for production, the physical infrastructure or machinery to transform them into goods and human labor to orchestrate their production — all of which are unattainable for most of the earth’s population. This leads to a world where the majority are unable to shape or influence the tools and technologies they use in their day-to-day existence in a way that better suits their circumstances or alleviates their problems. Instead, they must choose from the options made available to them based on the preferences of a select few, be that in regards to clothing, construction materials, food, tools and machinery or medicine.
Although the technology of the nail of today is nearly identical to that of 1800, its relevance to the economy has reduced drastically. We used to burn down houses to make it easier to retrieve the nails used in their construction, which seems insane in a world where they can be cheaply and easily obtained from a hardware store. (Source)
For close to 200 years, we have been slowly shifting from this material-based model to one driven by information.
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