Jordan Peterson’s journey into bitcoin is an interesting one for all intents and purposes. After talking with Dr. Saifedean Ammous, Peterson has now dug his heels deeper into the market.
Dr. Saifedean Ammous is an author that is well-known in the crypto industry for his book titled “The Bitcoin Standard”. Following the success of this book, he had released another book titled “The Fiat Standard” as a follow-up to the first book.
Peterson has grown a large following as an author, clinical psychologist, and podcast host. He regularly talks about finance-related topics on his podcast titled the “JBP Podcast”.
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The Canadian author had hosted four guests/experts on his podcast where they talked about bitcoin and the technology behind the digital asset. Peterson is an investor in the cryptocurrency, convinced of its importance to the future of the financial marketplace, and recently, he announced that he has added to his bitcoin holdings. Here’s why.
Learning More About Bitcoin
Jordan Peterson had Dr. Saifedean Ammous as a guest on his podcast, where the latter talked through some of the important aspects of the digital asset. The monetary system of bitcoin has always been interesting and unique in the way it worked and the author shed more light on this part of it. In addition, Ammous also talked about the tech side of things.
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Peterson had his questions answered by his guest who eloquently explained the nuances of the technology in terms that the average listener could understand. One of these was the fact that bitcoin is controlled by no one. The author stressed the fact that there really was no one pushing buttons behind the scenes when it comes to the asset. “There is nobody with a master key,” said Ammous.
BTC price trading below $59K | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com
Bitcoin’s decentralization is one of the most attractive features of the asset. This, Ammous said, is what drives the attention being paid to bitcoin.
Fiat money is entirely controlled by governments and more can be printed/created at will. Bitcoin does not have this problem given its lack of central control. “It is a neutral money that nobody can control,” the author pointed out.
Peterson Digs In
After the podcast was completed, Peterson took to Twitter to express his satisfaction with the episode. It seems that conversing with Dr. Saifedean Ammous made a lasting impact on the clinical psychologist judging from his tweet. Peterson revealed that he had purchased some more bitcoin after talking to the author.
My pleasure. Learned a lot. Bought some more Bitcoin. Inflation be damned.
— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) November 16, 2021
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In Peterson’s tweet, he uses the phrase “inflation be damned”. Bitcoin, which is widely known as the “digital gold” has proven its value to investors as a hedge against inflation and it seems Peterson is hip to this use case.
Returning 200% year-over-year gains, BTC has become the asset of choice for investors who are looking to protect their portfolios from the devastating effects of inflation. Moreover, with inflation rates predicted to keep growing, demand is expected to rise for bitcoin, in turn leading to higher values.
Featured image from The Guardian, chart from TradingView.com
The series continues. You can findpart one hereandpart two here.
The third chapter in Jordan Peterson’s “12 Rules For Life” is entitled, “Make Friends With People Who Want The Best For You.”
This instantly reminded me of the Bitcoin community and the fundamental values that true Bitcoiners have in common, despite many in the broader tech, finance, crypto and blockchain space labelling us as “toxic.”
Bitcoiners are the only crowd I have found whose primary interest is not “getting rich,” but “fixing the money so we can fix the world,” and when behaving in a manner that some might call “toxic,” are merely being intolerant toward skewing the core idea away from its core message and doing so from a place of deep insight and caring.
The following meme immediately comes to mind:
Bitcoiners truly want the best for others and the world, and are not willing to compromise on what it will take to get there.
In chapter three, Peterson takes us on a journey, reminding us that we should choose to spend our time with people who want things to be better for us, not worse. He reminds us that it’s a good thing to choose people who are good for you and who demand the most from you, but that it’s not easy because the tendency is to choose those who “accept” your faults, which may not be so good for you (a concept related to his prior rule).
Being vulnerable, naked apes, we tend to feed off of pity and unnecessary compassion instead of finding those individuals against whom it requires strength and daring to stand up.
Those who want the best for us are an ideal. They hold us to a higher standard. Their very presence can reveal the inadequacy of the present and the promise of the future, which in itself can be daunting, and hence why it’s a difficult task.
Once again, Peterson weaves some incredible principles together in this chapter and I’ve done my best to tease some of them out to help you understand another element of Bitcoin, i.e., the Bitcoiner and the tribes or metaphorical citadels they have built.
Friends matter when times are tough.
Peterson opens this chapter against the backdrop of a teenager’s lonely experience in the cold depths of Alberta, Canada. The entire community was cold, withdrawn, nihilistic and tuned out. Doing anything was seen as “uncool,” losers seemed to abound.
His friends spent more time high than sober, distracting themselves from reality. One of the quotes that made me laugh:
There’s a strong analogy to the hopelessness and nihilism in much of the world today. We’re surrounded by people who’ve either given up or are brainwashed by mainstream madness. People are constantly seeking some form of distraction or escape because they cannot handle being alone long enough to face themselves. They fear the specter of their own increasingly meaningless existence. If you ever wondered why depression is so prevalent, this is why.
It’s a dangerous time for humanity because this version of the human experience has ripple effects that not only reinforce the nihilism, but breed people who don’t believe they deserve better. As a result, they repeat the behavior that got them there in the first place and sink further into the depths of victimhood.
Freud termed this psychological phenomenon “repetition compulsion.”
In order to rise above this, or break the pattern, one must face the “trouble” of better. People create their worlds not only with the tools they have at hand, but in the way they use those tools. Faulty tools can certainly produce faulty results, but mindless use of even functional tools can also produce disastrous results.
Progress not only requires us to use new tools, but to use them in sound ways to build new worlds. Unfortunately, few seem to want to face this reality and, as Peterson says:
Peterson reminds us to find friends, a peer group and a community that not only want the best for us, but are aiming up. That’s what you find in Bitcoin, at almost every level.
The anarchic behavior can at times seem brutal or outlandish, but we are ultimately here to keep each other honest, to strengthen each other’s resolve and to sharpen each other’s wits.
I’ve not come into contact with another group of individuals so diverse in background, experience, race, age, gender, nationality, taste or [insert variable], yet so willing to simultaneously welcome new people in who are on a common path, and call out (in earnest) those who attempt to stray from the path, whether consciously or unconsciously.
This makes for an incredible “community”, unlike anything you will have ever come across.
Bitcoiners are realistic optimists.
We’re pessimistic about the short term because we’re honest enough to both acknowledge the problems we’re facing, and call them out.
But, we’re also optimistic about the long term because we appreciate the nuance of what has worked in functional, free societies, and we know we have the ultimate tool in Bitcoin, whose very existence corrects behavior and time preference at the level of the individual. This is in stark contrast to the defeatist attitudes of the mindless nihilists, the salty socialists and the “larperterians” who’ve all but given up.
We know there are challenges ahead. In fact, we know how to define the challenges better than most, and while we may not have an exact plan on how we get to the other side of every one of these grand challenges, we know that there is something we can do:
We fix the upstream issue, i.e., how human action, natural resources, time and energy are measured (the money)
We build tools to ensure everyone can participate and so that the most powerful tool (money) is unable to be commandeered ever again, and
We have a devotion to the pursuit of truth from first principles, across the dimensions that matter, to carry us along
Being a realistic optimist is a fine line. It requires a true depth of character, an ability to grasp nuance like few others can, and a strong core group of people who will not waver.
It’s very easy to stray from this path because we’re surrounded on all sides by:
Nihilists and people in the legacy world who’ve given up or don’t believe things can get better
Ignorant sheeple (the masses) who are willing to submit to the status quo and turn a blind eye to a constantly diminishing quality of life and simultaneous increase in centralized tyranny around the world
Scammers who want to use narratives such as “decentralization” or buzzwords like “blockchain” to confuse people and swindle them out of their money
Naive optimists who genuinely don’t understand what’s going on in the world, so they put lipstick on a pig and believe they’ve made it beautiful. Modern Silicon Valley entrepreneurs building the next pointless finance or social app represent this archetype. They’re so caught up in “innovation” that they have no idea what they’re building is not just a house of cards, but is rotten to the core.
Deranged power brokers who understand “the game” and know which levers to pull. They are intimately aware of the structural inadequacies and therefore know where the points of maximum leverage are located. Instead of doing something to make it better, they use these insights and their intellect to game the system and take advantage of others.
Bitter, salty, intelligent people who have been right about the state of corruption but have chosen not to participate in either the scams or “the game.” They’re disillusioned from having watched the madness and hysteria continue for decades despite the gaping holes they’ve often eloquently and rationally pointed out. They’ve seen prior attempts fail so they unfortunately no longer believe there is hope and should someone come along with something like Bitcoin, their only response is to ridicule it because they either resent not having come up with it themselves, or lack the humility to appreciate that this may be a “zero to one” moment.
Many of these in the last category are part of the “AnCap,” “prepper” or “libertarian” camps who have for many years been extremely accurate in their assessment of what’s wrong with the world, the state, central banking, the financial and economic system, politics and more, but were unable to present a viable, functional alternative.
Therein lies the big difference between them and Bitcoiners. Many would prefer to complain or make jokes rather than do something about it. In the absence of a viable solution, they devolve into perpetual victims, constant complainers and literally become part of the problem because their identity requires something stupid outside of themselves to ridicule in order to feel adequate.
They do not even want to hear or know of a solution, because if things actually changed, who would they have to complain about?
This is why Bitcoiners are such a powerful, optimistic force.
As an independent thinker, it’s a genuine breath of fresh air to come across people who can both accept and articulate what’s wrong with the world, but simultaneously have hope for a better future and act in accordance with that worldview.
The Lonely Contrarian
There are many days I feel like “maybe I’m the crazy one.” To think we can overturn the corrupt behemoth that is the legacy financial system, and to stand strong in the face of a world gone categorically mad can be an incredibly lonely feeling.
But this is where heroes are made. A contrarian is by definition a minority and resides where few others have the insight or courage to.
The archetype of this generation’s Bitcoiner is the contrarian. The blood of the warrior flows through his or her veins. They’re individuals who are willing to be lonely, who are willing to be ridiculed, laughed at and disparaged, but still remain strong, steady and convicted.
This is what is required to transform the world from the bottom up.
Future generations will use Bitcoin because it’s the obvious thing to use, much as they may use a cell phone or the internet today. In fact, the more time that passes, the more that using Bitcoin will be like breathing air.
Future “Bitcoiners” will be fighting other battles, contending with other beasts and striving to accomplish different feats. It’s our job to make sure humanity survives beyond the event horizon ahead. But I digress…
Bitcoiners today are simultaneously the soundest contrarians and the group of people who want the best for you. Find them. Be around them. It will not only strengthen our cause, but will make the journey less lonely.
We contrarians are the Bitcoin Mafia, h/t AMERICAN HODL.
Much like the early team at PayPal, this era of Bitcoiners will rebuild the world. We are a unique set of individuals all striving to grow, who are responsible for their own actions, wealth and decisions, and will long-term change the very course of history.
Despite the challenges that lie ahead, you should be deeply grateful to be a part of it.
Bitcoiners Vs. Shitcoiners
Bitcoiners are the community that wants the best for you, while primarily and fundamentally focused on becoming the best version of themselves.
There exists a form of altruistic selfishness because they are striving to grow as individuals and to become better at their own expense. Not yours.
Many have attempted to frame Bitcoin as a method in which early adopters encourage new adopters to buy it so that they can get rich, kind of like a Ponzi scheme. This is incorrect for a number or reasons, mainly:
Any purchase a new person makes has an inconsequential direct impact on the net worth of a Bitcoiner, although the impact for the new entrant is monumental, i.e., sovereign ownership over the product of your labor, protected by a global, distributed, proof-of-work network.
Any momentum created by a broader base of people buying and holding bitcoin drives up its purchasing power, resulting in a negative impact for a Bitcoiner who will never go back to fiat, and who measures his or her wealth in terms of the number of “sats” they hold. It requires more hours of work each year for me to accumulate a single bitcoin, and my bet is that by the time this decade is out, there is little I can do for the rest of my life to earn an entire bitcoin again. Few understand this.
Bitcoiners have nothing to sell you, but your own freedom and sovereignty.
When we do so, we actually increase the cost of our own transition because those of us who understand Bitcoin are not measuring our wealth in dollar terms, but in sats. A higher relative bitcoin price means we can acquire less real wealth.
Contrast this with shitcoiners who create “uLtRaSoUnD money” out of thin air, change the rules at a whim, enrich themselves via “pre-mines” and sell you a new narrative every few months so that you keep buying it.
Shitcoiners, much like the existing bankrupt monetary system, seek to enrich themselves at the expense of others. When some group of nerds, backed by Silicon Valley VCs, issues its own currency under the banner of “decentralization” or “the good of everyone,” they are enriching themselves at your expense. You are funding their lifestyle, and they thank you for it.
Frauds like Charles Hoskinson, Vitalik Buterin or Dan Larimer are all cut from the same cloth. They all dislike each other because their respective Ponzi schemes are in direct competition with each other, and as such, they’re at constant war. The following passage from a recent book about Ethereum comes to mind:
Blockchainers selling overpriced enterprise database solutions and Silicon Valley venture capital firms like A16Z pumping and dumping the new shiny craptocurrency are no different.
They don’t want the best for you. They just want the best for themselves at your expense, which is to be expected in a world where incentives are skewed, capital allocation is broken, pricing signals are false and morality has been thrown out the window.
The following meme (h/t Gigi) is the perfect example of how these people think and behave, in stark contrast to the image of Bitcoiners earlier in the piece:
A common term thrown around by shitcoiners is “toxicity.” It’s become a futile attempt by those who do not understand the basic premise of the golden or silver rules to slander anyone calling out their scams, mistakes or fraudulent behavior.
The funniest part is that Bitcoiners have actually taken on the term as a badge of honor and in classic cobra effect style, doubled down on the behavior.
Let’s explore a few of the tenets of toxicity:
The Golden Rule
The golden rule is “do unto others as you’d like them to do unto you.” This is one of the most commonly misunderstood ideas, because it has nothing to do with being “nice,” and everything to do with having the courage to say and do what’s right.
What you really want done unto you is the right thing, the thing that keeps you honest, that demands the best of you and that corrects your erroneous behavior so that you can evolve and develop into the best version of yourself.
80% of the time, the above requires truth, and 80% of that time, the truth will hurt.
Bitcoiners believe this, viscerally.
The Silver Rule
I quote Nassim Taleb way too much, but oh, well. I’m sure his ghost writer is happy.
The silver rule states that one should not do unto others as you would not want done unto you. It’s a slight variance on the golden rule, and in the context of complex systems (like human societies), a more robust rule.
You may enjoy weird shit like being spanked, so while the golden rule would then tell you to go spank others, doing so might not be such a good idea.
The silver rule suggests that what you don’t like or don’t want to happen to you is something you should not do to another. It’s very basic, but it passes the basic “good person” test. I don’t want to have my things stolen, or be micromanaged like I’m some lemming, or be scammed, promised the world and not have anything delivered, lied to, etc. So, in that sense, I should not do those things to others.
Bitcoiners get this, and while some may once again point to “toxicity” as something they wouldn’t want to happen to them, well… I would counter with the following tweet from a Bitcoiner I deeply respect:
The difference is striking. Please call us out if we ever attempt to betray you.
You’ll also note Bitcoiner behavior is consistent across both the golden and silver rules. It takes a rare kind of character to embody these traits.
This is why people like @dergigi and @GiacomoZucco are some of my favorite humans, and once again reinforces why so-called “toxicity” by an intolerant minority is so fundamental to Bitcoin.
It’s not just an immune response, but is the rock of truth against which the waves of lies break. That which is termed “toxic” is done so by those who are threatened by the light of its truth. They would prefer to build committees of censorship instead of having the humility to adjust their behavior or the courage to rise to the occasion and own their mistake.
Bitcoiners are as toxic to frauds, phonies and charlatans as Bitcoin is to the existing fraud of the world we live in. And we use speech to make it known, like a swarm of cyber hornets.
This idea is eloquently encapsulated in one of my favorite short clips from Peterson:
The Virtuous Monster
There is nothing virtuous about suffering in silence, nor is virtue found in conforming to a lie just to be polite. Do not confuse kindness with sincerity, or abrasion with wickedness.
The best thieves will convince you that they’re your friend and often your truest friends are those who will violently confront you when you are transgressing your own morals, virtues or standards.
This is why I would take an “honest asshole” over a “polite liar” any day of the week, month or year.
Modernity has castrated men and battered women to the point where they can no longer stand up for themselves. They have been taught to live a life of quiet compromise and servitude. Daddy Government and Mumma Medicine will take care of you and numb you into oblivion.
If you want to know where this leads, there’s no longer a need to even study history. Just open your eyes and look around. The world in which we live is fundamentally compromised because people have forgotten to stand up straight with their shoulders back.
Note that in engineering terms (and the accurate linguistic definition) of the word “compromised” is that which is broken, non functional and needs to be fixed.
This is why the cultivation of the “monster” inside of us all has always been, and perhaps also never been, more important than it is now. To paraphrase Peterson:
This is why, as Peterson would say, that the capacity to be a monster, but a conscious one, is so critical.
As was explored in the prior chapter, the capacity for malevolence is ingrained in all of us as a result of the knowledge of our own vulnerability. This is something we cannot remove, but something we can stand up to by becoming stronger, wiser and more resilient versions of ourselves.
And once again, this is part of what an honest peer group brings to the table.
“Iron sharpens iron” and pressure is the prerequisite for growth, whether in physical, spiritual, mental or emotional dimensions.
The monster inside you must be cultivated, but needs to be conscious. A conscious monster confronts the dragon (the tyrant) and the snake (the charlatan), while protecting the truth, the tribe and the innocent.
This is what it means to be a virtuous monster and is the archetype of the so-called “toxic Bitcoiner.”
Without them, the world around you becomes either a tyranny or a fraud. Or, in the case of our timeline, a blend of both. In the absence of honest assholes, the world devolves into a mass of polite liars.
Echo chambers have been characterized as bad or, at best, undesirable because they are a supposed “barrier” to learning something new. In some cases this is true, especially in the madness of crowds via the blind repetition of some platitude or falsehood.
But… do not mistake an echo chamber for a point of objective truth that has been converged upon by individuals from different places across different times. There are timeless principles and a-priori truths that have guided humanity from the beginning of time and the individuals that history remembers are those who guarded them with their very lives.
This form of echo chamber is one in which signal is amplified. Search for these. In them lies deep fulfillment.
Bitcoiners Are The Remnant
I recently read “Isaiah’s Job” by Albert Jay Nock, and while I was going to write an entire section about it in this article, it took on a life of its own and is now published as it’s own piece here:
“Bitcoiners Are The Remnant, The Masses Don’t Matter”
Suffice it to say that Bitcoiners are the Remnant, and the Remnant are those who will and always have changed the world.
They are those who want the best for you because they are the same who demand the best from you.
They are your true friends. Your community. Your tribe.
In order to be among them, you must be the best and most honest version of yourself. There is no greater aspiration in life.
Nock’s piece reminds us that diluting your message and your mission to “appeal to the masses” is the greatest fraud a “prophet of the Remnant” can commit. It’s the pathway to emptiness, regret and meaninglessness. It’s a surefire way to dissuade those who matter from the cause, and attract the flakes.
So, while Bitcoin is for everyone, and Bitcoiners can come from any and all walks of life, the purity of the message and the incorruptibility that is Bitcoin does not change.
This is why many have likened Bitcoin to an objective truth. You cannot dilute the truth because it becomes a lie, and when it becomes a lie, you can only fool the masses; not the Remnant.
True Bitcoiners stand at the gates. They are the cyber hornets, as Michael Saylor would so aptly describe them. They are unlike the ephemeral, opportunistic shitcoiners that characterize the world of crapto.
Do Not Cast Pearls Before Swine
A well known but little practiced idea, once again derived from the Bible, is to not cast pearls before swine.
This is reminiscent of the message of the Remnant and the masses.
One must respect the scarce resources they have on this earth, whether they come in the form of time, energy or other scarce resources. One must allocate them accordingly, such that they are not squandered or wasted.
While waste is inevitable, its elimination is actually the definition of progress. The less we waste, the more effective and efficient we become, the more we honor ourselves, our lives and those around us.
We live in a world with real, physical constraints. You cannot help everyone, you cannot change anyone, the teacher appears only when the student is ready and swine will never respect pearls.
You and I are action-oriented beings, who expend our finite time and energy toward outcomes that we deem valuable. Maximize that by finding those whom you can impact deeply. Give them the pearls. They will not only appreciate them, but they will pay it forward.
Quality over quantity. This is the rule of the wise.
Never be afraid to be selective or exclusive. You do an injustice to yourself, your tribe and those who matter most by being totally inclusive, spreading yourself thin and diluting your message for a mass of people who won’t care anyway.
Focus on those who do care, the Bitcoiners. And if you want to know what it means to be a Bitcoiner, I wrote what might be my shortest piece a number of years back here:
“What It Takes To Be A Bitcoiner”
With this in mind, we enter the final section of this chapter…
This is a meme popularized in the Bitcoin world, but which has its roots in every great narrative where an individual or group have found sovereignty in their escape from tyranny or the collapse of the old.
From Noah’s Ark to the Romans to American independence to Galt’s Gulch or the internet (cyber space), the idea of the citadel has existed since the dawn of history and now lives on through Bitcoin.
It’s gained momentum in the hearts and minds of Bitcoiners because Bitcoin is fundamentally a parallel system that neither needs nor recognizes the old. It operates on a new standard that is both subjectively enforced and objectively measurable.
It is a citadel on multiple dimensions: a communications citadel, a monetary fortress, a time and energy super conductor, a web of inter-subjective value, a human action transmission network, a work and labor storage device, a high-fidelity representation of natural resources, a timechain and a map of reality.
Furthermore, because money is the technology of social cooperation and the transmission medium for time, energy and natural resources, it’s movement into the realm of the incorruptible and untouchable physical law (alongside the speed of light and the second law of thermodynamics), means that it forms the basis for citadels on higher dimensions:
None of the above can be built independent of the old without first securing the money. And if by chance and sheer will they are, they cannot be sustained.
The base of the pyramid of sovereignty is money. We fix that, we can fix anything. There is no greater task that lies before us. The citadels must and will prevail.
To better understand the citadel meme, let’s explore some concepts:
Localism And Tribalism
Tribalism is today used as a pejorative term to frame people who think and behave a certain way as bigots, close minded, group-thinkers and echo chamber maximalists.
As with most modern definitions, this is totally moronic.
The tribe is a critical component of a community and if the family is the nucleus, tribes are like the “cells” in a society. They are a fundamental building block whose integrity determines the strength and fitness of the broader species.
We start with the individual, we grow into a family, we form a tribe, we develop a community and communities come together to build a citadel. These citadels then form “human society,” i.e., a diverse network of jurisdictions all with their own flavors, styles, norms and cultures.
These are the layers:
Tribes and perhaps communities are about as far as common values can scale and general governance can function. Beyond that, it starts to break down because of the diverse nature of life.
Society simply cannot function at the scale of the modern nation state, and especially not at the scale that the moronic globalist believe. The idea that some global, monolithic super structure can effectively command and control all decision making is abhorrent, unless the constituents, i.e., the very citizenry it’s made up of, are all of the same character, values and belief systems.
This is impossible for large swathes of people, unless it is enforced by some decree. But even then, individuality emerges like a rose in a concrete world, or a ray of light in a dark room. We are inherently different, and that’s what makes humanity beautiful.
Groups of people with common beliefs and shared values have been coming together since the dawn of time. At the local level, they may be quite similar and tribal. This is fine. Humans naturally do that. But on a grander scale, to be a functional species we require diversity. We require tribal, cohesive and homogenous “cells” that are similar within, but different to their counterparts, who perform different functions in order to exist.
You see it in all of life. From the quantum universe, to the galaxies that make up the big universe (whatever that is).
Life needs diversity.
Life exists at the nexus of chaos and order. Not in the realm of one without the other. Diversity by its very nature is a form of chaos between the order.
This diversity enables experimentation and discovery, it enables growth. This is what life does. It’s in constant flux, growing and dying, each ebb and flow giving rise to the other in the continuous cycle of life.
Everything we cherish, from art to civilization, spawned from our ability to experiment and to try. It’s only in this way that a discovery can be made. That’s why I believe in tribalism.
It’s healthy. It’s essential. We must protect it.
The individual comes first, but they are nothing without their tribe. There’s no reason why people cannot mingle and experience different tribes and cultures, but those distinct, homogenous core tribes need to exist for us to be able to do that!
Bitcoin and the Bitcoiners that help make it possible are a microcosm of this concept. You see it everywhere despite the claims by shitcoiners and no coiners that we are “toxic.”
Bitcoiners from all walks of life are passionately trying to help others navigate the tools, the information and the nuance free of charge, helping newbies avoid shitcoins, calling out scammers and copping flack for doing so.
The specter of economic reality will completely transform how sovereignty functions and force it to either adapt into a customer ← → service provider relationship (away from subject ← → overlord) with those whom it provides governance services, or dissolve into bankruptcy.
I believe it will drive sovereigns to be smaller, nimbler and more local because it’s the only way to remain economically functional and competitive.
We’ve seen that operating or governing across a large swathe of a population with divergent views, norms, ideals and values is just not viable. People want different things and you can’t just blanket impose arbitrary rules on everyone.
The only reason why large scale nation states exist today is that they are able to fraudulently fund themselves via three mechanisms:
Borrowing from the future
On a Bitcoin standard, you cannot do the above and thus you cannot grow into a leviathan by perpetuating an economic fraud. You cannot privatize gains whilst socializing losses because none of the mechanisms above are possible.
Moral hazard, which is currently built into the system, is no longer systemically possible. It’s only locally possible and the consequence is collapse.
The result is a natural ceiling in size for either governments or corporations. The larger you get, the slower you become, the harder it is to adapt and the more susceptible you are to being beaten by smaller, nimbler and more hungry competitors. This is how things naturally balance. On a fixed, energy-money standard, you cannot bail out the stupid (or corrupt), and you cannot eliminate competition by being close to the ultimate monopoly.
“Royalism” is a term coined by Mencius Moldbug and discussed in his series of essays about the “patchwork” model of the world. Some of you may be familiar with his work, but I assume many are not.
In short, he discusses a future in which the world is made up of a patchwork of city states, all run like corporations, by a CEO with absolute power and accountability.
This city-state CEO is much like a monarch, but operates their domain like a business whose motive is profit. Hence the term “royalism.”
It is so extremely in line with what Bitcoiners have intuited over the past few years that I can only imagine there’s been some influence from his work. The initial draft was written before Bitcoin, but notes made afterward that Bitcoin as a monetary standard might help make a future like this possible.
I would argue that, without Bitcoin, a future such as this one is impossible until after the complete collapse of a globalist super structure which has way too much momentum and too many resources.
Bitcoin may be what makes a royalism-inspired patchwork of citadels possible via a more smooth and functional transition in which the good of what society has built in the prior five centuries does not go to complete waste. I won’t do the concept justice in a few paragraphs, so I suggest you have a read:
“Patchwork: A Political System For The 21st Century”
He is brutal in his analysis of the status quo, and both funny and extremely intelligent. I would also suggest reviewing the fabulous book by Titus Gebel, “Free Private Cities”:
“Free Private Cities”
The idea that Ayn Rand described so eloquently and inspirationally in “Atlas Shrugged” is being memed into reality and the centerpiece of it all is Bitcoin.
It’s okay to surround yourself with people who are helping you be better and to shy away from people who are willing to drag you down. You are not obligated to associate with people who are trying to damage the structure of your being.
Move away from people like that.
A bitcoiner is a unique archetype who represents the true zeitgeist of the modern world. He or she is the counterbalance to the madness of crowds and the destruction by parasites. They are the rational optimist who can envision a better world because they’ve understood the flaws with the current one.
They are the Remnant and oftentimes the lonely contrarian, who I am here to remind are not alone. Like God told Isaiah, there are two things I can guarantee you:
The Remnant exists
Its members will find you
Your responsibility as a Bitcoiner and as a member of the Remnant is to strive toward being the best version of yourself and to do your part in raising the standard with others. Your example and your presence alone will do that. To paraphrase Peterson:
“Like you have an ethical responsibility to take care of yourself, you have an ethical responsibility to surround yourself with people who have the courage, faith and wisdom to wish you well when you’ve done something good, and to stop you when you’re doing something destructive.”
That quote summarizes not only what it means to be a good friend, but what it means to be a so-called “Toxic Bitcoin Maximalist.”
A Collective Protest By The Individual
Bitcoin is a peaceful but functional protest against that which consciously or unconsciously chooses to oppress. And this protest is a vital one.
A brotherhood and sisterhood along common values is what’s missing in the world today.
We are different, and that’s a beautiful thing. We are diverse in our values, needs and desires.
When free to choose, we naturally form groups along commonalities. And yes, while these groups are naturally more homogeneous internally, the patchwork they form is more heterogeneous because they’re smaller
For too long we’ve been forced to assimilate and “integrate” as if we’re cattle without an identity, without a culture and without personal preferences.
If children can form friendships at school of their own volition, why in the hell are adults forced to conform and accept each other as some global, homogeneous blob. It just breeds resentment for one another. I have no desire to hang around some people, and nobody else has the right to force us to get along.
I want to pick my friends carefully because who I spend time with is who I become. Bitcoin is my protest and it voluntarily aligns me with others who want the same thing. This is our virtual citadel today, and is the precursor to our physical one tomorrow. I hope to meet you there one day, at a lecture being given by Peterson himself.
Thank you for reading.
This is a guest post by Aleks Svetski, CEO ofwww.amber.app. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.
Canadian professor Jordan Peterson has released a podcast discussing bitcoin (BTC). The hour and a half podcast engaged notable figures in the Bitcoin ecosystem, including John Vallis, Der Gigi, Richard James, and Robert Breedlove in an-in depth technical, philosophical, and economic discussion about the digital currency.
Prof John Peterson Discusses Bitcoin (BTC)
Jordan Peterson, a Canadian professor of psychology, author, and YouTuber, has released a fresh podcast focusing on bitcoin (BTC). The nearly two-hour-long episode released this week, hosted notable bitcoiners, including Robert Breedlove, a former hedge fund manager and Bitcoin philosopher, John Vallis, Der Gigi, a Bitcoin-focused software engineer, and Richard James.
In the podcast, which was reportedly recorded on May 13, 2021, and released earlier this week, the 59-year-old clinical psychologist and his guests talked about bitcoin’s potential as the future of money, its complete decentralization, and more.
Unlike some notable intellectuals and public commentators such as Peter Schiff, a staunch crypto critic whose son recentlydumpedhis gold and other traditional investments for bitcoin (BTC), Dr. Peterson’s comments throughout the discussion show he has a deep understanding of the workings of Bitcoin.
“It’s a very interesting idea that Bitcoin provides an incorruptible language of value, preferable to gold,” he said at one point during the podcast.
Throughout the discussion, Peterson quizzed his guests about their views on the workings of bitcoin and its usefulness, frequently repeating their responses as a means of solidifying his own understanding of the concepts of Bitcoin.
“So [Bitcoin] is completely transparent. It’s completely distributed. There’s no centralized authority. It doesn’t inflate. It can’t be inflated. It isn’t subject to any form of overt administrative control,” he noted.
On the issue of Bitcoin’s massive energy consumption, a point that critics and even bitcoin investor and dogecoin (DOGE) promoter, Elon Musk has addressed in recent times, Petersen argued that the efficiency the digital currency offers far outweighs its energy consumption.
“Whatever energy expended in the production of bitcoin and the maintenance of the system should be more than recouped by the increased efficiency of every system that uses Bitcoin as a transactional device,” he declared, adding “And so it’s a mistake just to look at the cost of generating bitcoin in the absence of considering the efficiencies that Bitcoin would produce.”
As expected, Dr. Peterson’s views have attracted mixed reactions on Twitter, with various crypto enthusiasts applauding his bullish stance while some observers blasted him.
At press time, the price of bitcoin (BTC) is sitting around $46,509, with a market capitalization of $874.25 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.
Controversial Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson appears to have turned onto Bitcoin in the latest episode of his podcast.
On Aug. 10 Peterson published a podcast titled “Bitcoin: The Future of Money?” which hosted a panel of Bitcoiners including John Vallis the host of the Bitcoin Rapid-Fire podcast, Bitcoin coder Der Gigi, film creator Richard James, and Robert Breedlove, ex-hedge fund manager and host of the “What is Money?” show.
In the video, Peterson — who claims to have an IQ around 150 — puts forward a succinct description of the innovation from which Bitcoin derives its value from:
“It’s a very interesting idea that in some manner, Bitcoin provides an incorruptible language of value preferable to gold.”
Throughout the episode, the 59-year-old author prompted his guests to provide their views on the value that Bitcoin provides to society, and in turn he then re-articulated their answers back to them in an attempt to form a fundamental understanding of its key concepts.
Jordan Peterson Releases “Bitcoin: The Future of Money?” https://t.co/JFHzSh7fIO
— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) August 13, 2021
“So [Bitcoin] is completely transparent. It’s completely distributed. There’s no centralized authority. It can’t be cracked. It can’t be stolen. It doesn’t inflate. It can’t be inflated. It isn’t subject to any form of overt administrative control,” he said.
While Peterson isn’t known as a crypto proponent, he may know more about Bitcoin and blockchain tech than he let on in the video. The psychologist started accepting BTC donations back in 2018 after he boycotted Patreon over free speech issues.
The clinical psychologist has publicly discussed the significance of blockchain tech on multiple occasions, and during an interview with Grant Blaisdell in January 2020, he tentatively stated that:
“There’s a whole bunch of problems that this new system solves, but you can be bloody certain that there’s a whole bunch of problems it’s going to introduce.”
Peterson also questioned the guests on what they thought were the downsides of Bitcoin, and referred to Elon Musk’s environmental concerns surrounding the sustainability of mining practices behind the asset.
Related: Is being late into Bitcoin about perspective?
The consensus among the guests was that the energy required to maintain the Bitcoin network was worth it because of its transformative effects on society in terms of decentralization, with Gigi suggesting that “society, in general, asks these questions about all kinds of things, are cars worth it? Are smartphones worth it? Is the internet worth it?”
Peterson then boiled down the discussion by stating if Bitcoin’s value propositions were found to be true, the result would be that:
“Whatever energy is expended in the production of Bitcoin and the maintenance of the system should be more than recouped by the increased efficiency of every system that uses Bitcoin as a transactional device.”
“And so there’ll be a net energy gain not a net energy loss if you calculated it across the entire system. And so it’s a mistake just to look at the cost of generating Bitcoin in the absence of considering the efficiencies that Bitcoin would produce, ” he said.
How Blockchain Technology Can Help Improve the Planet https://t.co/uTk8WQE82E via @HumanProgress
— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) March 24, 2021
Rule IX: If Bad Investments Still Upset You, Write Them Down Carefully And Completely
A REIMAGINATION OF “BEYOND ORDER” BY JORDAN PETERSON THROUGH THE LENS OF BITCOIN.
This writing mirrors the exact chronological structure of Beyond Order offering reflection through a Bitcoin lens. This is chapter 8 of 12. If you read the book it adds a second dimension. All quotes credited to Jordan Peterson. All reflections inspired by Satoshi Nakamoto.
But Is Yesterday Finished With You?
“Learn from the past. Or repeat its horrors, in imagination, endlessly.”
Americans are notoriously bad at history. As Norm Chomsky hinted, America suffers countrywide amnesia. We forget our atrocities almost as soon as we commit them. The challenge with fiat currency is that the lessons are dispensed over decades, if not centuries. In 2020 we witnessed the Lebanese lira implode inflating by 56% in a month. Dig back a hundred years to the Weimar Republic (modern-day Germany) where their currency became worthless in two years. Rome, one of the most studied historical empires, was also undone by the temptation of currency debasement.
America is especially vulnerable because many of us lack an appreciation of history. The moral of monetary debasement is a 100% mortality rate. The citizens of those societies did not have the benefit of opting into bitcoin, but I am willing to bet if it was available it would have been feverishly popular. Currencies are diving headlong into a concrete pool like three blind mice saying, “so and so did it so why can’t I?” Learn from history, to avoid repeating the horrors of fiat currency.
“If you do not know what roads you have traversed, it is difficult to calculate where you are.”
Bitcoin’s hard-cap supply is 21 million. The entire blockchain’s history can be viewed from a full node. More fascinating is the precise knowledge of bitcoin’s inflation rate over the next hundred years. This historical and forward-looking clarity is insanely useful for everyone to make economic calculations — especially in a world navigating through immense turbulence.
In the 1500s Geneva was the epicenter of Swiss watchmaking. Its metronomic accuracy and dependability set the highest standard that lives on in reputation to this day. It’s hard to show up for a meeting when you don’t know what time it is. Money should have the same steady heartbeat found in a swiss watch. Bitcoin is to money in the 2000s what Geneva was to watches in the 1500s.
“We must recollect ourselves or suffer in direct proportion to our ignorance and avoidance.”
We’ve kicked the can down the road since 2008’s Great Recession. A reckoning is coming. We have always complained about the debt but people have had no tools for recourse at our disposal until now. Our government has exhausted all of its tools for a true recovery, focusing on maintaining inflation in a technologically-driven deflationary world. Our government is simply out of touch with the reality that technology is changing everything. What our leaders brand “recovery” is simply the waning stages of a shipwreck with all hands on deck pretending to prevent capsize. Jeff Booth details our predicament in his book “The Price of Tomorrow”.
“But the body knows what the mind does not yet grasp. And it remembers. And it demands that understanding be established. And there is simply no escaping that demand.”
Americans will have a harder time with this new reality because this is our first time confronting the fact our country is bankrupt on multiple dimensions. Getting pushed out of the nest of comfort into the realm of the unknown is fragmenting America. We act in desperation playing a zero-sum game forgetting that a positive-sum game is what took America to the top.
Your instincts tell you that we are deep in a bad place. There’s too much information for your mind to make sense of it. But we are entering a massive paradigm shift. There is no escaping these long-term cycles. Luckily, Peter McCormack’s interview with Brandon Quittem, titled “Bitcoin is Fourth Turning Money,” helps us make sense of these huge macrocycles to better prepare ourselves for the road ahead.
Do Not Fall Into The Same Pit Twice
“The memories my client brought into my office had remained unchanged for decades. The memories she walked out with were markedly altered. Which, then, were real?”
Secretary treasuries and Federal Reserve chairs have all repeated the same act for decades: increase debt, ignore and avoid debt repayment, and tell everyone that everything’s going to be okay. We were told they needed to print more money for economic recovery, for foreign invasions, and to fight the war on drugs. But life on Main Street U.S.A. was good in the ’80s, the ’90s, and the 2000s, so we all went along with it. Today we look back on our actions in 2003, 2008, and 2020 with horror. Our actions put us in a financial straightjacket. Yet here we are repeating the same cycle again, in part because our government does not have an alternate strategy.
Like every drug story gone south, it felt great then and it feels terrible now. The more we delay the inevitable the worse this all gets. When will we stop repeating the same mistakes with our money? When will we come to terms with what is real? The most real aspect of fiat currencies is their primary role in digging ourselves into insurmountable debt. It is baffling how fiat currency caused such self-inflicting wounds yet so many continue begging for more.
Possessed By Ghosts
“Schizophrenics lose the ability to monitor themselves effectively…”
Schizophrenia is the breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior. Inability to find healthy integration causes a schizophrenic individual to seem out of touch with reality. Similarly, society is struggling to properly integrate technology, money, and humanity. We are all out of balance. To make matters worse all three change fluidly and rapidly.
Bitcoin maximalists know it’s not about the U.S. dollar price because the U.S. dollar is a moving target. It’s about how much bitcoin you own, because that denominator is absolute. If you sell apples and the government prints $10 trillion new dollars and then the price of an apple increases, what changed? The dollar or the apple?
The dollar denominator changes fluidly because no one knows how many dollars exist or will be printed tomorrow. In a world exhibiting increasingly schizophrenic behavior, bitcoin’s predictable supply curve is the sanity check. When you measure life in bitcoin, everything around you gets more affordable. It is technological money that saves humanity from fiat insanity. I’d prefer a less schizophrenic world, and bitcoin may just offer the integration that leads to sanity.
“His face had hardened… They no longer had the habitual look of deer caught in the headlights. They looked like people from whom decisions emanated, rather than people to whom things merely happened.”
Bitcoin is hard money and the community is biased toward taking action because that’s the demand of responsibility. Bitcoin maximalists tend not to sit around waiting to see what others do. Fiat currency happens to you because you play the reactive role of the innocent bystander. Bitcoin is an open system encouraging active participation. It’s a major difference.
“He now understood and admitted enough of the potential dangers that surrounded him to make his way in reasonable safety through the world.”
Before bothering with Bitcoin you need to understand how the dollar works. The only understanding you can possibly arrive at is that your society is now a 100-story house of cards, the mother of all Ponzi schemes. Once you recognize the danger your life is steeped you will freeze, fight, or flee. Most people freeze and play possum hoping their daddy will fix everything. Bitcoin is both a fight and flight to reasonable safety from an unsustainable system.
“He made what he now knew part of his personality — part of the map that would guide him henceforth in his actions — and freed himself from the ghosts that possessed him.”
Bitcoin is a community made up of strong-willed, independent, free-thinking individuals. And a small, strong group of individuals under constant threat can thrive when each member possesses willpower and competency individually. This is possible because we do not suffer the tragedy of commons. Strength comes when you “call bs” within your community. We don’t need blind yes-men. There is no bottom to the Bitcoin rabbit hole so there is no expectation to know everything. There is united energy in pushing to grow our personal map to free us from being possessed by rules we did not vote on.
“I had another client, a young man who was terribly bullied in his first year of vocational college. When he first came to see me, he could barely talk, and was taking a high dose of antipsychotic medication.”
America has become a country of overly-medicated lost souls looking for the next pill to miraculously solve problems. Ironic how the systems that generate products based on infinite growth suffer cancerous outcomes. Society peer pressures us to keep up with the Joneses and when everyone is playing a materialistic game of “everything you can do I can do better” we all become insecure. But we are addicted to the next fiat solution to dig us out of our shame. Fiat currency has systematically given Americans Stockholm Syndrome. And we all keep falling for it. Bitcoin is the only known vehicle offering citizens around the world the ability to snap free of fiat’s spell without leaving their country.
“… he had the right to defend himself… He realized that he had taken far too much insult at school without reaching out for help… He could have confronted his tormentor directly…”
The latest report shows 17% (46 million) Americans hold bitcoin. These are certainly encouraging signs. Yet that also means the majority of Americans are yet to confront their tormentor directly. It’s telling that legendary investor Stan Druckenmiller is one of the 1%, yet even the 1% are publicly sharing the truth.
“We walked through his life, developing a particularly detailed account of everything he had suffered at the hands of his tormentor. He became sophisticated enough to articulate some initial understanding of her motivations.”
If you are not able to articulate the problem with national currency then you have no reason to own bitcoin. If you develop a detailed account of what inflation has done to your net worth you may be open to exploring new ideas for the sake of your own survival. Start by understanding fiat currency. Here’s insight from Stan Druckenmiller.
Potential Into Actuality
“We literally make the world what it is, from the many things we perceive it to be.”
Do yourself a favor and listen to Robert Breedlove’s “Saylor Series.” It is a crash course on the history of engineering and energy networks. Understanding from first principles makes you impervious to FUD. Energy is prosperity. This weak talk about Bitcoin being an ecological disaster is literally fiat in nature: a juicy clickbait headline with no substance or proof. Michael Saylor easily disarms this FUD with reality.
“Not only do our choices play a determining role in transforming the multiplicity of the future into the actuality of the present, but — more specifically — the ethics of our choices play that role.”
Critics love calling Bitcoin a Ponzi scheme full of whales waiting to dump their bags on greater fools rushing in to make fast money. The irony is that the sheer number of HODLers goes to prove the exact opposite. Maximialists understand that only the Bitcoin tourists get washed out with each dump. It all boils down to time preference and those with high time preference lose in Bitcoin. There is something that goes beyond price. It speaks to honest, ethical money. That is why it is so hard to shake. Bitcoin is playing the central role in restoring ethics and honesty to money.
The Word As Savior
“… we are so captivated by people who can tell a story… and who get to the point… the moral of the story… Such information is irresistible to us all.”
The story of money is as old as time. It’s often said that money makes people do immoral acts. I believe it depends on the quality of the money. Desperate short-sighted money makes desperate people. Money carries a dirty connotation because most people alive today are living in a monetary experiment and have never tasted sound money. It takes a creative open mind to imagine the positive opportunities that sound money offers humanity. A good story is what people want but Bitcoin tells a story incomprehensible by people tainted with fiat brain.
“The Word — the tool God uses to transform the depths of potential — is truthful speech.”
Terence McKenna said, “The world is made of language.” Bitcoin is language, speech. And it is designed with one purpose: to inscribe an immutable truth to its scroll every 10 minutes. Bitcoin is a tool that transforms the depths of money’s potential.
If Bad Investments Still Upset You, Write Them Down Carefully And Completely
This is a guest post by Nelson Chen. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.
Rule VIII: Add Bitcoin Artwork to Your Life to Make It As Beautiful As Possible
A REIMAGINATION OF “BEYOND ORDER” BY JORDAN PETERSON THROUGH THE LENS OF BITCOIN.
This writing mirrors the exact chronological structure of Beyond Order offering reflection through a Bitcoin lens. This is chapter 8 of 12. If you read the book it adds a second dimension. All quotes credited to Jordan Peterson. All reflections inspired by Satoshi Nakamoto.
Cleaning Your Room Is Not Enough
“Making something beautiful is difficult, but it is amazingly worthwhile. If you learn to make something in your life truly beautiful — even one thing — then you have established a relationship with beauty… That is an invitation to the divine.”
Bitcoin has inspired artistry including memes, GIFs, paintings, sculptures, music, literature, and decorated hardware wallets. There’s no denying the artistic expression runs deep.
“If it is a genuine artistic production, it will invade your life and change it.”
Bitcoin is the original, the immaculate conception. It is a genuine artistic production that is invading our lives and changing them. There are many pretenders attempting to siphon your money and attention. Be careful what you allow into your life, enabling the wrong product to invade your life will change it for the worse. The consequences of incorrectly allocating your time and money are dire. Simply knowing Bitcoin exists teaches you, whether you choose it or not. Time is the ultimate scoreboard, and Bitcoin is time. That is the power of a genuine artistic production.
“A real piece of art is a window into the transcendent, and you need that in your life… Unless you can make a connection to the transcendent, you will not have the strength to prevail when the challenges of life become daunting.”
Bitcoin’s design is striking: elegant, simple, powerful. Transcendent works speak to something deeper within us. Real art leaves us speechless because the way it makes us feel we lack the words to fully convey to do it justice. These qualities make it timeless. And Bitcoin will be a conversation piece for programmers, poets, journalists, and artists alike for decades to come. Once you think you’ve figured it all out a series of new paths take you deeper. We start by answering “what is Bitcoin,” mature into explaining “how Bitcoin works,” then graduate into “why Bitcoin matters.”
And the deeper your connection to this transcendent force, the more likely you will have the strength to prevail when the market correction becomes daunting. HODLers don’t flinch in an -80% fiat correction because our belief is anchored by the knowledge that there is no better alternative. Glassnode’s HODL Waves show the conviction of long term HODLers who set the new floor with each halving cycle.
Memory And Vision
“Perception has been replaced for me with functional, pragmatic memory. This has made me more efficient, in some ways, but the cost is an impoverished experience of the richness of the world.”
Society teaches us to trust data over our own feelings. So we lose our instincts as we age. We focus on what’s factual rather than subjective. Life narrows human effort into streamlined operations seeking maximum speed and lowest cost. But in this race to the bottom, we end up with an impoverished experience of the richness of the world. The Bitcoin community shares core beliefs yet expresses them on a spectrum of form factors adding dimension and richness.
“… left as we are with the pale reflection of our surroundings that our increasingly restricted mature perceptions deliver to us.”
Older generations are calloused in their ways, often perceiving Bitcoin with apprehension when in reality they are holding a dollar-based bag that is a pale reflection of its former glory.
“… museums, those asylums for genius: we isolate everything that is great — everything that could in principle be distributed throughout the world. Why cannot every small town have a shrine devoted to one great piece of art, instead of having every piece collected in a manner impossible for anyone ever to take in at once?”
Each of us is unique but society makes sense of us not as individuals but as a collection that fulfills various roles. Rather than try to cage all the talent in a centralized place wouldn’t it make more sense to decentralize talent and enable each to shine uniquely in its own space? Bitcoin allows people to contribute without geographical concerns. Developers, nodes, coin holders, and miners all operate throughout the world. And each Bitcoiner has a unique perspective to bring to the table. If money is sane it may just give us all a chance to breathe and remember what it is to be uniquely human rather than cogs in a centralized machine.
I deeply believe each Bitcoin pleb has one great piece of artwork within themselves if only they had the courage to take it upon themselves to let out. Your “you-ness” is not meant to be bottled up and sat in a cubicle from 9 to 5. It’s no wonder we feel like sardines in the office, each person elbowing their way up the ladder often forced to step on others in said mission. The future that Bitcoin offers is unclear but there are pathways ahead that will reward individuals for being individuals. That is something the internet era has shown is possible. But the vast majority of people make their living by being disgruntled middlemen when in reality we all wish to devote our lives to one great act unique to ourselves that nourishes our soul. I may be swinging for the fences but I believe Bitcoin opens that door for many millions of people.
The Land You Know, The Land You Do Not Know, And The Land You Cannot Even Imagine
“Artists are the people who stand on the frontier of the transformation of the unknown into knowledge. They make their voluntary foray out into the unknown, and they take a piece of it and transform it into an image.”
By this definition all Bitcoiners are artists. We are frontiersmen venturing boldly into the unknown in an attempt to define the future. This is why we are often misunderstood by normies. The general population sees crazy people taking outsized risk beyond society’s comfort zone. If you are a Bitcoiner who feels misunderstood you are not alone.
“That edge, where artists are always transforming chaos into order, can be a very rough and dangerous place. Living there, an artist constantly risks falling fully into the chaos, instead of transforming it.”
No-coiners are rightfully fearful of Bitcoin. It represents precisely a rough and dangerous frontier land. It has been said that when explorers of old reached the edge of their known map the common saying was “here be dragons.” Bitcoiners stand at the edge of monetary chaos in an attempt to transform it into something better.
“That is the role of the artist, occupying the vanguard… They are the initial civilizing agents… The artists do not understand full well what they are doing. They cannot, if they are doing something genuinely new.”
Bitcoiners may seem like cowboys to the rest of the world but we recognize ourselves as the initial civilizing agents. We are all attempting to reconcile the old with the new but we do not understand full well what we are doing because this is uncharted territory for every living human. No one in our lifetime has witnessed the reinvention of money.
“Artists must be contending with something they do not understand or they are not artists.”
Everyone daring enough to create on Bitcoin is contending with something we understand but don’t understand and that takes artistry.
“They are likely, when genuine, to be idiosyncratically and peculiarly obsessed by their intuition — possessed by it, willing to pursue it even in the face of opposition and the overwhelming likelihood of rejection, criticism, and practical and financial failure. When they are successful they make the world more understandable.”
This is what motivates Bitcoiners in a nutshell.
“I can tell you that the art shines through the propaganda as the years pass.”
How many Bitcoin copycats have come and gone? Many replicated Bitcoin’s codebase promising something better but few have stood the test of time. And after 12 years there is still only one Bitcoin. And the “next Bitcoin” will be Bitcoin.
“We need the new, merely to maintain our position.”
Step back and consider the bigger picture. Fragmented groups in America are at one another’s throats. China is at full force breathing down our neck. It is not enough to simply stand in place or redistribute wealth without. We need to revitalize our society to maintain our position. It isn’t enough to just tax money from one group and give it to another. We need a new mindset, and Bitcoin is capable of delivering.
“… when impressionists first displayed their paintings… the pieces were met with laughter and contempt. The idea of perceiving that way… was so radical that it caused people to have emotional fits.”
When you have something that makes people wildly emotional (see Peter Schiff, Nouriel Roubini, Steve Hanke, etc.), that’s when you know it’s a work of genius. It’s ahead of the critics’ time. In the words of Victor Hugo, “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” And Bitcoin’s time is now. Silicon Valley has learned that special products originated from highly divided opinions. Ideas that are too agreeable are usually too obvious. The genius ideas are often met with deeply polarizing responses.
“Artists teach people to see. It is very hard to perceive the world, and we are so fortunate to have geniuses to teach us how to do it., to reconnect us with what we have lost, and to enlighten us to the world.”
We lost sound money. Lost in the annals of history are all the known civilizations whose money was debased leading to societal collapse. Americans have strong amnesia so we must be reminded. Bitcoiners are teaching people to remember what took thousands of years for humans to figure out — that sound money is intertwined with societal prosperity.
“Beauty leads you back to what you have lost… forever immune to cynicism… Beauty… straightens your aim. Beauty reminds you that there is lesser and greater value.”
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Until Bitcoin came around I never thought I’d describe money as beautiful. But how can it be anything but beautiful once you understand the balance between miners, node operators, and developers; the elegance of Bitcoin’s design; the harmony Bitcoin offers humanity. Any one solution with the capacity to benefit multiple wildly complex social issues is a creation of genius. Bitcoin reminds us that there are greater and lesser forms of value. And most importantly, it sets the bar for the greatest value in our species’ history.
Try to teach one no-coiner in your life “Why Bitcoin.”
This is a guest post by Nelson Chen. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.
In this episode of Bitcoin Magazine’s “Meet The Taco Plebs,” I was lucky enough to sit down with one of my favorite contributors here at the magazine, Nelson Chen. I have worked with Chen to publish six parts of his twelve-part series about Jordan Peterson’s book, “Beyond Order.”
In his series, Chen discusses a variety of topics. Many of these topics relate back to the idea of stories told across generations — allegories and discussions that help to explain the world we live in. Chen believes that these stories are what we can use to help navigate the future, and that they are also very much related to Bitcoin and the issues we will face as we continue towards hyperbitcoinization.
Below is a written version of our interview, and be sure to check out the audio and video version of the podcast!
What’s your Bitcoin rabbit hole story?
My background: I’m a Silicon Valley techie. I have a degree in accounting, I learned how to code (have built a few full stack applications), and spent most of my career in tech sales. Lastly, I’ve always been an investor, primarily in tech stocks.
I first heard of BTC in 2015. I wrote it off because reinventing money sounded impossible, too far-fetched.
Two years later, in the summer of 2017, I’m at a pool party in L.A., a very good friend of mine asked me to take a look at ETH because I am the guy in my network with a track record of picking good investments over the past 10 years. So, like so many of us, I fell down the ETH rabbit hole first: ultra super advanced version of Bitcoin. Sounded like a no-brainer investment with potential to make a great return on investment. I didn’t understand everything but it certainly seemed worthy of an initial investment.
I bought a bunch of tokens in the bull run. Got rekt in the 2018 crash. I bought ETH purely to make money as a stock. Explosive gains. But as I continued to do my due diligence I got hung up on what differentiates ETH from BTC, and if ETH is so amazing, how come all of the smartest people in the room are focused solely on BTC? That observation from crypto Twitter was watching this war of words between these two communities made me more curious to have a deeper look at Bitcoin. Because prior to that I had pigeonholed Bitcoin as the slower, older, less nimble, less scalable network.
Bitcoin counterintuitively began to make more and more sense while ETH continued to develop into a Rube Goldberg machine rife with failures, and broken promises.
I read “The Internet Of Money,” then “The Bitcoin Standard.” Those two books clicked hard. “The Internet Of Money” simplifies Bitcoin by relating it to large historical technology arcs. “The Bitcoin Standard” provides context to what exactly sound and unsound money look like.
That’s when I realized that Bitcoin is the future of money that will maintain longevity because of its architecture and its simplicity. It’s not a complex machine, it is something you can figure out.
How has Bitcoin changed your life?
After researching it and coming to my conclusions. I dropped everything in my life to pursue this one thing. If that’s not life changing, what is?
I am a contributor at Bitcoin Magazine and that exposure helped land me a full-time job at Swan as a rabbit hole expert.
It’s changed my state of mind. Time/money paradox: You can have one at the expense of the other. Everyone knows the saying “time is money.” But I was battling this misalignment between how I envisioned spending my time and the un-winnable pursuit of enough money.
Bitcoin offered a solution to my money/time paradox: because in fiat systems time is working against you, whereas in a Bitcoin-based system time is working with you. This instantly dissolved this massive conundrum that I could not solve but fortunately Satoshi did.
It also changed my human network, my community. I discovered a worldwide network of low time preference people that share the same values and vision of the future being a better place than what we have today. Which is incredibly rare in our world which leans toward an increasingly glass-half-empty mindset. YOLO, live for today because tomorrow is not promised.
Our social contract has been broken. It’s no longer about leaving the world as a better place. It has become about squeezing every last drop out of the lemon because it’s the present that is everything and the future is not my problem. And Bitcoin restores this social contract so future generations can grow up knowing their forefathers want a better life for them and it’s shown through behavior, not empty lip service. And that attitude makes a grim present into a brighter future. Because prior to falling down the Bitcoin rabbit hole, the world is a very bleak place when you think about the future. There are a lot of problems and nearly no solutions designed for long-term success for individuals, societies and humanity as a species.
Finding a group of people who place a high premium on critical thinking, morals and values, the value of high quality, the importance of trust and truth. “Show me who your friends are, and I’ll show you who you will become.”
TLDR; bitcoin changed my life trajectory and, P.S., dollar price is the least relevant fact of it all to me. It’s about good people with strong values.
What inspired you to write your series on Jordan Peterson for the magazine?
The reason Jordan Peterson was such a mind bender for me was because I grew up in the heart of Silicon Valley. The focus is entirely on technology and how it’s reshaping our futures and the entire world.
The reason Jordan Peterson’s work grabbed my attention is because he focuses on the human aspect of life. In tech, we have a tendency to believe that big technology at scale will solve all of our problems. And we have a tendency to put more trust in data than in our own experiences/ eyes. Humans are fallible, technology is not.
Jordan reframed my approach to technology as thinking of individual humans first and technology second. And he reframed my thoughts around stories vs numbers. And the reality and the importance of stories preceding numbers.
And this where Bitcoin and technology and Jordan Peterson collide and overlap. Bitcoin on the surface looks 100% like a purely technological advancement. And it is for sure the most incredible piece of software ever written, it’s not even close. But the genius in Bitcoin is its code contains an Easter egg: Bitcoin allows people to rise. And that is an unforgettable story. And the moral of the story, the Easter egg contained within it, is a formula for restoring human standards for personal responsibility, quality, morality and truth.
Bitcoin sets the bar for money and human beings rise to the level of our monetary standard.
And it is not a coincidence that these very qualities (morality, truth, quality, responsibility) are the very things we lack the most at all levels of society.
And that’s ultimately the same thing Jordan Peterson writes about. He’s offering sound ideas on how to better navigate this life by providing a foundation built upon thousands of years of ancestral wisdom. That’s a pretty solid way to structure your life.
Just like Bitcoin flows in the same direction as time, Jordan is saying there are massive patterns far greater than any individual or society that we can lean on that have been blueprints for our survival and success. So instead of reinventing everything from scratch and failing miserably at everything, use templates what we know works and modernize it.
The reason Jordan Peterson’s works are so controversial and widely consumed (just like Bitcoin) is because we live in times where nothing makes sense. Where insanity is normalized. And Bitcoin and Jordan Peterson are lighthouses that put a spotlight on timeless dependable blueprints made new again.
Both Satoshi and Jordan Peterson open up conversations that people living soft comfortable lives don’t want to have. A lot of the findings are not what people want to hear. The distortion of money has distorted everything including people’s perception of reality itself. And his emphasis on individual human beings taking our noble burden in life to be responsible, to be honest, to tell the truth, to accept the consequences of our actions. These are wildly unpopular opinions.
The ideas themselves are so old that they are new again. None of these statements were radical 100 years ago. 100 years ago these were expectations. Now, fiat currency has created a societal rot within people. So much so that these very fundamental ideas for how to build a strong society have become unpopular.
Money touches every aspect of life. It is as essential as air and water. And when money is bad and getting worse by the day, it cannot be a coincidence that everything it touches suffers Both Bitcoin and Jordan Peterson are offering solutions aimed at the root level by offering something profound that has been distilled.
One of my favorite quotes is “ the world is made of language.” Human beings terraformed the entirety of Manhattan to suit the needs of 10 million people. We did that through the use of language. That’s how powerful language is. Satoshi and Jordan Peterson deploy language, one as code, the other as a book. So, I felt deeply compelled to write this series because it might just carry the power to transform someone’s life and change their trajectory.
Going off of that, what do you believe is the most important “lesson” we have touched on in the series so far?
“Chapter 2: Imagine What You Could Be, Then Aim Single-Mindedly At That.”
Looking back and leveraging history. People as actors on a grand stage. And stories before numbers.
Imagination is human beings’ greatest asset. Great imagination: always shared in the format of stories.
“We are all infinitely complex beings. Each of us so full of potential it transcends our understanding. So, how do we figure out what we could be?”
We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We can stumble through life and figure it out as we go. Or we can utilize a millennia of wisdom told in the form of stories. Because our problems are ultimately human based, will never go away and the prototypical problems our ancestors faced are the same problems we face today in a new format.
In other words, we like to think of ourselves as so advanced and our ancient forefathers as a notch above cavemen. But we stand on their shoulders and they gave us the blueprint to bring about order from chaos. And the very human existential crisis we face they faced all the same.
Timeless stories are works of imagination. They are told and retold, refined and passed on through the generations. It’s easy to write off these stories as simply serving as entertainment, but beneath the fold they are unforgettable because they contain timeless lessons we are bound to repeat. And it took an untold number of years for our forefathers to figure out deep existential human problems. And they wrapped those problems in the form of imaginative stories so that we may avoid stepping on these booby traps while highlighting what it means to be successful. These stories are blueprints.
And to connect what’s old with what’s new, these stories are so vital to our existence they actually form the basis for modern societies today. The Ten Commandments is a pretty damn good way to create a protocol for human-to-human respect. That’s what it means when we say “standing on the shoulders of giants.” We are literally still using their wisdom today whether we respect and acknowledge it or not. There is no divorcing the past from the present. So, the question becomes, are you using our full collective human imagination to help you aim at what is best for yourself?
What are you most looking forward to in the Bitcoin space?
Humanity first: Our sense of community is unraveling. From the beginning of time where religion and beliefs kept communities tight, I’m looking forward to Bitcoin securing that same tightness within our communities.
I think of the Bitcoin mind virus as playing out like tag, but the specific version of it — sardines. And Bitcoin is the world’s biggest game of sardines. Bitcoin is an IQ test. It’s the world’s biggest secret in plain sight. And the last who find their way to it will be the biggest losers.
Technology second: Applications based around trust and value built on the Lighting Network. Strike and Sphinx chat are amazing products in their own respective rights. But the truth is that these apps are just scratching the surface of the Lightning Network’s potential.
A reimagination of “Beyond Order” by Jordan Peterson through the lens of Bitcoin.
These essays mirror the exact chronological structure of “Beyond Order” by Jordan Peterson, offering a reflection through a Bitcoin lens. This is chapter five of a 12-part series. If you read the book it adds a second dimension. All quotes credited to Jordan Peterson. All reflections inspired by Satoshi Nakamoto.
Pathological Order In Its Day-To-Day Guise
“When do you stop participating in a worrisome process that you see, or think you see, unfolding in front of you?”
All national currencies have an inflationary pathology. It is incurable because our nations regard inflation to be the solution rather than the problem. Robert Breedlove and Jeff Booth cover this in The Booth Series. Debt-based inflation steals from our future so we can live larger in the present. Yet we know the future is coming, and a debt that could once be repaid is now beyond hope. Many debt holders give off an aura of success when theprojectionn couldn’t be further from the truth. This is the “fake it till you make it” crowd. Social media is full of faces projecting images of success from one side of a screen while debt eats them alive on the other side.
Many people have fallen permanently behind because of these debt cycles. When we know the future is ugly and we are overcome by fear it is natural to keep our eyes fixated down at our feet — safety. The treadmill of life’s rat race continues to move faster while we convince ourselves we can keep up instead of hopping off the machine, causing our suffering. Inspirational coaches tell us to put in 110% and there is truth in that message. It is very un-American to admit defeat and call it quits. This ethos was formed partly because, until recently, there was no way to quit the system without physically exiting. Now you can exit the system peacefully without packing up your bags.
This may still be an unpopular decision, but it’s one gaining attention as the current system continues to dig itself a deeper hole. And when you’re involved in a pathological game that no longer serves you, you would be wise to look for alternative options. Put another way, it is easy for us to get stuck on a treadmill looking down at our feet whipping ourselves to run faster. If you’re willing to detach — take pause, step back, and look at the bigger picture — Bitcoin offers a new truth for those willing to understand its value proposition. We are all witnessing the debasement of our money, time, freedom and security. When will you stop participating in this worrisome process unfolding in front of you?
“Tyranny grows slowly, and asks us to retreat in comparatively tiny steps. But each retreat increases the possibility of the next retreat.”
Free markets, privacy and money have retreated in small steps. Those steps are getting larger as our situation deteriorates, with each crisis being worse than the last. Billions turn into trillions. From shoes off at the airport to a surveillance state which tracks phone calls and text messages. Many programs are sold as temporary but become permanent fixtures in our lives. And the process repeats because we continue to retreat.
Sound money is a radical concept because of its refusal to retreat or bend its standards according to the moment. This high-quality idea is so uncommon as to be completely foreign. Think about how sad this is. We are addicted to easy-bake cash machines and have forgotten entirely what high-quality money looks like. If you find your finances diminishing, perhaps it isn’t your work ethic that’s to blame but the money itself which is losing purchasing power (and taking your motivation down with it).
“Some dragons are everywhere, and they are not easy to defeat.”
Money is the root of all evil. At least that’s what people say. The biblical verse is conveniently abbreviated to turn wisdom into ideology. The full verse from Timothy 1:6 reads: “For the love of money is the root of all evil…” Money itself is not evil, it is a key building block of society that enables humans to trade productively and build civilizations. Hard money strengthens order. But money surfaces questions of morality within each of us. That is the dragon within each of us. And when money is soft it lends itself to morally questionable behavior. People have money as much as money has people. When the money is rigged it incentivizes the players to cheat, creating a toxic positive feedback loop.
Bitcoin restores balance within ourselves and society. Bitcoin raises the standard for quality, morality and stability. That’s not to say it is immune from greed, lust or love. But compare the standard the dollar sets against the standard bitcoin offers. Bitcoin restores faith in humanity by nourishing what we need in order to feel fulfilled instead of the empty pursuit of what we want. Compare what we need against what we want. The world is awash in soft money and the degradation of quality in products and people reflect this. Fiat currency is the dragon that is everywhere and is not easy to defeat. If bitcoin is money does that make it evil by association? A true tragedy is misjudging a heroic offering for just another dragon.
Fortify Your Position
“When culture disintegrates — because it refuses to be aware of its own pathology; because the visionary hero is absent — it descends into the chaos that underlies everything.”
Many Americans believe monetary collapse is exclusive to third-world countries and therefore could never happen stateside. The US dollar’s world reserve status gives credence to this attitude, yet wielding such a powerful weapon is a double-edged sword. Is it possible we’ve become too reliant on status and thus complacent when it comes to actual work? America has no shortage of cultural heroes, but we’ve fallen in love with our heroes and their trophies while ignoring the burden required to maintain the top spot.
The reality is that trophies are lagging indicators. Only those hoisting trophies know how much damn work went into standing at the top of a podium, which can’t be faked. That is the case for Bitcoin mining. The person hoisting the trophy, just like the miner that wins the block reward, must suffer a tremendous sacrifice to be considered a winner.
Pre-coiners often flock into bitcoin at all-time high prices and then complain when experiencing their first hard dip like the casual fair-weather fan. Then these same soft-minded people complain about mining being bad for the environment, when in reality they never put in the work to understand the process and in the grand stage of life they don’t even qualify to sit in the cheap seats. The formula to arrive at success in Bitcoin is bearing the mental burden of holding through a major dip. That separates the Bitcoin maximalist from the tourist. Bitcoin doesn’t lose, it only teaches. Whichever path a person chooses fortifies Bitcoin’s position. We drop the dead weight or we add new believers.
Putting in the work matters in Bitcoin as it should in life. This is something China understands all too well and is hopefully something America has not forgotten — work ethic matters. Bitcoin knows this. Proof-of-work (PoW) is the sacrifice. Bitcoin takes no shortcuts. Money without impurity is the trophy but what most normies have a hard time swallowing is that PoW is the battle testing that hardens the network.
We love watching highlights of Michael Jordan and Tom Brady playing hero ball and hoisting trophies, but few people are interested in the hours of gym time required to put them in a position to win. There are no guarantees for our athletic heroes, they earn their place everyday. Are you earning your keep? Or do you expect a fancy algorithm, AI or machine to solve your problems? Modern Americans expect the victory and the spoils of war even though we are on aggregate morbidly obese and educationally stunted. In Bitcoin there is no free lunch. Get it right.
“… you remain a marionette, with your strings pulled by demonic forces … and one more thing: it is your fault.”
There is a pervasive misconception about good guys and bad guys. Most of us cast ourselves as good when in reality most of us are neither. Most of us are nice guys — neutrals. Good guys, by definition, must have the capacity to confront bad guys. And if you’ve ever met a real malicious bad guy you probably know being good is easier said than done. Ironically, the good guy is equally dangerous as any bad guy. What differentiates the good guy is his or her capacity to harness and channel that danger productively to create order. It is far easier to use danger to create chaos. Morality and effort are required to be good. Note that the good guy may not necessarily be nice. Nice guys waffle on their beliefs when it serves them and are victims of circumstance waiting for the good guy to save them. Bitcoiners hold strong positions based on a provable belief system whose members refuse to be victims of circumstance. This is why Michael Saylor describes the community as a swarm of cyber hornets. Bitcoin is full of unapologetic good guys, not nice guys. Bitcoin is the only group capable of standing up against dangerously centralized sources of power.
Governments use national currencies like a puppeteer, and you are the marionette being manipulated. And now that you’ve been warned: it is your fault. Everyone is hedging their bets waiting for Superman. Everyone is structuring one-sided deals thinking they’re clever when in the long run it is mutually assured destruction. Fiat brings out these bad behaviors because as people near their zero bound they become increasingly desperate. And when money abuses you it’s easy to become jaded, dangerous and open to the idea that chaos is preferable to order. Bitcoin is money that honors its owner and can only be kept if handled with respect in return. It is the light at the end of the tunnel that makes choosing order over chaos a natural decision.
“But it is once again worth realizing that staying where you should not be may be the true worst-case situation: one that drags you out and kills you slowly over decades.”
A staggering 37% of British workers believe their job makes no meaningful contribution to the world. The inference is that people don’t believe their work matters yet they are duty bound to collect fiat currency in order to exist. A third of Brits don’t find purpose at their workplace where they spend the majority of their life. If money is the only reason to go to work and money is inflating your salary away that is a real drag. Imagine the path where you don’t get dragged out and killed by inflationary money. It happens gradually, then suddenly. And we are closer to the suddenly part than no-coiners like to admit. What is your plan? Do you expect the same government that is diluting your purchasing power to restore it out of benevolence? If you are waiting for someone else to save you and you find yourself in a pit, it is your fault.
“If you must cut off a cat’s tail, do not do it half an inch at a time.”
There are a lot of Bitcoiners stuck in traditional cubicle jobs dreaming about making the leap into a Bitcoin career. Around the previous halving in 2016, hiring in the space was nearly exclusively in engineering. Now the market is maturing and a diversity of careers are opening. Here are some resources if you’re seeking to make the leap:
“And there is no doubt that the road to hell, personally and socially, is paved not so much with good intentions as with the adoption of attitudes and undertaking of actions that inescapably disturb your conscience.”
The internet is a battlefield of psychological warfare. Bad behavior gets rewarded with clicks and views. Good behavior is considered mundane and rarely gets attention. Experts in the attention economy are dopamine dealers turning us into digital junkies. We’re wired to respond first to that which is grotesque, shocking, unbelievable, outrageous or insane. Good intentions rarely get ranked in popular or internet culture. This may explain why so many people living on the internet have mental health issues. Our minds desire another hit of dopamine but that does not fulfill what our conscience needs. It’s an empty pleasure.
The modern dollar behaves the exact same way. The dollar once symbolized dependable worth that could be stored but it has turned into dopamine dollars meant to provide short-term hits of pleasure leaving you destitute in the long term. When the US dollar was tied to gold it had good intentions. It represented quality because it held real value. Today’s dollar is an addictive drug turning citizens into junkies. Bitcoiners watch in horror as fiat currency marches its citizens down this dark road.
Do we keep sliding or do we dig in our heels and climb uphill? Bitcoin fixes money so we have no excuses now. The Cattle Co-op is leading the charge in Bitcoin-inspired agriculture. Fiat debt systems have systematically strip-mined America’s soil bank but Untapped Growth and Cows and Bitcoin are on the vanguard restoring its nutrient richness. The knock-on effects of poor building blocks like fiat currency unsurprisingly affect everything upstream. You may not be able to dictate monetary policy but you can select your money, thanks to Bitcoin.
Bitcoiners do not do what we hate.
This is a guest post by Nelson Chen. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.