Calvin & Hobbes and Bitcoin

When a baby learns to walk it falls down quite a bit.

It seems strange that there is so much ‘passion’ and anger surrounding the issue of Bitcoin.

Why? For the non computer person who just lives their happy life it’s not the details of the crypto-currency that matters, it’s just whether it’s useful for something or other.

I’m not a Bitcoin bug, or a gold bug, or a bug of any kind (except maybe a lyric or guitar bug). I’m a communications theorist. I stumbled into it in university on my way to a Publishing Masters, and realized it was what I’d been doing all along as a songwriter.

IMG_0092Water, trees and rocks. Love, family and friends. These things last and we just step up the technology around the first three.

So here we are. Stepping up the technology with the internet. Historically there is a struggle in the power balance when a new technology appears. Steel. Horses. Ships. Guns. Each new technology means that the those without power have a chance to use these new implements to make a better life for themselves.

Thomas Hobbes said that life is nasty, brutish and short. He believed that each person is naturally at war with every other person until there is some sort of central government to lay out some rules and keep the strong from devouring the weak. We only do what is best for ourselves. At the heart we are selfish. We give because it makes us feel good. We only sacrifice when we have something personally to gain.

The rise and fall of empires (big and small) plays through with this, in that a new group is formed and supported by the masses, then those in power start to loot and look after themselves (just as Hobbes suggested). Then the group falls apart within or is conquered without as soon as the masses have access to any means to organize and get the job done.

Now we have the internet and it lets us have a public sphere, where the masses can talk about anything they like, organize, and share ideas peer-to-peer without government intervention.

Jürgen Habermas said:

The bourgeois public sphere may be conceived above all as the sphere of private people come together as a public; they soon claimed the public sphere regulated from above against the public authorities themselves, to engage them in a debate over the general rules governing relations in the basically privatized but publicly relevant sphere of commodity exchange and social labor.[13]

Happens over and over again. It’s happening now.

Coffee houses were the old public spheres and the internet is the new. Although I’m writing this in my favourite coffee house right now. ;)

It’s just a repeating pattern. In all coolness, Bill Waterson’s Calvin and Hobbes is said to revolve around the thoughts of Thomas Hobbes and John Calvin. It’s also the best comic strip of all time.

So…bitcoin.

To jump in or not.

Everything swings while it goes in cycles. A rod and ring. A rod going back and forth in a ring that is circular. The electromagnetic energy that drives our universe. Currencies last about thirty years so this one is just learning to walk, if it’s going to run at all.

My view is that I want to have the security of something like gold and silver while I try out the expanding force of Bitcoin. BC_Logo_Investing in something that is risky is part of expanding. It doesn’t have to be Bitcoin or stocks or some independent indie film. It doesn’t matter. It can be trying out a new recipe, or a new song or hosting a party, or joining a new group of people. The point is that we’re expanding in some way and there could be a big pay off and their could be massive failure.

Never risk what you cannot afford to happily lose. This is the balance. Have your security in family, friends, hard assets and financially secure things. Then do a little risk.

There’s my thoughts on Bitcoin in a nutshell.

I’m in. I’m opening the gate and running in. I’m one of the Bitcoin Barbarians. I believe in the ideology behind it. But I’m not throwing in everything I care about. It’s part of my risk budget. Even if the whole thing crashes then I’m glad to be part of it. If we don’t use this time to talk about new ideas of how to manage ourselves and our resources then the imbalance of power, the consolidation of large corporate powers, the banking deregulation and loss of power of the many will continue.

Bitcoin Barbarians
words and music Elaine Diane Taylor
©2013 Intelligentsia Media, Inc.

canvas MP3 available through Bitcoin donation to wallet 1312WbrqzbASi2Td5Vb1u4w6s9gFazgpx3
and email to ambientpeace@yahoo.com to request song to be sent directly through email. 10% of all proceeds for Bitcoin Barbarians donated to entities creating educational products supporting Bitcoin and sound money.

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