Some of you might be too young to remember the days of the cold war. Back in the 60’s we used to do these drills called “duck and cover”. The teacher would tell us if we ever see a bright flash outside of the window, to duck under the desk and put your hands over your head.
At the time, I felt that the exercise was stupid, but never told the teachers how utterly moronic and pointless it was. My mother was much more correct. She said that if there was ever a nuclear war, that she hoped that she would be at ground zero, for it would be better to go that way than to endure the aftermath of the radioactive fallout and horrors left behind.
(mom - March 1963)
At the time, the USA largely focused on it’s nemesis, Russia or the USSR in the news and of course Vietnam. Every night, the war dead count from Walter Cronkite with the totals in black and white. Television was in it’s infancy. Later on you could buy a “color TV” or a “black and white TV” as the 60’s came to a close. There was one other option. Because we were poor, we just bought a “polarizer” to put over the TV screen to turn the black and white screen into a crappy imitation of “color”. At least the black and white dulled the war images that were graphic and uncensored.
Authority was still unsophisticated when it came to propaganda and media control back then. Advertising was stark, like, “Eat at Joe’s”, “Maggies makes good ice cream - open until 9 pm”, etc… The lack of control and organization was much more obvious which is why I don’t believe in those who say we never went to the Moon, or the earth is flat, but I digress. This is a picture of one of the marbles I used to play with as a kid photographed in a dark closet...
That control is now on steroids and beyond what George Orwell could have ever predicted.
When the Iraq war broke out in the early 90’s, I was struck by the fact that all those images of war were gone. It had become “sanitized” like a computer game. In fact, the news reports had largely the same images as the video games “Mortal Combat” and “Battlezone”. What the end of the cold war did was release the authorities in our own government from fear of a war that they might lose if they started. In 1990, the US military became invincible for the second time. No longer did they have to fear an enemy that could wipe everything out at the push of a button.
The cold war was actually a relatively good time for the people of the world because power had been “stalemated”. It’s the antiquated equivalent of what we now call “decentralization”. Reagan’s solution to the Byzantine Generals problem was “mutually assured destruction”. If nobody can win the war (or cheat in mining of bitcoin) with an attack, then the attack never happens. This is the mentality of authority. Primitive. Destructive. Selfish. A powerful, retarded child. This is who is most likely to get the vote.
What does authority say now? “Trust us”. Or if you’re like Google “Don’t be Evil”. Authority should never be given the chance to contemplate “whether to be evil or not”. Nobody in this world is worthy of being given a “nuclear football”. Just as it is the case that if you allow someone to hold your money, that sooner or later they will walk away with it, eventually, that nuclear button will get pushed, maybe even by accident. The propaganda will of course be that it’s for the “greater good”, or that it was “necessary”. But that is complete and utter bullshit.
The reason they will tell you that is because power is an addiction and politicians are “power junkies”. They have a mental disease called “hubris” and when they say that they do things for the “public good”, they get an entitlement attitude that makes them think they also have the right to steal your property. The human element needs to be taken out of the equation and replaced with something more predictable called “mathematics”. This is because mathematics was present before humans existed and math didn’t destroy the planet in the previous four billion years. By math, I mean a predictable order of natural laws. Physics.
(credit - Andreas Antonopoulos)
I can just hear the cries from the public, “but if we do that we will live in a soul-less world devoid of spiritual meaning run by machines”. No. It won’t. I don’t advocate putting AI in charge. That’s just another form of central power. Decentralization gives power back to the people.
Many people miss the point of technical disintermediation (aka decentralization). The bitcoin protocol carries within it the game theoretical algorithms for distributing risk that can be applied to politics as well as money. Centralization creates a situation where too much power exists in one place. It creates an imbalance. In fact, it creates a giant honeypot that will be irresistible to hackers and terrorists.
This is why you don’t see terrorists hiding behind cows in Montana, because power isn’t concentrated there. This is why presidential power is fundamentally obsolete and requires a high level of security and is no longer necessary. Globalization further exacerbates the situation. You solve problems by breaking them down, not building them up. Localize, not globalize.
(credit - Andreas Antonopoulos)
The more centralization of power, the more security that is needed. This same rule applies whether it’s giant events in cities which are very centralized or large databases such as Equifax. The key to security is not more centralization (more police, or in data terms, more firewalls), but risk distribution which means smaller events and data such as PII (Personally Identifiable Information) sent back to the source.
If you want safety, then smaller is the way to go. If you want freedom, then decentralization is the way to go.
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