Thank you Dan Larimer! You are a great mentor!

2 months ago
68 in liberty

You taught me a lot and I feel like this is only the beginning.

Dan Larimer has had a great impact on my life and this post aims at making his worldview more widely known.

I’ve list 5 main ideas and let Dan’s quotes and texts do most of the talking in the hope more people get to know and appreciate his work.

Below is the first part of Dan’s introduction post on Steem. I’m fascinated by how clearly he’s able to communicate what are his biggest concerns and how logical and far reaching his thinking is.

1. Don't do unto others what you don't want others doing to you.

The Silver Rule

As someone who attempts to follow the silver rule, "Don't do unto others what you don't want others doing to you.", I concluded that initiating violence against others is not an option. I know that I cannot remain rationally consistent while violating this rule.

The logical outcome of this belief is that using threats of violence to extort money from others for any purpose is something that is off of the table. This means taxes and everything taxes pays for is off the table. This means war and violent revolution is off the table, but that doesn't mean I want to sit back and do nothing!

Finding Free Market Solutions to Secure Life, Liberty, and Property

About 5 years ago I came to a realization that the solution to the organized crime syndicate commonly referred to as government must be born from the free market. Furthermore, any free market alternative to government that is unable to free us from the current government will not be strong enough to prevent a new government from taking over.

I also realized that the demand for life, liberty, and property is very high and anyone who could find a way to provide these things to the market could make a lot of money while making the world a much better place. It was at this point in time that I started looking for non-violent means of rendering violent forms of government powerless.

Start with Currency

I recognized that money is the root of government power and that use of money is entirely voluntary. No one forces you to be paid in dollars. The initial solution was to adopt gold and silver. I researched it and discovered that others had tried that approach and been shut down by governments. Governments have the power to seize property anywhere in the world. It became clear that the free market would require a form of money that is not backed by physical property.

I was attempting to engineer a digital currency when I discovered Bitcoin in early 2009. I instantly got involved with attempting to promote Bitcoin.

This post ends like this.

The Future

Going forward I hope to leverage the work here with Steem to build markets, insurance, mutual-aid societies, and justice systems that empower our community to disempower government. I believe that properly organized social pressures can be far more powerful than any standing army or government bureaucrat. Through blockchain technology we can organize ourselves and hopefully achieve our liberty.

Only by working together can we maximize the life, liberty, and property for all. Resorting to violence is a shortcut that can only destroy life, liberty and property. I am honored that so many of you are here and helping me realize this dream. [1]

His blog's header describes some of the same sentiments as above.

My mission in life is to find free market solutions to secure life, liberty, and property for all. The purpose of this blog is to help create a free society by encouraging people to join our community which is centered around Bitshares, a next generation fully decentralized crypto-currency exchange. I use Austrian Economics to engineer the economic incentives which make freedom and non-violence profitable.

Bitshares

Bitshares is a cryptocurrency Dan created.

Not only can Bitshares process 10,000 transaction per second, (theoretically 180,000+) while Bitcoin can only process 3.1, (theoretically 6.8) [1] and other cryptocurrency doesn't come close to processing the number of transactions Bitshares can but Bitshares also have a built in decentralized exchange, no transaction fees, pegged assets and token creation amongst many other features most other cryptocurrency don’t have.

Bitshares and Graphene the name given to the technology that runs Bitshares and Steem really are blockchain in their own class.

2. The goal has its importance. But the doing is what is truly fulfilling.

Dan's post Why do we fight to change the world is his most profound and most thorough description of his philosophy. I just read it for the third time at least and I can’t say enough good of it. Now that I re-read it I’ll try to live by the truths shared in this post. Here’s how it starts.

Why do we fight to change the world

What are we working toward and why does it matter? How do we get there? Should we give up comforts today in pursuit of an elusive utopia that we hope to bring about? These are the questions that need to be answered and understood at a deep level if we actually want to change the world. Will changing the world actually make our life better? Wouldn’t it simply be easier to just make as much money as we can, have as much fun as possible, and take the easiest road? Why bother with anything that could bring unnecessary pain and suffering with little probability of reward?

My Mission in Life

I have long held that my mission is to find free market solutions for securing life, liberty, and property. This mission is deeply rooted in the belief that initiation of violence is not necessary to live in a well ordered society and that everyone’s life would be better off if it could be achieved. This is a belief I choose because there is insufficient evidence to prove violence is necessary.

Many detractors claim non-violence solutions are not possible, but their arguments ultimately fail due to a fallacy known as argument from ignorance. In effect, they claim that because there is no known non-violent solutions (that they believe will work) that it is impossible. They decide to stop looking and/or working toward non-violent solutions. In other words, they choose to believe violence is necessary. In both cases, an individual’s belief shapes their reality and in both cases it is an article of faith.

My mission is a dangerous mission. If I am successful I will make enemies in the highest places of violent power. My very life is at risk the moment I discover any solution that is perceived as a real threat.

Changing the world is a mission that is bigger than any one person. It requires building a new social structure that binds all of society together in a non-violent way. It requires persuading a sufficiently large minority to organize an effective non-violent resistance to government violence. In short, it requires convincing people to take on some of the same risks I face.

If I am to be successful in convincing others to take these risks, then I must face my own demons and conquer my own fears. I must find and articulate an argument that is powerful enough to bring millions of people into a movement. I would be dishonest if I said I don’t struggle with these things. It is because of my own internal struggles that I sat down to organize my thoughts in this article.

The rest of this post can be read here. I highly encourage everyone do so. This post is one of the most spiritually grounding thing I've ever come across.

3. The goal of money is to move physical resources to the highest purpose the most efficiently.

This insight have had a profound effect on me.

I need to explain this one as I feel a lot of people might miss what he meant based on some of his other writings. Let’s take land for example. Land is a resource. Let’s say, blueberries are the most efficient healthy food this land can produce, then there’s a need for the best robots to sow and harvest the blueberries and then the best redistributors and best markets etc. Making this happen in the most efficient way possible is the purpose of money.

4. The goal of decentralized governance is to reach a “consensus opinion” on everything.

Steem is the best model of governance ever devised. The short quote below explains why.

Decentralized Governance

To build a system of decentralized governance all people must have some direct control over the allocation of public resources, the editing of laws, and the rendering of opinion. Furthermore, all people must take a risk of loss with every act of governance they take. Without the risk of loss no true measurement of value can be made and no opinion can be trusted. You cannot even trust your own opinion unless you take actions that risk personal loss if your opinion is out of alignment with reality. The greater the risk you are willing to take the stronger your faith in your opinion and the greater your resulting profit or loss will be.

It is through the iterative process of taking risks and realizing profit and loss that truth can be distilled from the mass of dissenting opinions. Those who act wisely grow in influence, those who act poorly shrink. Overtime the Darwinian process of survival of the fittest takes over and the aggregate outcome of the governance improves in quality, quantity, and efficiency just like what happens in the free market.

There are two key elements to decentralized decision making:

Each individual gets to take direct action to effect change
Each individual is exposed to the risk of profit and loss as a result of their action

This plays out in the market with price discovery. Anyone who wants to do something buys the resources they require to make it happen. The result of their direct action is to simultaneously make something happen and expose them to the risk of profit and loss. If the value they realize from making it happen is greater than the cost of the resources consumed then they profit, otherwise they lose.

The goal of decentralized governance is to reach a “consensus opinion” on everything. Wikipedia is a close approximation. Imagine if all the laws of the land were maintained on a giant wiki along with everyone’s criminal record. A decentralized government would allow everyone the ability to edit everything provided they took a financial risk. A decentralized government would allow everyone to spend some money from the treasury and to make some decisions on who to tax. So long as every act of spending, taxation, and revision of the laws carried with it the potential for economic gain and loss tied to whether or not those actions were in alignment with public opinion then market forces and social pressure should produce a truly voluntary, non-violent, and decentralized governance.

Unfortunately, Wikipedia adopts a hierarchical and centralized governance model. New systems will need to be developed to support a truly decentralized governance model over the wiki editing permissions. [1] (The rest of this article isn't necessarily a must read)

4.1 Further thoughts on decision making

The 3 comments below made by Dan give more depth to stake based model of governance and their rational.

5. Property rights are the cornerstone of a peaceful society.

In a series of posts which I linked below Dan details what is the fairest economic system imaginable, some of the reasons fair economic system should inevitably be sought out and some hints as to how this system could be introduced. Below is how the first post of this series begins.

Property rights and Basic Income - A viable solution is possible

Basic Income is perceived by many to be a socialist utopia fundamentally flawed due to economic incentives that encourage consumption without production. What if basic income could be compatible with the selfish profit seeking behavior of free individuals? What if basic income could be implemented without taxation and without price inflation? What if basic income were to be a necessary precondition for securing life, liberty, and property in an increasingly automated industrial society? These are the questions I plan tackle in this article.

Property Rights

Property rights are the cornerstone of a peaceful society. Without property rights there is no basis to resolve disputes aside from violence. Furthermore, without property rights there is no incentive to generate a profit. The tragedy of the commons is the logical outcome anytime society attempts to ignore the necessity of property rights. If we are to consider any concept for basic income, then it must be fully compatible with the concept of property rights.

As time pass, as he goes on to explain, more and more good and services can be produce by an ever small group of people. For example one person can harvest way more blueberries with the giant blueberry harvester than prior to their existence.

All of society benefits when technology enables us to produce more with less. Profit is the result of converting natural resources (and lower level products) into higher level products of higher value. Profit shows up as an increase in the resources owned by the producer.

Free market competition naturally selects for the most profitable activities and those that are not profitable end up owning fewer and fewer resources. The process of natural selection is what directs the scarce resources of society toward their highest use and minimizes resource utilization that lowers our global standard of living.

The value of Labor

Human labor has value because of its ability to generate a profit by converting resources of lower value into resources of higher value. Not all labor is equally valuable because not all individuals are equally skilled nor gifted with equal ability.

Automation increases the virtual supply of labor and therefore reduces the market value of unskilled labor. Eventually, this process causes unskilled labor to be valued below the cost of living.

Market value of Life

The free market solution (i.e. non-violent and voluntary) is for unskilled labor to rely upon donations from those who value the life of another individual more than they value an incremental increase in their own wealth. Absent voluntary donations, someone who is unable to produce more value than they consume will starve (or live in extreme poverty).

A starving individual will resort to violence and will not be concerned with the philosophical position that they should just die.

He then goes on to argue that basic income is a necessary precondition for securing life, liberty, and property in an increasingly automated industrial society and sure his model is without taxation and inflation all the while respecting property rights.

I feel the third article is the best at explaining his views on his fair universal basic income system.

The First Time

The first time I remember learning about Dan’s philosophy was through this video which I shared on the blockchain a couple months ago here with the transcript. What this quote describes is one of the most profound thing I’ve ever heard about cryptocurrencies and one of the most profound quote I’ve ever heard period. Here’s an excerpt from it.

So I can envisioned up the blockchain technology will allows us to create a world where the forces that incentive for being part of the bitshares community, of the blockchain crypto-community, the efficiencies you gain are so strong that your profits are so much higher that being rejected or shunned by that community forces you to do with people outside it.

Those start to see a growing snowball effect until it gets to a point where no one dares be a government official because they would be excluded, because they would participating in the initiation of violence against others. So these things are possible.

I believe that good people don't have to resort to bad things, just because bad people exist and I'm not going to rest until we figure out and solve those problems.

If you have the faith and you're willing to not give up until you found a solution then you will find the solution. People didn't give up on flying until they figured out how to fly. Now we fly all the time but before people flew, people said it was impossible.

Well today people say it's impossible to live in a world without a government backed by violence and I say don't give up. Instead join us and help us innovate the solutions and adopt them. It does matter what it is, whether you worried about pollution or child abuse or roads and highways, all these things that people act it up, well you need the government for this that the other thing. Don't give up we can find a solution. Let's work together. [1]

3 Comments Dan Made on his Resignation Post

Other Quotes

"In 1-2 years I would hope to see Steemit operating on a scale similar to Reddit and its top competitors." Dan Larimer [1] [2]

"If Steem had Facebook's user base the Steem token would be a global currency larger than most countries and it would trade at market caps well in excess of Facebook." Dan Larimer [1]

Conclusion

I love Dan. I love his philosophy and how he has put it into words. Yet I don't agree with everything Dan says. Heck I don't agree with anyone all the time, heck I don't even trust myself all the time and that's why we need Steem and each others and maybe some day we might all realize that what really counts in life can't always be Steemed or quantified into Steem, bytes and data but it might as well be.


This article is appendix 4 of my book “The Ultimate Steembook”.

Image: Hopefully Dan's own the copyright to the first picture use in this post as he has successfully pointed out in is latest post that copyright are counter productive to society at large and thus I don't think he'd care me using it.

Please consider using this link if you share this post outside of Steem. (http://bit.ly/Thank-You-Dan-Larimer)

Other posts (I've read 95%+ of Dan's writings on Steem)

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70
  ·  2 months ago

You know..... I honestly think I have learned more about Dan the human being, in the last few days, here and there in great posts like this --- than I knew about him or learned the whole 7 mths I blogged alongside him as one of our

#SteemitDads

And that is a shame. I knew inside there were some great things I was not seeing with my physical eyes.

I think the barriers connected to some forms of success and things like being a founder of something large, gets in the way of connecting with people maybe.

This was a great post by you, with a ton of great resources in it and I like Dan even more now.

I think I am gonna send this to Tone Vays who has been critical of Dan for some things. I think they have a lot more in common, than they don't.

And frankly, that goes for the rest of us all too. We let 2/10 things divide us, when we agree on the other 8 in life, liberty and property.

I hope I get to meet Dan one day!

56
  ·  2 months ago

dat lipstick

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55
  ·  2 months ago

I think he could play some role in fantasy movie ;) Very characteristic face and little untrusty look ;)

55
  ·  2 months ago

Fantastic compilation. Very interesting and infomative. Thank you! :)
BTW show must go on :)
He'll be back. They always come back.

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68
  ·  2 months ago

I'm glad you liked it!
I agree! The show must go on!

61
  ·  2 months ago

" The goal of decentralized governance is to reach a “consensus opinion” on everything. Steem is the best model of governance ever devised." thats it right there ) great post @teamsteem ) so cool to have all that compiled , we are all blessed to be in this rocket of steem heading up and beyond to a new and better world, designed and built by our very own @dantheman.

58
  ·  2 months ago

Its seems dan has had a deep impact on users here. I'm new so i don't fully understand the feeling as much but i am grateful to him and the steemit team. For making such a cool place that i could meet so many wonderful people in so little time.

63
  ·  2 months ago

This is great @teamsteem putting all this together Dan will be missed.

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68
  ·  2 months ago

I'm glad you liked it. And I wouldn't consider Dan gone necessarily. Who knows...

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66
  ·  2 months ago

I won the whale vote contest - watch out! Good things coming!

66
  ·  2 months ago

@dan is just what everybody needs. He's the future. :) so proud to be part of steemit but so sad @dan is leaving. I don't even know cryptocurrency untill I joint steemit. He's super amazing.

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68
  ·  2 months ago

I couldn't agree more!

64
  ·  2 months ago

Keep working, stop paying, and all that economic crap is out the window because it can't cook a hamburger, but a worker can,....
https://thesocietypages.org/monte/2013/12/21/the-monkey-master-fable/

Not to take anything from Dan, the 'right' way exists, the guides are few.

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68
  ·  2 months ago

I'm not sure what you meant but I'll eventually read what you linked.

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64
  ·  2 months ago

I hope you take the three minutes to gain the wisdom of the ancient monkey master.

'What I meant' is that economics is irrelevant to distributing goods.

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66
  ·  2 months ago

I won the whale vote contest - watch out! Good things coming!

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57
  ·  2 months ago

Yes economics is irrelevant to distributing goods. Goods are distributed and redistributed and giving it a name afterward does not prevent that the good's are distributed and redistibuted.
I believe that people will distribute goods anyway.
I.m.h.o. distribution is an effect or symptom of trade, swop's or swap's or how do you call it, exchange? or gifts

To put it in other words, to maybe clarify myself.
Distributing goods is not something I do. If someone would ask me, what it was that I did when I bought something/ exchanged something with some one/gave or received a gift.
I would not tell them I was distributing or redistributing goods, that was not the purpose of my action. I would not even say I made a trade. I would say I bought something/sold something, I gave or got something or exchanged something. I would also not say I was a participant in the economy.

I hope you get what I mean, still struggling with finding the correct English words for some things.

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64
  ·  2 months ago

Ubuntu,...

72
  ·  2 months ago

Instant resteem.

71
  ·  2 months ago

Brilliant post mate, resteeming this one :)

66
  ·  2 months ago

thx

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68
  ·  2 months ago

You're welcome!

60
  ·  2 months ago

(nods)

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68
  ·  2 months ago

:)

69
  ·  2 months ago

Thank you for doing this post. Many of us haven't even had enough time to know Dan and to really absorb his ideas and thoughts and he left us in such a hurry. I am still holding a slim hope of him returning as just an common blogger. Now we have this great guide to keep knowing him better before that happens!

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68
  ·  2 months ago

I agree. I think this guide will be very useful for quite a while.

65
  ·  2 months ago

Contrary to popular belief, Dan doesn't do what he does to "just make money". He's had tons of opportunities to make money and run..

There is fair libertarian part of him that wants to leave a legacy behind, and do "what's right" that I respect.

He's built things, seen cash flow, and unlike most anonymous coin developers, put his real name out there...

Things go wrong sometimes, but you have to look at the intent. I have no problem following Dan Larimer anywhere. My only wish, is that he doesn't get swayed by the disgusting realism of daily life to change his outlook.

He is already correct in his thinking. This sick world, and greed, works a little, but it doesn't work well at all. It's not scalable or sustainable.

Dan is a visionary and for that... it is really nice to see...

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68
  ·  2 months ago

I'm glad you enjoyed it.

62
  ·  2 months ago

Awww... He will be back!

69
  ·  2 months ago

I could not forget @dan because during my early days in the platform he voted one of my comments. Being a person of small personality and almost no influence in the community, being voted by him makes me so proud.

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68
  ·  2 months ago

I totally know what you mean. Receiving a vote from Dan is something special. I'm glad we shared this experience.

43
  ·  2 months ago

Nice

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68
  ·  2 months ago

:)

34
  ·  2 months ago

I couldn't agree more, brilliant post, very emotional story. We will miss you Dan!

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68
  ·  2 months ago

Thanks!

65
  ·  2 months ago

I hope it appears in the next season of Mr.Robot !!!
xD

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68
  ·  2 months ago

Haha! It won't. Steem is going to over take all mainstream media. They will try to keep Steem under wrap as long as they can.

60
  ·  2 months ago

I'm still very new to steemit, but it is clear that you guys deeply respected dan. Thank you dan for everything you've done for this platform.

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68
  ·  2 months ago

He's very smart indeed.

64
  ·  2 months ago

Wow really good post. Best of all are the comments as its through these that you see a side of Dan less seen in his long form posts. I dont mean that in a bad way I know long form is sometimes used as bad thing these days! :o/

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68
  ·  2 months ago

I'm glad you liked the Dan's comments and my post. I too enjoyed Dan's comments.

46
  ·  2 months ago

Wow! Thank you @teamsteem for posting this. This is why even I am a newbie, I think Steemit could become very big. Please give (link) this comment or post to my question: Do you think Steem could become bigger that FB or Twitter? Why and Why not. Thank you. https://steemit.com/steemit/@ola2/do-you-think-steemit-will-be-bigger-than-facebook-or-twitter-why-or-why-not

53
  ·  2 months ago

Congratulations.
Good luck.!!

44
  ·  2 months ago

Very interesting and enlightening to hear the dreams of the founder. What I heard from this is that Dan was a visionary, an eloquent dreamer and an opportunist. And that he was your friend.

It also raises a lot of questions for me. This is the kind of thing that people should discuss. Philosophy is meant to encourage discussion and review. It is not like classic science and full of truisms. It should raise questions and we should be careful not to fall into "group think" while seeking consensus. I believe that we can only work together peacefully if we allow dissenting opinions.

I agree with the idea that our current fiat money gives undue power to the government and I agree to seek a non-violent solution. Other points need further discussion and elaboration... maybe for another time.

I don't know Dan and I certainly respect the product that he has created and the following that he has. It sounds like he was a free thinker and I try to be a free thinker too.

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68
  ·  2 months ago

It's good to meet people in the know about fiat currencies and their vile consequences for the common.