I’m not much of a Led Zeppelin fan. In fact, I have an unnatural animus towards Led Zeppelin. Outside of Houses of the Holy and “Fool in the Rain” and “Misty Mountain Hop” I pretty much don’t have anything good to say about them.
That’s weird coming from someone of my demographic — Gen X, white suburban male who grew up on a steady diet of what’s today “Classic Rock” radio.
That said, I admit that part of this animus toward Zep is unfair because it comes from the insanity of my friends’ obsession with them to the exclusion of nearly all other types and kinds of music when we were teenagers getting our artistic imprint on. The music and stories we ingest during those pivotal years become foundations for who we are as adults.
Zeppelin for these Gen-Xers is like The Beatles are for some Boomers, the pinnacle of music to proselytize to the masses. Let’s call it worshipping at the Altar of Physical Graffiti.
And that’s, of course, not true, but it is to them. FYI, not a big Beatles guy either.
So much of how we interact with things in this life are a reflection of the people who introduce us to those things and their reactions to our reactions to them. We are mimetic creatures in many ways, mirroring or rejecting the desires of those around us.
The emotions from these encounters are real and lasting. If the interactions were negative, in my case of Zeppelin very negative, then that simply clouds your judgment of the thing until you are willing to confront your own motivations head on.
And in my experience that is the one thing people are the most dishonest about… their own motivations.
In the case of teenage males arguing about the music that becomes the basis for the soundtrack of their lives, it’s not hard to see where this leads.
Now in the innocuous case of my antipathy to Led Zeppelin I know exactly where it comes from and as I’ve gotten older nothing has changed. If ‘The Ocean’ comes out of a speaker, I stop and become an entranced lunatic, air drumming and doing the ‘White Man’s Overbite.’ And if “Stairway to Heaven” comes on I immediately reach for my Frank Zappa version to keep from going postal.
I bring all of this up because today it seems there are thousands of professionals and not-so-professionals out there who approach bitcoin the same way I approach Zeppelin. And it’s doing no one, especially them, any good whatsoever.
Because bitcoin a real thing. It is now truly a phenomenon that deserves serious discussion not knee jerk reactions, especially from those millions look to for advice on how to deal with their money.
I’ve railed against the Only Gold Bugs in the past multiple times, but this anger at bitcoin is much deeper than their frustration and/or projection. This is a pathology that precludes any rational discussion of what’s going on with crypto and it’s turning the entire financial and political commentariat into a bunch of noradrenaline poo-flinging morons.
Part of this is the fault of social media, certainly, since the only effective way to communicate on a platform like Twitter is through snark and schadenfreude. I’m as guilty of this as anyone.
I was at the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami this past weekend and the commentary surrounding it has been, well, shockingly bad, to say the least. We have momentous events happening in crypto. Some good, some bad. However, what I find fascinating — if not a bit alarming — is that every opinion concerning these events are couched in nothing but existential terms.
There are existential threats surrounding bitcoin but most of the people espousing opinions on it are not the ones threatened by bitcoin or its opponents.
The permabears, embarrassed after an historic run from $3000 to $64,000, chuckle gleefully about a 50% pullback no reasonable bitcoin bull would ever argue against happening. The arguments that come out are laughably naïve if not ignorant.
In the immortal words of Dean Wormer, “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” Most of them come from the U.S. and Europe, making their irrational hatred of bitcoin truly a first world problem.
Everyone wants to be the first to have that novel insight, be the one who scoops everyone else to gain some pathetic little bit of street cred in cyberspace that they rush to their phone to put out there for the world to see just how little they’ve actually thought about what’s going on.
Doomscroll through Bitcoin Twitter and you’ll see most everyone turn into some version of Flounder.
While I was at Bitcoin 2021 the thing I kept saying was never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would see anything like this in association with bitcoin. We were so far away from my first reading the white paper and downloading an early wallet/miner that simply taking a step back and soaking in what was happening around me was overwhelming.
And, in many ways, meaningful.
Because what I was truly blown away by wasn’t the spectacle it was the fact that the ethos of bitcoin was still intact amidst all the Vegas. That same ethos that drew me to it out of curiosity in 2010 is alive today in the people who are directing its future.
Back then I wrote:
How successful can this be? I have no earthly idea and could care less. For me watching the rate at which new ideas are spawned when people are motivated to produce solutions to ancient problems is what is important…
…I see Bitcoin as a metaphor for the Web itself. It is what happens when people of common tastes are able to find each other over vast distance to find their niche in the division of labor. Synthesizing cryptography, programming and monetary theory into a unique offering could not have happened without the Web; itself that which subverts attempts at control as a natural consequence of its own structure. Any success Bitcoin enjoys exists as a means to an end (improving how humans interact via mutual exchange), not the end itself (adoption in the marketplace). All knowledge is fractal; each new exploration implying a completely new host of questions that need answers… and right now we need answers.
The focus at the conference this year wasn’t on, “Hey, isn’t it great we’re all rich thanks to bitcoin.” The focus was on the basic morality of bitcoin. That sound money and property rights, those pesky things libertarians are derided for advocating all the time, have the opportunity to break the cycle of violence, corruption and thievery inherent in the fiat currency system.
That was my initial impression of the conference from the moment Miami Mayor Suarez took the stage to welcome us and that’s what I left with two days later. I spoke with my friend Jay Fratt about this on his podcast in detail, making the point that bitcoin itself seems to be on its own a better communicator of libertarian principles of individual sovereignty and responsibility than any of us ever have. Just by being and developing bitcoin is teaching people that radical individualism leads to a strong sense of community, property and family through its immutability and the prospect of a future where work isn’t stolen through inflation.
It’s not about inflation or the Quantity Theory of Money. It’s not about what The Davos Crowd has planned for us next week. It’s about fully expressing one’s potential within a division of labor that is constructive not extractive. The hamster wheel of paying all of your profit (and then some) to some envious or ignorant jackass through inflation stops and you can actually get off of it.
You can go from looking down at your feet to avoid the next obstacle and lift your eyes to the horizon and seeing you home and family flourish.
The point made over and over by the speakers and many in the audience was that it didn’t matter what some central banker thought of bitcoin or what some lame duck politician whistling past their own graveyard thought of it.
As each block is confirmed and the network grows stronger their power to tax and spend, thieve through inflation and bribe others to commit violence to enforce their will grows that much weaker.
And yet, so many I talk to about bitcoin simply want to make light of this because some overzealous bitcoiner harassed them on Twitter or made bad arguments to them when they first encountered it. Every time the price drops or some irrelevant power broker says something stunningly ignorant they point at us and say, “Have fun going back to being poor.” They’ll never allow you to get free of them.
Well, of course they won’t allow it, if you want something you don’t ask permission. Again, bitcoin fixes this fundamental process by reorienting your perspective through action.
The Song Can’t Stay the Same
And that is what is so disturbing about the so-called No-coiners. They actually help tyrants like Elizabeth Warren build the systems to stop bitcoin and crypto in general from freeing all of us from what they know impoverishes and disenfranchises billions of people.
Nowhere is this more common than the ridiculous statements surrounding the historic decision by El Salvador to pass legislation this week making bitcoin legal tender in the country. The same people decrying bitcoin in 2013 at $100 are now today at $36,000 missing the basic point that countries like El Salvador, the victims of dollar diplomacy and dollar imperialism, have for the first time in history a money that can help them attract capital and build wealth that can’t be taken away from them because of a decision made in the board room at the Mariner-Eccles building.
All across Central and South America, Africa, Southeast and Central Asia billions of people have access to an asset that can reverse the dynamic of tyranny we all say we’re against but refuse to entertain the possibility of their success at doing so. Again, for those that do that your real white privilege is showing.
They ignore the ability of Lightning Network to keep local transaction fees to a level commensurate with what the local economy can bear. They ignore the gross incompetence of powerful people, plain for all of us to see, instead hanging on their every word like it’s fait accompli true. Newsflash:
And now imagine just how angry and committed they are to a better life rather than continuing to wallow in apathy and pain. Have we all become so hard-hearted and cynical that we no longer value this basic truth?
I’ve said many times that hope is the most negative of emotions, because hope is all you have when you have nothing else. Well, these people have more than hope, they have an answer to a fundamental problem, how to preserve their past work in a money that isn’t their enemy.
That is what is rising today threatening to overflow the levees erected around our futures. El Salvador may be the beginning of the break.
And that is the conversation we should be having not the silly games of snark that masks the discomfort we feel from refusing to confront our own motivations. How many more countries are ready for this? How many more people will make their weak and corrupt governments irrelevant in the coming years?
Because bitcoin isn’t Led Zeppelin. What music a person likes and doesn’t like is a personal choice. There is no objectively good or bad music from the individual’s perspective. Bitcoin, however, is a tool, and like all tools it has a function that it alone is best at performing. It is technology not art.
My antipathy to Zeppelin doesn’t negate one whit the influence they’ve had on millions of people to help them navigate a cruel and indifferent world. For that I owe them a debt of immense gratitude. My rejection of Zeppelin doesn’t negate your love of their music.
In the same way your hatred of bitcoin doesn’t negate what it is, what it represents and what it’s capable of.
The moral case for bitcoin stems from this basic fact. It is changing the fate of millions today and potentially billions tomorrow. Whether it succeeds in the long run is irrelevant. It has already changed the world for the better.
Join my Patreon even if you love Led Zeppelin
What do you make of the apparent use of Bitcoin payments to apparently apprehend and confiscate the account of the Colonial Pipeline Ransomware attackers? The FBI has the private keys?
My first thought it, “Good! We got the bad guys!”
But on second thought, the governing bodies have greater access and control over Bitcoin than they do cold hard Cash! This implies that the authorities are the real instigators and promoters of Crypto, and the anarcho-Libertarian water color is merely the usual CB façade.
I’m happy for the folks that made money, of course!
But if a Bitcoin unit is traced to a prior illegal transaction, it is subject to confiscation, whether the current holder was involved in the prior illegality or not. That smells like a trap to me! It might be best to wash and segregate those profits into fiat from time to time!
You should almost always think in terms of them going back through your transaction history. And my first thought was, “Oh Look, they paid themselves for the hack they perpetrated.”
So, I’m that cynical.
Now, if I’m wrong about that that’s fine, but something about this entire affair doesn’t smell good… too many instances of cyberattack right when everyone begins talking about it. It’s narrative control and suggestion, nothing new. They’ve been doing it to us for decades, to make us feel informed and smart while actually making us less informed and dumber.
Disinformation is the coin of today’s political realm. So, your default setting should always be they are lying to us and force them to prove to you that they aren’t.
It doesn’t matter what subject we’re referring to. As for the ransom, the thieves got sloppy and they were caught through standard money laundering trace routing.
But, they didn’t hack anyone’s on-chain bitcoin wallet for the private keys. They just told everyone “DON’T LEAVE YOUR COINS ON COINBASE!”
It’s a good lesson for a lot of crypto newbies, actually.
Yeah, Tom. You mentioned Miami 2021. I was fo sho Michael Saylor and “supper freak” Max Keiser were going to embrace and lip lock during their on stage meet n greet. Not a good showing by the shitco community as far as gaining “universal acceptance.” When the cameras panned out into the audience there was like 9 dudes to every dudette. And look at all of the jerkoffs who tripped all over themselves to jump thru the internut and suck Elon Shmuck’s dick when he initially sang the praises of the bitcoin shitcoin at $32K. I take it bearded dudes in skinny jeans and hoodies can suck some mean dick since BTC saw $64K within a few weeks. Then Elon splooged on everybody’s face. I hope you cocksuckers recover before BTC sees the March 2020 low. It’s cumming. #FuknLosersFollowingJerkoffs
And just like that the trolls show up to prove all of my points.
We have no way of knowing how the government was able to seized the bitcoin. Likely they intercepted the creation of the wallets and or keys as they had time to install some monitoring malware on the Ransome Hackers computers or smartphones silently before it was paid to the wallets. That is my humble opinion.
Monero solves this. Monero is what BTC was meant to be.
Pirate Chain is even better–the true privacy coin.
I’ve just heard Doug Casey say Bitcoin is a gateway drug to Sound Money. Regardless of the recent price drops, cryptos are still hyperinflating vs the “mighty” dollar. It’s amusing listening to former Pres tweet pump Trump dump on BTC now, he sounds more like a shill each passing day.
I’ve always much preferred the live versions of Stairway to Heaven, the studio version is long weepy overplayed & depressing. Even Plant hates performing “that wedding song”!
Of course for many No Coiners, those herding people into private crypto right before it is demonised, banned and appropriated are the ones acting crazy, diverting people away from the sound money that might actually save them during this controlled demolition of our monetary system.
In some respects, No Coiners think of Bitcoiners like Bitcoiners think of Shitcoiners.
I felt the same way about Zeppelin in my youth, with different exceptions….Black Dog was it for me..
The digital currency space is one of the most fascinating things happening right now. I thought last week’s conference in Miami was an ugly setback for the entire space. I lost quite a bit of respect for Max Kaiser, who I must admit introduced me to Bitcoin 6 or 7 years ago. Lots of bad takeaways from that fandango. That being said, the days of fiat currency domination are numbered and Bitcoin is the Model T of digital currencies. Welcome to the new world.
Private crypto is uncontrollable, so the globalists won’t allow it – they would burn the monetary system to the ground to prevent the ascendancy of private money.
Indeed it’s my contention that crypto is a government invention and the idea has been laundered out through the private sector in order that it gain acceptance, only to then be demonised through things like the Colonial/JBS events so we beg globalists to provide us with a “safe” version.
Tom seemingly agrees that this is what they will TRY, but believes they will fail.
I don’t believe they will fail, so am a No Coiner who prefers sound money – allocated metal.
Crypto as Gov’t Finger Trap is an old and played out story and at this point says more about the person who believes it rather than the reality of the situation.
Yes, they would rather burn the world to the ground than let private money flourish, but it doesn’t matter. What if you are wrong?
What if they do fail? Why do you NEED to be right about this rather than just hedge your bets either way?
This is the problem with Nocoiners like yourself… you’d rather die on your ego rather than submit to the possibility of being wrong… in this sense folks like you and Peter Schiff are no different than the ideologues in the Davos Crowd, convinced of your own insouciance and superiority that you have to put the world to right rather than admit to your limitations of perspective.
Honestly, every nocoiner i talk to says the same things over and over… and they fall back on the fantasy that gov’t created crypto to kill us all. If fucking moronic to stake your entire worldview on that concept when there is absolutely zero proof of this anywhere after 12 years of it.
My argument is simple. Have yourself hedged across multiple stores of value and hope for the best…. it’s like buying explorations companies… 1 out of 10 will hit and in the process more than make up for the losses in the other 9.
That’s a viable strategy for this, a humble one.
But, no matter how much I say this Nocoiners continue to retreat into their left-brain noradrenaline addicted doomporn perspective and spout complete nonsense to justify their paranoia.
That’s my take. I don’t care if you think I’m an asshole. Because I am. But, seriously, therapy… and half a bitcoin.
Relax Tom – I don’t think you’re an asshole.
It should be possible for men of good will to honestly disagree – these are just opinions. And don’t worry – I have my Trezor. Being a No Coiner is not my “entire worldview”.
My NEED to be right has less to do with my ego than you imagine, and more to do with my concern for those that are being diverted excitedly into a monetary cul-de-sac. If everyone just hedged with 10% in private crypto it would be fine – is that your feeling about what HODLers are doing?
My suspicion is that they are ALL IN – private crypto is ideological for most HODLers. Just as most goldbugs and silver stackers are very committed, and I happily tell them about the windfall taxes and bans on private ownership that are probably imminent too.
Maybe I’m too cynical, but the building is on fire and the door marked FIRE EXIT appears to be written on in an arsonist’s font?
P.S – There is of course SOME evidence that crypto is a government invention…….http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/classes/6.805/articles/money/nsamint/nsamint.htm
Surely we should be pretty puzzled why Nakamoto has never liquidated ANY of his stash – what’s your explanation for that?
Hey Tom and crew, was wondering what you think the best play would be for a Crypto that may possibly become the new “digital dollar?” I don’t think Bitcoin will be the one because of the thrashing it has taken over energy expenditure. Or will the govt start fresh? I do believe this is what they are conditioning the public for. Maybe they leave Bitcoin in place so black ops and drug deals can be funded.
Don’t count Bitcoin out and what happens from here is the collapse of the whole ESG/Green narrative. Europe is the source of this nonsense and while the inertia of this policy will keep it going for another generation we will reach the peak of it in the next couple of years.
Several years ago a female acquaintance told me that Patsy Cline’s voice was like fingernails on a chalkboard. I’ve often wondered how is it possible for anyone to hold such an opinion.
You must log in to post a comment.