The Egg of the Phoenix

5 translations

You’ve heard it before: "Bitcoin fixes this."

It sounds like a joke at first. An off-hand comment uttered by a complete fool, by someone who is at least partly delusional. Surely, bitcoin doesn't fix this? Right?

Many idioms are like that: borderline nonsensical, outrageous, not to be taken literally. "Jesus died for our sins." "Live and let live." "Fix the money, fix the world."

It's all gibberish. The people who say this stuff aren't actually serious, are they? Surely, it can't be true in a literal sense, right?

Consequently, you don't take it‚ÄĒor them‚ÄĒtoo seriously.1 You don't think twice about it. You don't entertain the possibility of what it¬†could mean or¬†why¬†it could be true.¬†

However, the truth has a way of creeping up on you. And then, one day, suddenly, it hits you: Bitcoin fixes this. Actually, truly, once and for all.

Tyranny

Tyranny. It's creeping up again. If we aren't careful, it will be ubiquitous, global, and all-encompassing. Our capacity to yield power and bring about destruction is almost endless; our wisdom is anything but. While the end has always been near, I do believe that it truly is different this time, if just a bit. Our ancestors didn't have the technology to eradicate or enslave all of humanity forever.2 In the words of Robert Oppenheimer: "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds." 

In addition to that, Orwell's imaginary boot has been built, and in some corners of the world, it is stamping on human faces already. China is the obvious example: social credit scores, total surveillance, authoritarian rule. But also, the supposedly "free world" is not immune. What is currently happening in Canada is a glimpse of what can happen to anyone in the legacy system at all times, anywhere on earth. Join the wrong Facebook3 group? A visit by the police is in order. Like the wrong tweet? Gone is your bank account, gone is your insurance, gone is your credit score. And with it, gone is your ability to participate in society. Send money to a peaceful protest? Congratulations, you are no longer a citizen. You are now a terrorist.

This is the world we are already living in, yet most people are still too preoccupied with trivialities, too blinded by politics, and too comfortable to care.

I would love to tell you that "bitcoin fixes this"‚ÄĒmagically, on its own. It doesn‚Äôt. It all depends on¬†you.

It's All You

There is no magic solution. Yes, Bitcoin is Magic Internet Money, but it doesn't work magically on its own. It is you that has to participate. It is you that has to care. It is you that has to make use of it. It is you that has to stand up, do the work, use the tools, and defend yourself from those who want to control, deplatform, cancel, and rob you. 

You can defend yourself from tyranny, right here, right now. But you have to put in the work, and you have to do it yourself. I can't do the work for you, and, quite obviously, I can't convince you of the necessity to do so. You can only convince yourself.

I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it.

Morpheus

This is true for many things, but it is especially true for bitcoin. Bitcoin held by others is not your bitcoin. Bitcoin verified by others is not your bitcoin. You have to take ownership. You have to take responsibility. You have to become one with the network. You have to care; you have to decide; you have to believe. You have to form your own opinions of what bitcoin is and what it might be in the future. You have to be involved. 

There are no shortcuts.

Participatory Knowing

There is no easy way to explain all of the above to someone. You have to¬†experience¬†it, yourself, for real, with actual skin in the game. You have to go through the motion of setting up a wallet, holding your own keys, making backups, recovering from those backups, and so on. You have to understand some of the nuances of what Bitcoin is and how it works, not only to understand what you possess‚ÄĒbut also to understand the power that Bitcoin bestows upon you.¬†

You have to understand beyond the intellectual. You have to participate. You have to feel what it means.

Then, and only then, will you begin to understand why and how "bitcoin fixes this." I don't believe that this realization can come without experience. The absolute knowledge that your bitcoin is yours and yours alone‚ÄĒa deep understanding that nobody can forcefully take sats away from you‚ÄĒhas to be experienced to be understood. Once you cross a border with your net worth in your head‚ÄĒrealizing that all your wealth is contained in these words directly‚ÄĒthen, finally, will you begin to understand the extent and the profundity of it all.

And with it, you will be transformed. And with you, the world. 

Out Of Chaos, Order

There are rough times ahead of us, no doubt about it. And yet I am hopeful. In the midst of all the chaos, it is easy to forget that there is always  hope, and love, and beauty, and the Good. It is easy to forget that  chaos is required for order to emerge. 

Do not forget that we have truth on our side, and love, and responsibility. I mean all of these things literally, as literal as when I say "bitcoin fixes this" when responding to many a problem of this world. 

  • Truth:¬†Bitcoin is the most truthful artifact we have ever had. It can not lie to you. Its records are indisputable, especially the farther back in time you go.¬†
  • Love:¬†Bitcoin is opt-in. It will never force you to use it. All interactions are completely voluntary. It does not coerce. It is open, transparent, and welcoming to all. Always.¬†
  • Responsibility: Bitcoin puts the responsibility upon you, the individual. But it is also responsible in itself: no waste, no unnecessary parts, no leakage. A closed-loop monetary base of 21 million, never more. No irresponsible bailouts. No handouts to the well-connected. No favors, for no one, ever. Everyone is equal in the eyes of Bitcoin.

We are past the "laugh at you" stage now. It was clear from the beginning that if Bitcoin grew big enough, peacetime would come to an end, and the powers that be would try to squash it like the annoying mosquito they think it is. What they don't understand, however, is that Bitcoin is a different kind of organism. And you, dear bitcoiners, are a crucial part of it. Arm yourselves; with knowledge and freedom-enabling tools alike. 

In all matters, before beginning, a diligent preparation should be made.

Cicero, De Officiis (44 B.C.), I. 21

Going Forward

Bitcoin is a tool that empowers the individual when used properly. Proper use requires education, understanding, care, and participation. If you are reading this, you probably care enough already. Educate yourself, and if you can, educate others.

Again: there are no easy solutions. I can't recommend one single article, one book, or one 5-step guide that is one-size-fits-all. You have to care enough to figure out what works for you, what works for your friends, your family, your loved ones, your community, and so on. 

That being said, I refer to the following resources often:

If you just got de-banked, bankaccountfrozen.com might be for you. Make sure to read the caveats. 

Do not blindly trust me or anyone else. Improve your own skills and understanding. Think for yourself. Make decisions accordingly.

Odell

May freedom arise like a phoenix out of the ashes. 

Godspeed, and good luck to you all.
We're going to need it.


  1. This is good, as far as I'm concerned. All of it is too serious to be taken too seriously. 

  2. At least as far as we know. 

  3. https://archive.is/coBob 

  4. Disclosure: bitcoin-resources.com is mostly curated by myself. 

Translations

Want to help? Add a translation!

All translations ¬Ľ


ūüß°

Found this valuable? Can't support me directly?
Consider sharing it, translating it, or remixing it in another way.