Bitcoin is Hope (Part 2)
Why saving in honest money is the only way to restore hope for a fallen world.
Life well-lived is a series of skill-building expeditions. Before any embarkation we must first set our destination: a precise determination of where we want to go. Destination-setting is an inherently subjective and value-driven decision. Equipped with the motivational guidelines encoded in our systems of value, we set our aim and set sail. Spiriting us along is the hope that our wits, skills, and instrumentation will prove true in our trek.
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When faced with ambivalent courses of action, we take the path perceived to be most progressive toward our values. As the heavenly maps of human action, our values are moral behavioral schemas intended to help guide us through the inexorable ambiguities, complexities, and tradeoffs in our circumnavigations across the tempestuous seas of spacetime. Constitutional to this cartography of action is the answer to one of life’s most ancient mysteries:
“Why did the chicken cross the road? Because the chicken decided being on the other side was more valuable.”
Mapping our values is a charting of awareness, a training of the moral compass, and a trimming of the sails toward the outcomes we ultimately desire. By establishing an unwavering hierarchy of personal values we are accepting the sacrifices requisite for forward movement. All individuals and institutions are finite. No entity can accomplish all aims. Life is a series of decisions in which we face tradeoffs and opportunity costs. As both individuals and institutions, we choose a single course of action at the necessary exclusion of all others: a rule of reality beyond exception, even for the (allegedly omnipotent) central banks of the world. Action is the sacrifice of life to our higher values, in the hope that our aims hold true. All attempts to tamper with this calculus of sacrifice necessary for progress can only fail.
Soon after embarking on any voyage toward a valued aim, we observe the congruity between our intentions and the consequences created by our actions. Improving the fitness of action and expectation is the highest hope of humanity; as convergence comes, man gains greater freedom to try his mettle on other forms of misfitness within a broader sphere of possibility: a principle expressed in adaptation, innovation, and evolution. In this way, man circumambulates himself toward his value-directed “North Star” through an iterative process of trial, error, and retrial—finding his proper path through experimentation and perseverance. Through this inherently non-linear and unstable process, man converts entropy into growth. Paradoxically, mankind can only succeed in advancing himself through a willingness to fail. The way of the warrior (and the entrepreneur) is the resolute acceptance of death; the alacrity to confront the chaos of nature courageously with the aim of converting it into good and useful order. Poignant to this paradox of progress is the ancient wisdom of warrior-sage Musashi, in one of his nine principles for strategic living:
Training their minds, spirits, and characters against the entropy of nature, entrepreneurs deliver to us all the hard-won treasures of erudition earned in their explorations. Entrepreneurs seek knowledge by putting their skin in the game and adventuring into the unexplored territories of nature in search of better, cheaper, and faster ways of satisfying wants for society. Enduring the pain of failure, adapting to the unknown, and living to tell (and sell) the tale is the way of the entrepreneur. These information foragers understand the inherent tradeoffs of hunting, and navigate them intelligently to achieve growth.
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Antithetical to the entrepreneurial ethic is the central bank, which “chases two rabbits” of growth and stability, with deleterious results in the long-run. Growth is purely a market process, and it cannot be induced by decree (just try yelling at your garden to “grow faster”). By attempting to override Darwinian reality, central banking stifles entrepreneurial adaptivity—the most important aspect of survival for any species.
As we navigate the world, the fitness of our value-maps to the progress we observe is dependent on circumstances both within and beyond our control. For instance, if an entrepreneur leading a hyper-growth technology company is intent on disrupting an entrenched industry, he can control his own allocation of time and capital in the aim of making a software solution that (he hopes) market participants will prefer. But no entrepreneur can control broader market forces like customer preferences, industry regulations, or competitor actions. Indeed, he must strive valiantly even to “control” events within his own organization. Clearly, we can exert some degree of influence on the things outside our control, but to a much lesser extent than we can our own time, attention, and capital. Truly, we can only ever (hope to) maintain control over our thoughts, attitudes, and actions as we live and learn.
Knowledge is treasure, and entrepreneurs—led by hope—its dogged hunters.
In Part 3, we will walk toward the “Way of Hope”…
Thank you for reading Bitcoin is Hope (Part 2).
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