Episode 18: Murad Mahmudov on Bitcoin

MURAD MAHMUDOV ON BITCOIN

This episode with Murad Mahmudov is one of my favorites so far and was an extremely intellectually stimulating conversation both on and off air that I enjoyed thoroughly.

In today’s episode Murad & I discuss:

  • His Bitcoin journey
  • What is Bitcoin/Bitcoin Marjoritarianism
  • Crypto Keynesian’s vs. Crypto Austrian’s
  • Gold vs. Bitcoin
  • The Future of Bitcoin in the next few Market cycles

NOTES:

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Episode 17: Hash War Recap

THE BITCOIN HERETICS ON THE HASH WAR AND THE WAY FORWARD

In this episode I am joined by the Bitcoin Heretics, a group of Bitcoiner’s from differing tribes & viewpoints;  Vin Armani is a Bitcoin Cash/Coin Agnostic, Chris Derose is from Bitcoin BTC and Daniel Krawisz is aligned with Bitcoin SV.  This is a group that doesn’t agree with each other on most things, they respect each others opinions and I respect the thoughts that derive from their conversations immensely.  We talk about a very important topic of the day, The Hash war, its aftermath and the world of Bitcoin we now find ourselves in.  I can guarantee you that if you are want to understand this space better, this and other episodes like this will help immensely.

In today’s episode Vin, Daniel, Chris & I discuss:

  • What we thought the hash war would look like
  • How the hash war actually panned out
  • How reality conflicted/confirmed our thoughts
  • Bitcoin SV & Bitcoin ABC’s future
  • What is the future for Bitcoin in general

NOTES:

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Episode 16: Trading Fundamentals

KURT WUCKERT JR AND TRADING FUNDAMENTALS

In this episode I am joined by Kurt Wuckert Jr. of Crypto Traders Pro, A Bitcoin/Libertarian evangelist and someone I have enjoyed speaking to over the last year.  Kurt is a long time believer in Bitcoin and the freedom it brings to humanity as well as the ability to better your personal life through profiting by trading crypto and any other assets.  Kurt and Crypto Traders Pro are all about teaching you the skills necessary so you can trade independent of them or within the community, whatever you choose.

In today’s episode Kurt and I discuss:

  • What is Trading
  • What is Fundamental vs Technical Analysis
  • Is trading for everyone
  • What tools do you need to learn trading
  • How to Avoid Scams
  • What is Bitcoin
  • Big Blocks vs. Small Blocks
  • Why does he support Bitcoin S.V.?

NOTES:

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Episode 15: Robert Murphy and the Austrian School of Economics

ROBERT MURPHY AND THE AUSTRIAN SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS

In this episode I am joined by Robert Murphy Senior Fellow at the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, Research Assistant Professor at Texas Tech, Co Host of the Contra Krugman Podcast and author of numerous book, including his latest, Contra Krugman: Smashing the errors of America’s Most Famous Keynesian.  Robert Murphy has been someone I’ve been following for years via his work with the Mises Institute and his work with Tom Woods of the Tom Woods show.  We talk about the Austrian School of Economics which is best described as one that promotes a truly free market and intricately part of the Bitcoin story.  I would argue that Bitcoin could ONLY arise from someone with a deep understanding of Austrian Economic theory.

In today’s episode Robert and I discuss:

  • What is Austrian Economics
  • What is Money
  • Fiat vs. Sound Money
  • How the Austrian School predicted the 2008 Financial Crisis
  • Ludwig Von Mises Regression Theorem
  • What is Bitcoin

NOTES:

ROBERT MURPHY’S BOOKS

   

   

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Episode 14: Pierre Rochard And The Great Block Debate

Pierre Rochard And The Great Block Debate Part 2

In this Episode I am joined by Pierre Rochard, Host of the Noded Podcast and co-founder of the Nakamoto Institute, he has been a unstoppable proponent of Bitcoin and the Bitcoin Maximalist thesis, I am very happy to welcome him to the show today.

In today’s episode Pierre and I discuss:

  • How he discovered Bitcoin
  • History of the Scaling Debate
  • What influence the White Paper should have
  • Should the Block Size ever increase?
  • Bitcoin and the 3rd World
  • Lightning Network

NOTES:

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Episode 13: Vin Armani and the Coming Hash Wars

Vin Armani And The Coming Hash Wars

In this Episode I am joined by Vin Armani, CTO of CoinText, Bitcoin evangelist, former host of the Vin Armani Show, Author of Self Ownership and serial entrepreneur.  Vin has been someone I’ve been following and listening to for a long time. 

In today’s episode Vin and I discuss:

  • The origins of Bitcoin Cash
  • How Prof. Wright and Nchain sought to buy out opposition
  • The Flaw in Nakamoto Consensus
  • Calvin/Craig are the smartest people in Bitcoin
  • Hash War is NOT relegated to BCH but to ALL POW coins and Beyond
  • The Philosophy of Bitcoin

NOTES:

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Permaculture System Design: Part 2

Observe and Interact

Original Article can be found on Medium

In the first part of this series I laid out a very basic overview of permaculture, it’s history and it’s ethics and principles. It still very much had the feel of being mostly about agricultural system design, but as we move on to dive into the design principles I want to focus on it through the spectrum of society, personal life and Bitcoin.

Observation of the system you are occupying or a system you wish to enhance and change for the better is the most important first step.

Observation is NOT making snap judgement’s based on preconceived notions.

Observation is NOT assuming any output or input is good or bad.

Observation is as simple as it sounds. Observing.

In the realm of Agricultural design, say designing your own property, you will want to spend a lot of time observing all the areas and interactions of natural systems on that property. Within each system are small systems interacting with each other. You can view these systems in various sizes from the Uber macro size of the universe to the atomic in the micro; I say that as more of a mental exercise to think of large and small, not to actually worry about the subatomic level.

You will want to watch various portions of that property over different periods of time to see how differing weather effects it. A tree planted in an area that does well in the summer may die in the winter because it is in a low spot of the property and cold air sits there for longer, freezing the vegetation and roots. An area may do well for 3 years and thrive but the once every 5 year a flood comes in, waterlogs and suffocates the inputs you placed their.

Part of observation is to also consider what is the use of the system and what are the systems within trying to achieve. For agricultural design, are you trying to provide the maximum production you can for homesteading purposes or are you trying to let nature automate your property with an eye towards aesthetic beauty? How much time will you be able to devote to upkeep of this system?

If you are able to make that your full time job you can integrate more systems into it such as poultry, farm animals more needy but productive plants, etc. If you cannot devote much time to it, you will want to focus on designing a larger system around self sufficient smaller systems who need little external inputs to stay healthy.

It should start to be readily apparent how this principles can fit into your life, business, etc. Observe the systems you currently interact with; Nature, the nation state, society, your community, your family, yourself, your body, those organisms within your body, etc. etc.

If you have never taken that time to observe for long periods of time the systems you live in, do so starting today.

Do not approach these systems with your beliefs or biases. If you are a libertarian, don’t automatically assume that say the actions of a centralized nation state are inherently bad or unnecessary, on the converse if you have never doubted the need for bodies of government to codify laws and arbitrate disputes, don’t enter the observation assuming that’s a given needed service.

We can never truly eliminate bias or the natural inclination to discard that which conflicts with your worldview, but we can consciously be aware of it and attempt to eliminate as much as possible.

Observe for long periods of time how these systems interact with each other, with you, with nature, with everything. There is no right or wrong outcome, this is merely just viewing the world as it is.

In your business or your job, where you are competing with others for higher positions or to maintain your current position observe the actions of not just your competitors and/or consumers but also everyone else. It doesn’t matter if they meet your demographic for a customer or not. Begin to view how you want this system to work, not for you, but with you. You want to have a basic framework of the most ideal system design for your goals.

If you are trying to get a promotion, how can you change the interactions of the various systems within the larger system of your company or business climate so that your wanted outcome of promotion manifests itself as PART of the naturally ordered outcome.

I will as a side note completely agree that this sounds very…new agey, but it’s not. Its simply words to describe something. Whether it’s a field, an orchard or a company… they are systems, and they all have natural flows to them, and when something seeks to force an unnatural change the end result is not good.

We’ve all been in work environments where an outcome, say better moral or comraderie was for lack of a better term forced on a team or office. It never works. It feels wrong and unnatural and the best outcome is for a period of time people “fake it until you make it”… but it never makes it.

If however you observe the various systems in the company, i.e. hiring practices, corporate ethos, leadership style, compensation, etc. you will ever able to learn to interact with them. You find where you can insert inputs into those systems to change the outputs to match your goals. By finding a way to make your output goals be the natural end result of the system your chances or achieving it are far higher than attempting to swim against the natural current.

It will just…happen..naturally.

It’s the difference between making someone do something and making them think they came up with the idea themselves.

How does this pertain to Bitcoin and the new digital age?
Those of us looking at this new world of Bitcoin and Blockchain and the burgeoning immersive digital world do so, usually, to find where we fit in. How can we build a business, a reputation or a knowledge base in this space. We may see problems in our society that we wish to fix with Bitcoin.

Satoshi himself used this very same principle as he created Bitcoin(yes I know we don’t know who “he” is, but the pseudonym is a male Japanese name so I will continue to use the masculine pronouns until we learn otherwise).

Satoshi Observed:

  • Central Banks and Fiat money were immensely destructive in society
  • An alternative to this monopoly was needed
  • This would need to be sound (backed) money to avoid it becoming manipulated as Fiat is
  • Using alternative physical metal coins isn’t feasible as the government will crack down ( Google “Liberty Reserve”)
  • There have been attempts to make a digital money but they were unsuccessful
  • You must provide a mechanism for verification of transactions to prevent double spends

I can go on further, however you get the idea.

He had to observe the environment that the problem he was trying to solve lived in. He couldn’t create a solution that would only work in an idealized society, because we are not in an idealized society.

That is at the heart of the reason for the constant failure of socialism. It appeals to an idealized empathetic view of how the world should be, and it’s solutions are tailored to work in a world that will and could never be.

When you observe the environment that your problem and thus your solution must live in (albeit your solution may slowly change the environment and you MUST be ready for that as well) it is imperative to remain objective.

All observations must have as much weight as every other. If you tailor your observed evidence to fit a preferred solution you will fail. If you only look for things to observe that will lead you to your preferred solution it will fail. If the solution isn’t rooted in the full truth of observable reality it will always fail.

In the end truth is the most necessary component for any successful solution to a problem. After you have taken enough time and gathered enough objective evidence you then must begin to tailor a solution based on that evidence. Part of that process is to sandbox and work through reactions of the environment to your solutions.

Real world testing is preferred if possible since hypothetical’s played out in mental thought sessions can be useful, they can never truly replace real world interactions and the data you get from that.

In terms of the digital world and that of Bitcoin, this is why tools such as test nets are so valuable as you are able to work through SIMILAR circumstances with out the real world consequences of mistakes, bugs or unforeseen reactions in an Ecosystem.

There is no perfect amount of time to observe before you begin to execute your plan. While one should observe as long as necessary, paralysis by analysis is as detrimental to solving problems as a knee-jerk reaction can be.

Always take time to observe your surroundings in all places at all times. This may seem strange, since you are always aware of what you are doing and where you are, but awareness of a place, awareness of an experience is NOT the same as focusing on OBSERVING that environment, experience, etc.

“You see, but do not observe”

-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This was the second of a multi-part series on the Nexus of Permaculture, Bitcoin and the Coming digital age.

Permaculture System Design and Bitcoin: Part 1 Overview

Original article can be found on Medium

Permaculture is a method of systems design that is codified via a set of core tenants and principles of design.

I started studying Permaculture system design around the same time I became aware of Bitcoin back in 2012 and took a Permaculture design course in 2014. Permaculture was created by the late Bill Mollison alongside David Holmgren when they began to see the devastation that modern agriculture brought to once abundant arable lands.

Keyline Design

http://www.theconsciousfarmer.com

There is no such thing as “flat land”, all land has differing levels of elevation and grades across its entirety. In traditional farming rain would it the land crops were on, it would quickly wash from the high to the low points, and as the water gained speed it would wash away precious topsoil, minerals, fertilizers, etc. to the low points on the land and eventually be washed away into the streams, lakes and eventually into the oceans. North America is losing topsoil 10x faster than it can be replenished due to erosion and many of the DEADLY algae blooms along the coast are due to fertilizers runoff. This is energy and resources that are not being captured, but due to inefficient system design are lost and wasted.

Yeoman’s Keyline design in a very basic sense if to create water catchment systems in the form of ditches built on contour with the land and planted with vegetation that can hold the soil. The Energy/resource, the rain, is then caught in these catchment ditches, and slowly disperse through the land the areas below it. This also slows down the water and decreases erosion with any loss of soil being caught in the ditches as well. It is a perfectly efficient system.

Masanobu Fukuoka

https://www.azquotes.com/author/5223-Masanobu_Fukuoka

Masanobu Fukuoka was the son of a wealthy land owner and attended University and was trained as a microbiologist and agricultural scientist. He came to doubt the ideas of Western agricultural science and resigned from his job and went home to work the family farm. Be began to experiment with various practices on his organic citrus farm and developed a system of “natural farming”. His experiments were interrupted by government policies during WW2 and the forced redistribute of lands by occupying American forces in post war Japan and was left with only 3/8 of an acre of rice land and citrus orchards. He came up with numerous practices of non-intervention and working alongside/not against nature practices that heavily influence the permaculture mindset.

Permaculture

With these great men that came before them Bill and David began to form a radically new idea, that of both permanent culture for agriculture but also for sustainable human habitats. The human system melding with the system of nature. They wanted to find a way that they could live complimentary to nature vs. one of conflict with nature

Permaculture Ethics

  1. Earth Care
  2. People Car
  3. Return of Surplus

Earth care is about to create practices that allowed for the larger system, the Earth, to operate efficiently and healthy. Small systems within the larger system cannot flourish if the larger system is dying or broken.

People Care is creating systems that benefit humanity, creating more resources and access for their existence. This may start to sound very hippy dippy and semi-socialist, but I assure you that it’s not. I’m the farthest thing from being a supporter of those ideologies, so please bear with me, this will all come to make more sense later as we incorporate this into system designs at a larger level.

Return of Surplus is about self-regulation of intakes and using our wastes in a system in a positive way to be recycled into usefulness for the rest of the system. Some on the farther left of the movement have attempted to re-brand this ethic “fair share” but the attempt to hijack the principles of design to justify inefficient centrally planned authoritarian regimes flies in the face of the spirit of Permaculture itself. Socialism is fighting nature, it’s an attempt to bend the will of the world and the human spirit through the threat of violence. That is NOT Permaculture.

Design Principles

Alongside the ethics there are 12 is principles. I had previously tweeted a very basic take on each of these principles, and the point of this Permaculture series will be to expound in detail on each of these principles and how can be applied to Bitcoin and the coming fully immersive digital age.

  1. Observe and Interact
  2. Catch and store energy
  3. Obtain a yield
  4. Apply self-regulation
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services
  6. Produce no waste
  7. Design from patterns to details
  8. Integrate rather than segregate
  9. Use small and slow solutions
  10. Use and blue diversity
  11. Use edges and value the marginal
  12. Creatively use and respond to change

There are other concepts that we will get into later such as layers, guilds and zones within a system, but we will get to those later.

As we move forward in this series, I want you to keep your mind in the framework of systems design and how this applies to society and the Bitcoin system. How can you apply these lessons to those larger concepts but also apply them in your own life to better your ability to react to change, spot opportunity and create more efficient, less wasteful systems in your home, relationships, business, etc.

The next part in the series will be looking at the first principles of design, Observe and Interact.

THE FORK: A MECHANISM FOR FUTURE SOCIETAL CONFLICT RESOLUTION?

(ORIGINAL ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND ON MY MEDIUM)

Over the past year I have been thinking more and more of the concept of the “Fork” and its implications not just for Bitcoin but to society.

13 months ago (August 2017), the long-standing dispute over how to scale Bitcoin came to a head. Those who favored on chain scaling (increasing the block size) initiated a fork to split from the current BTC chain (those who favored smaller blocks and 2nd layer solutions). I know that Giacomo Zucco disagrees, highly, that this would be classified as a “fork”, but I don’t entirely agree with him on that.

*If you want to see his argument listen to Episode 9 of my podcast.

This disagreement had been festering for years, really since its inception when one of the first conversations Satoshi ever had was with Hal Finney where he pointed out the scaling issue immediately. The arguments were mostly academic for years, since there was no real impetus, yet at that time, to fix it since the problem wasn’t present in the real-world implementation of bitcoins daily operations.

Over time the debates became increasingly heated as both sides (and I recognize there are many different shades of grey) understood the blocks would soon start to fill beyond capacity and transactions would become backlogged with fees, obviously following the supply demand curve, increasing to drive down demand (a natural market force to decrease demand in a fee market).

Several meetings of large stakeholders in the Bitcoin community were held and an agreement was hashed out (no pun intended). That agreement was not followed through as a large portion of the community rose up to stop it.

To make a long story short, those favoring on chain scaling threatened to and eventually forked away from the main BTC chain, creating Bitcoin Cash/BCH.

From the outside this may seem like just a disagreement among a niche group of people, but it was much more than that.

 

There were all the same ingredients that one would find in the recipe for a bloody conflict.

  • · Extreme passion for a cause.
  • · Reverence for a prophetic type figure.
  • · Unshakeable confidence in correct interpretation of prophet’s intentions/wants.
  • · Tribalism and insular groupthink.
  • · Dehumanization of the opposing side using derogatory terms to generalize opposition as an “other”.

Throughout human history we have seen these sorts of scenarios play out. Often, especially when there’s a minority/majority component added one or both sides seek conflict resolution through whatever means necessary to accomplish their goals.

Often the majority seeks to use the existing power structure that they control to exercise their ability to “legalize” their solution and in turn make the opposition’s illegal.

 

The minority is then left with 3 options

  1. 1. Accept decision and attempt to sway more support to their side to give them the majority position.
  2. 2. Accept decision and give up.
  3. 3. Use extra-legal means to find resolution to the conflict.
  4. These extra-legal means are often violent ones, meant to break the will of the majority to accept the minorities political will in one or all decisions.

Historically in monarchies the Kings will was law, opposition nearly always took the form of violent revolution; whether it be assassination or gathering of armies for a revolt. There was no real steam valve that allowed opposition’s the ability seek resolutions in their favor.

In representative democracies (using this in a very loose general terms) the people have recourse to change the systems they live under whether through electing new Representatives, amending Constitutions or nullifying national law through principles of subsidiarity (if present in their political culture).

Even with this pressure valve it didn’t end, contrarily it seemed to increase the use of violence as a means of conflict resolution. The 20th century was an era of massive death and violence on a scale that had never been seen before.

The Future vs. Current Reality

In the near to near distant future the majority, if not all our lives will take place in the digital space vs the physical. The advent of TRUE VR platforms and spaces to experience a new reality will rapidly accelerate humanities slide into the digital. Science Fiction, while many times fanciful and unrealistic often contain grains of Truth that we recognize when we read/see. Ready Player One and other VR style dystopian future themes have more than that grain of Truth. How fast would humanity embrace the virtual over the physical when it can meet all the base instinct needs of the consumer? How quickly would you choose the virtual over the physical when the virtual at no cost (or a fraction of the cost compared to the physical world) can offer you the dream job, relationship, car, etc. you’ve always wanted?

To further digress, I want to quickly address the obvious criticism regarding the need for physical touch and physical proximity to others for the sake of mental health. Countless studies show that humans (and primates) need close physical touch for proper development and lack of human interaction in any stage of life can have DRASTIC negative effects on your mental health.

But what does physical touch/proximity mean? It’s merely your senses registering that other person and releasing chemicals in your brain as an incentivization to continue that behavior. It’s an evolutionary response that helped us coalesce into groups so that our individual survival chances would be higher than if we were on our own.

It all boils down to perception. If our brain TRULY believes we are near that person that touch, kiss or hug is real….

It’s real.

If the digital world can fool our brains, into believe what we see in the digital space is the same as the meat space, there’s no reason that those same boxes for endorphin/serotonin releases wouldn’t be checked inside the 4th Wall, ensuring the same level of mental health.

The Fork

So here is where forks can come in. Once our lives are based around this post 4th wall world we will inevitably become tribal, form cooperatives and groups, meet and coalesce with people of similar interests and beliefs. We already see and have seen that on the internet. These groups are most often not broken up by nationalities or geographic loyalty (albeit language can be artificial barrier). They form based on mutual interests.

The future “Nations” of the post 4th Wall world will not care as to the geographic location they dropped from their mother’s womb, they will care about those in their new home, the digital home.

This will NOT mean conflict disappears just because we can all drive digital Lamborghinis and have the bodies we wish for (and of course digitally scarce items like Bitcoin will appear to allow for status symbols to be presented) doesn’t mean conflict will end.

Human nature begets conflict as a matter of conflict resolution since it’s inherent to the human experience and a strong emotion. It’s a path of least resistance to escape the pain of whatever adverse reality someone is experiencing.

What if we could design and outlet where everybody wins. everybody gets what they want?

What if your group wanted to use this island, but another occupied it? What if you could fork that reality into another, a digital multiverse where every digital possibility that could exist did (or I should say many of them would). Where reality itself is forked and those new groups can live as they wish away from those they had come to have irreconcilable differences with?

It may very well be that after a day, week or month of conversation this idea is proved (perhaps within our own ability to conceive now) to be invalid. That’s fine, the purpose of this thought experiment is to think of solutions to tomorrow’s problems.

The digital world’s overtaking the consciousness timeshare of humanity is rapidly approaching. Most of us ALREADY spend a disproportionate amount of our waking hours immersed in the digital. It is a much smaller leap from now into total VR immersion than it was from 100 years ago to today.

Episode 12: The Triumph of Free Markets w/ Jeffrey Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker and the Triump of the Markets

In this Episode I am joined by Jeffrey Tucker a prolific speaker, writer and economist. He was the first real economist to take a serious look at Bitcoin and embrace it as a real money.  Jeffrey has traveled the world speaking about Bitcoin, Free Markets and the cause of liberty. I am honored to be speaking to him today

In today’s episode Jeffrey and I discuss:

  • Jeffrey’s journey from music to economics  and Bitcoin
  • The Austrian School of Economics
  • The Utility of Cryptocurrency
  • Ludwig Von Mises Regression Theorem of Money
  • Crypto-Utopianism, hope for the future and what Bitcoin offers us.

NOTES:

If you have any comments or suggestions please do so via social media, which can see below or Click Here.

If you would like to support me please click here to find out how or just do your amazon shopping through this link. Costs you nothing, but helps keep the lights on and my coffee cup filled.

         


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