Bitcoin, Personality And Development Part Two — Bitcoin Versus Nihilism

This is an opinion editorial by Aleks Svetski, author of “The UnCommunist Manifesto,”founder of The Bitcoin Times and Host of The Wake Up Podcast.

The series continues. If you’ve not yet read chapters one through three, you can find them here, and of course you can find Part One of this chapter here:

In Part One, we explored value, decisions and actions. We made a case for how Bitcoin enhances the fidelity of each and how this results in playing better “games” on the road to becoming better versions of ourselves.

In Part Two, we shall explore how Bitcoin enhances one’s aim by focusing their attention, such that playing more meaningful — and perhaps multiple — games becomes possible.

One can expect a world whose economic and thus social signals are largely fake, to also exhibit falsities in other areas.

Glaring examples are the positive illusion and pill-popping movements so prevalent in modern psychology

“It is for such reasons that a whole generation of social psychologists recommended ‘positive illusions’ as the only reliable route to mental health. 

Their credo? Let a lie be your umbrella. A more dismal, wretched, pessimistic philosophy can hardly be imagined: things are so terrible that only delusion can save you.”

In this downstream effect of “fiat,” you are always a victim, i.e., it’s never your fault, you shouldn’t feel pain, there’s a quick fix available and you shouldn’t ask too many questions.

“No sir, the problem is not that your behavior is out of alignment with what your soul desires and that you are acting out a dismal version of what your life could be. Your problem is the absence of prozac and a lack of lies. 

Here’s a prescription of [insert pharmaceutical substance], with a side of positive illusion to numb you into a steady-state of nihilistic submission.”

Fiat psychology builds lies upon lies to shield you from the ugly truth. But that ugly truth may just be what you needed to hear in order to improve. Sure, it might hurt your feelings, but that’s what it’s supposed to do.

Your nervous system has evolved to signal that you’re transgressing your own values. It knows when you’re “sinning,” and it tells you.

It just makes you a weaker, more ignorant version of yourself, who must one day face an even uglier truth.

Nihilism is a feeling of hopelessness about the road ahead. It is a psychological manifestation of high time-preference in which low-to-no value is given to the future, for it is uncertain and treacherous anyway, while the present is elevated, assuming it even matters at all.

With that in mind, hedonists at least attempt to find joy in the moment, and are of a higher energy. Nihilists are numb today and more numb tomorrow.

“There will always be people better than you — that’s a cliché of nihilism, like the phrase, ‘In a million years, who’s going to know the difference?’ The proper response to that statement is not, ‘Well then, everything is meaningless.’ 

It’s, ‘Any idiot can choose a frame of time within which nothing matters. Talking yourself into irrelevance is not a profound critique of being. It’s a cheap trick of the rational mind.’”

Time preference is at the center of all human behavior. Unfortunately, most people either haven’t heard of the term, or think it's “just some economics lingo that doesn’t concern my life.” But it does. It really does. Economics is central to all life.

The problem is most people have no idea what economics is, or why it’s important. They’ve been brainwashed into believing it’s a science that uses mathematical models to understand how a society should be planned, how its resources should be used and how well it is performing against some conjured up measurements (gross domestic product, consumer price index, etc.).

The longterm, downstream effect of this kind of thing is a world in which an entire host of ultra-nihilist, vegan talking heads become best-selling authors who predict a world where your sterile, meaningless existence will be obviated by grey goo and intelligent machines.

Human action is a pursuit of ends we deem valuable, and in order to achieve these ends, we must first take aim and then apply attention.

In order to aim accurately, we must have feedback. The same way our eyes triangulate visual feedback, prices and exchange are the feedback mechanism in a market, or the “social landscape,” so to speak.

If someone buys what you’ve made, there is an implied value there, along with information that what you’re doing may just be on the right track (barring any flukes). 

The reverse is also true. If nobody buys your shit, you’re being told by the market that you’re either early, wrong, late, incongruent and need to adjust, i.e., you need to aim better.

Therein lies the importance of “sin.” To sin means to miss the mark. To know you’ve sinned is to have the opportunity to correct. 

How can one hit the mark in this day and age when the target is not only a chimera, but one’s vision is blurred?

Society turns into a culture of gamblers and madmen all in the pursuit to hit targets they can neither see nor evaluate, borne of their desperate need for survival.

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