The Future of Money: "Evolved Anarchy" and Burning Man Have the Answers
Bitcoin will bring a seismic shift in global finance, says Toni Lane Casserly: "If you are an institution with integrity, generally I would say you don't have anything to worry about." ... So long to the world as we know it.
Toni Lane Casserly is an American tech entrepreneur, artist and thought leader. She is a Young Star of Bitcoin and the co-founder of CoinTelegraph, the largest media network in the bitcoin and blockchain industries. She is a partner at BitNation.
As a philanthropist, Casserly co-founded Kids Compassion Charity when she funded a village to survive Ebola using bitcoin. As part of this endeavor, she put 14 children through school and has provided 14 orphans with a home.
Casserly currently works toward establishing digital currency economies, mesh internets and peaceful seasteads to help free citizens from the hands of war-torn, oppressive and corrupt leadership while preserving the planet. She serves as an advisor and/or board member to 6+ companies and funds as she simultaneously works in the field of human rights to establish digital currency economies, mesh networks and alternative governance structures in countries ruled by oppressive leaders and corrupt jurisdiction. She has been affectionately entitled “The Joan of Arc of Bitcoin” by her peers and various publications.
In the art sphere, Casserly is a recording artist and the founder of the “immateralism” (post art) movement, where she uses consciousness and lucid dreaming as a medium.
Toni Lane Casserly: Bitcoin is the Internet of money. And I say that Bitcoin is the Internet of money not because Bitcoin in and of itself is the Internet but because Bitcoin empowers for the idea of money what the Internet was able to do with information. And in doing that it gives any person in the world the ability to quantify, create, store and share the idea of value in a way that we as a human race have never really been able to do before. And Bitcoin is to Blockchain as email is to the Internet. It is the first major use case of a technology that is so fundamentally going to change the way that we think about our everyday life that it will transform every interaction we have from inception on.
Blockchain is called a blockchain because it's literally just that. It is a series of blocks created by computer solving complex math problems that are chained together. And the way that Bitcoin is created is any time one of these blocks, like imagine you just have a bunch of sheets of paper and anytime one of the sheets of paper gets full a bunch of supercomputers from all around the world are all trying to solve these insanely complex math problems that get exponentially more difficult over time. And to give you perspective, it's literally easier to find one grain of sand in the entire universe than it is for one of these computers to solve a math problem created by the Bitcoin blockchain. And because these are so complex and because anytime one of these little computers tries to solve one of these problems they only have a 50/50 chance of getting it right no matter how many times they try and solve it. And so Bitcoin right now is actually the world's largest super computer. It has 500 times the computing power of Google just to create bitcoins. Now anytime one of these computers solves a math problem they get Bitcoin, they create the blocks, cement it and these blocks are all chained together in one long ring. And that has a genesis block and is essentially infinite from the moment the first block on the blockchain was created. And every transaction that happens on the blockchain is stored on the blockchain cannot to be erased, cannot be deleted because the core properties of this technology are fundamentally that a blockchain is borderless, it is decentralized, it is voluntary and it is immutable.
Bitcoin is and always has been a research project and that's what's so amazing. I mean it was created by this group of underground libertarians and activists and anarchists whose rules in life where to beat death and taxes. And Bitcoin is something that is actually been in these forums for the last 40 years. And it's really interesting because you have these people who essentially see the flaws in every system that exists in the world today. And I would actually say that Bitcoin is very similar to Burning Man in the way that it's created and the way that it's going to grow and the way that it's going to evolve. Because what is Burning Man, the festival, the experience, the culture, the civilization, what is that other than the world's most evolved form of anarchy? Burning Man in the '70s were literally a bunch of awesome cool anarchists going into the desert and shooting guns, which isn't necessarily safe but shooting guns into the middle of the sky and literally burning down the man.
And you see what happens when you allow people to fulfill their ultimate creative potential. People become autonomous, self-reliant and they self-organize. And that's actually how I would say the evolution of Bitcoin, to contextualize it in something that's extremely modern and extremely well known, Bitcoin and the idea of value and money I believe will follow a very similar path because what it actually does and enables as well is for the creative economy to flourish. Because all of these jobs that are going to be replaced by AI, where are people going to get money from? And I fundamentally believe that they will create it literally.
Anytime you have this kind of a revolutionary idea in culture form there are always going to be people who have to adapt and who have to change and the people who have the greatest adaptation to wrap their minds around are fundamentally institutions who have built a business model off of third party trust. Because what the blockchain actually does it take that idea of trust, it's a trustless system. And when I say that some people are like so like trust the system less than normal systems? No, it means the idea of thrust in and of itself is a concept that we have based off of institutional integrity. And if you are an institution with integrity generally I would say you don't have anything to worry about. But people who have been abusing systems that have been in place for century those people are going to be, and everyone knows that they need to change and that they need to be held accountable. But because there are so many issues that are just systemically entrenched you have to create something new I think to really, really shift that paradigm.
And I wouldn't say that a lot of these institutions who are built on third party trust it's like they're not going to completely disappear. It's just like when we had the Internet the idea of publishing didn't go away it just fundamentally evolved in a way that empowered the individual to create their own content and empowered groups of people to self-organize and to create their own worlds and their own publishing models from this invention that fundamentally not only democratized and distributed but decentralized the way that we were able to create and to share and to consume information. And so in addition to that the way that people will actually be able to create this form of value is incredible. It's something I think a lot of people even today have a hard time imagining because it's like telling people in the Renaissance hey, so you know all of that information owned my God, one day you will not only be able to have access to it, you will not only be able to share it openly and freely, but you will be able to create that yourself. And that is what is about to happen with the idea of money and the idea of value.
And to give you a really concrete example of something that's an emergent technology that might just be an economic experiment, a lot of these things in the market right now are just economic experiments, but there's a platform called Steemit, steam with two e's. And it fundamentally is a monetized Reddit and it allows any person who creates content to be directly compensated by a group of their peers for the content they create. So imagine if every up vote on Reddit was monetized. I mean I did one post on this and made $3000 that I could exchange immediately in 50 minutes. And that's incredible. I still don't think most people understand what is about to emerge in this modern technology landscape. And it's fundamentally the ability for any person to create a platform. And if that platform has value, whether that value is in the content, whether that value is in the community, to aggregate new systems of creating sharing and storing value and to quantify those using a digital currency.
Some of us are Bitcoin enthusiasts, while to others this digital currency exists in a far-off plane, spinning in the distant ether like Super Mario coins. To date, Bitcoin hasn’t impacted most of our daily lives – but according to Toni Lane Casserly, co-founder of CoinTelegraph, that’s going to change soon, and it’s going to change us.
As she explains Bitcoin and Blockchain, Casserly illuminates how digital currency empowers the idea of money, and does something that is hard to imagine: it makes money honest. Every transaction that happens on Blockchain is stored permanently as a public ledger – it cannot be erased or disguised. It is a completely transparent system, and it may finally provide the accountability that global financial systems have needed for centuries.
There’s an alarming quantity of red flags pointing to inequality and corruption within the world economy; it’s widely recognized, and yet it seems almost impossible to correct this established system without toppling it all together. Banks and financial institutions rely on one commodity to stay powerful: people’s trust. Trust is blindly handed over – because what’s the alternative? – then systematically abused for the benefit of just a few key players. When something is so systematically entrenched, Casserly says, it takes something radically new to force a paradigm shift.
It makes sense that Bitcoin could turn into a benevolent and democratic force: it was started by underground activists and anarchists, and it’s not the first time anarchy has evolved to become something oddly beautiful. Casserly draws an interesting comparison between Bitcoin and Burning Man: "What is Burning Man – the festival, the experience, the culture, the civilization – what is that other than the world's most evolved form of anarchy? Burning Man in the '70s were literally a bunch of awesome, cool anarchists going into the desert… and literally burning down the man." She continues, "I still don't think most people understand what is about to emerge in this modern technology landscape."
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How would the ability to genetically customize children change society? Sci-fi author Eugene Clark explores the future on our horizon in Volume I of the "Genetic Pressure" series.
- A new sci-fi book series called "Genetic Pressure" explores the scientific and moral implications of a world with a burgeoning designer baby industry.
- It's currently illegal to implant genetically edited human embryos in most nations, but designer babies may someday become widespread.
- While gene-editing technology could help humans eliminate genetic diseases, some in the scientific community fear it may also usher in a new era of eugenics.
Tribalism and discrimination<p>One question the "Genetic Pressure" series explores: What would tribalism and discrimination look like in a world with designer babies? As designer babies grow up, they could be noticeably different from other people, potentially being smarter, more attractive and healthier. This could breed resentment between the groups—as it does in the series.</p><p>"[Designer babies] slowly find that 'everyone else,' and even their own parents, becomes less and less tolerable," author Eugene Clark told Big Think. "Meanwhile, everyone else slowly feels threatened by the designer babies."</p><p>For example, one character in the series who was born a designer baby faces discrimination and harassment from "normal people"—they call her "soulless" and say she was "made in a factory," a "consumer product." </p><p>Would such divisions emerge in the real world? The answer may depend on who's able to afford designer baby services. If it's only the ultra-wealthy, then it's easy to imagine how being a designer baby could be seen by society as a kind of hyper-privilege, which designer babies would have to reckon with. </p><p>Even if people from all socioeconomic backgrounds can someday afford designer babies, people born designer babies may struggle with tough existential questions: Can they ever take full credit for things they achieve, or were they born with an unfair advantage? To what extent should they spend their lives helping the less fortunate? </p>
Sexuality dilemmas<p>Sexuality presents another set of thorny questions. If a designer baby industry someday allows people to optimize humans for attractiveness, designer babies could grow up to find themselves surrounded by ultra-attractive people. That may not sound like a big problem.</p><p>But consider that, if designer babies someday become the standard way to have children, there'd necessarily be a years-long gap in which only some people are having designer babies. Meanwhile, the rest of society would be having children the old-fashioned way. So, in terms of attractiveness, society could see increasingly apparent disparities in physical appearances between the two groups. "Normal people" could begin to seem increasingly ugly.</p><p>But ultra-attractive people who were born designer babies could face problems, too. One could be the loss of body image. </p><p>When designer babies grow up in the "Genetic Pressure" series, men look like all the other men, and women look like all the other women. This homogeneity of physical appearance occurs because parents of designer babies start following trends, all choosing similar traits for their children: tall, athletic build, olive skin, etc. </p><p>Sure, facial traits remain relatively unique, but everyone's more or less equally attractive. And this causes strange changes to sexual preferences.</p><p>"In a society of sexual equals, they start looking for other differentiators," he said, noting that violet-colored eyes become a rare trait that genetically engineered humans find especially attractive in the series.</p><p>But what about sexual relationships between genetically engineered humans and "normal" people? In the "Genetic Pressure" series, many "normal" people want to have kids with (or at least have sex with) genetically engineered humans. But a minority of engineered humans oppose breeding with "normal" people, and this leads to an ideology that considers engineered humans to be racially supreme. </p>
Regulating designer babies<p>On a policy level, there are many open questions about how governments might legislate a world with designer babies. But it's not totally new territory, considering the West's dark history of eugenics experiments.</p><p>In the 20th century, the U.S. conducted multiple eugenics programs, including immigration restrictions based on genetic inferiority and forced sterilizations. In 1927, for example, the Supreme Court ruled that forcibly sterilizing the mentally handicapped didn't violate the Constitution. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes wrote, "… three generations of imbeciles are enough." </p><p>After the Holocaust, eugenics programs became increasingly taboo and regulated in the U.S. (though some states continued forced sterilizations <a href="https://www.uvm.edu/~lkaelber/eugenics/" target="_blank">into the 1970s</a>). In recent years, some policymakers and scientists have expressed concerns about how gene-editing technologies could reanimate the eugenics nightmares of the 20th century. </p><p>Currently, the U.S. doesn't explicitly ban human germline genetic editing on the federal level, but a combination of laws effectively render it <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jlb/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jlb/lsaa006/5841599#204481018" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">illegal to implant a genetically modified embryo</a>. Part of the reason is that scientists still aren't sure of the unintended consequences of new gene-editing technologies. </p><p>But there are also concerns that these technologies could usher in a new era of eugenics. After all, the function of a designer baby industry, like the one in the "Genetic Pressure" series, wouldn't necessarily be limited to eliminating genetic diseases; it could also work to increase the occurrence of "desirable" traits. </p><p>If the industry did that, it'd effectively signal that the <em>opposites of those traits are undesirable. </em>As the International Bioethics Committee <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jlb/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jlb/lsaa006/5841599#204481018" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">wrote</a>, this would "jeopardize the inherent and therefore equal dignity of all human beings and renew eugenics, disguised as the fulfillment of the wish for a better, improved life."</p><p><em>"Genetic Pressure Volume I: Baby Steps"</em><em> by Eugene Clark is <a href="http://bigth.ink/38VhJn3" target="_blank">available now.</a></em></p>
Scientists discover burrows of giant predator worms that lived on the seafloor 20 million years ago.
- Scientists in Taiwan find the lair of giant predator worms that inhabited the seafloor 20 million years ago.
- The worm is possibly related to the modern bobbit worm (Eunice aphroditois).
- The creatures can reach several meters in length and famously ambush their pray.
A three-dimensional model of the feeding behavior of Bobbit worms and the proposed formation of Pennichnus formosae.
Credit: Scientific Reports
Beware the Bobbit Worm!<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1f9918e77851242c91382369581d3aac"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_As1pHhyDHY?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Answering the question of who you are is not an easy task. Let's unpack what culture, philosophy, and neuroscience have to say.
- Who am I? It's a question that humans have grappled with since the dawn of time, and most of us are no closer to an answer.
- Trying to pin down what makes you you depends on which school of thought you prescribe to. Some argue that the self is an illusion, while others believe that finding one's "true self" is about sincerity and authenticity.
- In this video, author Gish Jen, Harvard professor Michael Puett, psychotherapist Mark Epstein, and neuroscientist Sam Harris discuss three layers of the self, looking through the lens of culture, philosophy, and neuroscience.
The father of all giant sea bugs was recently discovered off the coast of Java.
- A new species of isopod with a resemblance to a certain Sith lord was just discovered.
- It is the first known giant isopod from the Indian Ocean.
- The finding extends the list of giant isopods even further.
The ocean depths are home to many creatures that some consider to be unnatural.<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzU2NzY4My9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNTUwMzg0NX0.BTK3zVeXxoduyvXfsvp4QH40_9POsrgca_W5CQpjVtw/img.png?width=980" id="b6fb0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2739ec50d9f9a3bd0058f937b6d447ac" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1512" data-height="2224" />
What benefit does this find have for science? And is it as evil as it looks?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="7XqcvwWp" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="8506fcd195866131efb93525ae42dec4"> <div id="botr_7XqcvwWp_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/7XqcvwWp-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/7XqcvwWp-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/7XqcvwWp-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>The discovery of a new species is always a cause for celebration in zoology. That this is the discovery of an animal that inhabits the deeps of the sea, one of the least explored areas humans can get to, is the icing on the cake.</p><p>Helen Wong of the National University of Singapore, who co-authored the species' description, explained the importance of the discovery:</p><p>"The identification of this new species is an indication of just how little we know about the oceans. There is certainly more for us to explore in terms of biodiversity in the deep sea of our region." </p><p>The animal's visual similarity to Darth Vader is a result of its compound eyes and the curious shape of its <a href="https://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/research/sjades2018/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer dofollow" style="">head</a>. However, given the location of its discovery, the bottom of the remote seas, it may be associated with all manner of horrifically evil Elder Things and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cthulhu" target="_blank" rel="dofollow">Great Old Ones</a>. <em></em></p>
The newly discovered galaxies are 62x bigger than the Milky Way.
- Two recently discovered radio galaxies are among the largest objects in the cosmos.
- The discovery implies that radio galaxies are more common than previously thought.
- The discovery was made while creating a radio map of the sky with a small part of a new radio array.