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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."
Join Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and best-selling author Charles Duhigg as he interviews Victoria Montgomery Brown, co-founder and CEO of Big Think, live at 1pm EDT tomorrow.
A study looks at the performance benefits delivered by asthma drugs when they're taken by athletes who don't have asthma.
- One on hand, the most common health condition among Olympic athletes is asthma. On the other, asthmatic athletes regularly outperform their non-asthmatic counterparts.
- A new study assesses the performance-enhancement effects of asthma medication for non-asthmatics.
- The analysis looks at the effects of both allowed and banned asthma medications.
WADA uncertainty<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUzNzU0OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMDc4NjUwN30.fFTvRR0yJDLtFhaYiixh5Fa7NK1t1T4CzUM0Yh6KYiA/img.jpg?width=980" id="01b1b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2fd91a47d91e4d5083449b258a2fd63f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="urine sample for drug test" />
Image source: joel bubble ben/Shutterstock<p>When inhaled β-agonists first came out just before the 1972 Olympics, they were immediately banned altogether by the WADA as possible doping substances. Over the years, the WADA has reexamined their use and refined the organization's stance, evidence of the thorniness of finding an equitable position regarding their use. As of January 2020, only three β-agonists are allowed — salbutamol, formoterol, and salmeterol —and only in inhaled form. Oral consumption appears to have a greater effect on performance.</p>
The study<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUzNzU0Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTIzMDQyMX0.Gk4v-7PCA7NohvJjw12L15p7SumPCY0tLdsSlMrLlGs/img.jpg?width=980" id="d3141" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ebe7b30a315aeffcb4fe739095cf0767" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="runner at starting position on track" />
Image source: MinDof/Shutterstock<p>Of primary interest to the authors of the study is confirming and measuring the performance improvement to be gained from β-agonists when they're ingested by athletes who don't have asthma.</p><p>The researchers performed a meta-analysis of 34 existing studies documenting 44 randomized trials reporting on 472 participants. The pool of individuals included was broad, encompassing both untrained and elite athletes. In addition, lab tests, as opposed to actual competitions, tracked performance. The authors of the study therefore recommend taking its conclusions with just a grain of salt.</p><p>The effects of both WADA-banned and approved β-agonists were assessed.</p>
Approved β-agonists and non-asthmatic athletes<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUzNzU1MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMzkxODk0M30.3RssFwk_tWkHRkEl_tIee02rdq2tLuAePifnngqcIr8/img.jpg?width=980" id="39a99" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b1fe4a580c6d4f8a0fd021d7d6570e2a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="vaulter clearing pole" />
Image source: Andrey Yurlov/Shutterstock<p>What the meta-analysis showed is that the currently approved β-agonists didn't significantly improve athletic performance among those without asthma — what very slight benefit they <em>may</em> produce is just enough to prompt the study's authors to write that "it is still uncertain whether approved doses improve anaerobic performance." They note that the tiny effect did increase slightly over multiple weeks of β-agonist intake.</p>
Banned β-agonist and non-asthmatic athletes<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUzNzU1Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjI3ODU5Mn0.vyoxSE5EYjPGc2ZEbBN8d5F79nSEIiC6TUzTt0ycVqc/img.jpg?width=980" id="de095" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="02fdd42dfda8e3665a7b547bb88007ef" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="swimmer mid stroke" />
Image source: Nejron Photo/Shutterstock<p>The study found that for athletes without asthma, however, the use of currently banned β-agonists did indeed result in enhanced performance. The authors write, "Our meta-analysis shows that β2-agonists improve anaerobic performance by 5%, an improvement that would change the outcome of most athletic competitions."</p><p>That 5 percent is an average: 70-meter sprint performance was improved by 3 percent, while strength performance, MVC (maximal voluntary contraction), was improved by 6 percent.</p><p>The analysis also revealed that different results were produced by different methods of ingestion. The percentages cited above were seen when a β-agonist was ingested orally. The effect was less pronounced when the banned substances were inhaled.</p><p>Given the difference between the results for allowed and banned β-agonists, the study's conclusions suggest that the WADA has it about right, at least in terms of selection of allowable β-agonists, as well as the allowable dosage method.</p>
Takeaway<p>The study, say its authors, "should be of interest to WADA and anyone who is interested in equal opportunities in competitive sports." Its results clearly support vigilance, with the report concluding: "The use of β2-agonists in athletes should be regulated and limited to those with an asthma diagnosis documented with objective tests."</p>
Certain water beetles can escape from frogs after being consumed.
- A Japanese scientist shows that some beetles can wiggle out of frog's butts after being eaten whole.
- The research suggests the beetle can get out in as little as 7 minutes.
- Most of the beetles swallowed in the experiment survived with no complications after being excreted.
Richard Feynman once asked a silly question. Two MIT students just answered it.
Here's a fun experiment to try. Go to your pantry and see if you have a box of spaghetti. If you do, take out a noodle. Grab both ends of it and bend it until it breaks in half. How many pieces did it break into? If you got two large pieces and at least one small piece you're not alone.
But science loves a good challenge<p>The mystery remained unsolved until 2005, when French scientists <a href="http://www.lmm.jussieu.fr/~audoly/" target="_blank">Basile Audoly</a> and <a href="http://www.lmm.jussieu.fr/~neukirch/" target="_blank">Sebastien Neukirch </a>won an <a href="https://www.improbable.com/ig/" target="_blank">Ig Nobel Prize</a>, an award given to scientists for real work which is of a less serious nature than the discoveries that win Nobel prizes, for finally determining why this happens. <a href="http://www.lmm.jussieu.fr/spaghetti/audoly_neukirch_fragmentation.pdf" target="_blank">Their paper describing the effect is wonderfully funny to read</a>, as it takes such a banal issue so seriously. </p><p>They demonstrated that when a rod is bent past a certain point, such as when spaghetti is snapped in half by bending it at the ends, a "snapback effect" is created. This causes energy to reverberate from the initial break to other parts of the rod, often leading to a second break elsewhere.</p><p>While this settled the issue of <em>why </em>spaghetti noodles break into three or more pieces, it didn't establish if they always had to break this way. The question of if the snapback could be regulated remained unsettled.</p>
Physicists, being themselves, immediately wanted to try and break pasta into two pieces using this info<p><a href="https://roheiss.wordpress.com/fun/" target="_blank">Ronald Heisser</a> and <a href="https://math.mit.edu/directory/profile.php?pid=1787" target="_blank">Vishal Patil</a>, two graduate students currently at Cornell and MIT respectively, read about Feynman's night of noodle snapping in class and were inspired to try and find what could be done to make sure the pasta always broke in two.</p><p><a href="http://news.mit.edu/2018/mit-mathematicians-solve-age-old-spaghetti-mystery-0813" target="_blank">By placing the noodles in a special machine</a> built for the task and recording the bending with a high-powered camera, the young scientists were able to observe in extreme detail exactly what each change in their snapping method did to the pasta. After breaking more than 500 noodles, they found the solution.</p>
The apparatus the MIT researchers built specifically for the task of snapping hundreds of spaghetti sticks.
(Courtesy of the researchers)
What possible application could this have?<p>The snapback effect is not limited to uncooked pasta noodles and can be applied to rods of all sorts. The discovery of how to cleanly break them in two could be applied to future engineering projects.</p><p>Likewise, knowing how things fragment and fail is always handy to know when you're trying to build things. Carbon Nanotubes, <a href="https://bigthink.com/ideafeed/carbon-nanotube-space-elevator" target="_self">super strong cylinders often hailed as the building material of the future</a>, are also rods which can be better understood thanks to this odd experiment.</p><p>Sometimes big discoveries can be inspired by silly questions. If it hadn't been for Richard Feynman bending noodles seventy years ago, we wouldn't know what we know now about how energy is dispersed through rods and how to control their fracturing. While not all silly questions will lead to such a significant discovery, they can all help us learn.</p>
Several experts have weighed in on our sometimes morbid curiosity and fascination with true crime.
- True crime podcasts can get as many as 500,000 downloads per month. In the Top 100 Podcasts of 2020 list for Apple, several true crime podcasts ranked within the Top 20.
- Our fascination with true crime isn't just limited to podcasts, with Netflix documentaries like "Confessions of a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes" scoring high popularity with viewers.
- Several experts weigh in on our fascination with these stories with theories including fear-based adrenaline rushes and the inherent need to understand the human mind.
Why are we fascinated with true crime stories?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUzODA1MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MzkwOTAzOX0.7WqeWaf-odtEJV5XB2jdEG1uPU5d6Uaujw6iy6MKMbw/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C0%2C0%2C0&height=700" id="d99fc" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e14d547e4d386925bad470882a823333" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="woman standing in front of crime scene notes" />
Several experts and psychologists weigh in on why we could be so fascinated by violence, destruction and true crime stories...
Photo by Motortion Films on Shutterstock<p>Several experts have weighed in on this topic over the years, as the spike in popularity of true crime media has continued at an astonishing rate.</p><p><strong>Psychopaths are charismatic.</strong> </p><p>One of the <a href="https://www.scienceofpeople.com/psychopath/#:~:text=Psychopathy%20researchers%20found%20that%20psychopaths,defer%20gratification%20and%20control%20behavior" target="_blank">defining qualities of a psychopath</a> is that they have "superficial charm and glibness", which could explain part of our fascination with podcasts, TV shows, and movies that cover the lives of famous serial killers like Ted Bundy.</p><p><strong>Our psychology demands we pay attention to things that could harm us.</strong></p><p>Psychology can play a large role in why we like what we like, and our fascination with true crime stories is no exception. When it comes to potential threats or things that could be threatening to humanity, perhaps we've been conditioned to pay those things extra attention. </p><p>According to Dr. John Mayer, a clinical psychologist at <a href="http://www.doctorondemand.com/" target="_blank">Doctor on Demand</a> who spoke about the process <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/science-behind-why-we-can-t-look-away-disasters-ncna804966" target="_blank">in an interview with NBC News</a>, seeing destruction, disaster, or tragedy actually triggers survival instincts in us. </p><p>"A disaster enters into our awareness - this can be from a live source such as driving by a traffic accident or from watching a news report about a hurricane, a plane crash or any disaster," Mayer said. "This data from our perceptual system then stimulates the amygdala (the part of the brain responsible for emotions, survival tactics and memory). The amygdala then sends signals to the regions of the frontal cortex that are involved in analyzing and interpreting data. Next, the brain evaluates whether this data (awareness of the disaster) is a threat to you, thus judgment gets involved. As a result, the 'fight or flight' response is evoked." </p><p><strong>Could it just be morbid curiosity? </strong></p><p>Dr. Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D., a professor at De Sales University, explained <a href="https://www.bustle.com/p/why-are-people-so-obsessed-with-true-crime-experts-reveal-the-evolutionary-reasons-why-18138062" target="_blank">in an interview with Bustle</a>:</p><p>"Part of our love of true crime is based on something very natural: curiosity. People reading or watching a true crime story are engaged on several levels. They are curious about who would do this, they want to know the psychology of the bad guy, girl, or team. They want to know something about the abhorrent mind. They also love the puzzle - figuring out how it was done." </p><p><strong>Perhaps it's a way of facing our fears and planning our own reactions without risking immediate harm. </strong></p><p>In an interview with NBC News, psychiatrist Dr. David Henderson suggested that we may be fascinated with violence, destruction, or crime as a way of assessing how we would handle ourselves if put into that situation:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><em>"Witnessing violence and destruction, whether it is in a novel, a movie, on TV or a real life scene playing out in front of us in real time, gives us the opportunity to confront our fears of death, pain, despair, degradation and annihilation while still feeling some level of safety. This sensation is sometimes experienced when we stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon or look through the glass at a ferocious lion at the zoo. We watch because we are allowed to ask ourselves ultimate questions with an intensity of emotion that is uncoupled from the true reality of the disaster: 'If I was in that situation, what would I do? How would I respond? Would I be the hero or the villain? Could I endure the pain? Would I have the strength to recover?' We play out the different scenarios in our head because it helps us to reconcile that which is uncontrollable with our need to remain in control."</em></p><p><strong>Psychologically, negative events activate our brains more than positive events. </strong></p><p><a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2F0033-2909.134.3.383" target="_blank">A 2008 study</a> published by the American Psychological Association found that humans react to and learn more from negative experiences than we do positive ones. The term "negative bias" is the tendency to automatically give more attention (and meaning) to negative events and information more than positive events or information. </p><p><strong>A forced perspective may trigger empathy and act as a coping mechanism. </strong></p><p>Viewing destruction (or listening to/watching true crime stories) could be beneficial. According to Dr. Mayer, "the healthy mechanism of watching disasters is that it is a coping mechanism. We can become incubated emotionally by watching disasters and this helps us cope with hardships in our lives…" <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/science-behind-why-we-can-t-look-away-disasters-ncna804966" target="_blank">Dr. Stephen Rosenburg points out</a>, however, that this empathetic response can also have a negative impact. "Being human and having empathy can make us feel worried or depressed."</p><p>Dr. Rosenberg goes on to explain that this can also impact the negativity bias. "We tend to think negatively to protect ourselves from the reality. If it turns out better, we're relieved. If it turns out worse, we're prepared." </p><p><strong>Perhaps the adrenaline of fear that comes from listening to or watching true crime can become addicting. </strong></p><p>Similarly to how people get a "runners high" from exercise or feel depressed when they have missed a scheduled run, the adrenaline that pumps during our consumption of true crime stories <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/science-choice/201508/can-you-be-addicted-adrenaline" target="_blank">can become addictive</a>. According to sociology and criminology professor Scott Bonn, <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/wicked-deeds/201605/the-delightful-guilty-pleasure-watching-true-crime-tv" target="_blank">in an interview with Psychology Today</a>: "The public is drawn to these stories because they trigger the most basic and powerful emotion in us all: fear."</p>