Sovereign Individual ~ James Dale Davidson and William Rees Morg
The Sovereign Individual is one of those books that forever changes the way you see the world. It was released in 1997, but the extent to which it predicts the impact of blockchain technology will make you shiver. We are entering the fourth phase of human society, moving from the industrial to the information age. You need to read this book to understand the scope and scale of how things will change.
As it becomes easier to live comfortably and earn money anywhere, we already know that those who are truly advancing in the new information age will be workers who are not tied to one job or career and are location independent. Retreating to choose where to live on the basis of savings is already more attractive, but it goes beyond digital nomadism and free gigs; the foundations of democracy, government and money are shifting.
The authors predicted Black Tuesday and the collapse of the Soviet Union, and here they predict that the rise in power of individuals will coincide with decentralized technology that bites the power of governments. The number of deaths in nation states, they predicted with extreme insight, will be private, digital money. When that happens, the dynamics of governments as stationary bandits taxing hard-working citizens will change. If you have become someone who can solve problems for people anywhere in the world, then you will soon enter a new cognitive elite. Don’t miss this one.
Election quote: “When technology is mobile and transactions take place in cyberspace, as they will increasingly do, governments will no longer be able to charge more for their services than they are worth to the people who pay for them.”
Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind ~ Yuval Noah Harari
Whenever I want to impress someone on how good this book is, I ask, “Do you want to know the basic difference between humans and monkeys? A monkey can jump up and down a rock and wave a stick around and scream to his friends that he saw a threat coming.” Danger! Danger! Lion! ‘ And a monkey can lie. He can jump up and down on a rock and wave a stick around and scream about a lion when the lava is, in fact, gone. He’s just kidding. stick around and scream, ‘Danger! Danger! Dragon!’
Why is this? Because dragons are not real. As Harari explains, the human imagination, our ability to believe and talk about things we have never seen or touched have elevated the species to collaborate with foreigners in large numbers. There are no gods in the universe, no nations, no money, no human rights, no laws, no religions and no justice beyond the ordinary imagination of human beings. We make them like that.
It’s all a pretty magnificent preamble to where we are today. After the cognitive and agricultural revolution, Harari takes you to the scientific revolution, which began only 500 years ago and which could start something completely different for humanity. The money, however, will remain. Read this book to understand that money is the greatest story ever told and that trust is the raw material from which all kinds of money are minted.
Quote of choice: “Sapiens, by contrast, lives in a three-layered reality. In addition to trees, rivers, fears and desires, the world of Sapiens also contains stories of money, gods, nations and corporations.”
Internet money ~ Andreas M. Antonopoulos
If the two books mentioned above help us understand the historical context in which Bitcoin first appeared, then this book expands the ‘why’ with infectious enthusiasm. Andreas Antonopolous is perhaps the most respected voice in the crypto space. He has been traveling the world as a bitcoin evangelist since 2010, and this book is a summary of speeches he gave in a circle between 2013 and 2016, all of which were ready for publication.
His first book, Mastering Bitcoin, represents a technically deep dive into technology, specifically aimed at developers, engineers, and software and system architects. But this book uses some metaphors of choice to explain why you can’t ban Bitcoin or turn it off, how the scaling debate doesn’t really matter, and why Bitcoin needs designer help to ensure mass adoption.
“When you drive your brand new car for the first time in the city,” he writes, “you ride on horses used by horses with infrastructure designed and used for horses. No traffic lights. No traffic rules. No paved roads. And what happened? Cars are they got stuck because they didn’t have balance and four feet. ” But rewinding a hundred years ahead and cars that were once ridiculed are absolutely the norm. If you want to swim around in the philosophical, social and historical implications of Bitcoin, this is your starting point.
Quote of choice: “Bitcoin is not just money for the internet. Yes, it is perfect money for the internet. The current one, it is safe, is free. Yes, it is money for the internet, but it is much more. Bitcoin is the internet of money. Currency is only the first If you understand that, you can look beyond price, you can look beyond volatility, you can look beyond whim. At its core, Bitcoin is a revolutionary technology that will change the world forever. Join us. “