Social Attacks On Bitcoin

It’s no secret that Bitcoin has enemies. There are those who’d like to kill it outright and there are those who’d like to subvert it. And, of course, Bitcoin has its fair share of the usual human problems.

The more overt attacks have pretty well failed thus far. Bitcoin, after all, is just a computer program, meaning that there’s no head that can be cut off, killing it with a single blow. On top of that, Bitcoin is protected with encryption end to end, and it’s more or less impossible to swing a sword, or a court order, against math. (Encryption being applied math.)

The usual types of subversion have likewise also failed to do a great deal of damage to Bitcoin and the younger cryptos. Fear of the regulator and especially the seduction of the regulator (“acceptance”) have been tried at length, and while they’ve left a few dents here and there, nothing fundamental has been destroyed.

As for human frailties, we’ve had those too, mostly notably young people finding themselves suddenly rich. That comes with more difficulties than those who haven’t been through it might expect. It’s what we used to call “a crazy-maker.”

Social Attacks

Put yourself in the position of needing to kill cryptocurrencies (for whatever reason), and not having a great deal of success. You can’t cut off its head and regulating it to death isn’t working very well. What choices do you have left?

Well, the next choice is to subvert via social manipulation. If you can’t get at the tech directly, and if there aren’t one or two humans who can sway the whole thing, you’re left to run social attacks. After all, with no one to run miners, develop new applications and so on, the computer programs would sit idle. And so, the intelligent attacker must go after a large number of people at the same time. It’s far from an ideal solution, but they really have no choice.

And so have come, as it seems to me, social attacks on Bitcoin and its younger siblings. I see (or think I see) two particular types that have arisen. These could have come from the negative psychology that floods the world these days – that is, without any particular intent – but I’ve seen this kind of thing before and underestimated it((I saw the beginnings of political correctness back in the 1980s and passed it off as so ridiculous that it would never last. I wasn’t in a position to do much about it then, but mea culpa all the same.)). I don’t want to do that again. 

Social Attack #1

Social attack #1 is something I’ve heard rumors about but can’t verify. The story goes that three or four years ago someone tried to get some bad code into BTC by either manipulating or attacking Bitcoin Core, the primary developers. The attacks weren’t physical, but they were serious.

In such a case, you survive the attack by saying, “I don’t care, call me an asshole.” That’s a necessary stand to take from time to time, and if the rumors are true, it was a good thing for the developers to do.

Social Attack #2

So, if you can’t kill it or subvert it very well… and if your first social attack fails as well, what are you to do?

Sadly, the answer is to take whatever opposite inertia was generated by Social Attack #1, and push it to its extreme.

And that’s what appears to have happened. I think we’ve all seen “I’m a Bitcoin hard-ass” posts on Twitter. It’s turning into a divide and conquer situation, pitting one part of the community against the other. And if it grows, it may slowly poison the whole.

This is a generational problem as well. The younger generation have been shoved into polarities by political types: Either they go Social Justice Warrior on the feeling side, self-righteously attacking anyone who doesn’t carry their feelings, or they go caveman on the other, thinking that kindness is weakness and that insults are the path to strength and truth.

This also plays into divide and conquer.

Is some person or group fanning these flames purposely? I don’t know, but it’s what an intelligent villain would do.

In The End…

In the end, it doesn’t much matter whether these attacks come from agents provocateurs or from human frailty. What does matter is that they are recognized and stopped.

The crypto community needs to become the adults of the financial world, not the squabbling teenagers. And we’re quite capable of doing that, even if prodded toward lesser paths.

Both sides of the polarity are bad choices. We need to be hard when it’s required and cooperative at all other times.

We’re not going to get to the goal by being squishy or by playing hard-ass. It behooves us to find balance and to keep our focus on the goal.

* * * * *

The novel that helped put the crypto revolution into high gear.

Comments from readers:

“Of the twenty five or so people I worked with last fall, all of them revered A Lodging of Wayfaring Men as a bible. They referred to the house and their community effort as a Lodge. We all felt it was modeled on the Free Souls.”

“Actually, I am somewhat at a loss as to how I might explain how I feel about this book other than to say what a great mind to write such an awesome story!”

“I’m an Old guy and find that Rosenberg has captured many Real-World truths in this novel. I wish the Millennial Generation would read this novel and consider the concepts and rationale presented here.”

Get it at Amazon or on Kindle.

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

9/11: The Greatest Gift the Status Quo Ever Got

911

I’m not saying that 9/11 was anything but a sick, evil disaster. Nor am I placing blame for it on any person or group; I’m not interested in wasting time in that quagmire.

What I am saying is that the status quo in America – compliance without question, shutting our eyes to abuse, and forever finding reasons to believe – was aided by the 9/11 event more than anything else in our lifetimes.

This has had consequences and will continue to have consequences, and not good ones. A compliant populace is an open doorway to abuse, and the American populace has set an all-time record for compliance since the event.

Who Benefited?

Whatever the reasons behind it, we have to admit that the ruling classes in the US played 9/11 to the hilt. Consider:

  • The warfare industries have seen their greatest and most prolonged boom times ever. The war in Afghanistan (not to mention Iraq, the War on Drugs, and all the small ones) has gone on for 17 years – as long as US involvement in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam combined – and has kept an ocean of money flowing through the war industry’s coffers. Young Americans are still being killed and dismembered for no clear reason, but the money keeps flowing. And every significant sporting event begins with a worship service to the military. These are the times of legend.

  • A huge number of aid agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are drinking deep from the streams of war funding. I’ll forgo details, but those with experience know.

  • The myriad bureaus and agencies of government are funded like never before, have more exorbitant pensions and benefits than ever before, and are questioned less than ever before. Concerns about “big government” are far behind us; this is the era of mega-government. And it reigns inviolate.

  • The Fed and big banks have more power and protection than ever before. Bailouts are made first and laws changed afterward. Banks borrow at nearly 0% and buy Treasuries at about 3%. The Fed purchases trillions of dollars’ worth of houses and stocks.

  • The investing class, as a result of Fed purchases, has been provided with massive gains in both stocks and bonds. The tax man has taken in record amounts as a result.

  • The PATRIOT Act – literally pulled out of a drawer and passed in record time after the 9/11 event – has continued unabated for 16½ years. Spy agencies are funded beyond all previously imaginable limits. The number of spy units has exploded, and the number of consultant firms has exploded even more.

  • Major corporations have been strip-mining the American populace. In the face of mute compliance, they simply pay for laws and regulations to be written as they like. Easy-peasy. Are we to believe it’s accidental that our health insurance rates are skyrocketing while the quality of care tumbles? Are the doctors suddenly worse? Did all the nurses suddenly go crazy? Of course not; the mega-corps – from insurance to pharmaceuticals – paid politicians to write laws their way, leaving a helpless populace to cover the bills. Like taking candy from a baby.

  • The news channels became cultural influences like never before. These outfits (and I mean this very literally) addicted millions of Americans to fear and politics. And they have profited thereby.

  • The enforcer class (police departments, etc.) has been worshiped as perma-heroes, has had rivers of money and military toys thrown at them, and has been authorized to force Americans to prostrate themselves. That’s a lot of ego-cocaine.

Trend Without End?

The beneficiaries of the 9/11 event will most certainly try to keep their good times going, but in the end it all rests upon the unquestioning compliance of the populace. And so we ask:

  • Can the military-industrial complex rely upon ever-more terrors? And if not, won’t the necessary fear fade? Will their partnership with evangelical Christianity hold forever?

  • Will government officials reverse the course of history, with more power producing less corruption? And if not, won’t corruption matter again someday?

  • Can the mega-corps strip-mine the populace even worse?

  • Can cops (or their bosses) get the populace to enjoy being intimidated, searched, and raided?

  • Can Hollywood and government schools produce yet another generation in the baby boom model?

We’ve been at peak compliance for nearly 17 years, and it’s hard to see the trend continuing forever. “Trend without end” is one of the worst bets in history after all.

It’s time to move on.

* * * * *

A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:

  • I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.
  • Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.
  • There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.
  • Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.

Get it at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)

TheBreakingDawn

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com