Rule III: Do Not Hide Inflation in the Fog
A reimagination of “Beyond Order” by Jordan Peterson through the lens of Bitcoin.
This writing mirrors the exact chronological structure of “Beyond Order,” offering reflection through a Bitcoin lens. This is part 3 of a 12-part series. If you read the book, it adds a second dimension. All quotes credited to Jordan Peterson. All reflections inspired by Satoshi Nakamoto.
Those Damned Plates
“Do not pretend you are happy with something if you are not, and if a reasonable solution might, in principle, be negotiated. Have the damn fight.”
Governments assume the guise of the savior handing out trillions in stimulus money. When prices rise, they deny. Don’t pretend to be happy with your country’s monetary policy if you are not. The wealthy who already own assets get richer, the middle-class savers lose purchasing power, and the lower class watch the little they have vanish. The government is not here to save you. All currencies are being debased. Central banks are in a race to the bottom. The United States is printing with such intensity the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED) discontinued updates to its M1 Money Stock and M2 Money Stock charts. This censorship hides the unwanted in the fog.
Bitcoin gives the ordinary worker a fighting chance. Check out John Vallis’ podcast on Decentralized Grazing. His guests, UntappedGrowth and BitcoinAndCows, apply the Bitcoin ethos, restoring America’s soil bank, earning self-sovereignty and sidestepping fiat debt. His model forms a mutually beneficial trinity between investors, ranchers and landowners, who serve their own interests but create exponentially more fruit together through the wisdom of low time preference collaboration. That clears the fog. It puts the farmers and ranchers back to being caretakers of the soil instead of strip miners. This allows them to become stewards again because they are providing for themselves not just today but for tomorrow. Landowners by healing the land, herd owners by preserving the heritage cattle, and ranchers by doing the work. All together as one. It’s easier to aim at a brighter future when you step outside the fiat fog.
Have the damn fight, because you may not be able to take advantage of monetary debasement but monetary debasement is taking advantage of you. Adopt a Bitcoin state of mind and learn how to negotiate a better solution for yourself.
“Life is what repeats, and it is worth getting what repeats right.”
We are creatures of habit and routine. We use currency throughout our days. It’s worth getting the money right. When a better option presents itself with a low barrier to entry, it is your burden to bear if you do not seize that opportunity. An easy on-ramp is with the Fold App, a bitcoin rewards program for your fiat spending. Change your reward system: change your life without changing your day-to-day.
Just Not Worth the Fight
“It is difficult to win an argument, or even begin one, if you have not carefully articulated what you want (or do not) and need (or do not).”
Bitcoin exists in many layers of resolution. Figuring out where to start can be confusing. My breakthrough came from reading “The Internet of Money” series by Andreas Antonopoulos. It is a quick read that covers both the problem and the solution at a high level. Lay this foundation and you will be able to carefully articulate what you want and do not want.
“However, it is the easiest of matters, particularly in the short term, to ignore the prick of conscience and let the small defeats slide, day after day. This is not a good strategy.”
We all accept unfavorable status quos, including our money. In 2008, we were all taken aback when the government announced plans to print billions to stabilize markets. In 2020, billions became trillions. These stimulus plans are sold as short-term solutions conveniently omitting the detrimental long-term consequences. Like the fable of the boiling frog, we are being slowly boiled alive. No-coiners hypocritically claim the intellectual high ground. They complain about the unjust disparity caused by our monetary system and simultaneously plead ignorance to their participation as the accomplice looking for their handout. This short-term relief is not a good long-term strategy. It is desperate high time preference thinking. Recalibrate your lifestyle toward low time preference and you’ll be on your path to prosperity.
Corruption: Commission and Omission
“People generally believe that actively doing something bad (that is a sin of commission) is, on average, worse than passively not doing something good (that is the sin of omission).”
We all witnessed Wall Street commit crimes of commission against the r/wallstreetbets community over GameStop. It is bad enough that our money is being debased but GameStop adds insult to injury. When institutions collude in broad daylight, it inalienably exposes the asymmetrical game we all play just to stay ahead of inflation. Wall Street has created wealth for Boomers for decades, but their past success leaves them vulnerable to normalcy bias. What’s worked in the past no longer applies when something larger than Wall Street comes along. That thing is bitcoin. Bitcoiners have long memories and time continues to vindicate us. The internet never forgets and the writing is on the wall, continue ignoring bitcoin and trusting the bankers on Wall Street at your own peril. Here’s a snapshot of how it started and how it’s going.
Dancing on graves is, admittedly, unsportsmanlike conduct and a Bitcoin pastime. It is in poor taste, but I sympathize with the fact that Bitcoiners have endured years of ridicule by everyone. What can I say besides this is that we are all victims of our pride. Buy bitcoin if you prefer dancing on graves to becoming a cautionary tale. Refusal to add bitcoin to your portfolio to protect your pride (or staying on the sidelines because you take issue with Bitcoiners dancing on graves) is a lie of omission where you are both the actor and the victim.
What Is the Fog?
“…you are afraid that if you specify what you want precisely you will simultaneously discover (and all too clearly) what constitutes failure; you are afraid that failure is the most likely outcome; and, finally, you are afraid that if you define failure and then fail, you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was you that failed, and that is was your fault.”
Kobe Bryant dominated because he knew our generation is “soft like Charmin.” Society is littered with leaders who actively minimize skin in the game while attempting to maximize gains. We’ve exchanged human courage for computed risk adjustment. Bitcoin is a terrifying proposition to those individuals who have built careers on shirking responsibility while still capturing upside. In Bitcoin, you are the backstop. Bitcoin has no FDIC insurance. Bitcoins have infamously been lost forever. Mistakes tend to be terminal. Bitcoin ownership is similar to gun ownership. It’s a serious commitment and the consequence of failure falls squarely on your shoulders. That level of full responsibility removes weak hands or calluses them — natural selection. As the Bitcoin adage goes, “Not your keys, not your bitcoin.” Buy a hardware wallet. Learn to use multisig service like Unchained Capital and reduce the finality of mistakes — take on the burden of responsibility and clear the fog.
“The fog that hides is the refusal to notice — to attend to — emotions and motivational states as they arise, and the refusal to communicate them both to yourself and to the people who are close to you.”
All investors misread markets leading to missed opportunities. The worst investors insist on staying on the sidelines after new information is revealed. We’ve all doubled down on a bad position to appease our pride. Are you certain bitcoin is a scam? Or are you certain your financial woes can be overcome by doubling down on fiat currency? Put your cards on the table and be honest with yourself.
“Best to find out what is true — best to disperse the fog — and find out if the sharp objects you feared were lurking there are real or fantastical. And there is always the danger that some of them are real. But it is better to see them than to keep them occluded by the fog, because you can at least sometimes avoid the danger that you are willing to see.”
There is no end to Bitcoin FUD. Mainstream media has celebrated Bitcoin obituaries since Bitcoin’s birth. To know the truth requires searching through the fog first hand. That is the best way to turn confusion into clarity. Part of clearing the fog surrounding bitcoin is knowing that owning bitcoin can be dangerous but not owning bitcoin can be deadly. Disperse the fog so you know if bitcoin can work to your advantage.
Events and Memories
“We want to know what happened but, more importantly, we want to know why. Why is wisdom. Why enables us to avoid making the same mistake again and again, and if we are fortunate helps us repeat our successes.”
It’s good to know what purpose bitcoin serves, better to know how it works, and best to know why bitcoin matters. “Why” takes you to the level of architecture. The architect recognizes invisible patterns and has the ability to modify intelligently without jeopardizing collapse. An -80% downturn is sufficient to shake out most who simply know “what bitcoin is” as well as “how it works.” Knowing “why bitcoin matters” is the only path to unshakeable conviction capable of HODLing through an -80% downturn. Bitcoin maximalists who understand why it matters hold for reasons beyond price. Fiat currencies are a blueprint for obsolescence. Bitcoin is a blueprint for predictable success: Plan B’s Stock to Flow model predictably traces halving cycles. Bitcoin creates positive feedback loops.
Do not hide inflation in the fog.
This is a guest post by Nelson Chen. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.