I’d like to introduce you to what I call the Luddite/Technologist line. Or simply, the Luddite line.
To explain the Luddite line I only need to explain the two extremes, which are already quite self-evident. On the one extreme you have the Luddite. The Luddites were a secret oath-based organization of textile workers in England in the 19th century. Luddites feared that the time spent learning their craft would go to waste as their jobs got replaced by machines. They destroyed textile machinery in protest (which sounds a lot like most South Africans try to solve their problems as well). As time went on and the Luddite movement failed to stop the inevitable automation, the word simply became a way to describe people who are opposed to technology.
On the other side of the horizontal line is the other extreme of the Technologists. These are the equally unbalanced few that believe that all the worlds problems can be solved by technology and technology alone. A simple example of someone like this would be another South African boytjie named Elon Musk. Elon is an example (not completely fair example) of someone who believes that human problems are only a few inventions away from being solved. In the end you get someone who gets divorced every couple of years, has no problem lying, and creates some of the most amazing things that the world has ever seen. Another way to spot a technologist is when you try to insult them by calling them something like ‘nerd’ or ‘geek’ and they end up smiling, completely ruining a perfect slur aimed at them.
Of course, this is just the two extremes of a spectrum that people fall into quite naturally. Most of us are somewhere in the middle, and some of us can even fluctuate on the line during certain times and certain periods of our lives. Most of us know our way around an excel spreadsheet and most of us shun technology when we want to unwind in the bush (except when we take photos of elephants and share them on the gram).
I thought of the Luddute line because I’ve found something interesting has happened to me since I’ve have gone down what is proverbially called the “Bitcoin rabbit hole.”
Simply put: As I move down the rabbit hole, I also move horizontally on the Luddite line.
Now before I start explaining why I think this has happened I want to make some things clear:
- This has been a small movement and the vertical movement down the rabbit hole is not directly proportional to the Luddite-line.
- The technology movement has been bitcoin/internet specific. I don’t suddenly want to buy a watch that monitors my heart rate and interrupts me with notifications while I destroy plebeians on FIFA.
So what has driven this movement along the Luddite line?
Before I ever discovered bitcoin, a computer, for me, was simply a thing I used for excel spreadsheets and internet research for my job, something to watch pirated movies and series on, and way back in the day a thing I used to play Age of Empire 2 on.
I’ve just never been that interested in technology overall. Unlike most bitcoiners today, I was usually called to come inside before it got dark rather than chased away from computers to go play outside. Gaming for me was done on a console at a friend’s house while we smoked hubly (hookah) and bunked (skipped) school.
So what attracted me to bitcoin has always been the abstract ideas rather than the practical technology behind it. I find the technology absolutely fascinating now, don’t get me wrong, but that’s not what brought me to bitcoin in the first place.
Coming to bitcoin as a relative ideological Luddite, one is forced to confront ideas and inventions like Merkle Trees, Sha256, block sizes and their effects on decentralization, Asics, hardware wallets, cold storage, soft forks, hard forks, and so on and so on. And along with all these new technological elements came new ideological elements as well. I swear to God before I discovered bitcoin, I was one of the people who actually said the sentence “Why would you care about privacy if you have nothing to hide?”
All these new considerations has had a profound impact on the way I approach life. Not in the “OH MY GOD BITCOIN HAS CHANGED MY LIFE!” culty/cunty kind of way, but the “Oh my God Bitcoin has changed my life.” kind of way. Bitcoin doesn’t fix everything, but it does fix a lot of things, and more importantly, FAR more importantly, bitcoin makes you think about things. It makes you reconsider things, it makes you aware of things, and it makes you change things.
I’ve changed a lot of things in the last 2 years since I first started my journey down the rabbit hole – practical things. I’ve changed the way I browse the internet, the way I share information, the way I store money, my focus on privacy and the way I take back my data, the way I plan to fight Moloch and the State.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s too late for me. I discovered bitcoin and the importance of privacy way too late, everything about me is already public and known. I’ve been fully packaged, analyzed, and resold all around the globe of information and advertiser. BUT, the habits I learn today are not only my habits. These are habits I will pass on; to my kids, to my family, to my friends, to my pack and my community. Because (and I hope my boy Ben Hunt is listening), through bitcoin, I have come to realize that it’s not by shunning technology that we fight the forces that try to use it against us, but by embracing it.
Bitcoin’s rabbit hole has a very interesting side effect for all relative Luddites out there like me. The horizontal move along the Luddite line teaches us skills and hygiene that will be important going forward. Bitcoin is not “Money capital M!” Bitcoin is just money, but at least it’s money in the right direction.Tags: bitcoin South Africa