This is an opinion editorial by Conor Chepenik, a contributor to Bitcoin Magazine.
Humans are derivatives of other humans. Initially, we learn how to act based on our parents’ behavior and as we get older we develop critical thinking skills and parrot the talking points of others that resonate with us. That is why choosing what you fill your mind with has never been more important. As humanity continues down the information technology revolution we need people focused on building new systems that prioritize love, liberty, freedom and fairness. I worry that our current system is filled with people trying to impose top-down controls or figuring out how to go viral.
But blaming people for wanting to go viral is a lousy argument.
“Show me the incentives and I’ll show you the outcome.” – Charlie Munger.
Some people with large online followings provide legitimate value, but the majority post half-truths in an effort to make their followers trust them. Not many influencers showcase their struggles because nobody wants to buy a product from someone who is miserable. Influencers need to sell the idea that you can have a life like theirs if you buy their course, product or whatever else they might be peddling. It takes a lot of curating to fill a social media feed with people who provide real value. If you don’t put in this time up front, your feed will be filled with products that are like altcoins: cheap knock-offs. Munger might be wrong about Bitcoin, but he was spot-on about incentives. Social media companies want to keep people scrolling on their platforms so they can monetize our attention. Thus, when you ask kids what they want to be when they grow up, the majority say a social media celebrity rather than a scientist, firefighter, astronaut, engineer or any other profession that benefits society.
So when did everything become so perverse that children are more eager to show off their life online rather than do a job that benefits society? It is impossible to pin this to an exact moment, but I’d argue it all started when the Bank of England decided to monopolize credit to fund their war efforts. This type of top-down control was the first form of quantitative easing and the inception of the credit-based fiat system, or “The Original Sin” as Saifedean Ammous calls it. Credit is never as good as gold, but when a bank acts like its credit is, the result is devastating. The incentives that came out of this have made the fiat system a truly sinister one. This quote from Ammous on The Lex Fridman Podcast is a perfect example …….