Bitcoin And Spacefarers
THE BITCOIN ESSAYS
Originally Published March 2023
5 Minute Read
From dawning consciousness, humanity has been shrouded night and day by the ominous cloak of space. The darkness as suffocating as silence, yet filled with charming orbs glistening down like far-off Edison bulbs. We, as weary travelers, find their glow to be a comfort; as one would feel having been stranded near death, finally stumbling upon the sign of civilization. Yet comfort is met with the obvious paradox that by all appearances, at least to our perceptions, we are, if not entirely alone, lonely. Whether the former, the latter, or something entirely surprising, we know it was the pioneering spirit of our ancestors that brought us here, and the same leads us on toward the unknown. We shall endeavor to discover alien kin, or seek to spread the light of consciousness beyond Earth, forever our home. In some way, I too feel a strange disrespect in preemptively exploring Bitcoin in this context, as of course these speculations are self-evidently unknown. Yet perhaps the feeling lingered in the minds of the great fiction writers of the 20th Century who laid groundwork for what many today know only as blockbuster trilogies. In any event, I’m enjoying this so far, and I hope your imagination feels a gratifying stimulation reading my musings in this Essay as I explore what Bitcoin may mean for our heirs, the spacefarers.
Consider first, Earth is a spaceship. This paradigm shifted my thinking throughout the last several years. Not a sudden traumatic deconstruction, or even a conclusive determination. Rather, a subtle, yet rapid sway in perception one cannot help experience with the visions beaming out of the living room tele. For millennia, we perceived Earth as flat, resting on the firmest of substructures. A remarkable theatre situated at the heart of the universe. In time the realization crystallized that no, this stage is spherical, and stranger still, suspended, floating in nothing. Later yet, our theological institutions burned the infamous Galileo (if not in the flesh, with the simmering fire of exiled house arrest) for his correct posit that even more preposterously, our platform orbits the Sun; and if anything, we are the chariot rising at dawn and riding off into the sunset each evening. How odd the realities we perceive as obvious would appear to the oblivious mind of antiquated and ancient man.
So stretch your thinking with me, consider this globe, Earth, not as the bi-dimensional map you lay on your desk, but as the orb she is, suspended, floating in nothing. A cosmic rock marked with the strangest of qualities known to the cosmos itself – life. A lonely vessel drifting alone, propelled by resolving energy, carrying occupants in the Billions, the dead and the living, ever-peering through a global cockpit into a vast, uncharted, black sea. If the sky itself is indeed humanities next frontier, then perhaps truly it could be said, Earth is our first spaceship.
From our seats we rattle along through the 21st Century, entertained by philosophical futurists who speak of higher rungs on the ladder they call the Kardashev Scale. This hierarchy describes humanities potential future as one of ascent through three “types” of civilization, in which each is something like an achievement unlock with respect to our collective ability to harness energy;
Type 1: Present Earth condition is proto-Type 1. Yet still requiring a mastery and deployment of nuclear fusion. Traditionally defined as one that can harness all the energy reaching its home planet from the parent star. In our case, all solar energy radiating our surface from the Sun.
Type 2: This civilization harnesses ALL the energy radiating from its parent star. Construction and operation of a Dyson sphere.
Type 3: A civilization channeling energy on order with its own galaxy.
These ruminations are mesmerizing to the point of implausibility. Yet those who dream of distant futures cannot help but wonder.
It is this unchecked, irresponsible wonder I will endeavor to employ now as I propose how something like Bitcoin may be leveraged by future, global civilizations who no longer perceive “global” as spherical, but universal. If our present observations are consistent with some universal-time-fractal, then we even now, primitively see through a glass darkly. These heirs too would have a money language, assuming consciousness does not converge into one. In distant worlds resembling our own, there would be a form of commerce between independent parties exchanging whatever items and services they deem valuable. If our present, imperfect, understandings of the universe are on target, these future beings would still operate in the domain of bits of information, and joules of energy. In such case, though Bitcoin may by then appear as the wheel now appears to us, our descendants would congratulate us on this once in a civilization discovery.
Studying their history books, they might imagine what it must have been like to inhabit Earth in our present state. We would appear silly, drawing our invisible line-fictions, spilling blood over common territory, and in peace-time coordinating digital meetings across universal borders we recognize as time-zones. To these spacefarers there are still different mechanisms for time keeping, yet the pre-eminent is something like the Bitcoin block height. An incessant march of global supercomputers, competing for rights to append sacred data to the common record. All participants strewn throughout planet and star would recognize their own place in a particular block of transactions, which to them is now simply understood as communication.
In this dreamscape, our children radiate information undergirded and defended by energy itself. Their society may be universal, living in perpetual utopic peace. Or maybe this present image continues and Bitcoin’s “money for enemies” still engage in kinetic lethal warfare. Humanities quest for peace on Earth good will to men has yet found its fulfillment, and maybe many millennia from now the longing will continue with new somber songs sung on sacred holidays. The most remarkable wonder of it all is that even now we are somewhere lodged inseparably in this collective journey-narrative unfolding in space-time. This novel Bitcoin idea is striking the collective conscious through internet portals we call desktop computers. How odd and funny it would be for some future Dyson sphere to have Bitcoin, at least as common ancestor, facilitating the commerce of high-order civilization. To them, we are primitive Bitcoiners; to us, they are spacefarers.
This is Jonathan David Kellogg – Writing for
That Bitcoin Blog.
These are The Bitcoin Essays.
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