The Sovereign Individual ~ by James Dale Davidson and William Reese Morgue
The Sovereign Individual is one of those books that forever changes the way you see the world. It was published in 1997, but the extent to which it predicts the impact of blockchain technology will make you goosebumps. We are entering the fourth stage of human society, moving from the industrial to the information age. You need to read this book to understand the scope and scale of how things will change.
As it becomes easier to live comfortably and earn an income anywhere, we already know that those who are truly thriving in the new information age will be workers who are not tied to a job or career and are independent of location. Attracting people to choose where to live based on price savings is now more attractive, but it goes beyond digital nomadism and freelance concerts; the foundations of democracy, government and money are changing.
The authors predict Black Tuesday and the collapse of the Soviet Union, and here they predict that the growing power of the people will coincide with the decentralized technology that erodes the power of governments. The death toll in nation states, they predicted with extreme foresight, will be private, digital money. When that happens, the dynamics of governments as stationary bandits robbing hard-working citizens of taxes will change. If you have become someone who can solve people’s problems all over the world, then you are about to enter the new cognitive elite. Don’t miss this one.
Choice quote: “When technology is mobile and transactions take place in cyberspace, as is increasingly the case, governments will no longer be able to charge more for their services than they cost the people who pay for them.”
Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind ~ by Yuval Noah Harari
Whenever I want to impress someone with how good this book is, I ask, “Do you want to know the main difference between humans and monkeys? A monkey can jump up and down on a rock, swing a stick around and shout at his friends that he has seen a threat coming. “Danger! Danger! Leo! The monkey can lie too. He can jump up and down the rock and swing a stick around and shout for a lion when there is no lion. He is simply mistaken. But what the monkey can’t do is jump down and swing a stick around and shout, “Danger! Danger!” Danger! Dragon! ”
Why is this? Because dragons are not real. As Harari explains, the human imagination, our ability to believe and talk about things we have never seen or touched, has elevated us to cooperate in large numbers with strangers. There are no gods in the universe, no nations, no money, no human rights, no laws, no religions and no justice beyond the common imagination of the people. We are the ones who make them so.
All of this is a pretty great preamble to where we are today. After the Cognitive Revolution and the Agricultural Revolution, Harari takes you to the Science Revolution, which began only 500 years ago and which may begin something completely different for humanity. However, the money will remain. Read this book to understand that money is the greatest story ever told and that trust is the raw material from which all kinds of money are cut.
Selection quote: “Sapiens, in contrast, live in a three-layered reality. In addition to trees, rivers, fears and desires, the Sapiens world also contains stories about money, gods, nations and corporations.”
The Internet of Money ~ by Andreas M. Antonopoulos
If the two books mentioned above help us understand the historical context in which bitcoin first appeared, then this book expands the “why” with infectious enthusiasm. Andreas Antonopolos is perhaps the most respected voice in the crypto space. He has been traveling the world as a bitcoin evangelist since 2010, and this book is a summary of the conversations he has given along the chain between 2013 and 2016, all ready for publication.
His first book, Mastering Bitcoin, is a technical immersion in technology aimed specifically at developers, engineers, and software and system architects. But this book uses some metaphors of choice to explain why you can’t ban or exclude bitcoin, how the scaling debate doesn’t really matter, and why bitcoin needs the help of designers to conclude mass adoption.
“When you first drive your brand new car in the city,” he writes, “you drive on roads used by horses with infrastructure designed and used for horses. There are no light signals. There are no traffic rules. There are no paved roads. And what happened? “But fast forward a hundred years, and cars that were once ridiculed are the norm. If you want to swim around in the philosophical, social, and historical implications of bitcoin, this is your starting point.”
Quote for choice: “Bitcoin is not just money for the Internet. Yes, this is perfect money for the internet. It’s instant, it’s safe, it’s free. Yes, it’s money for the Internet, but it’s much more. Bitcoin is the internet of money. Currency is only the first application. If you understand this, you can look beyond price, you can look beyond instability, you can look beyond fashion. Bitcoin is basically a revolutionary technology that will change the world forever. Come join.”