A Better World than Google’s
I first stumbled upon the book “Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of Blockchain Economy” after following the link provided in Community Token Talk Episode 45.
The book has 278 pages. After two days, I reached the 6th chapter. I paused for a while and decided to do a reflection on Chapter 5.
Among the ten laws in the crypto space mentioned by George Gilder in the fifth chapter, I find five of them very interesting and liberating. They are as follows:
Centralization is not safe
Stable money endows humans with dignity and control.
Asymmetry law, and
Private keys are held by individual human beings, not by governments or Google.
Among the foregoing five rules, I find “asymmetry law” most difficult to understand. I think I first encountered this term a few months ago after reading one of geekgirl’s posts. Anyhow, the contrast of asymmetry law to symmetrical encryption explained by the author somehow made this difficult technical concept easy to comprehend for a common man like me:
A message coded by a public key can be decrypted only by the private key, but the private key cannot be calculated from the public key. Asymmetric codes that are prohibitively difficult to break but easy to verify give power to the people. By contrast, symmetrical encryption gives power to the owners of the most costly computers (p. 48).
As for the first law, “security first” (p.47), this is how Gilder describes it:
Just as you are part of a biological ledger, inscribed through time in DNA codes and irreversible by an outside power, your properties and transactions compose an immutable ledger. Just as you are bound in time, every entry in the cryptocosmic ledger is timestamped” (ibid.)
Again, the above quote reminds me of distributed ledger technology (DLT) that the taskmaster keeps on explaining in his LeoFinance articles.
By the way, as for the definition of the term “cryptocosmic” there, I find this link explains cryptocosm better. The word is defined as “the blockchain-based universe” and synonymous with “cryptoverse” and “cryptosphere”. This would mean everything happening in the crypto space is part of that cryptocosm. They include cryptocurrencies, dApps, NFTs, smart contracts, DeFi, and other related services.
Centralization is not Safe
I love the second rule, “centralization is not safe” (ibid.).
I first stumbled upon the concept of decentralization among libertarians and advocates of the free market sometime in 2009. I never expected that this idea is very important in the blockchain and cryptocurrency community. In this space, I see how such an esoteric and abstract idea became a concrete reality.
Imagine how Gilder describes Google repeating Darwin’s mistake in fighting this basic framework of the human minds and genes:
Secure positions are decentralized ones, as human minds and DNA codes are decentralized. Darwin’s mistake, and Google’s today, is to imagine that identity is a blend rather than a code—that machines can be a singularity, but human beings are random outcomes” (ibid.).
Moreover, if Gilder is accurate in his interpretation, the ongoing battle about regulating cryptocurrency exposes the real identities of thieves for they alone will benefit from such centralization. Despite the rhetoric for public safety in financial transactions and concern for investors’ protection popularized by politicians, lawmakers, and big guys on Wallstreet who advocate for centralization and regulation of the crypto space, in reality, they don’t care about “poverty reduction” and “economic inclusion”. Their primary and real concern is to perpetuate a system that they can continually steal.
A financial system that violates the law of God on the sanctity of private property cannot go on forever. Sooner or later, there will be divine judgment. We just don’t know in what form it will come. Perhaps in the wisdom of God, the peer-to-peer system is the way out of such an unjust system and also the way to return power back to the people:
Centralization tells thieves what digital assets are most valuable and where they are. It solves their most difficult problems. Unless power and information are distributed throughout the system peer to peer, they are vulnerable to manipulation and theft from the blenders at the top” (ibid.).
Law on Stable Money
As for the law on stable money, this reminds me of the stablecoins and our very own HIVE Backed Dollar (HBD). A lot of discussion on HBD has already been given on Hive and LeoFinance. It is good to receive confirmation from an expert like Gilder that stable money provides a corrective against power freaks and is integral for humans to maintain dignity and freedom:
Stable money endows humans with dignity and control (p. 48).
Without stable money, an economy is governed only by time and power (ibid.).
The Role of Private Keys
The ninth rule, but fifth on my list, speaks about the role of private keys in enforcing property rights, liberty, and true empowerment:
Private keys enforce property rights and identities (ibid.).
Ownership of private keys distributes power (ibid.).
And then Gilder asked:
How will your experience of the world change when these ten rules define the new system? (ibid.).
He then proceeds to contrast the difference between the world dominated by Google and big data to an emerging world powered by blockchain and cryptocurrency.
World Powered by Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
Google is hierarchical. Life after Google will be heterarchical. Google is top-down. Life after Google will be bottom-up” (ibid.).
I like that “bottom-up” concept of life. This to me is real decentralization.
Whereas Google now controls your information and uses it free of charge, you will be the master of your own information and charge for it freely (p. 49).
This is related to the fourth rule where he said nothing is free. The idea that “if the product is free, it only means that you are the product” is now popular on social media. But still many either don’t realize yet the implication of this truth or they don’t know what to do with it.
Whereas Google envisages an era of machine dominance through artificial intelligence, you will rule your machines, and they will serve you as intelligent, willing slaves” (ibid.).
This answers the question of whether technology will either be our master or our servant. I prefer the latter.
Whereas Google’s ‘free world’ tries to escape the laws of scarcity and the webs of price, you will live in a world brimming with information on the real costs and most efficient availabilities of what you want and need . . . The crude imperatives of ‘free’ will give way to the calibrated voluntary exchanges of free markets and micropayments (ibid.).
I like that last word, “micropayments”. This opens doors of opportunities to small players, for those who don’t have the privilege to possess huge buying power.
Here on Hive, I see the most concrete application of this reality in the idea of Hive as a compounding machine or a tool for micro-investment through numerous front-ends and their tokens.
Whereas the Google world is stifling entrepreneurs’ access to the public markets through initial public offerings . . . the new world will offer an array of new paths to an enterprise. From initial coin offerings and token issues to crowd-funded projects, new financial devices are already empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs (ibid.).
Access to credit for the micro, small, and medium and enterprises (MSMEs), that’s a big “wow!” for me. This would enlarge the economic pie of the nations and the world through the economic activity of MSMEs. They are the ones that provide millions of jobs.
Whereas the Google world is layered with middlemen and trusted third parties, you will deal directly with others around the globe with scant fees or delays” (p. 50).
Retaining third parties in traditional financial transactions is very expensive. Instead of wasting such capital on unnecessary middlemen, better to use it to expand the economy.
Emerging is a peer-to-peer swarm of new forms of direct transactions beyond national borders and new forms of Uber and Airbnb beyond corporate gouges. Whereas the Google world confines you to one place and time and life, the new world will open up new dimensions and options of new life and experience where the only judge is the sovereign you (ibid.).
I love the idea of multiple digital citizenships! The geographical limitation will no longer be an issue. From physical rivers to seas and oceans that define ancient civilization to modern times, in the post-modern era, the old avenues of wealth will have their parallel counterpart in the digital space. With this shift in geography, a new economy is now emerging!
Grace and peace!
Source: George Gilder, Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of Blockchain Economy, 2018, pp. 46-50.