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Punk6529 On Taxis (This thread is 33 tweets, so you’ll need to click “show more” when the thread appears to stop)
Punk6529 On Freedom to Transact (This thread is 56 tweets, so you’ll need to click “show more” when the thread appears to stop)
The Witch Trials of JK Rowling
Parable of the farmer and the horse
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Nicki: It’s time to make your health an act of rebellion. We’re tackling personalized nutrition, metabolic flexibility, resilient aging, and answering your diet and lifestyle questions. This is the only show with the bold aim to help one million people liberate themselves from the sick care system. You’re listening to the Healthy Rebellion Radio. The contents of this show are for entertainment and educational purposes only.
Nothing in this podcast should be considered medical advice. Please consult your licensed and credentialed functional medicine practitioner before embarking on any health dietary or fitness change. Warning, when Robb gets passionate, he’s been known to use the occasional expletive. If foul language is not your thing, if it gets your bridges in a bunch, well, there’s always Disney Plus
Robb: Folks, I think we are back.
Nicki: Excuse me. We are back. That was a little bit more rigamarole than we had anticipated.
Robb: Fortunately, none of you went through that.
Nicki: Yes. The software that we use to record our podcast, apparently we needed to upgrade it, so we had a little bit of a thing, but we’re here now. This is episode 143 of the Healthy Rebellion Radio. And this is going to be somewhat of a different episode than what we’re used to. It’s not going to be a Q&A this time. Let’s see if I can manage to figure out how to update our iTunes podcast card.
You guys probably have already noticed by the time this airs that it’s different, and you might be wondering what is going on with Robb and Nicki, their podcast card is different. It’s not their faces anymore. Why does it say “freedom to transact” all over the image now? So we’re going to kind of dig into some of that today. Obviously as you can see, the title of this episode is Freedom to Transact. We’ve been talking about doing a show on this very topic for a couple of months.
Robb: Yeah. And I think we’ve dropped a few hints about this, but yes.
Nicki: For sure. For sure. And in fact, I think the first time we mentioned it was last year, right around probably almost near to the day, because I think it was last February when all of the Canadian trucker stuff was going on. And we mentioned the Twitter account. It’s a pseudonymous Twitter account, Punk6529, we’ve mentioned him on the show before, and I’ve actually read pieces of one of his Twitter threads, Freedom to Transact.
So for those of you who didn’t hear that and aren’t familiar with him, he’s a very prominent figure in the crypto and NFT space known for really epic and insightful tweet threads. He’s a very staunch advocate of decentralization, the freedom to transact and also an open metaverse. So we’re going to dig into this topic and some of the stuff that he’s doing in this episode. I guess it’s a little bit of a divergence, but Robb metaverse, right? We’re a health podcast. When you hear the word metaverse, what do you think most people think of when they hear those words?
Robb: Well, you asked me this earlier and my initial thought is metaverse, geeks living in their mother’s basement wearing VR goggles doing things that we shutter to even think about.
Nicki: Well, and then the girls we’ve watched a couple of, even in HGTV, there’s some shows I remember one family was getting their house redone, and the boys and the family had, I don’t know if they’re the Oculus goggles or whatever they are, but they were doing VR stuff with goggles on. So I think most folks, well, I don’t know, I’m not going to speak for most folks, but me personally, and I know a lot of people that kind of follow this ancestral way of health living, we’re kind of scared of that.
Are people really going to just wear goggles and not interact with people and not have real relationships and not play outside and not garden and get your hands dirty and raise animals and feed yourself well and exercise all the things that we want to do? Exercise in real life. Are people going to just be doing that with a headset on? And I wanted to bring this up because I think that’s what a lot of folks in our kind of industry might think. And my eyes have been kind of opened by Punk6529 on this topic because he said in his mind, we’re already living in a metaverse.
Any of the amount of time that you spend online, whether it’s on Facebook or Twitter or any online communities that you’re a part of, even the Healthy Rebellion that is sort of the metaverse of today. And just in the way that the internet itself has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. So too, will it change 10 years from now. So Metaverse is really just the internet. It’s going to get more advanced. There will be some augmented reality stuff.
There will be some more virtual reality stuff probably, but it’s technology that’s not going to stop. It was kind of funny, yesterday in the car we were listening to, there’s a new podcast series out published by the Free Press, Barry Weiss’s platform called The Witch Trials of JK Rolling and in one of the clips in there, in this in chapter two, they were playing a lot of audio clips from things that happened in the 1990s. And there was, I don’t know, a newscaster or somebody who was saying-
Robb: What do these three seemingly disconnected people have in common? And it was Bill Clinton, the president of the United States, Billy Idol and Rush Limbaugh. And it was email that these-
Nicki: And it was imagine your best broadcaster voice. What do Billy Idol, Bill Clinton and Rush Limbaugh have in common? They all three just started sending and receiving electronic mail, this thing called email. And hearing it now you’re like, “Oh my gosh.” It’s hard to remember that time when people didn’t use email. So all that to say-
Robb: In that case it was making the point about the very burgeoning phenomena of being online and the ability to connect online and what that might portend for the future.
Nicki: And all that to say is that there was a time when people weren’t using email and people weren’t shopping online. And even though interacting in the metaverse or crypto or NFTs and all these things might seem super foreign and oh, I’m never going to do it. People said, “I’m never going to do it.” For a lot of things 20 years ago also. So I think of this episode as just sort of A, we’re going to talk a ton about Freedom to Transact because it is hugely important and I think you all probably agree.
And if you don’t know that you agree, you hopefully you’ll agree by the end of this episode, but then just the technology that goes along with all of this stuff, it’s happening, it’s coming, so let’s figure out how we can get the version of it that we feel like is going to bring humanity to where we want it to go. We don’t want it controlled by-
Robb: And I think an important point to make here is that we have a potential in which the Zuck could own the metaverse that we interact with. It could be this centrally owned, administered, curated metaverse where you could deplatformed pretty easily or your whole presence could be expunged from the internet, which is weren’t removed from the internet, but the reason why the Healthy Rebellion was spun up is because Google in its Owl update made it virtually impossible to find our work online.
So there’s the potential that we have a centrally owned metaverse or a decentralized metaverse where people can interact as they see fit and it will have challenges associated with it. There will be bad people who do bad things, but then by and large just interactions and everyday life. This is not to go too far down the road, but this is one of the arguments in favor of a central bank digital currency that we could shut down drug trafficking and this and that, and it basically turns everybody into a criminal.
It’s assumed everybody is a criminal, so nobody should have the right to transact and they’re a medium that is largely untrackable. So we’re going to do away with that and make it impossible to have an interaction that doesn’t leave a footprint. And as an aside with that, and I don’t know if this gets too far down this whole story, because all of this information is on the blockchain, there is actually a history of transaction here, which I think is good in a lot of ways.
If people were following the FTX debacle, you could see that people were trying to pull bit large sums of money out of different accounts and shuffle it around. You don’t always, and generally don’t really know who it is, but it’s like, “Whoa, there’s something weird going on there. So it’s interesting in that our interactions could be anonymous, but it also could be tracked to see if something really weird and nefarious is in fact going on.
Nicki: Lots of visibility for sure. But your point in the beginning there about the Zuckerberg owning something or somebody like him or it being open and free is 6529’s point. And that’s when he says that he’s an advocate for an open metaverse and in fact he’s trying to build a version of one. And that is what that means. We want something that is free and accessible to anyone. And also where you can’t just be willy-nilly deplatformed. And we’ll get into more of that stuff here.
Robb: And I’ll throw one other quick thought into this. If you think that it’s unreasonable that one individual could or maybe a few individuals, which all of these folks know each other, they’re all on-
Nicki: Team tech bro.
Robb: Team tech bro. The rule of online experience is monopoly. There ends up being a singular winner.
Nicki: It didn’t used to be that way though. When the internet came online, it was all based in academia, in the very, very early beginnings and then it became Silicon Valley applications.
Robb: Even in the real world, monopoly is a tendency for things to move towards, particularly in capitalistic societies. And this is supposed to be the role, at least in part that government plays, is to get in and break up monopolies and start the engines of competition over again.
Nicki: Not leverage them to their-
Robb: Not leverage them to spy on us.
Nicki: … for their own names on us.
Robb: And the Twitter files and all that type of stuff. So if you push back a little bit at the notion that this could be consolidated into a single individual or a small group of people owning all of our metaverse experience, I just have to say you’re foolish at this point because it’s apparent in front of us. We have a search engine that has one search. Now there might be things like chat GPI that-
Robb: GPT that replaces it, but all it did is replace it. It didn’t decentralize it. We have something like Amazon that has really captured physical goods distribution. There’s a little bit of battle over say music distribution and stuff like that, but by and large, all of that stuff has tended towards this kind of monopolistic end point. And if you can own everything that folks are doing, if you’ve got a platform where people will get their music and maybe they do their virtual shopping through this portal like Meta we’re looking at we’re heading down this monopolistic centralized process.
Or if we work like crazy, then we might be able to get this decentralized future like Punk6529 is talking about. And that we have talked about with regards to health access. I for ages I’ve said we should have five or 10 American medical associations. We should have five or 10 food and drug administrations all of them competing each against each other. And we would sort a lot of shit out. Part of the problem that we have is the centralization of power and monopolies that then just protect themselves. And they have no competition. They have no real transparency to them, no answerability to anyone else.
Nicki: They become protectionist.
Nicki: Yeah. Yep. Okay. Well, as I mentioned, last year around this time, I read some excerpts from Punk6529’s thread on the freedom to transact. I’m not going to read that today, but I am just going to give an overview of that thread. I’ll link to it in the show notes. It’s very, very detailed and it’s a wonderful read. I highly recommend everybody listening read it. If you haven’t yet, if you’ve read it last year, read it again. It’s just that good. But in a nutshell, he wrote this thread right during the protests that were happening in Canada when Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada was freezing bank accounts of the protestors.
And the thesis in this thread is without the Freedom to Transact we have no other constitutional rights in substance. So freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, all of these other freedoms are null and void if you can’t transact, if you have no access to funds. So if you wanted to go and protest somewhere or join an assembly, you might need a bus ticket or a plane ticket or gas for your car. If you can’t access your funds, you can’t participate in that freedom of speech, maybe you want to start a website, maybe you need to print some pamphlets, maybe all of these things to get your voice out there.
We had to update our software for this podcast. If we didn’t have access to our funds, we wouldn’t have been able to do that and you wouldn’t be listening to this show. So it’s a wonderful read, very eye-opening read, and I think he’s spot on. The freedom to transact really underpins all other freedoms. So again, that will be linked in the show notes. And the reason we’re dedicating an episode to this topic, the reason we’ve changed our podcast artwork is because the freedom to transact is directly tied to health.
Robb: If we saw anything through COVID, we saw lots of things, but one of the things that we experienced that we’ve never experienced before on the ivermectin topic or the hydroxychloroquine topic and just exploring alternate therapeutics like acetyl cystine for a time looked like it was going to be pulled from the market, we had this process of the government and public health intervening between us and our healthcare providers. And this has never really happened. It’s happened in certain circumstances. And it’s kind of interesting if you look at some of the movies like the Dallas Buyers Club talking about the early days of the AIDS HIV process, which ironically Dr. Tony Fauci was instrumental in creating chaos within that scenario.
But there were people actively trying to find alternate methods of treatment and dealing with the situation and the government, public health ended up intervening. And so in getting a little bit more further afield, but I think actually more at the brass tack of where we’re going to see things happening. We’ve seen places like Sri Lanka spin on a dime and say that they needed to shift their food production 100% to quote “organic” to deal with climate change and what was once a thriving and upwardly mobile developing country has backslid massively. We have overt starvation occurring there.
And in the Netherlands, 3,000 farms have apparently been put on the chopping block in which the government is going to buy these people out and take these farms offline again to meet quote “climate” change directives. And were not climate change deniers, but I do not remotely think that the way that this is being addressed will do anything to actually affect the end stage of climate change. What it may do is create massive food insecurity and create all kinds of havoc and drama, but that carbon footprint as it relates to climate change is tied into health, is tied into social justice topics. And so it becomes this whirling blade that whatever you try to interact with it about, there’s some answer to it that takes away your freedoms.
Nicki: 100%. Okay. Before we dig into this a little bit more, a word from our sponsor. This episode of the Healthy Rebellion Radio is sponsored by our SaltyAF electrolyte company LMNT. If you eat low carb or Keto, if you’re an athlete, if you have muscle cramps, if you have an active job, work in hot or humid conditions, if you’re breastfeeding mom, if you have pots, if you do winter sports, skiing, snowboarding, cross country, if you’re just feeling a little tired and need a natural energy boost without caffeine LMNT is for you. Our customers love LMNT and the variety of flavors we have.
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Grab your LMNT drinklmnt.com/robb. That’s drink L-M-N-T.com/R-O-B-B. and if you buy three boxes, you get the fourth box free. Join our insiders bundle. Again, that’s drinklmnt.com/robb, drink L-M-N-T.com/R-O-B-B. Okay, so back to the freedom to transact again. The reason we’re dedicating an episode to this topic, the reason we’ve changed our podcast artwork is because of the freedom to transact is directly tied to health. It is the same. It means the same as having the freedom to feed ourselves how we want, to buy meat directly from farmers to purchase the freedom to purchase meat at all.
You never know what to believe, but there’s stuff swirling around out there that cricket protein is going to be the way and animal meat is going to be considered dirty or wrong and who knows? If some of these CBDC centralized bank digital currencies come into effect you can imagine a future where, “Oh, I’m sorry, Robb, you’ve purchased too much meat this week, you’re no longer able to use your dollars for that.”
Robb: Thrive, the 15 cities and yeah.
Nicki: Yeah. Freedom to seek healthcare from providers we choose. Freedom to purchase medicines. I mean, you kind of touched on that earlier, but during COVID doctors were prescribing medications and pharmacies were not fulfilling those prescriptions, which was a first ever. And again, that’s a little bit different. That’s not like at that point the customer wasn’t able to purchase something because of government oversight on purchasing, but the restriction was there at the pharmacy level.
Freedom to ask questions in a public forum or social media site, even if it’s unpopular or thorny without getting backlash from your bank or a payment provider. That’s a big one. Freedom to talk about things that have a high level of nuance without having financial repercussions. So I think most people, I don’t know. Robb, what do you think? If you were to ask a bunch of people, man on the street style, what percentage of people do you think would say that they believe that everyone should have the freedom to transact? Freedom to make purchases without some government oversight or third party oversight.
Robb: Are we in Portland, San Francisco, New York?
Nicki: That’s a really good point.
Robb: Canada, a lot of Canada, the scary thing for me is that, and I remember this from post 9/11 time, I was the person who was horrified by what had happened as a consequence of 9/11, but also as soon as we started making noise about going into Iraq and weapons of mass destruction and all kinds of things that just didn’t add up. And it seemed like there was some inside baseball there. I started asking questions and man, I was shouted down and harangued. You’re anti-American, you’re this, you’re that. And there was a time there where any questioning of this kind of war on terror and it wasn’t like, okay, we shouldn’t do this broadly, but do we do this and this? And it became this thing again where you either buy in wholesale with the whole package, sign off on it completely or you are an enemy of the state.
Nicki: I had to be black and white thinking.
Robb: Completely black and white thinking which going back to the JK rolling piece.
Nicki: Rolling piece. I’ll link to that in the show notes too, folks.
Robb: It’s fascinating.
Nicki: Again, it’s this woman who was able to interview her and interviewed a ton of detractors both from the early 2000, I know this is total aside here, but I think it’s important. Interviewed people that wanted to burn her books in the early 2000s because of it contained witchcraft and all of these occult references and then to today where people want to burn her at the stake because of her tweets regarding gender and identity. Anyway, there’s only two chapters out yet, but it’s so it’s phenomenal. It’s really well done.
Robb: So you asked this question, what percentage of people would say yes, freedom to transact is the most fundamental freedom? Especially if you walk them through this thing. The scary thing for me is that I would say maybe 30% or more of the general population would be of an opinion like “No, not everybody should have freedom to transact.” If you think in a particular way, and there are terrible people, there are people who are openly racist and I don’t like those people, I don’t support those people, but I also don’t think that they should be banked de platformed. What I think that they should be is argued against and proven to have an inferior worldview.
And then it doesn’t just fester and grow internally, but that, that’s a little bit of an aside, but I think that there would be a surprising number of people that now are so focused on safety and that they think that they can engineer the way that the world should be via dictate that they would be all in on, man, if you don’t fit a particular political affiliation or if you voted for a dude with orange hair or whatever, you should probably be deplatformed, you should probably live in the street in a gutter and maybe even worse.
Verses again, doing the kind of hard work of if you don’t agree with something, get out and advocate for what you do believe in and make the better case, build the better mouse trap. But I think that there’s an unfortunate number of people that don’t agree with that, and it doesn’t really take that many people when you think about mass formation psychosis and whatnot. And we learned recently that 80% of the traffic on Twitter is generated by 10% of the people. It’s a really skewed pareto distribution. And then people start believing, “Well, I guess it’s just the way that everybody is. And if I pop my head up and say something different, then I’m going to get it locked off.” So-
Nicki: People are going along because they think and they’re wrong. Again, this ties back to the micro episode that we mentioned last week. People believe that more people actually believe a certain viewpoint than actually do. So they go along with it.
Robb: And believe extreme viewpoints.
Nicki: And so they go along with it and instead of speaking up and using their voice and saying, “Hey, no, what about this? Are we sure that’s the way? Have we considered these other options?”
Robb: And I’ve been trying to think about how to couch some of this stuff, but when we think about health broadly, if we exercise, get some sun on our person, eat something that looks approximating real food, have some community, magic happens. And now there’s a lot of detail and a lot of nuance and a lot of individualized customization, but in broad brush strokes that addresses things. You can tweak and fiddle, but similarly, this kind of freedom absolutist around of freedom so long as you are not directly damaging someone else.
And people would say that just saying mean things at this point or thinking mean or wrong things is damaging at this point, which I would disagree with. You need to actually physically go do things or try to incite people. We’ve had long-standing rules around this that have made Western liberal democracies the best places in the world to live, hands down, full stop. They aren’t perfect, they are not done. But we’ve iterated for the better part of 200 years in making them far better than the totalitarian options that we’ve had elsewhere.
Nicki: So you said that you think 30% of the people would say no, not everybody should have the freedom to transact only certain people. So does that mean-
Robb: I would say at least 30%.
Nicki: Okay. So you’re thinking it’s 70 or fewer percent think that everybody should have the freedom to transact?
Robb: I think so.
Nicki: It’s kind of scary.
Robb: It is. It is. I mean, this goes back a little bit. Dan Carlin mentioned this many years ago, but there was a survey of third year, fourth year law students at an Ivy League level and they asked these law students a variety of questions, but one of them was, what is your view of the first amendment freedom of speech? And 70% of these kids were of the opinion that “That’s maybe an outmoded way of thinking.” And that people who think bad things should be intervened against by the state to stop them from even thinking. They haven’t done something wrong, they haven’t yet manifest this in the physical world, but not only should you not be able to say anything, but you should be intervened against even thinking certain things. And this is-
Nicki: Just frightening. There was that video that was going around at the World Economic Forum, recent meeting in Davos where this woman was presenting her a neurolink or maybe it’s not neurolink, but it was this earphone thing that you wore in your ears and it could record your brainwaves. And there was this video of I’m at my office and I want my boss to know I’m productive, so I’m staying focused. And like, oh, there’s a hot guy over there. Oh, I better not think about that cause my heart rate will go up and my brainwave activity will change. And it was just this whole nightmare-ish video.
It’s hard for me to grasp how the person who made it would even think that it would be appealing for people that to want to have their brain monitored in this way, but clearly it is. But to your point of wrong thinking that’s the first step is measuring your brain waves to know when you’re listening to something, how do your brain waves and your heart rate change when you’re hearing something or when you’re speaking or if somebody’s saying something and you don’t agree with it, maybe that changes your brain pattern or your heart rate so they know that you’re not on the right side of or team A or whatever.
Robb: And this should be obvious to folks, and I’m sure it probably is to our listeners, but I think a lot of the folks that are maybe of a mind that, well, there’s just some bad think out there. I’ll call it kind of the social justice kind of oriented folks where they’re concerned about racism and equality and all that type of stuff and these are not trivial things. They’re super important, but you can weaponize the response to that in a way that I think is horrific and it is not it.
And what just dumbfounds me is that the folks who are so righteously convinced that this would be the right way to go do not conceive of the potential that a right wing religious leadership could come into power and could apply this same type of methodology, technology and worldview and making sure that your progressive thoughts, your progressive actions, your progressive leanings are antithetical to the state. This could happen. And this is again, where as messy as freedom is, it is far better than all the other alternatives.
We’ve seen where this goes and where it goes is mass graves and maybe the iteration of the modern world because there’s a video camera everywhere. Maybe it’s not mass graves, but it’s that you are consigned to some sort of governmental housing on a gruel based diet stipend and that’s what you get because you just don’t tick the proper boxes. And I know this shit sounds really crazy, but here’s the thing. If we can decentralize this metaverse experience, which is what we’re trying to bring some awareness to in our very feeble small way.
Nicki: Yeah, I feel like a lot of this conversation is mainly happening in the crypto and NFT world and I feel like the only way that this is going to get more traction is if we bring it to more everyday people. And I mean we have people in our audience, I know for sure that we have people in our audience that work on the blockchain, in our very into crypto and NFTs, but I would don’t know, Robb, maybe 5% of our-
Robb: Maybe 5%.
Nicki: Maybe 5%. So 95% of the folks that listen to us week after week, this might be new stuff. It might not be stuff that they read about or hear about. It might be stuff that they’re like, “That’s not important to me.” And that’s fine, but the reason why we’re doing the show is because I don’t think that the 95% really realize what’s at stake. I don’t think most people realize what’s at stake and we all take the freedom to transact for granted. Throughout history, it’s been available whether we were hunter gatherers and trading shells or meat or whatever it was as currency and then cash, which has been around, I don’t know how many couple of centuries, I don’t know how long cash has been around, but cash-
Robb: The sense of money explains it.
Nicki: Yeah, I know. I never made it through that book. And so these freedoms are slowly eroding and so that’s why we’re doing this show. I was looking into central bank digital currency stuff and according to the IMF, there are 100 countries that are actively evaluating CBDC and some have already stole, started rolling them out. Japan is going to begin its pilot of its centralized bank digital currency in April. And I feel like it’s one of these things where people hear about it, they know it’s in the works, but they’re not quite sure what I can do to avoid it or stave it off. So I’m just going to go about my life and hopefully it’ll go away. I don’t know that anybody really wants it or maybe you think the 30% of people might want that so that there’s-
Robb: I would bank on assuming that at least 30% of folks want it.
Nicki: Well, unfortunately it’s not going away. Countries are planning them. They are beginning to pilot them and if we want to maintain our freedom to transact we need to kind of help spread this message. And that’s exactly why we’re doing this episode. I want to read last week, Punk6529 did his most recent of epic tweet threads on taxis. And you’ll understand why that’s relevant to the freedom to transact here in a second. It’s 33 tweets long. I’m going to read it because I feel like it’s important. Not everybody goes to our show notes and clicks on the things to read the things themselves. So I’m going to read this one. I’ll also include it in the show notes though so folks can reference it later.
Okay. So this is on taxis by Punk6529. “On taxis or how the world is centralizing all around you, but why you fellow citizen have probably not thought about it at all. We always start at the beginning. In the beginning is that architecture is…” I’m sorry. I’m reading this with the wrong cadence. “We always start at the beginning and the beginning is that architecture of technology matters even if the average person spends zero time thinking about it. The technological equivalent of the medium is the message is that you get the society that your IT stack enables.
It’s pretty important. You get the society that your IT stack enables. So this is why the architecture of technology and what we have right now matters.” Tweet three. “Over the last 20 years, three areas have accelerated the internet, smartphones, high performance, big data stacks.” Tweet four. “It is a truism that internet firms have power law outcomes, aka the biggest firm in a category is by far the most successful and third and beyond, basically don’t matter, Google, eBay, LinkedIn, YouTube, Amazon, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Netflix, IG and so on.”
Tweet five. “The reason is that distribution costs the cost of distance, the cost of an incremental user logging on are close to zero online. So at first approximation, if you have a 25% better internet service, you don’t sign up 25% more people, you sign up everyone.” Tweet six. “This is very counterintuitive, including the early internet theorists because the physical world does not work this way. Distance is a dampener to run away winners. If you are a 25% better pizza restaurant, but you are one hour away, you do not get all the customers.”
Tweet seven. “A second concept to keep in mind that databases are by definition centralized. This is at the end a database administrator.There is at the end a database administrator with read, write, delete access, and that person or their boss, board, shareholders, et cetera, has absolute authority over that database.” Tweet eight. “All of the arguments about Twitter and which accounts should be suspended reflect the technical reality that ultimately the CEO of Twitter can give instructions to say, “Suspend this account.” It is technically feasible and in the USA, 100% legal.”
Tweet nine. “Also as a reminder, since 2009 in the invention of Bitcoin and its successors, humanity has had available to it a decentralized database too.On public permissionless blockchains, cryptocurrencies, nobody has exclusive read, write, delete, access.” Tweet 10. “Anyway, what does this have to do with taxis? Usually when crypto people talk about centralization it is about the federal reserve or central bank digital currencies and the like, but money is an emotional topic both for the government and for people.” Tweet 11. “Governments think about money. “Wait, this is how I fund myself. Stop crime and smite my enemies.” People think “I wish I was richer or no way Bitcoin is really worth 25,000 or my Amex works fine.” And we lose the plot. So let’s go to something unemotional.”
Tweet 12. “For many years I lived in Manhattan, and as such was an experienced user of the famous yellow cab. It worked like this. You stood on the street, raised your hand, jumped in, gave driver $20, cash jumped out.” Tweet 13. “The hail a taxi process was fundamentally decentralized and in the public sphere, thousands of taxi drivers, millions of riders dollars in your wallet using the public sidewalks to hail the taxi.” Tweet 14. “Okay, so what? If the state or any other party wanted to stop you from using taxis what would they have to do? Well, they would have to arrest you and jail you. The only way to prevent you from walking down the street and raising your hand until someone picks you up.”
Tweet 15. “Because we are a constitutional democracy, arresting and jailing someone is very hard. You have to have probable cause of a crime. A jury of peers have to judge. The crime was committed beyond any reasonable doubt. You have to have a lawyer, you have a lawyer to mount a defense and so on.” Tweet 16. “The last time I was in New York in 2021, most people were using Uber and Lyft and the yellow cabs had their own ride sharing app. What is the app’s market share now? Well over 80%.” Tweet 17. “Now, is there anything nefarious about this? Of course not. Uber and Lyft are helpful in convenient apps. I have them on my phone. I used them when I was in New York the majority of the time. The executives at Uber and Lyft have normal corporate objectives I’m sure.”
Tweet 18. “But let’s get back to our example. What does it take for the state/Uber or anyone else to prevent you from an Uber? Oh, this is very simple. One command to their database. One field changed to suspended and then Uber will never stop again for you in New York City.” Tweet 19. “Did you have to be charged with a crime, go to court, defend yourself with a lawyer? Of course not. You do not have any of those rights in the private sphere. You are strictly speaking on Uber’s property, their servers, not the public streets when hailing an Uber.” 20. “A flip of the switch and you cannot hail an Uber in New York.
Actually this is inaccurate. A flip of a switch, and you cannot hail an Uber in hundreds of cities in dozens of countries around the world. Taxi hailing globally is centralizing into less than five databases.” 21. “Of course, databases don’t just do one transaction at a time with about the same amount of effort, Uber could switch off hundreds or thousands or millions of people who met certain factors internally or who were given to them by a third party.” 22. “I would like to ask you to reflect for a moment. Over the last five years, did you think any of these things to yourself? “Wow, global taxi hailing is rapidly centralizing.” Or “Wow, global taxi hailing is moving into the corporate opaque sphere.”
- “If you were like most everyone, I know you did not have these thoughts, you did not worry about this, you are not properly sensitivized. That’s a hard word to say. You are not properly sensitivized to what is happening. The frog, you, is being slowly boiled, distracted by consumer and convenience delights.” 24. “Now, am I being paranoid? Is there an issue today? No, today is still okay. Today you can still hail a yellow cab. Today Uber executives are just trying to hit their quarterly targets. They want users not suspended. Users. Today it is still okay.” 25. “But what I worry about is the trend line. How far off are we before the yellow cabs can only be hailed by app quote “for everyone’s safety.” Five years? 10 years? It is for sure not 100 years away.”
- “And what is concerning is that this is happening in every sphere. A huge percent of internet-based communication and commerce is running through less than 20 companies in the west for sure, less than a hundred companies. And the goal is to replace cash with CBDCs.” 27. It is easy to project out 10 to 20 years and imagine that a digitally enhanced augmented reality AI enabled world where everything is intermediated by a few dozen corporate and governmental databases, one consumer step at a time, one quote “for your safety” and quote “step at a time.”
- “Okay, so what? Won’t life be more convenient and full of features this way? Why? Yes, it probably will be more convenient and full of features because those are the fruits of technology, but, but, but centralizing power always has predictable outcomes.” 29. What are the outcomes? Corporate times two. One, rent-seeking, AKA, they will capture some of the network effects, money. Two, less innovation. They will block competitors, political times one. Power. Raw, unlimited power. The person in control of those databases is a God.”
Tweet 30. “Once the infrastructure is there, even if it was put in place for non-political reasons, it will be immensely appealing to the type of person who wants, needs, must be president or prime minister who lives and breathes for power. One day the systems will be compromised.” 31. “And when those all seeing all powerful systems are eventually compromised by a political leader, that person will have more power than any leader in history. Micro level insight into everyone’s actions, micro level ability to control what freedoms they have.”
Tweet 32. “So it is best we preserve some space for freedom, some public commons, some digital lands that are controlled by nobody. You know the answer, it is crypto, it is NFTs, but we just have to figure out how we explain it to everyone else.” And that’s the end of that. The final one he tweets a link to. He says, “If this is your first time here, we believe in open metaverse because we believe in democracy with human rights.” And there’s a link to all of his many, many threads which are all very much worth reading. So what struck you the most on that one, babe?
Robb: I don’t know. It’s incredibly powerful and also when you think about the march of technology, it feels unwinnable in many regards. But that said, there was a time when nobody, I mean virtually no one knew or understood that the gut microbiome was significant to health and then that changed. And this pretty decentralized process. There were researchers looking at it, but it was honestly people getting in and tinkering with health issues and addressing what we understood to be gut as a primary driver. That has exploded this area of research.
There was a time when every rheumatologist or immunologist that one ran into would swear up and down that diet and lifestyle had really nothing to do with autoimmune disease. And we know that this is absolute bullocks. Now we know that we can intervene in these processes and in many cases for stall or reverse them and save people’s lives. Almost none of this was mainstream. None of it still today is mainstream and all of it would be labeled under miss dis or mal information at this point, which is one of the profound dangers of being able to censor people in global ways.
We will never again have a renaissance of health. There will never be this awakening if it doesn’t fit within the guidelines of whatever the pharmaceutical giants are comfortable with pumping towards us. So on the one hand, it feels insurmountable, on the other hand, I think that we have examples of where we’ve already won a lot of battles, but we’re almost in a more precarious state than what we were before say 2000, 2001. We’re so close to total capture at this point that it’s going to take a remarkable effort to get enough people aware that crypto and NFTs isn’t about making money specifically.
It’s not about a speculator market which is really about 99% of all the fucking noise that occurs around this stuff. There’s a fringe of people who’ve talked about problems with Fiat currencies and debasement of the financial system and whatnot. And I think that that’s at least a partially credible argument for things like crypto, but being able to invest in these architectures that aren’t owned by a centralized entity, a Zuckerberg, a Bezos, et cetera, et cetera, is the way that we sidestep this stuff.
And for our listeners, I have to be honest, there’s still pieces to this that are opaque to me in how it goes together. All that I know for certain and there is a certain amount of faith that’s involved with this, but I have faith in markets. I have faith in decentralization. Good things happen when we head down those roads. Terrible things happen when we go the other direction.
Nicki: 100%. And his last point about ability for this power to end up in a leader’s hands who is power hungry and would potentially use it in ways that would not be good for humanity. I mean you can look back through history and count on your hands how many leaders that if they had this amount of power, what would the world look like? So that part’s definitely scary. And I think it should give everybody pause and hopefully this episode, if it does nothing else, it just kind of opens your eyes to this topic. I hope you read through some of these links and references that I’m going to put in the show notes.
I’m even going to link to a couple of podcast episodes. And hopefully this becomes something that you care deeply about. Before we wrap up here, back to our podcast image, the image that is repeated in the background, we have our Healthy Rebellion Radio logo kind of overlaid over a piece of art called Nakamoto Freedom. It’s an NFT in a collection called The Memes by Punk 6529, which is a project by Punk 6529. And the whole point of this NFT collection is to spread memes of decentralization. So memes are a way to spread ideas and concepts quickly, and that’s the whole point of his project. The art is CCO, which means creative common zero.
That means the artist has placed it in the public domain so anyone can use it in any way they choose. It can be copied exactly, it can be tweaked, it can be iterated on. I’m going to paste a link to that original artwork in the show notes. You can write, click, save it. Please do. Write, click, save it, share it, spread the message. If you’re an artist, iterate on it, create a derivative work. You can put it on a t-shirt, you can put it on anything. You can put it on a coffee mug and sell that coffee mug. Whatever you want to do it is in the public domain to be used however anyone sees fit.
I want to close with kind of a positive take. This is a Twitter thread or not a thread, just a Twitter post by a man with the handle Dynamo_Patrick. He says, “The current SEC situation.” So he is referring to the SEC cracking down on cryptocurrency, which has been a topic of the last couple of weeks. “The current SEC situation reminds me of the parable of the farmer and the horse. A farmer’s horse runs away. His neighbors say “How unlucky.” The farmer says, “Maybe.” A few days later the horse returns with six wild horses. His neighbors say “How lucky.” The farmer says “Maybe.” One of the horses throws his son breaking his leg. The neighbors say “How unlucky.” The farmer says, “Maybe.”
The next day soldiers come to town to draft the young men. His son is passed over because of his broken leg. The neighbors say “How lucky.” The farmer says, “Maybe.” SEC action against exchanges, centralized staking programs and stable coins might seem catastrophic now, but when we look back in 10 years, maybe it will be the catalyst to force uncensorable decentralized solutions.” And that’s the end of that tweet, which is the point hopefully.
And who knows? Maybe somebody in our audience hears this show and it inspires something and I feel like it’s up to each and every one of us to use our voice and our platform, however big or small that might be to help push forward this message. We’re going to definitely continue to talk about topics of decentralization on our show. In fact, we’ve talked about decentralization a lot, mostly with regards to food production and food systems, but-
Robb: It’s all the same stuff though.
Nicki: It’s all the same stuff.
Robb: All the same stuff. If you want medicine that works, you want it decentralized. We’re on the precipice with medicine writ large being this process where if you don’t fit within an ICD 10 or an ICD 12 by the time it rolls around a diagnostic category, you don’t exist as a healthcare need. And-
Nicki: If you’re in Canada, you get the green light to-
Robb: Maids program.
Nicki: … to be euthanized.
Robb: Yeah. So I’ve been talking about this. We’ve been talking about this particularly on the food and healthcare front for a very, very long time, and I know that there are people who they’re, “Well, what about poor people and what about the folks that fall through the cracks?” We can figure out ways of dealing with that. I know that that’s a trite thing to say, but there was Dr. Anthony J. Posted a piece yesterday and there were just since you kind of brought this up, there’s a 42-year-old woman who is Canadian who had posted I have lupus, and in the course of trying to deal with the lupus I’ve suffered a number of traumatic injuries, basically medical injuries, and the system is kind of done with her in Canada. And she’s 42 years old and she said, “I don’t want to die. I want to live.”
Nicki: She said to live, “I want to live, but I’ve been given the past for an AIDS.” Or whatever.
Robb: Which is the medically assisted euthanasia program. I reached out to her and I said, “I will do anything that I can to help you with your lupus.” And I haven’t heard back from her yet, but something that is as chopping to me about the folks that are maybe a little more on the socialist collectivist side of things is that there’s this assumption that because you are entrepreneurial or one is entrepreneurial or capitalistic in nature, that it’s only about you and that just fucking couldn’t be further from the truth. The only reason why I’ve had success is because I’ve helped as many people as I possibly could, and I will continue doing that until the day that they throw dirt on me.
Is everybody inherently like this? No, but what I’ve noticed over time is that people who are successful really helping other people, particularly when those people are willing to work hard and do a little bit of bootstrapping and stuff like that. And there are horrible human beings who are just pricks and they look down their nose at people of lesser status and whatnot, but this really is the way forward. We can help to feed one another, we can help to take care of each other’s health, but in this decentralized way where we come to this story of our own accord and figure out the path is best for us.
Nicki: So please do us a huge, huge favor. Please share this episode. Grab the share link, go to Signal Telegram, WhatsApp or whatever messaging platform you use and share it with your friends and family. If each one of our six listeners, if each one of you all share with 10 people and even 10% of them, listen, we’re moving in the right direction and we need people to start caring about this topic deeply. We need to bring this topic into more conversations more regularly. It has to be at the front of everything. If we want a future that you want to live in and you want your children and grandchildren and future generations to enjoy.
Robb: And we tried to be as comprehensive on this as we could, but it’s a huge topic. If you have questions, please send them to us. I could see a few questions like “Who is this Nakamoto guy? And what exactly is it you guys are talking about?” How is it that you being aware of and interacting with crypto and NFTs, how is this going to change? Fire the questions off to us because we’ve been noodling on how to just broach this topic and get it out there and get moving forward, and it’s kind of like some of my first posts around the paleo diet. It’s like, “Hey, the everybody’s sick. There’s an evidence that our not so distant hunter-gatherer ancestors were less sick.”
Maybe there’s something to be learned from that and then off to the races and 20 years later, we’re still helping people with this ancestral health model. This is similar and we just had to jump in somewhere. This is by no means comprehensive. I have a hope that there’s a million different questions and this isn’t going to become the sole focus of the show, but we are absolutely going to dedicate some bandwidth to fostering this freedom to transact in this awareness of the importance of a decentralized metaverse
Nicki: Because if we don’t have it, all the health topics are moot, right? Again, it underpins everything. So thank you all for listening. As Robb mentioned, shoot us a question. Please check out our show sponsor for all your electrolyte needs and you can grab your LMNT at drinklmnt.com/robb. That’s drink L-M-N-T.com/-R-O-B-B and we’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode. Again, please share it. Please take that image that I’m going to put in the show notes of Nakamoto Freedom and do whatever you want with it, but share it far and wide. I think we can get some kind of grassroots. Everything happens from the bottom up and we can kind of just start pushing this out and maybe we can make a really cool future together. Thanks everyone.
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John Tietjen says
Been following you for over 10 years. Have the utmost respect for both of you. I am so glad you are taking on this topic of decentralization. As you say it affects everything. I will be following even more closely to your podcast. Looking forward to helping out where ever I can.
Paul Barnhill says
Is a transcript for the podcast THRR 143 coming soon?