Bitcoin, Humanity Saving Technology Helps Us Preserve What It Means to Be Human
As a rapid technological advancement now challenges traditional boundaries of human existence, Bitcoin provides a tool for us to defend ourselves.
With rising inflation and a growing number of bank failures as the fiat system goes into chaos, Bitcoin is once again gaining traction. In the US, prominent political figures now recognize it as a game-changer and are coming on board.
At Bitcoin 2023, the largest Bitcoin conference, held at Miami Beach in May, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. made his first public appearance as a presidential candidate. Speaking to the crowd of Bitcoin enthusiasts, he explained that he learned the significance of Bitcoin when he saw how it was used to circumvent government’s repression of Canadian truck drivers who were peacefully demonstrating against the COVID vaccine mandate.
Kennedy, who is a member of a U.S. political dynasty, emphasized how free money is essential, along with freedom and freedom of expression. In his keynote speech, he also addressed the danger of technology expanding its capacity with artificial intelligence (AI) and how it would threaten our democracy.
Things are moving fast. AI ChatGPT, an advanced conversational chatbot, was released to the public on November 30, 2022. This AI model, which is designed to generate text that can mimic that written by a human, has shown to be smarter than most of us. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and AnsibleHealth have found that it can pass the US medical licensing exam without clinician input.
While some express concerns 1, this technological advancement is now being pushed by the global leaders. The World Economic Forum (WEF), the international organization that gained much attention during the pandemic, sees it as a part of “the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, which opens a new chapter in human development.
The rise of AI and robots with the idea of merging humans and machines brings up existential questions. This could lead into a post-human society, where human beings as we know cease to exist.
Now, our civilization that has achieved high technological capacities crosses a Rubicon. Bitcoin, after 14 years of its existence, now reveals its ultimate value proposition, as humanity-saving technology. How can it help us avert this techno-apocalypse and defend ourselves?
Before we dive into these questions, let’s first look at what is happening on the AI front.
In speaking about AI and future of humanity, Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari pointed out the language as the operation system of human civilization and described that AI has just found a way to hack the language:
“The most important aspect of the current phase of the ongoing AI revolution is that AI is gaining a mastery of language at a level that surpasses the average human ability. By gaining the mastery of language, AI is seizing the master key, unlocking the doors to all of our institutions, from banks to temples, because Language is a tool that we use to give instructions to our bank and also inspire heavenly visions in our mind.”
The technology is rapidly advancing.2 AI can create real time interfaces of a given person with a voice and appearance that cannot be easily distinguished from the person.
Just as the infinite fiat money printing creates counterfeit, with this technology, fraudulent replicas of ourselves could be easily created.
It might sound like science fiction, but we can entertain the idea that an electronic copy of ourselves could get out of our control. It can begin to take over ourselves who live outside of the digital space.3
That possibility is there, yet contrary to Harai’s claim, I say, AI has not yet gained a mastery of language. As inhabitants of cyberspace, these mechanical beings didn’t grow up in a natural world like us humans. So programmers can make them imitate us all they want, but machine learning has limitations, and that these inorganic beings can’t acquire a capacity to speak language like us natives. What is our language?
Language of the heart
We speak the language of the heart. It is our mother tongue. We all heard our mother’s heartbeat, when we were inside her womb. It is this rhythm and her breath that nurture us to develop and tune into a wide range of emotions.
From high to lows, we have a capacity to dance with a full scale of music. Our heart inspires joy and love. At the same time, it makes us feel pain and despair, so as for it to allow us to experience a fullness of life.
In the film Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams playing a role of English teacher John Keating teaches his students this heart’s language:
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race, and the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”
With our gift of speech, we can carry the sounds of the heart through our vocal cord and express ourselves, in a way that no other species can do. Before writing was introduced, we communicated through oral storytelling and singing. The invention of the printing press began to break down melodies, rhythm and harmony of our music.
In this digital age words that are divorced from the heart got furthermore abstracted, being processed through technology. We see how words that convey subtle and rich emotions are being made into pixels to create emoji and condensed into JPEGs. They become data that lack the life force inherent in human speech.
This is used to feed the AI. ChatGPT is trained on a large corpus of texts such as books, articles and online content. In a sense, AI is like corpses that are animated by technologists. These ghosts in a machine began to shape a narrative of our society. Where is this rapid technological growth taking us?
What drives the AI revolution is an ideology of transhumanism. It is a philosophical and intellectual movement to enhance humanity beyond what is naturally human by means of advanced technology.
This idea of human enhancement depends on the elimination of ‘weakness’ in us, not just what proponents view to be physical weakness such as aging, disease and sickness. They intend to eliminate some of the emotions that are considered to be weak, such as sadness and anger. Their ultimate goal is to eliminate death (which they regard to be the greatest weakness).
But what are really those weaknesses that transhumanists see as limitations? Are certain emotions that are deemed to be negative something that we need to get rid of? What is death? Is it something that needs to be overcome?
Life is dynamic and includes all the forces. We are enriched by having access to all emotions without any discrimination. Our judgment creates a polarity such as good vs. evil and love vs. hate and separates things from one another. Yet, without experiencing the feeling of sadness, we can’t truly understand happiness. The efforts to eliminate certain emotions will take us out of life. The same is said about death.
Conquest of death
Death is a natural phenomenon that we human beings go through. We all die. Dying is a part of our life here on this planet. Without death, life is not possible. In our modern society, death has become a taboo subject. We are made to think of it as the end of our existence. Many of us fear death and avoid facing our immortality, in which we are constantly reminded of when our friends and those who are close to us die. 4
Unlike those beliefs in the West, a non-Western society looked at dying not as our finality. They acknowledged the continuation of life after we leave behind our physical bodies and the existence of a spirit world. From the celebration of the Day of the Dead or All Souls Day (el Dia de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday) to Higan (Japanese Buddhist holiday), different cultures maintained a practice of honoring their ancestors.
In fact, many wisdom traditions understand that what we call death is simply a transition to another form of life. In recent decades, science is catching up to unveil the mystery of death. Quantum theory proves a primacy of consciousness over matter and indicates that consciousness survives bodily death.5
Now, transhumanists aim to transcend our biological limitations. Some entertain the idea of uploading the mind onto computer systems (to reproduce one’s mind in software) to attain digital immortality (to live forever in cyberspace).
From finance to healthcare and education, all aspects of society are now digitized. People are being brought into the web, where they would live their lives in a way that is disconnected from their bodies and from the natural environment.
As their goals to transform human nature and conquer death begins to diminish life, Bitcoin, as a pro-human technology, offers a creative way to confront this machine-takeover of the world.
The invention of Bitcoin has begun to revitalize culture. From local meetups to conferences, people around the world are now coming together. By exchanging smiles and hugs, they are starting to get to know one another in real life. A new economy that is being now regenerated is creating the resurgence of the arts.
As it now inspires a new renaissance of humanism, we Bitcoiners can actively work toward creating a resilient human network, built on top of this technology. Here, the art of slam poetry offers an invigorating way for us to engage in those efforts.
Slam poetry or “Spoken Word” is a form of performance poetry that combines the elements of competition, and audience participation. It started in the U.S. in the 1980’s, in cities like New York, San Francisco, and Austin. Like Bitcoin, this enlivening literary art form is open-sourced. Anyone can sign up and express himself or herself freely on the stage.
There is also a protocol, like consensus rules, that poets who compete for a prize abide by voluntarily. Fundamental rules are that each poem must be of the poet’s own creation and will be performed within three minutes.
Aligned with the US free speech tradition 6, poetry slam restores an oral tradition. 7 Unlike written poems, here words are emphasized for the way they sound when read aloud and are intended to evoke emotional responses.
Participants receive scores from randomly selected judges in the audience. Here, the transaction — values of performances are confirmed through heart resonance created in another human being.
The art of being human
Everyone is born a poet. We all are gifted with creative capacities. Now, using Bitcoin, free speech money, we can generate artistic activities to connect with a poet inside us, who can teach us what it means to be human.
“To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, — that is genius.” –by Ralph Waldo Emerson
“There is not beat poetry, or a beat novel, or beat painting. Beat is a poetic conception, an attitude toward the world.” –by Allen Ginsberg
Proof-of-words (PoW) engages us in the art of being human. Through each of us working to claim the language of the heart, we can embody our mind and spirit.
We can create our own nodes to generate values out of our authenticity. Together, as a community we can practice becoming a writer of the words we say and become sovereign.
“Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? Carpe. Hear it? Carpe. Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”
English teacher John Keating urges his students to hear the whispers of the poets who have come before.
Our heart remembers the experience that we shared with our loved ones who have crossed the other side. Our relationship that we cultivated in this life endures into the afterlife. 8
Through our impassioned spoken word, we connect with our ancestors and carry on a verse that they left behind.
The heart of Bitcoin that beats every 10 minutes opens up a stage, inviting each of us to step in as an author of our own lives. Block by block, the sound money carries our unique voice as our own signature to transmit our cultural values and keep the heritage of humanity alive.
A network backed by the power of our creative words brings beauty and love into our society. It can create a formidable defense against the extinction of our species, securing our future.
Thanks to @HFRadical for proofreading the article.
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1 Prominent public figures such as Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson and an evolutionary theorist Bret Weinstein have expressed concerns. Here are the links to their video interviews.
2 In March 2023, ChatGPT4, the most powerful artificial intelligence chatbot, was released and it quickly reached mainstream popularity. This AI model, being fed with large sets of data that we generate, is now self-regenerating.
3 The concept of digital doppelganger (creation of next generation of digital workers) has been already developed. Deloitte, the largest professional services network and one of the big four accounting firms, offers a way that AI can be applied to replicate specific skills, qualities and knowledge of individuals and teams.
4 The modern view of the world has confined life within the limits of our five senses. We are made to believe that material physical existence is the only reality that exists. The idea of spirit (existence of those who cross the threshold, so called dead) has been largely discredited and ridiculed.
Yet, the conception of life after death was common knowledge in the ancient people. For instance, the Greeks believed, at the time of death, the soul separates from the body and is transported to the underworld, the realm that is governed by god Hades. Also, the Egyptians documented an account of the afterlife in a book of the dead. In Shamanism, often associated with Indigenous and tribal societies, the existence of the spirit world was recognized.
5 Dr. Robert Lanza, considered to be one of the leading scientists in the world, came to find that life does not end after a physical body dies. With a mixture of physics, quantum mechanics and astrophysics, he created a new theory of biocentrism. With this, he indicates, “the death of consciousness simply does not exist. It only exists as a thought because people identify themselves with their bodies”.
6 In May, I went to the Bay Area Book Festival, and attended the event that celebrated 25 Years of the Berkeley Poetry Slam. Ekabhumi Charles Ellick, who started it back in 1998, hosted the conversation with very talented poets who represented Berkeley on stages across California and the US over the past two and a half decades. They reflected on what this art meant to them.
Describing it as a very American art form, Ekabhumi explained how the real value of this art is used as a medium to build a community. At the end of the presentation, one of the audiences asked about the use of AI to generate artwork.
Reggie Edmonds (Sad Boi), a poet, educator and cultural curator, who hosts various slams in the East Bay, responded saying how AI would be disqualified. He noted how poems that are performed on a stage have to be written by the actual authors. AI that can just take someone’s work without citing and don’t have real experience, are not creating its own work.
“I think when poetry went from the oral tradition to the page, someone should’ve asked, is that really poetry? I think slam gets poetry back to its roots, breathing life into the words” (as cited in Eleveld, 2003, p.2).
8 Laura Lynne Jackson, a psychic medium and the author of the New York Times bestseller The Light Between Us is able to communicate with loved ones who have passed. Her gifts are tested and verified through acclaimed scientific institutions. She shares a message from the Other Side that we are all connected through powerful cords of love. She reminds us that our loved ones are with us, encouraging us to be our best selves and actively participating in our life.