Daniel Winter
Bitcoin fixes this

‘Remember, remember the 5th of November…’


“They say that the left side of the brain
Controls the right…” – Paul Simon

A theory exists that prior to Avram there wasn’t a single man capable of thinking on both sides of his brain at the same time.  That must have been hell for the women.

This theory posits that the men of the time were able to think on the left side, analytically, logically, in linear or serial progression but that they essentially heard voices from their abstract, emotional, intuitive side and they interpreted these voices as “the gods” speaking to them.  Women didn’t have this problem.  Women (cis-het binary ones, anyway) naturally think on both sides.  They must have thought their men folk crazy.  They were powerless, however, to do anything about it.

Songwriters get it.  Setting words to music well requires high function on both sides of the brain.  Artists of all sorts get it.  Playwrights such as Vaclav Havel certainly got it.  He did time in Soviet era Czechoslovakia and eventually helped bring the Wall down just by simply insisting that he has the right to exist.  One of the first things Havel did when he came to power in the early days of post-Soviet Czechia was invite Frank Zappa to become Special Ambassador to the West on Trade, Culture, and Tourism in the new and truly democratic government.  Frank Zappa certainly got it.  All of this is by way of partial explanation for how it is that the Czech Republic today is perhaps the only nation-state not only standing with Israel but also suggesting that the UN has become obsolete and perhaps it’s time to leave it behind on the ash-heap of history, just like the Soviet Union.

If you’re a truly caring Jew, please take a moment to maybe thank the Czech government for their keen insight that, outside of Bohemia, the peoples of the nation-states of the world seem to have lost their minds.

Anyway, you might be wondering to yourself, “self, what does all of this have to do with the Fifth of November?”  Technology is not a purely left hemisphere, logical endeavor.  There is art in it, as well as science, at least when it is done with elegance.  Doing a thorough historical deconstruction of Guy Fawkes, Catholic v. Protestant sectarianism, the Gunpowder Plot and the nursery rhyme since adopted by anonymous would strain not only the limits of reason for this blog entry but also the abilities of this inadequate correspondent.  So this shall be an attempt to stick to the intersection of art, tech, history, and the global loss of sanity we are witnessing today.


DARPA invented what is now known as “the internet” in order for the President of the United States to be able to keep “C3” (communicate, command, control) with all strategic assets in case of a nuclear first strike by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.  No use having Strategic bombers in the air 24/7/365 and nuclear subs around the globe with MAD retaliatory capabilities if the POTUS can’t communicate with them.  Here’s the thing, though:  by the 70s this medium through which you’re reading my words and interacting with TOI was obsolete.  Take a moment, if you will, to imagine what the true capabilities were at the time for this tech we use now to have been obsolete 50 years ago.  Now take a moment to imagine what is cutting edge today.

It being obsolete, DARPA went to the NSF and basically said, look, all you academics can have it if you can figure out what to do with it; which they did.  My first exposure to this tech came around that time, in BASIC on a TRS-80.  Shortly after that I wrote my first game on a C-64 with a magnetic cassette tape memory drive.  “Phreaking” was a thing because Ma Bell had a monopoly on telephonic services and charged massive fees for long distance calls and we were juvie rebels who knew how to use the phone networks for free and what was the worst that could happen to kids “stealing” intangible phone service, anyway?  We’d get grounded?

There is, in fact, a long and still largely hidden history of online activism, flame wars, and constructive discussions about anarchism and nationalism and Zionism and Israel’s right to exist and the nature of currency v. money v. values that goes back at least to the 80s, a solid two decades before the Guy Fawkes masks became a thing symbolically.

Sure, it’s all the latest rage to adopt Robert Heinlein’s “Stranger In a Strange Land” and show off how well you grok the whole Large Language Model/Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence thing.  In fact, long before Guy Fawkes masks became a symbol, there was an anarchist leaning revolutionary plot launched online based on Heinlein’s “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.”  Long before Bitcoin there were ideas proposed by David Chaum and others in post-nationalist conceptions of electronic cash.

So, maybe anonymous frightens you.  Maybe Bitcoin frightens you.  Maybe all of tech and how the pace and quality of life is being impacted by it frightens you.  Relax.  We got this.  Just because the world is losing its grip doesn’t mean you have to.  You’re Israeli.  You mourn and grieve and pray for everyone to בוא הביתה and you stay on top of the latest developments in culture and current events while keeping a quarter of an ear out for rocket warnings and still find room in your hearts to sing and maybe even dance.  This I know for a fact because I’ve been listening to GalGalatz 91.8 FM from the other side of the sea via this internet thingy and I can feel it in the voices of the DJs and the choices in the music.

דָוִד מֶלֶךְ יְשׂרָאֵל חַי חַי וְקַיָם

(go ahead; do the hand jive; you know you wanna)

דָוִד מֶלֶךְ יְשׂרָאֵל חַי חַי וְקַיָם

דָוִד מֶלֶךְ יְשׂרָאֵל חַי חַי וְקַיָם

About the Author
Born: Łódź, Poland. Active in US politics and public policy since 1982. Active in Bitcoin over a decade.
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