Babbitt column | Bitcoin's cultural type and its historical location


A week ago, at the 2019 conference of the "Lushan Forum – Dialogue between Chinese Civilization and World Civilization ", he was inspired by the keynote speech "Liang Shu and His History" by Professor of History at the University of Chicago, Guy Alitto (1942-). Immediately in the afternoon economic sub-forum, I gave some inspiration and insight in the blockchain theme report. Let's sort out some of the content and share it with readers.

Meta history

Professor Ai Wei’s term “post-history” is a translation of the English term “meta-history”. "Meta-" refers here to further abstract higher-order meta-rules and meta-logic from a discipline. So another translation of "meta history" may be easier to understand intuitively.

According to Professor Ai Wei, he used the term to refer to the historical writing type of “grand narrative”. By exploring the pattern of patterns formed in the past, he used history as a whole. Regular patterns are interpreted.

Since the 1960s, professional historians have increasingly adopted such historical research methods. In my superficial understanding, a vivid example closest to everyone is the popular global "A Brief History of Humanity" published by the Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari (1976-) in 2014: Animals go to God. It is in this book that Professor Hilary pointed out: " Humans can build a common vision of reality, that is, common beliefs, and thus carry out large-scale solidarity and cooperation, which is the core of the cognitive revolution that gives human strength. " And at all In the common vision, money (currency) is the most powerful one. Money is the most common and effective system of mutual trust in history. ” “ Even Christians and Muslims who are religiously incompatible with each other can achieve the same belief in the money system. ” “Compared to language, law, culture, Religion and social customs, money is more open-minded. Among all the belief systems created by mankind, only money can cross almost all cultural divides, and will not discriminate because of religion, gender, race, age or sexual orientation. With the money system, people can work together even if they don’t know each other and don’t know each other’s character."


Three types of culture

Professor Ai Wei introduced Liang Shu (1893-1988) about the three types of human culture (the term "ideal types"), that is, the human will and desire in the face of obstacles caused by nature and the environment. Three different ways of reacting were made.

These three types of culture are the “forward” enterprising culture represented by Western culture (conquering nature, demanding from nature to meet material needs and desires), and the balance of “shifting to the side” represented by Chinese culture . Culture (harmony with nature, harmony between nature and man), a self-disciplined culture of “regressing” represented by Indian culture (suppressing one's own desires to pursue spiritual sublimation). Liang Shuming believes that with the development of human civilization, it will inevitably advance from the former culture to the latter culture. In layman's terms, it is to eat the stomach first, then protect the environment, and finally pursue spiritual satisfaction.

"In the evolution of the first phase, human beings have aggressively met their material needs, relying on intellectual calculations and efficient organizations based on the principle of individual power. Modern Western culture enlightens human will, selfishness and self-interest Combining rational calculations, conquering the natural environment, and developing a modern industry. The first stage will inevitably produce 'science' and 'democracy'."

Economic Keynesianism, commercial consumerism, currency credit over-inflation and inflation, and capital greed are all products of this stage of culture.

History never ends


In 1989, Francis Fukuyama (1952-) "The End of History" shocked the world. His main point is that "history" as a whole has reached its ultimate goal – Liberal Democracy.

Soon, Harvard professor Samuel Phillips Huntington (1927-) wrote "Clash of Civilizations" (Journal of Foreign Affairs, 1993) to refute Fukuyama's views and stimulate worldwide discussion. Huntington predicts that democracy will recede in the coming 21st century. He believes that in the history of mankind, culture and civilization are meaningful units, not countries. The 20th century is a century in which nations and nations conflict with each other, and the 21st century will be an era of conflict between ideology and culture.

This kind of conflict between culture and civilization is a higher dimension of conflict, transnational borders, super-sovereignty, and time-out.


View of the universe

The French theologian and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) elaborated on the three stages of the evolution of the universe from the height of the universe's historical perspective in his main philosophical book The Human Phenomenon: The First Stage , the generation of the universe (from inorganic matter to life); the second stage, the generation of human beings (the emergence of human beings and the collective consciousness above the biosphere); the third stage, the formation of Christ (human evolution to the final point – Omi Add, Point Omega).

De Rijin believes that human beings are consciously moving toward a unified direction due to the development of the intellectual layer. All human beings have reached the ultimate comprehensive synthesis, and human evolution has finally reached its "final point" – "Omega point." This "final point" has unlimited appeal. It enables the mind layer to achieve the last leap in the evolution of the universe, breaking through the relationship between matter and spirit, discarding material, and bringing people into "super-personal", "super-national", "super-ethnic" "The complete spiritualization of "super-consciousness" and "time-out".

The “Omega Point” of Germany and Japan is very similar to Liang Shu’s “Telos”. Coincidentally, Professor Hulley published a new book, A Brief History of the Future, after the popular history of Humanity. In the book, he predicted: "If the first cognitive revolution is because of Homo sapiens The DNA has changed a little, allowing humans to have fictional abilities, creating concepts such as religion, country, and enterprise, making them the rulers of the earth; then, in the future, algorithms and biotechnology will bring humanity's second cognition. Revolution, complete the evolution of species from Homo sapiens to sacred people. "


Password punk declaration

In the same year that Professor Huntington published "Clash of Civilizations", Eric Hughes (?-), one of the founders of the cryptic punk movement, and American mathematician and programmer, wrote and published the program of the password punk movement. The document "A Cypherpunk's Manifesto". It is this declaration that points the way for bitcoin that was born 15 years later.
Let us summarize the full text of this declaration as follows:

In the electronic age, privacy is essential for an open society. Privacy is different from secrets. Privacy is something that someone doesn't want to make public. The secret is something he doesn't want anyone to know. Privacy is a power. It gives someone the right to decide what to expose and not to disclose anything.

If the parties engage in a certain transaction, then they each have a memory of this interaction. Both parties have the right to state their respective memories of the transaction. Who can ban them from speaking? Some people may be able to pass legislation to ban, but freedom of speech is even more important for open society than privacy. We will not try to limit any speech. If many people are able to speak in the same forum, then everyone is equivalent to speaking to everyone, so that they can accumulate knowledge of individuals and people at the same time. Electronic communication allowed this group to be realized, and even if someone wanted to ban the group, he could not succeed.

Because we are eager for privacy, we must ensure that both parties to the transaction only get the information they need to trade. Because any information may be mentioned in the transaction, we must ensure that the least amount of information is exposed. In most cases, personal information is not essential. When I buy a magazine in the store and pay the clerk, he doesn't have to know who I am. When I ask my email service provider to send and receive messages, he doesn't have to know who I am sending information to, what I sent, or what others said to me; he just needs to know how to get the message from here, I How much service fee is owed to him. When my identity is secretly acquired by the service provider in the transaction, I have no privacy. I can no longer selectively disclose my information; I can only be forced to remain exposed.

Thus, protecting the privacy of an open society requires an anonymous trading system. So far, the cash transaction system is the best anonymous trading system. The anonymous trading system is not a secret trading system. Anonymous systems allow individuals to disclose their identity if and only if they want to do so, which is the essence of privacy.

Privacy in an open society also requires cryptography. When I speak, I just want my designated audience to hear it. When the content of my speech is heard all over the world, I lose my privacy. Encryption symbolizes the requirement for privacy, and encrypting with a weak password means that privacy is not high. Furthermore, when it is disclosed that it is an anonymous personal identity by default, in order to ensure that this disclosure is true and reliable, we need a digital signature of cryptography.

We cannot expect governments, businesses, or other large, anonymous organizations to grant us privacy based on their kindness. Evaluation we will be good for them, and we should think that they do. To resist their speech is to confront the nature of information. Information is not only free, but also eager to be free. The information will be extended to all possible storage spaces. Information is the brother of rumors, it is younger and stronger; compared with rumors, information spreads faster, has more angles, contains more knowledge, but gives fewer conclusions.

If we want to get privacy, we must defend it. We must unite to create systems that can handle anonymous transactions. For centuries, people have protected their privacy through whispers, nights, envelopes, tight doors, secret sign language, and postman. Past technologies cannot support reliable privacy, but electronic technology can.

We, password punk, are committed to building anonymous systems. In order to defend our privacy, we use cryptography, use anonymous mail forwarding systems, digitally sign, and use electronic money.

Password punk write code. We recognize that someone needs to write software to protect privacy, and we can't get privacy without someone having privacy, so we'll develop it. By then, we will open source our code and let our password punk comrades use it. Our code is free for anyone worldwide who uses it. If you want to block the software we write, we don't care. We know that software can't be destroyed, and a complete distributed system never stops.

Password punks condemn the control of cryptography because encryption is fundamentally a private act . Encryption actually erases our information from the public domain. Even laws that prohibit cryptography can only take effect within the borders of a country, raging within the limits of state violence machines. Cryptography will inevitably spread to the world, as will the anonymous trading system it creates.

To spread the awareness of privacy, it must be part of the social contract. People must unite and work together to deploy these systems for the common good. The future of privacy depends on people's cooperation in society. We, password punk, think about what you think, worry about your worries, and hope to work with you, no longer deceive yourself. We will never give up our cause because of who opposed it.

Password punk is committed to making the network more secure for privacy. Let us accelerate together to move forward.

go ahead.

Eric Hughes

<[email protected]>
March 9, 1993

The birth of digital civilization

After Eric Hughes published the password punk declaration, the Internet wave swept the world vigorously, and humans began a great migration from the traditional world to the digital world.

However, a digital world without independent privacy and independent property rights cannot create an independent civilization. No matter how advanced it is, it is only a developed colonial society, and it is controlled and oppressed by the traditional world. Information technology has become a central institution for mastering technology and power and a means for companies to exploit and exploit digital immigrants.

The key to breaking the game is to invent an electronic currency that belongs only to this world. Several generations of cryptographers have made unremitting efforts, and finally the people who have been renamed as Nakamoto have gathered the great achievements of the people, and they have invented Bitcoin in one fell swoop. On January 3, 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto launched the Bitcoin main network on a small server in Helsinki, Finland. In the first block of Bitcoin, Nakamoto referred to the headline of the Times in the day: Chancellor on brink of second bail-out for banks, which was permanently engraved on the historical books of Bitcoin and could no longer be Was erased.

Bitcoin is the first electronic currency that can't be wiped out by the power of the traditional world, very purely in the digital world. Its invention is a great turning point in the process of digital civilization. The birth of Bitcoin as a symbol of the birth of digital civilization is not an exaggeration. With independent electronic money, the residents of the digital world can truly establish an independent civilization, and the digital civilization has the opportunity to stand in the forest of world civilization.

For the first time in the 21st century, when Professor Huntington said that the world's civilizations are in conflict with each other, digital civilization has the qualification to compete with other civilizations for the first time, even the hope of occupying a place.

Bitcoin culture type

If the development direction of human civilization is from material to spiritual, then digital civilization is in a higher order and more future position on this evolutionary route, that is, closer to the third culture classified by Liang Shuo, "backward "Self-disciplined culture, or the divine civilization that reaches the "Omega point" described by Germany and Japan.

Why do you say that?

In this bitcoin white paper, which was first published on October 31, 2008, Nakamoto wrote: What we need is a cryptographic proof rather than a trust-based electronic payment system.

One of the goals of Bitcoin's invention is to eliminate the dependence and trust on the reliability and credit of human nature, and replace it with cryptographic evidence. The two most important cryptographic evidences used by Bitcoin, public-private key signatures and proof of workload, are the products of mathematics and physics. As long as its mathematical principles and laws of physics are not subverted, the credibility of this evidence is clearly much higher than the credit endorsement and guarantee of any individual or organization.

Only cryptographic evidence is not enough. Nakamoto will let the Bitcoin system overtake all human beings, so that no one person, organization or power can overcome the system, control the system, stop the system, One's own private damage to the interests of the whole people.

Nakamoto has completely eliminated all the technology centralization, logic centralization, economic centralization and human centralization in the Bitcoin system. By designing the game mechanism at all levels, the Bitcoin system has become a complete decentralization. A system that cannot be tampered with.

Bitcoin is the first technology invented by human beings that overrides humans and in turn regulates the human group's own desires. This point distinguishes Bitcoin from all previous technological inventions. Bitcoin is not purely controlled by anyone, and it is distinguished from a variety of cottage blockchains or alliance chain projects controlled by individuals or groups of people.

The statute method adopted by Bitcoin is to adapt to the humanity, not the punishment against humanity. Obviously, the implementation cost of the former is much lower than the latter (in fact, it is effective to use a currency symbol created by the void. Incentive effect). This, in turn, distinguishes Bitcoin from previous traditional social governance systems (such as law enforcement systems, prison systems, etc.).

Bitcoin is a cultural product and a kind of existence between subjects. Just as Christian culture uses the Bible as the carrier, Confucian culture uses the four books and five classics as the carrier, Buddhism culture uses the Buddhist scriptures as the carrier, and Bitcoin uses code and data as the carrier, which exists in everyone's common imagination.

Obviously, in dealing with the relationship between man and the universe, bitcoin is “retreating”, unconditionally obeying mathematical principles and physics laws, and its methods are motivating. This is the ingenuity of Bitcoin.

Standing on the axis of human civilization development, in the era of human beings moving from material civilization to digital civilization, the invention of Bitcoin will become an indelible milestone in the path of human consciousness and spiritual evolution.

(End of the article)
Author: Liu teaches chain (micro-channel public number: Liu teaches chain)

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