The Human Race Takes on History and Theory
Hey, what’s this? The past or the future?
I am at Emsi corporation, in Moscow, Idaho, expounding my information theory of economics to perhaps the world’s fastest rising economic consultancy.
Emsi collects employment data from around the world and turns it into useful guidance for jobseekers, corporations, governments, and universities. It recently presented at the White House.
I am in Moscow talking about a future of machine learning and artificial intelligence from Google’s Deep Mind, silicon foundries such as TSMC and TSEM, and massively parallel processing in Nvidia chips. I am just beginning this prophecy, when into the office steps Emsi economist Aaron Olanie.
A bashful bearded man, he tells me that a company called Microstrategy (MSTR) of Vienna, Virginia, and NASDAQ has shifted most of its cash from the dollar to bitcoin. It happened last week.
Hey this is how the future happens — through a surprising announcement. A couple months or so earlier, the Chinese launched their new national blockchain platform and their new digital currency. In the first month, Tencent used it for 800 million food service transactions under the worldwide COVID lockbrain policy.
Checking out the Microstrategy story, I see that CEO Michael J. Saylor knows what he is doing.
He declares: “This investment reflects our belief that bitcoin, as the world’s most widely adopted cryptocurrency, is a dependable store of value and an attractive investment asset with more long-term appreciation potential than holding cash.”
Saylor pointed to forces converging to undermine fiat currencies: COVID-19 panic, central bank debauches, and political and economic turmoil.” He also celebrated the countervailing strengths of bitcoin.
“We find the global acceptance, brand recognition, ecosystem vitality, network dominance, architectural resilience, technical utility, and community ethos of bitcoin to be persuasive evidence of its superiority as an asset class for those seeking a long-term store of value,” Saylor said.
Olanie of Emsi wants to know whether I think this move by Saylor is the precursor of a global move out of the dollar and toward bitcoin.
I answer “yes,” it could be. Central banks are hacking currencies around the globe. Investors should not stand still while governments raid the future to pay off favored constituents under the pretext of a totally bogus COVID crisis.
If Olanie had not stepped into my office, however, I was going to write about the call of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for a mandatory three-month rule that everyone should wear masks outdoors.
The Future of the Economy
The Democratic ticket seem to think this proposal is a winner. The mask mandate would end just after election day.
I say that’s when a large majority of the electorate will remove their masks and reveal themselves as Trump voters.
Hey I could be wrong. The US population could be entirely demented and actually imagine that a mask with meshes a thousand times larger than a virus could fend off disease. But I think Americans are smarter than that. Even though Trump has not been able to avoid the temptations of King Canute postures against trade gaps and virus threats and Chinese affronts, he represents relative sanity compared to the Democratic mask-totalitarians.
So the rise in the likelihood of Trump’s reelection is a favorable portent for the future of our economy.
I talk about stupidity. How do I answer the observation that many of the smartest people in the world are falling for the COVID scam? The most obsessively masked communities I visit are all college towns.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb is surely brilliant about nonlinearities, black swans, anti-fragility, compounding effects, and other mathematical phenomena. He has many arguments about the compounding and nonlinear gains of mask usage.
But he is an upholder of the cautionary principle, which expounds the idea that any possibly existential threat (meteors, or plagues, or climate changes that might destroy human life) justifies any remedy. Taleb previously regarded climate change, for example, as a possibly planetary threat that readily justifies a complete and vastly costly transformation of the energy economy.
In other words, he recommends a succession of vastly costly remedies for various putative threats. He does not grasp that a series of such remedies will reliably inflict a compounding paralysis on the world economy.
As smart as Taleb is, he is stupid about the cautionary principle, as we are learning today. On the basis of the possible lethality of COVID, he justifies lockdowns and masks that collectively are causing a global depression. The likely result will be a vast spread of starvation, taking a likely 280 million lives according to the U.N.
The human race has thrived not through vast efforts to stop every notional catastrophe, on which few scientists agree, but through the systematic taking of entrepreneurial risks. It is freedom and creativity, not draconian mandates that ultimately protect humans from disaster.
Taleb may understand more than he confesses in his case for masks. Illustrating Taleb’s article in Medium is a picture, apparently of the author, wearing not only a large mask sealed with tape against his neck but also large hermetic goggles. He looks like some bizarre creature from outer space.
Taleb apparently knows that ordinary masks offer no assured benefits. He just hopes that they have enough effect so that with everyone wearing them the benefits will compound into non-linear gains. Meanwhile, he is sealing off his own face in goggles.
So while the world preoccupies itself with covidious nonsense and cautionary perversities, I am in an entrepreneurial company in Moscow, Idaho — with offices in Dallas and London — trying to unleash the global economy.
I am confident that Emsi’s improvement in the employment system will contribute immensely more to the future of the world than the self-important sanctimony of panicky politicians.
Meanwhile, my prophecy is that increasing numbers of people will try to protect themselves and their money by making investments in bitcoin, gold, and MSTR.
Editor, Gilder’s Daily Prophecy