Born with distinct advantages, Geeks created a world view that favours them to the detriment of society.
Even before the digital age we all met them: socially awkward math-letes that had an odd affinity for Ayn Rand. These were the same people that bragged about putting together all 7,500 pieces of the Millennium Falcon Lego™ set when they were in middle school. Smart and a bit quirky with an evolving allegiance to the libertarian movement, I never took the time to understand the connection between their belief system and their personal strengths. When they opined about Atlas Shrugged, I didn’t realize that they were blowing their personal dog-whistle, informing the other like-minded people of their personal ideology. They wanted their peers to know that they believed that their destiny was manifested within themselves. That they are the writer, actor and star in their own play and, if they were to be perfectly honest, they think their play is better than everyone else’s.
Fast forward to now, geeks have been yanked from their parents’ basements and pushed into the forefront of society. Companies and investment firms clamour for their talent, their brains have been heralded as the best and brightest. Geeks not only conceived of the internet, but they also created the billion dollar businesses layered on top. Seemingly envisioned as the great equalizer, what started as a rebellious, anti-corporate, anti-boss, flat structured, equity-for-all era the Internet has transformed into rigid corporate structures with autocratic voting shares that support dictatorships and value profits above all else.
In an effort to increase profits and market share, online companies act like the proverbial spoon to what was once just a simmering pot. Engagement and views fuel the internet economy and it was quickly learned that anger and hate was their jet fuel. The age of the internet transitioned from “the great hope” to “the great despair”. The geek created fiefdoms became the weapon of choice for divisive factions to aim at democratic ideals. Their platforms allowed hatred and malevolence to crawl up out of middle earth and imprison our culture, segregating us into left and right camps. Their algorithms forced people to draw steadfast ideological lines in the sand and encouraged people to defend their positions with the fury of a ‘Karen’ scorned.
Not only are these platforms weaponized to subvert democracy and promote fake news – they are linked to an increase in teen depression and suicide. According to Facebook’s own research, many teenage girls feel that Instagram (Facebook’s photo sharing app) negatively affects their body image and increases their anxiety and depression (Wall Street Journal “Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show“ link). If these girls manage to exit their teens unscathed and become influencers, they are forced to deal with the ‘wrath of the unheard’ via commenting systems that overwhelmingly target women with sexualized hate speech and vitriol while often simultaneously protecting the disseminators with anonymity and quasi first amendment judgements (Gendered hate speech in YouTube and YouNow comments: Results of two content analyses link).
These internet platforms which were built on the promise of becoming the great equalizers have grown, unfettered for so long that they now influence all aspects of our life – from our mind, heart body and soul (A concept introduced and explained by Professor Galloway, referenced in his book: The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google and on YouTube). We’ve mistakenly hoped that the people who created them would reign in their evil but instead they have harnessed market capital to hire and retain top lawyers and PR agents that work tirelessly to reinforce their positive brand attributes while sowing the seeds for societal armageddon in the background.
No longer relegated to the shadows, conspicuously blowing their dog-whistle – geeks now have an outsized voice in today’s society and if Ayn Rand was the founder, Elon Musk is their de facto leader. With the frontmen cloaking themselves in expertly branded robes, their pupils, emboldened by an unnatural ability to code, believe their talents also extend to defining the new world order – a world order that places them firmly at the top.
And they have one last conquest to make, one last thing they need to be in full control, now they crave the gold standard, the foundation of an asset, “show me the —”, even though some things in life are free, you can give them to the birds and bees – yes – money money money – specifically – crypto-currency.
How wonderful for geeks to get their own currencies. Who knew that when crypto-currency, specifically Bitcoin, was invented a whole slew of once disenfranchised computer and math geeks would flock to its symbolic shores – buying into a monetary system that has no connection to government and relies on complicated né mind boggling computational ledgering and agreement processes? Ok – it’s not that much of a stretch, but it is shocking how the currency and its disciples have succeeded in placing value in their own private monetary system. A system that is based on solving successively complex math puzzles to find and extract value (or to use their own jargon, “mine”) and then verify ownership via cryptographic confirmation, all leveraging a dizzyingly large array of networked computers.
With money comes power and now that this specific sect of high-IQ/low-EQ men (mostly) are colluding together with one of the richest men in the world to support an invented currency, the rest of us are forced to better understand digital currencies and the libertarian principles that enshroud them.
The main tenant of libertarianism focuses on freedom – freedom of choice, freedom from authority, free-will and self-reliance. It is an extremely individualistic ideology that assumes that each person can control who they are and what they become. Libertarians aren’t racist or sexist, but they don’t believe that racism or sexism exists. They believe that any advantages they received in life were a direct result of what they did – not a result of outside influence. Being born in a democratic state, in a stable economy and all their primary needs taken care of, they don’t understand the struggles people face without these comforts. Their myopic view doesn’t consider how stereotypes can alter perceptions, both personally and within a community. They don’t acknowledge that each person is really just an accident at birth – an amalgamation of traits that can be honed for good or for bad.
Libertarianism is an easy belief system for successful people to fall into, especially for fellas that got the bonus questions right on their science and math tests. What they gained on their term papers, they lacked on the sports field, often being chosen middle or end of the pack during a schoolyard pick. Unfortunately, even though these fellas were gifted higher functioning problem solving skills at birth, they lacked the ability to see the world from other viewpoints. Being picked last for sports was never understood not as a slight on them, but rather, a slight on the picker – the guy who was all brawn and no brains. These future Elon Musk disciples took all their defeats as the mistakes of others and all their wins as proof of their ultimate superiority.
Geeks don’t acknowledge that being born into a comfortable home, living in the Western world, having access to a free public education system and living during the most successful period in history helped them manifest their personal destiny, they think they are the sole reason for their success. So much so that they resent anyone or organization that attempts to set rules or even the playing field. Their mindset often places them against the government. The irony is that their belief system is born out of the good governance they grew up in – they don’t realize that the things they rally against – taxes, licenses, laws – helped put the tint in their rose coloured glasses.
Before the internet and subsequently the invention of the Bitcoin crypto-currency, many geeks were merely Ayn Rand fans trying to find their kind, but now with their very own leaders and monetary system, they are an empowered cult forcing everyone else to understand their unique belief set. I shudder to think of the joy these boys felt when they saw the value of their digital currencies going up – the mini fiefdoms they imagined, the dreams they saw coming true. They always knew they were right and now they had the money to prove it.
There are no stockpiles of gold or federal government underpinning Bitcoins distribution, in fact, nobody knows who started the ruse or if they are still profiting from it. Which to most people would be where the problem starts, but, although many geeks are objectivists, they appreciate the mystery. Like the lore of dream catchers, the undocumented background of their chosen currency only adds to their enjoyment of their doctrine. But it’s time to debunk this man-made fascination with cryptocurrency and showcase it for what it really is – an attempt to subvert the international monetary system and in turn the governing laws that surround it.
Ask anyone who currently owns cryptocurrency when they plan on selling it and you will quickly learn that selling it is not an option. Their reserve of cryptocurrency is seen as their fall-out bunker, their ‘just in case’ – like Boxing Day deal shoppers, cryptocurrency holders covet their asset while greedily trying to buy more. Disgusted by the “rules’ ‘enforced on them by the government that provided their education and opportunities, they see their crypto-assets as a way to circumvent the policies of the day and form their own, libertarian style of society.
Digging a bit deeper into their psychology, you soon realize this fictitious world is one where they would be king and the scores of school yard bullies and women that rejected them would either serve them or be punished for their errors in judgement.
Introspection, for these crypto-currency lovers, is solely based on their personal experiences, therefore the land they envision places them at the helm of their destiny, they are the makers of their kingdom with very little regard to the social structure that got them there. Much like the schoolyard bully, they know their power and they only want to take advantage of it.
The problem is that school yard bullies grow up but geeks don’t seem to. They have been waiting quietly for their vindication. As their asset holdings grow, so does their belief that they can make their own destiny. They don’t renounce their sins, they wait to show everyone who has scorned them to renounce theirs. As they hop in their souped up sports car or suv, they long for the day that deems them as right and everyone else as wrong. Cryptocurrency has given the narcissistic boy geniuses of our time the leniency to believe their “life” model is the best. But nobody has had the time to dissect their belief system for what it is nor have we challenged their founders.
How can we be critical of them when they were born out of a system that makes tax-evading billionaires famous while they do their very best to subvert democracy from the top. While all geeks and cryptocurrency holders aren’t card carrying members of the Libertarian movement, a lot of their actions reflect an allegiance to its beliefs. Much like their less successful brethren, billionaires have already created their own fifedome, living in the bubble of their creation, never stepping off their symbolic gold plated yacht to see how the rest of us are doing. If they sense any bad publicity, the best and brightest marketers manage to spin them out of the proverbial toilet bowl and into a flawless pirouette. These brilliant men suck in the best talent created by a government that believes in free education only to leverage that talent to subvert its laws, use their monopoly power to crush their competition while they pat themselves on the back for donating to charities of their making.
So the next time someone sings the praises of Ayn Rand, or brags about their cryptocurrency holdings, take the time to challenge their belief system and the ideology of their leaders. Is it ok to build a business in their country only to move it offshore in an effort to reduce taxes? Is it ok to hire the best and the brightest but give nothing back to the educational systems that they thrived in? Should the social systems created to give everyone an equal shot be underfunded so another billionaire can spend less personal tax than their secretary? While you are questioning their leaders, ask them about their upbringing. Did they choose their parents or their intellect prior to being born? Did they choose not to live in a war torn country? When did they personally pay for their education? Do they drive on roads, walk down clean streets taking comfort in knowing the fire and police stations are a phone call away?
Crypto-currency is the future, but it needs to be regulated. Supporting a currency that is not linked to laws and a trusted government will only usher us into a future run by self-serving geeks. People that think their unique skills in math, computer programming and science also give them the power to define the new world order. A world order that encourages selfishness, that promotes divisiveness, that has a complete disregard for anyone that falls outside their purview, and a disregard for the democratic ideals that got them there.