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The Green Protocol: A New Vision for Crypto, Pt 2

By Ben Hunt | September 8, 2021 | 23 Comments

The Green Protocol is a set of rules for the tokenization of symbolic betting markets in positive social good.

I think this is how crypto saves the world.

Our first step on this new path? Let’s plant one billion new trees in North America over the next ten years.

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Inflation as Ad Campaign

An ET Pack member sent me this. Anyone else come across ads that directly call out inflation expectations? Would love to collect more screenshots like this!

— Ben Hunt | May 24, 2021 | 10:43 pm

Many People Are Saying … Bitcoin is Art

The Bitcoin Is Art thesis that I put out back in 2015 (The Effete Rebellion of Bitcoin) and recently put forward again (In Praise of Bitcoin) is finding a lot traction recently in mainstream publications like Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal. I don’t think I’ve ever started a narrative snowball before … it’s a weird feeling!

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I guess.

Bitcoin Is a Lot Like the Art Market (Bloomberg 5/21/2021)

Both cryptocurrencies and contemporary art rely on scarcity and hype because they have no other real value — though crypto has less price control.

Bitcoin Is More Modern Art or Religion Than Money (Bloomberg 5/21/2021)

Like a shark suspended in formaldehyde, it has value only if we believe it does.

Yes, Bitcoin Is Useless. Many Will Say: So What? (WSJ 5/24/2021)

Cryptocurrencies may ultimately have no intrinsic value, but humanity’s love for useless things means they aren’t necessarily worth nothing.

— Ben Hunt | May 24, 2021 | 7:10 pm

Why Am I Reading This Now?

Pack member Rob H. brought this up at last week’s Office Hours, and it deserves its own thread (as well as some attention from the Narrative Machine).

I think the most interesting part of the burgeoning UFO/UAP narrative is that it is clearly being driven by the Defense Dept.

I also think the only things DOD truly cares about today are China and budgets.

Why am I reading this NOW?

— Ben Hunt | May 23, 2021 | 9:12am

Homeschooling Resources on ET Forum?

I think a homeschooling VMPT is a natural for the ET Forum!

On last week’s Office Hours conversation, ET Pack member Dan W. brought this up:

I would love to have a conversation about the state of public education in the US right now. My wife taught in public schools for ~10 years before deciding she wanted to stay home with our children (and homeschool them, something ET deserves a lot of credit for). Over the past year, several friends have reached out to us because they’re suddenly contemplating either homeschooling or… something different. It’s kind of heartbreaking – people in our circle are desperately looking for some kind of option that doesn’t seem to exist at present. I am not that interested in the politics of public education, but very interested in pack-sourcing some solutions for people that have had their confidence in public education shaken over the last year. Thanks!

— Ben Hunt | May 23, 2021 | 8:41 am

Proof of Plant: A New Vision for Crypto, Pt 1

By Ben Hunt | June 23, 2021 | 39 Comments

I want to change the language of crypto from mining to growing. I do not mean this in a metaphorical sense. I mean a proof-of-plant method for literally growing cryptocurrency tokens as a representation of the value stored in the human cultivation of plants.

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In Praise of Bitcoin

By Ben Hunt | April 28, 2021 | 57 Comments

What made Bitcoin special is nearly lost, and what remains is a false and constructed narrative that exists in service to Wall Street and Washington rather than in resistance.

The Bitcoin narrative must be renewed. And that will change everything.

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Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Cigar

By Ben Hunt | May 22, 2015 | 0 Comments

More on Information Theory.

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Recent Notes

Unanchored

By Brent Donnelly | September 15, 2021

ET contributor Brent Donnelly starts up where he left off, with a new launch of AM/FX and a new riff on the classic ET note, “Snip!”.

In the immortal words of Hunter S. Thompson, when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro!

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Whitestone Bridge

By Ben Hunt | September 11, 2021

Our true enemies on 9/11 – the Deep State of Saudi Arabia and the Deep State of Pakistan – are our true enemies still.

And we won’t defeat them until we bridge our petty divides.

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The Green Protocol: A New Vision for Crypto, Pt 2

By Ben Hunt | September 8, 2021

The Green Protocol is a set of rules for the tokenization of symbolic betting markets in positive social good.

I think this is how crypto saves the world.

Our first step on this new path? Let’s plant one billion new trees in North America over the next ten years.

Read more

Cursed Knowledge #5: Hot Coffee

By Harper Hunt | September 2, 2021

The Epsilon Theory podcast is free for everyone to access. You can grab the mp3 file below, or you can subscribe at: Cursed Knowledge is…

Notes from Camp Kotok 2021

By Brent Donnelly | August 27, 2021

ET contributor Brent Donnelly with an end-of-summer compilation of the top–of-mind topics at Camp Kotok!

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Prophet of the Pandemic

By Luke Burgis | August 26, 2021

Sophocles knew it. Dostoevsky knew it.

Disruption to the biological order and disruption to the social order are one and the same.

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Afghanistan and the Common Knowledge Game

By Ben Hunt | August 23, 2021

When the State Department announced on August 12th that it was removing all remaining non-essential personnel from Kabul within 3 days and was considering a relocation of the US embassy to the more defensible airport, the fall of the Afghani government became common knowledge.

And that’s when everything fell apart.

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The Afghanistan Narratives

By Rusty Guinn | August 17, 2021

We are in the very early innings of the narrative formation around responsibility for the outcome in Afghanistan. Steel yourselves for weeks of gaslighting from every angle. Hooray.

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ET Podcast #13 – Wanting

By Ben Hunt | August 17, 2021

It’s the only question that really matters here in the Age of Nudge: why do we want what we want?

A conversation with Luke Burgis, author of “Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life”.

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Cursed Knowledge #4: The Olympics

By Harper Hunt | August 16, 2021

The Epsilon Theory podcast is free for everyone to access. You can grab the mp3 file below, or you can subscribe at: Cursed Knowledge is…

How a Narrative Goes Viral

By Rusty Guinn | August 10, 2021

It is a fact that migrants here illegally have spread, are spreading, and will spread Covid-19.

It is also a narrative. A dangerous, seductive, rapidly spreading narrative that will cause many of us to shut off our minds to other facts, which is what narratives DO.

How do we parse the two?

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Sauron Remains Undefeated

By Ben Hunt | August 9, 2021

Here’s my take on this weekend’s Senate wrangling over the infrastructure bill, and the implications for crypto.

The US Treasury is the Eye of Sauron — a gigantic panopticon tower that sweeps the world with its unblinking gaze, seeking out the owners of power, i.e. money.

And Sauron remains undefeated.

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Nudging State, Noble Lies

By Ben Hunt | August 4, 2021

In the world of Nudge, everyone is an ad man, and the government is just the biggest, baddest ad man of them all.

I’m not so naive as to think this isn’t a good description of what modern government is.

But it’s a terrible prescription for what modern government should be.

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Cursed Knowledge #3: The Molassacre

By Harper Hunt | July 26, 2021

The Boston Molassacre was one of the great tragedies of the early 20th century. So why isn’t it treated like one?

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Ever Grande

By Marc Rubinstein | July 26, 2021

The Chinese real estate developer Evergrande is the epitome of Too Big To Fail. It is truly Ever Grande.

So what happens if it does, in fact, fail?

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Enemies Real and Imagined

By Rusty Guinn | July 21, 2021

I think there’s a non-zero chance that the delta-variant becomes something that markets really are focused on. Maybe that happens months from now. Maybe days.

But until that happens, the delta-variant narrative explaining markets is a wall of worry, an artificially easy hurdle to climb for a market that only really cares about a dovish Fed sticking to its transitory inflation story.

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Welcome to Metaworld

By Rusty Guinn | July 16, 2021

The language of practically every topic of any social importance is now defined by people discussing how other people are discussing it. It’s true for the environment, race, politics and now – violent crime.

Welcome to Metaworld.

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ET Podcast #12 – Proof of Plant

By Ben Hunt | July 16, 2021

I think this is how crypto can change the world. Not as “money” and not as Bitcoin! TM and not as a security and not as this speculative coin versus that speculative coin. Not by facilitating a market of goods, but by facilitating a market of GOOD.

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What is Robinhood?

By Marc Rubinstein | July 12, 2021

What is Robinhood? It’s the conflation of gambling and investing. Which is … fine. I guess. But spare me the “we’re democratizing finance” BS.

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Cursed Knowledge #2: Weinstein and the Oscars

By Harper Hunt | July 5, 2021

Harvey Weinstein is a terrible person who did terrible things. But he doesn’t get nearly enough credit, or more accurately blame, for his role in destroying the integrity of the Academy Awards and fundamentally altering how Hollywood makes movies.

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Coming Soon to CBS

From the ET Forum ...

The Activist is an upcoming reality show that really shouldn’t have made it past the “there are no bad ideas” stage of development. It’s the most tone deaf, disconnected concept I’ve ever seen.

The basic idea is that the show will feature six activists from around the world and follow them as they “compete in missions, media stunts, digital campaigns and community events”. Think Shark Tank meets The Apprentice. Contestants will be judged on how much social media engagement they receive, and the grand prize is an opportunity to attend the G20 Summit in Rome.

Yeah.

Contestants will be judged not by quality of their work but by the quality of their Instagram captions.

The show and its marketing campaign present this very shallow idea of supporting activism and getting them mainstream attention. But the show isn’t prepared to follow through on helping create change. The prize isn’t money or manpower. It’s a chance to beg powerful people to pretend to care.

At its core, this show is not about activism and social change. It’s about social media attention. Just look at the judges! Usher, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Julianne Hough have no experience in activism aside from Instagram posts and speaking at charity events. They’re not leaders of change. They’re mid-level celebrities who wouldn’t be out of place judging The Masked Singer.

The show has been justly lambasted on social media as literally everyone has a problem with the premise. It’s been called “performance activism personified” and it is. It’s encouraging participants and viewers to see activism not as something meant to enact change, but a way to get attention. It sets a standard that successful activism isn’t making change, it’s getting likes and views. It ignores the small, boring, and thankless work that is done on a grassroots level. The work we need to see more of.

We don’t need more beautiful people talking about how they use metal straws to save the sea turtles. We need more people who are willing to do the work. This show isn’t doing anything to help anyone and I, for one, will not be watching.

— Harper Hunt | September 16, 2021|

The Widened Gyre

From the ET Forum …

Yesterday, the 20th anniversary of 9/11, I read and heard several mainstream references to “the Widening Gyre”. It makes sense that yesterday would spur that sort of narrative connection, as the juxtaposition of the political images and texts from then and now is breathtaking. It’s amazing (and obvious), how polarized we’ve become over the past two decades.

But at this point – where the Widening Gyre is not happening but has already occurred – I think what we’re seeing is the Widened Gyre, where everything is autotuned to the poles of the gyre, including references to the Widening Gyre itself!

Case in point, on Twitter I am now routinely criticized for “contributing” to the Widening Gyre if I don’t engage in perfunctory political whataboutism on any topic that has a political dimension … which is to say ALL topics.

What is the Widened Gyre?

Yesterday, the most recent former president of the United States gave a paid speech to Moonies and then made a paid appearance at a sham boxing match where 58-year-old Evander Holyfield was knocked out in 90 seconds.

On 9/11.

And it will change no one’s politically polarized views. Not his supporters. Not his detractors. No one.

The Widened Gyre is a VERY stable equilibrium.

— Ben Hunt | September 12, 2021|