ARE YOU FREE TO TRANSACT, in whichever currency you favour, over the available exchange and payment networks, with whomever wishes to trade it with you? Do you think one cryptocurrency can be the answer? Do you really think any one cryptocurrency can make everyone that free? Hasn't your favourite crypto community's commitment to fighting censorship been slipping, though? Haven't people been hounded out of your crypto community or outright barred for openly supporting some other coin? And yet, haven't the once-bedrock principles of your coin's development process been compromised, nonetheless, sometimes to the point of being turned on their heads, such as when a putatively 'helpful' side chain rapidly becomes a development-stifling face-hugger whose proponents start arguing for 'ossification of the underlayer', i.e. your original coin?
Going even further, aren't the platforms being built around your crypto more resembling of a loyalty rewards program with about as much apparent commitment to freedom from censorship as you would find in an ad flyer, rather than any genuine attempt to compete with the full range of expression available in platforms built on fiat? That doesn't feel much like the answer to the problems of transacting in USD, does it? And haven't you then seen all the same tribal tactics deployed in crypto as against the first six essential freedoms, numbered above—creating insiders and outsiders, the better to exploit the attention of a 'side', thereby obliterating the truth, and thus, often, the point of the whole exercise?
But hold on, you say? You have good reasons for restricting your choice of cryptocurrency, you say? You would rather support only the ideal, perfect cryptocurrency, and no other? But wasn't that ideal supposed to be perfect at supporting you? At what point did we miss that bait-and-switch?
Can you not agree then that you will inevitably need to be free of this, too—like us—free from your once-favoured cryptocurrency, free from that captured community's obsessions and blind spots, just as you ended up needing to be free from your social platform, free from your telecom provider, from your operating system, from your party, religion, state, all the way up the line? And isn't each of these freedoms about protecting individual choices from being crushed and controlled by a runaway collective? In a world with at least seven different levels of runaway collectives, what can sacrificing our choices on even one of these essential levels—like currency, or speech—to gain a few choices in another, win us at all, in the long run?
Trading away limited freedom here for limited freedom over there, with freedoms being curtailed all around us from above, is a form of what's known as 'rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic'. And yet, we see the leading lights in crypto busying themselves building insider / outsider cults within each of their communities—cults whose de facto members often smear the developers of every other coin as either opportunistic (outsiders) or corrupt (insiders), instead of making much common cause. And everywhere we look, we see those acolytes, in their zeal, casually tossing aside blockchain technology's main value proposition—freedom from insider control. Losing that in the shuffle is not a great outcome, because, more obvious reasons aside, it makes a sham of the entire sector's marketing. It sets us up for another huge public fall, and that is undeniably not in any of our best interests, but there are some things we can do to lessen the impact on our crypto-futures of all this cultish activity.
For one thing, we can declare crypto-independence. Why not? We declare that we will never again accept or favour fewer than multiple cryptocurrencies. Further, we will never again approve of a single-currency publishing platform, nor the ad-mill groupthink that tends to go along with it. By declaring independence from any one cryptocurrency, we also declare ourselves independent of all of the older insider / outsider forces, numbered above, that are amassing to control various cryptocurrencies.
We can position our holdings, not to virtue-signal, but to survive—which is rather the point—ongoing attempts by cults of both insiders and outsiders to subvert the original, freewheeling, open source cultures of various coins. We will detect these attempts by their twosidedness, treat them as damage, route around them, and never again become reliant on a single currency nor any platform based narrowly thereupon, so that we can never be interdicted by any means, whether technical or social, from publishing and transacting in our intended markets.
And you? Do you feel you have all seven essential freedoms numbered above, in your communities? Honestly—do you feel you truly, publically have any of them anymore, if you ever did? And do you think you could ever find freedom in any single available key to one of those seven collective locks on our free will, even if cryptographic? Or can you see, as we do, that we will always need all our rights to carry multiple keys for each of those seven locks, the better to steer clear of the tribalists who will continue to try their best to hold us up at every ford, whether it is undergirded by something 'decentralised' or not? In other words, isn't genuine freedom multiplexed?
If you've ever made a serious study of communication networks, particularly their history, you learned about various forms of bandwidth multiplexing, the classic ones being: space-division multiplexing, time-division multiplexing, frequency-division multiplexing, and code-division multiplexing. The last three forms are necessary when multiple streams of communication wish to share a single channel. The first form, spatial multiplexing, is the most interesting, here, in that can be applied to any fully three-dimensional world, such as the complexity of free will preserved in the human race.
When free will is denied to a human population, that entire population is often forced to act as a single broadcast channel—to echo the words and prescribed actions of a dictator, who tries to commit the entire 'medium' of that population to propagating that one signal. That is singleplexing. It's the least efficient form of human bandwidth utilisation.
When free will is permitted to flourish in the human race, it is a form of space-division multiplexing—while each of us cannot add much to a mere echo of an oppressive cult, as individuals doing entirely our own things, we could generate more ideational bandwidth than the human race has literally ever known. That extraordinary difference is the wonder of multiplexing. It is the most efficient form of human bandwidth utilisation.
The ability to achieve optimal utilisation of free will—freedom—should thus be understood as the ability to accept the existence of a multiplex of separate streams of effective choices, both in the population and as an individual. When I ask, "Are you free?" I am asking whether you have that ability, or whether you are still singleplexing.
Consuming the same information constantly from a cult of insiders about the perfidy of outsiders is singleplexing. Consuming the same info constantly about the corruption of insiders from a cult of outsiders is also singleplexing. Singleplexing is a primitive, inferior communication technology, and tribalism is shackled to it. Tribalism doesn't like to share a channel, and the channel it wants all to itself is you.
Consuming information from many viewpoints, developed in parallel, and then deciding to avail yourself at any moment of whichever ones you think will preserve free will the best—that is multiplexing. Otherwise known as 'freedom'. Why accept pale substitutes?
Are you free?
Is your mind free?
Still twosiding? Still hung up between insiders and outsiders, thinking everyone who disagrees with one 'sider must be one of the opposite 'siders?
A freesider is no insider. We relate with whom we wish.
A freesider is no outsider. We will travel where we wish.
A freesider tends to go where the freedom's better, so wherever that is, it's where you'll find us.
The inside's where you'll find the corrupt and powerful. They are not yet free.
The outside's where you'll find the powerless and disaffected. They are not yet free.
The freeside's where have been found the independents, free thinkers: the artists; the visionaries; the scientists. They make good company.
Because their wills are free.
So we ask you again.
Are you free?