Ever since discovering digital currency last year, I’ve been thinking about the connection between energy and money.
With Bitcoin and other digital currencies, the friction of banking, geography, corruption, and time has been completely removed. Strange and magical things have happened to me and my friends because of this new frictionless money transacting.
Money is nothing but a collection of past energy that has somehow been captured and stored by you in a wallet.
The energy in your wallet is composed of different kinds of energy sources. Some people who are at the top of the food chain, i.e., CEOs of huge companies, contain a lot of stored up energy from other people who have either sold their energy for discounted rates or given it away for virtually nothing. Other people, like artists, programmers, inventors, researchers, philosophers and creative people have turned their creative work into money (or not), and the amount is likely based on their ability to take advantage of opportunities. Some of the most amazing inventors and creators who have given humanity the greatest gifts did so without receiving monetary compensation. But this was all before the transparent-inducing nature of blockchain technology.
Mark Zuckerberg is an example of a CEO whose wallet is filled with the energy of billions of people who have given up their energy for no money in return.
Everyone who works for Facebook is siphoning off this discounted human social capital, and it all flows in a giant mass upwards to the shareholders and upper management, who capture it and then put it into their wallets. I heard that Zuck does give away plenty of money, but the fact remains that he doesn’t return it to the people who have given it to the Facebook network. Many people will think that my perspective on this is unnaturally harsh, but I am already living in a different decentralized paradigm that rewards me monetarily for my social energy and creative output. Facebook’s model has zero appeal to me. Its only two purposes for me is to act as an electronic rolodex and to communicate to people a way out of Facebook for those who remain in it.
Welcome to centralized control structures that don’t serve the needs of 99% of the population.
Everyone who posts on Facebook is giving away their social energy, privacy and attention in order to satisfy their social, organizational, and self-esteem needs.
But they get no money in return. They give up all of this in exchange for a social fix because they think they have no other options. It’s a social fix that has become more and more disappointing over time, no doubt. I’m still on Facebook for business purposes, but the thrill has completely vaporized now that I’m involved full-time in decentralized spaces.
Then there is popularity.
Popular articles appeal to a lot of people. It doesn’t mean they are good articles, or well-written ones. It just means lots of people like them. The best way on Steemit to carve out a niche is to just be as authentic as possible. If no one writes or expresses themselves the way you do, your content (in theory) should be more valuable, because it’s scarce. Heiditravels is a very popular blogger on Steemit and she’s carved out a very specific niche. she’s gone on to creating a successful YouTube channel, too. She is rewarded directly for her efforts on Steemit, which come from the community in the form of upvotes, each of which represent a certain amount of money.
This is a very different paradigm from advertising because she doesn’t have to conform to any standards in order to get paid. She could cuss if she wanted to, and she would not lose advertising dollars. She really can do whatever she wants, because her money comes directly from the people who are in the Steemit community, not from some big execs who have a lot to lose.
These decentralized projects I’m involved in have changed my life, and not just in terms of income.
They have changed my relationships, my perception of reality and made me realize that a better world is actually possible. But I will tell you this: the people who completely embrace this new world of decentralization will be the ones at the bottom of society.
I wish I could kiss Satoshi Nakamoto’s feet. Whoever he/she/them is, their open source gift to humanity is still giving freedom to those who seek it. I think money is just energy that perhaps for the first time in history is going directly to those who generate it.