The Sovereign Individual is one of those books that changes the way you see the world forever. It was published in 1997, but the extent to which it predicts the impact of blockchain technology will give you chills. We are entering the fourth stage of human society، moving from the industrial age to an information age. You need to read this book to understand the scope and scale of how things will change.
As it becomes easier to live comfortably and earn an income anywhere، we already know that those who will truly thrive in the new information age will be workers who are not tied to a single job or career and are independent of the country. The appeal of choosing where to live based on price savings is already more appealing, but this goes beyond digital nomadism and freelance gigs، the foundations of democracy، government and money are changing.
The authors predicted Black Tuesday and the collapse of the Soviet Union، and here they predict that the increasing power of individuals will coincide with decentralized technology that will remove the power of governments. The death toll for nation-states, they predicted with remarkable insight, will be private, digital money. When that happens, the dynamic of governments as immobile thugs robbing hardworking citizens with taxes will change. If you become someone who can solve problems for people anywhere in the world, then you will enter the new cognitive elite. Don’t miss this.
Choice quote: “When technology is mobile and transactions take place in cyberspace، as they increasingly will, governments will no longer be able to charge more for their services than they are worth to the people who pay for them.”
Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari.
Whenever I want to impress upon someone how good this book is، I ask، “Do you want to know the fundamental difference between humans and monkeys? A monkey can jump up and down on a rock and swing a stick around and to shout to his friends that he has seen a threat coming their way. “Danger! Danger! Lion!” A monkey can also lie. He can jump up and down on a rock and wave a stick around and shout about a lion, when in fact there is no lion. He’s just lying. But what a monkey can’t to do is jump up and down and wave a stick around and shout, “Danger! Danger! Dragon!”
Why is this? Because dragons aren’t real. As Harari explains, it’s the human imagination, our ability to believe and talk about things we’ve never seen or touched that has set the species up to cooperate in large numbers with aliens. There are no gods in the universe, no nations، no money, no human rights, no laws، no religion، and no justice outside the collective imagination of human beings. It is we who make them so.
All of this is a pretty great preamble to where we are today. After the Cognitive Revolution and the Agricultural Revolution, Harari guides you to the Scientific Revolution, which started only 500 years ago and which could start something completely different for humanity. However, the money will remain. Read this book to understand that money is the greatest story ever told and that belief is the raw material from which all kinds of money are created.
Choice quote: “Sapiens, by contrast, live in a three-layered reality. In addition to trees, rivers, fears, and desires, the world of Sapiens also contains stories about money, gods, nations, and corporations.”
The Internet of Money ~ by Andreas M. Antonopoulos.
If the two books mentioned above help us understand the historical context in which Bitcoin first appeared, then this book expands on the ‘why’ with infectious enthusiasm. Andreas Antonopolous is perhaps the most respected voice in the crypto space. He has traveled the world as a Bitcoin evangelist since 2010 and this book is a compilation of talks he gave on the circuit between 2013 and 2016, all pressed for publication.
His first book, Mastering Bitcoin, is a deep technical dive into the technology, aimed more specifically at software and systems developers, engineers, and architects. But this book uses a few choice metaphors to explain why you can’t stop or shut down Bitcoin, how the scaling debate doesn’t really matter, and why Bitcoin needs the help of designers to block mass adoption.
“When you first ride your new car into a city,” he writes، “you’re riding on roads used by horses with infrastructure designed and used for horses. There are no traffic lights. There are no traffic rules. It didn’t pave the roads. And what happened? The cars got stuck because they didn’t have balance and four legs.” But fast forward a hundred years and cars that were once scoffed at are absolutely the norm. If you want to dive into the philosophical, social and historical implications of Bitcoin, this is your starting point.
Choice Quote: “Bitcoin isn’t just money for the internet. Yes, it’s the perfect money for the internet. It’s instant, it’s secure, it’s free. Yes, it’s money for the internet, but it’s so much more. Bitcoin is the internet of money.” Coin is just the first application.
If you understand that, you can look beyond price, you can look beyond volatility, you can look beyond fashion. At its core, Bitcoin is a revolutionary technology that will change the world forever. Join in.”