Bitcoin Is A Humanistic Alternative To Technological Salvation
Bitcoin will shape the future of humanity in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bitcoin will shape the future of humanity in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is an opinion editorial by Nozomi Hayase Ph.D., who has a background in psychology and human development.
The 2008 financial meltdown, with subsequent bank bailouts and a cycle of austerity, led to the weakening of the public’s trust in governments and institutions. Bitcoin emerged as a response to this global crisis of legitimacy.
Now, more than a decade later, the economic damage created by the pandemic has triggered a further breakdown of the system. As the Federal Reserve’s infinite money printing creates high inflation, Bitcoin steadily increases its popularity as a safe haven.
At the same time, as the old economy is being destroyed, the leading global institutions have stepped forward to reboot the entire system. The key organization, the World Economic Forum (WEF), with the theme of “The Great Reset,” prepares for the rollout of the central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
CBDC Versus Bitcoin
Agustin Carstens, head of the Bank for International Settlements, explains CBDCs as programmable money that gives issuers the power to control every transaction. Using these powers, issuers can restrict what ordinary people are allowed to spend money on.
In response to central banks creating their own digital currencies, the original cypherpunk and cryptographer, Adam Back tweeted:
Now, Bitcoin and CBDCs, two different types of digital currency with contrasting features, race toward a global adoption. The crux of this competition involves different visions of the world. The outcome of this race will determine the future of humanity.
Shift Of Authority
The crisis of legitimacy triggered by the financial panic of 2008 signaled the demise of the Western liberal democracy. This has begun to create a shift in the locus of authority in our society.
The idea of democracy that inspired the birth of the United States was based on a humanistic worldview. In the past, authority was placed in the gods, and the sacred text. People sought answers from the external. They turned to religion, the Bible and Popes for their decisions.
A move towards democracy brought a shift in values. It placed authority in human hands, putting emphasis on the individual. People who were seeking behavioral norms outside of themselves began to rely on their personal experience.
Threat To Democracy
Yuval Noah Harari, Israeli public intellectual and historian, talks about how, in this crisis of democracy, a threat to the humanistic worldview is now emerging from laboratories and research departments in places like Silicon Valley.
Harrai, who is a lead advisor to Klaus Schwab, head of the World Economic Forum (WEF), points out ways in which science is challenging the story of humanism.
He explains that scientists are saying there is no such thing as free will and that freedom is just another myth, an empty term that humans have invented. He defines feelings as biochemical processes of calculation and contends that there is no reason to consider them the highest authority in the world.
Harari, who has been praised by the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, and celebrated by tech workers in Silicon Valley, explains how in this twilight of democracy, authority is now once again moving away from humans. This time, he states it is not some gods above the clouds that control human destiny, but algorithms, and data in the clouds of the Amazon and big tech giants.
He describes a new revolution happening around this shift of authority. It is led by a “techno-religion”, the ideology that technology provides salvation. He explains that this techno-religion is a data religion within which “data and information becomes a supreme source of authority and of meaning in the world.” It makes us believe that technology knows more about us than we do ourselves. It tells us, “Don’t listen to feeling or gut intuition. Just turn to data.”
Acting as a spokesperson for this new sect of techno religion, Harari predicts a coming of a future without humanity. He states that humans like you and I will disappear and that the earth will be dominated by very different kinds of beings or entities. Under the new authority of algorithms, Harari describes how human beings are viewed as no longer spiritual souls, but become “hackable animals.”
Warning For Humanity
Some saw what was coming and warned about the potential machine takeover of the world and the elimination of human beings.
Julian Assange, WikiLeaks publisher and one of the notable Cypherpunks, was aware of this trend from early on. He called on those who are technologically capable to take up strong cryptography as a non-violent weapon to defend individual liberty.
Assange warned us: “The future of humanity is the struggle between humans that control machines and machines that control humans.”
As central planners try to deploy CBDCs to push their techno-religious movement, a breakthrough in computer science has brought us an alternative vision of the future of humanity.
Value Of Individual Freedom
Bitcoin, in its 14 years of existence, has provided a response to the crisis of Western liberal democracy, allowing us to truly embody humanistic values.
There was an inherent weakness in the system of representative democracy. The mysterious creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto recognized that this system was not adequate by itself to secure the value of freedom and the place of individuals as supreme authority in the system.
Those who gained control over the production of money have created an economic system that works to their advantage. Concentration of economic power in a few hands turned democracy into a system of control. With sophisticated methods of persuasion, through use of propaganda and PR under the guise of democracy, the population was subjected to manipulation of their feelings.
By challenging the monopoly of money, Bitcoin — cypherpunks’ holy grail — has enabled economic liberty. With the principle of “don’t trust, verify”, this technology places the source of legitimacy with individuals, for the first time in history.
Rather than residing in the clouds of tech giants, authority is now descending into the human heart.
Revival Of Humanism
The birth of Bitcoin has helped creativity and freedom of expression to flourish, creating the resurgence of the arts. It now inspires a new renaissance of humanism.
Before the Renaissance, history was seen as being shaped by divine forces. With the advent of the Renaissance, beginning in the 14th century in Italy, this view shifted.
The Renaissance placed human beings at the center of life. A man was regarded as a partner in the creation of Gods, to actively engage in shaping the course of their own lives.
Just as the Renaissance placed emphasis on the individual, now, the Bitcoin Renaissance 2.0 creates sovereign individuals, enabling human beings to truly come alive.
A Path Of Salvation Via Proof-Of-Work
People from all nations, with different backgrounds, started to align themselves with humanistic ideals that exist at the core of Bitcoin. Through meetups and conferences, they are now finding one another. They begin to speak the same language and share values.
Transcending their cultural differences, they have become Bitcoiners. They are bearers of humanity, beginning to claim the source of authority in human imagination.
This is now creating a humanistic movement, generating a force strong enough to counter the techno revolution.
Between Bitcoin and CBDCs, we are now presented with a choice.
Worshipers of machine intelligence offer a promise of salvation, through which we once again are made to rely on authority outside of us, this time, on external algorithms.
Bitcoin presents an alternative model of salvation via proof-of-work, where we no longer need to trust authorities outside of ourselves. Through each individual voluntarily participating in a network of consensus, each of us can engage in validating our own truth.
While a path of technological salvation moves a society toward the post-human era, Bitcoin, pro-human technology inspires each individual to create a new world of humanism.
El Salvador (“The Savior”)
El Salvador, the country that first declared bitcoin legal tender, has become a center of this Renaissance 2.0. They are leading the way.
Using Bitcoin as a tool, the President Nayib Bukele began to stand up against the central banks and their financial imperialism.
As the leaders of G7 members are trying to launch centrally controlled digital slave coins, Bukele engages in efforts to increase Bitcoin adoption to open up a path of self-determination.
This is attracting creative minds and talents from all over the world.
Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Bitfinex, the world’s leading digital asset exchange is working to provide a platform for financial freedom. Along with his efforts to expand Bitcoin adoption, he aims to maximize decentralization by developing Keet. io, peer-to-peer Chat Apps that are built without any central server.
Can El Salvador, under Bukele’s leadership and his policy of economic liberty, engage people in proof-of-work — to organize a network toward the salvation of humanity?
Positive changes are already happening. Bitcoin Renaissance 2.0 inspires new ideas, bringing in investors and capital to help people build alternatives to big data and centralized cloud products, to enable freedom.
Securing The Future Of Humanity
We human beings share our destiny. The life of all species is intertwined. Our choices and actions affect one another.
With the accelerated speed of technological advancement, as we are being quietly transported into a virtual reality, are we leaving behind our own body and our soul? Without human beings who can feel, what would happen to the earth, ecosphere, trees, rivers, and all of animals?
We Bitcoiners are custodians for this planet. By practicing self-custody and running full nodes which maintain the ecosystem, we preserve the autonomy of individuals. We can work toward securing the future of humanity.
A network of messiahs created through technologically-empowered men and women coming together starts to form a formidable defense against the transhumanism agendas.
Bitcoin presents a humanistic alternative to technological salvation.
Hyperbitconization has just begun. The dawn of new humanity is near. With hearts that beat every 10 minutes, we human beings can claim our freedom and responsibility to steward mother earth and all of her creation.
This is a guest post by Nozomi Hayase. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.bitcoin btc link pandemic covid-19 currencies
US Job Openings Unexpectedly Soar Above Highest Estimate Even As Number Of Quits Tumble
US Job Openings Unexpectedly Soar Above Highest Estimate Even As Number Of Quits Tumble
For those following the recent sharp drop in job openings,…
For those following the recent sharp drop in job openings, or perhaps merely fascinated by the narrative that AI will cause a margin-busting corporate revolution as millions of mid-level employees are replaced by a cheap "bullshitting" AI algorithm, then today's latest bizarro JOLTS report will come as a shock. That's because after three months of sharp declines, the BLS reported that in April the number of job openings soared by 358K from an upward revised 9.7 million to 10.1 million, the biggest increase since Dec 2022...
.... and printing not only above the median consensus which expected the trend to continue with 9.4 million job openings this month, but came higher than the highest Wall Street estimate! As shown in the chart below, the delta to median consensus print was a whopping 703K.
According to the BLS, the biggest increase in job openings was in retail trade (+209,000); health care and social assistance (+185,000); and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+154,000)
The sudden, bizarre reversal in the job openings trend, meant that after falling to the lowest level since Sept 2021, in April the number of job openings was 4.446 million more than the number of unemployed workers, the highest since January.
Said otherwise, after dropping to just 1.64 job openings for every unemployed worker, the lowest since Nov 2021, in April there were 1.79 openings for every worker, a sharp spike back to levels that the Fed does not want to see.
To be sure, none of the above data are credible for reasons we have discussed before but the simplest one is because the response rate of the JOLTS survey is stuck at a record low 31%. Which means that only those who actually have job openings to report do so, while two-thirds of employers are either non-responsive or their mail is quietly lost in the mail.
Another reason why today's data is meaningless is that even as employers allegedly put up many more job wanted signs, the number of workers actually quitting their jobs - a proxy for those who believe they can get a better-paying job elsewhere, and thus strength of the overall job market - tumbled by 129K to 3.8 million, the lowest number since May 2021.
Even the Fed's WSJ mouthpiece Nick Timiraos ignored the stellar headline print, and instead focused on the plunge in quits, writing that the "rate of workers who are voluntarily leaving their jobs (including leisure and hospitality) is returning closer to pre-pandemic levels, a possible sign of less tight labor markets. Quits tend to rise when workers think they can receive better pay by changing jobs."
The rate of workers who are voluntarily leaving their jobs (including leisure and hospitality) is returning closer to pre-pandemic levels, a possible sign of less tight labor markets— Nick Timiraos (@NickTimiraos) May 31, 2023
Quits tend to rise when workers think they can receive better pay by changing jobs. pic.twitter.com/hAEAMy1I81
And the biggest paradox: as pointed out by Peter Tchir of Academy Securities, the seasonally adjusted JOLTS quits rate was 2.4 (we reached a "peak" of 2.4 in July 2019), while the Hires rate (also seasonally adjusted) was 3.9% just like it was 3.9 in July 2019. So allegedly there are 3,000,000 more jobs available now than then.
So what to make of this bizarro, conflicting report?
Well, after three months of drops in job openings, at a time when it is especially critical for Biden to still maintain the illusion that at least the labor market remains strong when everything else in the senile president's economy is crashing and burning, it appears that the BLS got a tap on the shoulder once again, especially when considering that the one category that will be most impacted by ChatGPT and which according to Indeed is seeing a collapse in job postings was also the one category that had the highest number of job openings.
The U.S. Office Sector: Further Disruption and Rightsizing May Give Way to a Golden Age
The NAIOP Research Foundation, as part of its Industry Trends meeting, recently hosted a panel discussion on what’s next for the office sector. The panelists…
The NAIOP Research Foundation, as part of its Industry Trends meeting, recently hosted a panel discussion on what’s next for the office sector. Analysts from leading service firms joined NAIOP Research Foundation Governors and office developers Greg Fuller, president and COO, Granite Properties and Paul Ciminelli, president and CEO, Ciminelli Development, to discuss problems and potential opportunities. The panelists agreed that the sector will undergo a shakeout that will include transformation, streamlining, new approaches to work and holistic solutions.
A “Broken” Market
Remote work and economic headwinds have created a negative demand shock in the office sector and a temporarily “broken” market that has not yet reached stability. Before the pandemic, office workspaces were densifying, with less square footage assigned per employee. Remote work and downsizing accelerated this trend, with tenants now needing less space per employee. Although office-using employment has rebounded from the brief pandemic-induced recession, office space demand has declined sharply. Phil Mobley, national director of office analytics at CoStar, estimated that the gap between office-using employment and previously expected demand could be as much as 400 million square feet. As supply continues to come online, vacancy rates will continue to climb over the next three years with negative absorption levels higher than during the Great Financial Recession.
According to Mobley, sublease availability is a key indicator of the market’s health, and it has more than doubled since 2019 and continues to rise. While transactions have slowed down, the ones that have taken place in the last two years have been at lower price points, but with strong fundamentals such as lower cap rates, which gives the impression of positive price growth. However, this masks some of the underlying problems that will inevitably come to light during loan maturities and price discoveries. The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that over 40 percent of office loans are maturing in the next 20 months.
The Hardest-hit Buildings
Not all markets, nor all types of office buildings are experiencing dramatic setbacks. CBRE’s Global Head of Occupier Thought Leadership, Julie Whelan, and her team conducted a study to identify the buildings that saw the most significant increase in vacancies. Their research revealed that smaller buildings (between 100,000-300,000 square feet) constructed between 1980 and 2009, located primarily in downtown areas with limited surrounding amenities and/or in high crime areas, were the most affected. Furthermore, the study found that only 10% of the buildings in the 64 markets examined accounted for 80% of the vacancies from Q1 2020 to Q1 2023.
During the pandemic, the vacancy rates of buildings in downtown markets have surpassed those of suburban areas. Specifically, 41% of buildings with the highest vacancy rates are in downtown markets, mainly in the Pacific Northwest and Northeastern regions of the United States. For instance, San Francisco’s vacancy rate has surged from 4% before the pandemic to almost 30% due to its reliance on the tech sector. Additionally, buildings located in high-crime areas (usually downtowns) and those with fewer adjacent amenities (usually suburbs) are struggling to retain tenants. However, there are opportunities to reposition or reinvent these properties, but they will require innovative public-private partnerships and community-based approaches. What surrounds office buildings, such as safe and walkable mixed-use communities, is just as crucial as what is inside them, according to Whelan.
Back to the (New) Office
The shift to remote and hybrid work has had a significant impact on office space demand. However, many companies are realizing that returning to the office more often offers advantages. While some employers have opted for 100% remote, hybrid, or office-centric policies, Lauren Hasson, the vice president of workplace strategy at JLL, has noticed a growing number of companies that want their employees back in the office at least three days a week. Studies have shown that it is difficult to engage and mentor employees who are not physically present. Furthermore, there has been a decrease in innovation, as evidenced by a decline in patent applications. Remote job postings have decreased, but employee demand for remote work remains high. Remote job listings on LinkedIn reached their peak in early 2022 at around 20% before recently falling to 12%. However, over 50% of job applications submitted are for remote positions, indicating that many job seekers may need to accept hybrid or in-person jobs. Markets with higher costs of living, intense talent competition, and long commutes, such as Boston, San Francisco, and New York, tend to advertise a higher percentage of remote positions and have slower rates of return to the office.
Hasson has reported that companies that require employees to work in the office only one or two days a week have the highest turnover rates. Thus, companies that offer either full-time remote or full-time in-office work have a better chance of retaining their talent. However, tenants that require in-person work are offering more amenities, and flexibility while creating C-suite positions such as “Chief Workplace Experience Officer” to ensure employee satisfaction and engagement. Hasson believes that enhanced office workspace will become the ultimate recruiting tool, similar to how prospective students consider a university’s athletic facilities and campus environment. According to Hasson, the new experiential office environment, which will be fueled by innovation, creativity, employee diversity, and cutting-edge technology, will recalibrate the sector and ultimately usher in a “golden age” of work.
According to Ciminelli and Fuller, the office market is going through both cyclical and structural changes. While some office properties are flourishing, others lack the necessary amenities and locations to attract employees. Fuller noted that pre-pandemic, office buildings were rarely completely occupied, with a strong occupancy rate of 72%. Currently, occupancy rates vary between 40 and 65%.
Certain buildings are structurally obsolete or not ideal for conversion, particularly when considering residential use. In some cases, it may not be feasible to convert due to the property’s floorplan or location. Furthermore, the costs associated with redevelopment have risen considerably, making it necessary to acquire properties at lower costs.
Despite the challenges ahead, Fuller and Ciminelli anticipate opportunities once the dust settles. The office market will gradually reach an equilibrium as employees return to work, albeit with more flexibility and discipline in office space utilization. Like the retail sector, the office market will undergo a rightsizing process, ultimately emerging more streamlined and beneficial for both employees and employers.recession pandemic
April JOLTS report noisily shows continued deceleration
– by New Deal democratIt is always a bad idea simply to project a current trend forward, especially with data series that are noisy and heavily revised….
- by New Deal democrat
It is always a bad idea simply to project a current trend forward, especially with data series that are noisy and heavily revised. That was certainly on display with the April JOLTS report.
For the last several years, the jobs market has been a game of “reverse musical chairs,” where there are always more chairs than participants. Those employers whose chairs weren’t filled had to increase their wage and/or benefits offerings, or go without. This was good for labor, but certainly put pressure on prices as well.
Last month, there were steep declines in job openings and hires also declined significantly. This morning’s report reversed some of those dynamics, while the overall trend of deceleration remained intact.
Here is the longer term view of all 3 metrics from the series inception, better to show the current situation with the historical one before the pandemic hit:
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