The holiday season has come to remind me of several significant happenings in my life, one of which is the day I first learned about Bitcoin. During my college years, my friends and I were complete Terence McKenna junkies. McKenna was a counterculture prophet whose books and public speaking appearances earned him a die-hard cult following in the decades leading up to his untimely death in the late 1990s.
The holiday season has come to remind me of several significant happenings in my life, one of which is the day I first learned about Bitcoin. During my college years, my friends and I were complete Terence McKenna junkies. McKenna was a counterculture prophet whose books and public speaking appearances earned him a die-hard cult following in the decades leading up to his untimely death in the late 1990s. He was subsequently immortalized thanks to his followers who seem to have succeeded in digitizing and uploading to the Internet everything the man ever said or wrote.
McKenna spoke on many topics ranging from psychedelics, consciousness, culture, politics, and extraterrestrial life to the Internet and the significance of computer technology. He believed that the Internet is a technological manifestation of the collective unconscious, providing a medium through which all information and imaginations can be shared.
McKenna had built himself a computer and modem setup in his home on the big island of Hawaii in the early 1990s and was surfing the web and using the Internet on a level entirely unknown to the world at the time, accessing US Department of Defense databases and academic research abstracts long before most of us had even heard of the Internet.
I had always been fascinated by many of McKenna’s musings, but his musings on computers and the Internet were of particular interest to me. Coincidentally, it was at Terence’s brother Dennis’ Boxing Day party in late 2012 where I learned about Bitcoin for the first time during casual conversation with a man I had met there. He conveniently had a laptop with him and we sat down as he showed me his wallet, sent me some coins, and explained to me why this technology was so revolutionary.
I can only imagine what Terence may have had to say about blockchain technology if he were still alive today. If he thought of the Internet as a manifestation of the collective unconscious, then perhaps he may have explained the blockchain as a sort of codified manifestation of objectivity.
The blockchain is a distributed ledger system, a copy of which is maintained on every single node participating in the network. McKenna at times speculated that something of the sort is how consciousness behaves. As humans experience reality, we are immersed in a sort of feedback loop mechanism with consciousness. Our experiences are fed back into the field of consciousness, what some might call the Akashic Record, and then become available as a source of information or inspiration for future experiences to be had by all conscious beings.
The blockchain operates very similarly. All nodes participating in the blockchain are submitting data to the ledger and at the same time drawing data from the ledger. In this way, the blockchain becomes an objective representation of all data and information that has passed through it. The ramifications of this technology are nothing short of revolutionary.
With the ability to code objectivity into our systems comes the ability to mitigate the influence of human behavior on our systems. It is no secret that human civilization has always struggled with greed, imbalance of power, and corruption and these behavior patterns always seem to find their way into even the most intelligently designed systems.
I think that McKenna may have shared my enthusiasm for the potential for blockchain technology to undermine the influence of these behavior traits on our systems of social and cultural organization. If we can succeed in placing the blockchain at the foundational level of our systems of governance and money, we will have laid a sound foundation for a truly free and democratic global society.
The blockchain can sustain elections in which votes are tallied with accuracy, implementation of laws truly supported by the majority, control of the monetary supply and economy by the people, contracts between two parties in the absence of any third party human or government, and security of data and personal information.
Soon to be free from being held down by the greed of a wealthy minority, human civilization is on the cusp of a true revolution of sovereignty and an ensuing explosion of human potential, imagination, and creativity.
McKenna was popular in the counterculture due in large part to his advocacy of personal empowerment, placing an emphasis on the power of direct experience brought about by the dissolution of boundaries between the conscious and unconscious, the sovereign individual and the state, and culture and reality. I have no doubt that McKenna, if he were still alive today, would be standing alongside the likes of Andreas Antonopoulos and Roger Ver, preaching to the people the power of the blockchain and the importance of encryption.
Governments and corresponding power structures can only be rendered powerless and irrelevant if we, the people, build and embrace superior systems. The antiquated systems of today are thus no longer worthy of our participation. Don’t vote, don’t call your politicians, don’t complain to your neighbors. 2016 is the year the blockchain takes over. Embrace the blockchain, learn about encryption, and actively create for ourselves a bright and prosperous future.