Why so serious?
When society at large turned its back on objective reality it had to face what had lurked behind its back:
The wacky grin and rolling eyes of a clown world that gleefully honks its nose at us.
Opinions and facts get mixed up across categories that usually don't go together and navigating our day to day life becomes as difficult as distinguishing irony, sarcasm, cynicism, satire and actual humor from each other. Since everyone will have their own experiences and insights around this topic let's just simplify this colorful imbroglio as an increased entropy of human behavior.
What do most human beings who dare to face it crave in times of such increased entropy? I'd wager it is things like truth and reliability, security and empowerment, a guiding light and reason to go on.
Enter the newish yet battle hardened technology that was specifically created to thrive on human entropy – the greed, the distrust, the competition, the uncertainty as well as the information asymmetry – and turn it into an orderly signal based on decentralized consensus: the Bitcoin blockchain. Bitcoin feeding on behavioral entropy in this game theoretical sense is an obvious parallel to its attributes in the realm of physics and mathematics. There it depends on entropy to manifest its cryptographic properties and thus guarantee the unforgeable costliness of the asset. This creation of order from chaos should be the headline attraction of our ubiquitous circus show. The immutable database of value creation and transfer feels like the concerned pat on the back when I choke on my laughter again.
That's why Bitcoin is (to be) taken seriously now and anybody failing to do so does that at their own peril.
The global issues that lie hidden behind the clown world's masquerade are dead serious. So, without the power tool of open source money in our tool box to help building a better alternative the situation would be not merely serious but hopeless.
Life, however, can't be all doom and gloom in order to be properly enjoyed!
I, myself, have been in search of a proper hobby for many years. Something – no, anything – to distract me from my worries and spice up with some delight whatever precious little time I have to spare.
Only recently, after almost two years of immersion into the many worlds of Bitcoin – both protocol and network – did I realize that I had already found what I was looking for.
Bitcoin turns out to be the perfect hobby if we compare it to other popular pastimes!
First of all, one spends time on it by choice. This is still the case as I am writing this, although, I think this point might change in the foreseeable future. Everyone will have to deal with it once the first platonic money claims its rightful place as the preferred instrument to coordinate human effort across time and space. Its inevitability is akin to that of the food we eat to sustain ourselves or the languages we use to participate in the world. As with food and language the passionate dedication of the few to the things that many will categorize as uninteresting necessities remains voluntary.
Once that voluntary choice is made it requires a time commitment. At this point Bitcoin behaves just like any other hobby: It demands more of your time as it draws you in and charms you. There are all the small successes of understanding yet another facet of Bitcoin every once in a while and the next intriguing challenge that it poses right away after that. This push and pull at the human pursuit of purpose helps so many to justify spending their spare time and maybe even more on the study, practice, and improvement of Bitcoin.
But would it be a proper hobby if its aficionados wouldn't find each other to discus and learn, to brag and bicker about it? Everyone brings their distinct perspective to the table and somehow it all fits under the umbrella of our interdisciplinary pastime. The community that keeps on building around Bitcoin is forming factions, develops shared or disputed values and interests. Sometimes these only marginally touch this crystallization point for those who value proof of work above the vanities of the fiat world (as we call it in our pleb lingo).
Bitcoin also has celebrities that we appreciate while they make the apple of our eye look good. As soon as they start casting shade on it, however, they get very quickly pushed out of the limelight shone onto them by our cherished beacon. Bitcoin fixes the individual – not the other way around.
Last but not least, Bitcoin as a hobby requires just a tiny bit of money to get started. Though, as soon as the sense of wonder kicks in it will quickly move on to absorbing all your dispensable income. And when that doesn't cut it anymore the best way out is turning your hobby and your passion for it into a profession.
After all, for me Bitcoin simply is the only show in town worth paying and/or working for.