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naut wrote (edited )

I have my own issues with the article, its back-of-the-napkin comparisons and its vocabulary, but realistically what should be done to counter bitcoin's environmental impact? I think /u/adi and /u/RichOldWhiteMan bring up some good points, but I'm commenting more because of the question it's made me ask myself.

Bitcoin exists, and instead of complaining about this guy's under-developed article, what can people do about it?

If a state-led solution to govern the production of bitcoin isn't palatable, we essentially leave the answer to people like SatoshiLabs who peddle a free-market argument that growing energy costs will make bitcoin miners scale back, or a more efficient alternative algorithm will reduce computational price up-front. See the Jevon's Paradox.

Lack of intervention from a stateless society would allow this tyranny of corporations to continue unabated, regardless of the damage to the earth it would cause. I also don't think bitcoin will simply disappear (and I like some of the benefits of a decentralized currency), but it needs significant structural change to be ecologically viable.

Lastly, fuck musk.

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lautreamont wrote (edited )

Today's anarchists absolutely must grow up to the fact that big tech industry is the new State to oppose. Politicians have taken the back seat, and you'll even have some of them starting to get worried about what's happening, tho the governments have been losing power in comparison to big tech's influence.

China was quicker to understand how crucial the digital technocracy is, and that's why they exerted control over it from the start.

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naut wrote

Shitty as it sounds, money makes the world go round. I agree that China definitely saw the vacuum in tech, the potential for cyber-warfare leads to some horrifying futures (depending on philosophy ofc).

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Well, there are ways of attacking the bitcoin infrastructure, and its network. the state will probably be doing this much more going forward though, the long term threat is fiat state-backed digital currencies which will be implemented to replace them.

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naut wrote

I would struggle with a "let's take down this currency" approach (where the hacker army is I wouldn't know), because it's best characteristic is that it is not linked to any one currency or state . At the same time I struggle with the progressive argument that we can technologically solve ourselves out of the hole we've dug.

Pros - good for independent economies, cons - huge energy costs and subsequent contribution to the ecological climate crisis. Hmm, what to do.

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moonlune OP wrote

Has anyone though about how gold stocks would be handled in the transition to an anarchist society? Because the same would happen to bitcoin imo.

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naut wrote (edited )

If you're asking what the anarchist end-game for currency would be, I am ill-equipped to answer. I'm still in the process of developing my worldview and I do not currently consider myself an anarchist.

The fundamental question is what role currency has in your version of society, I think both gold and stock are attached to a more refined market society, and likely wouldn't have a large role in more decentralized systems.

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adi wrote

You're right, and I guess I wasn't prepared to engage with the subject beyond a snarky comment, and certainly not in any real or solution-oriented way.

To some of the points in your comment tho, I don't think the state is equipped to handle the problem, and I dont think building it up to be is any real solution. Look at how states handle the existing monetary systems: catering to those who have leverage over it (ie fukin billionaires) and weaponizing it as a tool of invasion, oppression and environmental desolation. I don't see turning over another currency, or even oversight of another one, as a solution, tho I may be missing something.

As for what to do about it without the state, I'm way underprepared to offer any ideas on that front besides, um, smash?? It's just one more giant, super damaging construct to grapple with, and in the same way the state has failed to handle or prevent so many others, I have no faith that increased state control would address this one.

So what to do instead? I'm open to ideas, and I agree, it is actually a problem that needs to be addressed. Thanks for the thoughtful comment and starting a dialogue.

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naut wrote

It's just one more giant, super damaging construct to grapple with

That's the rub with systems as complex as the world is. For how enticing "smash" can be, that course has a huge amount of uncertainty. Sure, we could end up in a decentralized utopia ala Doctrow, but we could also face the real possibility of authoritarian society emerging to claw on to the scraps of a shattered world.

I think radical change is necessary, and it starts with withering the grasp money has on our world.

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adi wrote

Again, you're not wrong. Tongue-in-cheek smash-isms aside, nihilism has been really influential in my radicalisation/anarchism for its recognition that the things we ascribe meaning and value to have been constructed, largely by those who seek to wield and maintain power, and we can reject them in favor of creating something new. One of the empowering things about nihilism + anarchy that I've seen in practice on microchosmic levels is the ability to recognize a thing is damaging, dismantle it, and try something else. If the something else is wrong, we know we can repeat the process, destroy and rebuild. But in the same way that I can't give a satisfying answer to people who ask anarchists, "well, ok, tell me how all of society will look then if you want anarchy. See! You can't tell me, so I'm right, anarchy can't work!", I don't have a clear roadmap for any (def not all) of the systemic problems we face and am skeptical of anyone who claims to.

I know that's vague and not super useful, but using that framework to, say, divorce ourselves from money's influence and try another way, can be empowering, I think. As for what that other way is, let's keep talking about it, and then do it!

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naut wrote

I also find nihilism to be a large influence. Nietzsche's idea of living without god is especially powerful in greater context:

God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?

The greatest thing we as a people have to fear is accepting fault for our failures, and I think that is the main reason skeptics will dismiss leftist and anarchist thought. Using our current system as evidence for rejecting change is a sunk cost fallacy.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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naut wrote

I think you touch on the crux of the problem. Ideas like a Green New Deal (video) are a move in the right direction.

I have to disagree on comparing small miners impact to that of corporate emissions. The resources needed for scaled mining are analogous to mineral resource extraction. Like you say, energy consumption and origin are the main issues at play, and cleaner sources are necessary.

Degrowth is the most likely possibility in my eyes, but even that requires a complete paradigm-shift of the global north away from eternal growth and consumerism.

Incentivizing radical change is probably the most facile step forward, and I think the vaccine response to the COVID-19 pandemic is amazing evidence that it can be done. The social movement will be much harder though. Getting people to care about something that doesn't directly affect them in the present could be humanity's linchpin.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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naut wrote

So the conclusion is all pollution is bad, but let's not try and reduce the amount society is producing because it's a waste of time?

I empathize with you in wanting to eliminate human exploitation of the planet, but I have no idea how we'd get there from where we currently are without borderline apocalyptic amounts of societal collapse or evolution.

An article for further thoughts on this.

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yabhul wrote

interesting.

say this, 7635A60726F0A157C48930A2402AF4B54ADAF4BF170AAD48E78D6DFEC944085033BA6D11FB4C752E4AC71C46900542B8DBAAB234EDFAD36D88 AEC0834B5BEDFD

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