Just as I have, chances are that you’ve occasionally suffered from Present Shock, described by Douglas Rushkoff in his book by the same title as an imminent feeling of impending catastrophe brought on by the incessant whirs, rings, and buzzes of a “connected” existence. Present Shock is what happens when we fail to take advantage of the strength of computers, that of ceaseless and instant operation, and become more like them rather than effectively delegating to them so that we can enjoy greater freedom. This happens when we become so consumed by our silicon-mimicking ways of life that we’re unable to ground ourselves, feeling adrift in a never-ending series of crises.
*Ding* comes another e-mail.
*Chime* comes another “notification” or “interaction”.
*Buzz* comes another text.
It’s go-go-go. And we suck balls at it.
As humans, we’re exceptional for our creative, linguistic, and imaginative capacities – capacities at their best when free of distraction – capacities at their best when strolling leisurely in the shade of old trees in still older cities. Yet the environment that we’ve created for ourselves in North America, in addition to being environmentally toxic (food, air, etc.), is equally toxic to the joy/burden that is consciousness. We’ve neither evolved nor adequately trained ourselves to be in a constant state of crisis management. It messes us up.
In such a confusing environment, and in addition to a variety of unfortunate, if not accidental, incentives, it’s really no wonder that the entire global economy is a pin prick away from playing Chernobyl on Broadway.
Today, patience, a hapless victim of Present Shock, is as scarce as trees on Easter Island. It’s no wonder we’ve become such suckers for the wallet inspector’s promises and the scammer’s pupbux. Taglines like “such profit” are too tempting to pass up. Despite knowing better, many of us throw our coins at transparently ridiculous causes with nothing more than the hope that we’ll pass off the hot potato before we get burned. Then we bitch and moan when we’re left looking like The English Patient. Because it couldn’t possibly be our own faults.
It might seem like you’ll miss out on the Next Big Thing if you don’t act RFN, but you’d be much better served by sleeping on it for a month or two, going for long walks, and generally trying to figure your own shit out. Bitcoin isn’t going anywhere. And if you want to be a part of it, as I do, then take your time. Be patient. It wouldn’t hurt to spend 6 months reading some logs. As I enter my sophomore year in Bitcoin, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing.
If you haven’t already, join me in the most fascinating corner of the world, the IRC.