Life is full of “aha” moments. “Aha.” It’s barely even a word, but it invokes a great deal of meaning. It is that moment of resonance where something clicks. That penny drop moment.
I recently had a great discussion with Daniel Prince. You can find the conversation on the Once Bitten! Podcast, Episode #235. In it, we discuss escaping the 9-5, travel, financial education, freedom, the current state of Europe, wrassling up cattle (apparently, I’m a cowboy), food sovereignty, health, writing, totalitarianism, philosophy, and, of course, Bitcoin.
Prince is often interested in finding out when that “aha” moment was for his guests regarding Bitcoin specifically. This is referred to as their “orange-pilled” moment. Taken from the movie The Matrix, the protagonist, Neo, is given a choice between taking a blue pill or a red pill. The blue pill allows him to remain “asleep,” ignorant of how the underlying system of the world operates. The red pill wakes him up and opens his eyes to how the world is actually structured.
Morpheus: I imagine that right now you’re feeling a bit like Alice, tumbling down the rabbit hole? Hm?
Neo: You could say that.
Morpheus: I can see it in your eyes. You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up. Ironically, this is not far from the truth. Do you believe in fate, Neo?
Morpheus: Why not?
Neo: Because I don’t like the idea that I’m not in control of my life.
Morpheus: I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something.
What you know you can’t explain. But you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life. That there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I’m talking about?
Neo: The Matrix?
Morpheus: Do you want to know what it is? The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us, even now in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison for your mind…. Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes… Remember, all I’m offering is the truth, nothing more… Follow me.
Bitcoin Orange Pill Gives You The Heureka! Moment
The orange pill is the “aha” moment in Bitcoin when one entertains the idea of what a world built on truth can mean going forward. It begins with an incorruptible monetary system. A realization emerges that there is just maybe a solution on the horizon. They’ve inherently always known that, deep down, something is wrong, but no viable solutions ever seemed to immerge.
Enter, Bitcoin: a base-layer monetary protocol with no one at the helm. There is no one pulling the strings or fine-tuning the machine to benefit themselves at the expense of others. There will only ever be 21 million bitcoins, and every 10 minutes a new block is created. These rules are unchangeable. No one can create more than 21 million bitcoins, and blocks cannot be reversed in the chain. If you want, you can voluntarily adopt this structure as your monetary standard. I believe, eventually, everyone will do this.
This understanding, plus the observation of central banks inflating away one’s savings, is that orange-pilling moment for most people. From here, they start to think about how a deflationary world could look. They entertain the idea of living with sound money rather than a debt-based system. They question why the Fed exists and if we should have centralization of monetary production. They begin to entertain the idea of the separation of money and state. The notion of money creation becomes a moral issue.
This line of questioning leads to more questions. It broadens itself to other areas that have less to do with money. “What is the role of the state?” “Should the state be in charge of my children’s education?” “Why are they pushing so hard for us to reduce our energy consumption?” “Why are they pushing for a singular pharmaceutical intervention rather than promoting natural immune-boosting health practices?” “Why is my food becoming less familiar with these foreign ingredients that I have never heard of?” “Why is the media lying to us?”
Many of these questions are being asked by more than just Bitcoiners, but Bitcoiners have become obsessed with finding any and all systems and questioning them at their core. It is why Bitcoin feels more like a movement or revolution rather than merely a “new money.”
These orange-pilling moments are not unique to Bitcoin. One could argue they are an inherent part of human existence. They are moments of realization where your worldview shifts. Many people experience this when they have their first child. It happens one night when you look up at the stars and contemplate the insignificance of life. It takes place when one discovers God and the potential significance of life. It is when one realizes they have been dwelling on the past or being anxious about the future and never truly enjoying life by living in the present moment.
These are moments of life-altering perspective changes. The most significant ones tend to happen only a few times in one’s life. These changes happen on a collective scale where society’s perspective shifts into a new and expanded view of humanity. These upgrades often involve a technological revolution.
Take, for example, the first time people started flying. Humans were never meant to fly, but once we figured out how to manufacture wings, we could see the world from a vantage point that only a few creatures possessed. For our entire existence, we could only observe the world around us from the ground level. As soon as we could fly, we gained an entirely new perspective.
Our old view of the world did not change. Rather it expanded. We are now experiencing red-pilling moments at a rapid rate. The Internet has allowed us to expand our perspective on everything. We are becoming hyper-aware on a collective scale.
This collective expansion begins the deterioration of institutions that previously relied on the ignorance of those it possessed power over. Before the Gutenberg press, the church was the sole interpreter of the Bible. This power gave them leverage and allowed them to direct society as they saw fit. Once Johannes Gutenberg’s invention made its impact, it allowed the distribution of information to make its way to individuals.
People are waking up. They are looking into institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Economic Forum. They are exposing companies such as Monsanto and Pfizer. These conglomerates either have to figure out new ways to trick people or become transparent and gain back the trust of individuals.
I believe that the world is going in the direction of the latter. Free and open-source software will become standard. Products will have to abide by best privacy practices to appeal to customers. Companies and governments will have to provide for individuals rather than backing them into a corner where they have no recourse.
Soon, we will all be orange-pilled. Those who begin this journey early will have a leg up on those who remain gripped by the old system. The ship is sinking. Fortunately, there are enough lifeboats for everyone. One only needs to possess the courage to let go of the old ways and take the dive down the rabbit hole.