Around the world each year people watchers observe other people engaged in both evergreen and seasonal behaviors. Some activities are more suited to warm weather and others for cold. It is and always has been notable to people all around the world whenever one season ends and another begins.
All seasonal changes are remarkable; however, one warrants more attention than the rest, particularly in colonial America. Winter can be and often was quite fatal. During settlement of the American continent by Europeans, and still to this day in many parts of the world, the shift to the cold weather season is bittersweet.
Hopefully the harvest was bountiful and the larder and root cellar are well stocked, because ready or not, winter is coming. On the 4th Thursday of November each year, Americans traditionally mark the end of the harvest season with a feast, gathering with family, friends, neighbors, and community to celebrate the holiday known as Thanksgiving.
In 2023, many celebrate Thanksgiving by keeping to some of the original traditions. Modern traditions include sports, games, turkey, potatoes, stuffing/dressing, green beans, corn, pumpkin pie, and all sorts of dishes.
We definitely still eat until we can’t eat any more just like they did at the first Thanksgiving.
We go watch half a football game and then, forgetting we couldn’t eat any more just a half hour ago, go get some dessert. People have a tendency to spend a significant amount of time at the Thanksgiving gathering itself, which means that people who live very different lives and only see one another at holidays such as Thanksgiving have an opportunity to talk to one another.
Why do Bitcoiners have laser eyes? Because Bitcoin is all we can focus on, and we do so with laser-like focus. As every Bitcoiner who has ever made an attempt to orange pill another person knows, it’s easy to fail in the orange pilling endeavor, especially when we fail to consider our presentation, it’s relevance, and, most importantly, the uniqueness of the individual to whom we are presenting.
The intent of this article is to offer each orange pilling “archer” who is attending Thanksgiving gatherings, wanting to engage in orange pilling efforts, a “quiver of arrows” for their consideration. These arrows have been designed to make Bitcoin topical to the Thanksgiving gathering so at least your orange pilling efforts come off less as unhinged ranting and hopefully more as informative and interesting.
Conversations about Thanksgiving are very appropriate so beginning a conversation with some interesting facts about the first Thanksgiving and what it was all about is a good lead that allows one to naturally flow into discussing how Thanksgiving is similar to Bitcoin in manner X, Y, or Z..
So how is Thanksgiving Bitcoin? As Hank Rearden might put it “I do not owe you an answer, but I could tell you in a hundred ways.” A hundred may be a stretch, but here’s a few for consideration:
- Thanksgiving didn’t always exist. Bitcoin didn’t always exist.
- The public harbors misconceptions about the origins of Thanksgiving just as the public harbors misperceptions and misconceptions about the origins of Bitcoin.
- Thanksgiving is a holiday in which people open up their homes to people in a spirit of charity and generosity, particularly with food. Bitcoin is a permissionless network open to anyone, and offers people a better way to engage in charitable giving.
- Bitcoin’s consensus mechanism is known as “proof of work”. The Thanksgiving feast itself is proof of a sufficient volume of food production and preservation work.
- Bitcoin is hope of avoiding a new dark age enabled by an Orwellian capital surveillance superstate. The Thanksgiving feast was hope that winter’s rations would be sufficient.
- Bitcoin is tribalistic with respect to altcoins and fiat. Thanksgiving was tribalistic post-Civil War.
- Bitcoin is tamper-resistant and immutable. There was once a fiat manipulation of Thanksgiving’s date by authority figures in an effort to benefit the economy, but the people opposed the move and the fiat manipulation was reversed just a few years later.
- Bitcoin promotes and enables independence. Thanksgiving celebrates independence.
- Bitcoin is under attack by the ignorant and malicious. Thanksgiving is under attack by the ignorant and malicious.
We know Bitcoin didn’t exist until Satoshi had put it all together, at which point Bitcoin existed as a working concept. Once it was distributed to the cypher punk email list on October 31, 2008, Bitcoin graduated to a collaborative project. On January 3rd, 2009, Bitcoin’s Genesis Block, the block heard round the world wide web, signaled proof of concept, a prototype, and a paradigm shift for a new era.
The ignorant, no-coiner public often theorizes that any number of nefarious alphabet soup intel agencies or shadowy secret society conspirators are the true identity of Satoshi. Immediately, that shouldn’t be a problem for an intellectually honest person who takes time to investigate Bitcoin and understand it as a technology.
The anonymity of Satoshi Nakamoto should be irrelevant to the judgement of Bitcoin itself.
Knowing the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto in any way adds to or detracts from the apparent usefulness of Bitcoin, just as much as the unknown identity of the inventor of the wheel in no way adds or detracts from the apparent usefulness of the wheel.
Typically, the people who lob such allegations have not done their due diligence on Bitcoin. They haven’t read the whitepaper. It’s only 8 pages. Sure, some of it’s a bit high level, but to borrow Seinfeld parlance, one can just “yadda yadda” over certain parts for now. For most people, that’s going to be the code and math in section 11. Also, it’s important to note that you are not required to, nor are you expected to digest this paradigm shifting whitepaper in a single 5-minute cram session. You might need to ask for some help on understanding the math. You might have to read it a handful of times to really start to get it. If you get pushback, sometimes, the best move is to challenge the Bitcoin detractor’s understanding of how Bitcoin works at a big picture, football play, X’s and O’s, 10,000-foot-high overview kind of level. I did that to a big Wall St. firm’s 401k Financial
Advisor Liar who calls upon the company where I was working at the time.
It was crickets in the room. She had nothing to say.
Remember what The Big Short taught us. Nobody does the math. Nobody does their due diligence. Instead, the ones who have been aware of Bitcoin long enough to have seen their purchasing power potentially increase had they chosen differently, can’t handle being wrong regarding opportunity lost, so, instead, they double down repeatedly as an ego defense mechanism. At that point, they may resort to making up wild, unbased conspiracy theories and engage in all sorts of logically fallacious arguments or even abandon the conversation completely.
Bitcoin, however, abandons no one, and has a very low cost to onboard. Many people in third world countries have mobile phones of some sort, including common smart touch screen phones. They have internet access and can download wallet apps free, fast, and easy. Bitcoin sees no ethnicity, no creed, no sexual orientation, no nationality, and Bitcoin can’t even tell if you’re a program, robot, or human being. All it sees is incontrovertible, cryptographically verifiable data, and, being code, Bitcoin simply executes.
The code Bitcoin executes, when run by node-runners around the world in every jurisdiction, manifests as a consensus algorithm called “proof of work”. In The Big Short, when the banks print new units of fiat currency for a NINJA loan where the applicant has No Income & No Job listed on the Application, that borrower has done no proof of work indicating they are worthy of being granted those newly minted units of fiat currency and the purchasing power they possess.
With Bitcoin, when a miner wins a block and the newly minted Bitcoins known as the block reward or block subsidy, we know that miner did work on behalf of the network. Because we know work has been done on behalf of the network, the network participants tend to accept the idea of compensating that miner with a prescriptive amount of newly minted units of currency. We don’t mind paying people, most especially after they’ve demonstrated proof of work, and Bitcoin is no different.
If we pay someone before they’ve demonstrated proof of work, we can only hope they will fulfill their word and do the work they’ve just been paid to do. In that regard, Bitcoin eliminates the need for hope, because, again, we know the recipient of newly minted units of Bitcoin has provably done work for the network.
What eliminates the need for hope? Hope eternal? Is that why Michael Saylor dedicated his domain name www.hope.com to Bitcoin? Before MicroStrategy announced their adoption of Bitcoin as a treasury reserve asset, I was asked in 2020 “What gives you hope?” and without batting an eye, I said “Bitcoin”.
Saylor and I were very much on the same wavelength there. When one understands Bitcoin’s design, what Bitcoin stands to disrupt, and therefore, how incentivized the disrupted are to stop Bitcoin, and then considers that Bitcoin continues, tick tock, next block, day in, day out, Bitcoin’s resilience and anti-fragility becomes undeniable. Bitcoin is good for Earth’s occupants, good for Earth’s energy grid, and is anti-fragile. Bitcoin is hope.
Bitcoin isn’t all hope though. Our space is rife with scammers of all sorts. There is a Cambrian explosion of altcoins, many of which were created with good intentions. Ultimately, money is most useful when everyone uses the same thing. Bitcoin’s absolute supply cap, chronological advantage as the first of its kind, and a litany of other attributes ultimately mean that these altcoins are going to bleed value back to Bitcoin over the long run.
Bitcoiners have a tendency to be tribalistic, as do altcoiners, as do Cantillionaires who are people who have become enriched by their proximity to the money printer, i.e., the cronies of crony capitalism. Each tribe tends to be naturally defensive of their own camp and considers the other camps to be incorrect at the best and malicious at the worst. This is why we say “Study Bitcoin” instead of “Buy Bitcoin”.
People are a lot more comfortable spending a little time researching things than they are trading their fiat for magic internet money. To study is to pursue understanding. To understand someone else and to treat them in a manner that acknowledges and demonstrates your understanding of them as the unique individual that they are IS a show of love. The first step is to understand the other, and that’s got to be done with communication.
Communication can take many forms but ultimately, there’s only two ways to learn: when we get burned by the fire or when we see the light. For those who haven’t felt the burn enough yet and still can’t see the light, the market’s never wrong and purchasing power (price, aka fiat exchange rate) is a pretty clear signal, so, to borrow the words of Thomas Paine, “Time makes more converts than reason.”
Reason is logic. Logic can be expressed as code. Bitcoin is code. Bitcoin attracts a lot of very reasonable, rational, logical people. Those who have done their due diligence on the subject laugh at a certain environmental activism organization’s #ChangeTheCode campaign for good reason.
Anyone can change Bitcoin’s code at any time and run that new, modified code. The only problem with that is that there are thousands of nodes on the Bitcoin network who aren’t going to run your code unless they think it’s actually better, so you have to win the debate in public and take on all comers before you sway the network into running your variant of the Bitcoin code.
Expect intense scrutiny if you do. Bring your A game. As far as 51% attacks go, those are also not really a problem. There are probably mining operations in every jurisdiction on the planet by now. Miners can swap out which pool their hash power is pointed towards with the click of a mouse. People mining have costs sunk into their mining operations therefore it is in their interests not to attack the network.
Game theoretically, miners are incentivized to remove their hash rate contributions from any mining pools attempting to engage in a 51% attack, as that attack would crash the network in which they have sunk costs yet to be recuperated.
Independence seems to have become a sunk idea for many. Bitcoin promotes independence by being not only a completely separate currency, but also by being its own infrastructure and defense mechanism. Bitcoiners have a tendency to build not just their portfolios, but their bodies, minds, families, and properties as well.
The concept of the Bitcoin citadel is not new as a concept, although it’s still novel to many no-coiners out there. Bitcoiners tend to have a strong bent towards liberty, freedom, independence, and the like, and the Bitcoin citadel (read: energy independent homestead with multiple, community enriching forms of cottage industry) is a demonstration of that ideal set.
Bitcoin is great, but the legacy system being replaced isn’t so great. It’s filled with corruption, manipulation, deceit, and malicious intent. It’s not a giant leap to expect that the legacy financial system would attack Bitcoin, just as horse and buggy manufacturers likely lobbied against the car and political cartoons were crafted to warn the dangers of putting up power lines everywhere to distribute electricity.
At one point in time, Big Auto bought up a bunch of trolley systems and, to stave off competition, promptly proceed to shut the trolley operations down over the course of a few years. As Keynesian economics is related to Marxist economics via the pillar of central banking, in addition to those Cantillionaire insiders attacking Bitcoin, there are also the equivalent of the Marxist “useful idiots” who do not understand what they are attacking but attack nonetheless. Bitcoin shrugs off these attacks on a daily basis as well.
This is why Bitcoin education and #StudyBitcoin are so important as initiatives and areas of focus. Imagine how fast this revolution could happen if we orange pilled every teacher.
Until we get to that point, every Bitcoiner has the ability to orange pill others.
- Study Bitcoin yourself.
- Hone your elevator pitch.
- Listen to more articulate speakers and use their rhetoric where it is appropriate to be deployed.
- Don’t be afraid to orange pill people and fail!
Every failure is a lesson learned for you, the orange-piller! You may find that your pitch was better than ever or you liked a thought that arose when your target asked a noob question or maybe the encounter revealed an area of weakness of knowledge on your part and serves as a motivating factor for you to go learn about that very area of weakness.
The reason jiu jitsu, the gentle art of folding clothes while a human is still wearing them, is so effective is because the Brazilian practitioners would go test it in the streets and get into real world fights with people. Orange pilling is not a violent clash of bodies, but rather a peaceful cooperation of minds, but despite that difference, the same idea applies.
Fire tempers steel. Mix it up with people in your life and see how well you are able to serve the revolution by gaining the interest of no-coiners and then educating them well. We dispel lies and FUD with truth and facts. Some orange pill targets may be a lost cause, but remember that sometimes it takes a while for a person to really get Bitcoin and finally choose to end their run as a no-coiner. Be tactful and understanding, but try not to give up on people either.
The ones you win over will love you for it. The ones who didn’t listen will remember you for it, and hopefully, with some grace, we can offer them open arms when they’re ready. As the saying goes, do I not vanquish my enemies when I make them my friends? There’s a first time Bitcoin “clicks” for everyone, so who knows, this time might be it.
There’s a first time for everything else too. One thing many don’t know or perhaps haven’t considered about Thanksgiving is that Thanksgiving wasn’t always a holiday that was celebrated by all Americans. Not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving for a variety of reasons, but at this point almost everyone celebrates Thanksgiving in the States.
Historically speaking, there are a lot of misconceptions about the original Thanksgiving. Pilgrims did sit down with Native Americans for a big meal. There were no potatoes. There were no giant buckles until the 1700s. They did wear black and white but they only wore it on Sundays as formal religious attire. Because of that, we know the feast took place on a Sunday, not a Thursday as we now hold as tradition. They did shoot as much fowl as they could, so the turkey tradition is on point.
The first Thanksgiving was sometime in late September/early October, not late November. One must remember that the first Thanksgiving took place in New England. If you’ve ever been to New England in November, you’ve witnessed it yourself. Winter starts early there and can be quite brutal, making voluntary holiday feasts more feasible during the relatively warmer months of September and October.
As these facts may reveal, the Thanksgiving tradition didn’t even survive one year, as the next year the colony was afflicted with a number of issues from crop failures to disease. Also, new colonists kept arriving and plenty of the new arrivals didn’t immediately pick up the holiday tradition.
As time progressed and the population spread out and put down roots, they brought the Thanksgiving harvest feast tradition with them. In different places, families and communities would develop their own standards or official dates of when the Thanksgiving harvest feast was to be celebrated. This was a decentralized process with no central governing authority. The origins of the Thanksgiving holiday are inherently anarchistic.
Nature too is anarchistic. Nature is brutal and unforgiving. People, especially survivalist pilgrims, are going to be in a mindset of planning, rationing, etc. 99% of the time, except during Thanksgiving. The harvest has been reaped, the larder stocked, and the firewood split and stacked in preparation of surviving the deadly cold of winter. It takes a lot of work to get to that point. If the autumn harvest was sufficient to afford a feast, it makes sense to do it at the end of the harvest season for several reasons.
First, by that point you should know whether you can afford a feast or not. Second, it’s about to be cold, so putting on some feast fat around that time of year is a reasonable survival strategy. Lastly, time is against us when it comes to storing food, so if we have enough surplus to afford a feast, the food is going to be the best when it is fresh, not what has been pulled out of canning jars in the root cellar.
At times in the history of Thanksgiving, they would completely cover the table with food. It was a 3-day event, feasting Thursday through Saturday, followed by religious services on Sunday. After a multi-season effort, it is totally understandable to take a moment or even a few days of respite to appreciate one’s accomplishments, the fruit of one’s toils, and they did. People would eat until they couldn’t move, just as we do today.
This well-deserved indulgence was akin to what Sisyphus, known as the cleverest of all men of Ancient Greece, must have felt every time he pushed his boulder up and over the precipice of the hill. It is similar to what Cool Hand Luke and the rest of the chain gang felt at the end of their hustle to tar that road. They enjoyed the brief respite afforded by their efforts and hustle. The walk down that hill is the best part of Sisyphus’s day.
Having a seat on a flipped over shovel after tarring that road was quite the load off for Cool Hand Luke and the boys. Sisyphus, Cool Hand Luke, and the rest of the prisoners didn’t get much in the way of holidays or vacations, so they found ways to carve out mini-vacations, mini-holidays, within their daily toils. Americans too found a way to carve out a holiday within their seasonal toils.
It’s no coincidence that holiday and vacation are interchangeable terms in some places. We call Thanksgiving a holiday, and we generally are afforded time off from work on Thanksgiving Day. Many are afforded time off from work on the day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, completing a 4-day long holiday weekend. In the professional world, one might hear people talking about how much work they typically have done in the past in order to free themselves up to take a week or two of paid time off work to travel for a vacation.
A lot of times people won’t go on a vacation simply because they fear falling too far behind at work. The Thanksgiving feast is like that vacation. It is an indulgence. It was proof that the household has significantly surpassed the cumulative, caloric survival needs quota of all household members through the winter and into spring. This feast was proof of survival. This feast was proof of work.
Larger still, this was proof of wealth in the Buckminster Fuller definition. Fuller said “wealth is a person’s ability to survive a certain number of days forward.” The Thanksgiving harvest feast was a demonstration of confidence that the root cellar and larder had been well stocked with the efforts of the growing and harvest seasons.
It’s just irrational to have a huge feast like that unless you’re confident that your stores of food would last you well into the next growing season. It’s critical to understand that there was no local grocery store right down the street. If people were short on food, they were looking at a full day’s travel on horse just to get a few sacks of grain to make it through the winter. Four-foot-high snowfalls happen in some areas in winter every year.
The only question is how many such snowfalls will there be. Sometimes they even get that much snowfall as late as March or April. Bear in mind that was the tail end of a miniature ice age. Those centuries were cold! Either way the stakes were life or death! On one hand, you and your family could die because you stayed home and ran out of food. On the other hand, you could freeze to death trying to acquire supplemental provisions from wherever you can get them and your family could starve anyways.
Thanksgiving was proof of survival.
Thanksgiving was proof of work.
In addition to being proof of work, Thanksgiving was and is a holiday of inclusion, charity, and generosity. If a family member, friend, neighbor, etc. had no place to celebrate, people would invite that person to their Thanksgiving celebration in the spirit of human fraternity, and that person is expected to eat their fill. They’re expected to take a load off afterwards and enjoy that drowsy feeling we often get after a huge meal that some call “itis”.
The charity doesn’t stop there on Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving holiday has grown. There are now Thanksgiving dinners put together annually for the homeless at homeless shelters. There are Thanksgiving dinner food packages put together for the poor.
Many are familiar with Black Friday as an accompanying holiday of consumerism on the heels of Thanksgiving Thursday. In the modern era we’ve added “Cyber Monday” to the chain of holidays as a follow up consumerist holiday. That seemed out of balance though, with so much consumption and consumerism, so one more holiday was added to the mix: Giving Tuesday.
If we can spend a few million sats worth of purchasing power on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, we can probably afford to send a few hundred thousand sats to, for example, to help build a school in Haiti. Remember Giving Tuesday, everyone. When “they” sling mud at us, saying things like “Bitcoin facilitates terrorism” and whatnot, we must be able to respond with love, saying “Bitcoin facilitates charity.”
A Thanksgiving feast is also somewhat of a status symbol. There are multiple layers to that idea. The “ants” who worked hard all growing and harvesting season preparing to survive the harshness of winter. It is admirable to be independent and have foresight. To provide a feast for many people beyond just those of your household is to go above and beyond the work necessary to merely survive.
The ability to provide a feast for others indicates surplus productivity on behalf of the host in addition to the apparent generosity and hospitality. As they say, it’s not wise to bite the hand that feeds you. Along that same line of thought, people tend to shower providers with accolades for their provision.
The biggest layer to the idea of the Thanksgiving feast as being a status symbol was the family’s survival through to the next growing season. If there was no Thanksgiving feast, it was likely because the harvest and slaughter that season had been underwhelming and the winter rations were likely going to be a bit lighter than they would have preferred. If there is a Thanksgiving feast, it indicates confidence that we have plenty of food to last us to next growing season.
In other words, the Thanksgiving feast was hope.
The first official declaration of Thanksgiving as a holiday was by George Washington in 1789, but it wasn’t made a national holiday until Abraham Lincoln made it so during the Civil War. Why did Lincoln do this? He was looking for a way to unify the nation, so, with that in mind, he named the fourth Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day.
After the Civil War, Thanksgiving wasn’t really celebrated in the Southern United States and was considered a “Damn Yankee Holiday”. It wasn’t until time passed, wounds healed, people moved and migrated, and the American “melting pot” did its thing, that Thanksgiving became a holiday celebrated by all Americans.
In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, or FDR as he was known, changed the date of Thanksgiving from the fourth Thursday of November to the third Thursday of November. Black Friday was a thing during the Great Depression too, so FDR had this bright idea that, by moving Thanksgiving back a week on the calendar, it would have the effect of extending the Christmas gift shopping season by a week which would be stimulating for the economy.
Tampering with peoples’ traditions is a quick way to stir up ire, and that’s what happened after FDR’s move. Just a few years later, they moved it back to the fourth Thursday of November. That’s how it’s been ever since.
In modern day clown world, though, Thanksgiving is under attack. People wholly ignorant of most, if not all of the facts presented in this article will pontificate about how European colonialists stole land from the indigenous Native American people or how meat is murder and things of that nature.
While they may have a point, there’s no reason to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Rather than holistically addressing both the historically disturbing, negative aspects and the positive, unifying, virtuous aspects of the Thanksgiving holiday altogether, these actors with their own agendas focus only on picking nits they often don’t even understand in an effort to propagandize the masses for the sake of their puppet masters’ agenda.
America was once the home of the avant-garde of liberty. Now we regularly refer to America, among other places, as clown world. I think it’s entirely fair to say that the torch has been passed to the plebs. At the Bitcoin 2023 Conference in Miami, RFK Jr. was correct when he said
“all of you I know are here again not because you love a currency but because you love our country. You love democracy. You love freedom, and in that sense your support of Bitcoin puts you in the same category as the framers of the Constitution, that gave us that Bill of Rights, that created these democratic institutions, and you are the current manifestation of that impulse.”
Thanksgiving is the first American holiday. It is a celebration of rugged, independent individuals braving arduous sea voyages and surviving in new lands.
Bitcoin, as the money of liberty, promotes and enables independence.
Thanksgiving, as the first holiday of America, the proverbial land of the free, celebrates independence.
Thanksgiving is an annual opportunity to reconsider just how lucky we are compared to the people in 1621 America. We turn a knob and there’s hot water. We don’t have to manage firewood for warmth or cooking. We have fully enclosed and heated vehicles. As incompetent as it is, the
public government education system does produce literacy if literacy is desired. We have access to all information all the time. Who are “we” though? The first world? Does everyone have those luxuries, or are there still places where a little girl’s lot in life is to walk 8 hours with an empty pot, fill it up with water, and walk 8 hours back with a full pot of water for their family? When Bitcoin mining renders energy generation projects no longer cost prohibitive and that energy generation project is able to power a pump station and some pipe gets laid, that little girl no longer needs to walk daily for water. Energy can do that while she gets an education, becomes a more valuable member of her community, innovates, builds, and leaves a better world behind in the process.
Be thankful for all the benefits of modern living you have. Be thankful for Satoshi. Be thankful for Bitcoin. Be thankful for hope. Be thankful that we are going to make it through fiat winter, because Thanksgiving is Bitcoin.
Special thanks to Jack Spirko, @TheSurvivalPodc https://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/ , for orange pilling me via his show and for his annual, evergreen Thanksgiving episode, from which much of the Thanksgiving information in this article was sourced.
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