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24th April 2022 > > Sunday morning musings.

Updated: Apr 25, 2022


Probably a load of old nonsense. I am sure you have better things to do this morning than read my ramblings.

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Market Wrap

Leveraged shorts continue to grow as the outlook for risk assets deteriorates with each basis point increase in 10-year rates.

Curious Cryptos’ Commentary – Preferably, the path well-trodden

Whilst out walking most of the way to the summit of Sgurr Coire Choinnichean on the Knoydart peninsula - one of the smaller Corbetts - an interesting discussion broke out about the benefits or otherwise of following the right footpath or not.

This discussion was initiated as the person in front (i.e. me) had lost track of the path by mistakenly following a very minor brook to the spur just below the summit.

There was no great drama in the situation, it’s just that it was clear that this was a more demanding route at a time when that really did not add anything to the whole experience.

Which led me to ponder why it was that a pathway, sometimes obscure and easy to miss, will always be the best way to reach the top when appreciating a walk.

Spoiler alert - the answer is really very simple and obvious, but it came as a revelation to me and has illuminated to me my appreciation and support of cryptos.

Ever since the first hominids started collaborating with one another an awfully long time ago (Homo Erectus was hunting on the plains of Africa 1.8 million years or so ago) there has been a tension between the myriad possibilities for each individual’s potential decision at any one moment in time and the centralised decision making of the group leader, for surely there always is one.

This is a system which has stood the test of time well.

It has delivered and continues to deliver incredible advances in our knowledge of the physical determinism of the universe, it has allowed the human population to grow to seven billion or so people, it extends lifespans to multiples of what might be expected just hundreds of years ago and produces things of beauty in the music and art worlds.

It is of course far from perfect.

Wars will always be fought over scarce resources, and those resources change little over time. There will always be excessive inequality in the world, though having at least some inequality is a necessity for further technological advances. It facilitates unscrupulous persons to exert control beyond a level that could ever be considered healthy.

Different societies and different cultures will determine their own degree of centralisation of decision making. The more liberal – and yes, more capitalist – societies exhibit a far higher level of decentralisation than the more autocratic or dictatorial countries.

If you look around the world, most reasonable people will agree that life in general is better for those individuals who live in the more decentralised societies. These societies largely allow people and businesses to organise themselves in ways that they see fit, subject to some basic principles of acceptable human behaviour. They allow people to be involved democratically in the political decision making process, though it is true it is only for the last hundred years that women have gained access to that process.

The formation of the path to the summit of Sgurr Coire Choinnichean has grown and developed since the first inhabitants of the Knoydart Peninsula started exploring the majestic beauty of this place, probably some tens of thousands of years ago.

Though the first route would have been chosen by one person, that route has been refined and improved over the millennia by countless numbers of individuals making countless number of decisions as to where to place the next step.

Not all these decisions were the right ones – in fact most of them would have been wrong. But over time the collective agreement of this thoroughly decentralised process of finding the most effective and efficient path to the summit has come to fruition.

The forces of decentralisation are unstoppable, precisely because over time they will undoubtedly lead to a better outcome for the majority most of the time.

I do not argue that this will result in total decentralisation of all human activity, far from it.

There are some aspects of modern society that will always require some degree of centralisation. It is hard to see how a DAO (decentralised autonomous organisation) could ever have been as effective as Volodymyr Zelensky was in rallying his people to the cause when he refused to leave Kyiv in the early stages of Putin’s execution of war crimes against Ukraine.

But I do argue that almost all aspects of modern society will be improved by increasing the degree of decentralisation in the round.

Individuals and organisations that truly chersh liberal values and beliefs will embrace this new paradigm and will benefit strikingly from doing so.

Those that try to fight against this revolution from fear of losing control, power, and prestige, will be all the poorer for their innate narcissism.

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