Ryan Research Newsletter 10/17/21

Hi all,

I’ve got a new batch of items to share.

1.) Bitcoin’s Miner Fee Crisis Explained: A Reply to Joe Weisenthal

Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal started asking questions about why bitcoin seems to have a logical gap in reasoning related to its economics. He makes some good first attempts at answering but I took it upon myself to elaborate. Bitcoin’s miner fee crisis was caused by the split in direction of the bitcoin community during the Block Size Scaling War of 2014-2019. Overall, bitcoin failed its most basic test: to prove that decentralized market-driven anonymous individuals can build, sustain, and grow a global monetary and payment system. Read the whole article or Twitter thread to learn the whole story.

2.) The Distortion of Nietzsche’s Views On Technology By Silicon Valley

Friedrich Nietzsche was a philosopher in the 19th century. He has become one of the most read and perhaps controversial of the discipline. His birthday was just the other day and it seems fitting to discuss how his views or a misreading of them are still driving current day affairs. In this Twitter thread, I leveraged Robert E. McGinn’s 1980 paper titled “Nietzsche on Technology”. I share McGinn’s perspective that Nietzsche was very nuanced on technology. He viewed that technology was only useful in its ability to enhance human spiritual attainment. He noticed many ways technology could do the opposite and was no sycophant. It’s important to clarify this issue because many economic elites that inhabit Silicon Valley culture are becoming more and more explicit “Nietzschians”. They suggest that their pursual of technology in isolation from other human contexts is justified by Nietzsche’s call to become the ubermensch. Silicon Valley’s transhumanism is alleged to be following Nietzsche’s will to power. After a proper reading of Nietzsche’s work and my thread, in particular, we can conclude that Silicon Valley’s delusion is anathema to Nietzsche’s view. In fact, they represent the disastrous technological nihilism that he warned against.

3.) William Henderson’s Biography of Friedrich List

I recently posted a bunch of snippets from Henderson’s biography of Friedrich List. He explores the man and most importantly his ideas. It’s a great explanation of the National System of Political Economy as opposed to economic liberalism or socialism. Please check out the book and learn why List might be the most forgotten but relevant economist we need today.

4.) Ireland’s Tax Haven Policy Defeated. What’s The Plan B For A Global Minimum Tax Rate?

Since the 1990s, Ireland has used a low corporate tax as its defining economic policy. Foreign multinationals, like Apple, would set up faux offices on the emerald isle to cheat taxes in other nations. Ireland received some growth from this policy but ultimately it resulted in a speculative crisis, austerity, and diminishment. Now, the world has had enough with this policy and has defeated Ireland’s attempts to keep the scheme. This begs the question of what is the economic plan b for a nation that never thought it would have to? Irish media, scholars, and policymakers are overwhelmingly without answers. I have answers. Ireland’s must adopt a nationalist economic program. It must leave the European currency union, actualize its own sovereign central bank, and utilize monetary policy to stimulate domestic industrial formation. For those wanting some further insights please read Angela Nagle’s and Colin Coulter’s collection of essays on Irish economics, “Ireland Under Austerity”, as well as Conor McCabe’s “Sins of the Father” for an in-depth historical investigation into Irish economics.

5.) Bitcoin Philosophy with Andrew Bailey - Podcast

I'm joined by Andrew Bailey. He is an associate professor at Yale-NUS College, where he teaches classes on money, philosophy, and politics. His work with the Resistance Money research collective aims to understand and evaluate bitcoin in a way that integrates philosophy, politics, and economics. In our chat, we discuss the foundations of bitcoin. We explore its origins and the deeper meaning behind its attributes. We touch upon both advocate and skeptic perspectives in our analysis. We untangle confused definitions and shallow concepts to reveal objective explanations that integrate various fields of study like technology, economics, philosophy, and more. Specifics include a close reading of Satoshi's whitepaper, the history of the scaling debate, etc. Please enjoy our in-depth discussion.

6.) Colum Kenny’s Biography on Arthur Griffith

Colum Kenny’s “The Enigma of Arthur Griffith” is a fantastic book that draws attention to the most central and impactful figure of the Irish Revolution yet also the most forgotten one. In the shadow of Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera stands Arthur Griffith. He was the founder of Sinn Fein, the most widely read nationalist journalist, and leading politician resulting in his final achievement as the first President of the Irish Free State. For whatever reason, Irish culture has put him aside but his ideas are timeless. 2021’s Ireland could gain a lot from rekindling them. Secondly, he’s a man of tremendous character who would benefit anyone to read.