[The following post is by TDV Editor In Chief, Jeff Berwick]
I was around before the internet. I was always on computers but they had 48k of RAM (not 48mb, not 48gb… 48 kilobytes), had modems that sounded like a fax machine and only one person could get on at a time and our computer monitors were about the size of a Galaxy Note and comachrome. What's comachrome, you ask? Well, basically you had one color you could choose from. The most popular were green and orange. I was excited to get my first green-only monitor because before that I had a 1970s tube black & white television as a monitor.
When <sarcasm alert>Al Gore finally invented the internet around 1994</end sarcasm> I told anyone who would listen that the internet would change everything. Their response, mostly, was, "What's the internet?".
It wasn't until around 2003 that I realized people weren't catching on quite as fast I thought they would. But, in the last five years, almost all of the expectations I had for the internet, and technology, have come true.
Things are now changing at speeds faster than we can even recognize.
I pondered that on Sunday as I try to take Sundays off for the most part. It was hard, as a go-getting entrepreneur and passionate activist to make a better world by ending government and central banks, to take a day off every week. And I never fully can. But I try.
I was sitting there in my underwear in my home office doing a number of things that would have seemed impossible even 20 years ago. First, I decided, I missed playing poker. I used to play worldwide in some of the biggest tournaments including the WSOP, LAPT and winning the secondary main event in Seoul, South Korea at the Asian Poker Tour (after having shown up late for the main event) and won it totally drunk in record time. Well, not totally drunk the entire time.
What happened was that I had a two-day stopover in Seoul on my way to where I was living in Bangkok, at the time, and I just Googled, "Poker Korea" wondering if there was any casinos that had poker in Seoul. Up came the Asian Poker Tour and, it just so happened, it started that day. It took me about three hours to get through that monstrous city in a taxi and I showed up late and missed the main event. A bit disappointed I asked, "Is there any other event?" and they said, "Yes, we have a smaller buy-in secondary event starting in a few hours".
So I hung around until it started. If memory serves it was only about 150 players and started in the mid-afternoon. By 11pm it was down to 15 players, including me, and I voiced my unhappiness.
"Hey, I am only in Seoul for two days, one night, and I really wanted to go out tonight so I suggest if we don't have it down to a final table by midnight that we call it for the night and resume tomorrow."
Somehow I got them to agree and at midnight it just got down to the final table, including me.
I then said, "Listen, I love Korean girls, they are f***ing beautiful and this is my only night here so can we call it for the night and resume for the final table tomorrow?"
Again, somehow, I got everyone to agree. Maybe they were like me and thinking it is Saturday night, let's call it.
I ended up going to one of the better bars in Seoul at the time, at the Park Hyatt hotel, and ended up picking up three girls (this is when I was a world roaming bachelor), ended up taking them out to a strip club out by a US Naval base, trying to fight with some of the Navy boys from the "Home Of The Brave", getting totally hammered and before I knew it it was 10am and we were all in my hotel room, still not having slept, and having a great time.
As the final table was about to start I decided to down some more drinks, put on some sunglasses and play the final table completely drunk out of my mind.
It was the fastest final table I've ever been involved in. I even still remember a hero call I made with AQ suited versus AJ suited who had gone all in, representing a big hand. He had been playing super-tight and I had been playing very loose… very, very loose and I thought he might be on AA, KK or AK. I squinted, looked him over and decided I had the best of it. I called and won and the other 8 people just went down like bowling pins about a total of 20 hands later.
I ended up winning top spot and they actually had to get me a bag for the money I won. Not because it was a massive amount of money but because the largest demonination South Korean Wan bill is worth about $10 US. I asked them, "Why don't you have bigger denomination bills in Korea?" and they replied, "It is part of our culture not to think too highly of money so we have very low denomination bills."
I slung a duffle bag of $10 bills over my shoulder as I said, "Oh, yeah, great idea," and lugged it to the waiting taxi, wondering how I was going to exchange it all for Thai Baht somewhere along the way.
Anyway, I got sidetracked…. way sidetracked.
Getting back to this Sunday I felt like playing poker so I loaded up an internet site and was playing with people from all over the world on about 4 different tables at once. NL Holdem, PL Omaha H/L, even Courchevel just because it looked interesting… and was googling how to play it as I played.
In the meantime, it was the NHL playoffs. So in my browser I had every game playing, streaming, in realtime and in HD throughout the day.
As I was playing 4 tables of poker with people from around the world and watching hockey from various parts of the USSA or Kanada I received a Skype video call from a client in Cambodia.
Meanwhile, in 20 different browser tabs, I was researching news and information from around the world on finance and economics.
As I was doing that, my wife What's App'ed me and asked if I wanted her to order some tacos for the kids and myself (as she was at some beach bar/salon here in Paradise for her day off as mama) that she could do through text message to the taco place.
It was then that I sat back and realized, wow, technology is really getting amazing! My second question was, "How could NASA, a government agency, have gotten to the moon within five years of starting a space agency with the technology of 1969 during a time when the US was pulling out of Vietnam in disgrace and the US dollar was about to collapse and was forced to go bankrupt or unhinge from any last remnants of the gold standard, given that the greatest computational technology at that time was less than what fits in a calculator today and yet, somehow go to the moon numerous times with go-carts, play golf, film themselves from impossible camera angles, plant flags and transmit it all back to Earth in realtime and then lose every single reel of film they filmed there, on the moon, in the late 60s and early 70s".
But I digress. Ahem. Getting back to trying to imagine doing what I did on Sunday twenty years ago…
First of all, it'd be impossible. But, even if you told someone in 1995 that, within twenty years, all information will be freely available on the internet, all in real-time high speed instantaneous communication, that you could play poker with people from around the world while live-streaming hockey in HD, doing a video conference call in HD and receiving wireless communications via a smartphone as you were doing it wondering if you wanted to electronically order tacos…. that person would think you were crazy.
If he didn't think you were crazy and was curious, he would ask, "So, in the future, what will people do with this kind of technology and empowerment where you can almost do anything or access anything instantaneously?"
The answer would be, "Well, most people will use it to watch kitten videos and play Candy Crush."
However, even that is now changing. People are starting to wake up to the systems that control them.
If you think back to the last century the Marxists/Communists/Socialists/Collectivists/Fascists (MCSCF) were not a big group. They were a small group that began to grow in the early 1900s.
But, by the end of the 20th century the entire world was MCSCF.
It was just a small idea spread by people like Karl Marx, Adolf Hitler, John Maynard Keynes, Donald Rumsfeld, George Soros, Dick Cheney, Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller and the Bush Crime Family. But it caught on like wildfire throughout the 20th century.
Murray Rothbard, the pioneer of the anarcho-capitalist movement, and as repeated by Walter Block, said, in the 1970s, "there are only six anarchists in the world"… and he further said that there were, maybe, "even 25 libertarians in the world".
Murray probably couldn't even have imagined how quickly that has grown. The Ron Paul Revolution brought libertarianism to the fore in the last decade. If you asked people 15 years ago if they knew what the word "libertarianism" meant, 98% would probably say they hadn't heard of the word before. The other 2% would be wrong.
Now, in the USSA, one of the most MCSCF countries on Earth, I'd say that number is closer to 50%. Of course, half the population of the USSA is so dumbed down, fluoridated, publicly edumacated and mainstream media mind controlled that the other 50% is a lost cause anyway.
But the fact that 50% have some inkling of what libertarianism is (even though they probably don't understand it) is a massive change that happened in record time.
In fact, it is happening so fast that a person like Walter Block, also known as Mr. Libertarian, is being confronted by numerous people for not being libertarian enough! In fact, the biggest insult many of them can think of is, "You aren't an anarcho-capitalist!"
Fifteen years ago no one knew what libertarianism was. Now if you even say something that sounds somewhat un-libertarian you can be shunned by millions of people.
Rand Paul is being shunned by millions just because he isn't perfectly libertarian in his actions and words. This is a major development.
You can see my conversation with Walter Block on all these subjects here.
Things are happening fast. What used to take a millennia or a century to develop can now happen, and is happening, in a matter of years or even months.
Want even more proof? Watch this video of Barack O'Bomber that recently came out where he questions the grand majority of what the US government is doing and even brings up the word "libertarian" in pointing it out.
O'Bomber certainly has never been known for being honest about his intentions. And you may question why he is now saying that the entire War On Drugs is a disaster (even though he helped perpetuate it throughout his entire term)… and you can speculate on the reasons why he would do this.
But, what you can't speculate on is the rise of libertarianism. This movement that was once confined to Murray Rothbard, Wendy McElroy, Walter Block, Jeffrey Tucker, Lew Rockwell, Ron Paul, Ayn Rand and Alan "Sellout" Greenspan and a few other people in a Manhattan apartment is going global and fast.
Does this mean life will soon be nearly perfect, peaceful and prosperous? Yes and no. We still have to get through the collapse of the old MCSCF systems. And it will be what I call The Great Transition. It will be remembered by whoever survives as a time of great turmoil and change.
However, once we have gotten through that there is the potential for real hope and change.
One day soon, hopefully, married gay people will protect their medicinal cannabis crops with guns if they so choose… all without permission from the state. Hopefully, instead of riots in Baltimore over the killing by armed, costumed thugs (police), an entrepreneur like Freddy Gray can get his flower products from the producers to the voluntary consumers in peace and build a respectable life around it rather than being deemed a criminal for it while the criminals who killed him go free and are lauded by a dumbed-down society.
Hopefully, one day soon, people treat each other as they would like to be treated. An anarchist said something like that once a few thousand years ago, I think. Although he was killed by the government… perhaps his time was too soon. Or maybe it was not soon enough.
In the meantime, keep safe, prepare, spread the word and remember… Libertarianism is rising!