If Elon Musk is any judge of business, the Bitcoin may be in for a little trouble. We highs above an astounding $55,000 for a single Bitcoin we may be seeing a sudden fall in the near future.
Or we might not. And if the Bitcoin does fall, aren’t we seeing a new era of sci-fi inspired economics?
Either way it’s worth looking at other digital currencies like the social network supported Pi Network. Instead of inducing blockchains, does the social stability of Pi Network have a more stable background? It’s possible.
The current problem with Bitcoin is the classic financial bubble scenario. Simply put, everyone is interested at the start, but then reality arrives and the value drops rapidly into collapse or to a more stable equilibrium. Think about the dot com bubble; everyone is interested and then there are too many businesses. The bubble bursts and economic continues at a more even rate.
Bursting the bubble might be good for the Bitcoin because at the moment it is increasing and decreasing in value rapidly. Not exactly great if you are looking for stable currency. If Elon Musk is starting to say the Bitcoin is looking a little high, it might be a problem with people either off loading the currency or holding it because why pay with a Bitcoin today if it might be worth 20% more tomorrow. Surely you want to keep it. If Bitcoin is being used as an asset rather than a currency, it is more like a valuable painting than a currency which has a relatively stable value and consequently can be used to make purchases.
The other alternative is the nature of Bitcoin makes it too volatile. Think about most currencies, they have a whole country behind them and we consider the stability of the country in our estimation of the currency. Does no country mean no stability?
The decentralized element of Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency is the key element that takes us into the future. Moving away from centralized control might be exactly what the world needs. What Bitcoin needs is stable backing to make it a currency. A classic chicken or egg situation.
To get stability by handing control should be handed over to a country would undermine the distinction that makes Bitcoin unique. No single individual should control it, but as a community if we are the stable backing of a cryptocurrency, that could add stability. Unfortunately we aren’t there yet. Bitcoin has another 120 years until we have the stability of no more Bitcoins being mined, but there are other alternatives. Pi Network is attempting to build the community before the currency. If it can establish a community of reliable support it can make the currency stable before it launches which might the same as bring out the chicken and the egg at the same time. What do you think?
In a time of Covid, the B-movie is pushing for our attention and we have become a willfully accommodating audience. Historically, the B movie was a low budget movie that supported the main feature. The plot was formulaic, the acting less than effective, some special effects and the product not very memorable. As descriptions of Netflix films go, it’s not far off.
We would happily sit down and watch a Netflix movie, because we have already paid for the subscription and it probably contains a familiar face or two. In terms of budget, the films are cheap. Netflix’s Old Guard cost $70 million to make, which if you compare it to the $356 million cost of Endgame, it sounds pretty cheap. You could have over five Old Guard movies for just one Endgame movie. Which sounds about right (and I can’t say I’d want five Old Guard movies).
Viewing figures are a little more interesting. In the first four weeks, Old Guard was viewed by 72 million households. In a similar time, Endgame grossed just under $800 million. It sounds like a big difference, but if a movie ticket is $10, then it accounts to 80 million individual viewings. A little different from household viewings. If you watched Old Guard by yourself, I am truly sorry for your social status and you should probably seek mental health support.
The comparison of Endgame and Old Guard is so far from an exact science I am concerned about even using the word science in this sentence, but it does provide an interesting shift.
When we add in the difficulties of Covid life and falling ticket sales, we find the immediate future contains a few more Netflix B movies and a lots less high ticket blockbusters.
Too much time inside is leading to binge watching TV shows and rewatching film series (if your film franchise doesn’t have three sequels why even bother?). To break the trend, I watched Vivarium. A bit independent film, a little sci-fi and a good bit Avant-garde.
And what did I think?
The first set-up was awesome. Visually very interesting, great conflict between the two main characters. There is a great shift into the sci-fi element of the film and then it sort of crumbled.
The concept of the couple being kidnapped into a suburban maze that they cannot escape was great (hence the title Vivarium, it sounds sci-fi but is just a limited eco-system, usually plants in a large glass jar). The arrival of the child worked well and the crumbling of the couple was appropriate, but that’s all that happened.
Should any normal person find themselves in that situation, that is exactly what I would expect, rapid deterioration, but this is a film and I wanted a little more. Specially I wanted a story and it appeared to be absent, which is a huge shame. While I appreciate a movie is a huge undertaking, it was taken without a full arc for the characters or a third act for the story.
I might not be returning to Vivarium for a second watch any time soon, but I’m hoping Lorcan Finnegan (writer and director with a great name) can make that next step for the next movie because I will be looking out for the next one.
My story ‘Althea in Chains’ will be published in the forthcoming Full Metal Horror III: The Unknown.
The awesome team at Zombie Pirate Publishing came up with a great blurb:
Althea Swift might be a hero, but she faces her match as The Patriarch’s desire for purification threatens Photon City. With the inventive criminal Erasmus Otlet III and her experimental weapons, Althea will fight the devolved mutant minions of her foe. Can she foil The Patriarchs plan to release a gas which will dissolve all technology?
The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker is the book about a ride up an escalator.
You did not incorrectly read that sentence. The entire novel takes place over the course of a ride up an escalator.
I have ridden up and down some interesting escalators in some interesting places. There are the super long escalators up and down the London underground. There are the escalators at the entrance of the Louvre. Neither of these escalators appear in Baker’s novel. His escalator is in an office building. Moving from the lobby up towards the office of the narrator’s mezzanine office to be exact.
What you are probably thinking is something exciting happens on the ride up the escalator? Maybe an action packed journey? Nope. Nothing like that.
Maybe the narrator discovers the meaning of life? The power of love or some other equally important intellectual or emotional discovery? Nope.
The narrator spends his time thinking about broken shoelaces and popcorn.
Yes, broken shoelaces and popcorn. And no, he doesn’t discover a way self-tying shoelace or a new flavour of popcorn. He just thinks about the frequency with which shoelaces break and why he bought some popcorn at lunch.
However, in all the potentially insipid mundanity of the narrator’s thoughts, there is a profound sense of personality. Not the kind of personality I’m going to invite over for drinks. It is more the action of experiencing the personality of another person that makes the novel interesting.
It will not be the most action packed read, but there is something close to thrilling about experiencing the thought processes of someone else. Let me know what you think.
Up for some humour? Given our current lockdown and the endlessly depressing news, I can’t think of anything I need more than a good laugh. Lucky for us all, I have a piece of humorous fiction published in The Daily Drunk. Check it out:
Apart from the design being awesome, it is the story the artist has developed that is inspired. It looks good and seems slightly familiar and you can’t quite put your finger on it until you look it up and find out the t-shirt not only has a story, but is being presented as the inspiration for Pac Man.
So, in the words of the t-shirt designer:
In 1976, Cosmonaut Nikolai Peckmann was sent alone to an orbiting space station for what would be called Mission Six- to study the radiation levels and strange circumstances that killed all four crewmen of the last research mission. By the third day, Peckmann’s broken transmissions were coming back to ground control filled with increasing paranoia and delusion. He claimed that the spirits of the dead cosmonauts were coming to claim him, and that he had to keep moving to evade them. He shouted that if he could capture consume these spirits himself while he still had strength, he could move to the next level of consciousness…Truly the rantings of an insane man. Indeed, video recovered later would show Peckmann running around the confined but maze-like station, downing emergency sedatives like a madman….pausing in a corner momentarily, only to throw back vitamin pills and give chase to his invisible demons. He had exhausted the entire cargo of vitamins, pills, and fresh fruit well ahead of schedule…It was determined that another mission to recover any remains or gather any more research would be a waste of the people’s money, and the station was allowed to drift out of orbit and into space- a failure never to be mentioned again. It was ordered and assumed that all video and paper evidence had been destroyed.
Outstanding work. I read it and for a moment I thought, “that sounds totally convincing.” Of course, there was no Peckmann….or was there?