We know that in 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto inscribed on the Genesis Block that the British Chancellor of the Exchequer had bailed out the banks.
But few know that one hundred and forty-one years earlier, another cryptographer had a British Chancellor on his mind.
That cryptographer was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known as 'Lewis Carroll'.
Carroll, the author of both Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass, was also a Mathematics Professor and invented two types of algorithms to encrypt/decrypt messages.
Carroll mentioned in his diary that after inventing one of these algorithms, he showed it to George Hunt, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time.
Dodgson's diary for this same date refers to a "new" cipher: "Sitting up at night I invented a new cipher, which I think of calling the 'telegraph-cipher'".
His diary entry for 24 April 1868 also refers to the Telegraph-Cipher and his showing it to George Hunt, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Carroll first coined the rabbit-hole metaphor to describe falling and going deeper into a subject or a search than ever we could have thought.
The culture of the Bitcoin Rabbit Hole has several Carroll-inspired references. We describe 'Alice' is a participant when describing Bitcoin transactions. We use terms from The Matrix to describe choosing to see the world differently. It's fair to say that his work inspired the films. Both Alice and Neo decide to stop playing the game and in the end come to see through it all.
If Carroll, the cryptographer and writer, were alive today, he'd surely would have stumbled into the Rabbit Hole by now. After all, in a minor way he helped forward the science and literally created the original Rabbit Hole.
I love this kind of pattern recognition. The choice of the name "Alice" was generally very consequential, here's some more references for you:
"Go ask Alice"
It's a book. But it's also a line in the song White Rabbit. The book is about drugs.
In LC's time opium and cocaine were freely available, possibly drug cannabis too.
Hidden inside the narrative of the famous book also is a pretty pointed reference to the absurdities cooked up by politicians, but also obliquely refers to other seeming paradoxes that also relate to deception, the Red Queen.
Oh my god and the Red Queen and Alice also, Resident Evil. Practically anything that refers to Alice is goddamned fascinating.
But the overarching theme of this absurdity also related to the emergent branch of physics called Quantum physics, which is full of counterintuitive, alice in wonderland style madness.
The interesting thing is that these paradoxes are all around us if we look. The very notion of Antifragility is based on the principle that without stress, dynamic systems become fragile, and so it thus follows, seemingly illogically, that deliberately diving into stress (eg, cold shock therapy) actually reduces your nervous system's ability to raise that antifragility margin to encompass far more disaster and in doing so, usually discover even more weirdness about how reality works.
Of course, rabbitholes are not what we usually are being paid to explore. Until the rest of the world sees the value in these things we have to try and contain that imagination and excitement a bit.
I had to look up Quantum Alice that you mentioned.
When you mention anti-fragility, is that related to Quantum Physics as well as Bitcoin? It's always good to hear a new term that describes the Bitcoin paradox of being stronger through going through trials and tribulations.
You've got me hearing that singer's vibrato voice singing 'feed your mind' in my head now BTW.
Haha, you mean Jefferson Airplane. And this scarred me for life:
yeah, antifragility is a powerful concept, a distinguishing feature between decentralised, and living, versus dead and centralised thdings. Shame the dude who made it popular stopped being a philosopher and started being a puppet.
Incredible that a dude so deep in probability could pretend to not notice the many game theory features of the bitcoin architecture depend on antifragility... No leaders, a slow but mostly effective process of refining and extending it that so far has avoided outright collapse.
How does a person who lived on his good reputation so long not see a problem with them selling out to parrot someone else's talking points? How does he sleep at night? Wasn't debunking bullshit his business before he started talking about surgical masks and their factual inability to stop viruses, and oh how strange, also turned from bitcoin neutral to slinging more adhoms at bitcoin than any self-respecting philosopher would abide.
The way that some have "turned" into shills, of a sort, trolls in this case, after previously having credibility only adds more fuel to the bitcoin is the future fire.
Great post! You made me want to read more about his "coincidence."
We shouldn’t be surprised Anything can happen. I wanna get more info about this if possible
That telegraph cipher is awesome. It's like one of the first feedback ciphers. It has a keyword, and teh keyword defines how you change the alphabet transposition as you add more characters, the changes depending on what you type.