Day 30: Noise.
30 dicembre 2021

We punch the three dozen mark. Who would have thought they would pass so quickly. We left Italy full of doubts and after a month we have a few less and many new ones. But in a way it always happens when you embark on a journey in search of answers.

Day spent on the roads of El Salvador, exploring new places. Just south of Santa Ana there is a very famous road, it is called Ruta des Flores and it is something that really deserves to be seen. Everyone reading this who would like to come and visit this country should really not miss it.

It climbs the slopes of the volcano and the mountains of the area and crosses dense forests and coffee plantations. Driving it is great fun. An endless series of gentle curves. On the way, small villages, ancient, where still lives what remains of the native populations of the area. Low houses, colored walls, murals with traditional motifs everywhere. It is a famous route, and therefore a bit touristy, but this also means very bitcoin friendly. Once again: opportunity drives adoption. Those who have found themselves more exposed to the phenomenon have had a better understanding of it and seen its usefulness. 

Here you can enjoy fresher air than in the valleys, sip some really excellent coffee, even drink a pineapple smoothie served directly in the fruit. All while handing out convenient Lightning transactions.

We return to base camp at dusk, we have to record the Xmas Edition of the Bitcoin Italia Podcast that this year, of course, will be all about El Salvador. Once the show is over we stay in our hostel, order a drink and something to eat for dinner and, instead of sitting at the bar as usual, we decide to join the other guests to chat. We’ve been on our own for the last few days and we haven’t had much opportunity to socialize.

This is where by far the most interesting thing of the day happens. We sit down at a large table along with eight other people and start getting to know each other. When we are asked what we do in El Salvador and we say the word Bitcoin a couple of Swiss gentlemen in front of us become much more interested and ask us if, as a result, we are fans of Bukele. The question is asked in an obvious critical spirit. We explain that we are not so much interested in the politics of the country as we are in the experiment with the technology and start talking about what opportunity for the world in our opinion it may represent.

The people in front of us are well-off, Caucasian, educated, very intelligent. They define themselves as libertarian, they work in the social field, they have traveled, they speak several languages, they are anti-prohibitionist both in regards to drugs and prostitution. Yet their closure towards Bitcoin is total. They see it as a political tool of the president of a country, El Salvador, that they know well and have long visited in the past. I suspect that this influences them greatly. But they are also strongly statist, they don’t see the point of taking monetary control away from governments, they see the battle for privacy as lost at the start, they see freedom as a somewhat naive utopia. 

How many contrasts in the minds of men. 

Of course we try to explain our point of view on the matter, but the reaction is always of great closure, almost of mockery. Even though they do not know the matter at all, there is no curiosity. No doubt in the judgment and preconception. A vision as superficial as dogmatic, when sometimes in order to stop being afraid of the “new” would be enough to try to know it.

I’m not impressed with their differing opinions, they’re more than legitimate, but they give me pause. 

Even the most educated and intelligent human being is not able to make objective assessments. Our nature does not allow us to do so. Psychologist and behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman calls this “noise.” All that unconsciously conditions us and influences our judgments. We are all affected by it, without any exclusion. 

One of the most nefarious consequences, however, of our biological inability to reason objectively is that it actually makes consensus impossible for us. At every level of our society, regardless of class or academic background. Human beings diverge, by their very nature. Their desire to stand out within the pack, what has formed them culturally, even their nationality, which has shaped their thinking. Everything in the human experience leads individuals to diverge or coalesce into small social groups to seek contrast with others, equally small.

And then I think about Bitcoin and its true essence. To the scientific objectivity that constitutes it. To its total impartiality. To its way of gaining consensus without having to collimate opinions, personal interests, different conditioning, but based on simple and immovable mathematical principles. And I understand how necessary that is. I recognize the great intuition of those who created it. I empathize with the painful criticism that was preparatory to its conception.

And I become more and more convinced that Bitcoin is inevitable because in our limitedness we are predictable.