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Dhruv Bansal @dhruvbansal
, 10 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
1\ Do any other Bitcoiners like the book "The Once & Future King" by T. H. White?

It's one of my favorites and I've been revisiting it recently, thinking about cryptocurrency, political representation, & blockchains.
2\ It opens with Merlyn teaching a young King Arthur (Wart) about different forms of government, the fallacy of "might makes right", all through a series of adventuresome allegories.

Disney's "The Sword in the Stone", is a cute (if imperfect) adaptation of this part of the book.
3\ But "The Once & Future King" is ultimately a tragedy.

With the help of his storied Knights of the Round, Arthur builds Camelot, the fairest kingdom.

But Arthur is manipulated into self-conflict, his personal desires at odds with the principals he must uphold.

Camelot falls.
4\ When I first read this story I was deeply affected by it.

Arthur was raised by Merlyn to be a just and fair philosopher king but, despite his best efforts, the Kingdom he built fractured as it grew, power blocs consolidating around conflict, driven by ambition and pettiness.
5\ When I first read it, the lesson for me was power and scale breed conflict and corruption, that the purest part of any revolution is the beginning.

Also: it's admirable to be the change you want to see, even if you fail at it. Arthur is the once *and future* king, after all.
6\ After #Bitcoin I see something else:

Satoshi is like Merlyn: a time-traveling mystical teacher. :) And, like Merlyn, Satoshi left.

But the key difference: Bitcoin has no King Arthur.

There is no one person or group (so far) whose power can be coveted, usurped, or broken.
7\ Merlyn's mistake was teaching Arthur to be a ruler instead of a coder. (Merlyn was from the future, he knows about coding...)

To maintain their power & vision (Camelot), rulers require a mandate (Excalibur) and vassals (Knights of the Round).

Centralized control is brittle.
8\ Satoshi taught us to code instead: Bitcoin is a distributed incentive structure we collectively engineer and freely opt-into. It's political technology, the first of its kind.

The blockchain is itself Camelot. No King Arthur nor Knights of the Round (e.g. Segwit2x) required.
9\ This leaderless-ness is one part of what gives Bitcoin -- in particular, beyond other cryptocurrencies today -- such robustness. (The others being narrow focus and recognizing the value of PoW.)

It's extremely difficult to replicate this aspect of Bitcoin. Why?

10\ And that's why @_Kevin_Pham draws ire so quickly when he trolls @VitalikButerin, @zooko, and other blockchains' "leaders" for building Camelot around them.

The desire to be a Knight and follow your King is in all of us but, as TH White wrote long ago, that way lies tragedy.
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