The Bitcoin Matrix Podcast #17 — Surfer Jim: The Bitcoin Radical
YouTube link to the episode: https://youtu.be/MRgK6ROtaMo
Cedric Youngelman: Surfer Jim is more stoked than you, regularly! Author of the article, “Bitcoin as Real Estate” on https://www.citadel21.com/. You know, to be honest Surfer Jim, I’ve kind of followed you for a while, but when I heard you speaking in the teacher’s lounge on Bitcoin Kindergarten, hosted by @nikcantmine and @My_Livin_Truth. I was like, I gotta talk to Surfer Jim on this show! This is really a platform for people to express their opinions, their thoughts, their ideas, and I just thought you were bringing your truth, and speaking your truth. I was like, There’s no better person to hear from right now than Surfer Jim. So how are you?
Surfer Jim: Pretty stoked! Doing good.
Cedric Youngelman: You’re doing good, that’s great.
Surfer Jim: Generally a happy person, yes.
Cedric Youngelman: It’s interesting, I was reading your article and I really want to get into that. I think it’s a great article. One of the things that really stuck to me, though, that just kind of stuck out that I’ve been thinking about, is the notion that you said, You know, sometimes, people don’t want to hear from me when I step out of my “lane”. In terms of my job or my career. And I get what you’re saying there, especially when it comes to Bitcoin. But I’m wondering, how often do you think that’s just everybody, including yourself? Do you allow people to step out of their lane and talk to you about diets or COVID or elections?
Surfer Jim: Yeah I think more than the average person. I believe that I do. And that’s because, if somebody speaks to me with enough logic and reason, and facts to back up what they’re saying — especially if they contradict facts that I believe I’m aware of — I’m more apt to listen and challenge myself and see if what they’re saying actually true? Does it make sense? And how are they coming to their conclusions? When people just throw out random crap at you, it’s not always easy to tell if they even know what they’re talking about. Especially on Twitter. When people want to get into arguments, sometimes they don’t have any substance behind what they’re saying. So if you can draw out some substance and find out how they come to their conclusions and there’s logic back there, I’m willing to listen. But a lot of people don’t take the time to think it through, so it’s challenging for sure.
Cedric Youngelman [02:49]: Yeah. Before we dig in to some of these more current events, I really want to put in front—highlight this article. It’s really amazing when you come into the Bitcoin space and there’s so many different articles and pieces and they all really carry a lot of weight. I mean, Bitcoiners really, they speak their truth and they all have a different perspective. And I love this perspective and it really helped me think through when I compare Bitcoin to buying real estate in Manhattan in the 1970’s. I’ll say something to my father now — I’ll be like, Bitcoin is like buying real estate in Manhattan in the 70's! And he’s like, Who wouldn’t buy real estate in Manhattan in the 70's? And I was like, Well, you! You know, because back in the 70’s it was not the place to put your money. But those people had a vision, and they seized that opportunity. And I love this article. This is one of the quotes: “Imagine you had the opportunity to purchase 1,100 acres of land for approximately $9,000?” Can you just tell us a little bit about what motivated you to write this article?
Surfer Jim [04:05]: Yeah, sure. I’m gonna have to give credit to our missing patriarch, Trace Mayer, who’s been disappeared since February, but he used to talk about the Bitcoin blockchain as real estate. And that you should get some of your own, some of this limited real estate. And then it just was a natural progression in my own mind. You know, So how much real estate in the Bitcoin blockchain is available to each person if it was cut up equally? That was my first thought and I said, Oh, that seems like some relatively easy math if I go get some numbers on about how many people are around, we could divide that into 21 million in Bitcoin times a hundred-million sub-units that we call satoshis. And so how much does each person get? It was two-hundred and some-odd thousand—I’m not the only person that came up with the number very close to that. Certainly, what number you use for total population is gonna make that vary a little bit. So I went to a bunch of websites to see if I could get some kind of an average. And then you can do the same thing with real estate. Basically you can look around and there have been plenty of people who have tried to map out, How much usable land is on the planet versus how much total land? How much is it used for farming, whatever. I tried to whittle it down to just the usable land that we have available to us as humans, whether it be for farming or for living, versus mountains and swamps that we can’t do much with. So you get another number, you divide that by the amount of people that are out there and you say, Okay, well how much land would each person get if you cut it up equally? I forget the number, I’d have to skim the article again. But I spent plenty of time checking my numbers. I ran the numbers Pierre! Just in case. [05:49] It’s basic math, and so I tried lay it out in such a way that anybody can follow it, they can pretty much check, in the online version of the article, there’s a hyperlink you can click on and see where I got my facts from. But it was quite interesting, I’m looking at it now—I pulled it up on another screen — 231,000 satoshis per person! Based on 7.79 billion people on the planet. Depending on what 1 satoshi is worth, that could be a lot! You know, I like to think of satoshis as dollars. And $231,000 for everybody, that’s a lot of wealth to work with — assuming it could buy what a dollar buys today. Yeah I just kept taking that example, that base example, and extrapolating it out to different things. The quote that you brought up was, If you took your fair share of Bitcoin but multiplied that out to what would one whole Bitcoin get you in equal amount of real estate, I think that’s where you came up with — at the time the Bitcoin price was $9,000 — 1,800 acres. It was a lot of acres of real estate for $9,000. Most people on the planet would buy that much real estate for $9,000 if they could, except, there are places in the world where that much real estate’s not even worth $9,000. But we’re talking about valuable real estate that people want. [07:08] And so, if you were giving that up to me—I guess that’s what you were bringing up. I hadn’t thought of real estate in the 70’s in Manhattan. But when nobody really wanted it, because it was a beat-up city, you could get this stuff relatively cheap. You could extrapolate that out to Bitcoin, because we’ve got a beat-up protocol — beat up by the media, let’s say, that’s working pretty good. People just don’t wanna look at it! And you can get a piece of this stuff! It’s going somewhere, folks! You just gotta get a little piece! It might turn out really well! Had I been in a position to purchase Manhattan real estate in the 70's — I was too young — but, had I understood the things I understand now I probably would’ve tried to buy some. We gotta scarce resource here. There’s only so much of it. If you can get yourself one Bitcoin, that’s like — that’s hard to fathom what that could represent in terms of the value, your purchasing power, in a hyperbitcoinization world, or a world where Bitcoin is the money that everybody uses. [08:08] As I said, if you have 231,000 satoshis — your fair share — and they’re each worth a dollar, but you had one full Bitcoin? That’s $100,000,000! So that’s like the equivalent of you, right now, let’s just say you had $100,000,000 — yeah, you’d be doing pretty good! And you’d be doing better than most people on the planet, alright? There’s not that many people who have that much money. So, yeah this Bitcoin thing. It really fascinated me, and it just kept gnawing at me, these concepts, until I just kept — I would write a little bit, type a little bit on my computer, and then one day I put it into a Tweetstorm. That’s what I actually did first. In 2018 I linked up ten Tweets in a row with this idea. And then when I saw Citadel 21 was asking for articles, and I thought, You know? I could turn that into an article pretty easy. So that’s what I did, and @hodlonaut was nice enough to publish it for me. So that’s the basic story there.
Cedric Youngelman [08:57]: Yeah! And I love when you break it down to like, It’s beer money! You know, you can get these 231,000 satoshis for like — now, the price has gone up a little bit — maybe $35? $30? And then you start thinking about, What if you did that every week? It’s like buying a skyscraper in Manhattan in 1972 for $10,000! And maybe not having a tenant right away. It really helped me outline this argument when I talk to people about the asymmetric bet, and try to equate it to what you were saying with Trace. I remember those conversations where, You’re buying a piece of the network. You own this real estate on the network. Because it’s yours until you move it, or use your key to release it.
Surfer Jim [09:49]: Right. It’s a scarce amount. There’s only so much, and if you can get a piece of it, and other people are gonna want some of this real estate in the future, then you have a little bit of leverage there. You have some value there that people want and you could use that to live off of, to trade for things. The whole point of money is to store value, and this Bitcoin blockchain that was invented, stores value pretty well so far. And there’s only so much of it that you can have available to store that value, and so if you get a piece of it — yeah it’s an interesting concept: I heard people discuss squeezing more value into Bitcoin. At first I couldn’t understand what that actually meant. So you’ve got these 21 million Bitcoin, each one of ’em breaks up into 100,000,000 smaller units, and so, the value of any one of those units can be worth any amount of money. It’s all what we decide to put on it, as far as value. So, how does it get value? Somebody has one of these Bitcoin, and somebody else says, I got this, and I’ll give it to you. So typically that’s dollars or Yen — some other form of money that the person who has the Bitcoin can go and use it for something. So [if] the person that has the Bitcoin feels that the dollars they’re getting are worth it right now, because I need those dollars, I gotta go spend ’em on something — let me give up this Bitcoin because it’s a good amount in exchange for maybe what I paid for it. Then the exchange goes through! Now, if not enough people recognize that value, they’re not gonna trade. If they think their Bitcoin’s worth more, they’re gonna hold onto it. So now the next person comes along and says, Hey I wanna get some of that Bitcoin stuff, I’ll give you a little more! Because there’s only so many of ’em around, and so this is the market that we’re watching now: it’s expanding, as more and more people want little pieces of this scarce pie of digital real estate. They have to bid the price up because the people that have it aren’t so willing to give it up anymore! They’re starting to come to the realization that it’s been working for 12 years straight. As a money it works really well in terms of storing value and transferring value around the world. We’ve talked — I know you’ve had many people on your podcast talk about the aspects of money that make a good money. Portability, divisibility, fungibility, verifiability, scarcity. So Bitcoin has all those things better than any other money we’ve seen on the planet and people are waking up to that. They’re starting to see: Wow! This thing has these properties and it’s been working and it’s pretty secure and there’s a lot of people that are not only working on it and believed in it, but defend it. You know, you and I are considered some of the cyber hornets and we attack when people try to tell us we don’t know what we’re talking about. Michael Saylor seems to feel that the community of cyber hornets are one of the white blood cells of this whole system. It’s what keeps it working. We are defending this thing to the death! So much so that we’ll do anything to keep it running! Whatever it means—fix the code, create hardware wallets, create things that we call multisig, which is ways to use this protocol more efficiently, better for people, giving it more value. This is constantly happening every single day by tens of thousands of people all over the world that are not going to quit on this thing! [13:28] And Michael Saylor sees that and he goes, What a crazy ecosystem building around this digital protocol that was invented! It’s absolutely fascinating! And it really is. This new invention, this new form of money that we’ve taken to, that works so well — each little unit is become worth more and more and more! And you’ve just gotta get your little tiny sliver, and it’s very likely it’s gonna go up! And while you brought up the beer money thing, my calculations at that time were basically, you needed about $20.79 to get your fair of Bitcoin. And that was when it was about $9,000 for a whole Bitcoin. And so I thought of that as beer money for—not a heavy drinker. If it was a heavy drinker it would be more than that! But and I went out and I said, Okay, what if Bitcoin cost $10,000? What would it cost you — your fair share? Easy math: 23 cents. What if it was $20,000? $46.20. What if it was $1,000,000? What would your fair share — if the entire Bitcoin blockchain is divided amongst everybody on the planet — what would it cost you to get your fair share at $1,000,000 per Bitcoin? [14:35] And the number’s only $2,310.65! Now, that’s a number that almost anybody can divert out of their life. I mean, where I live in New York, most people make reasonable money — sure, there’s very poor people on the planet that can’t afford that, but my point is this: even at $1,000,000 per Bitcoin it’s worth getting some! Right? Because it’s just gonna keep going up! I wanted to extrapolate on this, which I did not do in the article. I have this other article in my head just based on the concept of Number go Up. And I’m convinced that the value of Bitcoin—if it maintains itself as a worldwide money — will never stop going up! And the basic premise behind my position is this: when you look around at the Earth, there’s more value currently on this Earth than there ever was, ever. Listen to somebody like Jeff Booth, he’ll tell you about how technology’s deflationary, business owners are always trying to improve their efficiency, improve their profits. In a world that has sound money — not corrupt money like we have now — capitalism can flourish. So value is created when people can take their labor and natural resources and turn them into something. And somebody else does the same thing with their labor and natural resources and turns them into something. And then they find this medium in the middle that they can exchange with each other—this thing called money—and then, what you find is that through efficiencies and use of trade, the division of labor, humans are able to cumulatively continue to put more value on the Earth. [16:22] Now, if Bitcoin is the unit of currency that is needed to denominate all that value, someday, everything is priced in Bitcoin. And [if] the value of items on the planet continues to grow, but the supply of Bitcoin does not, then the value of every Bitcoin must always go up. It literally has to go up. It can’t go any other direction unless we destroy — if we have a net negative amount of new value on the planet. So, we’re destroying things all the time, but we’re also producing more things at the same time. So if we’re having a net destruction of value—yes, the value of Bitcoin could go down. In a market where all of Bitcoin is as distributed as it’s gonna be at any given moment—let’s say after 2140 when it’s all been spit out of the system — now it has to find its way into the hands of other people. They have to trade for value to the people who have the Bitcoin — that form of money, right? So now it starts to get dispersed all over the world. [17:20] The amount of value on the planet continues to rise, indirectly! It’s kind of the opposite of inflation, in the sense that, when they keep printing money, the value of your labor goes down— you need more money to buy things. In this case, you’ll need less Bitcoin to buy things, because the value of each Bitcoin goes up relative to your labor. So, your labor becomes more valuable over time, and you need less of it to buy things, because the value of your money goes up. So it’s so connected to productivity of human beings, but it’s also very connected to the world having the ability to use a freely chosen market money that’s not imposed on people by government. Because the reason we don’t have real capitalism — we have crony capitalism — the reason we have those types of things is because government have taken control of the money and it’s basically broken, and some people win and a lot of people lose. [18:17] I was thinking of another thing, I don’t mean to skip around. When the government gets involved in stuff, which they fully have done this year with the whole COVID thing, they skew the real market, and resources get diverted in directions they never would’ve got diverted. So, for example, there is an entire industry created around the building and distribution of masks — all over the planet! So if you are able to take advantage of that — you’re in the clothing industry, or some other industry — you could just turn your production facility into something that builds masks, and package them and send them out and get them out there as fast as possible, you could take advantage of a government mandate that everybody felt that they had to go buy one and wear it! Now, the market did not want that! People did not ask for masks, they were told they had to wear them. The government created an artificial market, and resources — actual money, productivity, that people would’ve went and bought movie tickets, or went and played golf, or bought themselves a nice steak—they had to go buy some masks for their whole family, because the government screwed them over and skewed the free market. You can’t do that when you can’t control the money. When you can control the money, you can control people, you can control regulations, you control the police forces and the militaries that uphold all the rules that you decide, or your decrees on the rest of the populous. Yeah, it’s terrible! Everything is messed up because money is broken. Everything gets fixed when Bitcoin is the money of the world. That’s why we have the meme, Bitcoin Fixes This. But, I also believe Number goes Up is a very valid meme, because I do think Bitcoin’s value will never stop going up!
Cedric Youngelman [19:56]: Yeah. So as we wait for Bitcoin to take over the world, what do you think is going on right now? If the governments can print money, and they can control people, what is happening right now in this moment? Is this happenstance? Things are out of control? Are we being taken advantage of? I just want to hear your thoughts?
Surfer Jim: So yeah, I didn’t see any of this growing up. Well, I was a bit of a rebel my whole life, so I didn’t really like a lot of rules, especially the ones that didn’t seem logical to me. But I did believe in government and the state and I used to vote and I used to think it all made a lot of sense. Until I got educated, and a lot of that education came to me after I found Bitcoin. One of the things I came to realize is Bitcoin is a type of truth, and you can’t—well let me back up again. Part of my upbringing is to take things apart, I want to see how things work. And in physics, in engineering and natural sciences, you don’t get to dictate certain principles. They’re just there! You have to work with them all the time. And so, I became aware of certain universal things about life, and whenever something didn’t seem to make sense, I’d want to get to the bottom of, How do you come to this conclusion on any given thing? And so Bitcoin is the kind of thing, when you study it, the logic is there, the mechanism of how it works and the game theory about why people are willing to always act in the right way to keep the system working. That stuff was really fascinating to me! What’s going on in the world with governments deciding what to do, they’re not following basic logic, basic first principles — it’s so corrupted, that they control the money, that they can create situations that benefit some people over other people, and I think Bitcoin takes that away from them. If, in fact, we ever get to a point where Bitcoin is a world money. They can’t make more of it and they can’t pay off their crony friends and everything else. I’m not sure if I answered your question directly enough, I’m not quite sure exactly how you phrased it. I apologize.
Cedric Youngelman [22:13]: No, that was great. What do you think of the recent elections, and what they mean for us as [inaudible]?
Surfer Jim: Nothing. Dog and pony show. Now, they’re both on the same team. They’re on Team Corruption, Team Politics. They’re not working for us. They both spew out a lot of platitudes to try and keep people in line, keep people Rah-rah! We’re all in this together! But we’re not! They’re on one side. They’re in the political elite, and we’re not. They’re not our friends. They just want us to think they are.
Cedric Youngelman [22:45]: Yeah I kind of take the same thought, that 400–500 families run the country, and it is a fight that they’re just trying to drive through us, and not really against themselves. But what do you think that that’s about? What do we do in this moment then?
Surfer Jim: To answer both questions, what it’s about is the money — it’s always been about the money. Once central banking was invented, I think in the 1600s, those people that were involved never stopped being involved. Their heirs and the people that were close to them kept central banking going as a concept. Ever since it was invented, it was enslaving humans. The people that run all the banks in the world are the people in control. They’re in control of all the politicians. The politicians do not control the money. The money controllers control the money. So, this is literally what’s going on: it’s a select handful of humans that run this planet because they control money, and they control all the people who distribute the money, protect the money — all of that. So whether it’s 400 families in this country or around the world, it’s a select few, and all the people that have sworn their allegiance to those select few, this is why the cover-ups — you know, all the politicians, they all have dirt on each other. Hillary’s never getting prosecuted. She’s amongst some of the worst politicians we’ve ever seen, in my opinion. But, you know, Donald will say how she’s evil and this, that, and the other thing, but you just watch: he won’t prosecute her. Biden certainly won’t. She’ll just keep going. None of ‘em! None of ’em will! We’ll never find out what happened to Jeffrey Epstein. No chance. None of the people are ever getting prosecuted, because it’s a big club! And they control the media. The media gets paid off from very wealthy people, that’s how they get their advertising. It’s just a big money stream, and as soon as you take that power away from them, it just fizzles away. I wouldn’t say for a long time. This is a couple generation thing that’s gonna have to play out. They’re not gonna give up easily, and there’s a lot of people that benefit — even innocent people that benefit by the system that’s been built. All the police and military, they get paid very well with all kinds of great benefits, are not necessarily trying to take over their fellow man. Some of them, you know, abuse their situation. They just want a good job with good pay, and they believe, they’ve been indoctrinated to believe that this whole system is created to help everybody and protect everybody. Meanwhile, the politicians keep writing rules—words on paper — that take more of our freedoms away, and these police that are being told by their immediate superiors and the ones over them and the ones over them, you must enforce these words on paper that we’ve come up with. That’s what this is all about! We’re helping everybody! The sad part is, you just gotta look back in history. It’s playing out, it’s a broken record: you know, every dictator, every socialist communist regime, did the same thing. It’s all for your protection. If everybody had guns it would be very dangerous. Therefore, everybody should not have guns. I mean, it’s a joke! But they’re trying it here in America. It’s an interesting experiment, because in all other cases, citizenry of most other countries did not have huge amounts of weaponry to fight back with. This country is starting out — or at least, in this iteration of this country — there’s a lot of weaponry out there to fight back against any form of state that might try to impose too much will on the people. I’m shocked at all the people that walked around this entire country with masks everywhere! Like literally, it’s like, Ah, it’s too much of a hassle to fight, I don’t want to get my whole town to rally up and fight against this, so I’ll just put on a mask. That’s really sad, because that just shows how far the state has come with its ability to indoctrinate, to convince people to act in ways that they would not otherwise act, and what do they say? Well it’s for the benefit of our neighbors! We gotta protect the elderly! You gotta help everybody! Yeah, okay, I’m not in favor of ruining other peoples’ lives, but I’m also not in favor of you telling me how I should live my life. Or anybody else, for that matter. I think everyone should decide for themselves, take their own risks. Life is full of risks. That’s never going away. Politicians can’t make it go away. So everybody has to decide for themselves if they wanna take a risk. Decide for yourself if you believe these politicians that this virus is really dangerous, or go somewhere else and find somebody else that’s telling you maybe it’s not so dangerous. There’s enough people on the Internet you can listen to that totally contradict the government’s narrative. They’re just not getting on the mainstream news. They’re not getting on the TV, where the general public gets most of their information. So, most of society stays brainwashed, but plenty of people don’t believe any of this! I have not believed it from the very beginning. This is just a big ruse to me. This flu thing, it’s just maybe a slightly stronger version — I don’t know. But when 99.95% of the people recover — no matter how sick they get — I don’t know how you could tell me that the entire society needs to get locked down. Everybody needs to wear masks, and businesses being destroyed. All of the planet, for a virus that kills almost no one! This is absolute insanity! And yet, people still believe it! They still believe we need masks! It’s absolute craziness! I know you commented on a Tweet I sent out — I was in New York City. [27:48] They’re building little huts in the street! Because people aren’t allowed in the building to eat dinner, but they can sit in a box in the street and eat the same dinner — what the hell? What is going on with the minds of people? How the hell — I can’t fathom. There’s no logic! There’s no fricking logic, okay? I can’t believe people. If I can’t see the logic to it, then I’m not going with you on this, I’m sorry! So I was willing to consider at the beginning, it might be a dangerous virus. You saw video out of China, people falling all over in the streets, welding doors shut—which is insanity to me — and I thought, Oh, man, that better not come here. Luckily, it hasn’t. But I said, Alright, maybe it’s bad. But even from the very beginning, the first week or two, when I was forced out of work, I thought, No way! And I work in a place that has no people around most of the time. So I thought, Now this is bullshit! This government, this little township that I work in, had the ability to close down the entire town and not let a single person work, in wintertime when most people are not there. It would be me and my crew on a job site, nobody around for miles potentially, and I’m not allowed to go to work because some government bureaucrat deems the entire environment dangerous or some — who knows what? It’s insanity! [29:03] And I started just immediately doing searches online. I gotta find out more myself, Is anybody saying anything other than the stupid government narrative? And immediately, there’s answers everywhere! Scientists all over the planet that would refute everything Fauci tells you on the TV, or any of these other bureaucratic pencil-pushers. It’s just too much to stomach. Look, I can ramble, my mind just goes in all directions. I hope I’m hitting the things you wanted to get to.
Cedric Youngelman: Yeah! You are! And we’re gonna get to more. I love it. Let’s stipulate that government controls the money, governments can do these things to people, and influence events. Let’s compare this current environment to maybe Vietnam. Because it kind of came up on the show with JW Weatherman, and it took me a moment to think about this. Let’s say that this is government overreach. And that it’s horrible. But government has always overreached, maybe? I think that’s an argument that I would stand by, and maybe Vietnam or Iraq or Afghanistan, or any of those things were overreach. [30:12] But then, you had to go to a foreign land and kill somebody. So just in terms of the lesser of two evils, which is not the road that I want to go down, but—Is this worse? Better? Is this a different form of psychological warfare that is worse? Is it not as bad as getting a letter when you’re 18 and having to go to another country to kill somebody, but bad in a different way? I’m just trying to get some grounding for what 2020 is. I mean, I’ve been fighting it all year—to think of 2020 as the worst year of my life — because I want every year to be the best year of my life, and get better. So I’m an optimist, and I’ve been trying not to let it get me down or really get caught up in it. But then I take a moment back to when JW said, At least we’re not going back to Vietnam and killing people — it really struck me as, Yeah! This is a really different year! But, how different, and on what level, and is it a lesser evil or a greater evil?
Surfer Jim [31:13]: Oh, okay. So, part of me wants to say it’s a greater evil, because it’s getting right into the brains of everybody in a way that — you know, it’s one thing to believe in war in a foreign land, and for people to want to support their country, believing that they’re fighting for freedom or democracy or whatever they think is some type of virtue that they believe they should go and fight for. But you don’t have to brainwash everybody — well maybe you do, I don’t know. Something about this scares me a little more. You know, like, I’m gonna tell you about the Vietnam — you brought that up, I find that interesting that you should bring that up. I can vividly remember sitting on the front steps of my house growing up with my mother, and I was nine, and the Vietnam War was going, and I had heard about it and I didn’t understand it, and I started asking her questions about it, like, Why do we have to do this? Why are people dying? Why are we way on the other side of the planet? [32:20] What’s up with Vietnam? Why is that important to us? And she her best to answer my questions, and then we got up to talking about the draft. And I immediately, at nine years old, I’m like, No way! There’s no way I’m going! Not a chance in the world! And I asked my mother, what could I do if they told me I had to go? And she told me, straight at me, You’d probably have to go to Canada. That was the first time in my life I’d ever thought, Move out of the country? What’s Canada? How far is it? I didn’t know anything about that! But, I thought, Well, Canada it is then, if that’s all it takes! I’m going to Canada, man! I’m not going across the planet to go kill some strangers! Just fundamentally it didn’t seem right! I was just a kid, but whatever. Like, to think my parents raised me well, I don’t know! So yeah, I don’t agree with any of this, what government can do — at this point — generations of indoctrination through public school systems. I stood there, pledged allegiance to the flag like every kid. It’s hard to believe the indoctrination that you’re put through in public school. [33:23] At the time, I didn’t see it. Nobody did. But the indoctrination that comes from that, then through television and movies, Hollywood, the newpapers, the media in general, it’s all skewed basically to keep you believing that authority is there, it matters, and you can’t stop it and you must heed to it. That is, this big monstrosity called government, is never going away, it controls a lot of stuff, and it’s in your best interest, so don’t try to fight it, right? And it’s a good thing! We all need to get in line and listen to the boss. In school, they made us line up to walk down the hallways. Somebody’s always in charge. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. It’s the blind belief that you must listen to some person of authority no matter what they tell you! See, that’s the difference. It’s okay to listen to authority — I’m an authority at work, I tell people what to do all the time. But it’s in their economic best interest to listen to me because if they do what I’m asking then they’ll get paid! Do they have to care what I want? No, they don’t have to care. They just have to execute what I want, in order to get paid. [34:31] So there’s certain ways that authority is perfectly fine. But when somebody’s telling you to live your life a certain way that you wouldn’t otherwise choose to do, that’s crossing the line. That’s violating the Non-Aggression Principle. You’re in there trying to tell somebody else what they have to do, or something. Ultimately, it’s what they have to do. It’s fine to make suggestions. It’s when you force somebody to do anything. So the government have gotten people so convinced that they have to listen to authority that they’re willing to go around and wear masks all over the place — some people in their own cars by themselves, driving! Like, Wow, man! Are they that afraid of the air around them? I’m blown away by the brainwashing! How deep it’s gone! And I can just imagine those bankers of the world—sitting there — I can imagine the evil villain in Batman rubbing his hands together, just laughing, Ha ha ha ha! Look at them! Look at all those crazy idiots just doing what we say! It’s mind-boggling to think how much power a handful of people have on everybody else. Mind-boggling, to me. But, it’s all because they control the money. It all gets fixes when the money gets fixed, literally. [35:40]
Cedric Youngelman: When did you wake up to all this and gain your conviction?
Surfer Jim: So I would say that’s always been in me, and I uncovered it. So I said earlier that I’ve been a bit of a rebel my whole life—I’ve never liked authority. I’ve always hated the police. I always hated stupid rules. Like, if the playground was closed but nobody was there and it was a sunny day, I thought, Why can’t we go in the playground? What the hell is the gate closed for? Why does that matter? It’s a damn playground and no one is using it! I just couldn’t relate to those kind of stupid rules all over the world around me! So, it really wasn’t until Bitcoin, honestly, because once I started to connect how the money creates all the other bull-crap in the world — because that’s really what it took for me. I saw so much illogical, unreasonable stuff going on, I never believed or trusted much of what governments said, anyway. But I did not understand how it got created, and how it’s able to perpetuate, until I understood money. [36:46] And this is again—it’s very convenient how public school systems do not teach how money came about in human history, what different forms of money, views for why some were better than others — none of that was taught. So it was only because of Bitcoin that I was able to learn the history of money, and then start to have the courage to go back to see how money is so connected to all the other human problems we all face. And as far as I’m concerned, a broken money is the reason why our societies are broken at every level. Why one religious states hates another. If we all had one money to work with and trade with each other, everybody would just go in their own corner and hang out with their own people, their own types of people, get along fine, I’d go hang out with surfers, the skiers can go hang out with the skiers. Everybody would leave everybody alone, for the most part, if nobody had control over the economy. Like I said earlier, the government skews the free market, it puts incentives in place they wouldn’t otherwise be in. So now, human beings gotta take their resources and divert them in ways they wouldn’t otherwise do. And they’re not always in their direct best interest. Sometimes they’re doing it because the government’s making them do it. I follow a lot of rules in the construction industry where I’m at, and a lot of those rules cause extra costs. And some of those rules are reasonable, in the sense that they make a building safer or whatnot, but some of them are absolute bullshit all day long, and they just enrich one industry, or — just the idea that you have to get permission to build a house, so you gotta go pay somebody some money to say, Oh yeah, we’ve looked at your plans, and we’re gonna let you build it. Meanwhile, you own the land, and none of your neighbors seem to care, but you gotta go pay some money you wouldn’t otherwise have to pay, to some other human being who has said — who has written words on paper — we get to control you and guess what? You only get to act if you pay us. [38:38] That is so broken! That is not how free people work! Again, I feel like I’m going off on a tangent, but my mind just keeps going along.
Cedric Youngelman: No, it’s great! Yeah, I’m looking to hear from your mind! I’m curious, what was it that spoke to you clearly about Bitcoin in terms of like, was it a particular — and Bitcoin and money. Or reality. What were some of the things that crystallized it for you, whether it was Bitcoin or not?
Surfer Jim: I’ll tell you exactly. I had three touches. First touch was somebody told me about Bitcoin, a young guy I know, who is into gaming, he was talking about Internet money, I thought it had something to do with gaming. I wasn’t into gaming, so I literally never even looked at it. Second time was going through Netflix on the TV, I saw a documentary on Bitcoin. I was curious, I like documentaries in general. So I watched it, but at the end of it, it looked a little too complicated and not necessarily going anywhere. I think that was about 2015. [39:38] But then I was walking my dog, listening to YouTube, I had figured out that, on YouTube, there is a lot of interesting information and went and got myself an unlimited data plan, so I can just listen to anything I want on YouTube and walk the dog, or wherever else I was going. And then I start to learn about YouTube and they feed you things, based on what you’d listen to in the past. So they’ll make suggestions. So I started listening to several different TED talks, and eventually I came across one, this woman was talking about—it could have been about Bitcoin — but she connected with me because she related Bitcoin to trust. And I can’t even tell you exactly how she described it, but it piqued my attention, because as I’d referenced earlier, I work at a summer community on a barrier island called Fire Island. And when I’m working there all winter long, the homeowners are nowhere to be found. And they have to trust me! And what I came to realize when I started my business over there—with a perfectly clean slate and basically no reputation — was the fact that, if I do a good job, and build a level of trust with the first couple of customers, maybe they’ll tell one of the people and I can build on that. But the thing is, you can never break that trust. You always have to come through. You make a mistake, you honestly own up to it, fix it, do whatever you gotta do, so that those people never lose trust in you, that they can be away from their project, and you can do it without cutting corners and screwing them over. And I learned it by asking people, How did you come to meet? What happened to your last contract? And one woman in particular told me a story where a contractor said that a job was done in the spring, sending the balance, anticipating he would get back to finish it before she showed up, and she showed up and it wasn’t really done. So he lied to her, he got paid, and then he had to, you know, make up some excuse and come back and then she was like, I’m never hiring you again! So I learned this thing about trust very early on when I was trying to get my business off the ground, that you cannot mess with this thing called trust. Now when this lady connected Bitcoin with trust, I had to know why she meant that. I wanted to know what was this thing—Bitcoin, why was it so tied to trust?—that had piqued my interest, and what could that mean to me? And I had already learned enough about it, I had watched the documentary, I understood it to be some digital money. But I didn’t recognize the trust component of it, and so really was what sent me down the rabbit hole. [42:02] That caused me to now search out podcasts of anything Bitcoin, so I could learn, How does it work? And what is it about trusting or not trusting that’s going on here? And so we have that saying in Bitcoin, Don’t trust, verify. The idea is that you don’t trust anybody in Bitcoin. She was talking about it in a way that you could transfer money basically without having to trust that the money wasn’t going to show up, or anybody in the middle was gonna steal it. She was trying to reference the fact that, once you understand how the Bitcoin blockchain works, it’s very trustable. But you don’t have to trust somebody telling you that. The good thing about Bitcoin is that it’s open source and if you don’t know how to read code, you can go learn to read code. You could hire someone that could read code. You could eventually get to the bottom line of Bitcoin and decide for yourself if you should trust it. That’s what got to me — as I was learning about Bitcoin, I recognized that, you know, I can’t read code, so I can stay for the rest of my life not trusting this protocol. Or, I could learn as much can about it that I can understand, then trust other people who have studied it, if I so choose to. And so one podcast, one interview after another, one article after another, I came to a belief that enough people have tested this stuff that don’t have any skin in the game to tell me otherwise — they’re not trying to sell me anything! They’re not getting my money to convince me to jump into this thing! There is so much content, I was very fortunate because this was early 2017. There was already a good enough amount of content that I could cross-check one podcaster after another, and see, What is this guy saying? What is that guy saying? And I got to look back at videos from the early days of Bitcoin from 2012 and 2013. At MIT Blockchain consortium, or whoever they were, putting out, literally, educational seminars at college level! The stuff that you don’t find on Bitcoin Twitter or anything anymore. It’s buried now, it’s too old or whatever! But I was just that kind of person, I had to know! So that did it for me — the idea that you didn’t have to trust the protocol, but you could trust it once you understood it—was fascinating to me! And then extrapolate that out into how money worked, and why it’s so broken, and why we can’t trust politicians anymore, and all this other stuff that’s so related to good money working properly. That was it! I was down the rabbit hole and no way I’m ever going out again! [44:28] I mean, it’s too deep! There’s so much to learn. There’s so much about this, it’s just so fascinating.
Cedric Youngelman: Yeah I agree! That’s true. So you gain this conviction and you’ve got trust now in this system, or you’re learning that you shouldn’t trust things—you verify it yourself. And I get going to conferences and talking to other Bitcoiners, but you’re an individual thinker. You’re a free thinker. You’re your own person. What’s driving you to print up double-sided business cards and hand them out with information on where you can go learn about Bitcoin? Why aren’t you just buying your $20 and getting your fair share and moving on with your life?
Surfer Jim [45:17]: Alright, well. We all have a reason to want to live, right? I think if you have no reason to live then you might as well stop. There’s a couple of things in there. I gotta lot of life behind me, so I think I’ve got some wisdom that I think some people might benefit from. So I learned a long time ago that we go some stages in our lives, where we first — there’s Maslow’s hierarchy of needs—you’ve gotta get survival first. Stephan Covey in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People puts it this way: We first must live, then we love, then we learn, then we want to leave a legacy. So there’s four L’s. So in living, we just gotta survive, and you don’t really care about anything else if you’re struggling for survival. But once you get that, you tend to want to have relationships for love. It’s what help bring a little bit of fun to life. So you got survival, you got some relationships. And then, it turns out, most people want to grow! They’re curious! And so they end up wanting to learn. [46:22] So I’ve been down those roads, I’ve done all that. I have my survival, I’m doing okay. I’ve got lots of great relationships all of my life. I’ve been learning forever. But then it comes to — what does all this matter? What does it mean? Am I going to leave any kind of legacy on this planet whatsoever? There’s billions of people that have come and gone and none of us know who they were. None of us. There’s only a handful of people that have any kind of legacy on this planet. I don’t expect to have one. I’m too small of a fish in a giant pond! But, I can still have an effect on people individually. And that could have a ripple effect. The exponential effect: if I affect two people and they affect two people. So my efforts could actually help millions of people down the road that will never know that I had an effect on their future or will never know me, but if I stick to first principles, honesty and integrity, and truth, then I feel like any effort I put in that direction is not wasted. That I feel like my life was not wasted. And even if I am not known the world over as somebody important on this planet, I know that I’ve done the best that I could with what was given to me. I didn’t squander it. I tried to live an upstanding, honorable life, and then pass that forward! Pay it forward to somebody else that could use either my experience or simply my knowledge. People don’t know about this money. [47:45] I’m gonna back this up and say, if I was to give an elevator pitch to somebody and I had no idea where they were coming from, I would say, Money is the most important invention humans have ever come up with. It allows the division of labor, it allows us to get away from bartering, it allows us to trade, and it increases the value on the planet. Bitcoin is the best iteration of money that humans have ever come up with. Because it’s got all the best properties of money, plus some additional ones that previous forms of money did not have. If Bitcoin is the best form of money, and money is the best invention humans have ever come up with, Bitcoin, by default, is the most important and best invention humans have ever come up with. Now, if you don’t want to go shout that to the world, I don’t know what to say! It’s like Michael Saylor saying, Is this a non-correlated asset or is this fire that will change humanity, right? Bitcoin is gonna change humanity. It’s not just a non-correlated asset. It’s not just an investment. This is the best form of money, which allows pure economic calculation for every human on the planet! Free and fair trade for everybody! Productivity and prosperity for everybody on the planet, because this invention is now here! This is the most important thing ever created, ever. And we are living in one of the most important and influential times in all of human history, where we are watching humanity adopt a free market money that cannot get corrupted by governments. Gold was the best thing we had, but it got corrupted. This Bitcoin thing, I don’t see anybody explaining how it’s gonna get corrupted. It’s set up in such a way that it can’t be. The game theory is so perfect — at least so far — that it’s fascinating. So as far as I’m concerned, I can’t not talk about this. Future generations need people like us to not give up. We will be talked about a hundred or a thousand years from now, like, Man, those people were strong believers! Had they not done this for us, we wouldn’t be here today. We need to thank our ancestors. It’s that kind of thing, that I believe we’re all living in. We have to stand up against the craziness that’s out there. We have to push it in everyone’s faces that you’re missing out! This is not only good for you, this is good for all of humanity. This is not a selfish thing on my part — sure, if more people adopt it, will the number go up? Will my Bitcoin be worth more? Of course it will! But if you don’t adopt it, somebody else will. There’s enough people on this planet. We don’t need everybody to adopt it for this thing to be worth value, and for the rest of the world to be forced into adopting it. So everybody that I could talk to could ignore me, and Number will still go Up, because millions of people get convinced by someone else other than me. It really doesn’t matter if my efforts are wasted. They’re in the right place, and hopefully, it ripples out into the energy of the world in a positive way, affects lots of people, and humanity is better off in the long run. That’s all I really want to see, is a happy, peaceful world, where everybody leaves everybody alone, and if you wanna go surfing you can go surfing, if you wanna read a book on a mountaintop you can go do that, that some government is not gonna come along and say, Sorry you’re out of bounds! Oh, you out there in the ocean? Come in, you need to wear a mask! I mean, did you see the videos back in the early part of the year? Guy out on a paddle-board by himself in the ocean and the cops were calling him in, because he’s supposed to be in his house or something. Give me a break! Oh, man. This is important stuff! We gotta get the word out. I don’t care if I make a dime off this directly because of my words. Literally. You know, there’s another thing: people often talk about, when left up to the market, you have this thing called the tragedy of the commons, where people won’t take care of the things that they don’t want to own. That’s not true at all. I don’t own Bitcoin, and I’m taking care of it like it’s my most precious little baby, right? And everybody in this space feels exactly like me! And I got out of my way, for free, to talk to you or anybody else that will listen, because — I’m not trying to get paid directly for my efforts here. These efforts are important not just for me, but for a lot of people beyond me. When the politicians talk about, We’re all in this together! Yeah, we are when it comes to something like money, that helps us all, that takes the power away from some parasite humans. Yeah, we’re all in this together. In that regard, I feel very connected to everyone of the other humans on this planet. We’re definitely all in this together. But as far as the way that they want things to go, No, we’re not all in this together — because they just say how it goes and we’re supposed to just listen. So, this is super important stuff and I’m super passionate as you can hear. And I’ll never stop talking about Bitcoin, and I’ll never stop trying to convince people that they should get as much of it as possible. And hopefully that article I wrote convinces a few people, we’ll see! I appreciate you promoting it, I see you re-tweeting it and stuff so that’s very nice of you! And the more people the better, we just gotta get the word out! You know, that article will never change — other than the price of Bitcoin, the fundamentals in that article will never change, and I’m glad I wrote it because somebody many years from now can read it and they can still get the point. There’s nothing about that that’s ever going to not be the same. Well, you could change the numbers in terms of the amount of people. The Bitcoin will never change, the amount of land will never change, so just change the numbers around, but the principles will never change. Get yourself some of this limited stuff, because it’s probably gonna be good for you.
Cedric Youngelman [52:59]: I love hearing from every Bitcoiner! I think every Bitcoiner has something to add, and a different perspective that is incrementally adding to the canon. And I did love the article, and I revisit it a lot, because it’s building on the conversation that Trace was having that got in my head about real estate. If we were to look at the world from first principles, and align with first principles, and we’re looking at: engineering, accounting, math, integrity, honesty, trust and trustworthiness, music, food, peace, contentment, sex, self-actualization, rational self-interest, kindness, and most importantly peace and love, how should Bitcoin be viewed as part of the universal energy of our existence? [53:45]
Surfer Jim: Okay, I had a feeling that you would ask me something around this. So, I had to give this a lot of thought. Anybody who’s taken a basic statistics course will be able to understand what a bell curve is, and that we can look around at things and we can get generalizations about a lot of things, but never necessarily 100%, that’s why in the middle of the bell curve, that’s where the averages are gonna be, that at the tail ends that’s where the outliers are gonna be. But there’s something about physics and engineering that’s definite. So let’s just take gravity for example. We can measure gravity in different ways, but it never stops. It’s always acting upon us, and we’re stuck with it. We have to figure out to the best of our knowledge what it’s doing to us and how can we use it or overcome it. So there are principles about the way waves move — sound waves, water waves. There are principles that govern the vibration of molecules, at least to the extent that humans have been able to visualize or observe these things and measure these things. So on a molecular level, we can almost anticipate — it’s like action, reaction. If this happens, we can anticipate that will happen. So if we heat up some water, eventually when that water temperature gets to 212 degrees it’s gonna start boiling. It happens every single time—we can count on it, right? That’s because, in physics, the molecules, they act a certain way and they always act that way when given the same parameters. So in this case you add heat, you add enough heat, the molecules speed up, it turns into a boil. Nothing’s ever gonna change that! All we can do is work with it. So these first principles that are all over the place are there, they’re acting on us. Another interesting thing I noticed when I was watching a slow-motion video had to do with music notes. And I found it interesting that when you take a note, any note, and you photograph a guitar string and you watch the vibration of that note, and you go up one octave or go down one octave, the speed at which the string vibrates is exactly double or exactly half. Literally exactly! And there’s a principle going on there! It’s the way energy flows. And so, there’s a lot of principles that are acting all around us, all the time. When we align ourselves with those principles, things work out. When we don’t align with them, they don’t work out. Let me take it to an example with surfing: so when I’m trying to go surfing, I gotta deal with a whole bunch of physics that I have nothing to do with. Wind makes waves, those waves come towards the beach, the bottom contour forces the waves to rise up, they peel in a certain given direction—but every wave is a little bit different — and the wind, the tide, they all can affect it. But in general, I’m gonna want to paddle towards the beach, I’m gonna want to get up to the same speed as the wave, I’m gonna want to stand up and, using the physics of my board, lean on the board in such a way that it makes turns in the direction I want it to go, and then I get to ride the energy of this wave that’s moving towards the beach whether I’m there or not. So the physics involved with all of that, when you go back to the bell curve, there’s a billion, gadrillion, gazillion variations on that single wave, me riding it, and my position on that wave. [57:35] If I was six inches over when I started my paddling, my wave would’ve been different. When I stood up, if my feet were one centimeter a little [more] forward than they were, my ride would’ve been different. So, the principles underlying what combination is gonna give you what outcome — they’re there, they’re set in stone by the universe. It’s what combination of those principles that we put together that gives us our outcome. So, you go surfing at the very same surf spot where the wave peels in the same direction every time, and still, every wave is different, every time you stand up you gotta find the right spot on your board, and then, you have to look at that wave as it’s rising up in front of you and constantly make adjustments to get your ride and go down the line and get that enjoyment out of that. And all of that is based on physics that you don’t get to control, other than your own motion! It’s like, you have to blend you with the energy around you. We are doing this over time. When we listen to music that we like, we are blending our brainwaves with harmonic resonance of sound that is pleasing to us, it comes through! When two notes are dissonant from each other, our brains don’t like it. There’s an interesting phenomenon in photography, that generally, people like pictures that are divided up like a tic-tac-toe board, it’s the rule of thirds. So you can look at many, many photographs that are cut up into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, and something about our human nature likes that. We tend to gravitate towards things that conform with a certain energy that we as humans find pleasing. I think it translates into food, although I’m far from any kind of food connoisseur. But there are certain foods that, when combined together, enhance both of the things put together, and other combinations that completely destroy each individual ingredient. And there’s something about a harmonic resonance of the molecules on our taste buds, that we love this combination, we hate that. And that’s generally true! Will some people like music that’s out of tune? Yeah! They’re at the very tail end of the bell curve. Whereas, everybody else is generally in the middle — when the music’s in tune, and it follows the scale, and the notes come together right. You end up in the middle of the bell curve where almost everybody seems to think it’s good. It sounds generally pleasing. [59:56] The same with things we see, and so there’s a scale — on the bell curve — from one end to the other, going through the middle, where you find the bulk of everybody. So those are the things where we are interacting with the world around us. There’s this phrase—I wish I could think of it — that describes the grey areas between every variation of any system. But the principles of nature are underlying all of this, and they never change. These are the first principles. So when you said it, you made a list of things, because I wrote them down. So something like truth, is a principle. Now it’s not a physics principle, it’s not an engineering principle like building a building where the structure’s gonna collapse if you use the wrong materials, but truth is one of these things that’s an underlying principle. When you have truth, you have the ability to trust. What we find when we’re trusting something, we are trusting the overlapping of character and competence. So we’re trusting somebody’s character — are they truthful in how they are. Do they seem honest? But what we’re also trusting is someone’s competence — do they know what they’re talking about? And so, when you’re trying to find truth, you’re trying to also extrapolate trust and trustworthiness in order to find that truth, so you gotta dig down into these things in order to know if truth is actually there. But truth is there somewhere! It’s a matter of trying to uncover it. One of the things we say in Bitcoin is that Bitcoin is just a big truth machine. Because it keeps track of a limited number of digital files perfectly! And we can absolutely count on the truthfulness of the Bitcoin blockchain, because we know how it works, we know how the transactions are propagated, we know how the blocks are made, and it’s all based on math that all can be corroborated. And so there’s this truth that is basic, absolute truth! It’s like a force of nature! It’s built in such a way that it resonates harmonically with the energy around everything. And you can trust it! [1:02:20] Once you recognize the truth that it bears. And you can learn to trust it and use it. And it’s like any other trust that we can find: in engineering, you can test materials, setting up examples, and breaking things to the point that you know how much energy it takes to break something. And then you can engineer a building to not fail, because the loads will never get to the level of what you calculated it would need [for] it to break, and then you put a 100% safety factor just to be careful. So now you’re using truths in engineering to give you something that may or may not work. So for example, let me extrapolate out further: you are looking at a bell curve—engineer calculates a whole bunch of things he knows are absolutely going to always happen, and you go out and you get a set of plans and you start building the building, right? And unbeknownst to you that a whole bunch of people along the way cut a little bit of corners thinking it wasn’t gonna matter. And then in the end, the collective cutting of corners causes something to fail. And no one saw it coming because the engineer designed the building to be perfect and it all should’ve worked! Except that somebody took their own belief or their own opinion, without checking with truth. And they said, Nah, we don’t need this! Because they just believed it! They just thought, for whatever reason, they didn’t check with actual truth. So there’s a lot of this that’s tied together around us in the world, I think. Things like music, things like taste, things that are visual, things that are social like truth or trustworthiness. These things have certain fundamental principles that are unchangeable and it’s us that changes around them. It’s us that try to find harmony with them. And it’s when we find the best harmony with all these different universal first principles that are around us anyway, that we find, not only our own happiness, but we find a way to live in this world and deal with truth and those kinds of important concepts. [1:04:18] I guess that’s the best way to think about it. I’ve said this many times, that the principles don’t care about your knowledge of them, or your attitude towards them. They act anyway. You don’t have to know about them, and if you know about them, you can have a crappy attitude about them, and they don’t give a crap! Principles will act on you! Gravity’s gonna act on you! Engineering forces are gonna act on you! Truth is gonna act on you, whether you like it or not! You wanna lie all day long? Truth is gonna come back to bite you in the ass one day! It’s just how it works! These things are—I don’t know —they’re just the basis of everything that works on this planet. The closer you get to fundamental truths in all these different areas, the easier it’s gonna be to not only navigate this crazy world, but get enjoyment out of this crazy world. And when I found Bitcoin and I started connecting these dots in my own head, about all the things that I’ve had to uncover myself about how things actually work, it just became so strong for me, in terms of why it matters and why I care so much about it — getting back to why I give a crap to talk about this all day long. This is so important! [1:05:27] I just wanted to back up a second: when I was a kid I took everything apart. I just wanted to know how everything worked. One of the best presents I ever got was a toolbox full of tools when I was like 8 years old. And I could work on my bicycle! And you know, if you try to fix the brakes on your bicycle and you mess that up and you need them and they don’t work, you’re gonna figure out real quick that principles actually matter. Tightening the nut just the right amount is gonna matter! Lining up the pad to the tire just right so touches when you squeeze the brake is gonna matter! Making sure there’s no rust inside the cable housing so that the cable slides smoothly inside — these are all physics principles. They absolutely matter to the functioning of your bicycle brake! And if one of those things isn’t working right, you may find yourself in position where you’re gonna crash because the brake you thought was gonna work is not working, because some of the principles are broken. So when you’re living in a world where you don’t get a chance to argue this stuff — you have to align yourself with it? That’s the world I grew up with, literally everything around me had to fit in to this —if I can’t see the logic I’m not going with that! And so, it’s why I’ve resisted stupid government edicts all the time, and stupid rules that are everywhere on the planet. I just can’t relate, they make no sense! You know, victimless crimes that are everywhere! This is just other human beings writing words on paper, deciding that they want other human beings they don’t even know to act in certain ways, and if they don’t, they’re gonna take violence upon them, steal their money, just because they don’t like something about them? I just can’t stand any of that! [There’s] no logic in it, it’s not fair, it’s not right! I just push back against all that! [1:07:01] Bitcoin was just the thing that tied it all together for me, literally. Once I realized why money’s important, how it works, how everything stems from money—literally everything stems from money — that we get to value [things] in society and it all comes because of the use of money. Once I saw that and once I saw how important Bitcoin was, it allowed all these other things I’ve known intuitively to become connected. It’s allowed me to be able to have this conversation with you. To know and feel deep down — I’ve studied some of it as well — to know that these things are real. They’re true! They’re there, and we don’t get to choose about them, we just get to act with them! I wish I could remember the quote exactly, one of my favorite books is the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, because it’s based on principles. And in the book he tells a story of a ship captain calling out on the radio, You’re in our lane! You must move out of our lane! There’s a big light out in front of them and they’re worried they’re gonna crash into another ship. And so the radio comes back, No! You get out of our lane! And the captain says, You don’t know who you’re talking to! I’m Captain So and So of Such and Such Big Important ship, and you need to move right now or we’re going to hit you! And the voices comes over the loudspeaker, I don’t care who you are! This is the lighthouse! You better move or you’re gonna crash! Right? So principles don’t give a crap! [1:08:22] They act on us whether we know about them, or whatever the attitude of them is. So principles are like lighthouses — we need to bend ourselves to them! They do not get out of our way!
Cedric Youngelman: Gravity’s gonna gravity, Bitcoin’s gonna Bitcoin, the ocean’s gonna ocean! What’s been more impactful on your life, Bitcoin or surfing?
Surfer Jim: Ooh! Surfing! You know, surfing, because it’s given me an identity and it’s allowed me to travel around the world and — just the experience of going surfing is absolutely amazing! I don’t know how else to describe it other than to be literally in unison with nature for several seconds at a time when you’re riding a wave. The unison you feel — the idea that the ocean is doing what it’s gonna do and you’re trying to sink up with it — it’s not only really, really hard, but it’s really fulfilling when you get to do it, and when you get good at it! So it’s given me kind of a purpose in life. Bitcoin’s been huge, obviously, but I think Bitcoin just, like, enhances my surfing now. It just makes my surfing even better I guess! It’s given me so much! The other thing, I’m just gonna divert here for a quick second, but, learning about truth, and learning about Bitcoin, I was very fortunate to get invited to a steak dinner with Saifedean and Pierre Rochard in New York City, where I was already in the process of trying to improve my health, and then I got completely red-pilled by Saifedean about, You can only eat steak! And like, Meat is the most important food! You shouldn’t eat anything else! I’m like, Woah! This guy’s a little extreme, but okay! He wrote a really good book, so, maybe I should consider what he’s talking about! But as I said I was already on a quest to get healthy here, and I learned that a lot of the food I used to eat was really bad for me. And it worked! I switched around, I eat mostly meat at this point, and my health has dramatically improved, and it’s improved my surfing! So all these things are so tied together! When you find truth in one thing, all of a sudden you stumble along on some truths somewhere else. I have to say, my enthusiasm for my surfing has increased because my health has increased because I’ve found a little more truth in dietary information because I’ve found a little more truth in Bitcoin! [1:10:40] It’s amazing how it ripples through your life. Surfing is definitely a little more important but, boy, Bitcoin has had a huge impact. It’s been almost 4 years it’s been in my life, so. Ooh, it’s getting close! Maybe in another 20 years I might have to say Bitcoin has been more impactful!
Cedric Youngelman: Fair enough! What’s your favorite surfing movie?
Surfer Jim: Oh wow, shoot! That’s a tough one, there’s so many and they’re all unique. I have to say Endless Summer 2 was really good, because it built on the first Endless Summer, but it used a little more modern take. But then there’s another one called Riding Giants which, when I saw it was unbelievable. Because riding super big waves is really amazing. I’ve been out in some very big surf, but I would never try to tackle some of the waves that some of these guys ride, so that was impressive. I saw it in a movie theater on a big screen so that was really awesome. I might’ve even seen that in an IMAX theater, so that was pretty good. But there’s a lot of little cult ones. I went to a place in Mexico many times, over and over again, because it’s such a great surf spot. It’s called Puerto Escondido. And when I went there — it was probably in the 80’s and 90’s when I was going there a lot — there was a guy that planted himself there all season and he would shoot videos. And he put out a couple, they’re called Puerto Underground by a guy named Dave Ogle. And some of the footage he’s got is absolutely phenomenal! I was fortunate enough that he filmed me on enough of my waves, while he was out there making his surf videos, and he made me my own personal surf video that I got on VHS tape, I gotta make it digital one day. But I got me surfing this one spot and he put music to it, it’s my own little professional video. But he made some really insane videos of this place, Puerto Escondido. I’d have to say they’re up high on my list of good videos.
Cedric Youngelman: Yeah. This has been awesome! I’ll definitely give you the floor with the last words. Hanging ten with Surfer Jim has been dope! I really enjoyed this. Definitely let everyone know where they could find you, and if you have any parting words, the floor is yours.
Surfer Jim: Well, thank you! I really appreciate you giving me the opportunity. I’ve had a lot of time to think about this when you first offered this to me. And so I did get out a lot of what I wanted to say already and I really appreciate not only the opportunity, but the questions you asked me and the way you posed them allowed me to run with it, so to speak. If anybody does want to find me they can find me on Twitter @surferjimw. That’s pretty much it. I’d never done social media until I started learning about Bitcoin. I was told, Well, if you wanna learn about Bitcoin you better follow some people on Twitter! And I hit myself on the forehead and said, Ah! I gotta learn Twitter? What is that crap! Social media? I don’t want to do that! I never did Facebook. But I did it! Twitter was worth it! Twitter is a very fascinating platform, there’s a lot of smart people on there, and I spew out enough stuff, some of it might be worthwhile, so if you want to hear what I have to say, I’m on Twitter. My last shill is gonna have to be for the Long Island Surf Bar. So a good friend of mine, he went down to Typhoon Lagoon in Disneyworld in Florida, where you can rent the wave pool and go surfing in it. He did that, and then he was just so enamored by the whole thing, he came back and said to me, Jim, we gotta build a surf bar on Long Island! And I said, Well, Chris, good luck! I can’t build a surf bar! I mean, I’ll help you if you want to try and build one. And he wanted to! And so we’ve been spending about the last five or six years — he, myself, and his son, trying to figure out if we could build a surf bar. And him and his son — I give his son a ton of credit, he was just a teenager when we started the process, but he has taken the bull by the horns and he has run with it. This kid knows anything and everything about this project, and over the past five years we built the website, we built the mailing list, we did a lot of market research. And we’re gonna build the first wave pool on Long Island! We have cutting edge technology that enhances all of the technology that’s out there. We have some proprietary stuff. I built a test tank. I was asked to build, based on the specifications given to me by the pool designer. So we run little mini waves in our little test tank. Chris went out and bought land — we got three acres of land to build this wave pool on. We have site-plan approval from the town of Brookhaven, where it’s going to be located. So they’ve already given us permission to build the surf bar. And we are now in the process of getting the permits to build the park, so they say, You can build it but now you’ve gotta show us how you’re gonna build it. So we’ve gotta meet water filtration standards and all the crazy safety standards for a public pool, but we are gonna build a state of the art wave pool on the land, the tag-line is, Always 7 ft. and hollow. So we want a wave that you can stand up inside the tube, every single wave, over and over if you want. And we believe we can make that because the tests in our tank show us that we’re meeting all our benchmarks that we need to meet. So we’re hoping by about a year from now this thing’s gonna be open. Oh! And let me tell you another thing: we’re gonna make our own electricity. This ties into Bitcoin so this is a good ending for this whole podcast. We are gonna make our own electricity. We ran the numbers on what is it gonna take to make this thing possible. We figured out, if we bring natural gas into the site and run our own natural gas generators, we can make all our own electricity! We also figured out that all this equipment that’s gonna make the waves and generate the electricity is all gonna produce heat, so we’re gonna take the heat and we’re gonna stick it in the water, and we’re gonna have warm water year-round. This is gonna be an outdoor pool but in the winter it will still be warm. And then I got to thinking, after listening to Marty Bent talk about Great American Mining and what they’re doing with flared natural gas in the oil fields, I thought to myself, You know, the generators are gonna run constantly, but the load on the generators is gonna go up and down constantly. And I see no reason why we can’t turn on and off Bitcoin miners and take advantage of the excess electricity that would just get dumped back into the grid or sent back into the ground if it isn’t used. So I pretty much have the guys convinced, my partners here, that we might be setting up some Bitcoin miners and we’ll be making sats and waves on the Long Island Wave Pool. First of its kind! I would like to see that play out, but even if it doesn’t, we’ll make a really great wave pool and I may spend the next 10 years building ten more of them with my friend’s son, who has a plan to build ten in the next 10 years. So I’ve got that going for me along with Bitcoin, so I’m about as stoked and optimistic as anybody could be in this space, that’s for sure! That’s my story!
Cedric Youngelman: Yeah! This has been totally tubular and gnarly talking Bitcoin waves with Surfer Jim! This has been so dope!
Surfer Jim: Tubular and gnarly, yeah!
Cedric Youngelman: Thanks bro!
Surfer Jim: Thank you for having me Cedric! It’s been great, I appreciate it! I hope somebody gets something out of this!
Cedric Youngelman: Oh I know they will! Thank you man. Peace!