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  1. Share your world ‘Shush shush’, Wayte pushed the scruffy monkey out of his path, so he could haste his tiny feet swiftly across the center of the jungle village. The six year old moved briskly to the ancient Barrigona palm tree at the riverside. Early morning mist still clouded the river and the canoes on the river bank were hard to see. The village was still asleep. With a slide of his bare feet he stopped in front of a dark hole, head high in the tree. ‘Help me, please. My father is dying’, Wayte whispered, as he stared at the center of the hole in the tree. Five years ago in 2020, Awale was the first of the Enawene Nawe tribe to move from their village to the city of Cuiabá in the Amazon rainforest. Not only was she the first, she was also chief Kawali’s only daughter and was going to become the new village shaman. Chief Kawali objected at first, but his daughter eventually convinced him that it was in their tribe’s best interest for her to leave. ‘I have foreseen it in a vision, father. I must go, our existence depends on it’, Awale stated while standing with her arms firmly crossed. The chief sat on the ground in his elder house. Her little brother playing with the house monkey next to him. Outside on the communal center, cooking women chanted. Chief Kawali knew his daughter well enough to know he could not win this fight. And besides, he had enough trouble on his mind with the farmers in their area. They were always nearby illegally planting palm trees. He picked up his one year old son, who sat beside him, while his daughter spoke. ‘Then you will have to take care of me, Wayte’, chief Kawali said with his eyes pinched together. ‘Since your sister is going to leave us soon and your mother passed last rain season when you arrived, little one.’ Wayte smiled silently at his father. Awale sighed, turned around and left. Awale knew that long ago a man named Vicente Canas had lived with their tribe for ten years. He was the first outsider who entered the village and when he left no one else was accepted again. Vicente told them stories about other Amazon tribes and how ’simple’ diseases carried by outsiders wiped out half the tribes. He brought knowledge and medicine. But now, after her vision, Awale knew she needed to go to Cuiabá to enter the world of these ‘disease carriers’. After a week of celebration and good fortune rituals, she left the worried villagers with pain in her heart, but a steady foot. ‘Be safe, beautiful one’, her father whispered in her ear to say goodbye. On the river Juruena she took a longboat up north. In four days Awale arrived in Cuiabá with only the name Vicente Canas as her best friend in this new world. Her wide eyes indulged this strange new world. Three years after her departure, Awale was back in the same position as when she confronted her father with her vision. Only now she was dressed in T-shirt and skirt and her father was leaning against the center wooden beam. ‘I found a way for us to save our land from these farming robbers’, Awale said in a resolute tone. In the past years she had visited her tribe every couple of months. On several occasions she explained how she got in touch with a descendant of Vincent Calas. After her arrival in Cuiabá, the police picked Awale up when she was roaming the midnight streets in her tribal cloths. Fortunately, the serving inspector knew the Calas family of Cuiabá and contacted them. A nephew of Vicente, Carlos, who knew the story of his late uncle and the time he had spent with the Enawene Nawe tribe, picked Awale up. His beloved uncle had taught him their language and so Carlos took it upon him to guide Awale in her search for answers to her vision. She learned from him all the ways of the new world, from books to movies, computers to the internet. She changed her cloths to clothes and her hair to a more ‘suitable manner’, as she called it. And now, three years later she had found it. She had found the solution. ‘You found a way?’ Kawali asked ‘Explain, please, we are running out of time with these savage farmers’. Awale continued, ‘Through Carlos I discovered technology called blockchain and something called Coil. I learned that if we can share our way of life with the world, we might set us free of these land robbers’, Awale said. ‘Share our lives with the world, what do you mean?’ the chief in him asked. ‘Well …’, Awale continued, ‘I learned that there are more tribes like ours in the world. Tribes who are threatened to abandon their way of life because of governmental interference.’ ‘But we are threatened by farmers, not government, are we?’ Kawali asked. ‘I found proof that it is the government that is behind it all, the farmers work for them. And that, my dear father, is the best part and why my found solution will work.’ Awale saw her father's face turn grey. He had become so old in the last months. He used to be so funny and vivid, but after mother died giving birth to little Wayte, he just couldn’t find his energy again. And now in the past months, time looked to gain on him even faster. ‘What have you done, Awale? What solution have you found that will make it all better?’ Kawali asked as he bent down and lowered to rest on the ground. Awale explained that if they would put a special camera in their village, people all over the world could watch them living their lives. And while people would watch them, they would instantly sent money to them, money called XRP. Money they could use to pay the government to keep them at peace. For the government it was all about the money. Although chief Kawali did not understand XRP, or why people would want to watch them and even pay for that, he did understand that the government would listen to their money. Or ‘Axarpee’, as chief Kawali named it. ‘I don’t know what to do, Awale. You asked this difficult thing of me. Who even wants to see us?’ Kawali wondered. ‘The whole world father’, Awale said enthusiastic, ‘there are already two tribes in the world who are doing it. A tribe in Africa and a tribe in Siberia. Really, millions of people watch it. It is called ‘Share your world’. And it’s working. The tribes are now earning money for being who they are and doing what they do. And they use that money to be able to keep doing that’, she explained. ‘Hmm, and what if our tribe disagrees, what then?’ Kawali asked. ‘They wouldn’t have to know’, his daughter said, ‘what if we put this one camera in the old Barrigona palm tree near the river. It oversees the communal center and it has a dark hole in it. This ‘satellite’ technique will even work from there’, Awale replied smiling. ‘So, you figured it all out already and even brought that camera thingy. I will have to think about it Awale… Oh, and please grab your little brother by the ear. He has been listening the whole time just outside the door with that annoying monkey of his’, the chief said while staring through the dense wall of his elder house. Outside, you could hear the sound of little feet rushing away. And a monkey squeaking. Chief Kawali took three days to conclude he would agree with his daughter. The one camera would be well hidden in the tree and the tribe would not know about it. Chief Kawali thought this was the best option. Awale soon left to put it all to work and she did not return in a long time. --- ‘Help me, please. My father is dying’, Wayte whispered, as he stared at the center of the hole in the tree. Within two hours Awale was back in her village. She was brought by a two person carrier drone which landed silently in the middle of the village communal square. The pilot was a flying doctor who was approached by Awale. When her little brother sent out his help request, Stefan and Thomas, two brothers living in San Francisco, were watching ‘Share your world - the Enawene Nawe tribe’. They instantaneously reached out to the contact number which lead to Awale. They were the first to call. Awale found one out of three flying doctors in Cuiabá, who was prepared for these kind of situations and flew his own drone. And now she was in her village again. Most of the villagers were still sleeping. Her little brother, on the other hand, looked very awake in the early light of dawn. ‘Oh little Wayte, what have you grown big’, Awale whispered.‘Now quickly, where is father, I brought a doctor’, she said urgently. ‘I will bring you, big sister, but the doctor must stay here. Father wants only you and me. He insisted’ Wayte replied. He sounded more mature than his age, Awale thought, and she respected her father's wishes, for now. The doctor sat down in the drone. ‘I’ll be here if you need me’, he said. And then Awale and her little brother went quickly to the spiritual house where father was resting. They passed the wooden doorway, which was richly decorated with fish symbols.The Shaman who sat beside her father, stood up and left without saying a word. Awale en Wayte approached the old chief. He lay on a palm tree bed in the center of the spiritual house. The smell of freshly burned herbs still lingered around their father. A resin torch illuminated the house. ‘Ah, and now you are here already’, the chief whispered while turning his head towards them. ‘You couldn’t have visited your old father and young brother sooner?’ ‘Oh father’, Awale started, ’since I left I was so busy with making it all work and I didn’t want to make you sick with my visits. And even though the XRP is fast and I got all the help from Carlos, the government works slow and it took so much time and effort to get it done. But it worked, it is done.’ Awale said with pride in her voice. ‘I know’, Kawali said, ‘the farmers never came. And that is why you are here and I must leave.’ ‘ But ... I brought a doctor, he can help you, he is here in the village.’ Awale replied unsure. ‘I know, my beautiful daughter, I know you would do that, and that is why I instructed Wayte here. He listens very good to his old father, unlike his big sister’, he said smiling, ‘But’ he continued ‘When it is time, it is time. And my time is up. I wanted to see you before I leave and give your mom a visit. I think I will enjoy that very much. Now you must stay and help the new chief. He must know about the camera and the ‘Axarpee’. Now tell me, what was your vision that brought our salvation? I would very much like to know.’ There was silence and Awale thought about the words her father just spoke. ‘I will help the new chief, father, but about my vision … it is difficult to explain. In a dream I saw three warriors painted with unfamiliar symbols protecting our village. I knew these warriors were from Cuaibá and I know now that their symbols represented the letters X, R and P. I then knew that I needed to leave.’ When Awale’s words died away, early birds whistled outside. And then Awale and Wayte, hand in hand, witnessed her father’s soul leave his body, awaited by the light of their mother. The end. Sources used: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enawene_Nawe BRES Bewustzijn in beweging - #310 Natuurvolken https://xapiri.com/pages/enawene-nawe https://www.survivalinternational.org/articles/3106-uncontacted-tribes-the-threats https://www.survivalinternational.nl/stammen/enawenenawe
  2. Another day is dawning on a little-known planet in the Zeta447Q region of the galaxy as two technological missionaries arrive in orbit around the most highly populated body in the solar system. Their mission is simple, they have been tasked by the Galactic Council to travel the Galaxy and release moderate technological advances to any planet harbouring intelligent life. Through trial and error, moderate technological advances were chosen as slight technological advances seemed to do very little and major technological advances just caused trouble. Aboard the spaceship named Ambition, 4xq3 and 3xq2 volunteered, or rather they were volunteered, to undertake this mission due to an error in judgement on 3xq2’s part when it told a joke about the Prime counsellor’s wayward clone, 93ps5, comparing its looks to those of the infamous triple nosed snipe fish. Needless to say, this was an error in judgement so now they must spend the next 10 solar rotations disseminating slight technological advances on anything that resembles intelligence. “How are we looking 4x?” “We have arrived at Zeta447Q and there are currently two planets with life, only one with intelligent life though. And please don’t call me 4x, my name, as you well know is 4xq3. I earned that name and I’d appreciate it if you would use it” “Sorry, 4xq3. You get one mega level above me and you think your so much better than me. All of a sudden its “don’t call me this” “don’t take my stuff” and “don’t throw that at me” “For the record, that was my gigabrantis declaration of intent medal. The highest recognition for any hopeful officer” “Highest recognition that you collected the coupons for and had to send off 30 credits to get” “It is still the highest reco..” “Never mind. Anyway, how intelligent is this life? They a level 1 species like the last lot? I hate level 1 species, why don’t you invent the wheel already?” “Actually, they are a level 3 species. And I don’t think giving that level 1 society the rapid fire slingshot was a very good idea” “The Rockinator3000? Why not? It was a moderate increase of their current technology level and it brought more prosperity to them. It covered both of our mandates” “Slight increase? They went from throwing rocks manually to firing over 3000 rocks per minute” “I know, I’m quite proud of that design” “I don’t think it counts as a moderate technological advancement. Those tribes wiped out all of their neighbours and then moved onto the other continents. Their technological progress stalled as they went on a mad rampage around the entire planet, decimating their population” “Yeah, but did you see how their faces lit up when I showed them it. Totally worth it” “Well this certainly won’t be a repeat of last time. They are a level 3 society spread out over most of the continents. They still separate themselves according to geographical location, sometimes age, sometimes gender and even the colour of their skin” “The colour of their skin? How does that work? All the blue ones hate all the green ones? I’d never have met my third life partner if that were the case.” “Well none of them are blue or green, but it’s good to know you read the dataset. And didn’t you end up leaving your third life partner after they tried to stab you in your sleep?” “I skimmed the dataset. And that was my forth life partner. My third life partner left me for a 6p, she said I lacked ambition and drive. Well the jokes on her because look whose driving ambition now” “Travelling around the galaxy on an autopiloted spaceship named Ambition until the Prime counsellor forgets about a bad taste joke hardly counts. Any suggestions?” “Yes, we wait until they forget, or they resign. They really didn’t appreciate the joke” “I meant about the planet. I suggest we start a full technology scan and see what areas we can help them with” “We could do that. Or we could just pick one thing and improve it. Do they have antigrav transport capsules yet?” “Antigrav is at least a level 4 technology. They’ve just scraped in at level 3. Most of the planet still uses internal combustion propulsion. I’ll start the scan” “Yikes, that’s inefficient. How about we give them fusion reactors?” “That is actually a good idea, or it would be, but they are only two years away from doing it themselves” “Ok. How about regenerative capacity. Can we extend their lifespans?” “We could, but again they are too close. We need some moderate technological advance that they wouldn’t be able to get by themselves in the next 20 or so years” “Do they still fight wars?” “They are a level 3 society that doesn’t know other life exists in the universe. Of course they fight wars. It’s their favourite pastime” “So how about we give them a new type of weapon, one that will help them to fire more projectiles” “You want to use your rock throwing device again don’t you?” “The Rockinator3000. You’re damn right I do. That might be the greatest thing I have ever created in this universe” “Don’t you have two clones?” “And neither of them can throw rocks at a rate of 3000 per minute” “They already have rapid fire projectile weapons. Actually some of their experimental ones fire at a rate of over 1 million rounds per minute” “Shut up. 1 million! That’s insane. Can we get one?” “No and no. How about we help them move towards an all-digital society? That would reduce the level of deforestation, help their environment and increase their productivity” “Do you ever listen to yourself? That sounds like the most boring thing you could have suggested. This is like the time you gave those level 1’s flint tools. We need something exciting” “For the record those level 1’s progressed quite well after I introduced them to flint tools. They now have a flourishing society and stable population growth. How do you think they would have progressed if we’d have given them “hover boots” like you suggested?” “They sure would have progressed from cave people to cool people. And I bet some of them even used those flint tools to kill each other” “Yes, they did. But they didn’t manage to wipe out 40% of the planets population and 30% of the large species in less than a month” “Yeah, but look how much fun they had while doing it. Once you have the Rockinator3000 in your appendages you can’t help but smile” “I’m not having this argument again. Let’s just give them something and move onto another system. Look they don’t have a universal currency. Each country uses its own” “What’s your point? We don’t use a single currency either. We have like 30 something across our home world” “Maybe we could help them to implement a single global currency. That way they could transfer money almost instantaneously” “That hardly seems like an advance. Couldn’t they just do that now, currency to currency?” “That’s not how it works. The agent needs accounts in each different currency, so they have funds ready in the target currency for the transfer. This means lots of money is tied up in accounts just doing nothing” “So you think a single currency would end all that? What about things like inflation and interest rates in different countries? Wouldn’t that be difficult if they have different levels of prosperity?” “Well yes but th…” “You just want to make a single currency work in a lower technologically advanced society so that you can go back home and say “if level 3’s can do it why not us?” don’t you?” “Hey it’s a good idea, I don’t know why the Prime counsellor rejected it” “Probably something to do with his clone looing suspiciously like a triple nosed snipe fish” “That was your joke, I was just in the vicinity” “In the vicinity in fits of laughter” “Well how about we speed up their global transactions or reduce the cost?” “You mean like the speed it takes to transfer money from one country to another? You mean like how I got those level 1’s to throw rocks even faster? Are you stealing my idea?” “Don’t be an idiot. If we could decrease the time and the cost they could save a considerable amount of money which could be put to better use” “Ok. So how fast can they send payments at the moment?” “Well a typical level 3 society takes around 3 – 5 days to settle a transaction” “It says here they can settle in 4 seconds” “Are you sure? 4 seconds doesn’t sound right” “That’s what the dataset says.” “You mean they verify in 4 seconds. That’s pretty normal, it’s usually the settlement that takes time” “No. I mean they settle in 4 seconds. Look for yourself” “That can’t be right. Settling in 4 seconds in unheard of” “How long does it take for us to settle on our home world” “It takes us 8 seconds. That’s why these numbers have to be wrong. Ship run these calculations again” “I’ve already had it do them several times. They keep coming back the same, they use something called XRP and it’s capable of 50,000 transactions per second” “50,000 TPS! This is amazing. We should take this with us” “What? Why?” “If we took this technology back with us and halved the payment settlement time we’d be back in the good books” “Brilliant. And then we could make all the jokes about 93ps5 that we wanted” “Whoa, I mean it’s good. But it’s not that good”
  3. Geoffrey has been raised with the belief that there is only a punishment if you’re doing something wrong. But in a certain moment of his life, these guidelines didn’t apply anymore and threatened his entire belief system. It all started as a normal day trying to support his family - but let’s take a step back. Geoffrey, a son of refugees, had the chance to flee from an ugly civil war into the safe haven of the western. His father died during the escape and his mother had to raise him and his brother, besides working on two different jobs. Too young to understand the happenings, he experienced a western life and its values – as well as his mother’s impressions of the current world affairs. Once he earned a bit of money, he wanted to send it back to help his family. After a statement of the payment provider’s employee, that he is not allowed to send money due to sanctions, he quickly realized, there were bigger hurdles than expected. This moment confused him - ‘Why was his family being punished for doing something, which shouldn’t be wrong?’ Even as a young teenager, Jeff knew he needed to address the injustice. Instead of just accepting the injustice, Jeff stood up for himself and his family. He was actively seeking answers, not just silently accepting challenges or problems. He spoke with his parents and friends, questioned his government motives, and explored why this had happened. But he was still bound to the laws of his new home country and was following them. After a few years, the sanctions were lifted and he finally had the chance to send money. He was able to send 50$, which equals more than double of a monthly salary of his uncle. But he quickly realized that there is another injustice - the fees. To send this 50$, he had to pay 5$, which was close to a weekly salary! This moment perplexed him - ‘Why was his family being punished again?’ Instead of accepting the injustice, Jeff again stood up for himself and his family. He investigated on other possibilities and by occasion, he came across names like David Schwartz, Ryan Fugger and Chris Larsen – but a link of a video finally opened his eyes. On YouTube he watched a recording of “The Ellen Show” with Ellen DeGeneres. There was a famous actor which he knew already, Ashton Kutcher, since Jeff was a big admirer of Mila Kunis. Ashton promoted a company named Ripple, which was working with an independent digital asset called XRP. His conclusion was, that he found an asset which allows him to send instantly and nearly fee-less money to his family in need. The rest was history – or let’s call it a future for everyone.
  4. “Send the fax, Able.” Mr. Swift shut the door of his office and headed for the elevator. “It’s out of our hands now.” “More like ‘out of hand’,” thought Able. Things were out of hand. Mr. Swift remembered those days in the Seventies when he started working at this large company. The company was heralded as groundbreaking. And at the time it was groundbreaking. Over the years the company’s hegemony over international payments grew and Mr. Swift even became privy to the little-understood and even less-revealed role his company played in the back rooms of the global financial stage. These days Mr. Swift was spending more and more time fixing errors, patching software, and scrambling to prevent the theft of billions of dollars by ever more sophisticated hackers. He wore his stress like a badge of honor. That’s to say he attributed these attacks to his company’s standing as financial powerhouse handling millions of transactions not, as it were, to the fact that his company was a technological sloth, a jumble of intermediaries and an accordingly easy target. Anyway, it was time for a drink. “Do you think they will get it in time?” said Able. “Get what?” asked Mr. Swift. “The fax.” “Oh the fax is there already. The question is will they find it, read it, and take the myriad steps necessary to stop the million dollars from slipping through the cracks to the hackers.” Mr. Swift explained. “Its more like a sieve than a crack” commented Able. Mr. Swift thought Able was exaggerating even though six percent of all transactions performed by his company failed in some way or another. Although he himself was a bit of a dinosaur when it came to technology, Mr. Swift had heard something about six degrees of separation in today’s interconnected world and figured that his company was meeting the global standard by separating six percent of its clients from their money. Another badge of honor to him. Likewise, it was this sort of thinking that gave him pride in “modernizing” the company’s fraud alert system to incorporate the fax machine—he won employee of the year for that. Besides, one million dollars was just a drop in the trillions dollar bucket the company handled. “Don’t worry they won’t miss it…they have no choice,” he said to Able. “That’s the privilege of being the only game in town. We can never lose a customer.” As they entered the pub Able thought to himself, “I can’t believe how much money the company misplaces in cyberspace.” And then thought further, “This company still uses telephony…that means it uses telephony space.” He finally concluded, “The world uses cyberspace and we use phony space.” Able was a bright and curious MBA so landing a job at such a smug behemoth didn’t stop him from learning and investigating the competition. He started investigating Bitcoin and Ethereum when the media started widespread coverage—late actually--but his penchant for depth helped him discover other companies and assets such as XRP which he thought could be a potential threat to complacent yet powerful institutions like the one he worked for. He had become a true crypto enthusiast—and one that could separate the wheat from the chaff. A coin that could transfer and settle in seconds was a breakthrough, sure, yet he couldn’t help but imagine what the real impact would be. He envisioned the liberation of dormant settlement funds, efficiencies for remitters and the unbanked, bridge currency utilization, and even applications in the stock, futures, and derivatives markets. The pair sat at the bar and listened to a recent release on the jukebox. Mr. Swift didn’t consider at all the contrast between that tiny jukebox and the aging technology invented by his company. How does something so trivial as pop music get piped everywhere via the internet while trillions of dollars of critical and urgent international payments still languish for days in cyberspace waiting to be delivered, clear, and settle? “Ripple” said Able, interrupting Mr. Swift’s thought. “What?” asked a startled Mr. Swift. “Gin ripple. I was talking to the bartender. What are you having?” “Golden Cadillac,” answered Mr. Swift. “Coming right up” said the barkeep. As he mixed the drinks he couldn’t help but notice how different these two regular customers were. He knew they worked together, probably in the same office, but everything about them was different. Able listened to the latest music on the jukebox using an account on his phone to select the songs. He had tried to pay his tab with bitcoin once. Mr. Swift, on the other hand, was stuck in his ways. He stopped experiencing new music in the eighties, paid for drinks with a check and even drank Golden Cadillacs—a drink popular forty years ago. Hell, Mr. Swift’s pants even had pleats. The barkeep knew that the gin ripple was the hottest cocktail on the mixology scene right now. He even believed the Ripple could become a new classic. Able was planning on waiting until Mr. Swift at least had a few drops of alcohol in him before breaking the news, but for whatever reason he blurted it out: “I’ve found a job with a startup.” “What’s that now?” “I want you to know that I am very grateful for what I have learned in my year at the company, but I’m going in to the tech space.” Mr. Swift chuckled. “You’re a fool, son, tech is a crapshoot.” But suddenly Mr. Swift’s voice raised considerably. “For every ponyhorn that makes it there are a million others who fail. And even the ponyhorns don’t do anything meaningful. You’ve got a sure thing here and you are doing something that brings utility and value to banks and everyday people.” “Unicorns. They’re called unicorns” “Unicorns, whatever. I don’t care. If there is one truth in the world it is that institutions like ours stand forever…you are taking a stupid risk.” Able knew Mr. Swift would be upset. But something about his reaction was strange to the kid. It seemed as if Mr. Swift was worked up due to his pride and arrogance. He was simply offended. A savvier person would feel threatened by tech. Mr. Swift certainly wasn’t feeling threatened. He was too clueless to think that his company and it’s so called “technology” would ever be replaced. He was even less likely to understand or even care about what was going on in the fintech space. In a way, Able felt sorry for the man. Able learned basic lessons in business school about what a strong position Mr. Swift’s company was in and how easy it would be to keep its monopoly if it just adapted. But Able knew there was no hope trying to change the complacent culture therein so he had decided to move on. “I hand-picked you among the best and brightest and you’ll have the opportunity to reign over the company one day. Tech space? Humph! Get that crazy idea out of your head. Besides, what the hell does tech have to do with what you’ve learned here? You damn millennials think that every stupid smart phone thing is going to be the next mainframe. Haven’t you seen that technology is just a trendy time waster? Look what our company has accomplished over forty years. We’ve never been distracted with tech developments yet we have a global monopoly.” “Definitely clueless”, Able thought. Mr. Swift calmed down after downing a few of his passé cocktails. Able managed to share enough of his plans to satisfy his boss without explicitly mentioning that he was going to work for a potential competitor. They discussed an exit timeline and recounted a few memorable work experiences mostly dealing with crisis management. All in all, it turned out to be a pleasant evening although much of that was due to Able keeping Mr. Swift in the dark about specifics. But Mr. Swift functioned best in the dark about many things and that’s just how it was. “I’ll pay for the drinks” said Mr. Swift. “Save your money. You never know with those Silicon Valley startups.” He reached for his checkbook. “Sorry, Mr. Swift, but the owner says we are no longer taking checks.” “But I’ve always paid with checks.” “I know, but apparently you are the only one that does, and it costs my boss extra time to handle them.” “I’ve been coming here for forty years. Why now?” “I’m not sure. But I guess those days are over, Mr. Swift. I guess your time has come.”
  5. A Short Story: Don't Miss The Boat Jolted awake and suddenly focused by a sudden violent crack, aware but not quite one hundred percent of my surroundings, my mind attempting to assess the situation. It had been a week now, awake by day, cat naps by night…… I must have fallen into a deep sleep…. The sails now flogging violently, whipping the ropes attached to them in a chaotic manner. The salt spray, fresh and made cold by the wind stung. This coupled with the ocean swell of the Atlantic rising up the continental shelf made for a disorientating and initially nauseating wakeup call in the pitch black. “What is this happening?” The weather had checked out and was predicted to be stably blowing me along. Up until now anyway… Finding a bearing while gazing down at the instruments in the cockpit was proving difficult, not much was making sense. The compass mounted high on its binnacle with its garish green glow was turning through 270°, slowly and continually increasing as the boat turned its self through the wind uncontrolled. Suddenly the answer was apparent! “The autopilot, of course…" The familiar whirring of its motor and bearings was silent. Occasionally the force of big waves on the rudder can cause it to go a bit haywire, loose its grip on reality and most importantly the direction the boat should be heading in. Attempts to reset the autopilot prove futile, whilst wrestling the craft back on track. Something is drastically wrong with it and there’s little to do fixing it in the dark of the very early morning. Now fully awake, I am resigned to hand steering until dawn. I follow the compass whilst chastising myself for falling too deeply into sleep, despite there being very little one can do about the sudden failure of systems out of your control. [1] Thoughts creep into the mind as the stimuli of the wave motion, the up and down and side to side tilting of the starry horizon, the sensation of full sails pulling the craft along in an ebb and flow as you ride up and down each swell, all act to hypnotize you.… “Sailing…. Is this really what you wanted? It’s hard work, tiring… exhausting in fact, you just proved that… but… it is the small, fleeting moments that make it all worth it, the sun rising and setting, the dolphins swimming along side, the ever changing colors of the sea” In the darkness thoughts turn to how opportunities of a lifetime were made possible by a chance discovery. “$1000! No way am I paying that much.” But steadily as the months passed the phenomenon known as FOMO (fear of missing out) set in, and in hindsight I really did miss out. By the time I finally pulled the trigger on Bitcoin I had a fraction of what I would have had if I had invested the same amount back when I rejected it. I still wouldn’t have want it any other way however, careful research had got me to this point. “Bitcoin Sherpa’s” prophetic and ethical albeit quasi-anarchical teachings had guided me thus far. His well thought out and logical arguments resonated well with my own convictions. The further I delved into the world of cryptocurrencies and digital assets, the more certain things became apparent: 1. Most coins are as they are described; ****coins 2. ALL coins have an essence of cultism, therefore DYOR (do your own research), before joining 3. Banks are not disappearing in my lifetime [2] In my DYOR stage of finding something undervalued so not to miss the proverbial train again, I stumbled upon XRP, slated by many, held high by few. The potential of the technology seemed incredible as did the potential gains which most of us seeked. The professionalism of the very real company Ripple attempting to utilize the digital token XRP was unlike any other outfit in the cryptosphere, making it quite apparent how far they could go. And so began the rollercoaster ride of an investment I believed in, ups and downs, but more frustratingly the periods of sideways stagnation….. The sun rotated into view, turning the sky flame orange. This takes my full attention and there are no other thoughts other than the appreciation of the moment. The feeling fades as the prospect of manually steering the boat for another few days before pulling into a harbor spurs me into action. Locking the wheel in position gives a bit of time between fine tuning the direction of the boat against wind and swell to scroll through the auto pilot’s user-interface and troubleshoot. Fault code: 5357494654 also known as, the rudder position sender, is showing a fault and a quick clean of the connector contacts fails to bodge the fault. Thankfully the satellite phone on board allows internet connectivity. Due to increasing demand and steadily reduced operating costs, the internet of information is accessible anywhere on the planet at a far better standard than what was on offer just a few years ago; severely limited and expensive data plans with equally expensive set-up costs. The app for the chandlery in the marina I am headed for shows the part required to solve the issue (787270) can be pre-ordered into store. A transparent smart contract in their app, I know runs on a backend application called Codius, allows me to pre-order and secure the part I require just in time for my arrival, in this case, with an unknown and as yet untrusted merchant. Codius gives me confidence. My bank from my home country ensures the payment will be made immediately on my arrival at the chandlery for handover of the component at the going foreign exchange rate with negligible fees, INSTANTLY. No embarrassing waiting at a card machine for your debit card to be accepted or declined, no time wasted contacting your payment provider to query why the transaction has been blocked whist abroad. Again, I know this is thanks to the utilization of Ripple Lab’s xRapid in the backend of the complicated financial machinery that moves money across borders. xRapid grants me accessibility. Accessibility to a worldwide market of vendors with virtually zero wait time. Smiling, I remember thinking about how I could send an email instantly all those years ago, but not money. Content and reassured about an efficient purchase and upcoming repair I continue to helm the craft to harbor, the bow now ploughing through the oncoming waves in the warm morning sunshine, the sea glistening like liquid gold. Despite having liquidated most of my XRP holdings to pursue dreams, I vaguely recall a saying I had seen on forums that seems to ring particularly true in this moment, all without the dollar hyper-inflating and society as we know it collapsing: “Came for the gains, but stayed for the tech” -anon [3] References [1] http://www.oryanmarine.com/images/boatsales/2004sunseeker/compass.jpg [2] https://insdrcdn.com/media/attachments/c/d5/bb4f38d5c.png [3] https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/69594756716478163/
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