How Good Can Things Get?
There is a famous saying which goes:
“If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”
It is meant as a warning that people make exaggerated claims to the point of falsehood, and even deception.
However, this saying suggests something more. It implies that there is some maximum to the potential goodness of a thing, and that exceeding that limit is impossible. It suggests that there is a maximum goodness of things in reality — a “goodness limit.” Any better than the limit and a thing, or a person, would be too good to be true.
We are all familiar with hard limits in reality. The speed of light is a good example. Einstein and other physicists proved that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. And if the “too good to be true” saying were adapted to this, it might go :
“If something appears too fast to be true, it usually is.”
Goodness is not as straightforward to measure as speed is. Goodness is a quality, not a quantity. Nevertheless, many of us hold some belief that a thing cannot be all good. It is a belief that everything must have a flaw in its goodness — a bad side; a dark side; a catch; some gotcha. “Be careful,” we think. “Nothing is all good.”
It’s understandable that people have arrived at this rule of thumb. After all, we eventually see the dark side of so many things, especially those claiming to be good. Examples abound:
“Don’t be evil,” declared its founders as the core tenet of Google, only to later withdraw the statement completely while the company profited from many things that could arguably be described as quite evil;
And Google is hardly the only corporation to betray promises of goodness;
And corporations are hardly the only entities that betray us;
And our governments and politicians are never as good as they promise to be;
And, sadly, most of us experience some form of betrayal from a friend or relative as well;
And our machines also break down eventually, or don’t work as well as promised;
And even our own bodies get sick and age.
So, because we see that these things have a mix of goodness and badness in them, we generalize that that’s just the way all things are. And this leads us to conclude as a law of the universe that if a thing sounds too good to be true, the claim must be false.
And Then Along Comes Bitcoin…
The first time most people hear about Bitcoin, they dismiss it, because whatever claim they hear about it sounds impossible. It sounds exactly like that classic “too good to be true” thing:
- If you don’t like government then Bitcoin’s proponents claim “it can’t be stopped, controlled or manipulated by governments;”
- If you don’t like inflation, “Bitcoin has a limited supply that no one or no thing can inflate;”
- If you don’t like theft, “bitcoins cannot be taken by force;”
- If you don’t like cheating or manipulation, “Bitcoin’s rules cannot be broken and can only be changed when everyone agrees;”
- If you don’t like rulers and leaders who betray their promises, “Bitcoin has no rulers.”
The list of claims of this nature goes on and on and on. Each one on its own sounds “too good to be true,” let alone the whole long list of them altogether.
But, after hearing these claims, some people do ultimately investigate them more closely. It may be because they want to demonstrate to others or to themselves that the claim is in fact false. It may be that someone they love and trust is making these claims and they want to rescue them from being taken in by exaggerations. Perhaps, sometimes, out of some glimmer of hope, it may be that they do wish to see if some miraculous exception to the universal law of the limit of goodness does exist.
And when they do investigate these claims closely, boy oh boy, are they ever in for a shock. Everywhere they look, Bitcoin is good. It is:
- uncompromisingly well built,
- completely truthful,
- entirely incorruptible,
- wholly indestructible, and
- fully unseizable.
Have you heard about Bitcoin’s blockchain? “What is it?” you may ask.
- It is a history of every Bitcoin transaction ever,
- which nobody can change,
- no matter how powerful they are,
- in which every single transaction is mathematically proven to be valid — not stolen, not counterfeited, not using already spent coins,
- on which any person can verify every one of these claims for themselves,
- and where they also strongly encouraged to do so.
Check Your Premises
Does all that sound too good to be true? Well, it is true! And so, if Bitcoin sounds too good to be true, but isn’t false, that’s huge.
It means that the law of limited goodness must be false!
It means we must revise our view of the world and of how good things can actually be!
Scientists once thought the speed of sound could not be exceeded. And then it was. So they had to revise upwards their idea of how fast things could be. And now, you must revise upwards your idea of how good things can actually be.
How nice is it — how glorious — to suddenly break free from the universe that had some limit on how good things could be and suddenly exist in one where that limit is shattered — where there is no limit! Where a thing that sounds so good can actually be true!
And it’s not only inventions, like Bitcoin, that can be all good in this new universe. People can be too! Look at the inventor of Bitcoin — some mysterious person who never revealed their identity, never acted with any greed, never exploited the system or their knowledge of it. If you haven’t heard that story yet — the story of Satoshi Nakamoto — you’re in for a true story that itself sounds too good to be true on so many levels, but also turns out to be completely true.
Welcome to this new world then: a world where things can truly be good without limit. What a wonderful world it is.
In it, you will see everything in a completely different light, and can rediscover goodness all over again — including, most of all, in yourself. Now, freed from the false belief that there is a limit to your goodness, you can welcome the new you, a being with the potential to be all good.