Pseudothinking, Systems, Sorcery and Bitcoin | Kiara Bickers
How to find the clarity of signal in a world full of harmful noise.
WHO IS KIARA BICKERS?
Today on BEST MEDICINE I get to bring you a real treat. It's not often I get to talk to somebody I click with so well, especially somebody younger than myself.
Kiara Bickers is a bitcoin developer, author of Bitcoin Clarity, and is the creator of various media projects which have yet to launch (and I'll have her back on to tell you all about them once they have!).
Kiara is a specialist in "systems thinking." She has an ability to see higher values and explain them using existing human systems.
For instance, her book "Bitcoin Clarity," far from the "investment advice" provided by the various cryptocurrency gurus on the internet, is about value itself and beauty itself.
The thinking goes like this: to understand Bitcoin most people think they need to know how the technology works.
This leads most people to dig deep into computer science and coding.
Technical knowledge can be helpful and is well provided in the book, but Kiara first asks "why would anyone want to understand Bitcoin?" Well, presumably to use it.
But the real underlying why has to do with someone's values. Someone likely values the use of Bitcoin for additional financial security, convenience, or wealth.
Along the journey of understanding how to get those financial benefits, Kiara explains the systems that are LARGER than Bitcoin - systems of value, systems of economics, and systems of belief that we have ascribed to in the West.
You might pick up the book to learn how to get your first bitcoin wallet, but you'll walk away with a new understanding of world economics, social systems, belief systems, and the value of beauty.
I highly encourage you check out her book at Getbitcoinclarity.com/
SYSTEMS AND SORCERY
My conversation with Kiara was wide-ranging. as you might have guessed from the title of the episode.
But one thing was central: We are not taught how to think in our society. This is deliberate.
We are instead taught to "pseudo-think." From an early age we were trained in schools, through the mechanism of our grades to think through obedience and regurgitation from rote memorization.
As adults this often takes the form of regurgitating opinions and "facts" provided to us by some kind of media complex.
Perhaps it's mainstream, perhaps it's independent, perhaps it's conspiratorial and fringe.
But in any case rather than truly learning to think, research, learn or decide for ourselves - we simply consume and regurgitate.
Kiara sees the world as a series of systems - as do I!
In order to understand systems we must create mental models from first principles.
According to Kiara the worst possible way to understand a complex subject (say, Bitcoin) is to simply absorb a plethora of information on said subject.
This is a way to get lost in "noise" (or, unhelpful information). Being lost in noise doesn't just confuse and bog you down. It also brainwashes you - or teaches you to pseudo-think.
Pseudo-thinking is a term I've coined.
Pseduo-thinking is when you regurgitate opinions provided to you in a way that makes you feel like you're thinking.
When a complete system of belief is transmitted from a media complex to an individual, and they regurgitate it through pseudo-thinking, then that is "Ideological possession."
Unfortunately, the media complexes that influence us to pseudothink often do so deliberately. I call that sorcery. Sorcery creates pseudothinking.
Often, sorcery is TERRIBLE for individual and public health, but good for the pocketbooks of those in the media, or positions of power in government and big industry.
Luckily, we live in a time where sorcery and pseudothinking can be countered. Kiara and I talk about the tools to do so in the full episode, as she does in her book "Bitcoin Clarity."
When you approach a complex topic by learning the core principles of the topic and figuring out what systems the subject is nested in then you can create mental models, or maps, which help you filter through "noisy" info to find valuable "signal."
When you find signal (useful information) then you gain clarity in a certain topic.
One useful mental model I've spoken about before is the Bio-Psycho-Social model for human health.
Human health is complicated, and everybody knows that fitness, nutrition, psychological, medical and lifestyle news is flooded with noise and fake news.
This model is a way of compressing and navigating through over a dozen major systems at varying overlapping levels of resolution so that healthcare professionals may communicate with each other and understand the holistic human mind-body.
Systems are everything, models are how we navigate those systems without succumbing to the sorcery of media complexes that seek to have us propagate the system in a way that preserves their power.
Focusing on principles and mental models allows you to find signal in the vast noise of context-less information.
It allows you to ignore hype, sorcery, fake news and confusion so you may instead gain clarity.