Bit by Bit: How Peer-to-Peer Technology Is Freeing the World argues that today’s emergent technology is about more than new and cool toys. Jeffrey Tucker, CLO of Liberty.me, argues that peer-to-peer technology is forging a new and brighter social, economic, and political order.
People tend to look at innovations in isolation. Here is my new e-reader. Here is an app I like. Here is my new mobile device and computer. Even bitcoin is routinely analyzed and explained in terms of its properties as an alternative to national currencies, as if there were no more than that at stake.
But actually there is a historical trajectory at work here, one that we can trace through its logic, implementation, and spread. Peer-to-peer technology stems from the same logic that led from the dial phone at the county store, operated by people pulling and plugging in wires, to the wireless smartphone in your pocket that contains the whole store of human knowledge. It’s all about technology in the service of individuation.
Once you understand the driving ethos — voluntarism, creativity, networks, individual initiative — you can see the outlines of a new social structure emerging within our time, an order that defies a century of top-down planning and nation-state restrictionism.
It is coming about not because of political reform. It is not any one person’s creation. It is not happening because a group of elite intellectuals advocated it. The new world is emerging organically, and messily, from the ground up, as an extension of unrelenting creativity and experimentation. In the end, it is emerging out of an anarchist order that no one in particular controls and no one in particular can fully understand – and that’s all possible because of peer-to-peer technology.
The building of universal prosperity is a process that unfolds bit by bit through decentralized decision making and improvements at the margin through trial-and-error. To continue this process, we need understanding, patience, and dreams. Jeffrey Tucker’s book is an excellent guide to all three.
~ Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, from the introduction.
Those of us in the bitcoin world know about Jeffrey Tucker. He’s an entrepreneur, economist and an entertaining speaker to boot. What I didn’t realize before reading this book is that he’s a good author as well. His new book, Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World, makes the case for how peer-to-peer technology will change the world.
Tucker explains bitcoin and blockchain technology better than anyone I’ve encountered so far. It is clear he understands both the ideas behind bitcoin and also how cryptocurrencies actually work. He also makes a very convincing case for adopting it, accepting it as payment and getting involved in the world of bitcoin.
Jeffrey Tucker is a fantastic essayist whose work I have admired for nearly a decade. This latest book collects a number of his most excellent pieces over the past few years discussing how technology is enabling more and more liberty in the world. For example, the technological innovation of the Bitcoin system is easily one of the most exciting developments for freedom in the past few decades, and Mr. Tucker explains why in a concise yet erudite manner.
~ Amazon Reviews