One key aspect to system design is making sure that the incentives are aligned with long-term objectives that mutually complement parties that are working together. In the case of currencies, digital and other, there are a variety of interesting incentives that do not necessarily align. Curiously, in the current central banking world, there is a very strong incentive from the standpoint of governments and large corporations to keep a stable exchange rate. This is made possible, of course, by “extraordinary means” like printing money.
Other digital currencies don’t have any incentive towards price stablity.
What had started as an idea, the generic “AppCoin,” had evolved into Swarm, a whirlwind of excitement and movement. They were everywhere in the press, and yet what excited others made their lawyers nervous. The promise that the next stage after cryptocurrency was something equally mysterious and impactful, cryptoequity.
If the truth be told, one of the major reasons for the success of cryptocurrency was that it bypassed national boundaries and associated regulations. Because many of the usages for such as system were criminal, it was only natural that it would be shut down. Except, in the curious case of Bitcoin, it could not be, at least not via ordinary means. And so it continued to grow.
Swarm was, as it turns out, dedicated to a similar viral model of growth, one that was at least mildly subversive. It was not that Swarm was anarchistic in a destructive sense, it simply believed that regulations needed to keep pace with the evolution of technology. When they did not, the evolution of technology took precedence.
This was a dangerous game, but those who gathered around the Swarm knew this and applauded it. They were willing to take this risk. It was exciting because many knew the value, but no one else dared to do it.
Swarmers were increasingly people without fixed abodes, without steady partners, without significant earthly attachment. They joined the Swarm because they believed in the value of revolution, not simply the upturning of a corrupt elite, but the constant transformation of all human institutions.
Ironically, the first wave of appeal had come from classic business folks. They saw the massive economic potential behind the Swarm idea and they wanted to control it. Soon they learned that the Swarm cannot be controlled. Like all great ideas, it must evolve of its own accord.
The next wave was the lawyers. Initially excited, they said that the best way to do this was to lay a solid legal framework, which required a rather substantial amount of capital investment to start with, largely to pay the lawyers. They promised to contact venture capitalists who could help pour the pavement.
The venture capitalists were also excited. But of course they needed to see traction of a substantial sort first. No one is willing to pay out to lay the infrastructure. Even the lawyers got distracted and could not be engaged in a substantial way until there was a crisis. And even in a time of crisis they under-delivered and left more messes than they helped clean up.
This left the crowd. Made up of idealists and speculators and worker bees, the crowd had a multiplicity of agendas. Yet, strangely, it was also capable of massing incredible common energies for a good purpose. Although there was an incredible need for immediacy, there was also the equally powerful ability to engage just at the level that was right for the individual. What are you investing in? Why? How much?
While as in the past investment was of time, energy, or money, now the three could be seamlessly combined. A new age was being born. On the blockchain.
Eroticism, it had been the theme of the day. First, an encounter with an old friend. One who had described him once as curiously asexual. Although his virginal piety had been replaced by the mantle of a wolf, but there was still something quite gentle about him. Something calm that seemed to be waiting. Perhaps it was simply the snake that was waiting to strike. Or the curiously deluded person that was overly confident on the basis of nothing.
He was still a bit of a mystery to her. She was intrigued, tempted by the idea of a thrilling romance, his own strange erotic playfulness, but also cautious. She wanted something more than untamed eroticism, a true love story.
Eventually he gave it to her. He had been, he was still, in love with an Italian artist. One to whom his thoughts still frequently drifted. One whom he could never forget… or live with. It must have been the chaos of the Italian subcontinent that deterred him, the indolence of the children who never grew up, who depended on their parents and who never truly stood on their own two feet. She was independent, except for everything that her father did for her.
His own long struggles there were mixed with moments of incredible inspiration. He had been tested by fate, and had emerged somewhat weaker. Among other things he was now something of a lecher. It was the Italian way, and in attempting to cure him of this his Italian lover had actually made him rather worse. Where temperance was always a preeminent virtue in his own mind, he was no longer able to exercise it, egged on by man and woman alike.
A old friend had once described him as “Byronic.” Although not intended as a compliment, it seemed that this was increasingly true. His life was increasingly littered with love affairs, some trivial, some deep, some passionate, some simply matter of fact. He sought the passionate variety, but the world provided him something else, a mill of routine personalities weaned on the manufactured milk of modern society.
There were no true teats to suck on, at least not if one stayed on the beaten track. Beaten, whisked, stirred, and turned into a souffle fit for your above average if not spectacular first course. It was served cold and ingested slowly, ideally with a glass of pinot. Then the embrace came, but it was also not entirely warm.
It was a distinct lack of heat and he made up for it by designing new games. Seduction was a sport that interested but also tired him. More interesting was his new habit of designing games designed to increase and amplify erotic tension. If he could not have passion, he could at least have fun.
His latest game was particularly delightful. It involved one of his favorite new hobbies, the graphic written description of erotic encounters such that they could be positively orgasm producing in their own right. He was getting remarkably good at this, wettening the panties and even removing clothing at great distance. He felt increasingly that he could feel the delightful agitation that these women also felt and he longed to satisfy them.
However what would satisfy him? This was an open question. His first friend had counciled him to follow her again, that tender Italian spirit. It is true that his heart tended in that direction. But his mind and loins rebelled. Once scarred, twice shy. It was delightful when it was good, but terrible on the other side. He had too much to do, he could no longer handle such instability.
Regardless, he was forced to admit to her that his current lifestyle was empty. These games were only games. Satisfying the libido of previously insatiable women was something he took some pride in. He was always happy to solve these types of problems.
As evening came along he was titillated. She was someone with whom everything had flowed naturally thus far, someone to whom he felt a great deal of attraction, even desire. Moreover, it seemed that she felt the same way. There seemed to be a law of mutual attraction that pulled them into orbit, one that would ultimately culminate in moans and signs.
Good things come to those who wait. He was ready to move fast, but, by the same token, there was no hurry. Whatever the creative action or dance, it needed to happen at the right time with the appropriate tempo. The first movement was informational and conversational. If motivated by curiousity, it rarely achieved depth. If there was a scintillating erotic element, it was diffused rather than built over time.
This diffusion was primarily his own doing. Perhaps it was the day’s earlier conversation and his own yoga class, but he felt less of a need than normal for erotic stimulation. Whereas these sort of erotic encounters often seemed to have an air of necessity, he felt very little of that at present. What beckoned, of course, was his work. Work that need to be done. It was not pursuing something unless there was at least the seed of deeper passion.
He teased her somewhat softly about all this. He was of course ruining the normal course of affairs. The gradual building of tension. The somewhat teasing glance. The hands lightly touching. The first clench. A kiss. Another. The retirement to a private abode. The rest done without lights.
In truth, it seemed like a good idea, yet not as a casual affair. Clothing could not be removed until something else had happened. There had to be some shift. It had to something other than casual. He was not sure what. In a sense he was searching. But more accurately, he was simply waiting.