Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Bitcoin Bubble, or Is It? Two Charts, Historical Price Movement, and the Conspiracy

Additional article on Bitcoin: "Fragmentation of Bitcoin Community Begins after the Collapse of Mt. Gox and Secondmarket’s Wall Street Exchange Proposal".

I. Two Charts

I wish I wasn’t making this post and I hope I’m wrong. I love the concept of Bitcoin and the prospect of the decentralization of power brought about by the introduction of “an open source peer-to-peer electronic money and payment network” and the inevitable collapse of fiat currencies that are controlled by central banks which are in the business of transferring wealth from main street to Wall Street.

I’ve been tracking bitcoin for almost three years, since it was trading for less than a dollar. I even mined it a little a couple of years ago and recommended friends to buy them. Now that bitcoin has breached $1,200 and counting, would I still be giving it a buy recommendation? Absolutely not. Would I be recommending friends to keep most of their bitcoins at these valuations? Absolutely not. I would be telling them to sell almost all of their holdings, letting 1% ride. This is also one of the great features of bitcoin; very few early adopters should still be holding in any type of market like this.

Will bitcoin reach ten thousand, fifty thousand, or a million dollars? Will it do it in a few weeks, a few months, a few years, or a few decades once the full impact of our bubble economy is felt and the fiat currency devaluations begin? That’s anyone’s guess.

Below you will find a bitcoin chart for the last 2 years, and Jean-Paul Rodrigue’s chart of the four phases of a bubble. The similarities are uncanny.

click image to enlarge - source

click image to enlarge - source

Does this mean that bitcoin and other secure digital currencies are not a valid form of currency? Absolutely not. Does this mean that they do not have a future? Absolutely not. I actually believe the opposite. The future of commerce is digital, global, decentralized, open source and secure. It’s everything that bitcoin offers; I just think we’re in a bubble.

II. Historical Price Movement

There is something very beautiful about watching price movements; it’s like watching a horse race and listening to the caller go mad with excitement. I just came across a post just like this for bitcoin on the bitcoin subReddit and have to repost it here to preserve some history, just in case things get deleted. Thank you voiceinthevoid for putting it together.
Why $1000 is irrelevant.

The first major bitcoin bubble started on October 3rd, 2010, when BTC was priced at $0.06. Fears of ponzi schemes and other things led the price to crash down to $0.01, and a massive selloff and buying frenzy started. In a period of two days, the psychological barrier of $0.10 was breached, and the price was pushed further up to $0.30 before hitting a plateau. In a very short period of time, many people made 5x their money.

The next psychological barrier, of $1.00, was hit a month later, as people were still rallying. It hovered around $1.00 for 2 months, as people were unsure what was to happen next, and many people BTC was overpriced. By April of 2011, this uncertainty had caused an erosion in the marketplace, and bitcoin was down to $0.75. Many people who had missed out on the $1 boat saw this as an opportunity to buy in, and the prices skyrocketed. In 2 months time, the price had peaked at $30. This cause a massive sell off, mostly from people who had thousands of BTC from the pre $0.06 days, and over the course of the next 6 months BTC slowly went down to only being worth $2.25. This was the first big selloff and a many first adopters ended up cashing out in this 6 month downtrend.

In just over a year, bitcoin had gone from $0.06 to $30 and back down to $2.50. For those who bought in at $0.01 and sold at $30, they saw a 3000 fold return on their investment.

The second major bitcoin bubble was significantly less intense than the first. It started in February of 2013 when the previous all time high of $30, of the April 2011 bubble, was breached. To be fair, the value of BTC had slowly been gaining steam, but as that psychological barrier of $30 was reached, a sudden upwards trend occurred. By the end of March 2013, just a month in, the $100 barrier was breached, buying increased even further, pushing the price up to just shy of $270 by the beginning of April. People started to sell, in order to realize their gains, and a panic ensued, in which the price dropped down to a low of $50 within the span of a week.

In this bubble, many of the second wave adopters ended up cashing out. For those that bought in at or around $30 and sold at the peak, they saw a 8-9 fold return. Pretty insignificant compared to the 500x return of the previous major bubble. What is significant about this second bubble, is right after the crash down to $50 there was a surge back up to $140, which subsequently mini crashed. This is significant because that number, $140, was the telltale sign of when the next bubble was to start.

The third major bitcoin bubble is occurring right now, in November of 2013. In the time between the last bubble and now, the price of bitcoin has fluctuated, but stayed well within the extremes of the peak and trough of the April bubble. The November 2013 bubble almost started in August of 2013, when the peak of $140 was reached. It did not occur though, because there was a selloff from those who bought in at the April 20th 2013 post crash rebound. Not even two weeks later, $140 was tested again, and there was a selloff again, although not as much as just a few weeks earlier. This caused a newfound stability as people learned to trust BTC again. By the end of September 2013 $140 was tested again and there was a selloff, primarily by those who has bought in at the last two $140 tests, and those who believed that $140 was now a hard ceiling that was never going to be breached. The selloff rebounded though, and a few days of utter stability just under $140 was seen, which was enough to convince people that $140 was not a hard ceiling at all. This eased peoples minds, and they began to buy. In two weeks time, the price was in the $220 region, and many people, remembering the prior bubble, sold, temporarly driving the price down, but in less than 2 weeks the price recovered, and this also gave people a huge trust that the price was going to continue upwards.

Somewhere around $400, China got involved, and all hell broke loose. In just a weeks time, we had gone from $400 to $800, which caused a selloff panic driving the price down to $450 in just one day. This was just a minor hiccup thought, and the rally continued upwards, and in just 1 week it broke the psychological barrier of $1000.

Nobody knows what's going to happen next. No one has a crystal ball, and past performance is no indicator of future performance. Yet if we look at the previous major bubbles, what we see is that in no case is the breaking of a psychological barrier the reason for a selloff. Selloffs happen when that barrier is broken in such an intense way as to render it meaningless and abstract. Selloffs happen when multiple psychological barriers are broken in quick succession. They happen when there is a period for many people to make double, triple, or 10x their money in return in a short period of time. As time passes, the investment needed to double or triple or make 10x your money gets much steeper. This is the reason why we will never see the types of bubbles as the first two historical bubbles ever again. The first bubble had a huge volumetric selloff due to cheap coin. The second bubble had volume because the period of time between the first two bubbles had stability for long enough (3 years) plus a positive ROI on mining to create a volume.

This bubble is different though. There is a much higher dispersion of coins due to more people involved in mining, and there has also been less time for buyers to accumulate coins. The value of coins has gone up, but the number that people are playing with has dropped significantly. If we compare bubble to bubble, log style, then the current rally we are in, is only about halfway to the peak of the rally that caused the April 2013 bubble. The psychological barrier of $1000 is about as meaningful to us now as the psychological barrier, of $100, was to the April bubble - which is to say it's having no effect on stopping anything.

China being involved puts a whole new spin on things. No longer is $1000 any sort of psychological barrier, as they are looking at the price in their own currency. Certainly 8888 is the big psychological barrier for them, but they are also buying BTC not for speculative reasons, but as a store of wealth that is outside the influence of their own government.

I think this rally will continue for a long time, relatively speaking. I think we will see $2000 and $3000 broken before the madness sets in, which will cause the selloff. But even then, post selloff, I doubt we will be under $2000.

III. The Conspiracy

As for the Conspiracy; there has been some talk that the government is behind Bitcoin (2), so I thought I’d preserve a little thread that was posted on the Conspiracy subReddit. The comments are well worth reading. Thank you nicolaosq for bringing up the topic.
Bitcoin Was Created By DARPA

There is no way to stop what is going to happen to bitcoin. It's an issue of sociology. It's an issue of human greed. It's an issue as to WHO created bitcoin and WHY.

Who is the single largest holder of BTC right now? "Satoshi". Who is he? I will say it again. NSA/DARPA created bitcoin under the guidance of the IMF. The IMF has been openly calling for a digital, one-world, deflationary currency for 2 decades. OPENLY. It has been discussed and promoted OPENLY at G8 and G20 summits.

from the early 90s-96 the NSA was OPENLY investigating cryptographic money networks.

One of their researchers and investigators is a man named Tatsuaki Okamoto. When they actively started writing the code they chose the pseudonym "Satoshi Nakamura" to ultimately promote the idea that Tatsuaki Okamoto to any and all who investigated the source of bitcoin long enough. But Tatsuaki Okamoto is just a cog. He's not some rogue savoir out to topple centralized banks. Not at all. He is a crypto scientist who was paid by government and intelligence agencies to do research.

Bitcoin is an NSA/DARPA lab set into the wild. Scientific technology grants issued by government and intelligence agencies are how these labs are funded and promoted. The regulation and control of bitcoin has been actively developed alongside the development of the network. In fact, the controls, policy and regulation are WAY WAY more mature than the bitcoin protocol itself. That's why we see things like Greenlist written into law without a mention of bitcoin until recently.

This is not tinfoil hattish. This is just reality. No one forced ANYONE to believe the Satoshi fairytale.. The libertarian Satoshi myth has been promoted in stealth to specifically promote ADOPTION and DEVELOPMENT. It's no different than the internet and WWW itself. EXACTLY the same. That is why you see many www early adopters saying bitcoin "feels" the same as the early internet. I am one of those people.

In 94-96 the public internet was ALL about freedom of information. FREE COMMUNICATION. It was ALL about liberty and freedom. I wish i could transport some of you back in time so you could see for yourselves. The promise of free phonecalls with the freeworlddialup, free media with IUMA and the MBONE. All this freedom and liberty had people pouring their heart and soul into developing it. Now look at it. Facebook, google.. it is a GIANT SURVEILLANCE grid. And if you look for and read DARPA/NSA docs from the 80s and early 90s that was what it was always meant to be. I am not discounting all the socially great things that happen online.. But from the perspective of DARPA/NSA and control freaks.. it was created for the express purpose of control. A military purpose. A strategic purpose.

What is bitcoin? Bitcoin IS the one world digital currency. We all have a deterministic UUID that has been generated from our biometric data. This UUID will be related to all your datastores. This UUID is your mark. This UUID is what is used to buy and sell online and in the real world. This UUID is the primary key in your Greenlist identity.

Coinbase, and it would appear Coinsetter are inline to be the first to roll out the incoming policy and regulation. This policy and regulation is WORLD WIDE. It is CORPORATE. It is not about governments. Governments ADOPT corporate organized policies. If you think this is new than you need to investigate ACH and NACHA.

Bitcoin is THEIR network. And for the minority early adopters that is going to be a hard pill to swallow.. But for those in the know.. Like Gavin, it's PAYDAY. Realization and monetization of their massive bitcoin holdings is being guaranteed by regulators. That is why they are all literally RUSHING to regulate.

Legitimization of bitcoin is all about hosted wallets. The centralization of bitcoin. Hosted wallet providers approve/dissaprove transactions before they are actually issued on the network. Greenlist enabled wallets will be the fastest. (offline transactions). Greenlist enabled wallets will be hooked directly to your bank account, ease of buying and selling. Greenlist enabled exchanges will have the largest market with the best prices. Greenlist enabled wallets will completely eliminate risk of stolen coins. No more security worries AT ALL. And this is what the masses have come to expect. And this is why it's going to happen. And Greenlisted wallets will be accepted everywhere. And in the physical world you will identify yourself and your wallet with your biometrics.

TL;DR bitcoin is a global digital currency, regulation was created in tandem with development and adoption, bitcoin is not and never was meant to be a liberty promoting value exchange. There is no "satoshi". The central banks are already the largest holders of bitcoin. Bitcoin IS going to the moon because of this.
Hope I don’t get burnt for this post, but it needed to be said and I needed to archive it. Happy investing, trading, subverting, or whatever your gig is.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Canadians Can Grow Tobacco for Personal Use; We Should Be Able to Do the Same with Cannabis

I. Harper’s Agenda

Knowing full well the devastating consequences of America’s War on Drugs, the very same day that Washington State and Colorado legalized the recreational use of Cannabis, the Harper Government introduced “tough new mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana” - a change in the law that even the judiciary is resisting.

The government followed-up this prohibitionist agenda by “changing medical marijuana rules in Canada” so that patients would no longer be able to grow their own medicine, attacking the most vulnerable in our society by turning a health policy into a crime policy.

We won’t go into the details of how Canadians feel about this government, suffice it to say that even before the senate scandal blew up in Harper’s face, a poll from the summer of 2013 showed that 70% of Canadians surveyed wanted the Conservatives gone.

Stephen Harper promised that we would not recognize Canada when he got through with it, and he meant it. Some of the policies that have been implemented will take decades to unfold and will cost Canadians dearly:
“From the environment, to health care, to foreign policy, this is a different Canada than it was May 2, 2011, and many of the Harper initiatives may not be easily undone by future governments, or even future leaders of a Conservative government.”
All one has to do to fully appreciate Harper’s agenda is to read the text from a speech he made at a “June 1997 Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing U.S. think tank.” Below are some highlights from the first few opening paragraphs of the speech as well as his closing statement. Every Canadian should read the full text, especially those who support Harper and his Conservatives:
“First, facts about Canada. Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it. Canadians make no connection between the fact that they are a Northern European welfare state and the fact that we have very low economic growth, a standard of living substantially lower than yours…

“In terms of the unemployed, of which we have over a million-and-a-half, don't feel particularly bad for many of these people. They don't feel bad about it themselves, as long as they're receiving generous social assistance and unemployment insurance…

“I'll end there and take any of your questions. But let me conclude by saying, good luck in your own battles. Let me just remind you of something that's been talked about here. As long as there are exams, there will always be prayer in schools.”

II. Tobacco vs. Cannabis

The question we should be asking ourselves as Harper hands out licenses to corporations to grow medical marijuana while prohibiting individual Canadians from growing their own supply, is that; Canadians 18 years of age or older can grow up to 15 kg of tobacco for personal use, so why shouldn’t we be able to do the same with cannabis?

Excise Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. E-14) and Excise Act, 2001 (S.C. 2002, c. 22), both of which are current to November 13, 2013, state that:
    Excise Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. E-14) - Tobacco grown for private use
    220. A person who grows tobacco on his own land or property and manufactures the tobacco into common Canada twist or cut tobacco solely for the use of himself and such members of his family as are resident with him on the farm or premises on which the tobacco was grown, and not for sale, does not require a licence for so doing, nor is the tobacco so manufactured subject to excise duty, but the quantity so manufactured in any one year shall not exceed fifteen kilograms (15 kg) for each adult member of the family resident on the farm or premises.”
    Excise Act, 2001 (S.C. 2002, c. 22) - Exception — manufacturing for personal use
    25. (3) An individual who is not a tobacco licensee may manufacture manufactured tobacco or cigars

    (a) from packaged raw leaf tobacco or manufactured tobacco on which the duty has been paid, if the tobacco or cigars are for their personal use; or

    (b) from raw leaf tobacco grown on land on which the individual resides, if
      (i) the tobacco or cigars are for their personal use or that of the members of their family who reside with the individual and who are 18 years of age or older, and

      (ii) the quantity of tobacco or cigars manufactured in any year does not exceed 15 kg for the individual and each member of the individual’s family who resides with the individual and who is 18 years of age or older.
The best way to understand Stephen Harper’s agenda is to really listen to him. The above speech in conjunction with the following short interview where he gets lost in his own circular argument trying to answer a question regarding the legalization of marijuana should send shivers down the spine of even his most hardened supporters.
“There’s lots of crimes a lot worse than the casual use of marijuana, but, when people are buying from the drug trade they’re not buying from their neighbour, they are buying from international cartels that are involved in unimaginable violence and intimidation and social disaster and catastrophe all across the world, all across the world….

“Now you know I know some people say if you legalize it you know you get the money and all would be well, but I think that rests on the assumption that somehow drugs are bad because they’re illegal. The reasons drugs – it’s not that – the reason drugs are illegal is because they are bad, and even if these things were legalized I can predict with a lot of confidence that these would never be respectable businesses run by respectable people because of the very nature of the dependency they create, the damage they create, the social upheaval and catastrophe they create particularly in third world countries….

“Well I know people have different views, I must admit myself sometimes I’m frustrated by how little impact government have been able to have on the drug trade internationally, but we should not fool ourselves into thinking that if we somehow stop trying to deal with it it would suddenly turn into a nice wholesome industry. It will never be that. “

Stephen Harper Talks About Marijuana

So why has this war on cannabis, drugs in general, continued for so long? Noam Chomsky in a 2011 interview with ‘High Times’ provides some answers:
“Now take a look at the way the Drug War is conducted over the past 40 years. It goes back farther, but start from 40 years ago: There's very little spent on prevention and treatment. There's a lot on policing, a ton of stuff on border control and a lot on out-of-country operations. And the effect on the availability of drugs is almost undetectable; drug prices don't change on measures of availability. So there are two possibilities: Either those conducting the Drug War are lunatics, or they have another purpose….

“Furthermore, it's known, just from experience, that prevention works. Here we get to the question of what's the drug problem. Well, in fact, by far the worst problem is tobacco: Tobacco kills way more people than hard drugs, 20 times as many or some huge number. So that's a really dangerous substance. The second most dangerous is alcohol, because of its direct consequence to the user, but also because it harms others. Marijuana doesn't make you violent; alcohol does. So it contributes to abuse, violence -- drunk driving kills people. It's a killer….

“Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, made a pertinent comment a couple years ago. He said, ‘If you want to destroy coca here, then let us destroy the tobacco in North Carolina and Kentucky. It's a far more dangerous substance. It kills way more people than coca does.’ That's a joke, obviously -- the United States isn't going to let him do that. Then again, it just shows up the cynicism of the whole program….”…continue reading for some of the answers.
Canadians can grow tobacco for personal use; we should be able to do the same with cannabis.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The British Military, Operating Death Squads from Belfast to Basra: Terrorizing Civilians is What Occupying Forces Do

The latest no shit story is that “soldiers from an undercover unit used by the British army in Northern Ireland killed unarmed civilians.”
“Before it was disbanded 40 years ago, after 18 months, plain-clothes soldiers carried out round-the-clock patrols of west Belfast - the heartland of the IRA - in unmarked cars.”
Former members of the unit stated that “they also carried out drive-by shootings of nationalists, even though there was no independent evidence any of them were IRA members.”
We were not there to act like an army unit, we were there to act like a terror group.”

This news will, of course, not surprise the Irish nor anyone unfortunate enough to have first-hand experience of living under occupation - or anyone remotely aware of history for that matter.

A more recent occurrence of terrorism by occupying forces was documented in Iraq in 2003. Two SAS soldiers were freed from a jail in Basra by the British military after they were arrested for “shooting at policemen”. The British soldiers were “wearing Arab clothes” and from the car that they were driving, opened “fire on a police checkpoint, killing one. In pursuit, the police surround(ed) and detain the drivers and (found) the vehicle packed with explosives.”
“That's right — two members of the British Armed forces disguised as Arab civilians killed a member of the Iraqi police while evading capture. When the people of Basra rightfully refused to turn the murderers over to the British government, per Coalition ‘mandate,’ they sent their own men in and released over 100 prisoners in the process.”

If this occurred anywhere else in the world and if their targets were our allies, these men would have been charged with terrorism, put on a one way flight to Guantanamo Bay or one of our countless other secret detention centers where they would have been tortured until they revealed the location and identity of their employers. All of that would have been unnecessary of course, since we all know that they were working for the British government to destabilize the region. This is not speculation, this incident is a well-documented conspiracy and it will remain a part of our history.

How many of these operatives, i.e., terrorists, Western governments have unleashed on the civilian populations of world is anyone’s guess. Why they have done, and continue to do such a thing, can only be speculated upon. The only ones who truly know the reasons are our governments and until we demand answers and justice this practice will continue, may it be in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, Western Sahara, Tibet, or the numerous other occupied territories across the globe (1, 2, 3).

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Some Random and Not-So-Random Sound Bites



Stop Watching Us: The Video

The coolest nature video ever!

TN Student Speaks Out About Common Core, Teacher Evaluations, and Educational Data


Big Brains. Small Films. Benoît Mandelbrot, The Father of Fractals

Exordium (Machinima Interactive Film Festival)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Regarding the Crucifixion of Jeremy Hammond

I don’t even know what to say. We’re in the midst of a revolution but the mainstream media remains silent, but then again, we can’t expect much from a colluding institution.

The United States government just crucified Jeremy Hammond because they deemed him - and people like him - to be a threat. Below you will find an article and a video regarding this travesty of justice.
Feeding the Flame of Revolt - “I was in federal court here Friday for the sentencing of Jeremy Hammond to 10 years in prison for hacking into the computers of a private security firm that works on behalf of the government, including the Department of Homeland Security, and corporations such as Dow Chemical. In 2011 Hammond, now 28, released to the website WikiLeaks and Rolling Stone and other publications some 3 million emails from the Texas-based company Strategic Forecasting Inc., or Stratfor.

“The sentence was one of the longest in U.S. history for hacking and the maximum the judge could impose under a plea agreement in the case. It was wildly disproportionate to the crime—an act of nonviolent civil disobedience that championed the public good by exposing abuses of power by the government and a security firm. But the excessive sentence was the point. The corporate state, rapidly losing credibility and legitimacy, is lashing out like a wounded animal. It is frightened. It feels the heat from a rising flame of revolt. It is especially afraid of those such as Hammond who have the technical skills to break down electronic walls and expose the corrupt workings of power.” .… read more
Stratford Leaker Jeremy Hammond Sentenced to 10 Years

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bill Nye, Brian Greene, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Lawrence Krauss have a brilliant little discussion on the limitations of mathematics, and its importance and relevance to humanity

Math lovers and aficionados will find the following discourse both entertaining and informative.

Below you will find the video and partial transcript of Arizona State University’s Origins Project’s Q&A segment from their ‘The Storytelling of Science’ panel discussion, featuring “well-known science educator Bill Nye, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, theoretical physicist Brian Greene, Science Friday’s Ira Flatow, popular science fiction writer Neal Stephenson, executive director of the World Science Festival Tracy Day, and Origins Project director Lawrence Krauss.”

The first question asked of the panel was:
Q: “If you could give us all a one word piece of advice for our own science storytelling, what would it be?”
Bill Nye was the first to reply with, “Algebra, learn algebra.” Neil deGrasse Tyson follows with, ‘Ambition’. Lawrence Krauss with, ‘Passion’. Neal Stephenson with, ‘Empathize’. Richard Dawkins states that since empathize has already been taken, he will choose ‘Poetry’. While Ira Flatow states that ”you should be able to tell it so that your mother can understand it.”

The second question asked by the audience is what kicks off the fireworks:
Q: “I’ve always wanted to be an astronautical engineer, but I am horrible at math, but I’ve got lots of passion. Can this dream ever be a reality and where do I start?”
The dialogue of the panelists was as follows:
Lawrence Krauss: “As Bill said, math is the language of science, and I think you have to be able to be adept at it.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson: [interrupting Krauss] “Math is the language of the universe.”

Lawrence Krauss: “Yes, You’re right, I agree with you there.”

…audience applauds and cheers…

Lawrence Krauss: “I agree, but let me just finish. Too many people think that you have to be a mathematical wizard… you don’t have to be the best mathematician in your class, you don’t have to be a wiz. It takes all type to do science, and any stereotype just doesn’t work. If you’re interested, do it.”…

Bill Nye: “But the other thing, I would say, you say you’re bad at math, I bet you’re not that bad. And I just want to remind you that when it comes to math there is no substitute for practice. It sucked for me, it sucks for everyone. You just have to practice. So when you come to me and say ‘I’m bad at math’, I am open minded of course but skeptical. I bet you can do it whoever you are.”

Lawrence Krauss: “You know, that’s an important point. We were talking about it last night too… I like science museums because they show science as fun but science is hard work like anything, like music, like anything else to do it well, and it takes a lot of work. And if you don’t enjoy it you can’t do the work, but just enjoyment alone isn’t enough, you really got to be willing to work at it.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson: “I think what’s going on here is, people presume that if the math is not coming easy that therefore you’ll never learn it. And I meant it literally that math is the language of the universe, and it’s like any other language, especially a language that does not share the Roman alphabet. So, for example, if you wanted to study Chinese, it looks completely intractable at first… and you can ask the question, ‘how long does it take one to become fluent in Chinese, if you’re not Chinese yourself?’ …it can take… almost 10 years, if you never go to China. If you go to China, maybe 5 years of intensive exposure - and you’ve never done that with math - imagine that level of exposure to math, what kind of fluency you would have at the other end of that pipeline. So at least give yourself the opportunity that any person learning a foreign language would give themselves before you turn around and say you’re not good at math.”

…audience applauds and cheers…

Brian Greene: [addressing Neil deGrasse Tyson] “The question that comes to mind for me is, how do you know that math is the language of the universe?”

Neil deGrasse Tyson: “The universe told me.”…

Bill Nye: “It’s a first approximation”…

Brian Greene: “I was wondering, I have a question about this, could you imagine that one day far into the future we encounter some alien civilization and they say, ‘hey, show us what you’ve done to understand the universe’, and we bring out our math books with all our theorems in physics and they turn to us and say, ‘Math! We tried that, it takes you just so far! And the real way to do it is like this!’

Neil deGrasse Tyson: “I would say, that whatever that real way is it’s not manifest to us at this moment, and until that day happens where an alien tells us how backwards we are, all I can say is that the math that we did invent out of our human brain - as you [pointing to Brian Greene] surely know Eugene Wigner said the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in describing the universe - the fact that it works at all is sufficient enough for me.”

…a little chaos ensues…

Lawrence Krauss: “I want to go on record, and this is a momentous occasion, I want to go on record as agreeing with Brian. In a sense that it is fascinating if you’re a theoretical physicist to wonder when you find something fascinating - some mathematical formula that’s fascinating - whether it’s a property of our brains or whether it’s a property of the universe, and we just don’t know I think is the answer….”

Brian Greene: “Right, but let me answer your question. I find it slightly confusing because, Neil, you describe math as something that we create, so why is it the thing that we create is somehow intrinsic to the universe?...”

Neil deGrasse Tyson: “I don’t lose sleep over that, I celebrate it.”

Brian Greene: “It’s a good thing, I celebrate it too.”

Lawrence Krauss: “But it is the question, there may be limitations of our understanding of the universe because of the way our brains work…”

Neil deGrasse Tyson: “That’s surely the case. That’s surely the case.”…

Lawrence Krauss: “But seriously that’s an interesting question and we really have to wonder about that, and again, as some of us are on the forefront of physics, you wonder at some point when it’s going to end.”…

Bill Nye: “But, to the questioner’s question, I wouldn’t worry about the possibility that mathematics is going to turn out to be ineffective in describing the universe and use that as a reason to not keep practicing. Press on.”

…audience applauds and cheers…
The above dialogue and more takes place in the first few minutes of the following video embedded below.

Q&A Segment - The Great Debate: THE STORYTELLING OF SCIENCE (Part 2/2)

Part one of ‘The Storytelling of Science’ follows and is well worth the watch as well.

The Great Debate: THE STORYTELLING OF SCIENCE (Part 1/2)