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Bitgenstein’s Table, the Crypto Philosophy Podcast: Exploring the Future of Blockchain

Bitgenstein’s Table, the Crypto Philosophy Podcast: Exploring the Future of Blockchain

By Bitgenstein
Bitgenstein's Table: the Crypto Philosophy Podcast applies 2500 years of the wisest human thought in philosophy, psychology, sociology, history, and economics in order to learn how to make better decisions in the future of blockchain and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, and more.
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Bad Memory: 9/11, Crypto Trading Journals, and Courtroom Bias
Immutability and privacy are key ideas in the blockchain space. Can they help us overcome the poor quality of our memories and of our bodies of evidence? * Subscribe at ** Emendment: I misspoke in the aside on Aryan Migration, where I meant to say "Aryan Invasion." I don't deny many aspects of Indo-Aryan Migration theory from linguistics and other disciplines. * All music is my improvisation, except for the theme by J. Dickinson. Some improv alludes to that theme and to themes from Prison Break (Djawadi) and Scarbo (Ravel).
January 20, 2019
Dan Larimer vs. the Rothschilds: EOS’s URI & Bitcoin as Universal Basic Income
Universal Basic Income is becoming a hot topic again. Is it a good idea? Why are a number of libertarians in the US jumping on board the UBI train? What about Daniel Larimer’s Universal Resource Inheritance, proposed for EOS? And does Bitcoin already exhibit characteristics of UBI, thanks to its deflationary nature? Join me as we explore this and more. As always on Bitgenstein’s Table, we’re trying to think more deeply about the future we want to build. *** Next time is a special guest episode in cooperation with the Everything EOS podcast. We’ll be discussing UBI and URI as they relate to cryptocurrency, direct from the EOS Hackathon in San Francisco. The articles I mention by Dan Larimer are available at See other links, including the video and article by Mark Cuban and more, at *** Original theme song, as usual, by Joseph Dickinson ( A few piano songs by me include a little-known Intermezzo by Poulenc and a couple of pieces by Ravel. Then there’s a mechanical-sounding song that we won’t talk about. Finally, the traditional Asian music near the end is used by permission. I wish I knew how to play those instruments.
November 8, 2018
TEASER: Dr. Bitgenstein's Table (video at
Dr. Bitgenstein jolts his cryptocurrency bags back to life! Check out the video at I'm doing a double-episode feature with the podcast Everything EOS, since EOS has discussed the idea of "Universal Resource Inheritance," which is similar to Universal Basic Income. We'll talk about the arguments for and against both.
October 31, 2018
Fixing Scientific & Medical Publishing with Blockchain, with Manuel Martin Marquez of Orvium & CERN
This week it's my pleasure to have Manuel Martin Marquez, of CERN and Orvium, on the podcast. A full transcript (with pictures!) of this interview is available at Academic publishing in scientific and medical fields is central to much of society. Legislation, corporate policy, litigation, ethics, research direction, guidebooks and textbooks of all kinds all rest on the foundation of peer-reviewed academic studies. But the ancient peer-review system is opaque, clunky and perhaps even prone to error. How can transparent, decentralized networks revolutionize the way we as humanity know things? *** This episode is not sponsored by Orvium or any other entity. Find out more about Orvium at Try Orvium's beta product at Join the Orvium Telegram at Follow Bitgenstein's Table, the Crypto Philosophy Podcast, at For music credits, see the notes to episode 3, with Ryan Dennis. Other piano solo music is performed by me and composed by Spanish composer Joaquin Turina.
October 19, 2018
Kidnapped for Bitcoin: Avoiding Ransom & Wrench Attacks for Cryptocurrency
This week, we discuss kidnappings & gunpoint attacks demanding cryptocurrency. We often say that cryptocurrency is unseizable. But in one sense, it’s more seizable than dollars in your account: Kidnappers’ crypto accounts, unlike bank accounts, are unfreezable and are themselves unseizable – making stolen funds completely unrecoverable. What can we do to be safe from ransom and wrench attacks? *** Next week I have an exciting guest interview with Manuel Martin, who worked at CERN's Large Hadron Collider for many years and is now teaming up with other experts to fix many problems with the scientific publishing industry. *** Original theme song, as usual, by Joseph Dickinson ( Besides one nocturne (in C minor) by Polish composer Frederic Chopin, all other piano songs – Prelude for the Left Hand Alone, Nocturne for the Left Hand Alone, and Etude in C sharp minor – are by Russian composer Alexander Scriabin.
October 11, 2018
Heresy, Privacy & Censorship #2: A Tale of Two Societies
Usually, Bitgenstein’s Table discusses philosophy, history, economics, or psychology. Today, it’s a different kind of podcast. In one future, open blockchain has pushed transparency global. Everything is accountable, everything is trackable, everything is open. In the other, blockchain also dominates - but with privacy tech. GDPR was only the start. Two short stories explore what life in these worlds might be like. They’re absurd enough to be fun, but they’re also thought experiments. *** Last week we talked about transparency and privacy, with Peepeth, Dtube, Monero, Zcoin, PIVX, DASH, and more making appearances. Next week, we’ll take a break from privacy & permanency to feature a guest from Nexus (NXS), but soon “Heresy, Privacy & Censorship 3” will be back to explore ways we might find balance. *** Theme song by Joseph Dickinson ( Sound effects:'s InspectorJ, jacobalcook, ralphwhitehead, klavo1985, ChazzRavenelle, Andrewthomson.
September 13, 2018
Heresy, Privacy & Censorship #1: Monero, Peepeth, Kierkegaard
Early decentralized social networks like Peepeth and DTube are starting to come online, resisting censorship with permanence. Meanwhile, privacy coins like Monero fight censorship with anonymity. Do we want a world of transparent permanence or a world of anonymity? In part 1 of Heresy, Privacy & Censorship, I introduce censorship resistance, concerns with it, and the projects I mentioned above. Note: the Peepeth Kickstarter has been cancelled. Development will continue but will be funded through other channels. *** Music this week: 3 songs by Ernesto Lecuona, performed by me, plus a couple of improvisations. Theme song by Joseph Dickinson ( Correction: I accidentally call Cuthbert Tunstall the "Archbishop of Canterbury" in this episode. He was actually Bishop of Durham, though he was appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
August 25, 2018
No Bitcoin without Starvation, plus Keynesians, Bank Bailouts, & Tokenizing Robots
As Minister of Finance, he voted against the 2015 bank bailouts in Greece, and resigned when they passed. He's worked at Valve (makers of Half-Life and Steam) as economist-in-residence. He's taught at Cambridge and written popular game theory and economics books. Yanis Varoufakis is controversial and hard to categorize, but he has a lot of incisive things to say. He even mentions Bitcoin in his latest book, "Talking to My Daughter About the Economy: A Brief History of Capitalism." This week I sum up Varoufakis's book, including the fascinating intro on how it was starvation that pushed European and Asian societies to advance so quickly. I also talk about what Varoufakis says about Bitcoin – and tokenization, which he unintentionally brings up in his final chapter. *** Music this week: Chopin nocturnes, performed by me. Theme song by Joseph Dickinson (
August 18, 2018
Heroes & Villains: Twoface, Alma Coin, Zimbabwe, and the SEC
Throughout fiction and history, we see one story after another where revolutionary heroes become new versions of the villains they replace. Will cryptocurrency be any different? *** Except for the theme, all songs are seat-of-the-pants improv this week. (You can probably tell I was a little short on time for this episode.) Improv borrows from themes mentioned in the podcast conclusion. Theme song written and performed by Joseph Dickinson (
August 11, 2018
ETC, ETH, EOS: or Futurama, Xerxes’ Soft Fork, and Maximum Happiness
The debate between “Code Is Law” and “Intent of Code Is Law” rages in the blockchain space today, and new responses to events like the 2016 DAO hack and the ensuing decisions by Ethereum and Ethereum Classic continue to crop up. The discussion is really an extension of an old political philosophy debate, so we should consider what philosophers of law like Bentham and others have to say about the standards our laws should follow. *** Sadly, I didn’t have time to record much today, so the many pieces by Claude Debussy in this episode are by an unknown copyright-free performer. Theme song written and performed by Joseph Dickinson (
August 3, 2018
Doubt, Descartes, and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)
FUD stands for "Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt." In cryptocurrency, it's usually spoken of as a bad thing. But modern philosophy, science, social studies, and more have a long tradition of doubting everything, beginning with Rene Descartes. *** Background music in this episode is written by French composer Maurice Ravel and was recorded by me, Peter Keay, in 2002. These songs include "Pavane pour une infante défunte" and the first two movements of "Sonatine." Theme song written and performed by Joseph Dickinson (
July 26, 2018
Buddhist Philosophy & the Blockchain Future
I’m joined this week by my colleague Ryan Dennis (@RyanDennisLive), Head of Content at ICO Alert. Ryan has a captivating passion for the cryptocurrency space and for the good it promises the world. We discuss value, peace, happiness, and what Buddhist philosophy has to say about the blockchain revolution. *** Theme song written and performed by Joseph Dickinson ( The brief jazz intro version is recorded by me. Other music credits include: Darren Curtis, Dj Quads (, and Kevin MacLeod (
July 19, 2018
Is Cryptocurrency Capitalist or Socialist? Libertarian or Liberal? Individualist or Collectivist?
Is cryptocurrency capitalist or socialist? Libertarian or liberal? Individualist or collectivist? Join me as we explore our tendency to box everything into categories – and why the decentralization revolution is too big to be boxed. *** Some songs are original improvisations, but two are me playing Sergei Rachmaninoff (Preludes 10 and 11, in B minor and B major, from his Op. 32 set of preludes), plus two public domain performances included of Gymnopedie no. 3 by Erik Satie and the Allemande from French Suite no. 2 by J.S. Bach. All songs used by permission. Theme song written and performed by Joseph Dickinson (
July 12, 2018
All-Time Highs, Telegram Followers, ICO Hard Caps: Wittgenstein’s Table & Making Decisions
How can we trust the metrics we use to make decisions when we're exploring projects and making investment, trading, business, and life decisions? We explore the life of Ludwig Wittgenstein, and how a famous analogy of his, Wittgenstein's Table and Ruler, can revolutionize the way we make decisions. *** Theme song written and performed by Joseph Dickinson ( Some other music in this episode is by Mattia Cupelli ( and Ashama Luev Music ( Used with permission.
July 5, 2018