The logic of being wrong – and of probably being right

On November 9, the very day on which what has come to be known as Bitcoin put in its all-time clos­ing high, we wrote that “we would not be too sur­prised to see the cup-and-han­dle for­ma­tion Bitcoin has formed over recent months, because of the way it has formed, fail and turn against it bad­ly.” At the time, six-fig­ure price tar­gets for Bitcoin were wide­ly cir­cu­lat­ing, so we were cer­tain­ly going against the pre­dom­i­nant sentiment.

Since that day and as of this writ­ing, the pre­dom­i­nant so-called “cryp­tocur­ren­cy” has lost more than 36 per­cent of its USD-“value”. Our assess­ment at the time that Bitcoin is log­i­cal­ly worth­less was met with com­plete dis­in­ter­est on the part of the Bitcoin com­mu­ni­ty. Reading through utter­ances of all sorts and for­mats ema­nat­ing from this com­mu­ni­ty in recent months and weeks, which can essen­tial­ly be reduced to the utter­ly unques­tion­able res­o­lu­tion to “buy the dip” no mat­ter what, made it per­fect­ly clear that we had to be right and the Bitcoiners had to be wrong. Which, if we con­ced­ed our­selves emo­tions in log­i­cal mat­ters, we would find sad, as the free­dom-crav­ing impe­tus of the “Bitcoiners” is some­thing that the logi­cian can only have sin­cere sym­pa­thy for. So why was it obvi­ous that the Bitcoiners must nec­es­sar­i­ly be wrong?

As we have out­lined here, you are actu­al log­ic (just as any human being). As shown, the log­i­cal struc­ture that is you is the iden­ti­ty of iden­ti­ty and non-iden­ti­ty – a (nec­es­sary) con­tra­dic­tion in it- or rather your­self. This struc­ture con­tains, thus, the activ­i­ty of dis­tanc­ing one­self from one­self (mov­ing towards the aspect of non-iden­ti­ty). Followed, of course, by regain­ing the iden­ti­ty with one­self, a two-sided process con­stant­ly repeat­ing itself in any men­tal­ly and phys­i­cal­ly sane human being, on all lev­els and in all respects, as we intend to com­pre­hen­sive­ly dis­cuss on these pages over time. The two aspects are present not only in ani­mat­ed crea­tures, but in each and every struc­ture of the uni­verse. Solar sys­tems self-con­struct­ing from pro­to­plan­e­tary disks and the struc­ture – or rather the process – that is the atom imme­di­ate­ly come to mind as illustrations.

Any endeav­our of truth-seek­ing thus nec­es­sar­i­ly con­tains both aspects, iden­ti­ty and non-iden­ti­ty. With an empha­sis on, or a pre­dom­i­nance of, the aspect of iden­ti­ty, as, remem­ber, “iden­ti­ty” appears twice in “iden­ti­ty of iden­ti­ty and non-iden­ti­ty”. The struc­ture that is you is there­fore asym­met­ric. Yet the self-dis­tanc­ing from one­self, which as an abil­i­ty can count as a mea­sure of what is com­mon­ly per­ceived as intel­li­gence, can­not be absent in the truth-seek­ing process. Distancing one­self from a cur­rent con­vic­tion in order to chal­lenge and recon­sid­er it is what we call doubt.

It should there­fore come as no sur­prise that one of the great­est logi­cians of all time, Dante, in Canto IV of the “Paradiso” of his Comedia, writes:

Io veg­gio ben che già mai non si sazia
nos­tro intel­let­to, se ‘l ver non lo illus­tra
di fuor dal qual nes­sun vero si spazia.

Posasi in esso, come fera in lus­tra,
tosto che giun­to l’ha; e giugn­er puol­lo:
se non, cias­cun disio sarebbe frus­tra.

Nasce per quel­lo, a guisa di ram­pol­lo,
a piè del vero il dub­bio; ed è natu­ra
ch’al som­mo pinge noi di col­lo in col­lo

Of which a pos­si­ble yet nec­es­sar­i­ly want­i­ng English trans­la­tion might be:

I well see that our intel­lect is nev­er sat­is­fied,
If the true does not illus­trate it
out­side of which no truth ranges.

In it it rests, like a beast on its lair,
As soon as it has reached it; and reach it it can:
If not, every desire would be vain

For that, in the guise of a scion, is born,
At the foot of truth the
doubt; and it is [this] nature
Which t’ward the sum­mit push­es us from crest to crest.”

The Bitcoiners had stopped to doubt their con­vic­tions about the phe­nom­e­non “Bitcoin”. They had even adopt­ed a new expres­sion which per­fect­ly express­es this doubt-free atti­tude: “to hodl”, an orig­i­nal­ly inad­ver­tent, then inten­tion­al-turn­ing mis­spelling of the verb “to hold”, spelled out as “hold­ing on for dear life”, sig­ni­fy­ing that sell­ing for any rea­son be out of the ques­tion. Where doubt is shoved aside, truth is unat­tain­able. We, for our part, are at no point one hun­dred per­cent cer­tain about what we believe to be true in real-world mat­ters. We ques­tion and wel­come ques­tions with regard to what we believe to be prob­a­bly true at all times. Because log­ic dic­tates it. So when­ev­er there are two sides, one being closed to doubt and one being open to it, you may wish to con­sid­er care­ful­ly which side to “put your mon­ey on”.

For what it’s worth: The psy­cho-log­i­cal state pre­vail­ing in the mar­ket for Bitcoin at the time of this writ­ing, always pre­sum­ing that it is indeed a mar­ket to speak of, would, accord­ing to the “rules of the craft”, yell out some­thing like 20,000 USD as the next price tar­get, a steep fall from the cur­rent 44,000, to be reached in fair­ly short order. Are we cer­tain of this assess­ment? Not near­ly one hun­dred per­cent. We con­sid­er it prob­a­ble, and more “high­ly” than not. That’s all.

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