Bern the STONKS
Last month was quite something, wasn't it? From the attack on the capitol to the Presidential election and especially the GameStop wall street debacle, it was a truly glorious and meme-worthy 4 weeks.
It started peacefully, with a rather uneventful first week, or so we thought. During a Trump rally (when else), some of his fanatical supporters rather unceremoniously took over the capitol. Despite the fact the attack had been anticipated by the authorities, it definitely seemed like they were caught with their pants down. The rioters made the whole thing comedic by how easily they made it inside. So many of these culprits took glory shots and selfies, making it both easier for authorities to dish out prosecution and excellent meme material. What I find hard to believe is the difference in reaction compared to what we would've seen that same summer for the BLM events. I'm definitely not advocating for violence of any kind, but let's think about how the Proud Boyz, organizers of this event, are now considered terrorists on the governmental level. Somehow terrorists had it easier than protesters for a movement valuing all human lives. In my opinion, the important thing to remember is that both groups agree on the government being the enemy.
Following this rather weird event, Trump's social media accounts were deactivated by tech giants. As much as I agree with the idea of shutting him up, my opinion is that this leaves dangerous precedents for freedom of speech on the web. What happens the day a rather unpopular opinion is stated and the tech giants agree on silencing it, effectively possibly silencing competition, threats to their existence, or even a growing revolutionary movement. Where does it stop? The power held by tech giants is scary and I know I'm not the only one to believe we need people who see these dangers to help make the regulations protecting populations from both corporate and governmental greed, avoiding collusion and lobbying.
Speaking of government, the inauguration of Biden happened. The speech focusing on unity really makes me want to hope and be less cynical about the government. As a Canadian, I feel ashamed our leaders can't possibly be compared to the amazing Jacinda Ardern, blessing of New Zealand. All leaders can stand to learn from her intention and positive impact. Our government's handling of certain issues, such as Covid-19, has been lately rather poor. More on the side of hope, starting the conversation is the first step.
The ESCALATION with Bernie Sanders's picture was bonkers. The shitposting was unreal. My favorites included DBZ Spaceship Bernie and Breakfast Bernie. It was an amazing storm of terribad memes intersected with the unicorns, the ones you save.
It was a storm before the storm. GameStop stock was on the rise. WallStreetBets on Reddit was hotter than ever for hedge fund blood. Hedge funds had greedily shorted GameStop for over 120% of the available stocks. Robinhood and other brokerage services halted trading, causing a mayhem. The CEO lied on live television about their lack of funds, which was the real reason for which they had stopped the trading. Because of that lie, many assumed the worse with the knowledge that there was a conflict of interest between Robinhood and a hedge fund standing to lose billions, which they did. This event unraveled some of the worrying weaknesses of the stock market, all due to lack of funds and the use of so many middle-men.
Eliminating middle men is one of the greatest goals and strengths of blockchain technology (BT). In fact, BT could facilitate a lot around the discussed issues. The electoral and lawmaking processes could both be securely built around it such that every citizen can vote on every issue that may affect them. You could also make a social-democrat Bernie crypto. Whether you should is a different story. The stock market could also be entirely overhauled with stocks being traded exactly like cryptocurrencies. Additionally, market manipulation could be monitored through AI. If you haven't heard much about blockchain, I suggest reading about it as it's an amazing technology. Most who don't truly understand how revolutionary it is think it is not worth the effort. Will you be one of them? It's ok not to be.
This ends my recounting of the first month of 2021. A lot has happened and a lot will happen. Strap on for the ride.