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Put your trust in me
Would you hate me if this turned into a crypto newsletter?
Ha. Jokes. I know nothing about crypto. But I did hear that crypto is down. I subscribe to Scott Galloway’s newsletter so I basically work on Wall Street. Another joke. I hope you’re catching on…
My buddy Scott recently wrote that “this is the end of the beginning of web3, not the beginning of the end,” and if that ain’t the most cryptic shit I’ve ever read about crypto I don’t know what is.
Crypto is down. I can’t explain why. What I can do is tell you a story about trust. Which will end up being a story about crypto. Trust me.
“Have you been tested recently?” Slightly sweaty, pressed up against someone you may or may not soon engage in extracurricular activities with, there’s an art to asking this question in a way that doesn’t break the mood. And I must toot my own horn. I’ve perfected it.
It’s about the tone of voice. The smile. The soft caress. We’re not talking about crypto anymore, baby!
But in all the times I’ve asked this question, not a single person has ever responded with a no. Let me rephrase. No one has ever used the word, “no.”
“Yep. Pretty sure. Wait, what test?”
“Yes. Well… (cue the acoustic guitar) the last time I took part in an extracurricular activity was actually a few years ago… and I was totally clean then.”
“Yeah duh, I get tested monthly. Except only for the lacrosse team. I’m not the type of person to catch band camp or chess club.”
If you participated in band camp or chess club in high school you are now contractually obligated to subscribe. I don’t make the rules.
Yet no matter how far-fetched, no matter how vague, never once have I stopped the extracurricular activity after hearing their variation on yes. As long as it wasn’t a no, I was good to go. Because if I’m already slightly sweaty, it means my tuba has been shined, my cleats have been laced, and my canvas is prepped for painting. I want to engage extracurricularly. But that desire does a number on my propensity to trust.
If I’ve already decided that I want to engage extracurricularly with someone, my brain is going to do everything in its power to help make that a reality. So even if I say that practicing safe extracurricular activities is of utmost importance to me, I won’t actually know if that moral is something I hold dear until plopped into a situation where my desire outpaces my rationality.
If we want something bad enough, our ability to trust shoots through the roof. If we want it, our brain wants us to get it. Skepticism leaves the chat. And plausibility enters the room. Therefore it didn’t matter if their answers were far-fetched or vague. My desire was already running laps around my rationality.
Edit: she has nowhere near perfected the art of the question, because the way she’s asked the question has made the question pointless all along.
When I put my trust in people, in institutions, in objects, I can’t help but wonder if the trust is genuine, or if my brain just really wants that partner, that bank, that cryptocurrency to be trustworthy. The more I want something, and the more primal that want, the more difficult it’s going to be to dissect whether it’s trust or fiction.
I think when desire is heady, it’s easier to spot trust vs. fiction. The desire for stabilized rent, for example. Whereas the desire for shelter, an extremely primal want, isn’t so straight-forward. Ask any New Yorker with a first of the month move-out looming over their head, and they’ll tell you.
Crypto is a currency that claims to not rely on trust. Crypto relies on the community. The blockchain. In so doing, crypto claims to eradicate the middleman in whom we’ve put our trust. Scott already said it better: crypto didn’t eradicate trust, it simply asked you to place your trust elsewhere. The difference is, crypto asked you to do it seductively, with potential yields through the roof. Far more than the stock market could promise. Crypto held the promise that you too could get rich. The problem is, the desire for money is the most primal desire there is.
Love and money. And the lies we tell ourselves to get ‘em. Because for the sake of not knowing better, let’s assume that none of my extracurricular partners lied to me. Let’s assume that their vague answers were simply attempts to place themselves in optimal lighting. In that scenario, the lie didn’t come out of their mouths, it swam around in my head.
“Have you been tested recently?” is a pointless question for me to ask while slightly sweaty. It only remains in my arsenal to seem morally righteous. But it’s a far cry from the truth.
What do you think? Is crypto full of it? Were my extracurricular partners full of it? Comments are below.