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List of Recommended Videos, Articles and Information

List of Recommended Videos, Articles and Information

I Recommend Everyone Read This

Collection of My Personally Created Collages/Pictures in One Place with Explanations and Information Relating to Trump and Who He Really is.

Almost all of my collages/pictures all in one place
Collection of Almost Everything I have been Working on [Crosspost made to conspiracy]
All Roads Lead to Rome/Egypt [Crosspost Collection]
Donald Trump's Golden Obelisk in Vegas Shows He is the new Horus. The "Bull of Victory".

Recent OC of mine.
Azadi (Freedom) Tower in Tehran, Iran
Donald Trump : The Orange God King Made in the Image of the Beast
Discussing Iran and the possible ramifications in the future.
The God-Self Icon: I Am
Trump, Obelisks and Sin City The Bandanna aka Paisley Pattern and its significance.
The Fresh Prince of the Power of Bel Air
Madonna's Performance at Eurovision 2019 and the Possible Foreshadowing of the Destruction of NYC
The Demiurge, the Sacred Heart and the Royal Archie
Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, Gateway Canyon and the Mural from Prometheus
Recapping Recent Events and Discussing Whats Coming Next
Series of my Collages showing the things I have found in Las Vegas related to Trumps golden building and Gateway Canyon.
Don't Look Now: Latent Signs From The Past Making Themselves Known Now
TB12: The Purification of the People by Casting Out the GreatGoat into the Wilderness
Something Very Ominous on the Front Page of Reddit Today That Could Indicate Big Things Very Soon
The Flying V, The Black Pearl of Mars and the Cost of Rising a Sunken Empire
2019: After the Escape From New YorK [Predictive Programming about the destruction of NYC]
Why The Concept of Sin is a Complete Lie and Nothing More than a Psychopathic Tool of Mind Control
Reexamining the "Fall of Man", Sin, the Law and Jesus Being a Ransom Paid for Humanity
Why the god of the Old Testament is not the Father Jesus Speaks About: Proof from the Bible Itself
The Unmasking of the Morning Star: Is the Antichrist About to "Reveal" Himself?
Analysis of the Superbowl Half Time Show: What Everyones Missing
Superbowl 53: The Goat vs the Ram and the Future of America #RiseUp
The Number 88, Trump and Predictive Media About His Presidency
The Rise of Atlantis pt 1: The Ram, Ancient Egypt and the Coming Sacrifice of the Scapegoat
A Look at Spider-Man: Far From Home, Mysterio and Chameleon and the Bizarre Ways They Relate to Whats Happening Right Now
The Economist: The World in 2019 [Cover Analysis]
The True Meaning and Symbolism Behind MAGA ie Maghā and a Brief Detour into Bizzaro World
Proof the plan has ALWAYS Been For Trump to Become President and Cause Economic Chaos
The Call of Cthulhu: Trump, The Great Scott
Trump, Deutsche Bank, The Financial Collapse and Uniting the 7
Pole Shift and some possible unforeseen consequences / A connection between 9/11/01 and Easter weekend 2019
Trump and the Symbolism of Color in Ancient Egypt
What do Trump's Past Tweets Tell us About What he will do next?
One Theory For the Inevitable Event Thats Going to Take Place Soon: Possible Destruction of New York
Rex 84: The Plan To Take Over America Using Illegal Immigrants as the Catalyst
The Interesting Significance of the number 77 or 14: Plus Aquaman and The Wizard of Oz
A Story in Pictures: The Phoenicians, Trump, Egypt and the New Jerusalem
As Above, So Below. As Within, So Without: Symbolism and Taking Our Power Back
From 11/11 to 11/12: The Rhythmic Ritual of the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance
Using Tool Songs to Demonstrate the Meaning of Some Symbolism: Jimmy (11) and H.
Important Symbolism Explained: K-9, IHS, H-K plus Game of Thrones
11/11 This Is It
Remember, Remember. Today is the 5th of November
A Bunch of Mini Posts in One: The Black Pearl, Reddit's "Coat of Arms", Another Look at the 2015 Economist Cover and more on the Canaanites
Evidence That These "Bombs" are a "False Flag": Analyzing the Hidden Messaging on the Envelope
10/26: Big Things Are Coming
Collection of my personally made memes and pictures

I will compile a list of information here that will be useful to understand more of what's going on in this world. Feel free to suggest anything you think would contribute or just simply post it in the comments.

I need to clarify what I see my role as. My role is not to spell everything out for you and tell you what to think. I mostly see my role as basically a punch to the face of what most people think they know about this world. Whatever you think you know, its most likely a lie, because this entire world is nothing but layers and layers of lies stacked on top of each other. You never had a chance to not believe lies unless you actively fought against them and sought out truth instead which is something most people just simply don't have the time or energy for and understandably so. My job is too shake you out of your lies and if that makes you want to know more, then you will want to seek more but that has to be your own journey or else it won't make nearly as much of an impact as it needs to. Consider me the guy pointing his finger at things that need to be looked at more closely and offering a perspective that maybe you hadn't considered before. Then go look where I pointed with a new perspective and see where it leads you. If you don't care enough to do that then I don't care enough to explain things to you.

First I will list the order I recommend you read my personally written stuff since there is no way to organize it on Reddit. If you are relatively new to this kind of information, there are things you should know and read before you read others.
  1. Exposing Trump: The Truth Behind His Deception and the Psychology Behind his Narcissism
Start here with the basic psychology of Trump explained and the rest will make more sense. Even if you don't believe in any of this other stuff, learning his psychology will help you out tremendously in understanding his actions and motives.

  1. The Last President, The High Priest of Fraud and The Little Horn Trump

​This lays out my basic argument for him being the "little horn" from the book of Daniel. Thought to be the Antichrist but it's possible he is just a major End Times figure that allows the true Antichrist to come into power. Only time will tell.

  1. The Statue of Liberty, Mystery Babylon, Freemasonry and The New Roman Empire / Fourth Reich

This talks about America/New York being Mystery Babylon in the Book of Revelation and what that means. I also connect the dots between Trump, Russia and the Scottish Rite Freemasons along with a 30 year old prediction from 1988 by the Economist magazine about a one world currency being implemented in 2018 by way of Bitcoin.

  1. Ancient Egypt, Kabbalah, Pepe The Frog and the Spear of Destiny

Here I talk about where all these secret societies originated from, how a prophecy from the book of Revelation about unclean frog spirits gathering the army of the Antichrist came true with the election of Donald Trump and the specific order of Free Masonry he belongs to. Does the spear that killed Christ play into this as well?

  1. The End Game for the Real Elites and How They Connect to Trump, Putin and Israel: The Chabad & Kabbalism

This ties all of these things together, Trump, Putin and Jewish Kabbalah. The Chabad Jews being the common link. I mainly reference many different articles pointing out these links and discuss how their end goal of the enslavement of what they call the "goyim" (Non-Jews) is going to come about.

  1. Trump Tower: The Inverted Black Obelisk

With the ties of the Jews and Kabbalah to Ancient Egypt as well as the secret societies obsession with it, this all had to tie to that place eventually. This explores how it's tied to Trump

  1. Trump's Space Force, NESARA and the Mark of the Beast

This is mostly Bible related to the very end of whats suppose to be right before Jesus comes back. I talk about the theory that aliens will come and act as our saviors only to enslave us with something that's called the NESARA act and how that relates to the Mark of the Beast.

  1. Jewish Kabbalah, Secret Societies and the Antichrist: The Who, How, What and When.

To really tie this all together, you really need to read and understand the information in this article/video. Especially if you are a Christian and believe Yahweh to be God and the Father of Jesus.

All of my other OC should make a lot more sense after understanding the information in the aforementioned posts.

  1. Tisha B'AV, 9/11 and the Two Pillars That Hold up This World

Learn how 9/11 was a ritual symbolizing the destruction of the 2 Jewish temples as a way to make way for a new world. Creating order out of chaos.

  1. 17: Q- The Winged Serpent, King Solomon & The Secret Leader of the Freemason's

Here I talk about the dangerous cult centered around Trump that has people believing that he is this secret leader of the army against evil at the behest of God himself, how this relates to King Solomon and a dragon with a name that starts with Q.

  1. The Lord of the Rings: Saturn and the Black Cube

Saturn worship is at the root of the Abrahamic religions. Saturn is the transmitter of the matrix we are all trapped in. Saturn is the Lord of the Rings. The Star of David and the black cube are 2 of it's main symbols, along with the Scythe and Sickle of the Grim Reaper.

  1. The Two Pillars That Hold Up This World and The Triforce

Here I delve a little bit into the significance of the "2 pillars" and why they need to be destroyed (or unified) and how the number 911 is encoded in the very symbol for the Freemasons itself.

Trump Psychology


The Psychology of the Typical Trump Supporter: The Scared, Delusional Narcissist

All the Tactics Trump Supporters Use to Debate and How to Spot Them

The Trump Delusion

The Source of the REAL Trump Prophecies: His Own Twitter

The Trump Prophecies Pt 2: The Second Coming

Bible Related


A Prophecy About to Come True: Isaiah 30 - Woe to the Obstinate Nation

Who Are The Beast From the Sea and The Beast From the Earth (The False Prophet)?

The Mark of the Beast or the Number of It's Name, 666

The Muslim / Jewish Connection with the Black Cube with Gold Trim and the New Jerusalem, The Gold Cube in Trump Tower

Bible Verses That Prove Supporting Trump is Unchristian

Since The Holy Temple Is The Human Body and We're A "Living Stone", Is That Stone Limestone?

Is the Holy Spirit / Christian God Female? Comparison of Jesus's Story With The Sumerian Inanna & Dumuzid

Is Yahweh the God of Esau, The Red People aka The Canaanites?

A Look at The Hindu Fire God Angi in relation to Yahweh

Some Interesting Parallels and Direct Contradictions Between Yahweh, Abraham, Moses and Jesus and Who is The Destroyer, The Red Dragon and Leviathan?

A Comparison of the Roman Volcano god Vulcan and Yahweh

Is There Evidence in the Very Beginning of the Bible That We Are From Mars???

My Writings


The First Great Deception: The Neolithic Revolution

A Rant About How We Got Here And How I Started My Journey.

A Basic Rundown of the Deception in the Bible and the Division in America

A Collection of My Thoughts and Personal Beliefs

My Personal Thoughts and Beliefs on Jesus and the Concept of Christ


Conspiracy/Other


Project Bluebeam: The Key to What's Happening and What's to Come

Trump, Regulus and the United Nations

The HUGE Significance of 11/14 or 11/5

The Two Pillars That Hold Up This World and The Triforce

A Union of Opposites: The End of the Age and the Splitting of Time

How Deception Works: The Disguised Egg

The God without a Mother and the 13 & 17 Year Cycle of the Magicicada

Trump The Russian Puppet: The Foundation of Geopolitics

Is the One World Government Close at Hand? The Arch of Triumph Does a World Tour

Winter is Here: Philadelphia, The Cave of Kelpius, and the Celtic festival of the Dead, Samhain

Return of Kal El and the Children of the Corn? Is the Matrix About to Get Reset?

The Meaning Behind H: Jesuits, The Number 8 and Pisces

Another Look at Gordon Ramsay: The "F" Word and the Facebook Logo

Back To The Future, 9/11 and Donald Trump

The Economist: The World in 2015 Cover & Serco

A Breakdown of the Predictive Simpsons Episode about Trump being President: Bart to the Future

The Unexplainable Connections of the Planet Vulcan From Star Trek to Real Life

Sinbad and The Old Man of the Sea

Trump's Choices of Songs at His Rallies Are Interesting: Is He Telling Us "The End is Near"?

10/10/18: Trump Rally in Erie, PA Song List Analysis [More hints at it being "The End"]

10/13/18: Trump Rally in Richmond, KY Song List Analysis [Love/Fighting/The End themes]


Bill Cooper & Secret Society Information

Bill Cooper - Porterville Presentation (Part 1)
At the very least, Part 1 is a MUST watch. The other's aren't nearly as important.
Bill Cooper - Porterville Presentation (Part 2)
Bill Cooper - Porterville Presentation (Part 3)
Bill Cooper - Porterville Presentation (Part 4)
Bill Cooper - Porterville Presentation (Part 5)
Bill Cooper - Porterville Presentation (Part 6)
Bill Cooper on the Hegelian Dialectic Manipulation - Youtube
If you just want a preview of the the things he talks about here, this is a 15 min part of Part 1 with some good information in it.
Bill Cooper Predicts 9/11 on June 28, 2001 - Youtube

Freemasonry

Inside this Illuminati Temple - Youtub
http://www.masonicdictionary.com
Numerology Decodes Masonry
Masonic Symbolism (This entire site has lots of good information)
What is Freemasonry? - Youtube
Donald Trump: Freemason - Youtube

Kabbalah

Kabbalah : The Religion of the Antichrist - Youtube
Rothschild's Israel & Kabbalah - Youtube
Kabbalah Magic Teachings Mystery Babylon & Satanic Illuminati - Youtube
An Introduction To Kabbalah, Part 1: What Is Kabbalah?
An Introduction to Kabbalah, Part 2: God Does Not Exist, God is Existence Itself
Kabbalah and The Antichrist: The Who, What and When
​​Ex-Chabad Member Exposes Trump Family Cult
Jared Kushner - Things are getting really bizarre - Youtube
Trump commutes sentence of kosher meatpacking executive Sholom Rubashkin

Secret Societies

Theories on Moses being an Egyptian Pharaoh
Discover King Solomon's Temple
New World Order Quote Compilation - Youtube
Bush & Kerry avoid Skull & Bones Question - Youtube
Illuminati Symbolism Inside The Catholic Church - Youtube
The Sidelock of Silence and Mysteries of Immaturity: The Connected Between the Jews and Osiris/Horus
Bohemian Grove: The Most Forbidden Place in America - Youtube
Bohemian Grove Ritual Caught on Tape - Youtube
​JFK Secret Societies Full Speech - Youtube

Predictive Programming / Foreshadowing

X-Files: The Plot to Takeover America & Cover ups - Youtube
Captain America 2: NWO Messages in Plain Sight - Youtube
Trump vs Bane (Inauguration Speech) - Youtube
Trump/Bane vs "Deep State" - Youtube
Trump Trackdown: The End of the World (1958 TV Episode) - Youtube
The Avengers - S06E16 - Invasion of the Earthmen (1969 TV Show)

Significant Topics

Strange Events Happening in America - US is Falling Apart - Youtube
Most People Don't Even Realize What's Coming - Youtube
Apocalypse Begins After Yom Kippur 2018? - Youtube
20/20 on SDI "Star Wars" Deaths (1989) - Youtube
Dr. Carol Rosin Talks About Wernher von Braun Warnings about Weaponizing Space - Youtube
Exploring the Electric Universe
Serco Global Control System Exposed - Youtube
Serco Owns the World: Big Brother Watch - Youtube
Serco - The Biggest Company You'e Never Heard Of
David Icke: Conspiracy of the Illuminati (Part 1) - Youtube
David Icke: Conspiracy of the Illuminati (Part 2) - Youtube
David Icke: Saturn isn't what you think it is either - Youtube
Sounds of Saturn: Hear Radio Emissions of the Planet and its Moon - Youtube
The BLACK GOO THEORY of EVERYTHING (mini-documentary): Bible Prophecy & the Black Goo Awakening - Youtube

Ancient Egypt

The Great Pyramid of Giza Might Focus Electromagnetic Energy in Its Chambers
Thoth: The Great Architect of Egypt
Phoenix Rising: 2012 Closing Olympic Ceremony - Youtube
Egyptian Seal bearing name of Judean king found in Jerusale\

9/11

Back To The Future Predicts 9/11 - Youtube
Donald Trump Sold America to Israel - Youtube
The Bush 9-11 Classroom Ritual, The 'KIDS' Recite: KITE, KIT, STEEL, PLANE, MUST. - Youtube
Donald Trump Calls into WWOUPN 9 News on 9/11 - Youtub
Donald Trump TV Interview at Ground Zero on 9-11-01 - Youtube
9/11 Truth Donald Trump's Good Friend Larry Silverstein is a Liar - Youtube
One World Trade Center: Strange Eerie Sounds Coming from OWTC - Youtube
All Seeing Oculus Eye Opens Annually - Youtube
Oculus Eye Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero - Youtube


Other Interesting Information

What's Inside the Sumerian Bag? Secret Knowledge of the Lost Ancients - Youtube
Ted Talk: 2 Sides of the Brain
​The Story of Oumuamua, the first visitor from another star system - Youtube
The Hoyle State: A Primordial Nucleus behind the Elements of Life
Interesting View on the Future of AI and its control of the Internet
Symbol of the Trident: The Levites, The Phoenicians and the Fake Jews
The Secret Behind Numbers 3, 6, 9 Tesla Code is Finally Revealed - Youtube

Online Books:

The Curse of Canaan
https://archive.org/details/pdfy-hH7b-2yjyACdh8nO

Indeed, the great movement of modern history has been to disguise the presence of evil on the earth, to make light of it, to convince humanity that evil is to be ''tolerated, '' ''treated with greater understanding, '' or negotiated with, but under no circumstances should it ever be forcibly opposed. This is the principal point of what has come to be known as today's liberalism, more popularly known as secular humanism. The popular, and apparently sensible, appeal of humanism is that humanity should always place human interests first. The problem is that this very humanism can be traced in an unbroken line all the way back to the Biblical ''Curse of Canaan.'' Humanism is the logical result of the demonology of history. Modern day events can be understood only if we can trace their implications in a direct line from the earliest records of antiquity


The Spear of Destiny
https://ia800409.us.archive.org/1/items/TheSpearOfDestinyByTrevorRavenscroftWithCoveThe%20Spear%20of%20Destiny%20by%20Trevor%20Ravenscroft%20With%20Cover.pdf

The Spear of Destiny: the occult power behind the spear which pierced the side of Christ is a bestselling 1972 popular occult book by the anthroposophist writer Trevor Ravenscroft (1921-1989), published by Neville Armstrong's Neville Spearman Publishers. Ravenscroft claimed that the book was based on research "by using mystical meditation" and on the papers of the Austrian anthroposophist Walter Stein given to Ravenscroft by his widow. Ravenscroft originally claimed to have met Stein, but later only claimed contact through a medium with Walter Stein's spirit.

Flying Serpents and Dragons: The Story of Mankind's Reptilian Past
http://archiemitchell.tk/download/1885395388-flying-serpents-and-dragons-the-story-of-mankinds-reptilian-past

World-wide legends refer to giant flying lizards and dragons which came to this planet and founded the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, India and China. Who were these reptilian creatures? This book provides the answers to many of the riddles of history.

Freemasonry and Catholicism
http://www.rosicrucian.com/pdf_plaza/Freemasonry%20and%20Catholicism.pdf

Part I Lucifer, the Rebel Angel 4 Part II The Masonic Legend 15 Part III The Queen of Sheba 26 Part IV Casting The Molten Sea 40 Part V The Mystery of Melchisedec 48 Part VI Spiritual Alchemy 66 Part VII The Philosopher's Stone: What Is It and How It Is Made 76 Part VIII The Path of Initiation 92 Part IX Armageddon, the Great War, and the Coming Age 102

Behold a Pale Horse
https://archive.org/details/BeholdAPaleHorse_267

Bill Cooper, former United States Naval Intelligence Briefing Team member, reveals information that remains hidden from the public eye. This information has been kept in Top Secret government files since the 1940s.

The Secret Destiny of America
https://archive.org/details/SecretDestinyOfAmerica

The Sabbatean-Frankist Messianic Conspiracy Partially Exposed
https://archive.org/details/TheSabbatean-frankistMessianicConspiracyPartiallyExposed


The New Freedom, by Woodrow Wilson
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14811/14811-h/14811-h.htm

The New Freedom comprises the campaign speeches and promises of Woodrow Wilson in the 1912 presidential campaign. They called for less government, but in practice as president he added new controls such as the Federal Reserve System and the Clayton Antitrust Act.

Mystery Babylon Transcribed
https://archive.org/details/MysteryBabylonSeries-WilliamCoopertranscriptIncl

Trump Predictive Books


The Odd Trump

Trump and Clinton: The Victorian Novel

https://books.google.com/books?id=je1TAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA1&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=2#v=onepage&q&f=false

"The Odd Trump" is a charming Victorian novel published by George J. A. Coulson in 1874. The "odd trump"' is not a winning card held by one of the characters, but is the hero himself. The hero is the old-fashioned hero of novels of a century ago—a strong, brave, tenderhearted, and honest young man, who opens the ball by rescuing the heroine from a watery grave.


Travels and adventures of Little Baron Trump and his wonderful dog Bulger
https://archive.org/download/travelsadventure00lock/travelsadventure00lock.pdf

Baron Trump's Marvelous Underground Journey
https://archive.org/download/barontrumpsmarve00lock/barontrumpsmarve00lock.pdf

The Last President (1900)
https://archive.org/download/1900orlastpresid00lock/1900orlastpresid00lock.pdf
submitted by Oblique9043 to TheGreatDeception [link] [comments]

The wilkelvoss are trying to make bitcoin legit according to esquire magazine

Every idea needs a face, even if the faces are illusory simplifications. The country you get is the president you get. The Yankees you get is the shortstop you get. Apple needed Jobs. ISIS needs al-Baghdadi. The moon shot belongs to Bezos. There's nothing under the Facebook sun that doesn't come back to Zuckerberg.
But there is, as yet, no face behind the bitcoin curtain. It's the currency you've heard about but haven't been able to understand. Still to this day nobody knows who created it. For most people, it has something to do with programmable cash and algorithms and the deep space of mathematics, but it also has something to do with heroin and barbiturates and the sex trade and bankruptcies, too. It has no face because it doesn't seem tangible or real. We might align it with an anarchist's riot mask or a highly conceptualized question mark, but those images truncate its reality. Certain economists say it's as important as the birth of the Internet, that it's like discovering ice. Others are sure that it's doomed to melt. In the political sphere, it is the darling of the cypherpunks and libertarians. When they're not busy ignoring it, it scares the living shit out of the big banks and credit-card companies.
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It sparked to life in 2008—when all the financial world prepared for itself the articulate noose—and it knocked on the door like some inconvenient relative arriving at the dinner party in muddy shoes and a knit hat. Fierce ideological battles are currently being waged among the people who own and shepherd the currency. Some shout, Ponzi scheme. Some shout, Gold dust. Bitcoin alone is worth billions of dollars, but the computational structure behind it—its blockchain and its sidechains—could become the absolute underpinning of the world's financial structure for decades to come.
What bitcoin has needed for years is a face to legitimize it, sanitize it, make it palpable to all the naysayers. But it has no Larry Ellison, no Elon Musk, no noticeable visionaries either with or without the truth. There's a lot of ideology at stake. A lot of principle and dogma and creed. And an awful lot of cash, too.
At 6:00 on a Wednesday winter morning, three months after launching Gemini, their bitcoin exchange, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss step out onto Broadway in New York, wearing the same make of sneakers, the same type of shorts, their baseball caps turned backward. They don't quite fall into the absolute caricature of twindom: They wear different-colored tops. Still, it's difficult to tell them apart, where Tyler ends and Cameron begins. Their faces are sculpted from another era, as if they had stepped from the ruin of one of Gatsby's parties. Their eyes are quick and seldom land on anything for long. Now thirty-four, there is something boyishly earnest about them as they jog down Prince Street, braiding in and out of each other, taking turns talking, as if they were working in shifts, drafting off each other.
Forget, for a moment, the four things the Winklevosses are most known for: suing Mark Zuckerberg, their portrayal in The Social Network, rowing in the Beijing Olympics, and their overwhelming public twinness. Because the Winklevoss brothers are betting just about everything—including their past—on a fifth thing: They want to shake the soul of money out.
At the deep end of their lives, they are athletes. Rowers. Full stop. And the thing about rowing—which might also be the thing about bitcoin—is that it's just about impossible to get your brain around its complexity. Everyone thinks you're going to a picnic. They have this notion you're out catching butterflies. They might ask you if you've got your little boater's hat ready. But it's not like that at all. You're fifteen years old. You rise in the dark. You drag your carcass along the railroad tracks before dawn. The boathouse keys are cold to the touch. You undo the ropes. You carry a shell down to the river. The carbon fiber rips at your hands. You place the boat in the water. You slip the oars in the locks. You wait for your coach. Nothing more than a thumb of light in the sky. It's still cold and the river stinks. That heron hasn't moved since yesterday. You hear Coach's voice before you see him. On you go, lads. You start at a dead sprint. The left rib's a little sore, but you don't say a thing. You are all power and no weight. The first push-to-pull in the water is a ripping surprise. From the legs first. Through the whole body. The arc. Atomic balance. A calm waiting for the burst. Your chest burns, your thighs scald, your brain blanks. It feels as if your rib cage might shatter. You are stillness exploding. You catch the water almost without breaking the surface. Coach says something about the pole vault. You like him. You really do. That brogue of his. Lads this, lads that. Fire. Stamina. Pain. After two dozen strokes, it already feels like you're hitting the wall. All that glycogen gone. Nobody knows. Nobody. They can't even pronounce it. Rowing. Ro-wing. Roh-ing. You push again, then pull. You feel as if you are breaking branch after branch off the bottom of your feet. You don't rock. You don't jolt. Keep it steady. Left, right, left, right. The heron stays still. This river. You see it every day. Nothing behind you. Everything in front. You cross the line. You know the exact tree. Your chest explodes. Your knees are trembling. This is the way the world will end, not with a whimper but a bang. You lean over the side of the boat. Up it comes, the breakfast you almost didn't have. A sign of respect to the river. You lay back. Ah, blue sky. Some cloud. Some gray. Do it again, lads. Yes, sir. You row so hard you puke it up once more. And here comes the heron, it's moving now, over the water, here it comes, look at that thing glide.
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The Winklevoss twins in the men's pair final during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. GETTY There's plenty of gin and beer and whiskey in the Harrison Room in downtown Manhattan, but the Winklevoss brothers sip Coca-Cola. The room, one of many in the newly renovated Pier A restaurant, is all mahogany and lamplight. It is, in essence, a floating bar, jutting four hundred feet out into the Hudson River. From the window you can see the Statue of Liberty. It feels entirely like their sort of room, a Jazz Age expectation hovering around their initial appearance—tall, imposing, the hair mannered, the collars of their shirts slightly tilted—but then they just slide into their seats, tentative, polite, even introverted.
They came here by subway early on a Friday evening, and they lean back in their seats, a little wary, their eyes busy—as if they want to look beyond the rehearsal of their words.
They had the curse of privilege, but, as they're keen to note, a curse that was earned. Their father worked to pay his way at a tiny college in backwoods Pennsylvania coal country. He escaped the small mining town and made it all the way to a professorship at Wharton. He founded his own company and eventually created the comfortable upper-middle-class family that came with it. They were raised in Greenwich, Connecticut, the most housebroken town on the planet. They might have looked like the others in their ZIP code, and dressed like them, spoke like them, but they didn't quite feel like them. Some nagging feeling—close to anger, close to fear—lodged itself beneath their shoulders, not quite a chip but an ache. They wanted Harvard but weren't quite sure what could get them there. "You have to be basically the best in the world at something if you're coming from Greenwich," says Tyler. "Otherwise it's like, great, you have a 1600 SAT, you and ten thousand others, so what?"
The rowing was a means to an end, but there was also something about the boat that they felt allowed another balance between them. They pulled their way through high school, Cameron on the port-side oar, Tyler on the starboard. They got to Harvard. The Square was theirs. They rowed their way to the national championships—twice. They went to Oxford. They competed in the Beijing Olympics. They sucked up the smog. They came in sixth place. The cameras loved them. Girls, too. They were so American, sandy-haired, blue-eyed, they could have been cast in a John Cougar Mellencamp song.
It might all have been so clean-cut and whitebread except for the fact that—at one of the turns in the river—they got involved in the most public brawl in the whole of the Internet's nascent history.
They don't talk about it much anymore, but they know that it still defines them, not so much in their own minds but in the minds of others. The story seems simple on one level, but nothing is ever simple, not even simplification. Theirs was the original idea for the first social network, Harvard Connection. They hired Mark Zuckerberg to build it. Instead he went off and created Facebook. They sued him. They settled for $65 million. It was a world of public spats and private anguish. Rumors and recriminations. A few years later, dusty old pre-Facebook text messages were leaked online by Silicon Alley Insider: "Yeah, I'm going to fuck them," wrote Zuckerberg to a friend. "Probably in the ear." The twins got their money, but then they believed they were duped again by an unfairly low evaluation of their stock. They began a second round of lawsuits for $180 million. There was even talk about the Supreme Court. It reeked of opportunism. But they wouldn't let it go. In interviews, they came across as insolent and splenetic, tossing their rattles out of the pram. It wasn't about the money, they said at the time, it was about fairness, reality, justice. Most people thought it was about some further agile fuckery, this time in Zuckerberg's ear.
There are many ways to tell the story, but perhaps the most penetrating version is that they weren't screwed so much by Zuckerberg as they were by their eventual portrayal in the film version of their lives. They appeared querulous and sulky, exactly the type of characters that America, peeling off the third-degree burns of the great recession, needed to hate. While the rest of the country worried about mounting debt and vanishing jobs, they were out there drinking champagne from, at the very least, Manolo stilettos. The truth would never get in the way of a good story. In Aaron Sorkin's world, and on just about every Web site, the blueblood trust-fund boys got what was coming to them. And the best thing now was for them to take their Facebook money and turn the corner, quickly, away, down toward whatever river would whisk them away.
Armie Hammer brilliantly portrayed them as the bluest of bloods in The Social Network. When the twins are questioned about those times now, they lean back a little in their seats, as if they've just lost a long race, a little perplexed that they came off as the victims of Hollywood's ability to throw an image, while the whole rip-roaring regatta still goes on behind them. "They put us in a box," says Cameron, "caricatured to a point where we didn't really exist." He glances around the bar, drums his finger against the glass. "That's fair enough. I understand that impulse." They smart a little when they hear Zuckerberg's name. "I don't think Mark liked being called an asshole," says Tyler, with a flick of bluster in his eyes, but then he catches himself. "You know, maybe Mark doesn't care. He's a bit of a statesman now, out there connecting the world. I have nothing against him. He's a smart guy."
These are men who've been taught, or have finally taught themselves, to tell their story rather than be told by it. But underneath the calm—just like underneath the boat—one can sense the churn.
They say the word—ath-letes—as if it were a country where pain is the passport. One of the things the brothers mention over and over again is that you can spontaneously crack a rib while rowing, just from the sheer exertion of the muscles hauling on the rib cage.
Along came bitcoin.
At its most elemental, bitcoin is a virtual currency. It's the sort of thing a five-year-old can understand—It's just e-cash, Mom—until he reaches eighteen and he begins to question the deep future of what money really means. It is a currency without government. It doesn't need a banker. It doesn't need a bank. It doesn't even need a brick to be built upon. Its supporters say that it bypasses the Man. It is less than a decade old and it has already come through its own Wild West, a story rooted in uncharted digital territory, up from the dust, an evening redness in the arithmetical West.
These are men who've been taught, or have finally taught themselves, to tell their story rather than be told by it. Bitcoin appeared in 2008—westward ho!—a little dot on the horizon of the Internet. It was the brainchild of a computer scientist named Satoshi Nakamoto. The first sting in the tale is that—to this very day—nobody knows who Nakamoto is, where he lives, or how much of his own invention he actually owns. He could be Californian, he could be Australian, he could even be a European conglomerate, but it doesn't really matter, since what he created was a cryptographic system that is borderless and supposedly unbreakable.
In the beginning the currency was ridiculed and scorned. It was money created from ones and zeros. You either bought it or you had to "mine" for it. If you were mining, your computer was your shovel. Any nerd could do it. You keyed your way in. By using your computer to help check and confirm the bitcoin transactions of others, you made coin. Everyone in this together. The computer heated up and mined, down down down, into the mathematical ground, lifting up numbers, making and breaking camp every hour or so until you had your saddlebags full of virtual coin. It all seemed a bit of a lark at first. No sheriff, no deputy, no central bank. The only saloon was a geeky chat room where a few dozen bitcoiners gathered to chew data.
Lest we forget, money was filthy in 2008.
The collapse was coming. The banks were shorting out. The real estate market was a confederacy of dunces. Bernie Madoff's shadow loomed. Occupy was on the horizon. And all those Wall Street yahoos were beginning to squirm.
Along came bitcoin like some Jesse James of the financial imagination. It was the biggest disruption of money since coins. Here was an idea that could revolutionize the financial world. A communal articulation of a new era. Fuck American Express. Fuck Western Union. Fuck Visa. Fuck the Fed. Fuck the Treasury. Fuck the deregulated thievery of the twenty-first century.
To the earliest settlers, bitcoin suggested a moral way out. It was a money created from the ground up, a currency of the people, by the people, for the people, with all government control extinguished. It was built on a solid base of blockchain technology where everyone participated in the protection of the code. It attracted anarchists, libertarians, whistle-blowers, cypherpunks, economists, extropians, geeks, upstairs, downstairs, left-wing, right-wing. Sure, it could be used by businesses and corporations, but it could also be used by poor people and immigrants to send money home, instantly, honestly, anonymously, without charge, with a click of the keyboard. Everyone in the world had access to your transaction, but nobody had to know your name. It bypassed the suits. All you needed to move money was a phone or a computer. It was freedom of economic action, a sort of anarchy at its democratic best, no rulers, just rules.
Bitcoin, to the original explorers, was a safe pass through the government-occupied valleys: Those assholes were up there in the hills, but they didn't have any scopes on their rifles, and besides, bitcoin went through in communal wagons at night.
Ordinary punters took a shot. Businesses, too. You could buy silk ties in Paris without any extra bank charges. You could protect your money in Buenos Aires without fear of a government grab.
The Winklevoss twins leave the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2011, after appearing in court to ask that the previous settlement case against Facebook be voided. GETTY But freedom can corrupt as surely as power. It was soon the currency that paid for everything illegal under the sun, the go-to money of the darknet. The westward ho! became the outlaw territory of Silk Road and beyond. Heroin through the mail. Cocaine at your doorstep. Child porn at a click. What better way for terrorists to ship money across the world than through a network of anonymous computers? Hezbollah, the Taliban, the Mexican cartels. In Central America, kidnappers began demanding ransom in bitcoin—there was no need for the cash to be stashed under a park bench anymore. Now everything could travel down the wire. Grab, gag, and collect. Uranium could be paid for in bitcoin. People, too. The sex trade was turned on: It was a perfect currency for Madame X. For the online gambling sites, bitcoin was pure jackpot.
For a while, things got very shady indeed. Over a couple years, the rate pinballed between $10 and $1,200 per bitcoin, causing massive waves and troughs of online panic and greed. (In recent times, it has begun to stabilize between $350 and $450.) In 2014, it was revealed that hackers had gotten into the hot wallet of Mt. Gox, a bitcoin exchange based in Tokyo. A total of 850,000 coins were "lost," at an estimated value of almost half a billion dollars. The founder of Silk Road, Ross William Ulbricht (known as "Dread Pirate Roberts"), got himself a four-by-six room in a federal penitentiary for life, not to mention pending charges for murder-for-hire in Maryland.
Everyone thought that bitcoin was the problem. The fact of the matter was, as it so often is, human nature was the problem. Money means desire. Desire means temptation. Temptation means that people get hurt.
During the first Gold Rush in the late 1840s, the belief was that all you needed was a pan and a decent pair of boots and a good dose of nerve and you could go out and make yourself a riverbed millionaire. Even Jack London later fell for the lure of it alongside thousands of others: the western test of manhood and the promise of wealth. What they soon found out was that a single egg could cost twenty-five of today's dollars, a pound of coffee went for a hundred, and a night in a whorehouse could set you back $6,000.
A few miners hit pay dirt, but what most ended up with for their troubles was a busted body and a nasty dose of syphilis.
The gold was discovered on the property of John Sutter in Sacramento, but the one who made the real cash was a neighboring merchant, Samuel Brannan. When Brannan heard the news of the gold nuggets, he bought up all the pickaxes and shovels he could find, filled a quinine bottle with gold dust, and went to San Francisco. Word went around like a prayer in a flash flood: gold gold gold. Brannan didn't wildcat for gold himself, but at the peak of the rush he was flogging $5,000 worth of shovels a day—that's $155,000 today—and went on to become the wealthiest man in California, alongside the Wells Fargo crew, Levi Strauss, and the Studebaker family, who sold wheelbarrows.
If you comb back through the Winklevoss family, you will find a great-grandfather and a great-great-grandfather who knew a thing or two about digging: They worked side by side in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. They didn't go west and they didn't get rich, but maybe the lesson became part of their DNA: Sometimes it's the man who sells the shovels who ends up hitting gold.
Like it or not—and many people don't like it—the Winklevoss brothers are shaping up to be the Samuel Brannans of the bitcoin world.
Nine months after being portrayed in The Social Network, the Winklevoss twins were back out on the water at the World Rowing Cup. CHRISTOPHER LEE/GETTY They heard about it first poolside in Ibiza, Spain. Later it would play into the idea of ease and privilege: umbrella drinks and girls in bikinis. But if the creation myth was going to be flippant, the talk was serious. "I'd say we were cautious, but we were definitely intrigued," says Cameron. They went back home to New York and began to read. There was something about it that got under their skin. "We knew that money had been so broken and inefficient for years," says Tyler, "so bitcoin appealed to us right away."
They speak in braided sentences, catching each other, reassuring themselves, tightening each other's ideas. They don't quite want to say that bitcoin looked like something that might be redemptive—after all, they, like everyone else, were looking to make money, lots of it, Olympic-sized amounts—but they say that it did strike an idealistic chord inside them. They certainly wouldn't be cozying up to the anarchists anytime soon, but this was a global currency that, despite its uncertainties, seemed to present a solution to some of the world's more pressing problems. "It was borderless, instantaneous, irreversible, decentralized, with virtually no transaction costs," says Tyler. It could possibly cut the banks out, and it might even take the knees out from under the credit-card companies. Not only that, but the price, at just under ten dollars per coin, was in their estimation low, very low. They began to snap it up.
They were aware, even at the beginning, that they might, once again, be called Johnny-come-latelys, just hopping blithely on the bandwagon—it was 2012, already four years into the birth of the currency—but they went ahead anyway, power ten. Within a short time they'd spent $11 million buying up a whopping 1 percent of the world's bitcoin, a position they kept up as more bitcoins were mined, making their 1 percent holding today worth about $66 million.
But bitcoin was flammable. The brothers felt the burn quickly. Their next significant investment came later that year, when they gave $1.5 million in venture funding to a nascent exchange called BitInstant. Within a year the CEO was arrested for laundering drug money through the exchange.
So what were a pair of smart, clean-cut Olympic rowers doing hanging around the edges of something so apparently shady, and what, if anything, were they going to do about it?
They mightn't have thought of it this way, but there was something of the sheriff striding into town, the one with the swagger and the scar, glancing up at the balconies as he comes down Main Street, all tumbleweeds and broken pianos. This place was a dump in most people's eyes, but the sheriff glimpsed his last best shot at finally getting the respect he thinks he deserves.
The money shot: A good stroke will catch the water almost without breaking its seal. You stir without rippling. Your silence is sinewy. There's muscle in that calm. The violence catches underneath, thrusts the boat along. Stroke after stroke. Just keep going. Today's truth dies tomorrow. What you have to do is elemental enough. You row without looking behind you. You keep the others in front of you. As long as you can see what they're doing, it's all in your hands. You are there to out-pain them. Doesn't matter who they are, where they come from, how they got here. Know your enemy through yourself. Push through toward pull. Find the still point of this pain. Cut a melody in the disk of your flesh. The only terror comes when they pass you—if they ever pass you.
There are no suits or ties, but there is a white hum in the offices of Gemini in the Flatiron District. The air feels as if it has been brushed clean. There is something so everywhereabout the place. Ergonomic chairs. iPhone portals. Rows of flickering computers. Not so much a hush around the room as a quiet expectation. Eight, nine people. Programmers, analysts, assistants. Other employees—teammates, they call them—dialing in from Portland, Oregon, and beyond.
The brothers fire up the room when they walk inside. A fist-pump here, a shoulder touch there. At the same time, there is something almost shy about them. Apart, they seem like casual visitors to the space they inhabit. It is when they're together that they feel fully shaped. One can't imagine them being apart from each other for very long.
The Winklevoss twins speak onstage at Bitcoin! Let's Cut Through the Noise Already at SXSW in 2016. GETTY They move from desk to desk. The price goes up, the price goes down. The phones ring. The e-mails beep. Customer-service calls. Questions about fees. Inquiries about tax structures.
Gemini was started in late 2015 as a next-generation bitcoin exchange. It is not the first such exchange in the world by any means, but it is one of the most watched. The company is designed with ordinary investors in mind, maybe a hedge fund, maybe a bank: all those people who used to be confused or even terrified by the word bitcoin. It is insured. It is clean. What's so fascinating about this venture is that the brothers are risking themselves by trying to eliminate risk: keeping the boat steady and exploding through it at the same time.
It is when they're together that they feel fully shaped. One can't imagine them being apart from each other for very long. For the past couple years, the Winklevosses have worked closely with just about every compliance agency imaginable. They ticked off all the regulatory boxes. Essentially they wanted to ease all the Debting Thomases. They put regulatory frameworks in place. Security and bankability and insurance were their highest objectives. Nobody was going to be able to blow open the safe. They wanted to soothe all the appetites for risk. They told Bitcoin Magazine they were asking for "permission, not forgiveness."
This is where bitcoin can become normal—that is, if you want bitcoin to be normal.
Just a mile or two down the road, in Soho, a half dozen bitcoiners gather at a meetup. The room is scruffy, small, boxy. A half mannequin is propped on a table, a scarf draped around it. It's the sort of place that twenty years ago would have been full of cigarette smoke. There's a bit of Allen Ginsberg here, a touch of Emma Goldman, a lot of Zuccotti Park. The wine is free and the talk is loose. These are the true believers. They see bitcoin in its clearest possible philosophical terms—the frictionless currency of the people, changing the way people move money around the world, bypassing the banks, disrupting the status quo.
A comedy show is being run out in the backyard. A scruffy young man wanders in and out, announcing over and over again that he is half-baked. A well-dressed Asian girl sidles up to the bar. She looks like she's just stepped out of an NYU business class. She's interested in discovering what bitcoin is. She is regaled by a series of convivial answers. The bartender tells her that bitcoin is a remaking of the prevailing power structures. The girl asks for another glass of wine. The bartender adds that bitcoin is democracy, pure and straight. She nods and tells him that the wine tastes like cooking oil. He laughs and says it wasn't bought with bitcoin. "I don't get it," she says. And so the evening goes, presided over by Margaux Avedisian, who describes herself as the queen of bitcoin. Avedisian, a digital-currency consultant of Armenian descent, is involved in several high-level bitcoin projects. She has appeared in documentaries and on numerous panels. She is smart, sassy, articulate.
When the talk turns to the Winklevoss brothers, the bar turns dark. Someone, somewhere, reaches up to take all the oxygen out of the air. Avedisian leans forward on the counter, her eyes shining, delightful, raged.
"The Winklevii are not the face of bitcoin," she says. "They're jokes. They don't know what they're saying. Nobody in our community respects them. They're so one-note. If you look at their exchange, they have no real volume, they never will. They keep throwing money at different things. Nobody cares. They're not part of us. They're just hangers-on."
"Ah, they're just assholes," the bartender chimes in.
"What they want to do," says Avedisian, "is lobotomize bitcoin, make it into something entirely vapid. They have no clue."
The Asian girl leaves without drinking her third glass of free wine. She's got a totter in her step. She doesn't quite get the future of money, but then again maybe very few in the world do.
Giving testimony on bitcoin licensing before the New York State Department of Financial Services in 2014. LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS The future of money might look like this: You're standing on Oxford Street in London in winter. You think about how you want to get to Charing Cross Road. The thought triggers itself through electrical signals into the chip embedded in your wrist. Within a moment, a driverless car pulls up on the sensor-equipped road. The door opens. You hop in. The car says hello. You tell it to shut up. It does. It already knows where you want to go. It turns onto Regent Street. You think,A little more air-conditioning, please. The vents blow. You think, Go a little faster, please. The pace picks up. You think, This traffic is too heavy, use Quick(TM). The car swings down Glasshouse Street. You think, Pay the car in front to get out of my way. It does. You think, Unlock access to a shortcut. The car turns down Sherwood Street to Shaftsbury Avenue. You pull in to Charing Cross. You hop out. The car says goodbye. You tell it to shut up again. You run for the train and the computer chip in your wrist pays for the quiet-car ticket for the way home.
All of these transactions—the air-conditioning, the pace, the shortcut, the bribe to get out of the way, the quick lanes, the ride itself, the train, maybe even the "shut up"—will cost money. As far as crypto-currency enthusiasts think, it will be paid for without coins, without phones, without glass screens, just the money coming in and going out of your preprogrammed wallet embedded beneath your skin.
The Winklevosses are betting that the money will be bitcoin. And that those coins will flow through high-end, corporate-run exchanges like Gemini rather than smoky SoHo dives.
Cameron leans across a table in a New York diner, the sort of place where you might want to polish your fork just in case, and says: "The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed yet." He can't remember whom the quote belongs to, but he freely acknowledges that it's not his own. Theirs is a truculent but generous intelligence, capable of surprise and turn at the oddest of moments. They talk meditation, they talk economics, they talk Van Halen, they talk, yes, William Gibson, but everything comes around again to bitcoin.
"The key to all this is that people aren't even going to know that they're using bitcoin," says Tyler. "It's going to be there, but it's not going to be exposed to the end user. Bitcoin is going to be the rails that underpin our payment systems. It's just like an IP address. We don't log on to a series of numbers, 115.425.5 or whatever. No, we log on to Google.com. In the same way, bitcoin is going to be disguised. There will be a body kit that makes it user-friendly. That's what makes bitcoin a kick-ass currency."
Any fool can send a billion dollars across the world—as long as they have it, of course—but it's virtually impossible to send a quarter unless you stick it in an envelope and pay forty-nine cents for a stamp. It's one of the great ironies of our antiquated money system. And yet the quark of the financial world is essentially the small denomination. What bitcoin promises is that it will enable people and businesses to send money in just about any denomination to one another, anywhere in the world, for next to nothing. A public address, a private key, a click of the mouse, and the money is gone.
A Bitcoin conference in New York City in 2014. GETTY This matters. This matters a lot. Credit-card companies can't do this. Neither can the big banks under their current systems. But Marie-Louise on the corner of Libertador Avenue can. And so can Pat Murphy in his Limerick housing estate. So can Mark Andreessen and Bill Gates and Laurene Powell Jobs. Anyone can do it, anywhere in the world, at virtually no charge.
You can do it, in fact, from your phone in a diner in New York. But the whole time they are there—over identical California omelettes that they order with an ironic shrug—they never once open their phones. They come across more like the talkative guys who might buy you a drink at the sports bar than the petulants ordering bottle service in the VIP corner. The older they get, the more comfortable they seem in their contradictions: the competition, the ease; the fame, the quiet; the gamble, the sure thing.
Bitcoin is what might eventually make them among the richest men in America. And yet. There is always a yet. What seems indisputable about the future of money, to the Winklevosses and other bitcoin adherents, is that the technology that underpins bitcoin—the blockchain—will become one of the fundamental tenets of how we deal with the world of finance. Blockchain is the core computer code. It's open source and peer to peer—in other words, it's free and open to you and me. Every single bitcoin transaction ever made goes to an open public ledger. It would take an unprecedented 51 percent attack—where one entity would come to control more than half of the computing power used to mine bitcoin—for hackers to undo it. The blockchain is maintained by computers all around the world, and its future sidechains will create systems that deal with contracts and stock and other payments. These sidechains could very well be the foundation of the new global economy for the big banks, the credit-card companies, and even government itself.
"It's boundless," says Cameron.
This is what the brothers are counting on—and what might eventually make them among the richest men in America.
And yet. There is always a yet.
When you delve into the world of bitcoin, it gets deeper, darker, more mysterious all the time. Why has its creator remained anonymous? Why did he drop off the face of the earth? How much of it does he own himself? Will banks and corporations try to bring the currency down? Why are there really only five developers with full "commit access" to the code (not the Winklevosses, by the way)? Who is really in charge of the currency's governance?
Perhaps the most pressing issue at hand is that of scaling, which has caused what amounts to a civil war among followers. A maximum block size of one megabyte has been imposed on the chain, sort of like a built-in artificial dampener to keep bitcoin punk rock. That's not nearly enough capacity for the number of transactions that would take place in future visions. In years to come, there could be massive backlogs and outages that could create instant financial panic. Bitcoin's most influential leaders are haggling over what will happen. Will bitcoin maintain its decentralized status, or will it go legit and open up to infinite transactions? And if it goes legit, where's the punk?
The issues are ongoing—and they might very well take bitcoin down, but the Winklevosses don't think so. They have seen internal disputes before. They've refrained from taking a public stance mostly because they know that there are a lot of other very smart people in bitcoin who are aware that crisis often builds consensus. "We're in this for the long haul," says Tyler. "We're the first batter in the first inning."
GILLIAN LAUB The waiter comes across and asks them, bizarrely, if they're twins. They nod politely. Who was born first? They've heard it a million times and their answer is always the same: Neither of them—they were born cesarean. Cameron looks older, says the waiter. Tyler grins. Normally it's the other way around, says Cameron, grinning back. Do you ever fight? asks the waiter. Every now and then, they say. But not over this, not over the future.
Heraclitus was wrong. You can, in fact, step in the same river twice. In the beginning you went to the shed. No electricity there, no heat, just a giant tub where you simulated the river. You could only do eleven strokes. But there was something about the repetition, the difference, even the monotony, that hooked you. After a while it wasn't an abandoned shed anymore. College gyms, national training centers. Bigger buildings. High ceilings. AC. Doctors and trainers. Monitors hooked up to your heart, your head, your blood. Six foot five, but even then you were not as tall as the other guys. You liked the notion of underdog. Everyone called you the opposite. The rich kids. The privileged ones. To hell with that. They don't know us, who we are, where we came from. Some of the biggest chips rest on the shoulders of those with the least to lose. Six foot five times two makes just about thirteen feet. You sit in the erg and you stare ahead. Day in, day out. One thousand strokes, two thousand. You work with the very best. You even train with the Navy SEALs. It touches that American part of you. The sentiment, the false optimism. When the oil fields are burning, you even think, I'll go there with them. But you stay in the boat. You want that other flag rising. That's what you aim for. You don't win but you get close. Afterward there are planes, galas, regattas, magazine spreads, but you always come back to that early river. The cold. The fierceness. The heron. Like it or not, you're never going to get off the water—that's just the fact of the matter, it's always going to be there. Hard to admit it, but once you were wrong. You got out of the boat and you haggled over who made it. You lost that one, hard. You might lose this one, too, but then again it just might be the original arc that you're stepping toward. So you return, then. You rise before dark. You drag your carcass along Broadway before dawn.
All the rich men in the world want to get shot into outer space. Richard Branson. Jeff Bezos. Elon Musk. The new explorers. To get the hell out of here and see if they—and maybe we—can exist somewhere else for a while. It's the story of the century. We want to know if the pocket of the universe can be turned inside out. We're either going to bring all the detritus of the world upward with us or we're going to find a brand-new way to exist. The cynical say that it's just another form of colonization—they're probably right, but then again maybe it's our only way out.
The Winklevosses have booked their tickets—numbers 700 and 701—on Branson's Virgin Galactic. Although they go virtually everywhere together, the twins want to go on different flights because of the risk involved: Now that they're in their mid-thirties, they can finally see death, or at least its rumor. It's a boy's adventure, but it's also the outer edge of possibility. It cost a quarter of a million dollars per seat, and they paid for it, yes, in bitcoin.
Of course, up until recently, the original space flights all splashed down into the sea. One of the ships that hauled the Gemini space capsule out of the water in 1965 was the Intrepid aircraft carrier.
The Winklevosses no longer pull their boat up the river. Instead they often run five miles along the Hudson to the Intrepid and back. The destroyer has been parked along Manhattan's West Side for almost as long as they have been alive. It's now a museum. The brothers like the boat, its presence, its symbolism: Intrepid, Gemini, the space shot.
They ease into the run.
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[Table] IAmA: We made BET RAISE FOLD, a documentary about the boom and bust of online poker in the USA - ASK US ANYTHING!

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Date: 2013-12-09
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Questions Answers
Do you think online poker will go through another boom when it is fully reintegrated in the United States? What is the biggest way that most online poker pros have maintained their way of living post Black Friday? Do you have any other docs in the works? I really enjoyed Bet Raise Fold. I think it would be v hard for it to "boom" (like explode out of nowhere like it did in the 2000s) again, but it will surely grow, and I'm optimistic that it will grow to be an even larger industry than before (over the long run, could take a decade or more). like Yoda says, "hard to see, the future is." totally applies to the future of online poker - there are so many known and unknown variables at play at all times.
How much of 2M2MM was staged? It was a very entertaining show to watch.. any chances for another season? Hmm, hard to say. all reality TV is staged to some degree. from what I understand/gleaned from the production team working on the show (they were all vets of the reality TV world, worked on shows like Amazing Race and Ghost Hunters), 2M2MM trended much closer to the documentary side of reality tv than most. that said, I often compare the experience of 2M2MM like being an actor playing myself - and I think everyone who participated would prob agree w that. the plots of each episode were set up in advance (though we'd argue vigorously with the prodco to make sure if anything was "set up for the show" it'd be something we normally might do in real life). the most staged stuff would be like the house wars vs aejones/luckychewy (situation set up for the show), or aspects of the Benyamine match (Erica Schoenberg is at the pool specifically for our scene, it's not a chance encounter), or Dani and Chewy hunting for girls for the Connect 4 Charity episode. the completely real stuff is all the poker action - our bankrolls and emotions on full display for the world!
The Tilt Room was set up for the show, too - maybe my greatest invention all time. smashing watermelons with a sledgehammer is an awesome way to de-tilt (but very wasteful!!! smashing pottery - more responsible way to fill your tilt room, ppl)
Did you guys ever wake up Emil? On 2M2MM, the production team famously had to break down two doors of his (he won the master bedroom and it was so ballin it had two doors he could lock to keep people out) to wake him up for a shoot towards the end of filming.
We did wake him up, and he had a piece of that action - so it was a more pleasant awakening than the times we'd prank wake him by telling him all the pizzerias in NY were on strike or the house was on fire.
Actually, did Viffer ever find out about his pot bet bluffing tell? I heard he went into lockdown and wouldn't come out until he had fixed it :)
Who would be in your team of poker player super heroes and who would their x-men or avengers counter parts be? Maybe best question anyone has ever asked.
Ashton Griffin - Wolverine.
Ben "Sauce" Sulsky - Beast.
Ziigmund - Thor.
Dani Stern - The Incredible Hulk.
Vanessa Selbst - Jean Grey.
Aaron "aejones" Jones - Iron Man.
Jennifer Harman - Storm.
Erik Seidel - Captain America.
Chris Ferguson - Gambit.
Not a superhero but Howard Lederer is totally Kingpin. (actually, Kingpin might have to be Ivey...)
ROSENKRANTZ - Do you still play poker as a main source of income? When you do play do you play online outside of the US or live? Nope - i actually don't play much poker at all, outside of WSOP. i'll play in home games now and then but it's mostly a social thing. was thinking about making an extended trip to Montreal to visit Martin, hear him play music and grind online next year... i miss playing online poker a TON. what's more fun than stacking n00bs with AA.
Check-raising stupid fucking tourists? Stacks and towers of checks I can't even see over!!!
Do you think that you could persuade the Alamo Drafthouse in Denver to have a showing? If these three screenings (Yonkers, Austin, KC) are profitable for them, or I can show them we have a strong group of people in Denver who'd come out, it's a possibility...
Yo Krantz, where is the information on the one in Yonkers? I live in Queens would love to go and show my support. Oh man, thanks for the support - it happened last week though :/
How often do you play live/online (hours per week/month or whatever)? What stakes? Also, you guys toss money around like toilet paper. Send me a couple grand so i can make a tilt/lockdown room and go pro. Thanks, man! If you surf through some of the other posts in this thread you can read some more, but since Black Friday I don't play much poker live or online. If there were legal online poker in my state right now, I'd probably dabble in small and mid stakes and try to build up a bankroll playing NLHE/PLO cash (shorthanded and heads up) and the occasional tournament!
2M2MM was in 2009, 4+ years later and all that toilet paper is more valuable to everybody :)
With your experience in documentary and financing, can you get "I BET YOU" tv series back in production? phil laak craziness needs to be serialized. If I ever run into him, I will plant the seed. should have run 6 seasons and a movie.
Do you think bitcoin will change the future of online gambling? I'm still trying to wrap my head around bitcoin... i have these handy videos bookmarked to watch as soon as i get some free time! Link to www.khanacademy.org
Link to www.youtube.com
Do you see the games remaining as reg-infested and hard as they are now? Is there a point where everything about NLHE is basically known and therefore the skill level of most pros will be capped? Not if the sites figure out how to bring in more casual players - a priority for their businesses as the US market legalizes and the global market matures. Hard to say what the games could look like in 5 years... I think there will be fewer pros/regs. Also think NLHE will always be the most popular game even though basic strategy is pretty well known to anyone who wants to put in the time.
Hi, Jay. Great movie, really enjoyed it. Thanks! My plans are really to throw myself into writing and producing with the same focus and intensity that I gave to poker during my early 20s. I'd like to write and publish some books (fiction, nonfiction, poker, nonpoker), write and produce more movies, TV, games... I'm inspired by artists like Joss Whedon, Ray Bradbury, Hayao Miyazaki, Bill Watterson... entrepreneurs like Tim League, Burnie Burns and Felicia Day and the folks at VHX and Pixar and Valve... Basically, I want to build a career in popular entertainment, telling smart, resonant stories to larger and larger audiences. And I want to work with the best people I can while I do this.
What are your plans for the next 1-5 years? I also plan to win the WSOP Main Event, but that could take 6-7 years because you gotta get lucky!
Are you still friends with the cast from 2M2MM and do you and any of them still rent a house in Vegas for the summer? We are great friends! I actually lived with Emil and Brian in a house this summer while I was out at the WSOP premiering BRF. We worked out a ton (Brian is REALLY into Olympic weightlifting these days) and watched lots of movies. There was a movie theater room in the house and those guys have eclectic wide ranging tastes in film so it was really fun. One of our favorites was this Norwegian crime thrilleblack comedy called Headhunters: Link to www.imdb.com
Also I was one of the many backers on Kickstarter for BRF. How tedious was it putting everyone's name in the credits? Dani, Brian and Emil lived together in Toronto for awhile post Black Friday but now Dani has a serious girlfriend, a dog and a cat and they're all living in different countries (well, Dani and Brian live near each other in Mexico but Emil's in Finland)
As poker players, do you feel like you've lost an appreciation for money? Who do you think is the most overrated poker player nowadays? I definitely lost any conception of the value of the dollar during the height of the online poker boom. Post Black Friday, 3 years later, I feel like I have a much healthier and more reasonable relationship with money. I think any serious poker player has to divorce himself from the value of money in order to risk it with complete and utter disregard for anything but the expected value of the play. If I had to answer the overrated question... I'd say wcrider (sp?) is overrated. Not skill wise - I have no idea how good or bad he is objectively - but I've read a few of his forum posts on 2p2 and he is clearly young with a huge ego, and you just can't be the best in the world with an ego the size of an elephant (though it can give you some huge competitive advantages). But see how subjective a question like this is? For the most part the idea of underrated or overrated players is worthless, variance is a way bigger factor than anyone understands... the only person who can truly and accurately "rate" a poker player's skill is the player themselves!
Will there be any new videos on TheMicros? I so hope so. The major problem for us is the economics... the cost of animating those episodes is pretty big in terms of money and time. The sponsorship model worked great pre-Black Friday, but post Black Friday and the market for an animated poker show is completely different. John and I have thought about Kickstarting it, but I'm not confident we could raise enough money to do it the way we'd want to (if we come back, we want to come back full throttle, with regularly scheduled content and season long storylines... we don't want to just put up an episode or two here or there). There are a few options I've been thinking about, but they're just ideas at this point.
There's a big possibility we'll come back soon with regular comics, though. You can check out some examples of what these would look like on our Facebook page (there's a photo gallery of the ~12 comics we've done so far): Link to www.facebook.com
Hey all, what are your thoughts on regulated poker, putting Delaware politely to one side, is there half a chance of it being successful in New Jersey, without interstate compacts? By successful, I probably mean will we see guy n girls like you in that state playing for a living? Will there be the liquidity to sustain a more than a handful of full timers? I think it will be successful but it will not explode overnight, it will take time and nurturing like any good crop... growing the igaming business in NJ, the companies' priorities are not necessarily directly in line with catering to guys/gals like us who want to play for a living. So I don't think you'll see many full timers playing exclusively on NJ sites. See Joe Tall's post in this thread for more insight into this, it's pretty good!
Probably too late but I'll give it a shot anyway. I tried to/try to study and it felt like pulling teeth. I became interested in applications of game theory for a few months and the challenge of reeducating myself in basic maths was interesting... but even then I didn't feel as energized or excited about thinking about poker as I did when I was able to play and compete consistently. I decided recently that I'd just take a break until I was able to play consistently again (I have been thinking about a trip to NJ or out of the country to grind for a bit, but it's just an idea right now).
Any words of advice here? I'm tired so this is kind of rambly and I'm just talking some of this out loud for the first time, but I hope this helps a bit. Post Black Friday I've done a lot of reevaluating my relationship with poker and the expectations I have of it and it's done a lot to reverse feelings of anger, sadness and frustration at the US situation (and at the game in general).
What was the biggest thing you guys have bet on beside poker? Games of NFL Blitz, trick pool shots, what LuckyChewy thinks the distance from the Earth to the sun is, whether [name redacted] can get those strippers to come ride the inflatable dolphin, oveunder of how long they can ride it for before falling in pool... countless thousands have been won and lost on these diabolical problems.
off, great movie! It was well worth the wait. My question is this, what is the craziest, most extravagant thing you purchased with your poker winnings? Thank you! whitelime reminds me of a night in NYC at a club called Arena (who knows if this place still exists), where we went heads up against NYG running back Brandon Jacobs in a bottle-buying war. the bottles came equipped with sexy bottle babes and sparklers. we lost the bottle war to BJ (in hindsight i think we lost the battle, too - huuuge tab)
I want to first thank you for establishing an amazing training site in DC. It has helped my game immensely. For the questions: would you consider yourself more of a filmmaker or poker player at this point? In a podcast slowhabit noted poker helped his entrepeneurship immensely and vice versa. Do you see any similar parallels b/t poker and film-making? Thanks! I'll always consider myself a poker player, but in terms of profession I suppose I'm trending towards the filmmaker side of the coin. But all of the creative work I do will be influenced by the unique way I see the world - a viewpoint heavily influenced by poker. It's an insanely beautiful game: a complex blend of strategy, tactics and human emotion. Being a poker player isn't a profession to me, it's something I can't help... at this point it's part of the fabric of my identity.
I don't think we would have ended up with a movie this good (or maybe not a movie at all!) if Taylor and I didn't bring our backgrounds in poker and entrepreneurship to bear to make as many +EV decisions as we possibly could over the entirety of the project. In a lot of ways filmmaking is an entrepreneurial pursuit, in a lot of ways producing a movie is like multitabling high stakes online poker. You're juggling tons of variables, managing human relationships, analyzing risk, making high pressure decisions...
I talk a lot about this stuff in this podcast with Jared Tendler: Link to www.mentalgamefish.com
I really enjoyed the movie and showed it to my family. But their reaction across the board was: "But they only portray people who win in the game!". What do you think of this reaction? Isn't portraying mostly the pros or winning player missing a big slice of what online poker is. We were originally interested in finding a losing player... posting what Ryan posted earlier about this: "Yes, we were planning to follow someone exactly like that. However, we found it more challenging than we expected to find a compelling, losing player who was willing to go on camera. For example, I spoke briefly with grimstarr (online poker veterans will know who this is) about appearing in the film, but there were too many complications involved." After Black Friday it became pretty much impossible for us to add another character, winner or loser. We also felt like the downsides of poker had already been given a lot of treatment in the cultural representation of the game... but nothing had been done to authentically show the lives of modern professional poker players during the poker boom. Still, we did have many conversations about the losers, about the pros who are staked, etc... what we should or could convey about that aspect of the game... ultimately we decided we needed to stick to our core characters (especially after Black Friday) and their experiences. We did make an effort to explore the psychological consequences of losing as a professional, and the risks that you take on when you do play this game for a living... hopefully that sequence in the last third of the film can show that even the winners are losers, and they lose often! Basically, a lot of the energy for this project's conception was to showcase what it was like to be an online pro player, and dispel misconceptions that the public has about poker and online poker. To show the injustice done to the industry as a result of the UIGEA... to show what caused the boom... historical events like this, put into context in a digestible way. That was the driving motivation in making the film and selecting Danielle, Tony and Martin - and after Black Friday, their stories were all that mattered to this particular film. Hope this sheds some light on our thinking.
Hey Krantz! Play tons of poker, think about it with a truly open mind and engage in critical discussion of poker with tons of players of all skill levels. Tenacity and fearlessness are your words to live by (and maybe "breathe," for when you're tilting).
What advice would you have for an online player from the us that plays on bovada to move up the stakes. Currently grinding double-up sit n gos and crushing ? I really love this post about training and practice. If you want to move up and become better, work hard and work smart: Link to forumserver.twoplustwo.com
Jay, I asked you on twitter during the months leading up to the release about selling autographed pictures of some online pros in the movie on kickstarter to raise money. You replied saying it was a good idea and you'd look into it. I was thrilled, but become really bummed when I saw that the signed movie poster costs $200. I wish I could afford it, but I just can't. I graduate from university in a week and still don't have a job offer, so this is above my price range. Since you have 18/20 left, is there a chance of a price drop for them in the future? We actually only managed to get about 5-7 signed posters total and ran out! but email me your info at [email protected] and i will see if we can find some way to get you something cool! (i remember your tweets!)
In the home game you had on 2m2mm, did Andrew robl ever tell you what his other card was? He showed you a jack he hit on the river.. He didn't - I tried to get it out of him, but he wouldn't say. based on what I know of him i'm 95% sure it was a good fold (5% he made a sick bluff and is so buddha he doesn't need to brag or show it on TV)
I loved BRF by the way and my dad liked it too. It helped him understand "my world" a little better. You gotta learn the language of filmmaking, and you gotta experiment (in poker terms, you can't just study - you hafta play hands!). So try to make a little short documentary about something (this is what we did - FROM BUSTO TO ROBUSTO ended up being essential practice in learning to make something as big as BRF) and take it all the way through from preproduction to marketing and distribution, even if it's just on the tiniest scale.
I'm sure you learned so much throughout the course of making the film, so if you could go back to give yourself advice from when you just started BRF, what would you say? Thanks! It's awesome to hear about friends/family enjoying the movie. I'm heading out to host this theatrical screening in Austin but I will get back to you on your question tonight. OK, I'm back. I'm glad you love FCH because my first bit of advice is to read the ebook he just released: Link to www.amazon.com
I am curious on roughly how sales are going? How did you choose how to distribute the film. Really enjoyed the film. Direct sales through VHX were great. Not tens of thousands of people but very strong for an independent documentary. The decision to distribute the film through a combination of Kickstarter, VHX and Tugg (skipping film festivals in favor of debuting at the 2013 World Series of Poker) was made mostly as a result of talking to other filmmakers, studying the success of Indie Game: The Movie (Link to www.indiegamethemovie.com and reading Think Outside the Box Office (Link to www.amazon.com)
If we could go back and do it again I don't think we would have done much differently. The biggest change I'd have made to our strategy would have been to organize a ~6 city Tugg tour of the film to build hype before the online release, and to incorporate Kickstarter earlier in the production (it would have been really fun and cathartic to share the ups and downs of the whole production process with backers!)
Just rewatched 2M2MM a few weeks back...LOL at Jay's roller skating penalty stunt. Question about the doc...how did you decide on profiling Dunst, Alexei and Danielle? Who else was a finalist to be featured? Still got those roller skates!
Why does ansky keep knocking me out of ftops!! Pretty sure this stems from his anger issues. see 2M2MM Mach 5 snap call argument for evidence. he HULKS out when he sees your SN and smashes your soul!
Not so much a question as an obvious point. Loved the film, loved being a part of it and helping out. I really don't have anything else. If anyone here hasn't seen the film yet, do so asap. It really is an incredible piece of work. Love you too, bro! and not just because you're also named Jay. it's because the goddamn FORCE IS WITH YOU.
Given that Jay's poker training site, "Deuces Cracked" ( Link to www.deucescracked.co ), actually make Duck merchandise ( Link to img651.imageshack.us ), and your username is PERSIANDUCK i think you guys should form the first poker supergroup and call yourselves "THE MIGHTY DUCKS". Those ducks are collectors items!!!
I assume this question was targeted at Jay or Tony/Danielle/Martin, but the most extravagant thing I ever purchased was an $800 couch. Still had the wrapper on it and everything. Where'd you get $800?
Jay,The Texas Legislator will go back in to session in Jan of 2015. I expect that there will be hearing for both live and online poker. Since your living in the Austin would you be willing to testify at the State Capitol in Austin in front of the Texas State Legislator to help bring poker to Texas. I love comedy but have 0 appetite for politics. I don't believe I could say anything that would be more helpful than what we've said in making Bet Raise Fold, and I don't believe that anything but money will help bring poker to Texas :)
Very tedious, but well well worth it. Thanks so much for supporting the project! Yes, huge thank you for backing us!
Krantz, in a deucescracked video where you commentated with ariel about his match against tie53, bit of a famous hand. Q67hh-Tss, Tie53 check raises a committing size on the turn. we fold Q6. Do you still think this was a close fold with Q6 or do you appreciate now that it was probably wrong. Don't recall the specifics of that hand but I think past Jay/past Ariel were probably right and no one, not even me from the future, would know better than them :)
Last updated: 2013-12-13 16:03 UTC
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