The Seller of Images

“You have to ask yourself why people would sell Bitcoin generators? Why don’t they just use the generators themselves to find more Bitcoins? Because it consistently costs more than a dollar to mine a dollar’s worth of Bitcoins, that’s why and the comparison to gold falls apart.” — I have my doubts about Bitcoin

That’s probably true, but here’s Aesop’s fable, The Seller of Images:

A certain man made a wooden image of Mercury and offered it for sale. When no one appeared willing to buy it, in order to attract purchasers, he cried out that he had the statue to sell of a benefactor who bestowed wealth and helped to heap up riches. One of the bystanders said to him, “My good fellow, why do you sell him, being such a one as you describe, when you may yourself enjoy the good things he has to give?” “Why,” he replied, “I am in need of immediate help, and he is wont to give his good gifts very slowly.”

My view on Bitcoin is that if it does what its supporters say, every government on the planet will crush it. Which reminds me of another story:

The man and the economist

An engineer and an economist were out walking and came to a narrow part of the road. The economist stepped forward, and the engineer walked on behind him. Suddenly the engineer spied a a twenty dollar bill on the ground, and immediately bent down and took it. “Didn’t you see that twenty?” he asked his companion. “Oh I saw it,” said the economist. “But I reasoned that if it were really there someone would already have picked it up.”

The moral is, it’s better to understand economics than to know economics.

UPDATE 3 October 2012: added a missing word.


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