I always wondered how Greek philosophy, the rise of the various sciences in Islam, or any major event that brought about dramatic changes in human culture, paved the way for free thought and the flourishing of innovations. How, in fact, have such outstanding events helped man to progress one step at a time?
Greek school and philosophy
Imagine how the way of free and creative thinking could be drawn without Greek philosophers. Without Thales, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Pythagoras, how could the scientists of the golden age of Islam have come up with ideas that we still rely on in modern times?
Was a renaissance possible without Zahrawi, Abbas Ibn Farnas, Abu Rihan al-Biruni, Abu Ali Sina, Ibn Rushd, Kharazmi and Ibn Khaldun and the likes of Ibn Nafis? Would science have made sense in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries without Da Vinci, Copernicus, Anders and Salvis, Francis Bacon, Newton, Galileo, Kepler, and Descartes?
Socrates, considered by many to be the father of Western philosophy, taught us the Socratic way of thinking. His extreme logic and rationalism ultimately inspired scientists to do their part to change the future of philosophers and thinkers. Perhaps the roots of humanism, sociological theories, economic ideas, and democracy can be found in the thinking of the ancient Greeks.
The Athenians founded the first form of modern democracy; They were the ones who tried to distance themselves from the central power and build a power with a decentralized form and image; These same ideas inspire many of the democracies we see in the world today.
Islamic era, innovation with fresh paint and glaze
The Prophet of Islam (PBUH) was the initiator of a movement that considered knowledge accessible not only to aristocrats and experts, but also to every human being. He promoted literacy at a time when reading and writing were for the minority. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was both a civil innovator and a creative economic mind. Perhaps he can go even further and be considered a more specialized expert than all free market investors today.
In his time, Muhammad (pbuh) created a competitive market in Medina by creating tax exemptions for the exchange of goods and services among merchants, which overcame all the markets of that time; An action that, while radical, was innovative and brilliant.
The realm of Islam stretched from the west to Spain and from the east to present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan. Over the years, the message of the Prophet’s Islam was constantly echoed in civil and financial debates in various parts of the then known world. The emphasis on understanding the miracles and mysteries mentioned in the Qur’an created a culture of great philosophers and thinkers.
Islam held the banner of the spread of science, which was in the possession of the Greeks in ancient times. As the influence of Islam increased in different parts of the world, this flag was given to the Europeans and finally it was raised again in the form of Renaissance.
Renaissance and Spring in Europe
The philosophers of the Islamic world in their golden age were the inspiration of many great thinkers. Thomas Aquinas, Fibonacci, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Copernicus each contributed to the explosion of philosophy and art. Thanks to the translated texts of classical Greek philosophers left over from the scholars of the Islamic world, Europe emerged from the ashes of the dark ages of the Middle Ages and entered the Renaissance.
The Renaissance paved the way for the rebirth of the curiosity of reason and free thought. There are many who consider print publications to be the most important achievement of the Renaissance. The printing industry allowed the general public to correspond and communicate with each other. This industry was somehow the growth of the middle class.
On the other hand, the printing industry decentralized knowledge; Before that, it was the special knowledge of religious people and political officials, and with the advent of printing, its way was opened to the public. The removal of the concentration of knowledge and its decentralization can be considered as a complete benefit of the civil society of that time.
The age of reason and logic was a glorious age that brought letters such as Newton, René Descartes and Adam Smith to the fore. Just like the Renaissance, the Age of Enlightenment was a rebirth of the curiosity of reason, the basic principles of which can be found in Greek philosophy and school. Humanism and Autonomy are fundamental aspects of human existence; The modern form of this definition can be sought in the transition from centralized thinking, such as a centralized government, to decentralized and individual-dependent thinking.
This was the inspiring era of democracy, and we must not forget that the United States was formed during this Enlightenment. It was Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison who wrote the American Constitution using these same ideas. The US Declaration of Independence states:
Without a doubt, all human beings are created equal. [خداوند] The Creator created them with inseparable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The modern age began today with the age of industrialization in the mid-eighteenth century and continues to this day, the age of communication. The modern age can be considered a growth that was at the end of the path of digital technologies and biotechnology.
Before Einstein, it was Newton and Maxwell who paved the way for all mathematics and classical physics. Newton’s findings on the gravity and physics of light were the cornerstone of the work and ideas of James Clark Maxwell, himself one of the great letters of the age of technology. When Einstein said he was standing on the shoulders of giants, he was referring to Newton and Maxwell. Maxwell added findings to Newton’s findings; Then he introduced electricity, the science of magnetism and light in the form of the theory of electromagnetic fields. The integration of these topics into a single theory led to the discovery of electricity and paved the way for the invention of television and radio.
Now, about 2,500 years after Socrates and about 200 years after Maxwell, we have reached the modern age. We went through electricity, photography, radio and television, and then we went to computers, the Internet, and smartphones, and today we have reached bitcoin.
My impression is that all the great philosophers and famous thinkers have been trying to figure out a secret that will benefit society. The emphasis on decentralization and its positive effects on society was one of the things I noticed in their many thoughts and ideas. We gave examples from the Socratic method, from the golden age of Islam and its emphasis on learning and enrichment, from print publications and from the United States; Now and in the age of communication, PCs, the Internet, and blockchain and bitcoin are all new examples.
The legacy of Satoshi Nakamoto
To make things easier from the beginning, we assume that Satoshi Nakamoto is a person, and since “Satoshi” is a Japanese name for men, we consider him a man. For me, Satoshi is the past of all great thinkers and philosophers. According to what Satoshi has created, he can be considered an omniscient scientist.
We know that in order to create such a thing, he must have comprehensive knowledge of mathematics and cryptography; His knowledge does not end here, and it must be remembered that he also had a hand in the field of economics, social sciences, philosophy, and the psychological dimensions of society. In my opinion, Satoshi was aware of the history of past societies and was aware of their achievements and decline.
He should be aware of the obstacles that past leaders created to maintain their status quo. Satoshi’s achievement, bitcoin, was a really big idea. You will not find many people who deny the beauty of the anti-inflationary nature and limited supply of 21 million bitcoins, or few who see the security features of bitcoin and the extraordinary idea of keeping assets with their owners (which was a challenge in the traditional economy) and open their mouths to criticism. .
Satoshi Nakamoto did not allow his true identity to be revealed; This feature is so beautiful that we should be thankful to Satoshi. I want to look for moments in time when ideas were implemented anonymously. In Newton’s time, it was customary for scientific ideas and articles to be published under pseudonyms. At the time, their goal was for people to focus on the essence of the idea, rather than on the author.
The use of the real name in the dissemination of the idea caused the critics to attack the author more than the idea itself. With pseudonyms, public discourses were formed around the strengths of the main idea. Satoshi must have been aware of this; He must have known that the changes that this idea is shaping in society are so great that the existence of his real name in public discourse acts as a brake.
I would like to dedicate the last part of my talk to the most significant dimension of Satoshi’s creation, the decentralized nature of the Bitcoin network. You have probably read and heard about it many times before opening this article. In this article, I have talked many times about its benefits for society.
Now that you read this article, it seems obvious; But in 2017, when everyone was talking about the larger size of blocks on the Bitcoin network, there was not much awareness about it. What I did not know was that for a great idea to grow, decentralization must be part of it.
Free thinking, knowledge and literacy, print publications, democracy, computers and the Internet, and bitcoin are all great ideas, but without decentralization, they will not grow as much as they should.
Blockchain is an extraordinary technology, and Bitcoin has conquered it. The question is, will there be news of bitcoin in another 100 years, 200 or even 1000 years? Nobody knows. But I do know that if a new idea is born that is better than Bitcoin, it will probably be a technology that does not currently exist, and it will certainly be part of decentralization.
Perhaps the greatest achievement with which Satoshi has served all of humanity is the realization that all the great and revolutionary ideas that bring about dramatic change in society must be decentralized and that decentralization must be an integral part of them.
Let’s not do anything for a moment and take a deep breath. I and many others believe in the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto and the decentralization of Bitcoin.