The Best Books on Cryptocurrency

The Sovereign Individual ~ by James Dale Davidson and William Rees Morg

The Sovereign Individual is one of those books that forever changes how you see the world. It was published in 1997 but the degree to which it anticipates the impact of blockchain technology will give you chills. We’re entering the fourth stage of human society, shifting from the industrial to an information age. You need to read this book to understand the scope and scale of how things are going to change.

As it becomes easier to live comfortably and earn an income anywhere, we already know that those who truly thrive in the new information age will be workers who are not tethered to a single job or career and are location independent. The pull to choose where to live based on price savings is already more appealing, but this goes beyond digital nomadism and freelance gigs; the foundations of democracy, government and money are shifting.

The authors predicted Black Tuesday and the collapse of the Soviet Union, and here they foresee that the rising power of individuals will coincide with decentralized technology nibbling away at the power of governments. The death toll for the nation states, they predicted with extraordinary prescience, will be private, digital cash. When that happens, the dynamic of governments as stationary bandits robbing hard-working citizens with taxation will change. If you’ve become someone who can solve problems for people anywhere in the world, then you’re about to enter the new cognitive elite. Don’t miss this one.

Choice Quotation: “When technology is mobile, and transactions occur in cyberspace, as they increasingly will do, governments will no longer be able to charge more for their services than they are worth to the people who pay for them.”

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind ~ by Yuval Noah Harari

Whenever I want to impress on someone how good this book is, I ask: “Do you want to know the fundamental difference between humans and monkeys? A monkey can jump up and down on a rock and wave a stick around and screech to his friends that he’s seen a threat coming their way. ‘Danger! Danger! Lion!’ A monkey can also lie. It can jump up and down on the rock and wave a stick around and screech about a lion when there is, in fact, no lion. He’s just fooling around. But what a monkey cannot do is jump up and down and wave a stick around and screech, ‘Danger! Danger! Dragon!’”

Why is this? Because dragons aren’t real. As Harari explains, it is human imagination, our ability to believe in and talk about things we have never seen or touched that has elevated the species to cooperate in large numbers with strangers. There are no gods in the universe, no nations, no money, no human rights, no laws, no religions and no justice outside the common imagination of human beings. It is us that makes them so.

All of which is a rather magnificent preamble to where we are today. After the Cognitive Revolution and the Agricultural Revolution, Harari guides you into The Scientific Revolution, which got underway only 500 years ago and which may start something completely different for humankind. Money, however, will remain. Read this book to understand that money is the greatest story ever told and that trust is the raw material from which all types of money are minted.

Choice Quotation: “Sapiens, in contrast, live in triple-layered reality. In addition to trees, rivers, fears and desires, the Sapiens world also contains stories about money, gods, nations and corporations.”

The Internet of Money ~ by Andreas M. Antonopoulos

If the two books mentioned above help us to understand the historical context in which Bitcoin first appeared, then this book expands on the ‘why’ with infectious enthusiasm. Andreas Antonopolous is perhaps the most respected voice in the crypto space. He’s been traveling the world as a Bitcoin evangelist since 2010 and this book is a summary of talks he gave on the circuit between 2013 and 2016, all tightened up for publication.

His first book, Mastering Bitcoin, is a technical deep-dive into the technology, aimed more specifically at developers, engineers, and software and systems architects. But this book uses some choice metaphors to explain why you can’t ban Bitcoin or turn it off, how the scaling debate doesn’t really matter and why Bitcoin needs the help of designers to lock in mass adoption.

“When you first ride your brand new automobile in a city,” he writes, “you are riding on roads used by horses with infrastructures designed and used for horses. There are no light signals. There are no road rules. There are no paved roads. And what happened? The cars got stuck because they didn’t have balance and four feet.” But fast forward one hundred years and the cars that were once ridiculed are absolutely the norm. If you want to swim around in the philosophical, social and historical implications of Bitcoin, this is your starting point.

Africa and Global Warming

Certain activities of man produce gases known as Green House gases. These activities are those that involve the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, wood, and petroleum products at oilrigs, vehicle combustion engines and factories. Part of the heat energy that comes to us from the sun is usually reflected back. Green House gases in the atmosphere trap the reflected heat resulting in increased global temperatures. This is what environmentalists refer to as global warming.The Role Of Green Plants Carbon dioxide is a major component of Green House gases. Green plants use carbon dioxide to manufacture their food during the process of photosynthesis. In return they produce a benevolent gas, oxygen. Clearing forests for wood or to construct highways thus reduces the world’s natural ability to minimize global warming by regulating the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.Significance of Awareness CampaignsFormer American Vice President, Al Gore eventually won a Nobel Price for Peace, following his efforts to bring about progress in the fight against global warming. One of his numerous activities is the organization of concerts with the aim of raising awareness about global warming and its consequences to our planet. In the efforts of environmentalists to combat global warming, raising the awareness of people around the world on the issue is indeed the wise step since the fight against global warming is something that must be fought by the world as a community if it has to succeed. In a situation were people don’t know about the problem it would be impossible for them to know what role to play.The Role of Africa in Atmospheric PollutionIndustrialized nations have been blamed for their role in the generation of Green House gases that are responsible for global warming. Developing nations like those in Africa also have a share of the blame. Oil producing nations like Nigeria and Angola are among countries in Africa that contribute to atmospheric pollution at oilrigs through gas flaring. Uncontrolled lumbering is another cause of a setback to efforts against global warming and is common in Africa. In Africa were a lot of people live a rural life, the main source of cooking fuel is firewood obtained by cutting down forest resources.There is also the problem of corruption that frustrates forestations programmes. Since the environmental laws in African countries are generally weak, organizations whose activities result in environmental damages usually do little to minimize such damages. Corruption among public officials is another factor that complicates the issue.Level of Awareness Working to reverse the problem of global warming should be everybody’s business. The level of awareness about global warming and its disastrous outcome in Africa is unfortunately low. Programmes aimed at raising awareness about global warming are rare. Generally, awareness campaigns are carried out in English language. They take the form of workshops were the press are invited and educated. They are then expected to relay the information to the rest of the nation. Most people see the issue of global warming as an issue for the educated but issue of global warming is a complex issue that even some among the educated do not seem to grasp. Further more everything here usually ends up at the theoretical stage.Africa’s Contribution Against Global WarmingBeside Wangari Mathai who won the Nobel Prize for Peace as a result of her contribution to the struggle against global warming, the concern has not gone beyond the level of intellectual exercise by lecturers of Universities and other tertiary institutions. Most people here also think that it is the responsibility of western nations to find a solution to global warming.The Way ForwardThere is the need for African nations to make tangible contributions to global warming. The first and most important aspect of our contribution is an aggressive awareness campaign about global warming. A campaign is not just about throwing money at the programme but ensuring that the money percolates down to its target. Also important is a pragmatic reforestation programme to replace the trees cut down for timber or used as firewood. The use of alternative material for roofing and furniture making can also reduce the pressure on forest resources. We can also work to ensure that automobiles plying our roads release the minimum amount of gases that are deleterious to the atmosphere. Constant and reliable eclectic power can minimize the amount of firewood and coal used as energy source in our homes and factories.

NP Business and Trade Tip: Ideas to Diversify Your Practice Income

Many practices are being squeezed in the middle these days. Reimbursement is being reduced (or rules are being made to reduce it) and overhead is rising. It is simple economics when it comes to having a profitable practice…more money has to come in than go out.There are many ways a practice can increase their income — seeing more patients and reducing overhead are just two of the ways you can achieve this. Another is income diversification — increasing the products and services you offer to your patients and clients.When exploring your options you will want to me familiar with the Stark Laws (basically, you cannot refer only to your services), and you need to make sure the product/service is congruent with your practice model. For example offering Botox makes no sense if your practice is pediatrics or mental health. With that said, here are just a few ideas to help you brainstorm what you can add on to your practice to generate more in revenue.If you are not getting enough visits, consider changing your services to offer walk-in/ a-la-cart type services in an after-hours format. Your own patients will then come to your office rather than the urgent care down the road and you’ll attract more clients who may become your primary patients.Pharmaceutical Dispensing. This will depend on your own state laws, so be sure to check your practice act first. You can order and dispense medications and supplies at a profit to your clinic. consider other oral and injectable medications. You’ll need adequate storage and be familiar with dispensing guidelines.
Business Services. Offer services to local businesses. Perhaps they need pre-employment physicals, drug screens, wellness program or available for quick appointments for on the job injuries. You’ll be able to set up contracts with many of these companies and become their go-to office for services.
Leasing/Subleasing. If you own a building or lease a large office, consider leasing/subleasing out space to compatible services. Think mental health, nutrition or massage therapy.
Specialty Procedures. Consider various procedures such as filling lap bands, cosmetic procedures and tattoo removals. All of have the benefit of being generating cash revenue, eliminating additional cost of billing insurance.
Laboratory Services. If you are sending all of your patients to an outside laboratory for needed lab work, consider bringing it in house. You can negotiate a contract with your lab service, draw the labs in house and bill the patient for the services. You’ll often be able to increase your own revenue while offering patients a significant savings.
Weight loss Programs. There are a variety of weight loss programs you can take advantage of, that offer tremendous benefit to your patients while increasing your bottom line.These are just a few of the ways you can think outside the box and offer valuable services to your patients while you increase your revenues. When evaluating any of these services, be sure to weigh your patients needs and of course, add value to their lives and experiences.Your Actions Steps: Assessment: Sit down and look at your practice income. Where does your income come from? Which payers are paying what percentage of your gross income? Additionally, if you have not already looked at your overhead do so now. How efficient is your office running? Where is the waste (which is in almost every office)?
Brainstorm with your partners and staff different ways you can add services and/or products that make sense. Put all ideas on the table even if they feel like they don’t fit.
List the pros and cons of each idea to get a sense of what really might work. You’ll want everyone involved in this process. If you don’t feel like you have enough ideas, start asking your clients what they would like to see in your practice. Consider adding a suggestion box — you’ll be amazed at the feedback you get — especially when it’s anonymous.
Read your state practice act to be clear on any rules/regulations that may interfere with your plan.
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