Satoshi Baggins

The Goold house, where young Satoshi first considered the problems of the orc door.

Little Satoshe Nakamoto Goold was born in medium sized hobbit house, to a normal hobbit family in Bagholder's End, towards the East side of the Shire. She had six siblings at the time of her birth, a number that fluctuated somewhat due to her mother's great beauty and fertility, as well as the habits of the folks who came through the orc door to occasionally take children, though we'll get to that later. Her family were well connected in the Shire and were known as academics and even what you might think of as politicians, though of course the affairs of the Hobbits of the Shire were nothing like the largest political stages of middle earth.

While she was growing up, little Satoshi was often able to hear the discussions of the elders who would visit the Goold house, often serious discussion about the long term future of the Shire and how to best organize the behavior of the hobbits. The well being of all Hobbits was important, as was the ability of the Shire - and its fragile ecosystem - to survive. The Nakamoto Goold household was very open minded and entertained guests who had different ideas about how to organize hobbit behavior. They used interesting words in their discussions like "communism", "socialism", "capitalism", and "democracy". Young Satoshi would bring cakes in small blocks to entertain the guests, and was a quick study in the topics of middle earth economics and its discontents. She was also very quick at learning how to use the new informatics tools which had been developed at the Sackville-Baggins Institute for Solid State Elftronics, which had produced great wealth and prosperity around all of Middle Earth.

One day a visitor extolled them with some of the problems seen from recent voyages to the West end of the Shire. Apparently people were very poor there, and despite all the amazing new techniques of agriculture and the ability to share and organize information with elftronic informatics tools, they were seemingly forced to overly stress the Shire's infrastructure. These Westerners had been chopping all the trees, taking all the fish, and farming with such intensity as to leave the soil as dust behind them - and yet still could not save resources to get them through the winter. Of course, if a hobbit needed to take the last fish to survive - then they should take that last fish. But it seemed like this should not be the case - for the sun was shining, the weather was good, and the tools were available to make great efficient work of the land and easily provide to all inhabitants. Why were the people so desperate? The discussions continued around the popular terms of the time. Perhaps capitalism was to blame, overpopulation, or another organizational principle which the Hobbits had been using.

The guest had bought a small gift, a selection of delicious honey candies, and during a lull in the conversation Satoshi's mother told her to take the rest of them to the store room. Every hobbit house has a store room, and every store room has an orc door, for beneath and betwixt the dwellings of the Shire, there were others who chose to, for a time at least, dwell in tunnels that avoid the watching eyes of the stars. These were folks who had been told the secrets of the hidden tunnels, and wore the rings of power. This was as it had always been, and seeing as the Shire had been gaining so well in prosperity, it was not something one would immediately question, in the present era.

Occasionally someone might emerge from the door, and help themselves to anything in the store. The store also linked into the house. Sadly this also meant an occasional member of the family would go missing, but this was infrequent enough that it had become as normal as the precession of the equinoxes: A part of life. The family members almost always came back at some point later in their life, or at least got in touch, as they were only needed to do this or that job for a company connected with the tunnel users. The folks who knew the secrets of the tunnels were powerful individuals and had been able to use the store access to accomplish many great things including, it was said, developing the Sackville-Baggins Institute. To be selected by someone coming through the orc door could even be considered something of an honor. Perhaps even, if one came willingly and put in the time, one could eventually receive a ring of power, a fabled ring which gave the wearer access to certain tunnels of the Shire.

By some random coincidence, on this day when little Satoshi was bringing the honey candies to the storeroom, a man had just emerged from the orc door as she walked in. Surprised, she put the candies down immediately on the shelf. He was not invisible at all. The man was smallish and appeared somewhat unhappy but otherwise could have been mistaken for an elderly and out of shape hobbit. He gave Satoshi a mischievous grin, and considered her for a moment. However, he seemed to find her somehow not to his liking. He immediately picked up the candies, sniffed at them, put them under his arm, and without a word went out the orc door. Satoshi was momentarily sad that she would not again get to taste those treats, but of course she knew her place and this was as it should be. Such an encounter could have been far worse. However, as she walked back to the drawing room, something dawned on her.

Could it be, she thought, that these discussions of how to organize Hobbit's agricultural endeavors were doomed to failure, because these small perturbations on the economy were not even visible? Could it be that whatever was done through the Shire Committee and the donations of the Bagholders Group, though helpful in the short term, would never solve the problems of the Hobbits of the West? Perhaps - just perhaps - the problem and effects of the orc door and the tunnel system were so great that they dwarfed any economic signal which might be observed by the watchful eyes of the academics of East Shire Institute?

As she considered this idea, it seemed to come down on her like a shit-ton of big blocks. Suddenly she asked herself why so many hobbits were working in the factories that polluted the rivers and denatured the soil. It was because they had been taken from orc doors. Why were families still starving despite record harvests? The orc doors. Why were prime agricultural lands being turned to golf courses and luxury goods factories, or turned towards other seemingly nonsustainable activity, and then quickly abandoned? The orc doors. Perhaps it wasn't capitalism, or government mismanagement, that they should blame for the problems of inequality and environmental destruction in the Shire. Maybe, just maybe, it was the orc doors. What institutions were not influenced by the orc doors? Suddenly she saw the influence everywhere.

However, when Satoshi arrived back in the drawing room, she said nothing at first to her family or the visitor from the West. The subject of the store room was a sensitive one in hobbit culture, as this was in part a determination of social standing. The valuables. The orc door, being part of the store, was not something to immediately bring up in polite conversation. The western visitor continued his theory of how it was a free market system of capitalism and greed that was causing the problems amongst the hobbits. Her older brother was arguing that it was central governance from the Shire Committee which had misallocated resources. The logic and reason from both of them were impeccable, and Satoshi admired both for their narrative, but she still wanted to make her point. She gathered her strength and waited for an opportunity.

"Would it make a difference to these economic viewpoints" she said carefully, eyeing her brother in particular, "if we could close and lock the orc doors in our store houses?"

The silence was deafening.

Finally, her mother spoke. "Darling. What a sweet idea". This response allowed a smile to creep on all the faces again, after what appeared to be a difficult question from a child.

"Yes Satoshi", said their guest. "The orc doors are indeed not negligible, indeed they are responsible for some 10% annual reduction to an individual families bottom line, according to certain market indicators. But it's not a big number, and some of that comes back to us by trickling down from the investments made by the tunnel group. Further, this cost is present under all the economic systems we have been discussing, so while it makes a difference, it's not going to change my argument with your brother".

"Sir", responded Satoshi, "How do we know it's just 10% per year?" She didn't mention that she'd just seen 100% of the honey candies taken in an instant.

"It's the prices of our goods" said the guest. "If the goods were fewer, they would become more valuable due to basic supply and demand economics, which you might even go on to study in the institute. The price on the market would go up. We see the price go up, but only by 10% or so. This must be because the tunnel group only takes 10% annually". The man paused as if unsure of himself, then continued: "Also they report on estimates of their collections to members of the Shire Committee."

"I see" said Satoshi, though she couldn't help now but wonder what other connections might exist with the Committee. She thought that other things like efficiencies of production and infrastructure could affect prices too, or even that prices could be manipulated by the tunnel group, but she held her tongue.

"The Shire orc doors make our nation strong" said her brother, echoing a slogan of a local publishing company. Just at that moment Satoshi wondered if the publishing company also had some connection with the tunnel group. However, she realized that being but a child, and already in unsafe waters, she should retreat for a time.

"Darling, you know I miss Snowfoot too" said her mother, and hugged her. Snowfoot had been taken just two months ago and was likely working in the new factories of the South. She had accepted a generous portion of tunnel tokens in exchange for her labor and now was stationed there indefinitely. Satoshi returned the hug, and thought of Snowfoot. They used to play with Satoshi's Dice together out in the garden by the roots of the Merkle Tree, while their father smoked Hash in the anteroom.

"I see, thank you" said Satoshi, in a tone of voice that suggested she maybe only understood a little. "Well, I'm off to bed, goodnight all".

But little Satoshi did not go right to sleep. She had something on her mind which could perhaps change the political and economic landscape of the Shire. She would design a lock. A lock of chain links which could keep the orc doors closed. A lock based on everything she had learned in the Shire.. Without the losses to the tunnel group due to the orc dooors, they could learn about economics - really learn - and they could save resources and push more in education and conservation. She dared dream, that the Hobbits would be able to achieve what the Elves had achieved, and even have a chance of keeping the Shire and all of Middle Earth safe for a long long time.

The hobbits would need to use her chain blocks. She knew that if the orc doors continued to operate, there was little hope for the future of the Shire. She had in mind a design which could keep the door locked - even from the bearer of the highest rings of power. She stayed up all night feverishly, and in the morning published the design of her lock for the orc doors, in a local hobbit forum. The "block chain" she called it.

She knew she would not get her honey candies back, nor would she play dice again with Snowfoot. Nor did she expect that many people would use her lock right away, the custom of the orc door being so ingrained in the hobbit culture. However in the future, if a time came that hobbits cared enough about the Shire to do something - if they cared enough about their families and their valuables - if someone like you cared a whole awful lot, they would have a tool with which to escape the system of the orc door, and a chance to be responsible for their own destiny.



If we are willing to part for anything valuable in exchange for a fiat currency, are we not in essence allowing those who issue the currency to take whatever they like from us? If your children leave, tempted by a salary of fiat currency, are they not now slaves to those who can issue the currency? While the imagery of the orc door is surely more immediately visible as a problem compared with the private issuance of fiat currency, please ask yourself dear reader if these customs are not so different from one another.

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