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Author Topic: Here come the accusations of "You were just lucky!" [crosspost to Reddit]  (Read 3926 times)
Rassah
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April 01, 2013, 08:50:25 PM
 #1

It's a pretty often-heard claim, "Those rich people didn't have to bust their asses to earn all that money, they were just lucky!" Well, now that BTC is over $100USD, a lot of us are considerably wealthier than we were before. We reached this point by busting our butts to earn money (or pay down borrowed money or electric bills in some cases), and then investing that hard-earned money into something very risky, that a lot of people were practically shouting to stay away from, saying it was way too risky, it was a ponzi, it was stupid internet funbux, it's not backed by anything, it will only crash, you can't buy anything with it, it's only used by criminals, the government will just shut it down, and so on. (I'm looking at you, SomethingAwful, Slash Dot, Ars Technica...)

Now that these risks have given us huge returns, I have already seen at least one, "Oh, you just got lucky," in reply to someone saying, "But.. But.. I made all this money!" This is where it starts, and I have already seen where it typically progresses:

* You didn't work for that money, you were just lucky!
* You just got lucky, so you don't deserve that money!
* It's unfair that you have that money and I don't, since you just got lucky (and I didn't bother taking the risk and called you stupid for it). That money should be spread fairly!
* Finally, the money is either taken, or we are resented for having it

So, first they hate us for being stupid idiots for taking a risk in something they specifically refused to understand, then they hate us because we "just got lucky." Well, for me, personally, luck had zero to do with it. I had prior experience with virtual currencies (incidentally, in another place that many of these same people claimed was stupid), I took the time to understand the technology behind Bitcoin, and I know its potential, I know the steps it has to go through to reach them, and I know it isn't done yet. I wasn't lucky, I used my head and put my money into something I understood very well. Now those people who thought they were so much smarter than the rest of us, who were trying to convince everyone how this funny money is stupid and anyone investing anything into it is an idiot, are left with exactly what they deserve (never mind that their follow-up reasons for why they thought Bitcoin was stupid were some of the most moronic economic misconceptions I've ever read).

Honestly, it has been a bit eye-opening to be on the other side of this thing (the making money by "just being lucky" as opposed to resenting those with lots of money who seemed to have done little to get it). I used to be with them, briefly. I'm not sure if they can ever understand or get there too. Should stupidity be rewarded or compensated somehow because "it's not their fault?" Should we be wary of the "you just got lucky" steps I listed above? Should we just gloat at the idiots who used to make fun of us while being oh so sure of themselves? Or should we just continue to be ourselves, continuing to make wealth by applying our heads, being generous with our families and friends, enjoying our accomplishments, and giving as little attention to the screaming idiots as possible?

(Though they are entertaining at times)

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April 01, 2013, 09:07:30 PM
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I do consider myself lucky. Lucky that I heard about bitcoin in August 2011 AFTER the Gox debacle, even though I was NOT lucky enough to have heard about it in early 2011. I consider myself lucky to have the knowledge necessary to understand bitcoin and why it is important, and I consider myself lucky to have had a bit of extra money to invest in bitcoin from August 2011 until now. It is also not fair that I live in a country where I have the opportunities that I am privileged to have, while others live in poverty and squalor, but it is completely fair that I have made some nice financial gains taking a chance on something that others criticized and derided. Just enjoy your new wealth and leave those poor sods alone.
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April 01, 2013, 09:09:19 PM
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Haters gonna hate!

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April 01, 2013, 09:11:17 PM
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Well, it was lucky in similar way as being born to a 1st world country etc. Owning a computer is pretty lucky if you consider things globally.

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April 01, 2013, 09:12:13 PM
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Great post, OP.

One of my favorite quotes is, "Luck is the residue of design." - Branch Rickey
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April 01, 2013, 09:13:29 PM
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There is some truth to this opinion even if the way it is being conveyed is dangerously misguided. If you end up a "winner" you should feel obligated to use that to make the world a better place. If you are born into a wealthy family you should feel the same. Choosing not to do this should be frowned upon but does not deserve any kind of violent response.
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April 01, 2013, 09:17:44 PM
 #7

"I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it."
- Thomas Jefferson

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April 01, 2013, 09:21:11 PM
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There is some truth to this opinion even if the way it is being conveyed is dangerously misguided. If you end up a "winner" you should feel obligated to use that to make the world a better place. If you are born into a wealthy family you should feel the same. Choosing not to do this should be frowned upon but does not deserve any kind of violent response.

+1

Although I don't like the phrase "give something back to the community" because that implies that you took something from them, when in fact the majority of wealth is earned in the first place by helping others in some way. After earning wealth (in an honest and ethical manner), the decision to help others with that wealth should be considered doubly-charitable, for you have already helped the world once.
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April 01, 2013, 09:22:45 PM
 #9

Some "work" just worth more to others even though it costs way less "effort".

The ones who indulges a system that reward banksters and embrace tyranny with ignorance of the future consequences (More present than future IMO), don't get to call early adopters of Bitcoin "Lucky".

We and each one of us EARNED IT. We bet on the winning horse for the right reasons.

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April 01, 2013, 09:30:12 PM
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Pretty funny:
http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3tlyz9/

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April 01, 2013, 09:44:01 PM
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There is some truth to this opinion even if the way it is being conveyed is dangerously misguided. If you end up a "winner" you should feel obligated to use that to make the world a better place. If you are born into a wealthy family you should feel the same. Choosing not to do this should be frowned upon but does not deserve any kind of violent response.

+1

Although I don't like the phrase "give something back to the community" because that implies that you took something from them, when in fact the majority of wealth is earned in the first place by helping others in some way. After earning wealth (in an honest and ethical manner), the decision to help others with that wealth should be considered doubly-charitable, for you have already helped the world once.

I didn't use that phrase but I agree. I would argue 'The community' does not actually exist other than as a shared (temporary, fluid) delusion, on the other hand everyone can agree that individuals exist. Give back to individuals who helped you get where you are, help out other like-minded individuals who you think will work towards your vision of a "better world", and attempt to bring out the potential of being such a person in others who are in need of bootstrapping. Seems like a decent philosophy to me anyway.
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April 01, 2013, 09:52:19 PM
 #12

I had $1k to spend and I went on Google and typed in 'money' and clicked on Google's "Are you feeling lucky" button.

That took me to MtGox which I had no clue about but I went ahead and put my money into this "Bitcoin" thing out of random chance.

Then to my luck, this random thing called Bitcoin gained 10X in value.

Boy was I lucky.


Or there is the other scenario...I subjected myself to risk which could have ended up with me losing all of my money but having studied the underlying technology and having a good knowledge of how money works and the current political climate I understood that there was value to be found in Bitcoin so I invested my time and money into Bitcoin. It just so happened that others did the same and that such value was not stifled. I am still under the same understanding of the risk and continue to watch the climate for signs that such value is to be stifled where I can then re-invest elsewhere.

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April 01, 2013, 09:57:22 PM
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Now that these risks have given us huge returns, I have already seen at least one, "Oh, you just got lucky," in reply to someone saying, "But.. But.. I made all this money!" This is where it starts, and I have already seen where it typically progresses:

* You didn't work for that money, you were just lucky!
* You just got lucky, so you don't deserve that money!
* It's unfair that you have that money and I don't, since you just got lucky (and I didn't bother taking the risk and called you stupid for it). That money should be spread fairly!
* Finally, the money is either taken, or we are resented for having it


To be honest, I see a lot more of this type of "early adopter envy" within Bitcoin communities than I do outside of them.  It also extends to mining.  There's a subset of people who regard it as "just not fair" that acquiring substantial amounts of BTC is no longer as easy as it was even a couple of years ago.  They perceive the risks they would need to take in order to "get into Bitcoin" now as higher than the risks taken by early adopters.

Many people convince themselves that "given the chance" they would not only have been early adopters (whether of BTC, Google stock or some other new kid on the investment block) but they would have held onto their investments through the ups and down as well, when that's likely not the reality.  It's not an exclusively Bitcoin thing.

"Unearned" income is becoming an important contributor to financial security for many people who will never "get ahead" with the money they earn from their jobs.  People look to dabbling in real estate, playing the stock market, precious metals, and other types of investments to propel them across socio-economic barriers and give them a shot at the middle class and beyond.  Investments are never risk free, even if they may appear so in hindsight.  You can't "get lucky" unless you have skin in the game.

I see a certain desperation in some people in respect of Bitcoin.  They view it as their only path to financial well-being.  Counting on any one type of investment to secure your financial future can be very dangerous, but I don't see the problem as being Bitcoin itself but rather a particular attitude - if Bitcoin didn't exist these people would be regarding some other investment in the same manner.  Some people seem to have a talent for losing money on everything they touch and they're often the people who can least afford to lose it.  Those people will likely lose money on Bitcoin (I'm convinced they'd manage to lose money on Berkshire Hathaway stock).

Honestly, I think you need to stop worrying about whether people believe you "deserve" whatever you've made out of Bitcoin and just enjoy the benefits it's brought you.  Money doesn't care where it came from.


All I can say is that this is Bitcoin. I don't believe it until I see six confirmations.
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April 01, 2013, 10:07:33 PM
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If there is something to be worried about it would be the fact that Bitcoin as a technology lacks ALOT. It does not matter how much hype it gets. It must be further developed and tools must be made. For any individual or group reading this and able to do something about. It is on all of us to make Bitcoin succeed!

For example, Decentralized  exchanges and safer, more "idiot friendly" wallets. How about we start figuring out "Trading across chains". I still think it would be an amazing advance!

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April 01, 2013, 10:21:53 PM
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If there is something to be worried about it would be the fact that Bitcoin as a technology lacks ALOT. It does not matter how much hype it gets. It must be further developed and tools must be made. For any individual or group reading this and able to do something about. It is on all of us to make Bitcoin succeed!

I agree, I used to talk about this a lot early on because it was not yet viable for a business to use BTC. BitPay has helped a lot in that regard but we are still not quite up to the billion dollar company that we should be.

Think of it like a dotcom startup that just went live and are making a shitload of money and have a lot of customers but they were not quite ready for such volume. We need to scramble to get things in place to join the big boys. It would be at this point that Satoshi would have sold to Microsoft or Facebook for a huge profit. But we do not have that option.

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April 01, 2013, 10:23:55 PM
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There is some truth to this opinion even if the way it is being conveyed is dangerously misguided. If you end up a "winner" you should feel obligated to use that to make the world a better place. If you are born into a wealthy family you should feel the same. Choosing not to do this should be frowned upon but does not deserve any kind of violent response.

+1

Although I don't like the phrase "give something back to the community" because that implies that you took something from them, when in fact the majority of wealth is earned in the first place by helping others in some way. After earning wealth (in an honest and ethical manner), the decision to help others with that wealth should be considered doubly-charitable, for you have already helped the world once.
This is ridiculous self-serving shit.

Me? I'm just the cynical voice floating in the sea of unchecked optimism.
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April 01, 2013, 10:32:36 PM
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I've invested in so much stupid shit in my life, and the one time it works out for myself - nothing but hate and spite.

good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment
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April 01, 2013, 10:36:18 PM
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I was late to the game. Yeah I am jealous of those who got 10,000 bitcoins for a Pizza, and even those who got 10,000 coins for the price of a sports car.

But then I think it is more useful to focus on learning business and how to make one million dollars again and again, rather than relying on getting in on a 12 month window on a once in a century game-changing technology.

So I say well done to those who got the coins when they were cheap. They found the original big nuggets of gold. But there are other ways to build wealth.

Currency != wealth. People doing and creating useful stuff == wealth.

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April 01, 2013, 10:49:21 PM
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I do consider myself lucky. Lucky that I heard about bitcoin in August 2011 AFTER the Gox debacle, even though I was NOT lucky enough to have heard about it in early 2011. I consider myself lucky to have the knowledge necessary to understand bitcoin and why it is important, and I consider myself lucky to have had a bit of extra money to invest in bitcoin from August 2011 until now. It is also not fair that I live in a country where I have the opportunities that I am privileged to have, while others live in poverty and squalor, but it is completely fair that I have made some nice financial gains taking a chance on something that others criticized and derided. Just enjoy your new wealth and leave those poor sods alone.

Man does this sound like my situation and mindset.  I actually downloaded the source code probably near the end of 2010, but didn't build it since I got tied up buying some property...else life would probably have taken a different path for me.  But I did spot the potential opportunity on the way down to late 2011.  It was damned 'lucky' for me that this happened.  Or at least it currently seems to be the case.

I to owe a debt of gratitude to the evil dirt-bags who tried to squelch Wikileaks for making me aware of and/or particularly interested in Bitcoin.


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April 01, 2013, 10:56:34 PM
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The same people who throw those accusations around are now heavily investing in Litecoin.

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