Gold has been considered valuable for thousands of years, and obviously it's always been mined purely because it was considered valuable. Bitcoins on the other hand started out as a political movement, and still largely is.
That's an interesting take on the origins of bitcoin - I haven't dug into the shadowy past of this thing to validate the truth of that statement. But the best part is that no matter what your political leanings (or lack of them, should you just so happen to be an apathetic person) bitcoin still works for you.
That's great, isn't it? It's a very useful invention. And sometimes I feel that the forum paradigms around here might lend a bit more weight to the perceived political "purpose" of bitcoin than is strictly correct - it just so happens that many of the regulars around here are believers of a common stripe, it doesn't necessarily mean that the forums represent the average bitcoin user now or in the future.
If I were ready for a political debate (and I'm not, I'd surely be exposed in all my glorious ignorance) I'd raise the question: what kind of terrible political agenda would necessitate the creation of a tool that is equally valuable to all competing political agendas
. Bitcoin is just as useful to terrorists, the Secret Service, Chinese activists or Santa Clause as it is to someone who, let's say, has concerns about American monetary policy?
Anyways, sorry, we were talking about gold. I love going off-topic.