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Behold: Blockchain City, Nevada, proposed for a wasteland outside Reno. Styling itself as a new “cryptocurrency-powered smart city,” the project un-smartly (i.e. stupidly)  incorporates every techno-narcissistic trope possible: megastructures, “green” everything in the desert, a continuation of car-dependency, solar-powered everything, etc. Did you know that cryptocurrency “mining” — churning algorithms in computer server farms — is one of the biggest electric power hogs in the US economy? (And do you think that churning algorithms actually produces anything that resembles wealth? No it’s an hallucinatory speculative activity that is a big net energy loser.)

The CEO of  Blockchain LLC, the holding company behind this scheme, one Jeffrey Berns, said, “I want to create a place where blockchain is the foundation for creativity, honesty and transparency, and then build a smart city to serve the people who live there.” he added: “That’s ultimately the goal — to democratize democracy.” I’m sure that’s what the wizards behind Twitter, Facebook, and Google also told themselves in the beginning, before they somehow transformed into the greatest censorship, snitchery, and propaganda agents in world history. Anyway, don’t worry too much about this thing. It ain’t gonna get built. As we await the Joe Biden financial crisis, America stays busy blowing green smoke up its ass.

Thanks to John Hallett for the nomination.


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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

21 Responses to “April 2021” Subscribe

  1. par4 April 1, 2021 at 5:21 pm #

    Blockhead more like it

  2. Hugh Spencer April 2, 2021 at 5:19 am #

    Who exactly is Jeffry Berns – one of the 680 billionaires that the USA has spawned? Oh well, his planning advisors have done well out of this..
    So where, exactly is the water coming from? You are right – an ultra rich masturbator’s dream. A dream.

    • SG-71 May 24, 2021 at 1:10 am #

      the water comes from the tears of Uighurs and the likes of Greta Thunberg…

  3. Perimetr April 2, 2021 at 9:05 am #

    When the great EMP from the sky arrives, all the microchips will fry and die. And with them will go all the crucial national infrastructure, and the less critical such as the Blockchain cities and associated technologies.

    Then a few skills like growing a garden and raising chickens will become rather more important than cryptocurrency mining.

    • MisterBimmler April 24, 2021 at 10:19 am #

      I pray for Thor to zap the electronics every blessed day.

  4. friartuck April 2, 2021 at 9:11 am #

    “As we await the Joe Biden financial crisis, America stays busy blowing green smoke up its ass.”

    “Green color smoke” you say ?

    More like a deep shade of BROWN….

    as in terminal bullshit.

  5. MaryV April 2, 2021 at 10:05 am #

    Whatever city planner and/or architect came up with that, they ought never to be hired again. What a blight. Hilarious, ‘democratize democracy” – hahahaha!

  6. zoyafatima April 2, 2021 at 10:42 am #

    I think this is a Rumor It can’t happen. As a professional content writer, this article is only good for posting and gaining viewers but it is not informative.

  7. tucsonspur April 2, 2021 at 6:27 pm #

    It looks like bit mining has sapped all the energy out of this edifice, collapsing it into a heap of hellish habitation, a wreck of a modern mining town. To our dismay, ‘smart cities’ will eventually outsmart us, leaving us longing for simple stone houses or wooden cabins in the mountains or meadows.

    It’s good news that Blockchain City won’t be built, hopefully not ever. It looks like the blocks have fallen and the chain has broken. Why mince words or beat around the bush, this thing just sucks, except maybe for the arid attempt at something akin to Anasazi pueblos in the foreground, grass on the roofs and all. The rest is just a mish-mash of mangled, modern mania.

    “Last night I went to sleep in Blockchain City.
    I dreamed about those bit coin fields of home.
    Home folks think I’m big in Blockchain City.
    By day I work the mine, and by night I make the coins,
    If only they could learn to work the mines.
    I want to go home, I want to go home, oh how I want to go home”.

    Look, I know a little about these things. We know that the dollar is backed by nothing except its reputation. Each bitcoin is backed by trillions of watts. I’m no fool, so where do you think I’m putting my money? Plus people don’t have to go into those dark, dirty mines to get it. It’s right there on the computer. To top it all, I also bought a map to an actual physical bitcoin mine from an old prospector up in Reno in case the electricity goes out. Belt and suspenders, that’s what I say.

  8. AKlein April 5, 2021 at 11:48 am #

    I am particularly curious regarding the goal of this, which, among other virtuous objectives, is “to democratize democracy”. Anybody got the slightest idea what that means?

  9. Chris at Fernglade Farm April 7, 2021 at 5:50 am #

    Hi Jim,

    Maybe it is just me, but the unusual building angles depicted in the drawing make me feel a bit woozy. It’s almost as if a small city was constructed along expected building principles, and then one day the ground oozed up from underneath and threw off the shackles off convention, and left all the odd looking angles.

    Why hasn’t the place got a decent medieval looking wall surrounding it?

    As a practical note, I’d be curious to learn where the water was coming from to keep the grounds that green in what is ostensibly a desert environment?

    Cheers

    Chris

  10. bymitch April 7, 2021 at 5:24 pm #

    I think that democratising democracy is simply a term to suggest that something is so good that you do it twice.
    Like deep frying something that has already been deep fried (double yum).
    There is clear references to New York (so good they named it twice), in the ensemble, with clusters of brownstone intermingled with parks, on the periphery.
    If you check out the website about the scheme there is a picture of inmates enjoying the heat on an elevated walkway resembling the High Line.
    Someone needs to tell the architect that the magic in the architecture of the computer motherboard has nothing to do what it looks like, even if it forms some funky shapes if you hit it with a blowtorch, or leave it up in the back window of the car when you make a site visit to the Nevada Desert.
    Perhaps they don’t want us to hop on to the obviously obvious, with such a literal reading stuff and the stuff in the middle is trying to equate the motherboard with a mother lode?
    A very long bow IMHO.
    At least this uninhabitable environment is something that your average family could reach with a packed SUV and a U-Haul, which is not the case, if you plan to hop on the property ladder, in Elon Musk’s utopia.

  11. polisella April 8, 2021 at 8:04 am #

    There is a stereo where you will lose money not because you are doing bad, but because the dealer would. if you sell cryptocurrencies with a broker. You guys are wrong, I’ve been trading for about three years with this broker and I can tell the guys are awesome. They have done really well, gained trust and are rising now. They are really famous with 11 interchanges, their coinigy charts are modified in real time and I think you can read several other things about them.

  12. SW April 12, 2021 at 10:01 am #

    Perhaps it could be called Cellblock Chain.

  13. diamondlou April 12, 2021 at 2:49 pm #

    Quite possibly, your best Eyesore ever! Thanks James.

  14. Peter VE April 16, 2021 at 12:14 pm #

    Looks like the architects copied from Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti project, the “City of the Future” from the late 60s in central Arizona.
    In the mid 70s, I helped build a model of proposed construction at Arcosanti which looks a lot like the rendering.
    The angle of the building was to allow the low winter sunlight in, while shading part of the building in the higher summer sun. It works at small scale, like at the Cliff Dwellings at Mesa Verde, but I’m not sure how valid it would be at larger scale.

  15. brittbanford April 19, 2021 at 7:24 am #

    Why you do not show your business model. It’s literally not happening I think it only a dream you do have any business intelligence solution or plan there are lots of things you may face.

  16. Night Owl April 26, 2021 at 5:15 pm #

    A “green” city in the desert powered by the blockchain.

    Perhaps we deserve to go out this way.

  17. JCalvertNUK April 26, 2021 at 9:02 pm #

    Whatever happened to it?
    Blame it on global warming and the low water levels in Lake Mead.

  18. Slaren April 28, 2021 at 9:09 am #

    Of course it’s convenient, but I need other improvements for trading. For example, now the market has started to behave unpredictably, so I can say for myself that it’s better to turn to professionals right away. For example I found here https://safetrading.today/traders/free/ a great list of telegram channels with cryptocurrencies. There are a lot of them here. I recommend checking out this list. Good luck!

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