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PUBLISHER
Badlands Unlimited

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 6.5 x 9.75 in. / 176 pgs / 18 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2022 p. 74   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781943263264 TRADE
List Price: $39.95 CDN $53.95

AVAILABILITY
In stock

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Above All Waves: Wisdom from Tominaga Nakamoto, the Philosopher Rumored to Have Inspired Bitcoin

Edited with introduction and art by Paul Chan. Translated by Yuzo Sakuramoto.

Above All Waves: Wisdom from Tominaga Nakamoto, the Philosopher Rumored to Have Inspired Bitcoin

How an 18th-century maverick philosopher anticipated cryptocurrency: the first English collection of aphorisms from Tominaga Nakamoto

This book introduces English readers to the life and ideas of Tominaga Nakamoto (1715–46), an 18th-century maverick Japanese philosopher who is rumored to have been an inspiration for the inventor of Bitcoin, known only by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. In January 2009, Satoshi released Bitcoin, a decentralized digital cash currency that allows anyone to use and develop its software. The rest is history. The identity of Satoshi remains a mystery to this day. But rumors during the early days of Bitcoin suggest Satoshi was inspired in part by Tominaga Nakamoto, an obscure and largely forgotten “merchant” philosopher from the Edo period in Japan. Tominaga's philosophical and aesthetic ideas are radical even by today's standards. And it is not hard to see how his most vital insights—the need to decentralize authority among them—echo in how Bitcoin functions as a cryptocurrency.
Newly translated by the noted translator Yuzo Sakuramoto, Above All Waves distills Tominaga’s most audacious writings into a set of quotes and passages that captures the forwarding-thinking quality of his thought. A critical introduction by Paul Chan tells the story of Tominaga’s remarkable life and speculates on the rumored relationship between Satoshi and Tominaga, as well as how Tominaga's outlook may have influenced how Bitcoin exists as a technology and cultural phenomenon. Artwork by Chan captures the spirit of Tominaga’s world and recasts the philosopher in compositions that express his enduring influence.


PRAISE AND REVIEWS

4Columns

Sasha Frere-Jones

Chan’s project here is a set of variations, an expansion on the potent scraps Tominaga left behind...The reliance on what is already there, in the community and in the self, is an idea of value that I find appealing in Chan’s extrapolation of Tominaga.

Above All Waves: Wisdom from Tominaga Nakamoto, the Philosopher Rumored to Have Inspired Bitcoin

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FROM THE BOOK
More information about Above All Waves can be found here.


EXCERPT:
To write in today’s style, to speak today’s
language, to eat today’s dishes, to wear
today’s clothes, to use today’s tools, to live
in today’s houses, to follow today’s
customs, to abide by today’s rules, to enjoy
the company of people from today, strive
to not do bad, but do what is good—that
is the Way of Truth, that is how to
practice the Way in Japan today.

My hope is that when I tell someone this,
they will pass it on more widely to the
people in big cities, and then to Korea and
China, and then to the countries in Central
Asia, and then to the land of Shakyamuni's
birth. So that all the people of the world
may find light in the path. If this is
achieved, even if I die, the idea will
not perish.

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 1/7/2023

Radical—or timely—ideas from the Japanese philosopher who anticipated cryptocurrency

Radical—or timely—ideas from the Japanese philosopher who anticipated cryptocurrency

This week, as we acknowledge the anniversary of the January 6 insurrection, we watch House Republicans struggle to elect a Speaker, and as global cryptocurrency dramas unfold before our eyes, we are reminded of the monumental problems we face, and have always faced, as a society. Perhaps there is something to be learned from new release, Above All Waves: Wisdom from Tominaga Nakamoto, the Philosopher Rumored to Have Inspired Bitcoin, published by Badlands Unlimited, the provocative philosophical imprint founded by artist Paul Chan—whose ink drawings illustrate the spreads. "It has always been, since ancient times, that those who teach the Way and make laws have tried to disprove their predecessors and justify their own doctrines by claiming allegiance to even older ancestors. This is a very obvious tendency, but later generations who are unaware of this fact naturally become misled." Also: "Each school of thought recites and passes on its own style of expression that it has named. Foolish people fail to understand this. Each believe their teaching is the Way of Truth, reason in error, and fight each other about whether or not their way is right. I feel sorry for them, for they seem to me to be clueless and ridiculous at the same time." And "Never underestimate the dumb." continue to blog


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