Laser pointers and fire crackers

in gathering •  11 months ago


I was in the seventh grade and about 12 years old, which is 16 years ago, when I got my first urge to buy sets of firecrackers and laser pointers to generally enjoy and sell to my classmates who would also enjoy these asynchronously fun nuisance machines.

Wanting to buy these items, I needed to find a retailer. I of course turned to the internet and remember finding a retailer offering most of the products.

But once I knew where I’d buy these, I needed to figure out how I would buy them. And now I had a few concerns about the buying process:

  1. I did not want my parents finding out I had bought these. If they found out, I could lose my products before ever getting them unboxed.. they surely did not want me having these (however innoucuous) michiveous toys.

  2. I needed a digital form of payment. This was tough. I didn’t have a bank account — just about $70 in small bills saved in my bedroom lockbox. This meant I had no credit card or checks.

From here I started figuring — I don’t have a credit card and more importantly, I can’t use my parents’ credit or debit cards because they’d see the receipt and I’d be caught red handed.

My next line of thinking came to : I had seen gift cards begin taking the form of debit cards — now what if I could buy one of these in a local retailer with my $70 cash and then use it to buy the online products I had my eyes on.

Well looking back I realize this event catalyzed lines of thought for me:

  1. Privacy is important. I knew I believed this then because I didn’t want my parents knowing what I was buying. Later this expanded to a broader understanding: There are plenty of reasons people should have privacy: even ones as simple as not giving others the opportunity to judge our interests, which could include laser pointers, firecrackers, books of choice, and anything else, weirder or less weird.

  2. The financial system feels like a shrouded abyss for regular folk. I knew there was something that wasn’t being explained to me about money and the digital financial medium. The case in point here was the difficulty with which I needed to go through just to buy simple products on the internet. And even then, it was unclear what was backing up all these tools like gift cards. And I remember the feeling of asking myself to learn more, with curiosities demanding to be understood, such as “how come some cards are allowed to enable zero traceability (gift cards) while others aren’t (credit cards).”

Though I finally managed to get laser pointers that year, my twelve year old mind put the more serious issues on hold. It was not until I read about Bitcoin in 2013 that I began to understand why those thoughts had stuck with me.

Stay curious.

— Ned

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I remember speculating about the legitimacy of taxation; and came to the conclusion that since we were using 'their' money, taxation was perhaps justified.
They were printing and distributing it, backing it's value etc.
At least here in Australia they weren't stopping us from using alternatives like silver or barter, (only really requiring Aussie dollars for payment of taxes), so it felt disingenuous to get all the benefits of using their money without paying for the privilege.
When I first discovered bitcoin, I realised we now had an alternative (not just 'we' Aussies, but you and I, on opposite sides of the globe)


That's a very interesting argument. I might have to use that one at some point.

More privacy coming to Steemit?


LOL Hopefully before our parents get accounts!

@ned For every action a thought was the root :D Best wishes to you always.


Having a private wallet would be nice :)


I guess so :)

A lot of people are going to have this same story about @steemmonsters


Being a curious person has its example benefit if "Alexander Graham Bell" if he were not curious to invent a communication device he was never invented the phone.
Your curiosity for the cryptocurrency came to the point of creating your own cryptocurrency your curiosity brought you fruit at the end of it all.

umm hehe awesome sir nd thanks for the steem😍😍

Be an inspiration to me. thanks the story Captain @ned

Wow brother, in my opinion the life was already written the path of Steem and the base was created 16 years ago by putting curiosity in your mind regarding those gift cards and their traceability and afterwards how you've related that moment to 2013 phase of Bitcoin, just see how amazing beings we are, no matter what we do one day one action will connect with other and this cycle always continues, and i want to accept that the GIF which you shared is really funny and sometimes we can fool our pets in an fun way. Ha ha 🙂

There are many ways from which we can produce something which can effect humanity in an good way no matter how many people will get touched with that idea but if some people are effecting in an good way then we have done an amazing thing. And in my opinion, your explorative mind and curiosity came up with this Revolutionary Platform as Steemit, it's not free from pros and cons but nothing is better than this till now and over the time it will get upgraded and it will improve more and it will always move forward and as i said this platform is Revolutionary because the change which third world countries needed, is possibly Steemit is fulfilling to some extent and that's why it's revolutionary and Steemit may be an platform but it's spreading like an idea in lives of people.

Thanks for sharing this post with us and wishing you an great day. Stay blessed. 🙂

Wow!!! Features of a talented and innovative entrepreneur has been within you since before teenage age.
Monday motivational story

So the Steemit idea comes from Laserpointers? Thank you for being curious and giving the teachers @steemiteducation a chance to earn more money so that we can continue to help little Ned's to stay curious. Just imagine if we could get the 360 million teachers worldwide to all be part of steemit. Won't that make a difference in the world?

The financial system feels like a shrouded abyss for regular folk. I knew there was something that wasn’t being explained to me about money and the digital financial medium.

@ned you are good in what you do I must say your research have fetch you a whole lots of ideas keep you good works going.

privacy coming to Steemit?


Usually we are told that "curiosity kills the cat"..
But in your case, curiosity has fetched you the right rewards...
I guess curiosity isn't so bad after all

Nice story... it seems to me that you are destined to play a major role in creating privacy and more equality for ordinary people's financial transactions. Blockchain could be the key.

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Ned the pre-teen evil genius? ;) We accept compromises for convenience, but technology is opening new possibilities. The next few years will be very interesting

Is there will be a privacy coming to steemit?


That's just awesome ... nice one to read in the morning.

Great ideas are created from simple basic neccessity to survive and move ahead.

@ned now I know that Dogs do laser pointers too and not just Cats.................

Great story and motivation @ned.I get questions from my Ugandan community if its possible to hide the contents of our wallets....than it being open to the public...(you talked of privacy in your post !!!).

not giving others the opportunity to judge our interests

Yesss!! Kids have all different types of crazy schemas and they may start to experiment with them in ways parents may see as "naughty" not actually realizing that doing all this "weird shit" could some day evolve in to something else and something they love because they were never made to feel bad about it. I think all kids (and adults) deserve to develop their interests unjudged.
I didn't realize we were the same age Ned. I hope you are well x

Hhahaha @ned , I like your story! Kids have alot of things to hide from parents!
Right now you are perfect genius!

Thank you for sharing the personal story with us, I certainly admire your business sense at that young age!

The past few days, you seem to be thinking a lot about your emotions and memories. Hope it isn’t the stress of being a ceo getting on top of you. We do sometimes need to see the journey we have made to where we are now to help us plan our future journey to where we want to be next.


When you climb the mountain and make a break, you always turn to see the way you came here.
Let's hope it's not the end of the road.

You already ready to be a businessman when you were 12! Haha

This is the begining of great future.Been able to see the need and taking action for it is a great profit.
Sometimes we've got revelations.But often times we dont notice them.But you knew yours and has made it happen.

“Children are notoriously curious about everything, everything except… the things parents want them to know. It then remains for us to refrain from forcing any kind of knowledge upon them, and they will be curious about everything.”

You got good was in seventh grade.

Now, also repeat with (find right good solutions ),

we'll be grateful to you, to the grave.

We hold your thumbs.

You did not alone...

Interesting read master. If my math is correct, @ned is 28-year-old now and without a doubt has more in-depth technical knowledge than most of us - older than him.

Hats off to you Capt Scott.

Important to have the inquisitive mind with or without the mischievous.
BTW, your version say "michiveous" instead. :-)

Hmm, interesting story... in the context of the total transparency on Steem. Privacy definitely has its role, and pretending that it doesn't like some do, won't make it less important.

Hmmm... Steem ist not really about privacy right now... Or is a "Steem Monero" on its way?

I think SMTs should be finished first before starting new endeavors... How are SMTs advancing? Release date not before October?

Words from her wise stay curious I would hold on to that... About privacy blockchain does not give us the opportunity to keep our wallet private

Best wishes @ned.... Long live steemit

If we have a private wallet, this will be so good. Sir

Hi Ned!
Love how you figured a way around obstacles even back in early childhood!
I've nominated you for writing a post in Comedy Open Mic on my last entry, and in case my clever handle doesn't ring any bells here's a great photo of us in Portugal:
So great to read your thoughts lately 😊
Have an amazing week brother!

Did you buy firecrackers from Roger Ver?

When I was a kid you would just buy things COD and then make sure you were home when it came and your parents were not. Or you could buy a money order and then send that. I don't know if those are still an option. Thank God that happened to you @ned because of that my dream of an online forum where I could get paid to troll has come true. Thanks @ned and thanks to your parents for inspiring you to learn all these things.

Hi Ned! I have some questions about some issues with my account. I tried to contact Twitter support as well as @andrarchy but I am getting nowhere. Who can I contact? Thank you for your assistance. Tomas