What's a kerdazzler, I asked.
"It's the latest synthetic from Germany," she told me. "It's a blend of smart drugs plus a new ecstasy variant. It's supposed to be really fun."
I'm a father now, and so I shouldn't be taking experimental brain frying chemicals, even if they are from Germany. But I didn't think Suzie had that kind of hook up these days, so I was curious where she'd gotten it.
"I got 10 of them from some guy on the Silk Road," she told me.
I may not have heard of kerdazzler, but I have indeed heard of the Silk Road. It's a deep-ish web anarcho-marketplace where you can get just about anything, using a "peer to peer" currency called BitCoin.
The Silk Road has a cool name, but it's pretty meh. Even when I was into that kind of thing, those sorts of forums are dead by the time I find out about them. Bitcoins, on the other hand, are pretty intriguing. It's a blue-sky attempt to create a currency that has no governmental controlling authority, which if it worked, would be a major step towards the techno-uptopia I keep hearing about.
This guy makes a pretty good case that Bitcoin won't last (he calls it a "scam," but really it's more of a collective gamble). And it's true that bitcoin doesn't have the advantages of currency that's backed by the full faith and credit of a sovereign nation. But that doesn't mean it couldn't be--at least--version dot.1 of a new way doing things.
I asked Suzie how much the kerdazzler had cost.
"About 30 bitcoin," she said. Wow, I said, that's about 300 bucks!
"Not for me, I mined those bitcoins myself. I've got an array of six Mac Pros, churning away at it day and night."
Uh, okay, I said. How much did those Macs cost?
"Lots and lots!"