How The Poetic Edda is the earliest example of BlockChain

Ancient Poetry, at least poetry as originally designed by intelligent poets and not the modern “every sentence is a poem because I added line-breaks” type of self-proclaimed poetry, has a marvelous built-in checksum – the rythmic rhyming word.

Add in multiple singers or chanters – sea shanty gives us the word chant – and you have a self correcting form of historical record. It would be almost impossible to make a change to a poem without first convincing all the sailors on a ship to change their song.

Rhyming Poetry once had a purpose that was not only rhythmic – it conserved the sanctity of the sentences it constrained.

Add a coherent story to the poem and you create an almost inviolate, immutable testimony of events. It is more difficult to alter a poem when it rhymes. Think of altering a poem like hacking a bank. Not impossible, but it takes people with education to do it. (By today’s standards fairly easy, but by ancient standards poetic skill was akin to having a PhD)

The Poetic Edda speaks largely about the movement of the planets, the Moon, and The Sun. Modern astronomers are able to rewind time in simulations to any point in history, with a fair degree of accuracy, and when they take the events described in the Poetic Edda (the passage of the Norse Gods / The Planets), which predate all other accounts of the planets, we find correlations and corroborations with other texts about history, for example those in ancient China, India, and Africa.

BlockChain works by having a public ledger of accounts distributed among multiple machines, and arriving at a coded conclusion about a transaction through public vote, rather than contacting a centralized authority as Credit Cards do. Spoof the Credit Card machine and you get free stuff. Not so easy with BlockChain because the pieces of the key required to unlock the transaction are located all around the world.

For the old Icelandic Norse and ancient proto-Norse sailors, poetry was a way of memorizing complex navigational instructions. Poetry exists among Asian and Northern sailors, with a fair amount of overlap, probably due to the limited amount of ports along the coastline to share songs. Some shanties in the Poetic Edda describe events over 3000 years ago!

One famous celestial story by Grimner, tells how Loki – Mercury (the Norse God of Fire / Lucifer / The Messenger), stole fire from Thiassi – The Sun (Zeus/ Deus/ / God/Odin) after which Thiassi’s daughter Skadi appears (Skadi=Shadow/Eclipse). So the account is of an eclipse occurring after Mercury traveled from the Sun to the moon – An exciting event in ancient times, and also modern times!

In fact, a markedly similar event happened in 2008 when Venus and Jupiter traveled from an apparent position near the sun and arrived near the cusp of an Eclipsed moon. Phenomenon like that are quite rare, and so by rewinding the Poetic Edda’s account we can pinpoint the date of the original story to corroborate the poem with other ancient history and astronomical observations.

But what if oral historians forgot? Well, they used BlockChain, or distributed poetry, as mnemonics to help them remember. Once you have a keyword your mind quickly remembers. That’s why you can remember the lyrics to hundreds of songs but can’t remember where you left your car keys.

The purpose of many poems, sea shanties / chants, was navigation, and teaching a ship of rough-hewn sailors is not always an easy task, but songs are something fun to do to pass the monotony of rowing and sailing. By learning the block-chain poetry, sailors could pass on their knowledge with relative ease, perhaps adding a new verse to inform future sailors about a rock outcrop or a celestial event to look out for, such as the passage of Venus through the Southern Cross which signaled traveling sailors (traveling sailsmen?) to come home.

Ancient Poetry in the Edda is remarkable, the core poem survives eons virtually unchanged, only extended by new knowledge. Coincidentally one of the SOLID principles of computer programming – extend existing structures, don’t alter them


Hljóðs bið eg allar
helgar kindir,
meiri og minni
mögu Heimdallar.
Viltu að eg, Valföður,
vel fyr telja
forn spjöll fira,
þau er fremst um man.