“Theory of Bitcoin” continues with what’s becoming one of the best backgrounder courses to Bitcoin philosophy available. Hosts Ryan X. Charles and Bitcoin creator Dr. Craig S. Wright offer more valuable insights into what’s there, what’s possible, what should be done… and what shouldn’t.
Deviating slightly from others in this second “Bit” series of Theory of Bitcoin, this episode only touches lightly on Information Theory and Quantum Physics. True to form though, it’s only about five minutes before the two are discussing whether it’s medically possible to keep a brain alive in a vat and trick it into thinking it’s a living human, how well we could manipulate matter at the atomic level, or whether a Planck leength actually represents a binary foundation to our universe.
Bit 5. Information, Money Button Acquisition, Education, Tokenshttps://t.co/Tw1wtNCiYv
— Theory of Bitcoin (@theoryofbitcoin) September 29, 2020
That’s quite relevant to Bitcoin though because much of this episode hinges on reality and perceptions of reality. What is the universe actually made of? String theory’s multidimensional branes, or information? (which, as Charles points out, doesn’t even have a commonly accepted definition).
Dr. Wright says:
It’s really a choice of rationality and reality. Do you believe in reality or not? Are you actually willing to work within it or are you going to fight against it? And I think a lot of society’s problems come from people who have been not taught reality right.
“All of science is actually accelerating faster than Moore’s Law,” Dr. Wright says, predicting that in the next three years more knowledge will be created than in the 2,000 years before it. That said, a lot of it is garbage (“Goji berries aren’t a superfood”) or may seem worthy but doesn’t really improve the lot of humans in the future.
Our current society is in danger of sliding into primitive tribalism and mystic thought, Dr. Wright says. There is an assault on rationality, and a general unwillingness to accept truth if it doesn’t gel with our ideology.
“Rationality is thinking things through, and looking at the evidence,” Wright says. The two agree that under current conditions, political narratives are being promoted over rational truths, and that social punishments have become a way to force people into accepting narratives whether they’re true or not. Those who enjoy Dr. Wright’s socio-political commentary won’t be disappointed with this episode; there’s a fairly profane yet enjoyable rant around the mid-point and even a moral appraisal of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol that… goes against the historic grain.
Dr. Wright touches on many of his favorite topics here, two of which are education and meritocracy. He makes some interesting comments about what the money in his trusts and foundations will fund to that end, something Bitcoin followers may be interested to hear.
He confesses his opinions may not suit the current zeitgeist (“I’ve had to do more sensitivity training than any person on Earth”) but maintains that telling the truth should be paramount no matter what the consequences. You have to stay rational, he says, even if you’re Galileo muttering “yet it moves” under your breath as the punishment comes.
Charles brings the conversation back on point with a question about tokens, and Dr. Wright stresses again the importance of regulation where assets are tokenized. He points out that tokenizing assets isn’t a new idea, and that there are always laws that cover a new situation no matter how novel and untouchable its promoter thinks he is. He hints that he has gathered a lot of evidence he intends to hand to the authorities on the blockchain industry’s ICO craze—the results of which should be spectacular, when they come.
There’s also a bit more interesting detail on Bitcoin history, in particular the contribution of (Blockstream CEO) Dr. Adam Back. Dr. Wright does actually give Back some credit for a few things… though perhaps their effects were more indirect.
If you work in the Bitcoin/blockchain industry and you’re not watching this series, you’re in some danger of wasting your time and money on fruitless projects. While success can never be guaranteed (and some areas of business are indeed a meritocracy) your chances of heading down the wrong path or even to jail are greatly reduced if you take the time to listen to what Dr. Wright and Ryan X. Charles say.
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New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.