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amishmanish
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February 15, 2018, 04:30:01 PM
Merited by theymos (6), suchmoon (5), ibminer (5), CjMapope (5), Gabi (2), mprep (1), Jet Cash (1), poptok1 (1)
 #1

The top post at r/bitcoin today was a post saying that bitcoin succeeds because it has no leader.. This, in practice, hasn't completely been the case through much of Bitcoin's history.
First there was Satoshi himself who guided the project in its initial phases. After him, it was a group of core developers, whose members are now well known. They were accompanied by community and mods on reddit and Bitcointalk.

Main community for Bitcoin was formed on this forum and r/bitcoin. The atmosphere of early days was collaborative, fun and had lot of meaningful exchange between participants. Unfortunately, this situation has changed a lot over time. More so, in the last 6-8 months.

There have been cheap marketing attacks that aim to confuse people about the history and developments. The twitter account for bitcoin is taken over. The domain name bitcoin.com is owned by Roger Ver. Most of the information related to bitcoin and crypto-currencies is in the form of sensationalized, uninformed opinion from media. Alongside this increase in the propaganda against bitcoin, the two most important community spaces have been deteriorating. It looks to be the case that as interest in bitcoin has increased, reliable sources for information have decreased.The only somewhat  reliable source of information is developer's handles on twitter.

Initiatives that I personally found enlightening were the bitcoin core blog and the website of Satoshi Nakamoto Institute. After a flurry of initial activity, both these outlets have remained silent for quite some time.

Lately, there has been a lack of solid, encouraging, easily accessible information for newcomers and those sitting on the fence. This is resulting in more and more people being swayed by either alt-coins or leaning towards seeing bitcoin as a trading and get-rich quick scheme.
I hold no prejudices against any of those things, but in the hurry to see results, many of the people are probably not getting the chance to realize the deeper implications on privacy and financial reorganization that bitcoin can have. The increase in misinformation accompanied by decrease of communication quality on major forums is detrimental to bitcoin's growth.

Even if one doesn't look at it as a business venture, it seems highly likely that the misinformation CAN cause setbacks. In such a scenario, do we need the initial backers to be a little more pro-active about their vision for bitcoin? Their approval and backing can be the biggest proof that this can work. Right now, the most visible are the scammers and false marketeers.

Is there a case for Bitcoin champions here? Or at least for concerted effort towards revival of sources referenced above? Or am I just preaching to the choir?? LOL
 
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February 19, 2018, 08:35:19 PM
Merited by OgNasty (1), mprep (1), BenOnceAgain (1)
 #2

I think that the whole concept of discussion has degenerated a lot over the last 10 years or so. People are increasingly stuck in cesspools of groupthink, often on platforms like Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook where it is very easy for companies to manipulate the group's thinking by exploiting flaws in the platform. The Russia-Twitter thing is making news now, but that exact same sort of thing is being done constantly, on all subjects, and on all major platforms -- often for for-profit reasons, but also sometimes for political and/or nefarious reasons. Meanwhile, traditional "trusted sources" (eg. news outlets) are nearly all incredibly biased and clearly uninterested in the truth. It's a worrying trend.

Maybe the existence of "champions" is sort of a crutch that people use to get some truth when everything else they're looking at is garbage. 99% of what you hear on the major platforms is false, so you have to have someone you consider trustworthy like eg. Andreas help you filter the signal from the noise. But while this is better than just exposing yourself to the raw noise unguided, and I would not discourage knowledgeable people from acting as champions, it is a point of trust/centralization. There's also the problem of how your trusted sources are themselves supposed to reliably arrive at the truth when they're also surrounded by garbage all the time; they'll have the advantage of knowledge, experience, and some high-quality connections, but it's still difficult.

I wish that I had a fool-proof way of solving the underlying problems of discussion and truth-finding, but I only have some ideas for making things a bit better, not a complete solution.

That said, I agree that it would be beneficial for more people to create more good information and guidance.

(BTW, when talking about decentralization, you have to keep in mind that the complete elimination of centralization would be a dystopia in the same vein as Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron. You are the sole central authority of your own thoughts/feelings/actions/statements. Some people have a harmful knee-jerk reaction against pretty much anyone doing anything because it is "centralizing".)
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February 20, 2018, 08:52:33 AM
 #3

Maybe if you stop refusing to trust people, they could surprise you. lack of a strong leadership, leads to the situation we're in currently. you refuse to believe that people are taking advantage over you, giving people the benefit of the doubt, being compassionate about them is a sign of weakness.

Stop the garbage information from spreading where you have the power, stop people from violating the rules, you are trying to filter out the quality, allowing the garbage to be produced. for this forum, you are telling people to produce content worth reading and are rewarding them for it, you are not stopping the low quality content.

All you could put a name on a filter of information was Andreas, what is his forum name? this is one of the major platforms for Bitcoin, your major concerns are the people with nothing valuable to offer, you should focus on bringing people like Andreas here.
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February 20, 2018, 09:52:10 AM
Merited by mprep (2), ibminer (2), carlisle1 (1), Shitcointalk (1), BenOnceAgain (1)
 #4

Thanks for the reply Theymos.  The decade long experience in moderating one of the most volatile and dynamic communities speaks in your post above. Your point about the Groupthink issue as well as its manipulation by "companies" is succinct and spot on.

These tools for social mobilization which were once supposed to enable the small guy to question authority have been turned on their heads.
Social Media made it possible for anyone to gain the spotlight. Unfortunately, the kind of people who exploit this feature most, usually aren't the thoughtful or productive ones. Most thoughtful and intelligent people have a certain dislike for the shenanigans involved. They'd much rather put their heads down and work than make themselves available for social media instigations and attacks.

That is why people who have a full understanding of the ideas and are willing to publicly present and defend them are so rare yet so effective. Like Andreas of course. This was one of the things that was so inspiring about bitcoin's A team. Satoshi, the core devs, your team. You were all backing an idea and finding ways to present and defend them publicly. The 10,000 BTC pizza and the other stuffs of legend here. This ingredient seems to have gone missing now.

That is what we need to revive and need our champions back for. The developers and thought leaders. For one, more activity on the core blog would be really welcome. We could all use a common source of the latest in making or conceptualization.

(BTW, when talking about decentralization, you have to keep in mind that the complete elimination of centralization would be a dystopia in the same vein as Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron. You are the sole central authority of your own thoughts/feelings/actions/statements. Some people have a harmful knee-jerk reaction against pretty much anyone doing anything because it is "centralizing".)

I totally agree that complete decentralization is not feasible. Its our own stupidity that makes us feel that we can reduce every concept to something debatable and have everyone's view on it. There will always be people who will understand concepts better and make changes faster than us. We find it hard to face up to the fact that we are not all equal when it comes to the ability to take decisions. We have always had people who guide societies and make history because they are faster and smarter. The difficult deal is finding out who to trust. This discussion ultimately devolves into one of civic and personal morality and will be too much of a tangent for now.

Team building at workplaces is an effort to let that inequality sink-in among hundred odd employees. Isn't it especially hard for the older generation that wields the ultimate power? Something of that sort is happening in society too where there are millions of us involved with our egos linked to our viewpoints. The present scenario is such that everyone with a phone and access to internet (Whatsapp and Facebook in case of my country) has a 'strong, authentic' opinion about everything. It doesn't matter that its molded by memes, slide shows and 2-minute videos with voice-overs.

A lot of this feeling is also reactive to the comparatively long sway that the intellectual elite has held in the past. Events of the recent past have convinced people that the intellectuals are no good at "making the best, the most tremendous deals". Although as the Russian troll farm story shows, this may have been supported by external and internal interests.

This makes it even more important that people with real knowledge and the ability to go a step further should step up to the challenge and raise their voices. Not to be silenced by trolls and manipulative distractors. Whatever their field of expertise maybe, you should call out stupidity and always hammer the truth in.

I wish that I had a fool-proof way of solving the underlying problems of discussion and truth-finding, but I only have some ideas for making things a bit better, not a complete solution.

That said, I agree that it would be beneficial for more people to create more good information and guidance.
The merit system has definitely done some good in solving the problem of discussion-quality. Truth-finding would be difficult but its great that you are thinking and working on it. The forum definitely needs more of your inputs. Let us know if we can be of any help.
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February 21, 2018, 03:13:53 AM
Merited by BTRIC (1)
 #5

Great post! When talking to people who are not submerged to a crypto information pool for a long time you quickly learn that their inability to get quality information already built a wall in their brains and they "filtering" every source now. That is not helping adoption for sure, its hard to break that wall.

Due to its nature Bitcoin gave birth to many wealthy monsters who are very well organized and financially educated to profit from it. I would love Bitcoin foundation to be more like FreeBSD foundation. It produced one of the best OS on a planet and functioning for 17+ years like a clock. You have to have strong authority to produce single source code tree in contrast with Linux/etc. Maybe something to learn from this example?

Said that I think this forum is on right track with all efforts and latest changes, I am actually surprised it is still that coherent considering speculative intent of overwhelming amount of participants. Keep up the great work!
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February 23, 2018, 01:22:49 PM
 #6

I think that the whole concept of discussion has degenerated a lot over the last 10 years or so.
Degenerated... but theymos is it really a bad thing? Look at it through wild-west looking-glass.
Black hat robbers, robed crypto-bank, townsfolk gossip. There is a new sheriff in town, townsfolk gossip.
Lauda defamed once again! Says headline of the local news paper.
And all this without actual* threat of body harm.
theymos its alive! This is all the cause of the dream becoming real. I think its beautiful.
Cheer up m8 Cry
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April 03, 2018, 07:30:26 AM
 #7

It is hard to find reliable sources. The best way I have found to judge whether something is reliable, is to see how emotionally charged the source is. The more emotionally charged the source is, the more likely it is to have/be misinformation. The more famous someone is the less likely I am to trust them. If someone is selling something, they could be trustworthy, but still might not be. The best people to trust are the ones that talk about boring stuff that is directed at an audience that has a better understanding of what they are talking about. This is not to be confused with people that use jargon just to make themselves look smart, but people that aren't trying to get attention for fame or money.

No matter what, we have to sort things out for ourselves. It would be nice to see/hear something and know for certain that it doesn't have some hidden agenda behind it, but that is the way things are. Even in olden times I think it was this way, but today more people are aware of it.

Having a Bitcoin Champions isn't going to be a solution, because there is no way to determine if that source will ever be infiltrated with unknowledgeable/confused people. Find a couple of knowledgeable, down-to-earth people and listen to what they say. Always stay vigilant/skeptical, because even honest people can get things wrong even if they are an expert in their field.


I have learned a lot about Bitcoin/crypto currency just from this forum alone. I was able to sort through the bullshit. Well, hopefully. Who knows, I may be unaware of the misinformation I have been fed.
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April 03, 2018, 10:18:29 AM
Merited by paxmao (1)
 #8

The top post at r/bitcoin today was a post saying that bitcoin succeeds because it has no leader.. This, in practice, hasn't completely been the case through much of Bitcoin's history.
“Thought leader”, maybe. But not “leader” in any sense that implies coercive power (i.e. “as we know it, Jim”) because in a network of pseudonymous peers, neither sanction nor coercion is available so there are no levers of power, only peers to be persuaded.

If anyone's interested in building a deeper understanding: Frederick Laloux' Teal organisational model (informed by Ken Wilber's 60's model of human organisational development) would seem to be the closest-matching description. The implications of peer-to-peer networked cryptocurrencies being pure Teal organisations are quite intriguing¹. More usefully, the results of Laloux' work are presented prescriptively.

Cheers

Graham

¹ https://minkiz.co/library/a-different-perspective-on-cryptocurrency.html <- an introductory overview, which Ivory Tower denizens might find marginally useful.
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April 03, 2018, 02:22:10 PM
Merited by paxmao (1)
 #9

Thanks for the reply Theymos.  The decade long experience in moderating one of the most volatile and dynamic communities speaks in your post above.


Theymos and his crews have been able to achieve one of the highest level of moderations on the internet, while keeping the spirit of freedom of speech alive.

I think that the whole concept of discussion has degenerated a lot over the last 10 years or so. People are increasingly stuck in cesspools of groupthink, often on platforms like Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook where it is very easy for companies to manipulate the group's thinking by exploiting flaws in the platform. The Russia-Twitter thing is making news now, but that exact same sort of thing is being done constantly, on all subjects, and on all major platforms -- often for for-profit reasons, but also sometimes for political and/or nefarious reasons. Meanwhile, traditional "trusted sources" (eg. news outlets) are nearly all incredibly biased and clearly uninterested in the truth. It's a worrying trend.

Maybe the existence of "champions" is sort of a crutch that people use to get some truth when everything else they're looking at is garbage. 99% of what you hear on the major platforms is false, so you have to have someone you consider trustworthy like eg. Andreas help you filter the signal from the noise. But while this is better than just exposing yourself to the raw noise unguided, and I would not discourage knowledgeable people from acting as champions, it is a point of trust/centralization. There's also the problem of how your trusted sources are themselves supposed to reliably arrive at the truth when they're also surrounded by garbage all the time; they'll have the advantage of knowledge, experience, and some high-quality connections, but it's still difficult.

I wish that I had a fool-proof way of solving the underlying problems of discussion and truth-finding, but I only have some ideas for making things a bit better, not a complete solution.

That said, I agree that it would be beneficial for more people to create more good information and guidance.

(BTW, when talking about decentralization, you have to keep in mind that the complete elimination of centralization would be a dystopia in the same vein as Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron. You are the sole central authority of your own thoughts/feelings/actions/statements. Some people have a harmful knee-jerk reaction against pretty much anyone doing anything because it is "centralizing".)

For me it coincided with the arrivals of the "kevins" of world of warcraft (first time those peons touched a computers) and all the sluts of facebook (who always saw computer interested persons as shit (pc word : geeks). And then here on BTCtalk it's fun to watch all the hordes of 3rd worlders all trying to gain from sig campaigns writing shit most of the time, and sometimes exposing the deep cultural divides that exist in their ways of thinking...

People are herded to those centralized and controlled platforms by the complicit and treasonous medias wings of those organizations. How many times have you seen a so called reporter quote bitcointalk? one of those intellectuals or academic sellout quote bitcointalk? Never ! Like the leeches and traitors and enemies of mankind they are, they can't even refer the source of where they really find "their" new novels ideas.

I don't think there are flaws, but design features, to herd, to cattle, to shepard the gullible to the slaughter house, where all form of oppositions is censored, where all news ideas are leeched and where selected people are chosen to "succeed". All a giant scam.

The traditional news sources died when they decided to follow the new world agenda, I can't find the quote but it was some kind of bilderberger or ... I found it :

Quote from: the internet mother fuckers
 DAVID ROCKEFELLER THANKS MEDIA FOR ITS SILENCE
-- David Rockefeller, Speaking at the June, 1991 Bilderberger meeting in Baden, Germany (a meeting also attended by then-Governor Bill Clinton and by Dan Quayle--

"We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time
Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended
our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost
forty years."

"It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world
if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years.
But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a
world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite
and world bankers is surely preferable to the national
auto-determination practiced in past centuries."

by: David Rockefeller (1915- ) Internationalist billionaire, CFR kingpin, founder of the Trilateralist Commission, World Order Godfather
Date: June 1991 Baden, Germany
Source: Bilderberger Meeting, Baden, Germany

(one tango down, time to drop the clusters).



A great Champion is Peter Studa from bitmessage, specially following the recent remote execution injection attack that BM experienced. Even if he certainly isn't the most talented coder out there he seems to have worked his ass to make bm safe again ! He was able to organize the recoding.

thanks for your post theymos.
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April 03, 2018, 07:18:32 PM
 #10

It is hard to find reliable sources. The best way I have found to judge whether something is reliable, is to see how emotionally charged the source is. The more emotionally charged the source is, the more likely it is to have/be misinformation. The more famous someone is the less likely I am to trust them. If someone is selling something, they could be trustworthy, but still might not be. The best people to trust are the ones that talk about boring stuff that is directed at an audience that has a better understanding of what they are talking about. This is not to be confused with people that use jargon just to make themselves look smart, but people that aren't trying to get attention for fame or money.

No matter what, we have to sort things out for ourselves. It would be nice to see/hear something and know for certain that it doesn't have some hidden agenda behind it, but that is the way things are. Even in olden times I think it was this way, but today more people are aware of it.

Having a Bitcoin Champions isn't going to be a solution, because there is no way to determine if that source will ever be infiltrated with unknowledgeable/confused people. Find a couple of knowledgeable, down-to-earth people and listen to what they say. Always stay vigilant/skeptical, because even honest people can get things wrong even if they are an expert in their field.


I have learned a lot about Bitcoin/crypto currency just from this forum alone. I was able to sort through the bullshit. Well, hopefully. Who knows, I may be unaware of the misinformation I have been fed.

Your main point about considering subject matter and presentation with a grain of salt is correct, and even from purported experts and seemingly very smart people. 

On the other hand, if some people have gained a lot of trust (whether in this forum or otherwise), and they seem to be presenting their content with genuineness, by default you may well be better off to give them more trust than you would do to others. 

Of course, in the end, as you said, each of us remains responsible to use our best judgement, and we have to admit that sometimes we may get it wrong too.  In this regard, not all levels of lacking in trust are the same since sometimes people feed us bad information by their own mistake, rather than by their intention, and sometime, nutjobs really believe the bullshit that they are spouting out.  So the gambit of disinformation (or good information) and intention can be quite wide.

I have also learned a lot from the forum over the years, yet sometimes, I have troubles identifying whether some post are disingenuous or faulty in logic or facts... On the other hand, there are some patterns to bullshit, too, which help to identify, even if I cannot quite put my finger on what is wrong with the post, I am going to feel some level of discomfort in relying on the content of the post, and may well skim the information and disregard the information of the post rather than putting very much if any weight onto it.   

I have found, also, that sometimes, I might run across a post that is questionable, and if I challenge the post in some kind of way by writing a response, then the response back to me (or the lack of a response) may provide me with some insight regarding the extent to which I feel comfortable relying on any of the information contained within the original post.  So, yes, sometimes we can get a decent amount of information from the forum.  We can trust and verify, and frequently, we may just get some idea or news, but will have to do some of our own research and tinkering on our own before we decide how much weight to give the information and even the extent to which we share our own insights.
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