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Healthy Skepticism and Bitcoin

Conspiracies. Diversions. False flags. These are part of the regular fare here on the DailyPaul. We proudly deny the "official story" and opt to do our own homework before coming to any conclusions. Healthy skepticism is our way of life here, and I happen to think this is a rather good thing.

It, however, poses a difficult challenge. Finding the evidence we need is rarely an easy task, and with all that's happening in our world, how can one possibly afford the time to perform the massive amounts of research required to adequately "do one's own homework"? The simple reality is that one cannot. We must resort to choosing our battles.

But what happens to those other issues to which we cannot dedicate the time and passion required to properly research? Certainly we cannot blindly trust the "official story"... but does that warrant a blanket distrust?

I would argue that what many are missing on the DP is the ability to remain neutral towards topics with which we are not well studied. Nowhere do I see this better exemplified but on the many Bitcoin threads beginning to appear on this site.

Bitcoin gives us a perfect example of the blanket distrust phenomenon in action. Unlike the many conspiracies we encounter every day, the technology behind Bitcoin is 100% transparent and free to access ("open source"). Any person here has the ability to learn what the technology does, read the code, and check for back doors. It does not require trust in what anyone else says. You can know CONCLUSIVELY what Bitcoin is, and what it is not.

Yet, what do we find in Bitcoin "discussion" threads? Ignorance. Mis-information. FUD. Given that all the source code for Bitcoin is available and completely open to the public, there is aboslutely no excuse for this. Least of all in a community of healthy skeptics!

I could honestly care less whether you use Bitcoin or not. I completely understand that there are people on this site who will never use Bitcoin because they believe we will have massive, long-term power-outages or that the government will shut down the global internet. That's totally fine. If that's what you believe, no one has any business telling you that you're wrong. But even these people should be saying, "yes, Bitcoin technically works, but I refuse to use it because I believe in (power-outage / internet shut-down)."

Friends, being a skeptic requires a lot of responsibility. We are here because we refuse to take things for granted. I think that's generally a good thing. When it becomes detrimental is when we allow our skepticism to become blind distrust towards that which we do not fully understand.

Please critique with care, my friends.

Peace, Gold, Love,

-Jix



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Geoffrey Moore suggests early adopters is place to look

Whole websites are now dedicated providing an open forum with commentaries. What is demanded by each new group that that enters the market.

The Early Adopters look to those on the bleeding edge. The early adopters don't want to be left out but want to minimize risk.

There is a chasm between the Early Adopters and the Early Majority.

The Early Majority will wait for the Early Adopters to work out the bugs. Who's policing this process? How are disputes resolved? If the product or services I want don't accept BitCoin, will their always be alternatives.

What if a government makes BitCoin illegal by force, can legal, secure and anonymous transactions be made?

A voluntary legal contract is binding, What dispute mediation is provided?

The Late Majority are finally comfortable with "plastic" fiat currency and it's predecessor paper fiat.

The Late Adopters quip that gold and silver have served as money for well over 2000 years.

So first the technology evaluators on the cutting edge. Is the technology sound? Are their any drawbacks.

Two private voices on the technology front are Leo Laporte and Steve Gibson.
http://www.grc.com/sn/sn-287.htm
http://www.grc.com/sn/sn-288.htm

Next stop. http://bitcoin.org

Free includes debt-free!

I so much appreciate your

I so much appreciate your approach in the intro to this post. Do your own homework, be an active skeptic (by that I mean be skeptical of your own group's think.)

But...always the but, right? But, I fail to see how it is advantageous to require such depth and breadth of knowledge for a simple thing like the representative exchange of wealth. Division of labor is one of the most powerful economic forces we've had going for...well, maybe a million years.

I should stop what I'm good at to devote weeks/months to understanding Bitcoin code. I'm at a loss to inspire myself to spend the next six months researching how Bitcoin code is written and where exposure to blasting out backdoors may lie,

I did a quick check of what I could purchase with Bitcoins and came up with very little of the things I actually spend my resources on. I'm also a little confused about the viability of Bitcoin as an inflation/crash hedge. I seem to remember a post here not long ago about how Bitcoin had gone up like 500 percent -- maybe that's an exaggeration, can't remember, but it was certainly more than the bread I buy has gone up.

I don't get how I can buy anything I actually depend on with Bitcoin and have any assurance that the pricing-matrix won't be just as much about gambling and hedging as the stock market.

Am I missing something fundamental here?

The market is indeed small today.

The market is indeed small today. And Bitcoin "today" is definitely not for everyone. But Bitcoin exists because there are centrally-controlled currencies who tell people, "No, you can't buy drugs, unauthorized weapons, gamble online." Bitcoin very quickly established itself as the currency of black-market activities, which, granted, appeals to few. However, that's where the advantages of the system as a whole began to shine through. Just like BitTorrent can't be stopped by the Copyright Monopolies, Bitcoin can't be stopped by government/Central Bankers.

So for me, I know using USD to buy a loaf of bread is pretty damn harmless. But what about those things that are even "legal" that are becoming more and more frowned upon: Fast food, soda, cigarettes... hell, how about fossil fuels??

I just don't want gov't to have any influence over what I am or am not allowed to purchase. Whether it's a loaf of bread or a fully-automatic weapon, I want to have the CHOICE to buy it.

And Bitcoin is still new. Very few people know about it, and even with the massive improvements in infrastructure over the past couple years, it honestly isn't ready for prime time. But the more almighty gubmint squeezes down on your ability to purchase even small things like 36oz soda, people are going to realize the need of a currency that circumvents government. That's why I believe that Bitcoin perfectly synergizes with the message of Liberty, and is the epitome of a peaceful rebellion.

Great Post, don't forget RAW MILK!

Bitcoin will help free people, and I am sure some of the early majority will include those in power now. People working at central banks are people too!

I have seen first hand how a "central banker" goes from a major skeptic, to a curious researcher and then to an "experimental owner" of a few bitcoins! :)

There is hope, but seeing this take place makes me wonder how this will all play out.

Just plain 'Happy'about the direction the world is taking! Especially if we live to reach LEV [Longevity Escape Velocity]

I think you are forgetting

I think you are forgetting the the vast majority of people have no idea how to read and interpret code so saying there is no excuse for peoples skepticism doe snot make sense.

I have been in the computer biz for nearly 30 years as a tech and network admin etc. and I still don't really read code that is what programmers do. I do not have the patience to do it.

So people still need to rely on someone else's word who understands the code. The fact that it is open source though and no one has come out and said hey I found a back door etc. is a very strong endorsement that it is safe.

Having said that simple logic makes me think bitcoin is a better alternative then what we currently have and if one is worried about power outages or back doors etc. What's the difference between that and worrying about a dollar collapse because we know a small group is inflating the dollar into oblivion?

Bitcoin is not traceable inflatable or taxable and being digital is easily transactable. That alone should be enough for folks to seriously consider it.

If you use bitcoin it does't mean you still should not put away gold and silver. Bitcoin is an easy way to cut the bankers out of the currency business right now. However to each his own.

-----
End The Fat
70 pounds lost and counting! Get in shape for the revolution!

Get Prepared!

Nono, people can be skeptical...

I didn't say that people had no excuse to be skeptical. They have no excuse to pass judgement against bitcoin based on false or incomplete information. Even with your experience in the business, you could still learn how to read code. The information is out there and available and if you wanted to dedicate the time to legitimately vet the system, you could. So could anyone here. That was my point. We pass judgement too quickly. :)

I don't think you are being

I don't think you are being realistic here. In your op you said:

"Given that all the source code for Bitcoin is available and completely open to the public, there is aboslutely no excuse for this"

You and I both know the vast majority are not going to learn code and should not have to. Most do not have the time either. Sure I could learn code and I did a little when I was in school but have pretty much forgotten it over the years. Am I going to learn it now hell no.

You are saying there is no excuse for the misinformation because people could learn code and find out for themselves, that is unrealistic. You'd be better off pointing to the fact that no programmer has come out and said hey Bitcoin has a possible backdoor.

Chastising folks just because they do not want to take the time to become programmers just to vet bitcoin is not going to do the trick IMO.

-----
End The Fat
70 pounds lost and counting! Get in shape for the revolution!

Get Prepared!

I think we all know someone who can "read code" and we TRUST!

That's what I did. I found a programmer friend who had no idea about Bitcoin and I asked him to PLEASE, PLEASE look into it for me, I had to know if he thought it was a "scam"

In the end, he was satisfied that it is "safe" so I went "all in"!

:o

My grandfather fought against Communism and totalitarian controls with guns! -- using Bitcoin is SO MUCH EASIER! :)

Just plain 'Happy'about the direction the world is taking! Especially if we live to reach LEV [Longevity Escape Velocity]

Ignorance does not justify spreading misinformation

Ignorance does not justify spreading misinformation. If you don't know what you're talking about, either start your opinion by saying, "I am not an expert, but...", or just keep your mouth shut.

They are not spreading

They are not spreading misinformation. No one is saying there are backdoors and the power going out is a real possibility. They are ASKING how do we know it doesn't have these flaws. And your answer is to learn programming or shut up... Sigh!

-----
End The Fat
70 pounds lost and counting! Get in shape for the revolution!

Get Prepared!

The answer

The answer is that they can either take someone's word for it, OR learn how to read code and answer the question for themselves. I'm guessing many will do neither, which makes their question pointless in the first place... yet effective in spreading their doubt to others... which I presume (perhaps incorrectly) was their objective all along.

I agree with you!

JixMainstream is completely right in my view... a few weeks ago I went on a posting "rampage" here, and couldn't believe all the "doubters"... or should I say: COMPLETELY WRONG DUMB DOUBTERS (trolls?)

all the negative votes and posts I received were so un-DP-ish! :(

In the end, I kept to being patient and responded to all the trolls and posters stuck in their gold/silver paradigm. I think all the other suggestion that the RP revolution used to advocate for teaching people about the revolution required great patience, so does Bitcoin.

It is worth being patient, because honest curiosity will win in the end and those who READ BOTH SIDES of the argument will quickly see the TRUTHFUL and HONEST posts, and LEARN!

[ps: I learned about Bitcoin here on the DP back in Feb. 2011]

Just plain 'Happy'about the direction the world is taking! Especially if we live to reach LEV [Longevity Escape Velocity]

Mt. Gox controls 80% of all bitcoin trades

and they have been hacked two or three times. I'm not faulting bitcoin at all - it's a great alternative for temporary transactions. Anything in limited supply can be hoarded by the banksters (which is basically what's going on now).

If it can be hoarded - it can be price controlled. They control when it goes up - they control when it goes down. That's why I developed the bart-mart credit system:

http://www.bart-mart.com/how.mp3

Each one of us in our local communities needs to be independent of the global banksters... using bitcoin does not accomplish that however it does give you the benefits of anonymity. No the software is not controlled by the CIA or the banksters PER SAY... but... the currency is de-facto controlled by them just the same.

A prime example of misinformation

Mt. Gox is a currency exchange website. They don't "control 80% of all Bitcoin trade." 80% of Bitcoin users CHOSE Mt. Gox to EXCHANGE USD/BTC.

And there's absolutely no evidence to support your "Banksters and CIA have de-facto control over Bitcoin" statement. Even if an entity holds a large chunk of Bitcoin does not reduce its value as a transactional currency. The exchange rate is irrelevant so long as one has a currency that can't be intercepted, or falsified.

The more I learn

about it the dumber it seems but hey to each there own, ride the wave.

"We can see with our eyes, hear with our ears and feel with our touch, but we understand with our hearts."

Skeptic

Skeptic and Cynic.
I am guilty as charged.

You nailed it, OP. The more I learn about BTC, the less concerned I am about it.
I wish I would have purchased $1000 worth when they were first brought to light on the DailyPaul.

Now, I'm considering investment into a mining rig... with nearly half of the 21M already mined.

SMH
:-)

Great point

Too much of anything usually turns out to be harmful.

This applies to skepticism as well.

The Red Coats are coming!