…and the Blockchain geeks will rule us all

The dawn of the planet of the metro-nerds

Pop Quiz. Have you heard of Vitalik Buterin?

For 60 bonus points: what is Vitalik Buterin famous for creating?

Answer: Vitalik Buterin is a nerd, famous for creating an exciting but extremely nerdy variation of the Blockchain. It’s called Ethereum and it governs smart contracts and decentralised applications using a super nerdy programming language (that he developed) called Solidity. (I am aware of my overuse of the word ‘nerdy’… however, I’m afraid it doesn’t get any better from here on in).

Even with a desperate attempt to look casual, you can actually feel him calculating your mass with his gaze. Rumour has it that at the age of 6 he was able to calculate 3 digit sums at twice the speed of his peers.

Now, before you exit in protest for my gratuitous overuse of slanderous terms (or for being a bully), you must know that I do not use the word ‘nerd’ disparagingly or in a derogatory manner. To the contrary, I truly admire Vitalik and envy (somewhat) the way his nerdy mind works.

Also, did I mention he was rich? Yep, he’s filthy stinking loaded. This is not in spite of his nerdiness, but actually a direct result of it. We don’t know exactly how rich he is, but we do know that his PUBLIC Ethereum wallet address contains at the very least around $130ml worth of the stuff… so it’s safe to say, he’s pretty comfortable.

No, Vitalik is not just any nerd, he’s a metro-nerd.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDGq4aeevgY

You only have to listen to Vitalik explain what Ethereum is to ultimately accept that he is indeed the caricature of a nerd. From the Skreech like inflections during his sentences, to the awkward darting of the eyeballs every 2–3 seconds. You literally can’t make this stuff up.

The Dawn of the metro-geek

It’s quite ironic after decades of Hollywood movies and sitcoms marginalising the Skreech’s of this world in favour of the Zac’s, karma has finally come full circle and the stereotypical, socially challenged, but arithmetic-ly enhanced, pattern obsessed sociopath is currently living in the world where they can literally become real life Tony Stark’s overnight. That’s right, Nerd is the new black, or orange? I can’t quite remember how it goes, but either way, nerd = cool.

In many ways, it was an anonymous and mythical metro-nerd that trail-blazed this path for others to follow. No one has actually met Satoshi Nakamoto (the legendary creator of Bitcoin), but one thing is for certain, he (or she) was/is a total nerd. We’re talking an Einsteinian-Teslian level nerdiness. In fairness, Satoshi is rumoured to be 6 people, who are literally all Billionaires now, but that version of the story isn’t as much fun as this one.

For Satoshi proves, that whereas before the greatest minds were relegated to a mediocre, unappreciated supporting role for some slick talking entrepreneur to sponge the glory for his/her accomplishments; the cryptocurrency world has created an alternative reality where the nerd rules. The, now direct, correlation between (essentially) currency and techno-mathematical competence seems to have sucked us into a quantum dimension where, finally, the geniuses are primed for leadership and riches.

The Not-so geeks

I’m sure there’s a mass of you who want to correct me and claim that Zuckerberg is in fact the father of the metro-nerd, whereas, I’m not even convinced that Zukcerberg is really even a nerd. I see him more as a Zac in Skreech’s clothing. An entrepreneur who overcompensates for his lack of actual nerdery to obfuscate the fact that he didn’t actually invent Web 2.0 or the Social Network, but repackaged them in a slick Jobs-like manner. No, Jobs and Zuckerberg are way to cool to qualify for the mantle of nerd.

Mark Zuckerberg overdoes the whole ‘nerd’ thing. Yes, he has a Skreech type nose and deliberately mundane hairstyle, but I view this as a purposeful manipulation of our stereotypes. In actuality, his ideas and thought processes are juxtaposed to quintessential ‘nerdery’. Much more visionary and opportunistic, somewhat like his predecessors, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, who have a business acumen closer to Donald Trump and Alan Sugar, than Nikola Tesla or Einstein.

The new ‘in’ crowd

Cryptocurrency communities, unlike other commodities, are made up of nerds. Even the investors are mostly nerds who have made their money investing in their knowledge of Cryptocurrency whilst the slick talking Jordan Belfon type-entrepreneurs of yesteryear, through lack of cognitive access to the cryptocurrency space kept their money in ‘safer’ more traditional investment models, simply because they don’t understand it. Without the aid of a nerd to ‘decrypt’ the basics, they’re simply left wandering haplessly in a matrix of 1’s and 0’s.

Yes, I’m aware that the tide has turned somewhat, as the behemoths of Bloomberg and Goldman Sachs latch on to the potential of Cryptocurrency, releasing their most carnivorous financial jackals into the world of Bitcoin like the proverbial hounds of Mr Burns, but the volatility of this space will likely have them running for hills without strategically placed geeks available to interpret whitepapers, Github releases and stack updates.

For example, Ivan Liljeqvist is the owner of the popular Youtube channel ‘Ivan on tech’. Ivan is a modern metro-nerd with an excellent ability to communicate abstract nerdy concepts and make them sound ‘normal’. Without computer geeks like him to provide a solid interpretation of the more difficult cryptocurrency concepts, we’d all be investing in blind faith that the nerds were telling us the truth. He is a rare species of nerd, but no doubt headed towards the inevitable riches that his intellect will afford him.
 https://www.youtube.com/user/LiljeqvistIvan/featured

The big ‘What If’?

The beautiful thing about our current tech dependent world, is the absolute and unwavering dependency we have on nerds to operate it. Take Bitcoin for instance. A friend of mine recently pointed out that only the most dedicated programmers had ever taken the time to read Satoshi’s code. If they so chose, The nerds could literally band together and clean us out in one fell swoop. We are quite literally acting in total blind faith that their codes do what they say they do.

…and the nerds will rule us all

The wonderful thing about this brave new world is that it demands the very smartest and most technically able person should be the one to ascend to the helm of CEO/Billionaire/POTUS/Ruler of the Free World, in preference of the smooth talking, socially adept communicators of old. In fact, it seems the more behaviourally awkward the visionary, the more they’re credibility increases in our new reality.

We are drawn to an almost caricature-type expectation when hearing from this new ilk of genius and seem to genuinely feel more secure the less we understand! It’s like the average intellectual serf is relegated to the role of extra in a modern day reprise of The Emperors New Clothes.

“He sounds smart. I didn’t understand anything he said in the past 3 sentences, so he must be really smart. He’s in charge.”

The future (or lack of) for non-nerds

So, what does this mean for the common man? Well basically, we’re screwed. Either step your nerdery up, befriend a nerd, or face being financially obsolete. We are already 99% submerged in a digital reality, and when we step fully into Web 3.0, if you don’t have at least a basic degree of nerdery, you will literally struggle to order a Just Eat… (or at least you’ll be stuck using Just Eat 2.0, and all the cool people will have moved on to ‘cool decentralized’ version that is 50% cheaper!)

Do you see the risks? The good news is, in our modern boundless, interconnected world, you’re only ever a few Youtube videos or blog articles away from mastering a new skill… so if you want my advice, best to learn a programming language or risk losing your partner to someone who knows 3 or more.