On Bitcoin Cash and the “Rectification of Names”

Ko Kansei
Ko Kansei
Aug 3, 2017 · 3 min read

Back in 1949, Mao Zedong and the communists realized they had been outmaneuvered by General Chiang Kai-shek and they would be unable to enslave the island of Taiwan as part of their brutal social experiment. Did they acknowledge their loss? Of course not.

Despite the fact that the Republic of China is by all objective standards a sovereign nation, to this day the communists remain so cosmically butthurt about their failure that they cannot even bring themselves to acknowledge objective reality, so they instead cling desperately to a delusional narrative that they can only maintain by systematic abuse of the language. What is worse, certain organizations indulge the CCP’s reckless disregard for the truth by forcing Taiwan / the Republic of China to use the name “Chinese Taipei” in international events, competitions, etc.

Likewise, the Dragon’s Den crowd think that they can somehow save face and assuage their own sense of loss over the success of the Bitcoin Cash hard fork by referring to Bitcoin Cash as “Bcash” in a transparent attempt to corrupt our common nomenclature. They think that they will actually benefit by crafting and propagating a narrative and terminology that is fundamentally at odds with reality. This is a serious mistake.

In the Confucian tradition, the “rectification of names” is a very important concept. More than 2,000 years ago, the Confucian scholar Xunzi wrote the following on the subject of “the naming of things:”

故王者之制名,名定而實辨,道行而志通,則慎率民而一焉。故析辭擅作名,以亂正名,使民疑惑,人多辨訟,則謂之大姦。其罪猶為符節度量之罪也。

When the kings of old named things, once a name was established, the corresponding reality could be understood. Once the accurate naming of things was put into practice, people could communicate their thoughts and the people could be lead carefully to consensus. Therefore, the dismemberment of language and misuse of names designed to interfere with correct naming brings confusion to the people and leads them to [petty and pointless] debates, and this is a grave and reprehensible sin above all others, on par with the fabrication of false symbols and inaccurate weights and measures.

As usual, the more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. More than 2,000 years ago, both Confucius and Xunzi recognized the inherent evil of subverting the truth using false names. Confucius himself said:

君子名之必可言也,言之必可行也。君子於其言,無所苟而已矣

The superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect.

Confucius looks askance at a Blockstream envoy trying to convince the local lord that his Bitcoin Cash is actually called “Bcash” and that SegWit is a “blocksize increase.”

For Confucius, a man who did not call things by their proper names was a scoundrel and morally corrupt.

The current “BCash” astroturf effort that has been pushed by the highest levels of the Blockstream faithful should be rebuked aggressively. It is nothing more the latest in a long line of dishonest distortions (calling BitcoinXT, Classic and Unlimited “altcoins,” referring to hardfork efforts as “contentious”) coordinated among a small group of ideologues which would have been immediately recognized by Confucius and his intellectual descendants for what it is: a shameless and self-defeating attempt at manipulation. Let’s make sure we let those who insist on corrupting our channels of communication know just how reprehensible and corrupt they are.

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