HONESTY (the only policy)

Prior to diving into the crypto technology space I feel a need to lay down a marker, a reputational genesis block if you will. This need is in response to an array of conflictual feelings I have been experiencing as I begin to probe this space:

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Naivety: Studying the plethora of white, yellow, green, mauve, & polkadot papers is somewhat bewildering. Observing the white heat of ICO frenzies is somewhat intimidating. Taking in all the conflicting opinions expressed upon Slack, Reddit, Medium, Youtube … etc, is somewhat disorientating. Following the ‘chatter’ upon Twitter, Gitter, Reddit … etc, is somewhat exhausting. Having the sense that everyone else seems to have a plan is somewhat dispiriting. Is naivety a crime ? Somewhat.

Disbelief: At the hype over infant technology. At the poor quality code marketed to fools. At watching the crypto-kids going from being broke outsiders to rich insiders in a lightening flash. At seeing investors flocking to get a piece of the action having done little if any due diligence. At the immaturity of engineering processes. At the teenage posturing masquerading as radicalism. At the (ignorant) quiet before the corporate storm. At the triumph of marketing. At the reluctance to implement governance. Am I believer ? The jury is still out.

Greed: Basically I am and always have been virtually penniless beyond the cash required to get through the month. I have no savings, no assets, no excess possessions. I have repeatedly turned my back upon various wealth creation possibilities (buying a home, maximising income, buying ETH). My wife says that without her I would be a tramp. But the crypto space dangles the promise of a fecund source of ‘tokens’, and I must admit that it would be pretty cool to not stress out for fiscal reasons. For the first time in my life I am considering becoming a rational economic agent. Is this greed ? Probably.

Fear: From a dystopian perspective crypto-technologies have frightening potential. Incentivised autonomous agents, coalescing to form adaptive complex systems resistant to centralised governance and (subsequent) human intervention, disturbs my circadian rhythm. Smart contracts sequestering assets beneath a myriad of obscure tokens sounds like laundering to me. The potential of crypto-economics to become the foundation stone of an alternative to capitalism is symptomatic of troubling sociological issues. Am I a dystopian ? It depends.

Depression: By fighting these conflictual feelings whilst spending too much time in cyberspace getting upto speed, I risk triggering a depressive cycle. It is not an uncommon quandary for a person involved with technology. Lets face facts, just like the coal-face, the code-face can be a lonely, unrewarding place. Furthermore geeks generally have limited emotional resources and hence are vulnerable (part of their charm in many ways). Unfortunately defences tend to end up becoming walls. Am I happy ? Getting there.

A genesis block has been mined. As you can see, this particular token, lets call it HONESTY, is not without it’s downside. Probing crypto, albeit obliquely, has a price, particularly when playing catch up. Of course there are upsides, and all in all it feels right that I begin to probe this space. Actually if feels like destiny. Maybe we can explore that feeling another time.