Six months. A year at most.
That’s what it takes to be a part of Bitcoin.i
You spent more time learning to walk, more time learning to colour in the lines, and more time undoing the brain damage wrought by grade skool. Contrary to popular belief, what you need to spend the next 6-12 months doing isn’t tweeting, facebooking, instagramming, meet-uping or conference attending. If you want to be a part of Bitcoin, spending 6-12 months at Mircea Popescu‘s IRC Yeshivaii really isn’t too much to ask. If you want to make an impact that will be felt by future generations, there “seems”iii to be no. other. way.
The IRC Yeshiva is split into active and passive components. The active component is the IRC channel itself, accessed through a stand-alone IRC applicationiv, and the passive component is the morning paper that is the #bitcoin-assets log of the IRC channel conversations.
In the passive logs, the functional scrolls of scripture, truth lies both overt and concealed. Just as in the Pentateuch. Viewed in this light, MP’s Trilema is the Talmud and the other blogsv are the Midrash. Together, these form the commentaries that help to illuminate the often murky depths of Bitcoin and the world it tends to consume. This is, in some regards, the hardest part for “Bitcoiners” accustomed to a world of shininess, apps, and instant gratification. Being quiet and studious is broadly unknown in a western culture that prizes “views”, “likes” and the inane extraversion required to generate them.
If we take the time to study diligently, we can be privy to rare gems such as this:
decimation: Bitcoin teaches that the valuable part of the gold coin isn’t the physical coin but merely the information it conveys.
asciilifeform: was this really a shock to anyone?
mircea_popescu: Are we sure this is actually true ? It could just as well show that the pedestrian definition of “physical” isn’t really as important as we thought. What is more “physically yours” than something nobody can take from you ?the laws of physics are after all maffs, all of them.
asciilifeform: If gold could be teleported at will, and likewise stowed in an inaccessible ‘never-land’ by the owner, one would need no electronic cryptocoin.
mircea_popescu: The absence of both of these being long regarded as a bug in the implementation of physicality.
The treatment of physicality as software is just too beautiful, as is the embedded definition of Bitcoin: deterministic scarcity as distilled information. I tell ya, only at the IRC Yeshiva.
All too often, however, cavalier clowns waltz onto the IRC dancefloor with two left feet, beating dead horsesvi and generally embarrassing themselves and their “community”. The more tactful and considered approach is to listen closely before asking questions, that we may come up with the the right questions, and through this come to understand the deeper nature of Bitcoin and the world around us. It’s not that we should be afraid to ask the wrong questions, it’s that we should be afraid to walk in like we own the place. If Goethe asked that we die and become, the IRC Yeshiva asks that we learn and become. Learning, in this sense, means shutting up until you have something intelligent to say.
So it goes that non-attendance at the Yeshiva is equivalent to indentured servitudevii, with all the subjugation and butthurt historically associated therewith. The choice is simple: spend your days reading /r/bitcoin and becoming an “investment expert”, or spend your days (quietly) in the IRC Yeshiva learning how business, finance, and the world work.
Now where did Rabbi ben Popescu run off to?
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- Well, maybe. This assumes that you’re currently misapplying useful skills and experience, obtained on Wall Street, Silicon Valley, or (preferably) autodidactically. Incidentally, being a part of Bitcoin appeals to your humble author. I intend to see if I have what it takes because being a cheerleader is getting old. The history books aren’t filled with pompoms, but touchdowns. [↩]
- A functional bet din (“house of judgment”) and bet midrash (“house of study”), from Encyclopaedia Britannica, not Wikiwannabe. [↩]
- “Seems, madam! Nay, it is; I know not “seems.”” -Hamlet, Act I, Scene II [↩]
- Such as colloquy for Mac or x-chat for Windows/Linux. Webchat also works. [↩]
- Found here, and including
- e.g. freeroute [↩]
- Be in rock-cracking, tube-watching, TCP/IPing, or app’ing. [↩]