Conversations with a Junior Blockchain Engineer Part VII
B: oh helloooo
A: Today I wanted to ask you about maximalism, what are your views here
B: I think first thing that people confuse is that maximalism in crypto is an over-loaded term, it means multiple things depending on context. It can mean a coin maximalism, e.g. 1. “Bitcoin is the only thing that makes sense, the rest are shitcoins” but it can also mean, 2. “I truly believe only in Proof of Work” or “all cryptocurrencies projects have to be either decentralised or have this as part of their vision and roadmap”.
A: But there can be no maximalism at all, right?
B: Yes, no maximalism it means in practical terms in cryptocurrencies that you are a FIAT currency maximalist. You can see some of this strategy implemented by exchanges, e.g. we list Shiba, Doge as long as people buy it. To some extend this is good because they don’t discriminate against coins (e.g. there is a significant amount of evidence to believe that Gemini Exchange discriminates against Cardano). On another hand this is bad because it means the only reason you are in crypto is because value goes up. Exchanges are institutions and 99% of them ONLY wants to make money :(
A: It’s called mass adoption right?
B: Yes, (2) level of maximalism I call moral value system based maximalism. This one is pretty hard, it is like trying to teach a man or a woman, to love each other because of a nice character, we very well know that subconsciously people lean towards beauty, status — subconsciousness takes over — not consciousness, etc.
A: Maybe like a harmony of subconsciousness and consciousness?
B: Yes, albeit this harmony in some cases is limited in time
A: Ok… back to crypto…, the original Bitcoin movement back in 2009 — 12 was more moral value system based wasn’t?
B: Absolutely but recently almost all you can see is heavy push towards price appreciation rather than increasing adoption building something around this, there are exceptions though.
A: Isn’t that other coins are worse, at least Bitcoiners retained some of it moral value system based thinking, or?
B: I think yes, there are still some OGs (slang: Original) but there are hoards of: when moon, when lambo people.
A: Maybe this is just typical in bull markets, in bear market it will be quiet again.
A: So when Bitcoiners let’s say attack PoS coins because you believe they do this out of their value based system you are fine with this?
B: It depends, it’s a complex topic but generally I prefer this than talking about numbers going up only because it means there is ONLY FIAT VALUE based system morality.
A: Ok, but isn’t about wealth preservation as well, we don’t want our savings to rot away or?
B: Sure but it is not the main thing I would say, it is in addition. There are other ways to give you all the wealth and power in the world but you wouldn’t have freedom. Would you take it?
A: A lot of people would, let’s not kid ourselves.
B: Yes but a lot wouldn’t like my grand father that was captured by Germans during World War II and was working for them but never became Nazi or when he was freed, he worked in Poland under communism regime and could not be promoted because he was not part of party.
A: And he never became part of the party?
B: Never! In this respect he was a hero because he and his family effectively could live but without anything special really. Party members had more money and extra privileges.
A: You are right, I don’t think we have those heroes as much as we used to. Isn’t a bit skewed reality, it is not that all people that join communist party in Poland were doing this for money, actually many believed in the ideology.
B: This is undeniably true and for those that didn’t do this out of money I have respect.
A: What if this is more complex, people are not simple, money helped to change their mind, after all we are not 1 or 0 as humans.
B: Of course, we as humans are very complex beings. However, what I noticed start happening in especially Cryptocurrencies is that those people that have $ based system only started to attack those that do, scoffing and scolding them. This is especially troubling.
A: So you think a lot of people in Crypto today are less of these kind of heroes with strong moral value system but more anti-heroes with $ as value system?
B: Yes, I am afraid that masses and hordes of retail investors and institutions now came to cryptocurrencies without actually understanding much and a lot of so called Crypto influencers don’t present moral value system but rather pure $ value based systems.
A: It’s not that retail investors have money, institutions do. Can we really expect corporations to have moral value based systems? In fact if it wouldn’t be for stringent laws and some governments corporations would do everything to destroy planet and us. Take GDPR for example, can you imagine corporation implementing it out of their own? Never!
B: Indeed. You starting to understand. So if you want money only and instant gratification it is better to go with coins that get burned or the ones that are meme coins, very quickly go in value.
A: So you think that JUST making money is the same as your grand father succumbing to Nazis or signing up to a party so he could be a university or school director back in the days?
B: Maybe Nazi is too strong but school director would be a better analogy, of course I mean more extreme cases, were you buy literally anything without reflection.
A: Hm… actually it makes sense to some extend what you mean, BUT(!) there is just so much tribalism in crypto, it is sickening.
B: I don’t think there is anything wrong with moral value based tribalism, in fact lack of it is terrible(!). It is just that we can argue and should argue between each other if people really understand those systems in order to judge them? It is important to be open minded and science based. You need to be well prepared for conversation and have open mind in discussion.
B: Well for some there is PoW and there is nothing else but there are many shades of gray of PoW, PoS and there are hybrid systems, there is programability on L1 or only on L2.
A: Maybe I will shoot too deep now but don’t you think in general we have lost some of ideals, moral value based systems are in decline, religion, churches, etc.
B: Yes because deep convictions of something are other together with thinking this is the only way, which leads to excluding family members, e.g. one is Christian, another is Buddhist. Some Christian priests say that Buddhism is evil and will not give you salvation.
B: This indeed puts off many people and there is a lost of trust in religious institutions, which instead of leading to reflecting and forming own moral value based systems often leads to pure $ value based systems.
A: Look what happened with e.g. Church, they preaching to be poor but in fact Vatican is one of the richest places in the world. Paedophilia scandals, etc.
B: All authorities fail, sooner than later but we should treat moral system as lego and build our own, consciously. It is fine to have multiple masters, relying only on one master is usually very bad. Be careful, which masters you pick and what you cherry-pick out of them.
A: But I have a family to feed and I want good for them so I invest in crypto, is this bad? Does this make me an evil person?
B: No, I don’t think it does but when these people including influencers start putting you down, laughing at you, taking the mickey out of you, and publicly practising ostracism for you — a person with moral value based systems — then something is wrong, then you know it is a so called stampede event.
A: Stampede event, what does it mean?
B: Hoards of investors are stamping on each other to get wealthy
A: We are really getting deep now I see… but if we are that deep, what do you think of Charles Hoskinson, since I happen to know you like him and support him in a way.
B: I like a lot what he says, he a person with moral values and standards. I believe Cardano that he founded originally and not supports is ultimately gonna help us as a society moving forward.
A: Well, is that what he all told you? What about critical thinking, maybe he wants to become even richer, after all he holds ADA (ADA is Cardano’s cryptocurrency) as well?
B: I think wealth is not his main objective, he has enough of it and as for taking all he says without critical thinking, absolutely not. I am a vegetarian / vegan and he called vegans cultists. I sincerely believe he completely misses the point.
A: Maybe you are completely missing the point…
B: This also may be, but this is exactly what I told you when I said we should pick and choose, there is no ultimate moral authority. When it comes to vegetarian and vegan moral value based system — Peter Singer is my hero.
What Is Animal Liberation? Philosopher Peter Singer's Groundbreaking Work Turns 40 | PETA
First published in 1975, Animal Liberation was a philosophical bombshell. It forever changed the conversation about our…
A: Ok but there is some moral authority, like paedophilia is bad, and there should be no anti-antisemitism, slavery is bad, no racism, etc
B: Those are already recognised truths but they always have birth, there is a belief system that needs to be born
A: And vegetarinism?
B: No specism..
A: Holy cow, this book published in 1975, doesn’t seem like it became mass movement or something, lol…
B: No, it didn’t, moral based systems are super hard, also some of them — as ideas die, others are hibernated and are revisited at other times. Sometimes there is also many misconceptions like people think we should support animals above humans, refugees etc.
With moral value based systems first you need to think a lot, second of all you may need to sacrifice some of your happiness for others of yourself, majority of people don’t want this. It is innate to maximise own’s happiness.
A: Family not?
B: Also, yes but government or society, almost nobody cares about that.
A: We departing a bit… and we really need to wrap this up and come back to original topic, which is cryptocurrencies… what do you advise people actually do…. surely not become vegetarian out of the sudden?
B: Well not without conviction and reading this book above for instance no but I try to push yourself beyond $ as moral based system, try something like a hybrid system, $ but with sustainable growth and moral values.
A: Like we have these kind of stocks… green energy stocks or no tobacco products ETFs, etc ?
B: For example and also remember there are many false prophets.
A: That sounds fanatical… Hm.. not sure it will work. People in cryptocurrencies are not seeking salvation or after life you know.
B: No but they should be seeking freedom and not giving up their identity and personal convictions for those with money and power only. I think Charles actually summarises a lot of this well in his video:
A: Lol, how much does Charles pay you?
B: Nothing, I hold ADA but I could as well sell it all and buy anything
A: This reminds me of a quote:
“The most beautiful slaves are the ones that out of their own will enslave themselves”.
B: I am familiar with this quote and yes moral value based systems are a form of own imprisonment but both slave and imprisonment are pejorative terms, so it is better to say like moral convictions.
A: Next time I want to talk to you about what some of philosophies some of cryptocurrencies represent.
B: Sure, but we have to be careful
B: Because sometimes people in those philosophies are covertly supporting certain philosophies and then in fact they support enriching their own pockets.
B: Oh sure! When Fuel (UTxO) as L2 came to Ethereum it was praised by them as amazing, where as they always were shitting on Cardano’s eUTxO also Cardano SPOs praise decentralisation but they open many pools, which turns them into hypocrites
A: But it’s not exactly the same, Fuel is not exactly the same UTxO as Cardano’s and in case of multi stake pool operators some of them actually provide more value than SPOs that just run nodes — without any extra value
B: This is very true but there are also many which are covertly supporting certain philosophies or they think they provide massive value because they have a podcast or YouTube channel with price predictions but they don’t but we won’t focus on them, we will focus on preached philosophies and various different views within them.
A: Thank You, I don’t agree with all you are saying but I appreciate conversation and it certainly makes me think a lot about these things.
B: Then it means I have succeeded because the worst is not to think and just consume any garbage that comes your way. Don’t forget, try to have value system other than $ value system.