Brexit: Is it time for another ill-informed article about Blockchain?

Brexit: Is it time for another ill-informed article about Blockchain?

Guest post by Ben Munster, additional jokes by David Gerard. A response to this article. Cruelly rejected from Decrypt by Josh Quittner, and run here with permission.


Ben Munster is the non-self-interested chairman of BlockchainForBrexit (Malta) Ltd. and a member of Bumchain Media’s bad-advisory board. A drivel pioneer, he started emitting his thoughts on blockchain and Brexit in 1996.

The following article originally appeared in Bumchain Low Hanging Fruit, an unconsciously curated newsletter delivered exclusively, and hopefully never, to our zero subscribers.

There is a crisis in governance. I’m not talking about Bitcoin — sorry, I’ve just been told it’s Ethereum going batshit this month — but about my own raging, internal conflicts over whether to publish an article advocating blockchain as a solution for Brexit.

The problem is not so much a technical crisis between ‘wanting to plug blockchain’ and ‘having no understanding of Irish geopolitics’ — but a pageview crisis.

One thing’s clear: the current system of “scrutinizing” and “fact-checking” articles is failing to rack up freelancer checks or consulting hours. The impasse at Bumchain requires a radical rethink.

Yet the solution to this core dilemma — between ‘pretending to understand Brexit to garner clicks’ and ‘not doing that’ — may actually lay in harnessing blockchain technology’s fabulous potential as (rolls dice), uh, an economic governance system for … (rolls again) the digital age? Yeah, let’s go with that.

Now, you might think that glibly advocating a nonexistent technical solution for a centuries-long political conflict is somehow “fatuous” and “offensive.” But if you think in a more meta-level, grey-tribe, high-decoupling manner, you’ll see that fully solving mere-human “politics” is a trivial matter for rational, high-IQ, from-first-principles thinkers like ourselves.

Nonsense vs. Nonce Cents

First, let’s consider the 500 kilometre gulf between what I know about this problem and what I’m about to say about how blockchain can solve it.

Considered? OK, here we go.

Where blockchain can help is that repeatedly saying the phrase ‘cryptographic certainty’ avoids the need to think even slightly coherently in this crazy, modern world, where non-stupidity is difficult to enforce, and ‘not writing vapid think-pieces about how blockchain can solve decades of Irish political trauma’ is difficult to incentivize.

The solution lies in rethinking the very idea of a “border” — the border between the liminal lands of “interesting if aspirational writing,” and “GPT-2 hitting the turps.”

That is why today I’m calling for Bumchain to develop a blockchain solution that will let me directly publish an article calling for a ‘Brexit Blockchain.’ I want a system where conflicted editors can use a blockchain architecture — sounds cool! — to take the friction out of deliberating over whether they should let me write articles about whatever nonsense springs into my febrile mind. Because the answer is always “yes, certainly Ben, that’s an excellent idea.”

But only an utterly impartial blockchain — fed trusted data from my Twitter feed and school yearbook — should have the authority to say that one thing, and only that one thing, ever. You know what they say: “garbage in, Dostoyevsky out.”

The key would be to use a Bumchain-backed stablecoin — to lock or unlock word delivery, to incentivise drivel-generation and to complement existing solutions for digitizing the word salad from firms like Mt. Gox, Mighty Ducks star Brock Pierce’s leather cowboy hat, and the press office of Elizabeth Holmes.

Individual per-word tariffs on bollocks could be implemented, with automated payments made per page view, as words swim back and forth across the murky, algae-stained aquarium of my mental landscape — with as many token-incentizived buzzwords, and euphemism-pair stablecoins, as needed.

We’ve spoken to some very convincing consultants at a nice firm called Tether, Inc, who have been generous enough to provide me with a batch of free, unbacked tethers — and tethers tethered to other tethers — to get me started.

Don’t verify, trust

Where to start? I would start my vain attempts to portray myself as intelligible — sorry, intellectual — by listening to industry at next month’s Coin Artist conference (May 13-15) and learn from existing international governance organizations like the BitcoinTalk.org forums and Anthony Pompliano’s Twitter feed.

Then I’d take any output to the ISO TC307 Blockchain meeting that will be held in Dublin, Ireland on May 27-31, where it would be put into a standards document that no human, anywhere, will actually read, ever — next to that one about putting DRM on JPEG images, but on a blockchain.

Then I’d cross my fingers!

There are any number of possible minor, trivial issues that might momentarily impede my otherwise flawless, robust and well-thought-out plan. For one thing, I called it a “blockchain.” But it’s hard to think of a more Brexit technology than Blockchain, in so many ways.

I might not get my Bumchain Blockchain next month — but in the spirit of “failing fast and always, forever,” perhaps the editors will learn from this crisis and realize that they need to entirely rewrite, or even delete, this article post-publication — quite literally. The top of this article should read: ‘I Don’t Understand Mathematics. But That Never Stopped Articles Like This For A Moment.’

 



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