I’m in my early 30s. When I was younger, it was always clear that “technology” was the future, yet “tech nerds” seemed to occupy a really niche space in society. We had PCs and DSL (lol) and midi ringtones when I was in high school, but smartphones weren’t really a thing. Uber wasn’t even around when I was in college.
Despite the merits of recent technological innovation (calling/hailing a cab in a suburban town as a drunk 19 year old was a pain in the ass, and I thank Uber despite its institutional flaws), I don’t think simply possessing coding knowledge gives technocrats the ability to play God. But judging from their bizarre techno-libertarian talking points, you’d think that simply being able to code a food delivery app makes someone an expert in financial markets, the law (don’t get me started on “smart contracts”) and society in general.
As much as people think the NYT Op-Ed version of Paul Krugman is cringe, he has a point. Crypto is a solution looking for a problem. What’s sad is that we conflate marketable skills with universal knowledge. It’s why people think Elon Musk is “cool” for inconveniencing a niche network of cave rescue diving experts with his impractical and lofty submarine blueprints.
I don’t blame the every day yokel falling for techno -libertarian mysticism. They’re the “occupy Wallstreet” dolts who like getting f*cked by populist personality cults.
What I absolutely can’t stand is the institutional hesitation to call this shit out for what it is. I think it may have been Australia, but I read an interesting regulatory statement from some common wealth country basically calling out journalists for their irresponsible endorsement of the crypto space. But that’s exactly the problem. Some of the biggest financial institutions and journalistic outlets don’t want to be perceived as Luddites speaking against the crypto libertarian wet dream, so they perpetuate the narrative. The incidental “tech-y” aspect of crypto is the hecklers veto that saves the community from outright being called a Ponzi scheme. “Blah blah blockchain something” is the politically correct journalistic standard 9/10., and it’s f*cked. Liz Warren (I don’t think people realize how hard it is for her to speak out against certain populist trends) and Paul Krugman and other dissenting voices are the only people who give me faith in humanity. I whole heartedly believe in free speech, and journalists can write what they want. That doesn’t mean I think the market place of ideas is efficient. Half the country thinks the election was stolen and that Trump is the second coming of Christ. Time passed is not always progress. We’re mostly still our dark age ancestors, gullible to fallacies and mysticism. Just replace lucky horseshoes with #hodl.
Disclaimer: This content does not necessarily represent the views of IWB.