How Blockchains Keep Us Humble

Jeremy Epstein Business

It’s tempting when a technology that is as potentially disruptive as blockchain arrives on the scene to immediately make grand pronouncements.

Yes, I’m guilty of it.

After all, those who make the big statements get attention (marketing), right?

Let’s say, for a moment, that many of the grand pronouncements are based on serious thought and made by serious people (hopefully I fit into that category).

That makes it all the more important to check yourself.

There’s a type of bias that Daniel Kahneman talks about in his book “Thinking Fast and Slow” that describes the phenomenon of not wanting to make our past selves feel stupid.

The example he gave is that if you voted for Obama the first time, you are more likely to vote for him the 2nd time, even if you are unhappy with his performance. The reason is that a vote against him would force you to admit that your prior self was wrong.

Despite having looked through a long list of biases for about 10 minutes, I couldn’t find the one to which I am referring. So, take my word for it…It’s the continued influence effect, after all.

All of this is pre-cursor to invite you to read this article, “On blockchains, hype, and intermediaries,” where the author’s conclusion is…”blockchains are not all that.”

We’re SO damn early in this blockchain experiment that it’s naive for anyone to think “oh, here is how it will all play out.”

It’s absolutely critical to listen to as many dissenting voices as possible (I wish that happened in politics, but there’s only so much I can do).

It’s why I value the comments I get on the blog, via email, and other ways so much.

Arrogance will lead us all to make poor decisions.

Let’s keep each other humble…as civilly as we can.