@AlSweigart Define fan. I think blockchains are "interesting". They're a real thing and they aren't going away just because we don't like them. So we need to take what opportunities we can to try to steer them in a better direction. \1
@AlSweigart For the right-wing libertarians, blockchains offer the fantasy of capital unleashed from its last dependencies on the democratic state. Which will be a terrible thing if it comes to pass.

OTOH ... \2
@AlSweigart Blockchains could do the opposite. Allow us to automate the boring stuff of the entire financial sector out of existence. Banks, hedge-funds etc. can be replaced by scripts. And investment take place by frictionless P2P crowdfunding. \3
@AlSweigart The claim that capital is "useful" is nothing more than the claim that it does important information routing and processing work. If that's true, an infrastructure that can turn that routing / processing into an invisible / commoditised network infrastructure layer ... \4
@AlSweigart And replace capital altogether, seems to me to be an opportunity that shouldn't be lightly dismissed.

NFTs are a) a bubble, b) terrible in the sense of promoting the idea that scarcity is valuable.

But if they can bring more people to think about blockchains ... \5
@AlSweigart Particularly people who aren't normally interested in money and finance, to want to engage and help shape the direction that blockchains evolve in, then I think that's a good thing.

For example ... \6
@AlSweigart NFTs on hic-et-nunc are bringing Tezos a lot of attention and excitement. Tezos is already a proof-of-stake blockchain which doesn't have the same energy requirements that proof-of-work blockchains do. \7
@AlSweigart In principle, the energy / environmental requirements of the Tezos blockchain are similar to any other internet infrastructure. Not the exponential growth that's hardwired into BitCoin and other POW chains. \8
@AlSweigart I'm all for NFTs if this moment switches people over from the extremely energy costly BitCoin to starting to think about and use Tezos, because they saw a bunch of their favourite artists selling stuff on hic-et-nunc.


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More from @interstar

30 Apr
So ... if I were Basecamp employee, I'd probably be one of the people screaming about not being allowed to have political discussions. But, to be fair, from an outsider perspective, it seems they've been pretty decent about this. \1
Right now, society is being torn apart because we all can't stop getting more and more upset with each other and screaming at each other on social media.

If that was happening inside their company too, and they wanted to try to re-establish some kind of quiet stability ... \2
Then just paying half the people to just go away, might actually have been about as reasonable a solution as anyone could come up with. \3
Read 5 tweets
17 Feb
Yes. The more I think of it, the more this point, the "not cumulative" nature of Quora (or any social media posting) is the crucial question. We are sharecroppers on these platforms if they don't give us the tools to build something bigger ... \1
As way for our work to "add up" to something more than the fleeting attention that it buys us (and buys the platform)

That's what's "evil" about the attention farming platforms. Of course attention is always fleeting. But they could have been set up in a different way ... \2
I keep thinking of things like @threadreaderapp ... in their tiny way they a force for "good". They are helping us turn the fleeting tweets into a more permanent construction.

Obviously this is a tiny, tiny step ... but everyone building tools should think like this ... \3
Read 7 tweets
30 Jan
@6loss I think Stallman's politics is left and libertarian (where libertarian is "extreme liberal"). The intuition most of us had originally is that with enough freedom, the good drives out the bad. As you know, I think we might be discovering that that is "wrong" in some sense ... \1
@6loss But it's still a viable and attractive intuition.

And, yes, the GPL etc. is built on that. So freedom is more important than trying to constrain people to do good.
@6loss Furthermore ... pragmatically, this appeal to pure freedom clearly engages and recruits more people than if Stallman had tried to use GPL to enforce his own wider political views. You have "right-libertarians" (ESR, or Lessig) on-board with GPL. \3
Read 12 tweets
2 Jan
The Great Software Stagnation is real, but we have to understand it to fight it. The CAUSE of the TGSS is not "teh interwebs". The cause is the "direct manipulation" paradigm : the "worst idea in computer science" \1
Progress in CS comes from discovering ever more abstract and expressive languages to tell the computer to do something. But replacing "tell the computer to do something in language" with "do it yourself using these gestures" halts that progress. \2
Stagnation started in the 1970s after the first GUIs were invented. Every genre of software that gives users a "friendly" GUI interface, effectively freezes progress at that level of abstraction / expressivity. Because we can never abandon old direct manipulation metaphors \3
Read 12 tweets
28 Aug 20
@wokal_distance This is a good thread but you miss the point about the post-modernists. The PoMos were not ADVOCATING we abandon truth. They were diagnosing and WARNING US, that the media and language were like this. That no cultural institution or language could guarantee objective truth \1
@wokal_distance Neither media nor our langauge etc. could play the role of a kind of a court to give us a definitive verdict.

People complain about PoMo as though PoMos inflicted this problem on us. But that's shooting the messenger.\2
@wokal_distance The Enlightenment tradition said give everyone "freedom of speech" and the good will drive out the bad. But PoMo theorists were cultural studies people, linguists, anthropologists. They KNEW culture and communication didn't work like that. And they tried to tell us. \3
Read 9 tweets
24 Aug 20
@AnneOgborn @rzeta0 After a bit of playing with SWI so far I was impressed with many aspects of it. Running web server and web interface was remarkably simple. More or less the same as doing it in Python / Flask etc.

But there were things in Prolog which seemed inconvenient / counter-intuitive. \1
@AnneOgborn @rzeta0 These are conceptual things, and I guess you could argue that fixing them would mean it isn't Prolog any more. But they managed to stop me going further.

Some examples ... \2
@AnneOgborn @rzeta0 It's a pity that Prolog doesn't have functions for things that we intuitively think of as functions. Ie. numeric calculations or basic string processing etc.

Always having to think and write these in the form of relations feels unwieldy and overcomplicated. \3
Read 9 tweets

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