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Issue #409: Constrained v. Unconstrained

Issue #409: Constrained v. Unconstrained

Jan 30, 2019
Marty's Ƀent

Issue #409: Constrained v. Unconstrained

Here's a great piece that was dropped yesterday by our friends Arjun Balaji and Yassine Elmandjra that attempts to use Thomas Sowell's framework of the constrained v. the unconstrained vision and apply it to the differing mindsets within the world of cryptocurrencies. A great long read if you have some time to kill today.

Thomas Sowell, very underrated.

To quickly summarize, the constrained vision views the world with a healthy dose of skepticism, believing reality is riddled with tradeoffs that have consequential 2nd and 3rd order effects that should be taken into consideration when building out a system. The unconstrained view doesn't see tradeoffs, but technological and organizational hurdles to be overcome en route to a future where "scarcity can be eliminated, man’s self-interest can be corrected, imperfections perfected, and all evil eradicated."

A thought-provoking essay that serves as a great framework to use if you need help questioning your assumptions and putting them in greater perspective. And since we're entertaining this framework today, unsurprisingly to you freaks that have been long time mind hostages of this rag, I'll admit that I probably trend towards a constrained vision of the world and how we should approach Bitcoin development. If only because I believe the best way to attain the goals of an unconstrained vision of the future is to start from a solid base built on the principles of those who view the world with a constrained view. The framing reminds me of Galls Law.

john gall
galls law

As Arjun and Yassine point out in the essay, those with constrained and unconstrained visions for the future of Bitcoin and "crypto" have similar goals at the end of the day. The main differences lie in their assumptions of how the world works and the courses which need to be taken to achieve those similar goals.

Is it possible to have an unconstrained view of the future while believing it will be achieved via constrained, calculated, modular improvements?

Signal through the noise

Shoutout to our boy RainDogDance for diving into this report from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and pulling out some gems like the chart above. Looks at that steady growth in transaction value and size that Bitcoin has experienced over the last three years. Despite what the mediocre opinion bloggers at dying rags like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times will attempt to make you believe, Bitcoin is not dead. In fact, it is becoming a more and more powerful value storing and transferring network by the year. Slowly but surely gaining mindshare and market share over time.

I haven't read the whole report myself yet, but it seems like they did some extensive work to make it happen. Interviewing and surveying a number of diverse companies and entities in the "space". Definitely something to peep.

Final thought...

It's days like today that I miss living in Chicago. Polar vortexes are character builders.


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