Blockchain is a word that has recently entered our language and if we gain our understanding from experience and language we relate new ideas to now familiar experiences so when the Internet came into our lives we embraced a further layer of technological language and understanding to rationalise our acceptance of these ideas.
Blockchain has words attached to the idea such as ‘ immutability’ and added complexity to Blockchain is derived from this simple idea and that use of that word in itself defines our perception of Blockchain, so although we can’t be sure of the essential nature of blockchain, we should be able to agree on the meaning and use of the word.
When it comes to the real world and the widespread applications of blockchain then we can only conclude that we don’t have certain knowledge of immutability because it is based on perception, so we have to make do with probable knowledge. So it is a bit of a choice whether we believe the hype.
If we develop further a technical lexicon around blockchain innovations and talk about new language such as Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin Mining, Digital Wallets, Tokenisation Fintech etc., we are reinforcing the initial idea of Blockchain
Sceptics would argue that with our dictionary and perceptions we are rationalising through acceptance and reinforcing an idea itself. Now if our individual perceptions are in doubt we can take comfort by making comparisons with other people’s perceptions and repeated use of new words, so blockchain systems and protocols are systems based on perception, vocabulary and wisdom of crowds.
Nothing new here, advertisers have been working with this principal for a long time and FOMO is a manifestation of this idea, again using acronyms and patois.
A more practical application of applying knowledge of our perceptions is through scepticism. We cannot be sure that Blockchains will be ‘secure’ tomorrow even though they have been in the past. This is merely a habit of thinking and believing extraneous hype. We cannot be ‘sure’, but we learn to live with this ‘uncertainty’ and act according to or perceptions. The human mind imposes conditions on observations that makes such observations true and influences our view of reality and ideas. We believe the hype because we want to, we embrace the language because we want to.
IF Blockchain is more to do with the language than the idea then we need more of the Socratic idea of dialogue which seeks clarity via negation and elimination. Ultimately it may be down to Utilitarianism (is Blockchain a benefit and for the greater good) provided we can agree on what the idea is and what the word means ( or stands for)
Time will tell, but we have been here before with an innovation and nice language about security, restoring trust and providing transparency and our natural perceptions have been influenced by our experience of such technologies and their dark sides.
It doesn’t help when we have related issues like the volatility of Bitcoin prices and the greed incentive to ramp up any idea which involves the use of the language of blockchain.
We believe in and promote Blockchain because we want to. Fake news anyone?
The last words come from Wittgenstein
‘All language is vague, so there is no such thing as truth or certainty. ‘