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🌈 The play of pattern

None of the KERNEL Core Learning Objectives have concrete answers.

This is because there are no simple, one-size-fits-all answers to the questions we're interested in learning about and teaching. That is what makes them good questions.

Our aim here is to give you the framework to begin thinking in transformative ways about the most important questions raised by this Web 3 world we're building, together.


KERNEL Fellows will separate themselves by their ability to identify patterns.

Pattern recognition is at the core of cognition. Becoming more conscious of patterns which already exist in the world, as well as how you choose to interact with those in your environment is the single best thing you can do to improve your critical thinking skills.

In particular, we hope KERNEL Fellows begin thinking in terms of complementary opposites.

Rather than using dualities like 'decentralization good, centralization bad'; or 'DeFi is innovative, fiat is boring', this style of thinking recognizes that there is no good without evil; no attraction without repulsion, no North with South, no up without down.

We could describe this as "quantum thought" - being able to contemplate both 0 and 1 simultaneously, and the spectrum of probability between. If you can hold this all in a superposition without any grasping after certainty, you can process significantly more information per qubit, and so make more effective decisions, because the lack of certainty humbles you.

KERNEL Fellows should have humility. We cannot be sure what the effect of our actions will be, we can only cultivate an acute observational awareness which will guide us toward making the right trade-offs.

If you want to change the world, the world will inevitably act back and change you. The results of Web 2 applications have made this clear. The greater our collective humility, the more gentle this exchange will be as Web 3 comes to life.

The critical idea here is that thinking consciously about trade-offs, and developing the ability to hold many different probabilities in mind simultaneously without allowing personal bias to obscure your view of all possible futures, allows you to pick The Middle Way more often than not.

The Honest Question

Those who have positively changed the world were able to do so because they learnt how to negotiate complexity, rather than impose their own will on things. They answered their own questions as honestly and directly as they could.

Playing with pattern recognition as a framework for thought, and training ourselves to become conscious of the constant interplay of complementary opposites as a means of cultivating presence, leads us to one very simple query:

💡 What is the question to which you are the universe's answer?

and it's equally direct corollary:

💡 How can you respond most honestly, accurately, and lovingly?