🌍 Ethereum's History and State¶
In Module 0, we introduced Kernel and gave you an outline of what this course is aimed at teaching you. We discussed the overall framework for thinking we will develop throughout the 7 remaining weeks and conveniently labelled it "quantum thought". This is the ability to identify patterns both within and out there in the world; to understand the interplay of complementary opposites - 0 and 1 - which is the foundation of all pattern; to see more clearly the infinite spectrum of probabilities between the opposites without any irritable, egotistic grasping after certainty; and to develop the sort of humility required to navigate this complex modern world.
We then grounded this abstract framework through the example of trust. Once we can define in executable language all of the ways in which it is possible to cheat that we can develop "trustless" protocols which, in turn, allow us to explore new kinds of interpersonal, trust-full spaces between the actual people on either end of any given transaction. It is always both-and, then beyond.
This led us into a wider exploration of conversation, purpose and intention. We time travelled back to 1879 with Vincent Van Gogh - who painted turbulent flow more then a century before mathematicians could even begin to grasp it - and then even further, to a lived experience with the First People and Paul Myburgh which allowed us to explore the ancient foundations of listening and being.
We only brushed the surface of Bitcoin last week and there is a great deal more we could say about it. There can be no doubt that it represents an incredibly important moment in the movement towards money as a protocol, the development of new means to create or describe value, and new media by which we can relate that to and with one another in an agreeable fashion. However, it is not the whole story: only its beginning. Genesis is a wonderful book, but the real work of setting people free occurs elsewhere.
So, this week, we'll begin trying to understand what happens when you combine a peer-to-peer architecture for the internet of money - and its immense intrinsic utility - with a Turing-complete programming language. That is, we'll begin studying Ethereum.
We are not abandoning Bitcoin - many more references to it follow - but rather trying to come to a holistic understanding of all the competing and complementary developments in the technology of money since 2009. We do this in the pursuit of an ever-deepening understanding of the underlying patterns which power this new family of valuable protocols.