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Stupidity Drives Jason Bloomberg’s Irrational Response To Internet Trolls
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So, let’s say you’re some over-the-hill blowhard who’s built a career out of pretending to be a tech expert and sometimes writes sensationalist clickbait about stuff he doesn’t understand. I’m sure you can make a decent living doing this, and publications like Forbes will be happy to assist you as long as your trash-articles are bringing in the clicks. Deep down you probably know you’re a hack if you make a living writing clickbait, but you’re still human — it probably still bothers you if people call you out on your ignorance and make a public mockery of you. Enter Jason Bloomberg.
I previously wrote about Jason Bloomberg as a response to his insane article about banning all decentralized cryptocurrencies (good luck with that). I like to think it was a pretty decent shutdown of his inanity — unfortunately, he’s recently doubled down on it:
This is a pretty typical thing these days. If you can’t defend your position, it’s often effective to cry loudly that all your opponents are racists or Nazis. Since at least some of your opponents are bound to be racist, it’s easy enough to paint the others with the same broad brush. Despite my article being mentioned on marketwatch.com and getting an enormous response on a couple Reddit threads, Bloomberg didn’t have the courage to quote me or confront my arguments. Who does he focus his attention on instead? Trolls from 4chan.
This is not a joke. This guy actually trawled 4chan threads and dug up a bunch of racist anonymous quotes and pasted them on Forbes. When I wrote my first article about Jason, I thought he was just kind of a dope. Now I understand he’s got quite a bit of cunning to him.
Before I get into how ludicrous this article is, I’m going to address Bloomberg’s actual points — few and far between as they may be. Some of the responses last time were that I engaged in a lot of “ad hominem” — guilty as charged, I can’t help but insult this guy and fake-experts like him — and I want to make sure I hit the actual facts on how exactly he’s wrong on the non-race-baiting points he made.
So, what are the arguments?
Let’s just go quote by quote.
At the core of the cryptocurrency movement is the belief that the fact that governments and banks are in charge of money impedes personal freedom and power, and thus a fully decentralized approach to money is a revolutionary technique for regaining this freedom and power for the people.
Any suggestion of shutting down crypto, therefore, goes against this core philosophy, regardless of any rational argument. As a result, the clickbait title of my previous article predictably drew these people in, in spite of the fact that I wasn’t actually arguing for shutting down all cryptocurrencies.
Heh. “Regardless of any rational argument.” I can’t help but laugh at this — throughout all of his articles, Jason Bloomberg adopts this sort of sanctimonious tone. He’s the rational one, despite being a dope who talks in buzzwords and doesn’t seem to know a thing about tech. He’s the adult in the room fighting off criminals and fraudsters, even though his entire career seems to be a lie. At least he admits he’s writing clickbait. The bit about “not actually arguing for shutting down all cryptocurrencies” is squid ink — if you remove the decentralization/permissionless component, you’ve got an inefficient database of transactions, not a cryptocurrency.
In reality, my argument was that cryptos will either have to stop running on top of permissionless blockchain or face the prospect of being shut down, because of the unavoidable criminal benefits of permissionlessness. To avoid shutting down crypto altogether, then, the entire crypto world will have to move to permissioned blockchain.
Criminal benefits are unavoidable. All systems, including modern banking, have criminal or at least highly immoral components. What Bloomberg doesn’t seem to realize is that cryptocurrencies minimize this problem — it’s actually pretty hard to launder large amounts of Bitcoin into cash without at least being checked on by the powers that be, and the immutability of the Blockchain means that the details of your crimes are a matter of public record forever. I find it particularly silly that he’s sticking to his guns on the “prospect of being shut down.” Does he not understand how radically Japan, for instance, has embraced Bitcoin? If one or more countries tries to ban cryptocurrency, it will be denying itself a stake in the future of banking. The world is simply not going to band together to get rid of crypto as we know it — the idea is farcical at best.
One other common counterargument: the fallacy of false equivalence. “The commercial banking industry is full of fraud too, should we shut it down as well?” asks Daniel Imbellino, Co-Founder of Strategic Social Networking and www.pctechauthority.com.
This argument is fallacious because the commercial banking industry is too different from cryptocurrency to draw such an equivalence, even though they have superficial similarities. In the commercial banking industry, after all, transaction processors are heavily regulated.
It’s “too different from cryptocurrency to draw such an equivalence?” Why? Because you said so? This is infantile — he’s just hand-waving the point away without addressing it because he knows he’s wrong. He knows that companies like Chase regularly participate in massive frauds, like the one in 2008 that caused them to pay a thirteen billion dollar fine. How about US Bank recently paying 613 million dollars to settle money laundering charges? Apparently because it’s banksters perpetrating it, it’s no big deal to Jason Bloomberg.
Some counterarguments to my argument to shut down cryptos basically stated that there are alternatives to proof of work-based permissionless blockchain. However, proof-of-stake is still largely on the drawing board, and in any case, a lot of it is permissioned — and thus those approaches may very well be better than permissionless.
Jason shows his ignorance yet again here. Proof-of-stake is not “still largely on the drawing board” at all. There are several high profile proof-of-stake coins which use a variety of these techniques — even Ethereum will have a form of proof of stake before too long! We don’t have to look into the future, though. Ark, which I’ve previously written about, has a fully functional Delegated Proof of Stake system and is actually my favorite coin. Too low on the list for you? How about DASH, LISK, NAV, or NEO? As far as it being permissioned — well, it’s generally not. Even in Ark the only form of “permissioning” comes in the form of voting for your delegate. This doesn’t really matter, since anyone and everyone can stake and gain a form of interest on their coins. Is Jason Bloomberg going to call for the banning of certificates of deposit next, since any criminal could get one?
I’d be happy to go on, but that’s pretty much it with regards to factual arguments and counter arguments. The rest of his article is just race baiting garbage —so put on your waders, because we’re about to get back into the muck.
Back to Jason Bloomberg’s Racial Lunacy
I’m not going to paste the nastier quotes here — read his article if you want to see that. Suffice to say it’s exactly what you’d expect out of an anonymous forum. Here’s the thing about 4chan, though: anyone can post there, and they can do it completely anonymously. Bloomberg himself could have posted some of the comments he quoted — now, I’m not saying he did, but that is the nature of the place. The point is that picking a fight with these people is like going into a Klan rally and acting surprised that you found some racists. It’s not a perfect metaphor —in fact, I’m convinced most of these people aren’t even racist and are just “trolling” in order to get some goats — but at the end of the day it’s completely asinine that Jason Bloomberg has chosen to focus on this instead of the real argument. It’s a cop-out. It’s cowardly and weak.
I can’t help but be reminded of Godwin’s Law, as defined on Urban Dictionary:
A term that originated on Usenet, Godwin’s Law states that as an online argument grows longer and more heated, it becomes increasingly likely that somebody will bring up Adolf Hitler or the Nazis. When such an event occurs, the person guilty of invoking Godwin’s Law has effectively forfeited the argument.
Basically, it’s a lot easier to call all your enemies Nazis than to own up to the fact that your arguments suck. Some of the stuff in his article goes beyond playing the victim and into truly bonkers territory:
Purveyors of hate speech often speak in ‘dog whistles,’ a kind of code in attempts to disguise their evil intent. For many of the most extreme crypto fans, cryptocurrency is anti-bank, with ‘bank’ being a dog whistle for ‘global Jewish conspiracy.’
This hasn’t been edited. This is a real quote from Jason Bloomberg. He’s actually saying that people are using “bank” as a code word for Jews. This guy is in his fifties, easily old enough to remember the housing crisis of 2008 which occurred entirely because of the greed and immorality and stupidity of the big banks; is he really so naive as to think that people don’t continue to resent and distrust them? Is he so naive as to think that it’s all some weird metaphor for Jews? I don’t think he is, and this is why I called him cunning earlier. I think this is just some obnoxious, purposeful posturing. I’d like to think that your average person is smart enough to see through this blatant and disgusting race pimping. This guy is actually saying that if you’re into cryptocurrency, that makes you a racist or a Nazi!
The question for you is whether we let the rotten core of hatred set the direction for the movement — especially as they either condone criminal activity or are criminals themselves.
Given the fact that a growing percentage of cryptocurrency miners are criminals, do you want to support such criminals by executing cryptocurrency transactions? Or does that make you as evil as the criminals themselves?
Ask yourself: is there a moral difference between donating to the Nazi party and being a Nazi yourself?
Reading this type of thing puts a cold stone of rage in my belly. How can this man sleep at night while defaming everyone who doesn’t want cryptocurrency to be centralized as “racist”? Sure, he tries to soften the blow by suggesting that that “there are clearly people involved in crypto who aren’t rabidly anti-Semitic, alt-right, misogynist, extreme libertarian crypto-anarchists,” but goes on to say this:
I wrote this article, in fact, for those cooler heads — those of you who are interested in cryptocurrency but would only support the movement in ethical ways.
“Ethical ways,” here, means total centralization — defeating the entire point of cryptocurrencies.
By the way, I’m a little confused by that last bit of infantile flailing. Let’s look at that quote again:
rabidly anti-Semitic, alt-right, misogynist, extreme libertarian crypto-anarchists
Wow! That is a mouthful. Is it even possible for someone to be “alt-right” and “libertarian” at the same time? I try not to get political — maybe I don’t keep up on this stuff enough — but those things seem at odds. I mean, don’t extreme libertarians argue for open borders? Doesn’t the alt-right want a border wall? What does cryptocurrency have to do with “misogyny?” I don’t know for sure, but I think Jason is just sort of impotently vomiting up as many political buzzwords as he can in order to get people incensed over nothing.
This sort of writing is inflammatory and evil because it serves to politicize something that is basically apolitical. There are left-leaning crypto-enthusiasts (almost everyone involved at Stellar, for instance), and there are right-leaning ones. Cryptocurrency has never been a political thing for me, outside of perhaps a vague distrust of banks and government. The fact that this clown is trying to turn it into an “alt-right” thing goes to show how Jason Bloomberg’s thinking is completely at odds with reality. The “alt-right” didn’t even exist when Bitcoin was created back in 2009!
The takeaway is this: Jason Bloomberg is an inciter, a race-baiter, a charlatan, and a fool. He wants to make you think that supporting cryptocurrency somehow makes you evil. He wants to manipulate you, to use deeply-held political beliefs — right or left, I don’t care — to try to put you at odds against your fellow crypto-enthusiasts. Don’t let him. There will always be small-minded voices pushing us backwards, and disingenuous men like Jason Bloomberg always get left in the dust of history.
Image attribution: Alex E. Proimos
Before you go…
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