The Delusion of Innocence: Bitcoin & Mass Shootings

For ~150 years, American schools were free from violence. This is amazing, considering schools offer no means of physical protection greater than a locked door.

Since Columbine, this has changed. Police patrol hallways, tech companies search social media for red flags, and onlookers blame whichever scapegoat fits their political persuasion. If you're on the Left, it's the NRA. If you're on the Right, it's Big Pharma & video games.

Personally, I blame the Department of Education for treating secuity as an afterthought instead of a foundation. But that is the pattern of human nature. We fall prey to the Delusion of Innocence: pretending that which can be abused won't be abused.

The Cycle of the Delusion of Innocence:

  • invention invented ->
  • society benefits ->
  • inherent vulnerability is exploited ->
  • society recoils ->
  • secure protocol is appended to invention / new goverment agency created ->
  • repeat;

The Delusion of Innocence affects the digital world as much as the physical. In the beginning of the internet, all communication occurred through HTTP. HTTP is a cleartext protocol; an eavesdropper can read full conversations, and alter messages in transit. Imagine the fun a Russian/Chinese troll-farm would have on a pure-HTTP internet! Luckily, we've wisened-up; most websites are now encrypted via HTTPS. Sadly, the cycle repeats & the next invention will have vulnerabilities of its own.

In his rush to create sovereign money, Satoshi Nakamoto settled for a psuedonymous blockchain, rather than an anonymous one. We now suffer the consequences: blockchain analysis companies threaten to expose HODLers to the wrath of secret police forces, tax authorites, & common extortionists. Cypherpunks are left to decide which will be more effective: appending privacy to a fundementally transparent system, or adopting the latest private-by-default currencies.

To awaken from the Delusion of Innocence is a task unique to individuals - the majority will always prefer blissful ignorance. Your security is your responsibility. The incentives of the Collective rarely align with your well-being. Question, inspect, audit, build.


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