On Aaron Van Wirdum and Bad Journalism
I recently had posted inline of a twitter thread with Chrise Derose and Bitcoin Blake. Blake was accusing Derose of basically trying to spread confusion and noise. I joined into the public group thread to give a sincere counter and suggest that Derose was simply using a device to make a point.
Blake immediately took the chat to DM with me. It wasn’t too heated but it was sort of accusatory. I was confused but he seemed to be suggesting that I have no right to respond and that I was mucking thing up. It was a strange exchange and there was a point where Blake seemed to step back and change his tone, implicit accusation, and demands.
It was something about him either wanting me to only responded publicly IN-LINE of the conversation (which I believe I did) or only respond not in-line and instead start a new thread.
We sort of calmed the tone down and ended on a seemingly good note.
But I actually needed a day to think about what had happened. Why did he take that private and what was it that caused him to turn around and remove his demands/accusations?
I couldn’t figure it out and after I slept on it I publically called this to his attention. He immediately went to private chat and basically said or implied he won’t be addressing it and have a good weekend.
So I let him know and said “fair warning” I’m releasing our DM’s to the public.
On Private Discussions Being Made Public
I can be a hot-head. I can be a jerk. I can make moral mistakes. I can be dumb. I can misunderstand. In general I think people feel comfortable enough to DM me and that I won’t expose their the private talks.
That said it’s definitely an unwritten rule that anything you say privately you should expect for it to go public.
That isn’t my excuse though.
Let’s say someone is talking very nice to people publicly but then making credibly threats to their safety privately.
This would be a good and moral reason to bring their behavior to the public’s attention.
I couldn’t tell if Blake was being underhanded. And this was the problem-I needed external observers help in judging so. But by the code of the cypherpunks agenda I am compelled not to bring the dialogue public.
Blake was quiet furious and accused me of simply threatening him for no reason.
I kept responding mostly publically to his private responses.
Eventually he left and blocked me and said if I do it he’ll never engage with me etc.
But that is really all I needed because I feel like if there was nothing nefarious he would have said, “Go ahead post them, I don’t care, there is nothing damning,…..AND I will never engage with you again.”
I still don’t know what the motive was, if it was nefarious, or if I just simply didn’t understand. I never published them because I got my answer.
On Good Journalism
I try to reach out to sincere and intelligent people that might understand the significance of John Nash’s Ideal Money. In order to understand his works it takes effort and a willingness to traverse the sources. Aaron van Wirdum (@AaronvanW) is one of those people. He is held in very high esteem in the Bitcoin world and well known for spreading sourced and fact-checked information for the community (that desperately needs a counter to disinformation and misinformation).
He does this also because he has the proper networks to fact check and find good material to traverse and cite.
He has also been very patient with me-to a degree I probably can’t describe but at least a few would understand. I couldn’t stress that more.
But he eventually sent me a counter response to my assertion that Ideal Money is relevant and significant. The writing is called Ideal Money Fallacy by Erik Voskuil. The conclusion is here:
The argument fails to acknowledge that value, as indicated by the index, is a consequence of both supply and demand. Gold demand is stabilized by inflation and Bitcoin’s demand is stabilized by fees.
The theory is therefore invalid. Either fiat will cease to exist or it will collect tax. States only surrender this tax under extreme duress and in such cases only briefly. If anything the “ideal money” will be Bitcoin, and it will not trade freely with state monies (to the extent they remain).
I have repeatedly accused Voskuil of not actually traversing the argument he was critiqued. He has simply used his cypherpunk credibility to hand wave Nash’s argument without actually addressing it.
In fact the one line that he did cite is from the wiki (which I edited):
…there is no ideal rate of inflation that should be selected and chosen as the target but rather that the ideal concept would necessarily be that of a zero rate for what is called inflation.
It happens to be the same exact line that Paul Storzic admitted he used with no context to hand wave the relevance and significance of John Nash’s works. Paul admitted this on camera and we have the evidence that he asserts that he doesn’t need the context of the actual works to judge it and that the line from wiki is sufficient (he also asked me in the video if I purposefully edited the wiki to trap/trick people like how he was caught red-handed).
Voskuil has quite obviously done the same thing. And so I have asked Aaron repeatedly to do a simple source checking exercise that he is very well qualified and connected to do: Ask Voskuil if he traversed the argument he crtiqued.
I repeatedly receive no response to this from Aaron (but I get responses on other subjects). He won’t respond to the request. It goes against the cypherpunks to question their authority. And these people are responsible for his credibility and so he owes a bias to them.
In one credible moment he can provide the evidence that Voskuil, simply out of not liking the narrative, is willing to assert baseless lies. And Voskuil has dubbed me ‘that Nash troll’ and contributed to the cypherpunk narrative that my work and John Nash’s works is such utter trash that it should not even be considered.
I think this is bad journalism and I fully believe that Aaron knows that Voskuil didn’t traverse Ideal Money.