Pete Campbell: “I have to bring this up to you. Just because I think … it would be damaging to Sterling Cooper. It has come to my attention, by accident, that Donald Draper is not who he says he is. His real name is Dick Whitman, but Dick Whitman died [in the Korean War] ten years ago. It stands to reason that it is [usurper, and] deserted at least, and who knows what else! ”
Bertram Cooper: “Mr. Campbell … who cares? “
“Mad Men,” where the above exchange takes place, is a very carefully made television show. The play that revolves around the main character Don Draper, the rest of Sterling Cooper’s advertising agency employees, and their relationships, reveals layers of meaning, understated symbolism and a profound revision of identity.
From the mind of one of “The Sopranos” authors came these broken, contrasting, complex characters, full of secrets, dreams, inhumanity and iniquity. When designing a character, this is called “three dimensions.”
Dimensions are the aspects of something, which in a given perspective makes it what it is. And that’s the keyword: “perspective.” In life outside of script, we show the faces, dimensions we want to leave to different sectors of society, so that they can create a version of us that we allow to reveal.
For Cooper, the founder of the agency where Draper works, Dick Whitman’s version is charismatic and mysterious creative director and the genius of persuasion is what interests him. He ends the initial dialogue with: “Man is whatever room he is in, and currently Donald Draper is in this room.”
On the other hand, in geometry and physics, the dimensions of an object are the smallest coordinates to indicate any point on it. For these areas and daily life, three spatial dimensions and one temporal dimension are more than useful. But, in the already dying string theory, for example, the conception of a (multi) one-dimensional universe is fundamental.
In both ways of thinking about dimensions, we would talk about layers of reality.
However, in science we cannot give ourselves the same freedom as we can with social dynamics. It is necessary – for some, a duty – to uncover aspects of nature.
Between the social sciences and the sciences, we have disciplines such as economics, sociology, anthropology and psychology, which, although they may have objective aspirations and rely on methodologies and in some cases analytical units, may be difficult to know when is adequate , and accurately the dimensions of a phenomenon being addressed.
Defining Bitcoin Dimensions
So, from what point of view is Bitcoin generally considered? In terms of how Bitcoin “works,” in many, if not most, of the low and high-level explanations available, we’ll hear about distributed networks, cypherpunks, proof of work, blockchain, cryptography, The Problem of Byzantine Generals, mining, hash rates; and Bitcoin as the definitive answer to the offerings in DigiCash, eCash, B-money and BitGold. That is, a simple sequence of technological development. The product of this technical hodgepodge is described as a very unique type of asset class, with a deflationary announcement and an absolute scarcity; the money of the future.
At this point, Bitcoin can be identified in two dimensions: the monetary policy and the technological infrastructure. This last is what pushes, and forces, our stateless, unlimited money and censorship resistance.
In assessing the dimensions of Bitcoin it is clear that it perfectly complies with the principles of running, studying, sharing and customizing. Still, it should be emphasized that Bitcoin to Litecoin is not as Debian is to Ubuntu or, more accurately, as BitTorrent is qBittorrent. Bitcoin is more than “math-backed money,” and, as such, Bitcoin is not the same as any of its bizarre copies.
“People think software is just rules, but forget it’s a basic social endeavor, and everyday developers make value decisions,” as Amir Taaki said after reviewing my essay “A New Institutional Theoretical Model for Bitcoin. ” “I’m not even talking about 21 million coins or the algorithm, but small changes are shaping duree longue and the evolution of the community / ecosystem.”
Unlike the more widely recognized dimensions of Bitcoin mentioned above, Bitcoin’s organizational dimension without much theoretical body. I believe that this dimension is often reduced to the “network effect” and the element of control (who controls Bitcoin and who manages reference operation, Bitcoin Core); topics that could be assigned to the technical dimension.
So how to define the foundational dimension of Bitcoin?
If we look for the definition of “network protocol,” we will find “established sets of rules that specify how to format, transmit and receive data so that computer network devices – from servers and routers to endpoints – can communicate no matter what ‘ r differences in their infrastructures, designs or basic standards. ”
This definition fits in with Bitcoin, and is sufficient for Bluetooth, routing, file transfer, web services, etc. but not for value transfer, as it contains a basic social factor. But we can find a solution in that the organization is a protocol homologue in sociology.
Defining the Institutional Dimension of Bitcoin
Douglass North, one of the fathers of Neoinstitutionalism who holds the Nobel Prize in economics, has established an important analysis in the understanding of wealth creation of various societies.
In summary, you can import infrastructure – let’s say some great factories or transportation – from Society A to Society B, but the economic success that Society A has achieved is still not guaranteed for Society B. You can’t import the trust, the social. norms and values that are key to economic success as factories. Organizational development is not something that can be systematized, as generations of technocrats have gone out of their way to make us believe. This applies to Bitcoin as well: Anyone can emulate the infrastructure and even the monetary policy, but the culture can’t be repeated, history can’t be repeated, neither the development texture nor the community can be repeated.
It’s not just the technology or the digital shortage, but also the social effort around Bitcoin that makes it valuable and enduring in time.
Bitcoin Amphibian Foundation
It has been common to hear that Satoshi Nakamoto’s departure in 2010 was instrumental in making Bitcoin what it is today. This is the beginning of metamorphosis that has been blended into the very symbolic attack that failed the signatories of the New York Agreement in 2017. The product of this metamorphosis is a new type of organization, Amphibian Institute.
Formal organizations are easily identifiable structures, behavior frameworks with a defined hierarchy and thus inherently exclusionary, where knowledge and ability to act are completely asymmetric. But, how can people convince others to follow the rules within some formal frameworks of behavior?
Well, we need a present informal organizations, such as family, religion and commerce, as well as even more basic (which does not mean simple) things like shared morals or language. Basically, it is all encompassing and so-called “culture” that creates frameworks of behavior without clear heads, but which are maintained by the social fabric.
Now, the Amphibian Institute has the advantage of having the rigidity of a formal organization, but without the unique hierarchy; and decentralizing the informal organization, but without the inevitable fragmentation. So does the noun, because “amphibious” works as an adjective for something that has two (institutional) nature. Also, amphibians are born within a single (aquatic) structure, and their metamorphoses eventually shape their biological potential (aquatic and terrestrial).
The following concepts are not new, of course, but could be more accurately understood within the Amphibian Institute model (institutional dimension) and its relationship and dependence on the financial and technological dimensions:
- Code Is The Law: Unlike a traditional legal framework, where the same law has its own degree of ambiguity and is also conditional (if you follow it, there is an incentive, if you don’t, there is a penalty / penalty), in the digital infrastructure. there is no option or openness to personal interpretations, so compulsory enforcement is not necessary or even possible. However, a code becomes law when it regulates behavior systems and has its own organizational tendencies (points two and three). A good example is the TCP / IP protocols. As David Clark noted in 1992: “We refuse: kings, presidents, and voting. We believe in: broad consensus and a running code. ”
- Smart Money: When something is inherently enforced by code, its precise nature allows automation, interaction with and maintenance of the infrastructure as long as the law is taken into account (points one and three).
- Changing Conservative Law: In the specific case of Bitcoin, the nature of the infrastructure is clear: a gnostic system of checking and balancing. Monetary policy is an abstraction of absolute and concrete balance in the system, with a maximum of 21 million units of account, and in order to make the balance effective and open, everyone must be able to access it and must can be difficult to manage. . The rigidity of central laws is what gives credibility to the institutional body (the network). Changes to Bitcoin, although slow since each has gone through an extensive peer review, are helping to increase Bitcoin’s reliability and maturity (points one and two).
When thinking of Bitcoin as an organization, it does not just have an epistemological advantage by bringing terms and tools of analysis that were previously lacking. It also represents a concept in popular culture related to stability and consistency, which is exactly what Bitcoin is.
I believe that this model can help unify the understanding of the financial, technological and organizational dimensions. This would be key to clarifying the minds of many new agents, individual consumers, companies and formal organizations, whether private or public.
I explain this better in my essay “A New Institutional Theoretical Model for Bitcoin,” which I invite you to read, in which I briefly present the historical process and metamorphosis of what would become the Amphibian Institute.
This makes me think that Agustín Carstens, the General Manager of the BIS, may be right in saying “Stop trying to make money!” Money is a gentle device, which must be treated with respect and wisdom, something only an organization can do. But someone who has the power to protect national or international currency, also has the ability to destroy it. This is why some of these formal institutions have sound check and balance systems, but can easily be avoided or convinced with an ideological narrative.
The tragedy in the character of Don Draper, which has nothing to do with his bow on “Mad Men,” is that he has become an archetype. It only takes a simple search on YouTube to discover that a great many people fantasize about being like him, working on techniques to simulate his behavior.
Draper is a very dissatisfied and sad guy, in a wild industry, but they have decided to focus on the dimensions that can be used for self-projection, and I think this is a similar problem when creating value transfer protocols. The obsession with the infrastructure dimension has led thousands to thousands to create their “better version of Bitcoin.” But money is not just a technical problem; it is only through institutional, formal and informal, (and in this particular case, amphibious) development that money can be pushed to maturity.
This is a guest post by Solairis. They are solely their own opinion and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.