It working and you being competent

Wednesday, 27 November, Year 5 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

They're very different things. This point couldn't be underscored enough. I've been underscoring it every chance I get, it's still not enough. Let me underscore it more.

BingoBoingo RealSolid doesn't strike me as particularly competent pankkake
pankkake mcxnow was working very well
mircea_popescu There is a huge difference between being competent and working well. Let me demonstrate this : I am now a well working random number generator. Here are some random numbers :

    9326 1179 3105 1185 4807 4462 3799 6274 9567 3518 8575 2724 8912 2793
    8183 0119 4912 9833 6733 6244 0656 6430 8602 1394 9463 9522 4737 1907
    0217 9860 9437 0277 0539 2171 7629 3176 7523 8467 4818 4676 6940 5132
    0005 6812 7145 2635 6082 7785 7713 4275 7789 6091 7363 7178 7214 6844

I am also very incompetent. Here are the "random" numbers :

The proposed string of random numbers starts at the 433th decimal place of Pi and moves on from there. Do these look like random numbers to any test conceivable ? Surely. Are they ? Surely not. That's just how it is.

The same exact point goes to creating Bitcoin services, such as exchangesi. Anyone can make a website which prints numbers. Anyone can scavenge a login script from any of the numerous packages doing blogs, forums and whatnot all over the Internet. Anyone can mesh a 2FA script into that. Anyone can go CREATE TABLE BitcoinSecurities (user INT, name VARCHAR(100), volume INT); into a mysql window - even USG's own Mike Hearn. Anyone can add css to any of that.

The end result may well be something that any number of clueless users identify as "an exchange", and if it works in such a way as to not contradict their expectations for long enough they may even come to believe it "worked well". This however doth not an exchange make, in any sense of the term. They are completely different endeavours, "making a website" is one thing, "making an exchange" is a wholly separated and completely unrelated other thing.

Making a website is exactly identical to making a hairdo : there's no depth whatsoever to it, what you see is what you get, if the customer is happy you've done your job 100%. In stark contrast to that situation, making an exchange is exactly identical to making a random number generator : there's no surface whatsoever, it's all depth. The customer couldn't tell if he's happy or not in the first place. For the hairdo, you only have to make affirmative statements, which are by their definition verifiable if true or false. For the rng you mostly have to make negative statements, which are by their definition not verifiable if true, but only if false (and even then, only under special conditions).

This isn't something that's ever going away. With Bitcoin here, this problem just became the new Internet.

Anyone can make a forum, or a blog platform, or a postyourcat image sharer. And, forcing a point, anyone can make a torrent tracker or an irc server. Once made, these will be what they say they are, work better or worse, perhaps acquire a userbase, perhaps be lucky enough to have acquired a userbase willing and able to pay, perhaps turn into businesses. Maybe.

NOT anyone can make a Bitcoin service, and among these some services are the hardest to make. Surely a collection of painted cardboard cut out in the shape of cars might - from a distance, and to the untrained eye - appear like a large number of actual cars, and the place where such cardboard cutouts are parked may be inferred to be "a car factory". This all lasts until the first rain.

Until the first rain, you understand ?

Cardboard cutouts are not cars, websites are not Bitcoin businesses, random script kiddies are not Bitcoin entrepreneurs. This isn't a distinction in degree, it's a distinction in kind. Even if websites may look like Bitcoin businesses, even if random script kiddies may look like Bitcoin entrepreneurs, it's not a matter of looks, this isn't a hair salon.

  1. I strictly mean securities exchanges, like MPEx. Currency exchanges, like Bitcoin Central or whatever, are significantly easier to do and arguably behave like hairdos over long enough intervals (say monthly). []
Category: 3 ani experienta
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9 Responses

  1. Hey, don't quote me praising mcxNOW without context!

    By the way, what prevents you from saying you don't want to do MPEx anymore because it's too much work or something?

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Wednesday, 27 November 2013

    Let the record reflect you weren't praising mcxNOW without context!

    Nothing prevents me, that's not the right place to resolve this problem, at the "prevents me" part (this point is considered in more depth in the GPG contracts article). The fact that nothing prevents me is actually good, because it gives me the flexibility to do the right thing without all the red preventive tape (this part is further discussed in the Bitcoin as replacement for the electoral system article).

  3. thestringpuller`s avatar
    Wednesday, 27 November 2013

    I think using MySQL for anything running a production service automatically indicates the owner's incompetence.

  4. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Wednesday, 27 November 2013

    Trilema runs on mysql.

  5. Google AdWords runs on MySQL. 4real. Though their engineers are able to fix it and contributed a bunch of stuff. interesting, put it in persepective with Neo & Bee paying for that premium Oracle database they don't need…

    Not that I would recommend it over PostgreSQL.

  6. Mirceo, ce-ti mai fac bitcoaiele? dedei peste articolu' asta si mi-adusei aminte de tine :D

  7. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Friday, 29 November 2013

    Apai bine.

  8. But now it's called tau. Bullheaded.

  9. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Tuesday, 10 December 2013

    Sorry what ?

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