I'll be honest, I'm here because I'm annoyed with bitcoin twitter. There's just so much noise, and much of the culture over there (but certainly not all!) just reeks of fiat thinking and fiat discourse built on a fiat platform built on the fiat internet attention economy—just with a tinge of bitcoinerism.
The difference is between what feels like a rational bitcoiner seeking truth — "don't trust, verify" — and a fiat caricature of this mentality on bitcoin twitter. For the sake of argument I'm going to try and paint a picture of what I mean (to be totally clear, none of these things are precisely my actual stances, they are simply examples of a couple of hot button issues and how the two different mentalities in this dichotomy would approach them):
"Don't trust, verify" on mRNA: There are things still to be understood as to how mRNA technology works, whether it is ultimately conducive to human thriving, in which scenarios it may be effective, how it may have negative consequences, what the risks are in the known and the unknown, etc. That said, it seems clear that in certain populations, a significant number of lives have been saved that would have otherwise been lost. Additionally, no matter the empirical evidence, there are broken incentives at play and malicious actors influencing these systems because of human nature and existing government and institutional corruption. The data as of today suggest that the risk/benefit of the mRNA shots make no sense for many subsets of the population and the government mandates are therefore doing significant harm... (and so on)
Bitcoin twitter: Hurr durr mRNA is a kill shot, I'm fine with vaccines generally but these "vaccines" are a WEF communist plot, if you want to seek nuance as to what that means exactly you're NGMI
"Don't trust, verify" on energy/climate change: There are trade-offs to different forms of energy production and none of them is a panacea; oil is currently the lifeblood of society, and there are many issues that would need to be addressed with renewable sources if we were to adopt them on a widespread basis. It's also likely that rushing to move away from fossil fuels may cause substantial near-term human suffering. That said, oil is a finite resource and sunlight—relatively speaking—is not. Either way, it's clear that people with significant power would like to preserve that power, and it tends to be the case that subsidizing certain approaches to energy and climate change are therefore in fashion—often misguidedly. There are empirical facts about how certain elements on the periodic table interact with one another and, even though much of the "global warming" narrative is propaganda, there's good evidence to suggest the climate is changing—exactly how and why are still unclear as is whether we could do anything about it. The evidence seems against that, and in the meantime we should support the existing oil industry and mine bitcoin with the cheapest forms of energy no matter where they come from.
Bitcoin twitter: Hurr durr "renewable energy" is a scam perpetrated by people who want to kill your kids, anyone who supports solar energy is a planet killer because it's actually dirtier, have you even seen these pictures of how much land solar panels cover? Also the media is controlled by the elites and they want to perpetuate fear to control you, that's the real climate change.

The bitcoin twitter versions are polarized, nuance-less, "conspiratorial" (I say that loosely— I often think that the "conspiracy theories" can be at least representative of underlying truths, they're just annoying imprecise), and, like I said, a caricature of a genuine underlying argument.
To be clear, this is a different, but perhaps related, discussion from the one about "toxic maximalism". By my definition of toxic maximalism—someone with zero tolerance for altcoins—I'd consider myself a toxic maximalist. That's not what I'm addressing here, though. I'm talking about thoughtless propagation of bitcoinerist narratives that directionally align with a good argument but are presented in ways that are extremely imprecise and ultimately convince no one. It's basically the way discourse has worked for since the advent of the internet and social media—all under a fiat standard. And it's arguably the cause of a lot problems, including breaking down the walls for people to get out of their filter bubbles and open their mind to bitcoin.
Does bitcoin fix this? Arguably, the mechanisms by which low-quality engagement farming happens are fundamentally fiat. The entire twitter platform has been meticulously engineered over the course of a decade to maximize the time users spend in the app, and therefore rewards and propagates any and everything that can trigger the pleasure, anger, or fear centers in the brain. Anything that might get you to use twitter for more hours to medicate anxiety or make you feel like you belong in a subculture of ideologues who agree with your worldview, is going to be rewarded algorithmically with the dopamine of follows and likes. This is old news.
Is a platform like Stacker News the antithesis? Rather than awarding thoughtless memes, engagement farming, and nuance-less discussion with likes and dopamine, can content like this post—over 1,000 words, which took me over half an hour to write—be incentivized by a system natively built on bitcoin? Will we all be incentivized to actually put in the "proof of work" to make something thought-provoking and of value knowing that we might be given some small piece of this radically finite resource (bitcoin) in return for the value we brought to the world (no matter how small)?
I don't want it to sound like I have a sense of superiority here. As a bitcoiner, I often find myself directionally aligned with even the lowest-quality bitcoiner accounts on twitter that are (whether they know it or not) engagement farming with shitposting and controversy. I think the fundamental guidepost that ties almost everyone in bitcoin together is individual liberty, and I'll defend to the death their right to shitpost.
I just wonder what everyone here, in the earliest days of a sats-based "social media" platform like this, thinks about bitcoin twitter and whether a sats-based social economy can raise the quality of dialog and information across the web. And I'm also just experimenting with investing some time this morning writing these thoughts on paper wondering if other bitcoiners will find it valuable and send me some sats—thereby proving the incentive model.
I'd love to open the floor to conversation on this topic. As someone who spent much of his career so far covering fiat tech and building fiat content for a fiat media company, and seeing how destructive the fiat ad economy's incentives are for journalism, content, and discourse on the web generally, it's a fascinating one to me. Let me know your thoughts.
Definitely have to take a break from time to time.
But also, I try to manipulate the algo every once in awhile to show me what I'm currently wanting to look at. It's funny to see how different my twitter is compared to my wife's.
For me, SN has been a fun place to have thought projects like yours here. The plebs are like minding, mostly talk about interesting stuff, and you earn sats for dope convos. Unlike Reddit or whatever else people use these days. I guess this could even be used as a back channel for specific questions on whatever topic you need answers to.
I think it's funny that when bitcoin found me, everyone uses the phrase "don't trust, verify." But growing up, I always heard, Trust but verify. Which isn't trust at all. Is that just some sick joke? I think so..
I like that you talked about the power of thought. I have been trying out this new thing personally where I sit and think about certain topics and maybe even try to hyper focus on it to see different perspectives. I'm coming from an occupation that suppressed free thought for years so I'm breaking the chains and beginning to be more thoughtful in my actions and daily task. Instead of just going through the motions of life, like most people do. I guess that's an easy thing to fall into; why try to be thoughtful and thought provoked when you can be lazy and watch T.V. or focus on whatever agenda is being pushed at that moment? I have been trying to post more on here so I can find out what other bitcoiners are thinking about and hear other perspectives. Either way I truly liked what you said, brings up a great thought project to work on!
Overall, what you said was interesting and glad you're here.. I may have lost track during this post and ranted a bit, so what though. Power to the Plebs.
Definitely have to take a break from time to time.
This. Arguing on twitter is unproductive and unhealthy for my chill. This kulturkampf helps nobody and convinces nobody in neither direction.
So currently the content platforms are optimizing for people to spend the most time in those platforms. With sats, the platforms are likely going to be optimizing for people to spend the most sats in them - in my opinion that's much better situation, but there's still a risk that we will see the type of posts that people are likely to reward the most. It may also become polarized with incentives to send sats to one side of the argument, etc.
If it becomes a game for payment, rather than dopamine, you’d think you would want to optimize for quality and value, not cheap engagement. I’m not rolling in it, and sample size of one, but this post seems to be doing better at earning people’s sats than a lot of the other stuff that might be more likely to attract upvotes (i.e. a very bitcoin-friendly news headline that otherwise required zero “work”).
The thing to consider is that this community is small and filled with deep enthusiasts... I think if we would have community with rest of the population, the average behavior would be different.
This was refreshing. Thank you.
For me, Bitcoin is a useful and liberating tool. That shouldn't imply any broader belief system or set of opinions.
Yeah, and I think bitcoiners are having a really hard time coming to terms with this. All your worst enemies are going to be bitcoiners, and just because they were forced to adopt your monetary system by incentive doesn’t mean they’re going to adopt a particular fundamental worldview (or the views that flow from that).
As a physician running COVID units for almost 2 years now, please have some sats. It feels like there is no room for any moderates in any community where you don't either get shouted down or cancelled from the right or left. It's so frustrating.
I don't know what the solution is that can cure our monkey brains from being tribal, susceptible to click-bait, and re-enforcing echo chambers. Everything eventually A/B tests eventually to pornography and so it's a race to the bottom from the both centralized news sources to the decentralized thought leaders trying to sell you their substack, grow their twitter following and youtube channels.
Yours is the first article I've seen here. Well said. Your style resembles the UK, am I right?
I only see two obvious benefits of a sats-based media like this one. The first is its largely self-sorting bots and trolls. I doubt a troll would want to pay a publisher much if they only want to throw around insults. On the other hand, if someone feels strongly enough to pay to engage in criticism, that provides some credibility to their intentions.
The other benefit is direct payment and immediate financial returns. Even if sites like this skim the payments, at least you see payment immediately. There is less possibility of demonetization since the funds are coming directly from the readers. It moves the motivation of an author from one of social gratification to directly serving the desires of the audience. Your choice of words or one of topic is driven more by what your audience requests of you and less from the eggshells-on-a-tightrope experience imposed by the woke HR and marketing departments of publicly traded corporations (AKA government-worker-pension owned and government directed mega-fund influenced shell corporations).
We are in the infancy of a new world, and I'm excited for the reforms bitcoin will bring
Nice timing, I deleted my Twitter account a few days ago for this precise reason. Please have some sats.
Man, fuck that you only got half a dollar for this post. You should be getting much more. Emptying my wallet on this now
Great post. I stayed off Twitter for years until I wanted more access to BTC news. Since then I did experience the good ( access to new apps/projects (like SN) , ability to donate, connect with other bitcoiners and the bad as you mentioned above. It would be great if developers shifted to Stacker News to break new developments/upgrades with their applications. Imagine following different accounts and getting a notification when they post in here.
But regardless of the platform humans die for attention and I can see SN becoming a cesspool of people looking for sat tips instead of likes and retweets
But regardless of the platform humans die for attention and I can see SN becoming a cesspool of people looking for sat tips instead of likes and retweets
Of course, but the question is what the differences are with upvotes/retweets and sats tips. One is a worthless signal of a hivemind, the other is a small share of the most finite monetary asset in existence. I feel like behavior will be different and different kinds of content will be rewarded—the question is how!
I'm anti peer pressure. I will not be pressured into taking a shot I don't know enough about. I'd rather make my own decision. I will not bow down to the all-knowing climate scientist experts that seemingly 'know' what will happen. I will learn as much as possible for and against their arguments.
Similarly, I will not become an outrage machine in the opposite direction of the established outrage machine.
The answer to countering the crazy zealots, is not to become a crazy zealot in the opposite direction.
Instead we promote truth and learning. Those caricatures you outlined are simply noise, not signal.
When communities are small it is possible, but as they grow they all seem to become too noisy.
How much of the noise is product of human nature and how much of the noise is a product of the incentive mechanisms of the platform? Is Stacker News more resistant to these kinds of noisy clout chasing because it’s built on incentives directly tied to sound money?
I think much of it is incentive based. It seems that on a platform like stacker news there will be less noise because of the cost. However because it is tied to cost directly, advertisers can directly see the cost of promoting their message on the platform.
A cost that I can only imagine is way less than other places.
The good thing with Twitter is that you can decide yourself what you want to see. Just unfollow the nuttier parts of the community and stick with the sane ones.
I never used twatter or FBIbook. And I am healthy. All that shit is noise, propaganda and manipulation.
This is my favorite post on SN by now btw. I feel every sentence of this.
bitcoin twitter is for one thing and one thing only. trolling shitcoiners, and the bitcoiner circlejerk.
i enjoy it somedays
thats all i use it for.
most people who actually have stuff to add have moved on to other mediums.
Deleted my Twitter and other fiat social media sometime back, for all the reasons stated. Twitter, as well as being a time drain, is often polluted with content which, in my humble opinion, is straight up embarrassing. A lot of edgy young men on an ill-informed dick swinging mission to get dopamine hits.
Not that I'm above such behaviour, it's just the realisation that it did me no good mentally pointlessly arguing with people who, in all reality, won't change their minds anyway.
Sure there is some useful info but for the most part it's a whole heap of confirmation bias. I'd rather hear well thought out criticism of bitcoin/privacy/tech tools or guides on how I can do better. I'm trying to best learn the tools that suit my personal risk profile, podcasts are often incredible and I'd rather email the people direct and thank them or send them some sats via PayNym.
Pre-social media forums ran the day, no one used their real name and it was fun (as well as pointing to more long form content). It's an internet I want to get back to, smaller communities based on special interests. Re-tuning my brain is hard, I'm susceptible to dopamine as the next person. Matrix is cool and Mastodon's federated model works well, you can visit different worlds, with different vibes depending on where your brains at.
Probably best to focus on people near you IRL and help them get on board in a privacy focussed way. It wasn't Twitter got me into Bitcoin, it was a major hatred for the banks and hearing from a friend about this other money, something I was aware of previously but being a former junky, didn't want to go on the Silk Road.
Appreciated this post. It's my first sats based interaction (tried Fountain and Sphynx but they're still buggy for me).
I'm just another pleb trying to escape this bullshit so don't know if I'm right or wrong but do know two opposing things can be true, too much binary in this world, trying to think quantum haha.