Blockchain And The Trusted Third Party

Blockchain disintermediates trusted third parties
Disintermediating Trusted Third Parties
Credit: Blockchain

I have a good friend, a colleague in the Fintech Start-up space who submitted an entry for funding for a Blockchain Start-up. The ‘deciding committee’ rejected the opportunity on the grounds that nothing the start-up could do, a ‘Trusted Third Party’ couldn’t do.

Exactly.

That’s the point.

Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin, the digital currency. Can you have a currency with a trusted third party? Of course. All currencies rely on trusted third parties. Usually the government, or a government agency. The whole point of Bitcoin is that you now have a currency without a trusted third party. Because the technology codifies the trust.

So to reject a start-up because you could do the same thing with a trusted third party is ridiculous. Of course you can. That’s the whole point of Blockchain.

We need to move beyond the legacy evaluation of innovation in Australia, and consider the subtleties and opportunities of nascent technology.

To Enduro, Or Not To Enduro, That Is The Question

Open Day

Picture of a Red and White Multistrada Enduro
The new beast
Credit: Ducati

I popped into the Fraser Motorcycles “Open Day” today. Always a good day mingling around other bikers and looking at the new toys on display. And of course I took another opportunity to consider whether I’ll ‘upgrade’ my beloved Multistrada for the new Multistrada Enduro.

There’s a lot going for it. A new bike with 4 years warranty would set my mind at ease. Especially considering mine is now 7 months out of warranty. (Of course the flip side of that is Ducati fixed everything)

Also the riding I’d like to do as our lifestyle changes suits the Enduro is far more:

  • 30l tank
  • Large aluminum panniers
  • Double swingarm
  • Great digital dash
  • Cornering ABS
  • Cornering headlights, the list goes on.

On The Other Hand

The Enduro with the options I want is $35k. Ouch! And there are no demo or second hand models available as it’s still too new.

But Why?

Added to this, I need to remind myself the very reason I have a Multi and not a 1200GS is because of the bulk of the bike. Already filtering and parking in the city is a challenge. The last thing I’d want to do is buy a new bike that’s more expensive than my car only to be stuck in traffic like a car.

To Enduro, Or Not To Enduro

As you can tell, I’m erring not to. In fact, I’m thinking about selling/trading the Multi on a near new GS for a couple of years until there’s a near new Enduro. Or just putting more into my current bike: Crash bars, riding lights, dash cam, etc and keeping her.

After all #ILoveMyMulti

Voting Next Saturday? Please, Please, Please… …Don’t Watch The Ads

Election 2016 banner
Voting? Mudslingers Paradise

How do you feel about voting in the latest election? Are you enraged by the callous disregard shown by the [opposing] party? Or are you seriously sick of the mudslinging and emotional manipulation?

Enraged

I am. When I watch the TV ads, both parties enrage me about the other. When Malcolm is on, Labour enrages me. When a Labour ad is on, the Liberals are a callous, xenophobic, elitist group. Of course like everyone my cognitive biases are strong, and I justify one party’s indiscretions over another.

Sick Of It

But mostly I’m sick of the US and UK style of mudslinging that prevales. Seriously there are two levers: Fear and Greed. If the opposing parties policies scare you, that’s exactly how you’re meant to feel. The advertiser is playing you. Like a fiddle

My concern is that everyone I’ve spoken to is voting based purely on the TV as their principle information source. On TV ads.

What To Do

But what to do? I mean, in a week we have to vote, right.

My resolve is to not watch the adverts:

What Are You Ideally Voting For?

I’ve literally written down the policies I’d like to see in play. Policies about STEM education, innovation, getting us from 60th in the world for broadband speeds, humane treatment of refugees. Policies about protecting natural resources, funding science, research and development. Policies about a social net for the working class, and fiscal responsibility attracting companies to hire people in Australia.

What Are The Party’s Really Promising?

Then I go online and read the policy manifestos of the three primary parties. Let’s face it, the Hunters and Shooters, or Sex Party are

  1. Not likely to get in, which is a waste of my vote; and
  2. Their policies are actually not very comprehensive at all anyway.

Then I vote according to the closest the party’s policy matches my ideals.

At the very least, I’ll read the actual promises made without the context of the emotional manipulation of consumer advertising.

How about you?

If BRExit Teaches Us Anything

BRExit

This morning at 7am UK time, 2pm in Sydney, we learned the shock result of the BRExit Referendum…

…Leave

I won’t rehash the arguments here. Suffice to say the UKIP Leader Nigel Farage renounced his promise of an extra £350m to the NHS in what must be the quickest break of a campaign promise in history. Truly historic.

And Boris Johnson suddenly started suggesting that the UK could take it’s time to leave. After all, he’d achieved his primary objective of succession to the top job. Of course, the EU is having none of it…

The very ‘working class’ people (read elderly working class people) that wanted to ‘take back their country’ to guarantee their jobs, in a single day wiped >£120B off the London markets. Later the DOW Jones opened and also lost 600 points, totalling an amazing $2.1T loss.

Hardly a promising start to wealth and prosperity. Deny your youth the opportunity to work in 27 countries, and kill the very corporations that need to employ them at home. Take the world economy with you for the ride. And tear both primary political parties in two whilst you’re about it.

Nicely played.

Nothing New

But we’ve seen recessions, depressions, and financial crises before. Smart young people will train for careers in technology that allow them location independence. It’s the under-educated, older, working class people that will struggle to find work in a changing world.

As to halting migration, BRExit won’t matter a damn. I don’t believe that we’ve begun to see the mass migration that Climate Change will wreak upon the world. EU or no, borders will become all but irrelevent.

Apathetic Youth

No. The biggest concern that I have is an uninformed, unengaged, and largely apathetic youth.

If the BRExit teaches us anything it’s that we need to find a way to engage with Millennials. Not just in the UK, but throughout the developed nations that depend upon centuries old democracies.

BRExit Young People Voted to Remain
BRExit Young People Voted Remain
Credit: BBC

Those Gen Y’s that did vote in the UK, overwhelmingly voted to remain. Unfortunately, however, less than 40% of Millennials voted. So with less than 75% of the population voting, and a marginal 51.4% majority, had some more young people voted the outcome would have been very different.

Radicalisation

This is especially concerning when we look at radicalisation. Democracies have always found it difficult to deal with non-state actors and guerrilla groups. But never more so than in a day where the very communications fabric of society gives global access to non-state organisations, for free.

[ted id=1189]

So on the one hand we’re hoping that a democratic process, invented 800 years ago for a very different world, will engage young people. And those that would disrupt democracy make it easy and compelling.

If we are going to require young people to register and vote appropriately, we need to compel them, and inform them.

But perhaps it’s too late…