Are you sure about that?

January 19, 2021

Sometimes I am intrigued by people that are so certain about topics I am utterly uncertain about.

Take Bitcoin, for example. I can make equally convincing arguments for why it’s the best and worst thing ever—as for many more topics in ethics, politics, economics, programming, design.

How can someone be so sure about his opinion? For each opinion you hold, there is someone equally smart—if not smarter than you—that can make a darn good argument on the opposite side.

Both arguments can’t be 100% true, of course, but often there are some solid points on both sides, and this gets lost in the annals of history when winners (re)write it.

This happens because reality is complex, and humans have an evolutionary-driven need to take sides and build narratives that strongly support their stance.

The out is to realize that multiple things can be true simultaneously, that reality is nuanced, and to embrace that.

This post was originally inspired by trying to wrap my head around this thread calling Bitcoin a scam and an environmental disaster and replies by brilliant people completely dismissing the environmental angle focusing on the technology, innovation, and its future potential.

It's not one side or the other. You can cherry-pick from both sides of the argument to build a more accurate version of reality than simply by picking your tribe.

Bitcoin is environmentally problematic and yet the best invention of the century. It doesn't have to be one way or another.