The authority of us

in LeoFinance •  2 months ago 

In the last 24 hours, three of my colleagues have bought Bitcoin who previously hadn't. One this morning sent me a message asking about something and dropped it in that he bought yesterday, after his knowledgeable friend who has a lot of time to look at the markets convinced him. For almost two years I have been talking to these same people about it - and nothing. I tried - but I didn't have enough pull - enough authority - perhaps I should have spoken in terms they couldn't understand instead.

There is an interesting point in relation to getting into crypto that seems to affect the mainstream - they think that it requires technical knowledge of blockchain itself and as such, only technical people can really know about whether it is worth investing in or not. If you haven't noticed - most technical people have historically been quite negative on Bitcoin and to this day, still use what they learned about it in 2013 as their reasoning.

I think there is a conflation in skills here, where "normal people" seem to think that being technically skilled or good with numbers means that by extension, the skill applies to economics. What people tend to forget however, is that markets are driven by sentiment and a lot of the technical people have little understanding of how people work - Remember, people buy and sell beanie babies for tens of thousands of dollars.

But, what is more important here is about the understanding of dynamics in social groups, social proofing and of course, the power of authority. I think that most or at least many of us knew that as soon as there was an ATH in Bitcoin, people would start to FOMO and buy in hoping to not miss them gainz. Many are going to be disappointed over time at the next crash and get sour, but some will stick it out, as we have done over the last years.

Obviously, in this group of people I didn't have the social authority to convince them to buy over the last two years and I know that on many occasions, the problem with getting them involved at all (for example on Hive) has been hampered by technical people calling "scam" on it all - even when I have demo'd how things are working, how they can participate and earn for free and how there are social benefits as well as personal benefits to be in the first group to embrace a new industry.

I understand the dynamic, I understand the hierarchical structure of authority that comes into play, I understand that in many people's eyes, I do not have the "status" to command obedience to suggestion, I understand that one day, some of these people will start doing the math and working out how much they have missed out on in their life time by listening to their authorities. Don't get me wrong, we should listen to authority at times that their knowledge is likely to be better than our own, but when we start attributing authority across domains, we are going to get into trouble - A brilliant singer doesn't translate into an expert on the future of energy production - it doesn't preclude, but it doesn't translate.

This is part of any new industry, as while there are naysayers, those that are unfamiliar and on the fence are going to be more easily swayed to not participate than to jump in, as there is a "better the devil you know" as our resistance to change as well as risk aversion leverage to keep us doing what we have always done.

I am not a sociologist though, so you best not listen to me about human behavior. I am also not a coder or economist, so again, pay me no heed in those domains either.

But here is the thing.

As many people have noted, including many of those who just FOMO'd into Bitcoin, crypto and blockchain people are fanatical and it has been observed that it is very much cult-like in appearance. While I normally don't spend much time concerning myself with cults - I also don't think I am in general, the kind of person that anyone would associate with a cult or even enthusiastic about most things.

I don't care about sport, I don't watch the news, I don't know about celebrities or the latest tech - You know how it is always the lone, town drunkard who gets abducted by aliens? I am not him. Yet, I am openly passionate about my involvement with blockchain and crypto and do my best to answer questions concerning it to the best of my ability, including the sarcastic ones.

A year ago I sat down with a group and spoke at length about the economic potential and social implications of blockchain and crypto with a group and met a great deal of resistance from very intelligent people. Yesterday when in a chat with the same people the ATH was mentioned, someone asked if I was happy and when I mentioned that I wish I had more Bitcoin, the most vocal and technical in the group said, "Don't we all."

This post has nothing to do with "I told you so", it is about recognizing what is worth looking into with more depth and what is not. If an otherwise relatively sane and normal person is so enthusiastic about a topic, even if it is something that is unfamiliar and others are wary of, it might be worth digging a little deeper - and not in the usual suspect silo that is filled with confirmation bias - to explore why so many otherwise dissimilar people globally are so fanatical.

Though, I do understand the reservations as often the people who are put forward in any new area are somewhat out there in their behavior in some way and the early days of Bitcoin was predominantly technical people who were able to have some understanding of the tech behind it. Yet, now that it has been opened up to "the normals" through blockchains like Hive, normal people are able to participate and learn - yet to be honest, there are a lot of nutters on Hive still also.

I think though, what is going to be needed in the future is far less nut and a lot more authority from a social perspective, people who are able to influence others at the time they need to be influenced. While I have failed with many in the past, I have also succeeded with a couple over time, some of which are in the same circles. What this means is as far as my own "authority" is concerned, my influence has gone up in the group, which is why people are contacting me now - as they want the formally crazy person to give a stamp of authority on their move into Bitcoin. Social proofing through an analogue web of social trust.

What this means is that people who used to know better are now questioning what they know, as well as questioning the authorities that they have put their trust in for all of these years to keep them informed and successful. Peers groups have a massive effect on our behavior and I think that part of the problem Hive has faced is that most people don't want to introduce theirs to the community for various reasons, with the main possibly being that to do so requires losing some level of anonymity or at least, having to trust that their onboards are going to keep them secure - most people in crypto trust the trustless blockchain, not each other.

This sets up a social hurdle for mainstreaming as the average person needs to be convinced by average people before they will make a move, yet what they mostly see are unknown identities, not personalities. This is also part of the reason Bitcoin has had trouble mainstreaming too, as it doesn't have a face - there is no Musk, Jobs, Gates or Bezos to connect with - no human.

Hive is filled with humans though, filled with real people who are essentially the faces of the Hive blockchain and are relatable across a diverse population of potential users. Getting them out there is the problem though and it isn't about buying adverts or blasting Twitter - it is far more personal than that - it requires telling your friends. Rather than convince them as to why they should get into crypto, Hive or blockchain - show them what participation actually looks like - it looks like us.

What are investing into each other, building ourselves as authorities in a new industry.

[ Gen1: Hive ]

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I shudder now, because every once in a while (and I expect this will become more frequent as the price rises), somebody will message me out of the blue, and ask me how to buy bitcoin, because they remember ignoring me in 2013.
I still love bitcoin, but I'm not as bullish as I used to be; so I try to redirect to Hive, or Splinterlands, or some other alt, depending on the person.
It's as if my prediction alone was insufficient until it came true, but they don't now trust my judgement on crypto.
They only trust the judgement I made 7 years ago; because it's now been vindicated. They want to follow that advice; as if it's still relevant, and I struggle to convince them otherwise.
When Splinterlands is a worldwide smash, in a few years; when all the early adopters have had their lives completely changed, and all the benefit of getting in at the start is gone, they'll message me again, asking for Splinterlands advice.

It is the "way of the world" - people want proof and then use that proof as an indicator of what the future is going to be. It is like any change made to improve conditions - they are designed for the current conditions but once implemented, the conditions have to change - which means that in time, the solution is no longer valid. There are legs on Bitcoin still, but the industry is maturing.Well some of it.

I totally know what you are talking about. I was at one of my conferences a couple years ago and I got talking to a group of people about crypto currency. Mind you, this is a group of all technology professionals. I thought sure I would get some bites or at least one person that was interested in what I was discussing. Instead they all just kind of looked at me like I was nuts. It was blowing my mind. I tried to explain to them that blockchain is here to stay whether you understand cryptocurrency or not... Crickets... It was pretty deflating.

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Instead they all just kind of looked at me like I was nuts.

"Look, I created fire! You know - we can cook our meat and not die from worms!!"

Sure Bozz, sure.

Welcome to my world!

If you haven't noticed - most technical people have historically been quite negative on Bitcoin and to this day, still use what they learned about it in 2013 as their reasoning.

You can say this again. There was this guy on Facebook who could maybe qualify as a technical person. He had a background in something mathematical. I remember one conversation where he thought he had discovered an information theoretical reason why Bitcoin could not work - after a decade of working non-stop and not missing a block.

I chalk that up to nothing but willful stupidity.

I wonder at what price he swallows his math and buys in.

There is a domain difference that many smart people don't seem to notice, which is actually a good thing as it indicates just how far reaching it is. Economists don't fully get it. Mathematicians don't fully get it. Sociologists don't fully get it. Yet, here we are.

I wonder at what price he swallows his math and buys in.

Everyone has a price they are willing to buy into Bitcoin. The more skeptical you are, the higher the price you will eventually pay. :D

There is a domain difference that many smart people don't seem to notice, which is actually a good thing as it indicates just how far reaching it is. Economists don't fully get it. Mathematicians don't fully get it. Sociologists don't fully get it. Yet, here we are.

It isn't surprising because humanity hasn't encountered anything like it, yet. Bitcoin works because it aims at eliminating the need for trust. It will succeed because trust does not scale very well. The poor scalability of trust is a huge part of why life is problematic.

I think there are going to be some pretty extreme holdouts - no one likes to look stupid so, they usually double-down.

The poor scalability of trust is a huge part of why life is problematic.

Yes, this is what most miss. We have effectively distributed across the globe as tribes, yet globalization has intimately connected us all in ways that just can't be managed socially. The current approach most have taken is to fragment more, rather than solve the "trust" problem.

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I think a lot of this goes back to posts you have written in the past about attitude to risk. People are jumping in now and, apparently, happy to do so, without appearing to have an understanding that this is a volatile market and can go down ... It's almost as if the authority is the high price.

Pretty incredible hey?

You are right. The authority is the price. The high price justifies their past reservations and now they "trust" it. I wonder how they like the current blip dip.

In the last 24 hours, three of my colleagues have bought Bitcoin who previously hadn't.

LOL, 'high-prices over here, come and buy!' -they all buy!

A couple of these people had 2x 3500 dips to choose from. They chose 19000 instead.

Now they will panic if it dips into the $18,000 area, like a few hours ago.

I asked one about that today and at least he seemed oaky with it - but he also saw it spring back from that point... 2 years of bear might shake some fear loose.

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It is amazing how many of my friends who know I am in crypto are starting to send messages just because they now see the ATH in the news, they had been absent for many months 😂. But I feel happy a handful of them decided to get some BTC, not much but at least they entered back when the price was much lower than now.

Yeah, it is good to see and several of the people I have talked to did take me seriously and start buying in eventually - sure, it was at around 8k by then, but that was 125% ago... :)

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I have told people about bitcoin and they were even favorable but could not pull the trigger and buy in. Now I am mostly reserved to promote it in case they lose, but I will tell anyone who is interested all the details and even help them set it up. Why should I get rich alone?

Yeah, I am wary now - as I know what can happen from here - but I am still open for the information

Why should I get rich alone?

This is the question, isn't it? Why be rich if all my friends are struggling to make ends meet?

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Yes Bitcoin and Hive can make us rich this year lol.

I'm so impressed with your productivity on Hive, I also aim to post daily. Your payouts are phenomenal for your posts. You must be near the top of Hive. Perhaps it's your powered up hive that brings you such good payouts. You're setting a good example for Hive bloggers.
Best wishes

In terms of payout, I am probably up there for a Hive author, but there are plenty of other ways people earn here. The first 6 months was a struggle, but then I started engaging a lot more and spending time learning about the tech, the community and the possibilities.

While I know a lot of people don't like Hive content, it is something that connects us all and as I see it, there are many overlapping points with life itself. This is what I present and I think that it connects with a lot of people as they can put themselves into the story as well. This is a community and we are far more similar to each other than different, even if we don't always acknowledge it and instead focus on the thin slices where we don't overlap.

I hope I set a good example, but it is one that not many people are willing to follow due to the workload involved.

Ah, it takes time and proof. And time. And proof. And time. Like other commercials, I guess, that need to be repeated before they begin to work on subconscious level. Create more curiosity...

I've tried to bring friends in and I tried explaining that the earlier, the better. That there was nothing to lose but what they were already doing with their time. But even for those who tried, it requires patience and that is in short supply.

People do stick to the familiar. Most are not ready to invest into...I don't know...anything?

But I have also tried with people whom I know to be curious. Not enough time attention to spare, perhaps.

And I speak of creators...when it comes to consumers...the product needs to be polished, satisfactory, easy to assimilate, addictive...not requiring patience but giving you ways to waste your time and be happy about it.

I remember hearing that the optimal amount of times to mention a product in a 30 second commercial is 7. I wonder how many times people have to hear crypto before they buy?

Most are not ready to invest into...I don't know...anything?

There is a reason that the vast majority of the world are uninvested.

And you are right, the consumer world has to be very, very easy to digest - there is no reason to stick around in a world of content where much of it is available for free. Though, once they buy in a little, that can change. Skin in the game seems to have an effect.

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but when we start attributing authority across domains, we are going to get into trouble -

The worst problem is people who attribute baseless authority across domains to themselves because they've been successful in a single domain.

This is okay when a person is able to surround themselves with sources who feed them quality information. a good reference group is diverse, but ultimately trusted in their domain - connect all the dots and if multiple match up - the confidence in the trend can be seen. Staying too narrow is an issue, going to broad is an issue.

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It didn't take a lot to convince me to join the social block chain. I had no other social media outlets that I liked. Free pictures and free reading material, and places I could leave my opinion on things, that is what my wife sold to me. If I had other social media places I used or visited on a regular basis, I would have by now just hung up a sign saying Gone Fishing, or now I guess it would be Gone Honey harvesting, but I can't honestly say either of those simply because I never participated in social media since before 2005. Three years on the block chain and I have still seen no reason to go to other sites.

I left Steem, I tried whaleshares, I tried Blurt, I tried pocketnet, I have tried a few others I forget the name of. So far I have seen no reason to return to steem, or to any of those other places I have tried. Even a big whale sized votes could not get me to rejoin twitter, I just don't care about them, just did not like them. I can not explain why I like Hive Block Chain, but I do.

By he way I had some beanie babies, our pups loved the blue hippo and the elephant. I still have one beanie baby bat, he makes a good hold the curtain open instead of a curtain tie.

I think that one of the problems with a lot of the Steem forks is well, they are steem forks - general level blockchains doing wmessebtially the same thing. I thought the Smoke network would have done better, but it has been mismanaged by the developers to the point it is almost dead.

There are plenty of things of value to do in this world, I think this is one of them. It isn't curing cancer, but it is helping to improve or at least, increase the possibility to improve conditions.

I have always wanted a bee Hive.

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