Realist Time with Mason Westbrook

Let's use a thought exercise to model how you don’t need to understand crypto to be “on the right side of history”, in fact, this exercise will show that you don’t need to understand ANYTHING AT ALL about crypto. The point is you could be completely brain dead and still benefit from crypto so long as you have the slightest sense of instinct.


To your left is a view into room A and to the right, room B. Each room contains students working together to produce the best outcome for a particular problem. You will not be told what the objective is or even what the problem being solved is. We cannot tell you how long they have been working or how much longer they have to work. You will have no input on their final product in any way shape or form and will be unable to communicate with either group. Your task is to choose which group you think will produce the best outcome and will do this by “joining” that group so your fate is the same as theirs. You will only be allowed to observe each group from behind the glass and will be told which group has a higher collective IQ. Room B has the higher collective IQ.

It is an odd first day at school but the task seems simple enough. A timer starts for 5 minutes and the edges of the window looking into room A begin to flash, signaling that this is the room to observe first.

The group in Room A is noticeably larger. The large group is in an uproar of chatter with constant physical movement. You quickly notice there are subunits within the group. Some students seem hard at work, others are on their phones or just having casual conversations. It is unclear if anything at all is getting done by this group. After a couple of minutes, you identify a few individuals that seem to be the “leaders” however most of their time seems to be spent trying to get the attention of others and from the expressions, on their faces, you infer that there is disagreement within the group.

The 5 minutes are up and the window looking into Room B begins to flash, you walk over.

Room B has much fewer members, you calculate it is at least one-tenth of the size of the group in Room A. Again, you spend some time observing the members and notice they seem to be organized and focused. When one member begins to speak, others pick their heads up and listen. The contrast in energy between groups could not be starker, the large group is chaotic while the smaller group is calm. All members in the second group seem to resemble the same visual leadership that stood out for only a few members in Room A.

Time is up and the principal reenters with a form for you to submit which group you would like to join. Which group did you join?

Queue our subject

If you didn’t watch the video above, don’t worry you did not miss much. It’s a sad eight minutes of a charlatan spreading what will end up being the worst opinionated TV segment of all time. In a nutshell, Bill Maher demonstrates a pathetic misunderstanding of not only crypto but how technological change happens. Bill spends a lot of useless energy touching on technical or fundamental arguments regarding crypto in a feeble attempt to undermine it. I will not bore you with any rebuttal to his fallacious arguments, there are much better defenders of crypto who have already taken on that task (most notably, Nic Carter, I implore you to read/listen to his work as it is masterful). My goal is to show how Bill spent a whole lot of time, energy, and likely money just to miss the point by a country mile.

In the thought experiment, I laid out a framework within which you had to operate. The rules could have been any so long as they were sufficiently arbitrary, though I specifically chose the absence of information to closely resemble how most people feel with regards to crypto. In any case, the first step in determining your answer to the principal was to recognize that most of what you were told was meaningless. Not only did you literally have no idea what was going on but all of the dramatic build-up was just for show. There was never any value in the details, except for the obvious — which group was smarter. I imagine everyone who read that exercise chose to join Room B, if you did not I am afraid there is not much that can be done for you. In other words, you are ngmi.

The point of the exercise was to realize that in an uncertain situation you would follow the smartest people in the room, or in this case, the room with the smartest people. This is what most crypto-haters fail to get. They drone on and on about the energy usage or the limited transactional scale of a given crypto (mostly bitcoin) but never ZOOM OUT. In every major technological shift, the smartest people all seem to join the frontier. Cars, the internet, and now with crypto. Too often, society places a premium on being a subject matter expert when in reality most people just need to be able to “read the room” for where the smart people end up. Wanting to believe you “know something” when you don’t know shit is a common flaw amongst humans. Particularly with crypto-haters, they foolishly dance around complex technicalities that they themselves don’t even understand yet parrot with the full confidence of the original author. In the clip above, Bill admits he does not understand crypto yet talked for eight minutes about it…funny don’t you think? I get it, Bill has made a career off being a sounding board for contrarian ideas and so it plays that he would have strong opinions about crypto but even after making an “attempt” to disclose his lack of knowledge, we get a viral clip that is sure to incorrectly influence many Americans.

I spent some time looking at the response to Bill’s segment after the clip made its rounds on Twitter and among nocoiners there was an overwhelming sense of agreement with what Bill said. An endless stream of regular people trying to rationalize their discontent with crypto. It is truly sad to see so many people waste so much time and energy on arguments they don’t fully comprehend and ultimately do not matter. Looking to position yourself and your family for a better life in the future is actually a lot simpler than people want to admit. I suppose that is in part because most people are not keen on admitting that they don’t know something. Well, even though I fancy myself a “crypto-enthusiast” (i.e. know enough to hold an intelligible conversation) I can admit I am no “expert”, yet. All things considered, I sleep soundly at night knowing that the smartest people in the world are in my corner and not Bill’s. Nothing is certain but I am confident that if Bill doesn’t change his tune soon, it is going to be one hellish decade for him. I guess only time will tell, see you in 2031.

Sometimes I write my thoughts down.