“Cryptos, NFTs, Metaverse…The Historical Deception That Is Computing”. The Chronicle of Eric Le Boucher

Computer science, the greatest invention of our time, it is said, never disappoints. We will see that this is not entirely true and we need to understand why. But let’s start with the obvious disappointment.

Information technology is generally disappointing: economists desperately want its spread for half a century to coincide with the disappearance of “productivity gains” in advanced economies, as if its tools, computers, laptops, the Internet, were useless “productive”, that is. really helpful. Although the processing of information is faster, that does not improve the information itself.

IT disappoints in detail and the list goes on. The computer is an imperfect device from the beginning, launched before it was totally foolproof and it is, by its construction, constantly infested with “bugs”. Generations succeed each other by superimposing layers of technology, creating hyper-complex devices that consume more and more power to self-manage their own past and over which computer scientists quickly lose control of the whole. Everything would have to be replaced, just like we just switch cars, but that would cause a kind of stroke for the whole society.

Setback. IT disappoints for its inversions and excesses. Return for social networks. They were born as a promise of a planetary agora to which all humanity will have free access to knowledge and discussion. They have become places of hatred and insult and, mixing everything together, they lower knowledge to beliefs in a great decline of humanism. The forerunners of this initially libertarian system now flee it with horror, remaining only the exploiters of the seam of the brutalization of the masses.

The urges are plentiful. The current crypto collapse is, so to speak, the latest avatar. The miracle invention is the blockchain, a technique for stamping information, described by the promoters as indelible and traceable. It must be able to serve as a stamp of authenticity for any transaction and therefore it can replace the ancient relic that is the currency, the instrument of the states that were themselves institutions of the world before it. Goodbye dollars, euros and yens! Cryptocurrency is the future of humanity.

What is actually going on is the organization of the mass immersion in unreality or, if you will, in derivation, in the literal sense

Yes, only billions of bitcoins have disappeared, been stolen and the traceability is not so perfect. In addition, drug traffickers and other criminals use them to escape the supervision of the authorities through the banks. Yes, except that the cost of transactions in bitcoins is actually much more expensive than with old currencies. Yes, except that the creation of bitcoins, the “mining”, mobilizes thousands of computers that emit the Netherlands’ equivalent of CO2† The carbon trail is very certain and staggeringly increasing. China, which initially welcomed the minors with the unspoken purpose of keeping an eye on this tiny world, has since dismissed them as too polluting and here they are in Kazakhstan…

Yes, except cryptos ultimately only represent 0.2% of international transactions, the original invention missed its mark. Since then, it has come down to immense speculation with no underlying asset, relying solely on the confidence of newcomers that they will make money. The collapse we see today shows that cryptos are just a Ponzi scheme where, as always, the gullible are the payers.

Should we regulate them, in other words corsets? Of course. And very bad. But, as always, the money that sparkles is invested in lobbying Washington to avoid it. And to prevent other brilliant inventions like NFTs or the metaverse from also being banned from sucking suckers.

E-gullible. A brand new continent is being discovered, the virtual world, explains Christopher Columbus. It should be operated like the real world: let’s build virtual houses, shops, theaters, beds and fields… Let’s sell all this “construction” and raise the prices to attract e-gullible people. And it worked, banks opened branches, luxury houses raced there, real estate groups dreamed of fortunes… And everyone started dancing around the virtual golden calf.

All this must be remembered, as with cryptos, is not based on anything. The virtual universe isn’t real, even if salespeople tell you it is.

What is actually going on is the organization of the immersion of the masses in unreality or, if you will, in derivation, in the literal sense. The attention economy (Bruno Patino), the cognitive apocalypse (Gérald Bronner), describe this plunge as that of ancient Rome in games.

“The effort of thinking deeply has turned into the pleasure of thinking quickly.” And in this context, many more people can express themselves, regaining their dignity.

So don’t be silly! We are not living the end of the world, but the entry into a new era, we have to adapt, the better we have to anticipate. The constitutive bug of computers marks the transition from the world of square ideas to the world of imperfect tools. See how Elon Musk works: prepay with NASA, he conducts rocket tests and he corrects. We are constantly on the move. Win the one who is smart. Change of rules: the game of the strong and the learned becomes the game of skill.

At the same time, don’t miss that the game has a reality, that of fun. As Alessandro Baricco says (The game), who advocates this computer revolution, “the effort of thinking deep has turned into the pleasure of thinking fast”. And in this context, many more people can express themselves, regaining their dignity. Hence, by the way, the success of the populists and the difficulty of the elite in diving into this world where emotion dominates, where mutiny (yellow vests) revives pride, where the truth that convinces is vivid, light, fast, effective and if possible, funny.

So infantilization of the masses or a new mental age in which humanity, having seen others, will be able to settle? It’s up to you to say. Sorry ! It is your turn.

Leave a Comment