We spent this morning in Prospect Park with our five month old puppy, Leia. The park allows owners to unleash their dogs before 9 am, a policy that welcomes an odd assortment of neighborhood characters and personalities; borderline eccentrics, semi-conscious financial planners, pajama-wearing elementary school teachers, introverted dog walkers, hungover yoga teachers; all punctuating the open green lawns like weird department store mannequins, passively observing as their pent-up house dogs run in wild circles and figure-eights, gleefully tackling each other, wrestling, rolling in the cold November grass, muddying up their coats.
We’ve had Leia for all of three months, and I’ve quickly learned that being a dog owner in Brooklyn has some inherent similarities to being the parent of a pre-K student; the beautiful but slightly out-of-sync companionship, the endless training, the copious positive reinforcement, the accepted destruction of one’s cherished books and furniture, and notably today, the awkward social situations ownership forces upon us.
When my daughter was four years old, I often found myself struggling through conversations with other parents, with whom I’d otherwise have no connection, our relationships based solely on whatever random circumstances had brought our children together in that moment; a soccer game, a birthday party, a ballroom dance recital. It’s the same when one adopts a dog. Whenever our Leia, a little brown goblin of a dog, sniffs another pooch’s butthole, conversation almost inevitably ensues.
“What kind of dog is that?”
“You guys live in the neighborhood?”
“She’s so pretty.”
“How old is she?”
“Has she been keeping up with Game of Thrones?”
“Is she thinking about college yet?”
It’s all wonderfully fine, part of the accepted social contract and all that. I only mention it because this morning, as my fiancee and I wandered through the scene, nursing lukewarm coffee in the chilled November air as our puppy ran crazy zig zag patterns through the park like a demented bat on cocaine, above the low murmurs of uncomfortable and polite conversation, we heard “that” word again.
We overheard it, in passing, mentioned in a couple different conversations on our morning walk, a strange subject for a Sunday morning, even in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. There’s clearly a bit of a buzz around the subject this fall, perhaps due to the looming SEC decision on a potential Bitcoin ETF, perhaps not. And while we can also probably rule out my most recent blogpost, “Bitcoin and Chidhananda” as the cause for any incremental excitement, I thought I’d use this as an opportunity to follow up on that post with a salient point and some references for you guys.
As a full disclaimer, while I’m a huge fan of Bitcoin and blockchain and of the concept of decentralization, and I’ve done a fairly significant amount of research on cryptocurrency over the past year, I’m by no means an expert on the subject. I’m also not an expert on market analysis, nor do I possess the ability to see into the future. If you’re excited by the technology and its potential future benefits and are thinking of investing, you should definitely do your own careful research.
That being said, here are some references I’ve found incredibly helpful.
Andreas Antonoupolos – Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a best-selling author, speaker, educator, and one of the world’s foremost bitcoin and open blockchain experts. He is known for delivering electric talks that combine economics, psychology, technology, and game theory with current events, personal anecdote, and historical precedent effortlessly transliterating the complex issues of blockchain technology out of the abstract and into the real world. (bio taken from Andreas’s website)
Jimmy Song – Bitcoin Educator, Developer and Entrepreneur/PGP
Vitalik Buterin – Vitalik Buterin is a Russian-Canadian programmer and writer primarily known as a co-founder of Ethereum and as a co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine. (source: Wikipedia)
Unchained – Podcast hosted by Laura Shin covering Bitcoin, Ethereum and Blockchain.
Crypto Slang – a beginner’s guide to crypto-specific slang, complete with some unhelpful visual aides.
That’s all for now. Don’t get rekt out there.