This is an opinion editorial from Hannah Wolfman-Jones, author of “System Override: How Bitcoin, Blockchain, Free Speech, and Free Tech Can Change Everything” and founder of We The Web.
Academics are not rushing to bitcoin; There are a lot of incentives baked into the university system that are pushing them not to be. These include incentives to please Keynesian allies and owners, and financial incentives of research grants, advisory roles – and a revolving door of payment positions at the Federal Reserve, the IMF and other fiat financial institutions.
The bias against bitcoin runs deep in the university system. Sometimes it goes beyond entire departments failing to address bitcoin – and overconfident, under-informed professors making strong statements against it – to discover the topic of bitcoin being blocked on university IT systems. Is.
I encountered it personally when I, a bitcoin plab, was suddenly unable to contact New York Law School (NYLS) professor emerita Nadine Stroesen about my book on bitcoin and free speech, to which she contributed. My emails to Strawson were sent as usual, with no replies or bounce-back messages, but did not reach them. A barrage of email tests showed that all emails containing the word “Bitcoin” were blocked from February 8, 2021 to April 24, 2021, on or before February 8, 2021, without the knowledge of students, faculty and staff. The block was extended to both the incoming and (most puzzlingly) one. ) Outgoing email to all NYLS email accounts. Other cryptocurrencies and related terms were not blocked.
I expressed concern directly to the NYLS president that this email block is “a serious violation of free speech principles” and “an unusually broad and coarse safeguard that is unacceptably (though wholly unintentional) to academic inquiry and justified.” / Undermines productive communication.” I explained that bitcoin is “an important tool for human rights” that is highly relevant, but my arguments were clearly not persuasive. The NYLS did not change the email block upon complaint, considering it a normal part of their email security. Instead he found Professor Strawson as a work-around and continued to block all email discussion of “bitcoin” for the rest of the NYLS without his knowledge.
The email block was eventually lifted when I told the NYLS that I would write about it publicly. Students, staff and faculty at NYLS can now freely email again about “Bitcoin”. Unfortunately, despite my repeated requests that informing the NYLS community about the block was the right thing to do, the NYLS still hasn’t informed them about the block and hasn’t given them the opportunity to recover the missed communication. Is. Lawyers with a basic knowledge of bitcoin are well paid and in high demand, yet the NYLS has been asking its heavily indebted students to receive such knowledge or job roles via email without their knowledge for months. deprived of the ability.
Assistant Professor Craig Warmke has also faced university IT sanctions surrounding bitcoin. Warmke explained that his institution, Northern Illinois University, blocks access to some useful informational sites on bitcoin such as the “Bitcoin Wiki” and previously blocked access to several others, including bitcoin magazine, This includes sites that Warmke says would be directly beneficial to his academic work.
As a graduate student at the University of Hawaii, Nathaniel Harmon received a very strong push from many in the school for his desire to do research related to bitcoin. After presenting a 17-page abstract detailing how bitcoin could subsidize the development of untapped clean and renewable energy sources in the oceans, Harmon was presented with a leading professorship there, Dr. Michael Roberts summarily rejected and insulted him, who told him: “These are not new ideas. They are *tedious* old ideas, which are seriously wrong. Read Paul Krugman on Bitcoin… You Own and Others”. Please stop selling your fool’s gold. Or, if you prefer, drop out of graduate school and work for the Winklevoss twins or the Libertarian Party.”
Harmon recalls how widespread the knee-jerk reaction against bitcoin was among academics, recalling: “I learned to avoid talking about bitcoin as much as possible, instead I theoretically acted as a buyer of last resort. Talked about. Everyone liked the idea until you mentioned that it was bitcoin mining as a buyer of last resort, then it took off. Anything other than bitcoin. The idea was developed five years ago Will… it set me back. While Hermann has had many stories of being ridiculed and rejected for his research into bitcoin, there were also many professors and colleagues who were open-minded and civil.
Professor Bradley Ratler, an assistant professor at the University of Wyoming who researches the philosophy of bitcoin, has had the exact opposite experience, with his bitcoin research being encouraged and embraced by academics. “I myself have not experienced any bias against bitcoin in academia,” says Ratler. “Indeed, the university is thrilled to be working on someone they admit they don’t understand at all but find important and relevant.”
Do you have stories of your educational institution discouraging, censoring or embracing bitcoin research? We would love to hear them! If yes, email email@example.com to share your experience.
This is a guest post by Hannah Wolfman-Jones. The opinions expressed are solely their own and do not necessarily represent those of BTC Inc. or . reflect the thoughts of bitcoin magazine,