I see blockchain as a paradigm shift in human society that makes "trust", the cornerstone of human collaboration since the beginning of time, "irrelevant".
Division of labour drives human society
Human society has developed and wealth has increased because humans have been able to achieve a large division of labor and collaboration. Because there is a division of labor, each person can focus on what they are good at, and the value of the individual is maximized, and the value of the community as a whole is maximized.
I remember vividly the sight of grain harvesting season as a child, when the fields were filled with a large group of people, and neighbors and friends would get together and help each other out, taking turns to bring back the grain from each family. As you can imagine, without such a collaborative mechanism, each household working alone would be inefficient, not to mention that the rice would likely miss its optimal harvesting time.
It's collaboration among acquaintances, and the animal kingdom can do it too; the ability to collaborate effectively between strangers on a larger spatial scale is what really wins out for humans. Beginning with the first industrial revolution, the world entered a state of accelerated development, partly because of technological advances and partly because of the unprecedented increase in the scope and efficiency of human division of labour.
The Internet has been hugely transformative, essentially because it has changed the way humans divide and collaborate. Person-to-person, person-to-organization, intra-organization, and organization-to-organization, all of these collaborative relationships in large spatial and temporal scales are made possible and efficient by the Internet.
It can be said that the history of human society is the history of the continuous development and progress of the division of labour and collaboration.
The cornerstone of the division of labour is "trust"
The development of quantum physics in the 20th century has brought "uncertainty" into science, and the "certainty" pursued by classical physics seems to be non-existent in the microscopic world. It's somewhat puzzling that, for example, Schrödinger's cat is so puzzling that we can't understand exactly what state it is to be both alive and dead.
After reading a lot of psychology books, especially books and articles related to cognitive neuropsychology, it suddenly struck me that this is actually quite understandable. We are often controlled by our emotions, sometimes we can think rationally, but we often have different thoughts, so sometimes we are torn, we don't even know what we are thinking, so we are often in a state of "this and that".
The purpose of the division of labor is for each person to play to their strengths and take what they need. This quantum processing in the human brain makes inconsistency in our decision making just perfectly normal, which undermines the effectiveness of the division of labor. That's why humans invented the word "trust" in the process of division of labor, which means that I trust you not to "do this and that" - that you won't promise me half the harvest and then take it for yourself.
Therefore, all division of labor is based on the premise of "trust". Once "trust" is broken and human behavior is inconsistent based on the "both-and" idea of quantum processing, collaboration will not continue.
"Trust" means huge costs
In the old country, where people collaborated with each other in the harvest season, very few disputes ever arose, and there would be no such thing as you helping someone and they not going to help you. Because it's a community of acquaintances and there is a foundation of "trust". That is, if you don't follow the rules, you will be scolded by your neighbors and friends; no one will help you next time; the point is, you don't have the incentive to break the "trust", just for the sake of a field of rice harvested, it's not worth it, in other words, the temptation is not big enough.
Therefore, the creation of "trust" is conditional. However, these conditions do not always exist, especially in a society of strangers and in a wider range of markets. There's no family or friends to spit on you for breaking faith, you can find someone else to work with next time, and many times the temptation to make you inconsistent is just too great.
Therefore, society as a whole and individuals have to pay a high price to solve the problem of "trust". For example, the State must enact laws, establish courts and prisons, and punish breach of trust with violence; transactions between individuals must be made through a neutral third party, with three parties providing "trust"; and we are constantly worried about being duped and having to pay extra effort and costs.
All of these means have to come at an additional cost, and of course, these costs necessarily reduce the efficiency of the social division of labor and collaboration. The development of the Internet has enabled people from all corners of the world to participate in the globalized division of labor and collaboration system, and it has become extremely important to solve the problem of "trust" and minimize costs in such a grand collaboration system that has never been seen in human history.
Blockchain makes "trust" "less important"
And the reason I believe blockchain is the future is because it solves this problem.
The American philosopher of science Thomas. In his The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn refers to the historical shift in scientific thinking, the shift a technology brings to the way people think, as a paradigm shift. A new paradigm may not solve old problems, but it can make old problems irrelevant. I think that blockchain gives us just such a paradigm shift.
There are many concepts around blockchain; decentralization, distributed, consensus mechanisms, smart contracts, and so on. It seems to me that the core of all these concepts or mechanisms is to make the word "trust" less important in collaboration. What does that mean? We don't need to seek a so-called neutral third party to provide "trust", we don't need to make "trust" a prerequisite for trading and collaborating with others, and we don't need to worry about centralized organizations betraying our "trust".
Blockchain uses "if... Just..." The syntax and the witness of "in plain sight" make the issue of "trust" in a collaborative system unlike any other in human history irrelevant.
Human society is fully integrated into the Internet, and in the not-too-distant future, we will be in a world where everything is connected. The breadth, depth, and frequency of the division of labor and collaboration will grow at a rate we cannot imagine. Compared to advances in technology and changes in the shape of society, it can be said that people themselves have changed essentially nothing, and that the structure and functioning mechanisms of our brains are not unlike those of our ancestors tens of thousands of years ago. Moreover, the future is not only about collaboration between people, but also inanimate devices and machines of all kinds will take the stage as subjects of collaboration.
How to keep the division of labor and collaboration in society working efficiently in such a world is as important as how to keep an ever-accelerating train from veering off the tracks and falling apart. People themselves remain unreliable, and traditional moral and legal constraints will not be able to keep up, while the blockchain is like putting a security lock on the train to ensure that it can continue to move forward at high speed.
All the blockchain needs is time
Blockchain is still young, and only those who recognize its value will truly want to understand it, invest in it, and grow with it.
When Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction and demonstrated it to others, a noblewoman said, "What's the use? Faraday asks rhetorically what use is a newly born child?
I travel a lot and I'll tell you the truth, in the old days, you were bound to bring a certain amount of cash with you on every business trip, whereas now you can go everywhere with just your ID and your phone. A mere three years ago you would have found this unbelievable, and now we're all gladly adapting and taking it for granted. That's the power of paradigm shifts that make you take things for granted that used to feel unbelievable, and the shifts are so silent that you don't even notice the contrasts.
The generation gap between one generation and another is very often a difference in thinking paradigms. Sometimes, paradigm shifts are finally achieved in certain fields by time, the generation of inherent thinking exits, the new age becomes mainstream, and many applications, shifts, and innovations will naturally materialize.
From this perspective, we know that blockchain is the future, all it needs is time. Now most people's minds can't understand it, that's not a problem with blockchain, it's a problem with the people who can't understand it. When more and more people's minds start to shift and start to accept it, that's when the blockchain paradigm shift that has already started is finally complete.
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