Geeks get excited by the same things.
Bitcoin encapsulates most of those things… programming, the internet’s “anything goes” mentality, open source, computer hardware, and a community filled with other geeks… Add an affinity for disruption, and few of us can escape Bitcoin’s pull. When geeks have their first encounter with the topic, the phenomenon usually induces giddiness and profound question forming.
Geeks have so much to internalize and mull over that deep questions are asked of the community (ranging from technical inquiries to endgame extrapolations and conspiracy theories). When geek-celebrities are drawn into orbit, their fascination manifests itself in their audiences’ imagination–the ultimate halo effect. I have Steve Gibson to thank, while others (like Robert Scoble) have @Jason.
I can say judging from the Bulletin’s analytics, this conversation is happening in over a hundred other territories around the world.
What does all of this mean? It means that smart people are very susceptible to joining the project on impulse. So many interests are represented under the Bitcoin umbrella, and each acts as a separate honey pot.
Take Gavin Andresen as an example. He pushed all in on Bitcoin and related projects (with a two year runway). The reason he got involved? Because he was interested in cryptography, economics and open source projects (among other things). Basically, he got very excited by what Bitcoin was and believed that it had a fighting chance to affect the world, so he decided to wed his fate to that of Bitcoin’s.
This is the Bitcoin effect at work: personal immersion in topics that leads to euphoria and dedication to the project. Its akin to the way individuals learn to love Linux.
Many believe that Bitcoin isn’t a tempest in a teapot, but something permanent or inevitable. Time will tell if they are right, and history will judge its effects on society. In light of other forces at work, the outcome may be a needed and positive one but with interesting consequences.
I’m glued. euphoric. geeked-out.
(I don’t own hundreds of Bitcoins, I’m not interested in the narrative because of a financial investment of any kind. The Bitcoin effect nabbed me. I do plan on buying some Bitcoins in the future, however, as BTC’s liquidity is an issue I’d like to cover firsthand, and I plan to write about that experience here at the Bulletin.)