Move Slow And Preserve Things
Scaling Bitcoin and DAOs
On the 5th anniversary of the now-infamous (and failed) Consensus Agreement for Scaling Bitcoin, I am reminded of this quote by G. K. Chesterton:
“Suppose that a great commotion arises in the street about something, let us say a lamp-post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, "Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good--" At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down. All the people make a rush for the lamp-post, the lamp-post is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their unmediaeval practicality.
But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people have pulled the lamp-post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a lamp-post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes.
So, gradually and inevitably, to-day, to-morrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light.
Only what we might have discussed under the gas-lamp, we now must discuss in the dark.”
To want quick solutions for problems is a human characteristic. But trying to get to a solution without necessarily aligning what are we trying to solve for in the first place is a common mistake.
I see this happening in DAOs as it happened in the Bitcoin scalability debate in 2017 (on that topic, the book “The Blocksize War” is a must read).
When you have something that is already worth preserving, “move fast and break things” is not necessarily the right approach.
See you tomorrow.