Nick Szabo

Pascal’s Scams

“Beware of what I call Pascal's scams: movements or belief systems that ask you to hope for or worry about very improbable outcomes that could have very large positive or negative consequences.” - Nick Szabo

Reboot – Shelling Out: The Origins of Money

"The precursors of money, along with language, enabled early modern humans to solve problems of cooperation that other animals cannot – including problems of reciprocal altruism, kin altruism, and the mitigation of aggression. These precursors shared with non-fiat currencies very specific characteristics – they were not merely symbolic or decorative objects."  - Nick Szabo

The God Protocols

"Imagine the ideal protocol. It would have the most trustworthy third party imaginable — a deity who is on everybody's side. All the parties would send their input to this god. God would reliably determine the results and return the output. In addition, God, being the ultimate in confessional discretion, would ensure that no party would learn anything more about the other party's input than they could learn from their own input and the output."  - Nick Szabo

Bit Gold

There were many precursors to the Bitcoin system, but IMO, none came as close to correctly defining the problem, and solving the key issues of trust as Nick Szabo's Bit Gold concept. Reading another great piece made available by the Nakamoto Institute, we read and discuss the incredible prescience of Szabo through one of Bitcoin's forefathers, Bit Gold.

Exit & Freedom

Building on the principles discussed in our exploration of the consequences of a society without cash, we apply it to a broader principle of how the power to exit acts as a check on abuse and centralization. And who better to cover this topic with, than Nick Szabo? Today we read and discuss Szabo's blog post from 2007 titled, Exit and Freedom.

Formalizing & Securing Network Relationships – Parts 1-3

"... The movement from static to dynamic media promises to bring about a fourth cost revolution in the related areas of jurisdiction, trust, and security. Impacts on business will be felt in law, accounting, auditing, billing, collections, contracts, confidentiality, and so on: in short, the entire nature of our business relationships will be altered in ways only partially foreseeable." - Nick Szabo Listening to an essay from 1997 that details specific challenges of something as distant as the smart contract embedded into the Lightning Network shows the unbelievable foresight of the cypherpunks. As well as the dedication to seeing their vision become a reality. The risks and benefits of chargebacks, the nature of the trade-off between contract enforcement & ensuring privacy, the elements of splitting contractual elements (the ripped dollar bill) to minimize trust, pseudonymous credit ratings, and so much more in our completion of Szabo's essay, “Formalizing and Securing Relationships on Public Networks.”

Estimating and Minimizing Consumer Worry

What are the mental barriers that cause prospective consumers to drop off from interacting with an e-commerce business? How can we measure or estimate the worry caused by excessive forms, ads, and barriers to the content being sought. Another piece by @NickSzabo4 to add to our collection. Don’t miss “Estimating and Minimizing Consumer Worry.”

Shelling Out – The Origins of Money

"The precursors of money, along with language, enabled early modern humans to solve problems of cooperation that other animals cannot – including problems of reciprocal altruism, kin altruism, and the mitigation of aggression. These precursors shared with non-fiat currencies very specific characteristics – they were not merely symbolic or decorative objects." - Nick Szabo

Securing Property with Owner Authority

Bitcoin is the first truly decentralized registry for property ownership. The first application of which is value in its most abstract form, money.  But how can we extend this to physical property and titles outside of political institutions?  Who better to explore the topic with than Nick Szabo (@nickszabo4)? “Securing Property Titles with Owner Authority.” Check out […]