Numberwang and “The Blockchain” Episode 1

To celebrate April Fool’s Day, I made a Youtube video on The Blockchain and why it’s like Numberwang. I also made a website where your computer plays a simplified version of Blockchain Numberwang.

This video is lightly adapted from the talk I recorded for SIGBOVIK 2018, a conference at Carnegie Mellon that “simultaneously scorches (for its pointless navelgazing) and celebrates (for its pointless navelgazing) academia.” I wrote (in one sitting all after my bedtime) a paper for SIGBOVIK, “That’s Numberwangcoin,.” It’s pretty half-baked, but I may continue fleshing out the terrible ideas from that paper in future videos. I should say that I’m pretty skeptical bitcoin/cryptocurrency/blockchain is solving important problems, but there are interesting or at least fun ideas in computer science that can be explained in the context of all this mess.

By the way, while the video credits Justin Warren with the origin of this joke, as he remembers it he got the joke from here:

Also, I did some Twitter searches, and the joke is much, much older:

Is Twitter like blockchain, but for one-liners?