Is Bitcoin Racist?

By the time you finish this review you’ll understand that this book can’t be considered a work of scholarship by the most generous reader as much as it is a piece of academic negligence. It’s a rant, chock full of fallacies and flat out factual errors. I’m astounded that the book passed through editorial review and (presumably) fact checking and made it to press in its current form. I had to check my quoted material several times to make sure I wasn’t reading it incorrectly.

Here we go:

Golumbia’s book has three big problems:


    1. It is predicated on logical fallacies: poisoning-the-well, invalid inferences, ad hominem characterizations skirting the edges of defamation, lack of supporting citations, this book has it all.

    2. Doesn’t show his work. Ever find yourself reading a book for what seems a long time and you catch yourself thinking “when is the guy going to put a point to some of this?”…and then you flip the page and you’re at the end? That exact thing happened to me here. Golumbia spends the entire book calling every heterodox opinion tantamount to right wing extremism, that it’s “literally coded into the software itself” and yet, never actually shows this to be the case. Even if I wanted to believe the core argument of this book, I would be nowhere closer to knowing just how “right-wing extremism is literally coded into the software” after reading it.

    3. It’s missing the errata section. The book contains key factual errors. Statements that are proveably incorrect and then proceeds to use them as scaffolding to build his case.

The Logical Fallacies (i.e Eustace Mullens was not Satoshi Nakamoto)

The recurring theme throughout the book is to wildly and spuriously designate any idea or premise that is orthogonal to conventional mainstream economics, especially any criticism of the U.S Federal Reserve, as by definition “right wing extremism” and “conspiracy theory”.

To wit:

that central banking such as that practiced by the U.S. Federal Reserve is a deliberate plot to “steal value” from the people to whom it actually belongs; that the world monetary system is on the verge of imminent collapse due to central banking policies, especially fractional reserve banking; that “hard” currencies such as gold provide meaningful protection against that purported collapse; that inflation is a plot to steal money from the masses and hand it over to a shadowy cabal of “elites” who operate behind the scenes; and more generally that the governmental and corporate leaders and wealthy individuals we all know are “controlled” by those same “elites.”

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