Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece. A long one. This article is not a criticism of any arguments or counterarguments made by Lopp or Lowery regarding the contents of Softwar, or the level of truth to any claims in his thesis. This article is entirely about my distaste for Lopp's approach and the wider implications of this.

A Quick Message To BitByte Readers

Let me begin today's post by highlighting that this is not a standard BitByte article. It is solely an opinion piece I have felt personally compelled to write, as the issue in question is something I hold in high regard and feel a deep conviction of responsibility in defending.

This article is looooong. Like 7,000 words or 30 minutes to read long, and took me a cool 12-hours to write lol.

I know and completely understand that 90% of you will not read this entire thing, and do not stress - I am not mad about that! I probably would not read something if it wasn't a relevant or interesting topic to me. But, for those of you that are aware of the referenced situation and are intrigued by it - then, I would encourage you to continue reading for as long as you can.

If you are a regular BitByte reader, apologies if you were expecting a typical BitByte post today. Please note that tomorrow, our daily posts will go back to the normal, positive, and entertaining Bitcoin-only stuff. However, today's post requires the discussion of uncomfortable, but necessary topics.

Back Story

The realm of Bitcoin-related fights and drama on Twitter is among the least interesting and most counterproductive arenas of the community. Personally, I avoid such spaces, choosing instead to focus my energies on more constructive and positive pursuits within the Bitcoin community, ones that add positive value and push the collective community forward.

For example, the worthless disputes currently between the 'Wizards' and 'Laser-eyed Maxi's,' fail to peak any interest in me and I honestly cringe at grown men thinking they're "brave" and "leaders of revolutions" for screaming in Twitter spaces, and flossing on stages.

In contrast to the drama prevalent in the online Bitcoin space, the real world Bitcoin community thrives, with actual events and work being made for genuine change. This tangible, real-life Bitcoin community is what most Bitcoin enthusiasts genuiuenly care about.

Alongside the unnecessary drama unfolding on Twitter, another disturbing trend that I find equally, if not more, appalling is the abusive and intimidating behavior displayed towards others. This reprehensible behavior, driven by unchecked emotions, ego, envy, and arrogance, is something I find immensely challenging to remain silent about.

Such behavior is not only grossly 'un-Bitcoin', but it also undermines the principles of mutual respect and open dialogue that should form the bedrock of any healthy community, especially one that is as forward-looking and innovative as the Bitcoin community. We must remind ourselves that respectful interaction is not an optional courtesy; it is a fundamental expectation and a prerequisite for a productive community.

So, what am I complaining about? Well, a recent critique by Jameson Lopp, a prominent figure in the Bitcoin academic community towards Jason Lowery, a well-know Bitcoin author, has left me deeply unsettled. It isn't the criticism itself per se that has compelled me to write this article; rather, it is the methodology, the underlying ethos, and the troubling implications of Lopp's approach that have left a lingering distaste and compelled me to put my thoughts and emotions into words and share it with others.

If unsure on what I am talking about - head to the below Tweet and spend a few minutes reading around to update yourself. TL;DR - Lopp wrote an article crticizing Lowery's thesis book, however Lopp wrote this article without even reading the book, instead basing his entire arguments on a mere 10-hours of podcasts and YouTube videos.

What shook me was not Lopp's views on Lowery's thesis. The realm of intellectual debate thrives on differences, and I respect and encourage that. What rattled me was the audacious assertion that one can critique a thesis book without actually reading it. It was as though Lopp had discarded the very fundamentals of intellectual exploration—engagement, thoroughness, open-mindedness—and had replaced them with a rather superficial approach.

Lopp's assertion that anyone who highlighted this lack of due diligence would be dismissed as a 'bad-faith actor' felt not just unfair but also disturbingly oppressive. The open threat to label dissenters seemed more of an attempt to silence opposition than to engage in a healthy debate. Such a claim undermines the very spirit of intellectual discourse, creating an environment of intimidation rather than open exploration.

The reason why this critique has continued to gnaw at me, perhaps, lies in the stature of the critic—Lopp is a leader in the Bitcoin academic space, and someone I personally am a fan of. It was only last week that I was on his website reading through some other academic Bitcoin resources he has on there. However, with my personal feelings aside, from someone of such standing in the Bitcoin community, one would expect a higher standard of intellectual rigor and respectful engagement, not an attempt to dismiss opposition or substitute thoroughness with convenience.

It is for these reasons that I felt uncontrollably compelled to write this article, to voice my concerns about the implications of this approach, not just for this particular debate, but for the broader principles of intellectual discourse. This article is not just a critique of a critique, but a call for maintaining the integrity of scholarly debates, for the preservation of the ethos that should guide our intellectual pursuits. It is a plea for the respect of due diligence, for the acknowledgment of effort, and for the safeguarding of the openness that is the cornerstone of the Bitcoin community, in which we are all part of.

I personally have not read Softwar, so it would be in ill-taste for me to make any assumptive commentary on its validity. I have, however, purchased a copy, and AFTER reading it in its entirety, I will provide a comprehensive analysis and review on it from my limited knowledge and inherit biases (which we all possess). Publishing my review before doing this would be reckless, unethical and a gross betrayal to readers who value my personal opinions.

But First, The Positives

The following article is unfortunately, but necessarily, not very positive. So, before diving into all of that - here are some quick positives to note first.

I have been following Lopp on Twitter for a while now, I enjoy his content and the unique perspective they often give. I am also a subscriber to his blog's email newsletter. I also regularly read his free Bitcoin resources on his website and find these highly valuable. Lopp is a well-known contributer to the Bitcoin community and his views (for the most part) have served as positive additions to others. However, I cannot ignore how signficantly I disagree with him on this occasion. This does not mean I dislike him or wish any ill-luck on him, I believe that it is healthy to disagree and challenge points of view - this is what fuels growth and challenges the status quo.

I really want to emphasize that although the following is very much me disagreeing with Lopp's entire approach to the referenced article, and at some points it will definitely come off as harsh - it is important to understand that I am writing this article not with the intention to just simply attack Lopp - I have no interest in this and it is not a constructive use of my time. The purpose and motivation of this article is to defend the truth, fair & rational discourse, and the integrity of the Bitcoin community.

Although I almost did not post this article after writing it due to a fear of a negative reaction from Lopp and his followers, I ultimately came to the conclusion that my level of discomfort and fear does not outweigh my deep personal conviction in defending the things that matter most to me - fair & rational discourse, a genuine and honest investigation for the truth, and the integrity of the Bitcoin community.

I am a fellow Bitcoiner, who has been part of this community since 2015. I am a simple Bitcoin business owner, who loves working on new Bitcoin-based projects which helps promote and serve the community, by improving and moving the Bitcoin community forward.

Additionally, I have a B.A in Psychological Science, and worked in the field for a while afterwards too. So, I have experience in writing academic papers and also breaking situations down in a psychosocial perspective and the ability to explain them thoroughly. That is the aim of today's article.

I also have a book coming out in a month and I just began writing my 2nd book on a more theoretical Bitcoin topic (much like Jason has done, but less academic). So, I know personally that if somebody with a huge social media following and presence within the Bitcoin community wrote and distributed an unfair hit piece on my hard work, without ever reading my book, but still claiming this to be completely acceptable - I would be livid and distraught.

My Personal Feelings On Writing This Article

I'm going to be honest with you right from the start. Writing this article wasn't easy, and quite frankly, it was an one I approached with absolute dread and anxiety. However, I am driven by a commitment to truth and fair discussions, and it is this conviction that brought me to write this daunting article, despite any potential for negative backlash.

This article is my deep dive into an uneasy subject matter. It examines Jameson Lopp (the critic) and his stated justifications for not reading Jason Lowery's thesis book titled 'Softwar', and why these reasons hold little water when held up against the light of scrutiny. I aim to reveal the underlying dismissiveness and lack of intellectual engagement that such an approach exhibits.

However, while I undertake this examination, it's vital to keep in mind that this unfortunate incident does not define the broader Bitcoin community. A community I'm proud to be a part of, a community that encourages diverse opinions, welcomes healthy debates, and promotes the spirit of intellectual curiosity.

While writing this article, I can't ignore a niggling apprehension that I might be poking a sleeping bear here, or inviting trouble by contradicting a more established and influential figure within the Bitcoin community. As an emerging personality, business owner, and entrepreneur in this Bitcoin community myself, going against a more well-known, and influential Bitcoiner may appear to be a Goliath destroying David type situation. This is not a confrontation I eagerly invite or want at all. This article isn't an attack, but rather a critique—similar to his, but with a significant difference: I have referenced the primary source under critique.

I believe that Lopp is acutely conscious of his intellectual superiority over majority of his followers and the general population. This self-awareness that he is more intellectually endowed than most, enables him to put forth arguments that, upon closer inspection, appear hasty and ill-considered. His assertions lack solidity, yet he skillfully veils this with sophisticated academic language to create an illusion of authority and credibility. It's a clever strategy – it not only intimidates potential dissenters, warning them against appearing as "bad faith actors," if they call him out for not reading the thesis. This also enables many to unquestioningly accept his viewpoint as blind truth.

This use of intellectual superiority, effectively leveraging it to insulate against potential critique, borders on the realm of logical fallacies - specifically, the Ad Hominem (Tu Quoque) fallacy. In this fallacy, an individual, seeks to counter criticism not by addressing the actual substance of the criticism but rather by attacking the unrelated character or motives of the critic. In Lopp's case, those brave enough to question his methods or conclusions are swiftly labeled as "bad faith actors". This isn't a refutation of the critique; instead, it's a deflection, a maneuver to undermine the critic’s credibility and intimidate others who may be thinking of voicing similar concerns. It's a clever, albeit subtly manipulative tactic to maintain his position unchallenged. The use of these strategies are dangerous, abusive, and counterproductive, as it distracts from genuine dialogue and exploration of the subject matter.

Here are some clear examples of this behavior in action:

Writing this article was an uncomfortable task for me, not only because I was afraid of the criticism that might follow, but because it's disheartening to witness such reckless and poor-tasted behavior in our community. However, if we wish to uphold the sanctity of intellectual discourse within the Bitcoin community, these are the discussions we must have, and the issues we must confront.

It is with a heavy heart, but an unwavering resolve, that I invite you to continue reading on to gain my complete perspective on this situation. After all, it is the difficult conversations that often lead to the most significant growth...I think...idk...

Okay, now let's dive in!


In a world where information is disseminated at lightning speed and judgments are formed within the fraction of a second, it's essential to rise above this and reestablish a crucial academic truth: to critique a thesis, one must first engage with it thoroughly.

To critique an author's thesis book without reading it in its entirety is tantamount to forming opinions without engaging with the evidence. Thesis books are a culmination of years of research, meticulous reasoning, and comprehensive narratives. They contain arguments, counter-arguments, evidence, and refutations that build upon each other to present a complete picture. To critique such a work without actually reading it is fundamentally flawed.

One of the key arguments presented by Lopp for his reluctance to purchase Lowery's thesis is that it is not accessible as a free copy and while the discussion around the accessibility and affordability of academic materials is necessary, it is a separate debate. For the present topic, it is vital to distinguish between the frustrations of economic barriers and the intellectual responsibility of engaging with a work before forming critical judgments upon it and its author.

While it's commendable to glean knowledge from various secondary sources, Lopp's strategy of relying solely on a mere 10-hours of video interviews and public discussions of Lowery as the basis for his critique falls short of the mark. There is a world of difference between an author and their book. A book is a crafted entity, carefully curated and refined over time, where each chapter and sentence plays a role in the overall narrative. On the other hand, interviews and public discussions are ephemeral, context-dependent, and offer only a snapshot of the author's ideas. The detailed expositions found in the book are inevitably diluted or simplified in these formats.

An author's thesis book is a structured piece of work that presents nuanced arguments and critical evidence that may not be adequately conveyed in public discussions. The depth and complexity of these arguments can only be fully appreciated and critiqued when one directly engages with the book. In short, consuming the author's ideas in any other format is a mere proxy for the real thing.

"The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don't know anything about." - Wayne Dyer.

Wading In The Shallows: The Missteps of Judging the Ocean from the Shoreline

To get this out of the way, let's address the easiest defense to fall back on - Lopp's claim that his review is primarily based on secondary sources and therefore, it shouldn't be criticized as a negative commentary on Lowery's thesis book (which he admittedly did not read). This, he suggests, shields him from accusations of posting an ill-informed critique derived from unchecked hubris, on a subject that he did not directly study. Yet, this defense falls significantly short of justifying his approach.

It is indeed true that "the devil is in the details," as Lopp astutely points out. And yet, ironically, this is the very arena in which he fails to step up. One can't claim to perceive the intricacies and flaws within a body of work without fully immersing oneself in it. In Lopp's case, it's akin to criticizing the complexities of a novel by only reading its CliffsNotes version or a 2 hour film solely from a 2-minute trailer.

Lopp further confesses to liking the "story arc" yet dismisses the conclusion. Yet, without exploring the totality of the narrative - that is, reading the entire thesis - his conclusion is fundamentally flawed. It's a paradoxical stance that betrays an underlying lack of commitment to an honest intellectual discourse.

His claim that the thesis appears to be a "giant non sequitur" is a hefty statement. It's an accusation that the logically sound premises detailed in the work do not necessarily lead to a valid conclusion. But how can one judge the logical flow of an argument without being familiar with all of its parts? By his own admission, Lopp has not read Lowery's thesis, making his critique more of a leap of faith than an evaluation grounded in comprehensive understanding.

He asserts that a string of valid premises does not necessarily lead to logical inferences. While this can be true in certain contexts, without taking the time to thoroughly explore the premises laid out in the complete thesis, his claim rings hollow. It's akin to critiquing the ending of a novel after just reading chapter 1 - a fundamentally flawed approach that undermines the validity of his critique.

In essence, Lopp's assertions are riddled with paradoxes, highlighting a shallow engagement with the material at hand. This raises a crucial question - can one truly critique the depth of an ocean without daring to venture beyond the shallows? The answer, as it stands, appears to be a resounding hell no!

The Issue With Criticizing Without Any Proof-Of-Work

Lopp's counter-argument erroneously suggests that the phrase "you can't criticize me without buying my book" is a disingenuous marketing tactic. In reality, this isn't about sales, but intellectual integrity. Critique, in its truest form, requires a thorough engagement with the material. It's not an insistence on monetary investment, but an investment of time and understanding (i.e. Proof-of-Work).

In the context of critiquing an author's thesis without reading it, there is an underlying presence of arrogance that cannot be overlooked. It is an arrogance that stems from the assumption that one can grasp the totality of a work without fully engaging with it, and somehow have the audacity to write a public "academic assessment" on it and then demand acceptance of your authority on the topic. This is an arrogance that negates the rigorous process that goes into crafting a thesis book.

To assert that one can critique such a comprehensive piece of work by merely relying on secondary sourced information not only trivializes the author's effort but also disrespects the sanctity of the academic process. It devalues the painstaking process of in-depth research, critical thinking, and intellectual rigor that shapes any thesis.

Additionally, it's an arrogant presumption to believe that a comprehensive work, condensed into a few hours of podcast videos, can somehow provide the same depth and understanding that reading the original work would. This reduces the process of critique to a superficial reading, undermining its role in the intellectual dialogue. It negates the symbiotic relationship between the reader and the text, where the reader actively engages with the material, questioning, contemplating, and synthesizing the information to generate a nuanced understanding.

Such an approach also implies that the critic's time is more valuable than the author's work, dismissing the hard-won insights and knowledge contained in Lowery's thesis. This is not just disrespectful; it also undermines the integrity of intellectual discourse.

The act of critiquing should never be about the ego of the critic. It should be a balanced, fair exploration and evaluation of the ideas presented in the text. It should aim to enhance understanding, foster dialogue, and promote intellectual growth.

By asserting that one can effectively critique an author's thesis without reading it, Lopp projects an attitude of intellectual superiority that contradicts the humility and open-mindedness required for true learning and knowledge exchange.

The path to knowledge is one paved with humility, respect, and thoroughness. The act of critique is a part of this journey, an essential step that requires complete immersion and engagement. It isn't an act of arrogance, but an exercise in humility, acknowledging the work's worth and engaging with it in good faith, with respect for the intellectual labor that gave it life.

"Judging a work of literature is like judging a person: one must be intimately acquainted with the subject before any reasonable conclusion can be drawn." - Edmund Wilson.

In academia, and indeed in any intellectual discourse, it is paramount that we approach a new work with an open mind. This is not merely a matter of courtesy but a fundamental principle of scholarly pursuit. A critique should be an exploration, an endeavor to understand, analyze, and ultimately offer constructive feedback. By refusing to read the thesis book before critiquing it, Lopp violates this fundamental principle.

Another concern is that bias becomes inevitable when a critic decides, even before reading a work, that they intend to write a criticism article about it. Such a premeditated mindset is fundamentally flawed and compromises the integrity of the critique. By not approaching the thesis with an open mind, Lopp undermines his own credibility. A refusal to engage with the original work, in all its complexity and detail, essentially shows a refusal to genuinely understand the content one seeks to disprove. This makes me begin to wonder: is this just out of a refusal to buy the book? Hmm...it's an easy cop-out, and it seems far fetched. Or is it possible that the fear of the book's contents challenging his confirmation bias, or is it just simple laziness? I don't know. All I know is that it is an act that does not sit well with me.

The Bitcoin community respects hard work and dedication, as evident by the mining process, which requires a significant amount of computational effort to contribute to the network. The act of reading, comprehending, and then critiquing a work is a similar process—it requires intellectual effort and commitment. By not reading the book, Lopp neglects to show his own proof-of-work.

In this regard, Lopp's conduct is a poor representation of the Bitcoin community's values. It's disheartening to see a leader in the academic Bitcoin space acting in a manner contrary to the principles that Bitcoin upholds.

"It is easy to criticize, especially if the critic has no understanding of the process that a writer goes through." - Tahereh Mafi.

Unfounded Entitlement: The Absurdity of Demand for Free Access to Bitcoin Literature

Lopp's contention that he is "opposed to paying for the privilege of reading a thesis" and his belief that "any ideas regarding Bitcoin should be available and discussed in the open, not behind a paywall," is a dramatic misapprehension of both intellectual property rights and the principles of scholarly labor.

His argument completely disregards the time, intellectual effort, and painstaking research that goes into creating a comprehensive thesis. The idea that this painstakingly curated knowledge should be freely available undermines the right of researchers and authors to compensation for their endeavors, much like any other professionals.

By extension, if we apply Lopp's argument about free access to all ideas on Bitcoin, it raises a significant question: Should all books on Bitcoin be free? There are hundreds of books that discuss new ideas on Bitcoin, such as "The Bitcoin Standard," written by economist and academic lecturer, Saifedean Ammous, who dedicated years of his life to study and understand the intricate world of Bitcoin in order to form his theories and present them to the world in the form of a book. Should Saifedean also give away his hard work for free? Absolutely not! That is ridiculous. This kind of expectation not only diminishes the value of the authors' efforts but is also patently unfair.

"An author's intellectual property, like any other kind of property, should have a price; it should not be free for the taking." - Dean Koontz.

Lopp's insistence on free access trivializes the dynamics of academic discourse. It is through the process of publishing, attribution, and fair exchange that theories and ideas are scrutinized, challenged, and improved. Advocating for everything to be free undermines the vigor and quality of discourse and devalue the intellectual effort that forms the basis of these ideas and theories.

Finally, using a paywall as a reason not to interact with a work is a feeble argument. This is especially true for a critic who is the co-founder and CTO of a large crypto company, so he definitely has the resources to acquire such knowledge.

Honestly, it feels more like a convenient excuse to evade a detailed and thoughtful engagement with Lowery's arguments. If Lopp truly believes in the free exchange of ideas around Bitcoin, he should also uphold the authors' right to fair compensation for their work. Otherwise, his stance merely comes off as self-serving, using an unfounded theory as a shield against critique. Ironically, Lopp cleverly uses the excuse of a "paywall" as his own 'defense wall,' conveniently shielding himself from the substantive engagement and critique that the thesis demanded.

The Weaknesses In Lopp's Preemptive Dismissal Attempt

Before proceeding further in this article, we must consider the inherent weaknesses in the arguments presented as the basis for Lopp's refusal to purchase Lowery's thesis. Lopp has justified his reluctance to read the book before critiquing it through a series of assertions that, upon closer inspection, not only appear hollow but also reveal a preemptive attempt to deflect criticism.

Lopp's stance, claiming an entitlement to critique without fully engaging with the subject matter, fundamentally undermines the integrity and respect for the academic process. There is an overarching narrative of moral superiority that frames Lopp's refusal to read the book, a narrative that is presented as a shield against potential backlash. It appears as though Lopp has made a preemptive move to justify what he must have known was a questionable approach - critiquing without reading.

One of the key arguments presented by Lopp for his reluctance to purchase Lowery's thesis is that it is not accessible as a free copy. This justification, while attempting to evoke sympathy and agreement, falls short of excusing Lopp's intellectual responsibility. Yes, accessibility and affordability of academic materials are crucial discussions to be had, but they cannot be used as a fig leaf to cover Lopp's neglect of due diligence. Lopp's inability or unwillingness to purchase Lowery's $40 book should not absolve him of his responsibility to engage with the work in its entirety before voluntarily critiquing it.

Moreover, Lopp seems to place undue reliance on secondary sources like podcast videos and public discussions. Lopp argues that these sources provide enough substance to form a critique. However, this argument holds little water when considering the depth and complexity of a 200,000 word & 366 page academic thesis book. Claiming to understand the essence of a work from fragmented, diluted discussions is akin to appreciating a grand symphony by listening to a few isolated notes. It is a weak argument that fundamentally disrespects the intellectual labor that goes into creating a comprehensive thesis book.

Lopp's argument that "you can't criticize me without buying my book" is just a marketing tactic, also bears further scrutiny. This statement appears to be a clear attempt to justify his action of not reading the book and frames his decision as a righteous stand against manipulative marketing tactics. However, this is a gross misinterpretation. This assertion is not about boosting sales, but about upholding intellectual integrity. It is not about monetary investment, but about an investment of time, understanding, and respect for the author's labor.

Overall, Lopp's justifications come across as weak and self-serving, serving more to shield himself from the criticism he likely expected. Rather than taking a moral high ground, Lopp's refusal to engage fully with the book before forming a critique manifests as a disservice to intellectual discourse, a cop-out that leaves his critique fundamentally flawed and unconvincing. It raises questions about Lopp's sincerity and commitment to maintaining the standards of academic rigor that the Bitcoin community—and indeed any intellectual community—expects and deserves.

The Fallacy of Absolute Truth

In the realm of academic discourse, there is a widely acknowledged principle that no single viewpoint holds the absolute truth. Knowledge is continually evolving, and our understanding of it deepens through open, respectful, and constructive exchanges of ideas. Therefore, claiming one's viewpoint as the absolute truth is not just a fallacy, but it's also an affront to the ethos of intellectual exploration.

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

The intellectual landscape thrives on the dynamism of differing viewpoints, the debate of diverging perspectives, and the challenge of untested hypotheses. It is in this backdrop of robust discourse that a concerning claim by Lopp is brought to light:

Loop asserts: "Hopefully Lowery and his adherents do not resort to retorting that my points are invalid because I haven’t read the book. That’s not how one engages in rational discourse - saying 'you can’t criticize me without buying my book' is just a disingenuous marketing tactic. Anyone who employs that deflection on me will be written off as bad-faith actor. I invite those who disagree with this essay to raise specific counterpoints rather than attempting to hand-wave away my criticisms."

This declaration presents a fundamental fallacy that defies the principles of rational discourse. It proclaims an unjustified immunity to the critique of not reading the thesis before critiquing it. To engage in rational discourse is to delve into the complexities, not merely cherry-pick parts that align with preconceived ideas. Asserting that this critique is merely a "disingenuous marketing tactic" simplifies a complex issue of intellectual rigor and due diligence into a strawman argument.

Furthermore, Lopp's claim that any disagreements focusing on the lack of engagement with the actual text will be dismissed as being from a 'bad-faith actor' is troubling and is what made me feel the most sick from this whole drama.

This approach is intellectually oppressive, effectively shutting down any criticism of Lopp's methodology and asserting an infallibility that has no place in academic discourse or the Bitcoin community. It creates a power dynamic that intimidates readers and discourages dissent, breeding an environment hostile to open intellectual exploration.

It's ironic that Lopp encourages those who disagree to raise specific counterpoints while pre-emptively dismissing a significant counterpoint—that of not engaging directly with the text. This move contradicts the spirit of intellectual discourse, which welcomes all perspectives and values the process of continual learning through critique and counter-critique.

Lopp's approach, unfortunately, stifles critique rather than fostering it. In stating his viewpoint as an absolute and silencing opposing voices, Lopp disregards the richness of varied perspectives and the importance of open discourse. It undermines the principles of scholarly debate: humility, curiosity, and a commitment to rigorous engagement with the material at hand.

In the academic landscape, we grow by questioning and being questioned, by critiquing and being critiqued. Asserting infallibility and discouraging critique is not just a fallacy, but an affront to the growth mindset that underpins intellectual exploration. We must strive for an open academic space where all perspectives are heard, respected, and considered, enabling us to learn, evolve, and push the boundaries of our understanding.

The Gross Act of Lopp Demanding A Response From Lowery

The preceding sections shed light on the weakness of Lopp's whole approach, but what came next has managed to unsettle me even further. After publicizing his critique, Lopp took a step that can only be described as grossly audacious—he publicly confronted Lowery on Twitter, demanding a response to his critique.

There's an inherent arrogance in this approach that is rather shocking. This confrontation on a public platform demonstrates an excessive level of entitlement, implying that Lopp holds some moral high ground and Lowery is somehow beholden to his criticism.

"Arrogance is the camouflage of insecurity." - Tim Fargo
"Arrogance diminishes wisdom." - Arabian Proverb

By demanding that Lowery must respond to his critique to prove the validity of the thesis, Lopp is assuming an authority that he does not possess. It is as if he is saying that without his seal of approval, the thesis holds no value, which is an overreach of epic proportions.

This brashness is reckless in two ways. Firstly, it fails to recognize that a scholarly critique requires thorough engagement with the material, which he evidently did not do. Secondly, it positions his criticism as an ultimate litmus test for the thesis's validity, thus disregarding other potential scholarly critiques, discussions, or debates that may enrich the discourse.

Moreover, Lopp's actions betray a fundamental misunderstanding of academic discourse. In such discussions, it is not one critic's validation or disapproval that determines a work's worth, but a collective examination by the entire community. Lopp's claim that Lowery's work can only be believed if responded to his critique is an affront to this collective intellectual process.

Lastly, these actions reveal an inflated ego at play. One might argue that Lopp's public confrontation was more about asserting his dominance than engaging in a scholarly debate. It is crucial to remember that the academic sphere isn't a gladiator arena where one has to shout the loudest to be heard—it is a space for thoughtful, measured, and respectful discussions.

"Big egos are big shields for lots of empty space." - Diana Black

This entire incident, the preemptive critique, the public confrontation, and the demand for a response are wildly unsettling, and the reason why I dedicated my entire day writing this article.

"Entitlement is a delusion built on self-centeredness and laziness." - Robert Kiyosaki

The Bitcoin Community Response

The responses from other Bitcoiners online have obviously varied as Bitcoiners on Twitter pick a side or viewpoint. From my own Twitter feed and from what I saw while investigating for this article, there is an equally distributed amount of support for both Lowery and Lopp. However, I have begun to see a rising amount of Tweets mentioning people's distain for Lopp's article:

Final Thoughts - A Personal Defense of Truth & Fair Discourse

Honestly, I hate that I had to write this article. It has been an extremely uncomfortable journey, one that took me through waves of disappointment, frustration, and disbelief. But my level of discomfort does not outweigh my deep conviction in defending truth, fair discussions, and the integrity of the Bitcoin community.

Through the discomfort, we examined a trend that should disturb anyone with respect for the intellectual pursuit. We confronted an example where a critic chose not to engage with a work, and instead, crafted a critique in absence. Such an act is not just a slight against the author, but a betrayal of the very essence of intellectual discourse and something I personally believe does not belong within the Bitcoin community, and must be called out and challenged when we see it.

The reasons given by Lopp to justify not reading the book were dissected. Unfortunately, they stood revealed as poor attempts at building a defensive wall, preemptively deflecting potential counter-critiques. These justifications were revealed as not just weak, but dismissive of the dedication and hard work put into intellectual creation.

This entire episode has, if nothing else, served as a revealing examination of Lopp's character. Throughout the interactions, he has exhibited traits that, quite frankly, seem unbecoming of an individual who professes to engage in rigorous intellectual discourse. There's been a pervasive dismissiveness, a deep-seated arrogance, and an unshakeable certainty of his own infallibility, all of which have been far more revealing than any of his critiques. A refusal to engage with the primary source material, the public confrontations on Twitter, and a seemingly entitled stance that dictates the conditions under which others must defend their work - these actions all hint towards an alarming disregard for due process and open dialogue. Intellectual discourse requires humility, a willingness to learn, and an openness to being proven wrong (once you have actually read the thesis). Unfortunately, in this particular scenario, these virtues appear to have been found wanting.

In its most positive light, the wider Bitcoin community champions diligence, respects diverse opinions, and cultivates an environment conducive to honest dialogue. It's a community that values intellectual curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge. However, incidents like these serve as a stark reminder that we must continually uphold these values, standing vigilant against practices that undermine them. As Bitcoiners, when we see such bold claims, we must remember the ethos of "don't trust, verify" (something Lopp unfortunately did not do).

When I consider the impact this article may have, and any negativity that may follow, I'm reminded of the importance of the conversations we're having and the discussions we engage in. Each critique, every argument, contributes to the intellectual environment we cultivate as Bitcoiners. It's incumbent upon us to ensure that our contributions reflect the respect, thoroughness, and integrity that the community and intellectual discourse deserve.

In this digital age where opinions are shared at light speed, it's crucial to remember that a deep understanding often comes slowly, and with patience. Critique should never be about tearing down for the sake of destruction, but rather about fostering understanding, promoting dialogue, and nurturing collective growth.

I end today's BitByte article with a heavy heart, knowing that what we've discussed here is not pleasant, but it is necessary. Truth and fair discourse must always be defended, even when it is uncomfortable. The journey towards knowledge is not always easy, but it's one that requires our dedication and respect. For it's in this journey, with all its twists and turns, that we find the true joy of intellectual exploration and the power to contribute to the collective wisdom of our shared Bitcoin community.

Regarding this article and any mixed array of responses that will come from it, I find solace in the below quote:

“Stand up to hypocrisy. If you don't, the hypocrites will teach. Stand up to ignorance, because if you don't, the ignorant will run free to spread ignorance like a disease. Stand up for truth. If you don't, then there is no truth to your existence. If you don't stand up for all that is right, then understand that you are part of the reason why there is so much wrong in the world.”
― Suzy Kassem.
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