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As an Autistic Savant…

By Craig Wright | 16 Apr 2020 | Bitcoin & Blockchain Tech

Everything in life comes with trade-offs. Something that few people understand is part of understanding who I am for myself. I have Asperger’s, or, as they call it now, autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Unlike some people, I’m lucky in the sense that I can train myself. Like it or not, I can honestly say that I have one of the highest IQs you’re likely to encounter. It is counterbalanced by a severe deficit in social skills. They have improved, over the last 30 years, to where they are now. Having said so, even now, I don’t match the social skills of the average teenager. I am nearing the age of 50.

In the last few decades, I have come to understand that people lie, that dishonesty exists. I still fail to understand that it can ever be useful. I see the long term, and will tell people what I see as being truthful, even if it hurts them and damages relationships. I believe, still, that in the long term, knowledge is preferable. In other words, nobody has been able to quantitatively convince me yet that there are many scenarios where lying would be the better option.

I do understand ethical considerations where lying to protect life could have a benefit. For instance, where a totalitarian regime or an unjust authority seeks to invalidly punish and possibly kill a person, then lying, in a cover-up, about whether you saw the person they have captured could present a better option.

Conversely, many say that a person’s feelings present a reason to tell what we call white lies. I still disagree here. If a person asks you how they look and they look terrible, telling them that they look good will only lead to them being ridiculed and continuing not to improve their appearance. I do not see such as a valid reason for anything but absolute honesty. In the short term, lying may seem to be the best option and even improve certain social relationships, but it also won’t help the person to improve. Lying is not something I do easily or well, and my behaviour is not a mark of deception but rather normal for autistic individuals. I am brutally honest, but also incredibly precise. The literal use of words is important to me, which does not always correspond to the contextual sense.

I’m better with code than with words… [1]

The problem with languages is that most people are not precise. They use words that have meanings separate to what they seek to reference. It is not that you cannot form adequate responses or even questions, it is that most of what we say is contextualised within the environment. People assume far more than they should.

Bitcoin is a predicate. Many people falsely assume such to present a binary logical outcome, which would be incorrect. Bitcoin script, when validated, can be true, false, or syntactically invalid. Only scripts or predicates that are syntactically correct form a binary outcome. What most people fail to understand is that a syntactically invalid script may be logically analysed. In some instances, it may be possible for a prescription to be partially syntactically correct. Many branching functions exist that can be partially followed yet may be syntactically flawed in some scenarios. In other words, the input conditions could make a prescription that is syntactically invalid in one input return as a valid but either true or false output in another.

It is a logical fallacy to believe that a syntactically incomplete scenario must be necessarily false. The fallacy exists in dialectics: in debate and logical arguments, it is possible to have a true statement result from fallacious reasoning. For instance, an argument saying that consuming healthy, fresh vegetables is good because it is popular is logically inconsistent. What may be correct is argued incorrectly through a popularity claim. An appeal to popularity is commonly referred to as bandwagoning, or the bandwagon fallacy. Validating an argument by the popularity of some solution is logically false. But, the use of a fallacy in an argument does not in itself invalidate the result of the associated claim.

Thus, I did not want the attention that came with the creation of Bitcoin. It was never and can never be a system that runs without human interaction. It is not a system with forks; to be Bitcoin, it must have a stable protocol. I had sought to remain outside of the spotlight. I am the creator of Bitcoin, but I am far from being the ideal spokesman and promoter, even of my own invention. As hard as I try, I have still failed to move past many of the aspects of my personality that result from autism. I have spent much of my life trying to overcome aspects of what most people consider to be simple.

From my childhood, I have studied a variety of martial arts. When I was young, I was very awkward and clumsy. The martial arts I studied allowed me to learn and understand my own body and movement, which for most people would be something that naturally progresses. Very few people need to consciously monitor the movement of their own body and learn to control how they walk, how they move their arms, and how they stand from a conscious point of view.

It really doesn’t matter if you wanted the creator of Bitcoin to be socially adept or not. I won’t ever be, and wishing I were won’t change it. Before it was hijacked, it had been very clear that Bitcoin would be a cash system primarily focussed on micropayments. It was also clear to many people that the system would act within the law, and it was not something that would be able to act outside of law [2].

The same matter was discussed on the forum quite regularly. Unfortunately, it’s taken a lot of time for me to get to the point we’re at today. If I had been able to be the leader that was necessary, a decade ago, I would have been. Then, I never expected scumbags and criminals like Ross Ulbricht to attempt to, stupidly, use the platform I created in a manner that was designed to facilitate crime. A cash system with an audit trail is the stupidest form of payment system for an illicit drug and dark web market. Such people are not exactly smart.

It does not matter if you want a charismatic or even anarchistic creator of Bitcoin. You must live with the truth, and, in time, you’re going to learn to. The simple fact of the matter is, Bitcoin is a system built upon my understanding of the world. It is a predicate system that follows a set of rules, allowing a world that I understand well and see as more effective. It is a system that is incredibly clear and syntactically able to be focussed. One where identity can be incorporated, whilst also protecting privacy. It is a system based on rules, which does not bode well for crime and criminal activity. So, whether you like it or not, the fact of the matter is, Bitcoin is created by an autistic savant with poor social skills. There is no curing autism; it is not a disease. It is something you get to live with. You can bury your head in the sand and decide not to like the truth, but reality is simple.

Notes

[1] See: https://satoshi.nakamotoinstitute.org/emails/cryptography/12/ (accessed 9th April, 2020).

[2] See: https://web.archive.org/web/20110420062418/http://www.bitcoin.org/smf/index.php?topic=5979.0 (accessed 9th April, 2020).