Enriching the Golem ecosystem. Empowering individuals by decentralizing infrastructure & breaking corporate data silos.
When I was quietly studying for a BA in political science -- with a bit of philosophy on the side-- (sometime in 2017), I was vaguely aware of the concept of 'blockchain' floating around in my periphery.
Even as a complete outsider I could appreciate it was gaining momentum. I remember thinking: I should at least try to get to grips with the basics-- after all-- I see myself as someone who tries to be enlightened in the general sense.
I was on holiday at the time and had purchased a sensible-looking book about blockchain. Trying to relax on the beach now seemed like a double challenge: the sun was blinding and the book wasn’t making much sense.
I would read one thing and think I’d grasped it, only to realize a few pages later I wasn't sure I’d actually got any of it.
Fast forward four years, and now I’m working in the Web3 space with Golem Foundation.
Some things haven’t changed: I’m still not a programmer and I’m still not working in political science. But each day I am learning more about what Web3 is about and how vast the space is.
What’s most important is that there’s room for everyone. So here are three tips from a Noob 3.0 to anyone who would like to find some of that room for themselves but aren’t sure where to start.
Tech is tech, but let’s not forget - it’s built by people, for people.
The value behind it is only unlocked through human interaction, starting with education and understanding.
Not everyone is good at explaining things, especially when it comes to something as complex as the blockchain.
As famed American physicist Richard Feynman once said --when trying to prepare a freshman-level lecture about why spin one-half particles obey Fermi-Dirac statistics-- but failed: “I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t reduce it to the freshman level. That means we don’t really understand it.”
But we’re on safe ground: There certainly are people out there who understand blockchain, and more importantly, some are pretty good at explaining it.
People who have devoted their time and resources to creating vibrant educational communities for beginners.
There’s Bloom, an online blockchain and Web3 developer program designed for and by women and genderqueer individuals, the soon-to-be-launched GM Academy (https://gm.academy/), or interactive programs such as Crypto Zombies (https://cryptozombies.io/) for those who want to go down the technical side of blockchain.
To meet these kinds of people, joining a few Discords is a good idea - one will usually lead you to two others and so on - it’s a bit like dealing with a good Lernaean Hydra.
If you’re interested in a particular project but struggle with its documentation, see if they have an ELI5 (Explain Like I’m 5) on their website, a subreddit, or Discord - anywhere that their community gets together. ELI5s offer a condensed, entry-level explanation that will give you a very basic understanding of a project.
The world of Web3 is vast and you have plenty of things to choose from.
This is because blockchain is not only revolutionary, but also - just like everything we create - based on our needs and preferences, and often it’s simply an upgraded reflection of the world we are already familiar with.
There’s the science of protocols, the economics of crypto, the art of NFTs, the politics of blockchain governance, a community of DAOs - and a plethora of ideas on how to bring all manner of human activities and needs into the decentralised space.
So start with what interests you already and see how that’s being already explored in the web3 space or if perhaps there’s room for coming up with novel ideas.
I’m personally drawn to decentralised governance, having spent the last few years studying political science and thinking about how people organise themselves, vote, decentralise power, etc.
I have a natural inclination to explore these concepts through the Web3 lens.
If you’re someone like me, who doesn’t plan on going into the developer-side of Web3, there’s a good chance you don’t need to go into the technical side of things too deep.
Of course, it’s very interesting and makes you appreciate everything more, but you have to accept there are certain things you just won’t ever understand. There’s no shame in that: there are others out there who can deal with those things.
That’s what collaboration is for - complementing each other’s knowledge.
Feeling defeated by complex ideas is an understandable occurrence, but it’s one that only prevents us from exploring it, the only thing that can actually offer knowledge about it.
Asking questions is always the best idea - whether it’s on a project’s Discord, subreddit, Twitter - remember that while we sometimes hate asking for fear of being perceived as ignorant, people are usually more than willing to answer. They can see you care about their project or the ideas they’re trying to spread.
These three pieces of advice are just the beginning of the list and one which I’m sure will lengthen as time passes and I come to understand more and more about the space myself.
I look forward to knowing I know even less than I realise today - and sharing with you what I learn along the way.
Written by Marta Brewer