Knut Svanholm


Voicing an opinion

I’ve been writing these articles for about two weeks now. This is the first time I’m using a speech recognition app, an app that allows me to speak directly into the computer without typing at all. I can’t help but thinking that this is a fascinating technology. It gets better and better at such a pace it’s just mind-blowing. I remember the first time I heard a computer talk I was around twelve years old, trying out a new game on my Commodore 64. This was in the late eighties. You didn’t have to install programs or games on the c64 you just loaded each level on your little tape recorder before you played it. After having loaded the tape for a couple of minutes there was an intro to a game called X-Out in which you could hear a robotic voice saying the words “cross out”. Sometime before this I had learned how to program the sound card on the c64, called the SID chip. This early sound card could handle for different channels at a time. Each channel could play a sawtooth-, triangle-, pulse- or noise-wave pattern, one picture at a time. To make it speak was a remarkable thing to accomplish. Voice recognition is harder though. A lot harder. Loads of computation goes into it, probably more than you can imagine. For the computer to understand that there’s a voice speaking and not just some random noise an enormous amount of computation needs to be done. To separate the words, to understand each word, to make sense of sentences.

Most people are users most of the time, regardless of the technology. Most drivers don’t know that much about how their car works and almost no one knows how money works even though almost everyone on the planet uses it. If you’re able to see something for what it is, if you know what’s under the hood of a technology you’re probably privileged. Privileged in the sense that you were born with a curious mind. Sometimes, a curious mind can’t help itself. It just needs to know more about the tools it uses. Most Bitcoin users don’t really know about the technology behind Bitcoin and have little incentive to learn more. Something happens as the price of Bitcoin rises however. People tend to want to know more about what they’re invested in when what they’re invested in is worth more. Nothing is stopping you from staying ahead of the curve though. Nothing stops you from using your spare time to educate yourself. The more you know the safer you are, it’s as simple as that.

The early bird usually gets the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese. The third mouse however, will have to survive on whatever’s left for him. In Bitcoin you’re not the early bird but if you invest now you’re probably the second mouse. There’s still time. A lot of it. Ask all your friends and family if they have any Bitcoin and in most cases the answer will be no. If this technology works as intended they will all be Bitcoin users one day. More users means more value. More value means more curiosity. More curiosity means more knowledge. More knowledge means more progress. More progress means better technology. Better technology means more users. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Let’s make it happen!

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