When I heard that John Oliver – the HBO news comedian – had interviewed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, I cringed. Snowden's few interviews up until last week had been only with sober journalists, after all. What cheap jokes would funny man Oliver tell to downplay Snowden's devastatingly serious message?
The first two-thirds of the episode seemed to confirm my worst suspicions. Oliver indeed talks about government surveillance like it's a whoopee cushion, rather than an enemy-fired missile. He then gave me a nasty shock when he handed Snowden a picture of his penis – a “dick pic.”
At this point, I almost turned the video off. It hurt.
But then the media gold set in, and suddenly, it all made sense. You've just got to watch:
P.S. You're in the Technical Elite
If you read Cointelegraph – if you've even heard of Cointelegraph – you're in the technical elite. It's the small percentage of the world that knows what a blockchain is. What cryptography is. That even has a rough idea of how the Internet works.
As Oliver so cleverly revealed in this episode of Last Week Tonight, the disappointingly damp response from many Americans to Snowden’s leaks isn't because they don't value their privacy. It's because they don't actually understand what the leaks mean.
But the notion that someone is spying on their “dick pics”? All of a sudden, you see the reaction that you'd expect to see from someone (like you) who understands the statement, “Your device's data packets are being surreptitiously recorded via major underwater cable intersection points.”
Know Thy Audience
Bitcoiners can learn a valuable lesson from the golden fusion of Snowden's secrets and Oliver's snappy punchlines. And that is this: before you go pitching Bitcoin to the next unsuspecting person, first discern what they really care about. Because it may not be peer-to-peer protocols. It's probably not “trustlessness.” And it's almost certainly not “cryptographically-secure ledgers.”
They're probably more interested in buying drugs, really. Good. That's as good a reason as any.
Save the tech talk for Bitcoin meetups. Make your best “dick pic” pitch to everyone else.
Did you enjoy this article? You may also be interested in reading these ones:
- 'Obama Effect' Results in 200 Bitcoin Donations to Edward Snowden
- Snowden Calls on Tech Companies to Secure Communications With Decentralized Encryption
- The Digital Currency Dilemma: Anonymity vs. Privacy (Op-Ed)