what's poppin', karl popper?

I, like many others I'm sure, have lately been dabbling in cryptocurrency.  Just some basic minor league stuff, the amount that you wind find in your couch cushions, so that if - against all the odds - bitcoin becomes the world's reserve currency I have just a teensy tiny bit of a fraction of a coin.  Plus the FOMO is strong.

The company that I use to buy crypto is Kraken - and no, not just because of the name, but that is a plenty good reason to select them. The rest of the exchanges are either something-coin or coin-something like "foocoin" or "coinbazz".  Kraken has a little more style.   They are also the most secure publicly accessible website that I have ever seen. Of course that assumes that you, the user, are following best practices as well.

"Wait, why is this post entitled 'Karl Popper'."

I'm getting there, don't worry, if this blog post is an airplane, we will land safely with minor delays.  There is a dog on the runway so it will take a few extra minutes, but the ground personnel have a frisbee and will see him happily trotting off.  Ah, there we go. Actually I just realized that I am procrastinating like a champion.  

Every day Kraken sends out their Daily Intelligence Report and it starts with a quote and then talks about the usual things like which company is buying is buying whom, or what the Federal Reserve is doing.  The ordinary yawnable stuff.

I have been keeping a list of my favorite quotes and this is the one from yesterday, it made my Top Ten List of Awesome Quotes from the Kraken Intelligence Briefing -- I'lll wordsmith that title into some incredible clickbait someday.

Here it is:

"Optimism is a duty. The future is open. It is not predetermined. No one can predict it, except by chance. We all contribute to determining it by what we do. We are all equally responsible for its success."
― Karl Popper

That's it.  I don't know why exactly but that first sentence just pokes me in the heart.  Perhaps I've been feeling less than optimistic about some things. All of them too wildly personal to put on the internet.   But the fact of it being a duty, an obligation to be optimistic made me actually aware of how I had been failing the people around me and myself, by being sub-optimistic. So enough of that. 

But how cool was Karl Popper?  I hadn't really heard much about him until I read Nassim Taleb's books "The Black Swan" and "Antifragile".  Mr. Taleb who doesn't have a whole lot of use for much of modern philosophy or traditional financial advisers models - is clearly a huge fan of Karl Popper.  

And now to figure out where to start.  Philosophy books are tricky because I want to read his "greatest hits" at the risk of sounding click-bait-y but also want to get a general sense of the scope and sweep of his work.  Recommendations are welcome. :)


Edit: July 7, 2022

I got another Karl Popper quote that I like:

"Our knowledge can only be finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite."
Karl Popper