I agree with the sentiment that most people don't understand either computer 
science or Bitcoin.  The goal of getting people to understand enough about 
Bitcoin to use it is achievable and a goal that is "in scope" of our efforts. 
Getting them to understand computer science at large at the same time, less so.

The fact that people routinely confuse RAM and hard drive sizes has much to do 
with the fact that the average lay person has little need to prioritize this as 
something to keep in the forefront.  They don't get "horribly" confused, they 
just simply don't get worked up over what looks to them like a rounding error, 
much to the dismay of anyone who believes that everyone should be an expert at 
computer science.  The average joe may assess (accurately from his perspective) 
that the distinction isn't important enough to merit significant mental 
resources and he is justified in not expending them that way even if someone 
else thinks he should.

Poor understanding is precisely what a proper effort to name this would be to 
avoid.  It is not frill or aesthetics, it is a planned targeting of language to 
achieve the clearest communication to the widest possible target audience using 
the language most likely to be understood by them in light of our objectives.  
It's marketing. 


Sent from my iPhone

> On May 3, 2014, at 9:49 AM, "Christophe Biocca" <christophe.bio...@gmail.com> 
> wrote:
> Context as a disambiguator works fine when the interlocutors
> understand the topics they're talking about.
> Not a day goes by without me seeing "neurotypical people" get horribly
> confused between RAM and Hard Drive sizes, because they share the same
> units (not that that can be helped, as the units are supposed to be
> the same, base 1000 vs 1024 notwithstanding).
> Bit (as a unit) is already really confusing for anyone who doesn't
> deal with it on a regular basis. I think people who don't see an issue
> are making an assumption based on their own lack of confusion. We
> understand computer science AND Bitcoin. Most people have zero
> understanding of either.
> Bitcoin already has a ton of issues with terrible names for things:
> - Mining (for transaction validation).
> - Addresses (which are meant to be one-time use, and don't even really
> exist at the network level).
> - Wallets (which don't hold your bitcoins, can be copied, and all
> backups can be stolen from equally).
> I end up having to make the distinctions obvious every time I explain
> Bitcoin to someone new to it. There's an acceptable tradeoff here,
> because there were arguably no better words to assign to these
> concepts (although I'd argue mining is a really awful metaphor, and is
> the one that prompts the most questions from people). Then add to the
> pile a bunch of third parties naming themselves after parts of the
> protocol (Coinbase,Blockchain.info). Not blaming them for it, but I've
> definitiely seen average people get confused between "the blockchain"
> and "blockchain.info" (not so much Coinbase, because that name doesn't
> come up in beginner explanations).
> It seems downright masochistic to add
> yet-another-word-that-doesn't-mean-what-you-think-it-means to the pile
> for no reason other than aesthetics. Are we actively trying to confuse
> people?

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