Kernel does not provide concrete answers. We are here to ask better questions.
This is because there are no simple, one-size-fits-all answers to the questions we're interested in learning about and teaching. That is what makes them good questions.
Our intention is to give you the framework to begin thinking in transformative ways about the most important questions raised by this Web 3 world we're building together.
Kernel Fellows will distinguish themselves by their ability to identify patterns.
Pattern recognition is at the core of cognition. Becoming more conscious of patterns which already exist, as well as how you choose to interact with those in your local environment, is the single best thing you can do to improve your critical thinking skills.
In particular, we hope Kernel Fellows begin thinking in terms of complementary opposites.
Rather than using dualities like 'decentralization is good, centralization is bad'; or 'DeFi is innovative, fiat is boring', this style of thinking recognizes that there is no good without evil; no attraction without repulsion, no North without South, no up without down.
We could describe this as "quantum thought" - being able to contemplate both 0 and 1 simultaneously, and the spectrum of probability between. This is not about just both/and thinking, or seeing "both sides" of a debate. It's seeing both sides and the entire spectrum of possible states between without grasping after certainty. This lack of certainty humbles you and it is precisely this humility, coupled with a wider perspective of the total spectrum of possible outcomes, which can lead you to make more effective decisions.
Q: Quantum thought is intended to identify the interplay of what kind of pattern?
A: Complementary opposites.
Kernel Fellows should have humility. We cannot be sure what the effect of our actions will be, we can only cultivate an acute observational awareness which will guide us toward making the right trade-offs.
If you want to change the world, the world will inevitably act back and change you. The results of Web 2 applications have made this clear. The greater our collective humility, the more gentle this exchange will be as Web 3 comes to life.
The critical idea here is that thinking consciously about trade-offs, and developing the ability to hold many different probabilities in mind simultaneously without allowing personal bias to obscure your view of all possible futures, allows you to pick The Middle Way more often than not.
Q: What characteristic has the greatest effect on choosing the most constructive trade-offs?
The Honest Question¶
Those who have positively changed the world did so because they learnt how to negotiate complexity, rather than impose their own will on things. They answered their own questions as honestly and directly as they could.
Playing with pattern, and becoming conscious of the constant interplay of complementary opposites as a means of cultivating presence, leads us to one simple query:
💡 What is the question to which you are the universe's answer?
and its equally direct corollary:
💡 How can you respond most honestly, accurately, and lovingly?