When I first heard of Graeme Moore’s new children’s book B is for Bitcoin, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. However, I soon realized my mistake. While generational markers are important, they’re often distracting and dividing, something I encounter often when speaking to or about Millenials, for example.
We all know the jokes: anyone born between 1980-1994 has heard enough about avocado toast, killing business or skinny jeans. There’s some truth to these intervals, if only because they divide culture into temporal compartments. But there are things we all have to learn, no matter what our age. Better to start young, right?
That’s exactly what Moore does in B is for Bitcoin. We live in a world where “A is for Altcoin, B is for Bitcoin, C is for Consensus, and D is for Decentralize.” Yes, A is still for Apple, B is for Ball, etc. But our actions have spurred cultural changes, and so we must in turn respond to these changes by adjusting our actions. We must adapt no matter how old we are. Otherwise, we simply divide and distance ourselves from those of younger or older generations, and remain ignorant of the things they have to teach us.
As Moore himself explains, “you aren’t selling a book to a two-year-old, you’re selling a book to the two-year-old’s parents.” It’s important that parents teach their children, but when your child is two-years-old, what are they really learning but the habits of their parents? They don’t actually know what Altcoin means, or Apple, or even A, for that matter.
So why not take the opportunity to teach ourselves. Honestly, I don’t know what Altcoin is — I hadn’t heard the term before learning about Moore’s new book. B is for Bitcoin made me want to do more research, to find out more about the economy I’m supposed to be participating in. It’s funny, educational and directed toward parents who just can’t read another plot-less book about apples (although, funnily enough, A for Apple could still apply in Moore’s technological context).
This is a conflicting issue for me. I’m curious, and want to learn more. I’m delighted by Moore’s innovation and drive to create and self-publish an original idea. I’m also reluctant to sign on to the growing wave of technology, which feels to me as if it is separating us from each other. But that’s just it: B is for Bitcoin is not actually technological – it’s a book. A reminder to parents that technology can be a part of life without taking it over.
In fact, we must take advantage of technology in order to connect, lest we bury our heads in the sand and drift away from cultural change. It’s a way in which parents can connect with their children and still remain relevant, up to date, and educational in the cultural context of the next generation.