What The Generals In Retail & Computer Science Do At Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park Code

What did the generals do at Bletchley Park?



Bletchley Park

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I went to Bletchley Park and Milton Keynes Dons FC, March 2000. I had just been the most successful general manager at the company of 1,400 stores in terms of sales increase on grocery, and even more prolifically – fresh fruit and vegetables.

On my twenty one and a half birthday.  The colleague who sat on my left, throughout the sit down at Bletchley Park, part of the process, I invited a him to my place of work for a cup of tea. That was all. We began a process with no prior planning or strategy, no discussion, just instinct. I was fasting. We fasted through the day and refitted and removed a darkness from within. We gave a company of one thousand business units light, air, warmth, and welcome.  Fasting is the most important worship we can do to remember the ancient times. Visiting Rome, will give all humans light and belief.

In this historical story our ancestors gave us of our very foundations belief that fasting is the most important to remember our ancestors from the forum, the Colosseum, the Vatican, and St Peters Square.

The Story: The Generals Of Sharp End High Street Retail and The Computer Science Byzantine Generals


The History Of Digital Cash

An understanding of where all this came from.

There are fundamental lessons to be learned.

About where this technology started and why.



motivated it?


                                                   Where did this come from? And why it exists.

Some people ask themselves why?

Why? Why do we just create these tokens?

Out of thin air? Why do they exist?

So there is a rich history here.

So the first thing we should look at is Bitcoin itself.

The first implementation of a blockchain,

solved the byzantine generals army Problem.

Or at least practically solved it.


So, if you’re unfamiliar with the byzantine generals problem.

It was a problem that existed in the field of computer science for decades.

Computer scientists around the world really didn’t have an understanding  of how to create a trustless system.

So, if you think about the challenge in the world of computers – everything is copy/paste. Everything, is essentially the reverse of finite. You can create over and over again.

Lets just say you have a digital dollar and you want to send it to somebody, that somebody needs to make sure you didn’t copy and paste it to a hundred other people to engage in counterfeiting. Now, the first sort of solution was webs of trust, banks essentially agreeing to the rules and notifying each other so they know what’s going on and their balance sheets equalise.

But, when it came to the technical side, how do we actually make it so we don’t have to trust each other.

Blockchain proved to solve this problem. In a completely elegant way.

The byzantine generals problem is a very nerdy and entertaining kind of problem. We have these nine generals, let’s say, surrounding a castle. And we have to figure out do we attack the castle?

Or, do we retreat? Because we don’t think we can defeat what’s inside.

So the thing is, you have to have everybody on the same page, if half of the generals decide they are going to retreat, and half of the generals decide they’re going to attack then their army’s routed because they can’t defeat what’s inside.

So they all have to figure out what we are doing. Now the complication comes in when you raise the grim the specter of a general that is disloyal, a traitorous general, so how do you make sure that every general is on the same page, how do make sure that all of their messages  are verifiably true?

Let’s say you are one of the generals and you’re looking for messages from all of the other eight. Now all of the other eight generals will sign their messages to confirm that that message is true, it’s verifiable, it’s from general one through eight.

But what if a general decides I’m going to send one message of attack to four generals and one message of retreat to four generals, my vote is going to disrupt and skew the consensus.

There’s a long explanation here that we’d go into, essentially what it boils down to is this, when you have a distributed consensus system like bitcoin, it essentially checks everybody’s messages against everybody’s messages. There’s consensus. We use a blockchain to audit everybody’s messages. We make sure that all the messages are valid.

We eliminate the possibility or at least we elegantly eliminate the practical possibility that one of these messages will be forged or otherwise invalid and trick us. We make sure that everybody is on the same page. And when it came to digital cash, this is something that hadn’t been solved for decades.

Bitcoin solved that, blockchain technology created this elegant solution to a problem of how do you establish a system that you can see the information and know that it’s true without have to necessarily trust the source of the information?


So as a nerdy problem of nine generals trying to figure out who’s on what page, who’s on first, what’s on second, we try to figure out exactly what’s going on, how does everybody come to consensus and that’s what blockchain technology did.

So I just want to impress upon you that it’s not just about creating digital cash this was significantly leap forward in the field of computer science, it wasn’t just something really cool, it wasn’t just something new.

It was something disruptive in an academic field. And so from there I think we can see that there are potential avenues of value of expression, it’s not just a toy, it’s something that had a real impact on our universities and that sort of thing, people who theorise in this space.        

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