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04.14.11 · Goodbye, Union College

Day 6. 365 miles travelled.

After leaving MIT on Monday, I hit I-90 West. In an effort to improve gas mileage, I tossed on a podcast (Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History), ticked along in the right lane at 55mph, and ignored everyone behind me. In a successful attempt to emasculate me, a neon green SmartCar blew by my Pontiac, leaning on his horn. Under normal circumstances I would have hit the gas, accellerated to somewhere north of eighty mph, and leapfrogged him to assuage my pride - but this #BitcoinRoadtrip is pretty far from normal. I’ve got 537 bitcoins, and I want them to last as long as possible. That means hypermiling!

I pulled off at a rest stop to check my fluids and take a quick nap.  I discovered that my car’s not really conducive to sleeping, since it’s pretty packed and there’s no room for the seats to recline. Cramped but otherwise refreshed, I continued to Union College.

Union’s a fun place and I know a lot of people there. I met up with various friends on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, attempting to convince various skeptical parties that Bitcoin was the Next Big Thing. I wanna give a shoutout to Jim Walker, for his contribution to help me buy my camera - thanks dude! (Incidentally, anyone want to proxy buy this data cable for me so I can get pics off it?) Also, I placed a 5BTC bet on a chess game with my friend Parker. It was remarkably close for half an hour, but I ended up finally losing due to my weak endgame.

Thursday morning, I drew up some advertisements on my whiteboard, and sat in the campus center. As people walked by, I asked ‘Wanna learn about a new kind of money?’ About one in four were interested enough to hear my elevator pitch.

I moved on to the Electrical Engineering department, to give a brief seminar on Bitcoins. Turnout was maybe twenty people, evenly split between faculty and students. I talked for half an hour about how the network is set up, and the mechanics of transaction processing and blocks, then moved on to all the interesting projects that the community has created. To my chagrin, I learned just how easy it is to get bogged down in the technical details, but in the end it seemed that most people got what they came for.

Leaving Union, I drove south to my parents’ house near Newburgh, NY. I’ll stay here Thursday night, then drive to NYC Friday evening. @BruceWagner has offered to put me up for a night and pay for parking - TIA!

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