Another sensational, fake problem which called for a massive governmental solution is about to enter the dustbin of intellectual history. It’s hard to believe how intensely this idea was promoted. Hard the believe the passion with which I was berated by acquaintances for my skepticism. Hard to believe that I pretty much broke up with a great girl because I wouldn’t join the church of the dying earth. Now, the idea is ending. I’m sure its zealots will not be afflicted by memory. For them there is another crisis on the horizon — inequality, perhaps. For them, there is no time to reflect on the past. The crisis is upon us! We must throw ourselves behind this cause with all our hearts and mind!
Archive for the 'Lost Republic Original' Category
It’s blowing my mind almost every day. Not only does it threaten the end of government money, it opens up myriad other possibilities — micro transaction to fund content, using the block chain to cryptographically verify first-creation of document, separating the holy trinity of commerce (ownership, identity, trust) into discreet entities. Bitcoin is going to be very, very big and everybody should be keeping an eye out.
Yes, there is a significant barrier to entry — difficult to use, difficult to buy Bitcoins with what I’m excitedly calling “legacy currencies”, not popularly accepted, the threat of loss or theft. Fear not, entrepreneurs are throwing themselves at all these problems — building civilization, as entrepreneurs always do.
I believe the “Propertarian” view is that most leftist policies can be considered an attempt by women to control the strongest men, and by weaker men to dethrone them. Libertarianism is an aristocratic philosophy which allows for peaceful competition and voluntary exchange to determine who is most successful. The institution of property is a gentleman’s agreement to compete according to civilized rules: you don’t steal from me, and I won’t steal from you.
These rules happen to benefit everyone else too — every single layer of society, without exception — but many people would rather watch the world burn than allow such competition, because a free market might reveal the unbearable — that no one really values the eight years you spent crafting crappy prose about the extent of feminist views of some obscure historic figure.
Is this more-or-less it, Curt?
For Bitcoin newbies, imagine Bitcoin as a gigantic ledger. Every bitcoin wallet has a copy of this ledger. So if I was running a standard Bitcoin wallet on this computer — then this computer would have on it a copy of all Bitcoin transactions, ever. Yes, ALL of them.
Decentralization is important because there’s nothing for Bitcoin’s enemies to shut down.
When you make a bitcoin transaction, you can add a little text to it, like a memo on the check you write.
When the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, who invested Bitcoin, made the first entries in the ledger, he wrote that newspaper headline:
January 3, 2009, Times of London; “Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”.
I get chills thinking about this.
I’m embarrassed by how little I remember from my “Intro to Crypto” class at Stanford. This video really helped: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXB-V_Keiu8.
It talks a little about the history of encryption — until the 1970’s symmetric key encryption was used. Public key encryption was quite the breakthrough. And get this — when it was first discovered (invented?) the THE GOVERNMENT INSTANTLY CLASSIFIED THE RESEARCH!!! It was later re-discovered.
Anyway, for laypeople, I’d suggest watching this video to the point of understanding that it’s really, really hard to factor the product of two big prime numbers.
Trying to understand the Modular function which stands on top of this fact is difficult.
Final note: Though it isn’t in the video, my understanding is that Bitcoins don’t actually encrypt anything, but they use these crypto algorithms to verify that transactions match account numbers. Digital signatures, in other words.
So, if you post your bitcoin account number on a website to accept donations, everyone who uses bitcoins can see what transfers were made to that account. Of course, the beauty of bitcoins is that you can make as many accounts as you want and transfer bitcoins between them.
My take on bitcoins:
Not only are the advantages of Bitcoin over gold accentuated by the restrictions which entrench the world’s fiat systems, it is likely that Bitcoin’s emergence is a reaction to those restrictions.
It is hard to imagine their development in a completely free market where successful banking is based on service and competition instead of the political privilege which licenses select institutions to counterfeit, where regulatory burdens would be very low and tending toward increased efficiency, where, rather than restricting the flow of commerce across borders, major institutions would be dedicated to enabling it, where we could instantly transfer fractions of a commodity money to anyone in the world.
In such a free market, there would simply be no need for a crypto-currency without a commodity backing.
So what is Bitcoin’s value? It is a means of escaping the enforcement of the world’s currency monopolies, a jailbreak. It is a service, like Western Union, only cheaper, easier and faster. Bitcoin is a vehicle. Bitcoin HAS an intrinsic value as a wealth delivery service with the peculiar feature that wealth needs to transform into Bitcoin before it can be exchanged.
In an environment of extreme Bitcoin skepticism, a transaction would look as follows: wealth transforms into Bitcoin, zips instantly to anyone in the world (or beyond, so long as they have internet access), and then transforms out of Bitcoin.
People would be willing to thus transform their wealth so long as they are saving money, time or convenience over rival money transfer systems like conventional bank-wires, credit card purchases, or Western Union.
In the skeptical environment, the amount of wealth people leave in the form of Bitcoin would reflect the fees associated with changing wealth into and out of Bitcoin (for example, the fees charged by btc-e.com or mtgox.com). (Read more)
Bitcoin fever!!! I was paid about 8.7 bitcoins a couple years ago for articles I wrote for dailyanarchist.com. Their total value was about $70. Today, the value of each bitcoin is $195. My 8.7 bitcoins are worth $1700.
We may be seeing the emergence of a new money. Think of the advantages — no transaction costs. Setting up an account takes a few seconds and no paperwork whatsoever. Mastercard and Visa take 3% from merchants. Imagine bitcoin merchants passing this savings onto consumers.
There were some libertarians who went into bitcoins very early and very big. If bitcoins emerge as money they will become Rothchild rich. We have yet to see major attacks from governments. Surely, they will come. But how can they possibly succeed? There’s nothing for them to effectively strike.
It is much easier for government to stop gold than to stop bitcoins. This may be why there is already a developed bitcoin market, while there’s no such dynamically growing market for gold.
Bitcoins will tear down the fiat system. Gold may replace bitcoins in the distant future after the fiat system is long dead and buried.
On one hand, the economy of a government is their “sphere of exploitation” (to use Hoppe’s term from Austrian vs. Marxist Class Analysis). So why would Putin not welcome this action, which punishes those who dare escape his sphere of exploitation, and will likely discourage others from escaping?
1) Russia wants to improve itself by attraction rich, capable entrepreneurs from the west, like the Frenchman Depardieu.
2) In the twisted, counter intuitive world of post-Soviet economies, the exploiters are often trying to escape their own prison. I suspect most politicians of post-Soviet countries had money in Cyprus.
I make the argument against Sweden as a socialist paradise quite often. It usually goes like this:
4 Arguments against Sweden as an example of socialist success
1) Sweden’s wealth can be attributed to the fact that it has been peaceful longer than any other country in Europe, including Switzerland. It used to have a radically free economy. Completely free trade. It even had competing currencies until 1903.
2) Sweden’s welfare state ballooned in the 50s and 60s. Since then, Sweden’s economy has slowed considerably. In one albeit controversial study published in the Swedish Economics Association’s journal Ekonomisk Debatt in 2009, Ratio Institute economists Bjuggren and Johansson found that there has been NO JOB CREATION AT ALL in the private sector from 1950 to 2005.
3) Sweden is still has some economic freedom. Their corporate tax rate is considerably lower than the US’s. They rate extremely well on Heritage’s scale (18th).
4) Even if you think these argument are BS (which they aren’t), you have to ask yourself why the Swedish people elect politicians who call themselves conservative and cut taxes. In 2010, they re-elected politicians who cut taxes on everybody, including the super rich.
Side note: My libertarian friends in Sweden are outraged that the reforms in Sweden which pass for free-market reforms are thinly veiled corporatism and other corruption.
Here’s a Ted talk from 2010 about paying people NOT to kill wildlife. I sympathize (somewhat) with the goal of conservation, but environmentalists know nothing about economic incentive.
Greg Stone talks about ANTI-fishing licenses:
Well, their is now evidence of what you might determine rationally. Paying people not to do something is a recipe for disaster:
A renegade band of Solomon Islanders is responsible for the slaughter this week of about 900 bottlenose dolphins, says a group that was paying for the killing to stop.
Fanalei villagers on Malaita said the American Earth Island Institute had promised last April to pay them S$2.4 million (NZ$400,000) over two years not to kill dolphins, but villagers claim they had only received 700,000.
The Solomon Star said the killing was in retaliation for the underpayment. (Read more)
He took office in 2012 after the first vote of its kind since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted in 1991.
“Today is a milestone, it is not the end of the journey, but it is an important milestone towards that end,” Mrs Clinton said after talks with Mr Mohamud. (Read more)
Somalia was better off stateless:
Stateless in SomaliaPeter Leeson drawing on statistical data from the United Nations Development Project, World Bank, CIA, and World Health Organization. Comparing the last five years under the central government (1985–1990) with the most recent five years of anarchy (2000–2005), Leeson finds these welfare changes:
* Life expectancy increased from 46 to 48.5 years. This is a poor expectancy as compared with developed countries. But in any measurement of welfare, what is important to observe is not where a population stands at a given time, but what is the trend. Is the trend positive, or is it the reverse?
* Number of one-year-olds fully immunized against measles rose from 30 to 40 percent.
* Number of physicians per 100,000 population rose from 3.4 to 4.
* Number of infants with low birth weight fell from 16 per thousand to 0.3 — almost none.
* Infant mortality per 1,000 births fell from 152 to 114.9.
* Maternal mortality per 100,000 births fell from 1,600 to 1,100.
* Percent of population with access to sanitation rose from 18 to 26.
* Percent of population with access to at least one health facility rose from 28 to 54.8.
* Percent of population in extreme poverty (i.e., less than $1 per day) fell from 60 to 43.2.
* Radios per thousand population rose from 4 to 98.5.
* Telephones per thousand population rose from 1.9 to 14.9.
* TVs per 1,000 population rose from 1.2 to 3.7.
* Fatalities due to measles fell from 8,000 to 5,600.
Despite this, the US wreaked death and destruction upon the country in an attempt to establish a favorable state:
Blowback in Somalia in many cases they were chopping their head off and taking the head to the Americans or whoever. And telling them, ‘We killed this guy.’”
This is a VERY big deal.
Some context for foreign Gold storage: Nixon cut the dollars last ties to gold in 1971 when the French wanted gold for the money they lent us during the Vietnam war. He basically said, screw you, you’re only getting paper. This is a little appreciated source of Franco-American animosity. The situation with Germany is different. Because of the Soviet military threat, many European countries kept much of their gold reserves in the US.
The Concern: Many people believe the Fed doesn’t actually have Germany’s gold. People say this from varying depths of the rabbit hole of conspiracy. What’s clear is that the Fed has steadfastly resisted any audit of its gold.
Possible Outcomes: If the Fed continues to refused, as they’ve done with previous requests of the Bundesbank, it will cause a huge loss of confidence in the US Fed. (For some stupid reason, people still have confidence in the US gov’t.)
If those Germans continue to insist on their gold, as they should, then a gigantic house of cards might come tumbling down. The likely effects are a huge loss of confidence and a soaring gold price.
I think the more likely outcome at this point is that the media will being calling the Budesbank Nazis and they’ll retreat with their tail between their legs — but that will only work for so long.
Who says universities don’t teach valuable job skills? They teach thousands of students how to be professional victims. For example, you’ll never hear feminists applauding the 85% drop in rapes since the 1970s, which occurred despite many expansions of the definition of rape. Instead, we encounter the increasing prominence of the term “Rape Culture” in the feminist lexicon.
I’ve found myself increasingly interested in Cultural Marxism, including its feminist branch. Did you know there’s an emerging Men’s Rights Movement (MRM) which actively refutes feminist claims, at least in the freedom of internet communications? Some university feminist groups consider the MRM to be hate and resort to violence to suppress them.
Below is a collection of wonderful videos which I recently watched, plus a few articles. You can also check out the archives of my relatively new category Egalitarianism/Culture Wars.
The core of feminism refuted: Men have had harder lives than women, and the relationship between men and women is not adversarial.
On Blaming Men for Not Marrying:
All the of approved paths to a positive male identity . . . are gone . . . men have always been willing to work and sacrifice and sweat and bleed if they were rewarded with the means through which to see themselves as worthy of respect, but when every single role
society wants to cram you into is not longer a way to respect yourself or have the respect of others, then its time to throw those roles away. One thing [feminists & fellow travelers] . . . will never realize is that using shame to coerce men into doing what’s expected of them isn’t going to work this time, because while it’s possible to shame a man into giving his life for his country, if there’s a promise of respect in it, it’s impossible to shame someone into working his ass off and risking his future just for the joy of looking in the mirror and seeing Homer Simpson . . . looking back.
The White Feather Campaign began with the creation of the white feather as a symbol of cowardice and unfulfilled civic duty. With the war effort and the recruitment campaign in full swing, the women of the White Feather would present any healthy young Englishman in civilian dress with this token, in order to symbolize their scorn for him and his failure to be man. Upon receipt of a white feather, these men were being told that they weren’t “real men” and that the women around them looked upon this apparent lack of masculinity with disgust. http://www.studentpulse.com/articles/151/the-white-feather-campaign-a-struggle-with-masculinity-during-world-war-i
There’s no such thing as rape culture in the Western World.
Rebutting Patriarchy Theory.
The ridiculous dating discussion of feminists.
Feminism is (mostly) socialism with panties. When choosing between women and the state, most feminists will choose the state and shun women like Ayn Rand, Margaret Thatcher, etc.
Evolution and the train of men to help women.
In my view, as the state replaces the father, women are increasingly resorting to tribal mating patterns. Perhaps this is a cause of the widely observed moral decline which RamzPaul satires here:
I met General McChrystal once. He came to Fort Benning when I was in Infantry Officer’s Basic Course to meet the new infantry officers. He met us for PT and led a run of a few miles.
I now consider him a traitor.
Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday, Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said some weapons should be carried only by soldiers, not civilians.
“I spent a career carrying typically either an M16, and later an M4 carbine,” he said. “And an M4 carbine fires a .223 caliber round, which is 5.56 millimeters, at about 3,000 feet per second. When it hits a human body, the effects are devastating. It’s designed to do that. And that’s what our soldiers ought to carry.”
The general added, “I personally don’t think there’s any need for that kind of weaponry on the streets and particularly around the schools in America. I believe that we’ve got to take a serious look. I understand everybody’s desire to have whatever they want, but we’ve got to protect our children, we’ve got to protect our police, we’ve got to protect our population. And I think we have to take a very mature look at that.” (Read more)