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Posted by on in Uncategorized

Ask yourself, how is TacoCoin better than AppleByte? The market says one AppleByte is nearly ten times as valuable as a TacoCoin. Why? What makes it better? How are they different?

An AppleCoin is one hundred times as valuable as an AppleByte, on the other hand.

How about NewYorkCoin, which has increased in value 2500% in the past 24 hours, or FlappyCoin, down 93%?

Then there is ByteCoin (BCN) and, yes, ByteCoin (BTE). One is the #16 cryptocurrency by market cap. The other's value isn't calculable since no one knows how many there are. How can you know the difference?

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With 103 currencies with more than $100,000 in market cap, how any anyone presume that any one currency will last, or maintain its value? How can Bitcoin remain top dog, with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Plus, Bitcoin Dark, Bitcoin Scrypt and Qubitcoin, if they are all exchangeable, fungible and tradeable? Why buy one Bitcoin when you can buy 90 Litecoins?

While Bitcoin accounts for over 90% of market cap, it only accounts for two-thirds of all trade. That is to say, for every three dollars worth of "coin" transactions, one of them is taking place in some cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin.

With such great incentive to create one's own currency, the assault on Bitcoin's market share will only continue, as there are now 433 cryptocurrencies tracked on coinmarketcap.com at the time of posting. The barrier to entry is lower every day as more merchants gear themselves to accept the many new cryptocurrencies.

Ultimately, a galaxy of cryptocurrencies will exist (far moreso than today), and the market cap will become increasingly stretched across the limitless sea of ones and zeroes. As time goes by, and the emotional tie to Bitcoin fades in the minds of people, its particular strings of 0's and 1's, no different than any other, will hold no more value than any other. This has yet to pass, but there is no theoretical reason for the market to remain out of equilibrium forever.

 

 

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 George Orwell had a fine concept of political speech and it's purpose. He's no less right today than he was 60 years ago when he said it, and today's phrases carefully crafted for maximum political effect are no different. Here are three such phrases used to advance the interests of the state at the expense of the people.

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1. National Security

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National security can occasionally refer to classified military information that could actually threaten the citizenry of the United States. For instance, the codes that activate the US nuclear arsenal should be kept secret for national security reasons. The reasons are clear.

Lately, however, national security has been used as an excuse to keep embarrassing information away from the eyes and ears of the public. Of late, national security has come to mean the political security of state officials. The details of the Benghazi attack, for instance, are being kept secret, but represent no real security issue.

 

2. Keynesian Economics

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Keynesian theory, as practiced these days, is the idea that government knows best and can reverse an economic downturn. In spite of being repeatedly shown to be totally wrong in every way, politicians find the concept of righting economic wrongs with printed money terribly tantalizing, and so Keynesian economics has been taught in state-controlled schools for decades.

The phrase "Keynesian economics" has come to mean "government employees are always right", and that complete control of the monetary system should be ceded to government employees, who in their great wisdom, will elevate us all from poverty. Predictably though, the newly printed money generally finds its way to friends of government, making the well-connected very rich. Not that anyone could have seen that coming.

To use a scientific-sounding term lends legitimacy to the theft writ large that Keynesian theory has come to represent. A more appropriate term would be possibly "state-controlled economics", or "centrally-planned economics", as this is a fairer representation of what is going on. Panels of bureaucrats deciding what the interest rate and money supply ought to be is a frankly Soviet tradition, and is no different from deciding the price of shoes or how much wheat ought to be farmed.

 

3. Public versus Private

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The Cliven Bundy case, where armed agents of the federal government forcibly stole a man's cattle for "trespassing" on so-called public land is an illustration of just how public those lands really are. In this case the Bureau of Land Management had laid claim to the land, and charged rent. People who didn't pay evidently got guns stuck in their faces. Oftentimes, "public" goods are treated as the personal property of the state employees that administer them, even though they are forcibly funded by the public at large.

A better term might be "state-controlled" and "citizen-controlled". For instance, "public housing" has a friendly sound to it; one would like to imagine that anyone could live there free of charge. Calling something "public" tends to hide the cost, as state-controlled entities use taxpayer money to avoid charging door fees.

"Public schools" have a welcoming sound, while "private schools" sound closed off and elitist.

The truth of the matter is that a public school, far from being a creation of a community for the benefit of its children, is a state-controlled entity with increasingly little input from parents. Just take a look at "Common Core", which would more correctly be called the "State-Controlled Curriculum".

To call a fellow a "public" official is often unrepresentative of the truth, as that person is paid by the state and won't generally go to bat for the public. He is a state official, and when push comes to shove, will generally cleave unto the state.

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As Confucius said, the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name. So long as people continue to use the language crafted by the state for its own benefit, the institutions directly opposed to the interests of the people will be protected.

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

The US Dollar, as defined in the Coinage Act of 1792, is defined as about three-fourths of an ounce of silver.

These things that we are paid with today, and use to pay bills are not dollars per se, but rather a piece of scrip printed by the official sounding "Federal Reserve", which is actually a bunch of commercial banks that bribed Congress to let them counterfeit money and loan it to themselves. No, really. Look it up.

It isn't good business to change the name of a gourmet ice-cream when you sell out to Unilever, so likewise the banks  printing the new money didn't use a different name for their faux-money product.

To call one of today's greenbacks a dollar is like calling a mannequin a woman, and so it becomes necessary to call today's "dollars" by their proper name.

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Clownbux.

  • To call them Federal Reserve Notes lends credence to the banking fraud.
  • To call them Government Scrip makes them sound too official.
  • To call them Clownbux captures perfectly their kinship with Monopoly money, Chuck. E. Cheese tickets, and IOU's from passing vagrants.
  • To refer to the national debt as "17 Trillion Clownbux" cuts it down to its proper level of legitimacy.
  • To say the price is "42 Clownbux" helps everyone realize that maybe a sounder means of exchange is needed.
  • For a salary to be quoted as 70,000 Clownbux a year makes the jobseeker think to renegotiate terms and benefits.
  • It is easier to turn down Clownbux and ask for something else. "No, I don't want Clownbux. Got any ranch dressing?"

To continue to refer to debts and payments as dollars, as if that were a constant and real term, is to support the fraud. To use a different term devoid of sentimentality helps demonstrate how their value is constantly changing (for the worse), and that in time no one will take them seriously.

Furthermore, as nations around the world steal from their citizens by debauching their currencies, the term can be reused. EU Clownbux, Japanese Clownbux, and so on.

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Tired of replacing crappy new stuff constantly? Does it seem like they just can't build anything right anymore? It turns out that it isn't ignorance or incompetence making your stuff break, but a deliberate effort by intelligent people who know exactly what they're doing. It really doesn't have to be this way, and manufacturers can make equipment that lasts ten or a hundred times as long without breaking a sweat. Here are three well-known secrets that manufacturers would prefer you didn't know.

 

1. Most Stuff Can Actually Last Forever

Your ladle broke. It's time to get a new one. The steel handle just snapped right in half after a few years of use. Surely if they made the ladle twice as thick, it would last twice as long, right?

Wrong. It might actually last forever. All mechanical engineers are taught in school about how you can bend something back and forth only so many times, and then it will break. If you apply enough stress, the spoon (or beam, or coffee maker) will break right away, but over time metal fatigue sets in, cracks develop, and after a million cycles of being used, an item will break. Here's that chart:

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Sure enough, the less you stress something out, the more "cycles" you can get out of it. With less and less stress on the material, you can get more scoops, or cups of coffee, or whatever. However, with steel, you've got something called an "endurance limit", where it doesn't matter anymore. The number of cycles goes to infinity. You can scoop, and scoop and scoop with that ladle if it is made thick enough, and it will literally never break. It may wear completely down to a nub before that handle snaps.

And, looking at the difference between a two year spoon (10,000 cycles) and a forever spoon, you're only talking about a tiny bit more strength, and tiny bit more material. So, for what might be an almost unnoticeable amount of weight and expense, you can get pots and pans, spoons, coffee makers and truck springs that last forever. But, the engineers that determine the exact thickness and strength of components are acting under specific instructions to make things last a certain length of time, rather than producing the best product. The failure is planned and scheduled into the DNA of the product. This is called planned obsolescence, and its a scam that's been running since about 1950.

2. Car Engines Could Easily Last a Million Miles

There are car engines today that have lasted millions of miles. Most big-rig engines last millions of miles. Once again, there is no puzzle out of reach to modern science preventing cars from driving millions of miles routinely. Average industrial equipment is expected to last for at least ten years of continuous operation, which is equivalent to around 80,000 hours. If a car engine lasted 80,000 hours at 30 miles an hour, it would go 2.4 million miles.

The fact of the matter is that engines don't actually have to wear out ever. It is not only possible, but actually quite easy to design moving parts that experience essentially zero wear and will last tens of thousands of hours. With clean oil of good quality, parts will float on a film of oil and never touch.

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Once oil is contaminated, billions of particles of grit work to wear down engine parts. Oil changes do very little to remove this grit once it is in there, and oil filters fail to remove it effectively enough to prevent wear. Furthermore, cars are designed with insufficient oil capacity. Thus, we have engines that fail after 5000 hours instead of 80,000 or more. Engineers have been making equipment last ten times as long as cars for over 100 years, and there is no reason your car needs to die after 200,000 miles. Once again, engineers have been given specific instructions to defy their instincts and training, and create a device designed to fail.

3. Lead-Free Solder is Killing You and Your Products

It may seem like removing lead from solder (and thusly electronic devices) might be a good thing, and if you are eating solder or cell phones, it definitely is. However, lead-free solder used to assemble everything from car electronics to cell phones has a strong tendency to grow what are called "tin whiskers". These tiny, conductive filaments of tin literally grow right out of the solder joints holding wires and electronic components together, and once they get long enough, the device shorts out. That doesn't sound so bad, unless you're driving a Toyota and suddenly you start accelerating out of control.

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Aside from making everyone buy new stuff every few years, planned obsolescence can be downright dangerous. A couple-year lifespan is perfect for maximizing sales, and lead-free solder has been embraced with open arms by most manufacturers. It should be telling that the US military won't use it. Electrical engineers are well aware of this phenomenon and how it can lead to catastrophic failure. Once again, an intentionally poor manufacturing technique has been foisted on the public, and as electronics laden with every other heavy metal (besides lead) stack up in landfills everywhere, the environmental benefit is basically nil.

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

Bitcoin was started in 2009 as open-source software for the secure, anonymous trading of purely digital "currency" called Bitcoins. By late 2013, the price of a Bitcoin in US dollars had gone from basically zero to around 1200 dollars. Many assumed that Bitcoin would become the world currency and replace all existing currencies, given the rate of growth. Unfortunately for the hopefuls, Bitcoins have somewhat stabilized at around $600.

However, since the software was open-source, everyone and his brother copied, pasted, changed and renamed their own "cryptocurrencies" that were functionally identica to Bitcoin. At the time of this writing there were 192 different currencies being traded and tracked, and no doubt hundreds or thousands more hadn't yet seen the light of day.

At some point during this article, you've got to go to coinmarketcap.com and see what I'm talking about. The website is a roster of all the major cryptocurrencies, tracking growth, volume and market cap for each one.

So what is the value of a Bitcoin when there are hundreds of billions of functionally identical "coins" floating around by different names? As time goes on they will all be equally acceptable and exchangeable, as Namecoins or Dogecoins can be traded for Litecoins or Bitcoins.

I predicted during the boom times in November of 2013 that Bitcoin would maintain an early adopters advantage, but ultimately the value of all cryptocurrencies would approach zero as there was no limit to how many could be produced.

An emerging pattern on coinmarketcap.com is the reduction in relative importance of Bitcoin in terms of trading volumes. Yes, Bitcoin is still king, but it only represents 57 percent of total trading value, down from 100% when they were the only kid on the block. Where does this end? What if Bitcoin only represents 2-3% of trading volume? What would happen to the price? What would happen to the price of other coins?

Ultimately, equilibrium will be reached. But, what is equilibrium? Presumably if there is no advantage between "coins", all coins will be worth the same. But what does a "coin" mean if they can be divided into infinitely tiny parts and there are an infinite number of coins? Isn't zero the only rational valuation of something with an infinite supply?

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As much as everyone likes the convenience of cryptocurrencies, and as much as people have invested in them, it seems impossible to believe that the entire technology, given its raging success so far, could collapse into nothingness. But, many other currencies all over the world, despite the protests of everyone holding them, have gone to zero because of exploding supply. Certainly, one cryptocurrency multiplying into 192 in a few years qualifies as an increase in supply.

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