[FoRK] Reminder: ZSF launch event tomorrow! Please help spread the word if you can!

Gregory Alan Bolcer greg at bolcer.org
Fri Nov 16 12:50:48 PST 2012

I'm going to have to pop out.

It's not what you buy with bitcoins, but what underlies the market where 
you can buy them.  Further, what supports the value.

Accredited means insured and underwritten by some responsible market. 
I'm quite familiar with the concept of Rees-Mogg's Sovereign Individual, 

I have no desire to discuss the identity of criminal activity wrt 
bitcoins on a public forum, so you're on your own.


On 11/16/2012 12:22 PM, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 10:33:59AM -0800, Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
>> You keep changing the subject.
> Well, I'm trying to figure out the rationale behind your
> objections to BTC, so I'm sampling a bit randomly.
>> The idea that all money is equivalent is the argument bitcoin wants to
> Bitcoin users are not a single entity. In fact, there are several
> factions within it with mutually incompatible motivations.
> That's not a bug, it's a feature.
>> make. You asked for flaws in that argument, so I played devil's
>> advocate.  The flaw is that bitcoin is not accredited and the amortized
> What do you mean by accredited, specifically? I realize that some
> people tend to define money in a very special way, usually
> reaffirming their biases. I see money simply as naturally scarce tokens,
> signifying debt. Whether it's cowry shells, or bits of
> silver bar cut off with axes, or bits, I don't really care.
>> value is being fed by criminal activity.
> What does criminal specifically mean? That classification varies
> both over space and time. Let's look at the Silk Road, which
> probably still constitutes the bulk of transactions made in
> BTC today (a mere 2 MUSD/month, apparently), though they should
> become quite insignificant in future, given growth in the BTC
> economy, and resulting network effects which make the goods
> available to buyers willing to spend BTC progressively
> more attractive.
> Why I personally see absolutely no issues with people buying
> and selling drugs I'd rather wish the Silk Road weren't there.
> In fact, I'd wish the BitCoin did not quite see that explosive
> growth. It's not healthy, as the underlying economy doesn't
> grow that rapidly. On the other hand, the Prohibition saw rapid
> growth in certain areas, and rise of new players. So maybe it's
> all good, after all.
> The main problems I see is the overproportional impact of
> early adopters, at least those who hoard their stash instead
> of bringing it into circulation. Also, those users who actually
> wish to spend their coins often can't, since it's not available
> in the bitcoin market, at least not directly.
>> The legal argument against Napster was that it was solely a criminal
>> enterprise, whose only purpose was to steal copyrighted material, and
> You're looking at formalities again. Copyright is a rather new, and
> rather counterproductive idea, and sharing is certainly not stealing.
> Somebody seeing his established, parasitic business model suddenly
> going down the drain through technical innovation, big fucking
> deal. Happens all the time, one think they should have gotten
> used to it.
>> the criminal activity was not separate from the purpose of its being.
> I don't even know what criminal activity means. I understand
> the Mexican drug wars, the people who fund wars, and such,
> but it's all done in regular fiats. Bitcoin's reputation is
> lily-white in comparison.
>> Further, everything that it was and will ever be, would never evolve
>> past the ability to steal copyrighted material. (You can agree or
>> disagree with that, but that was the determination that led to its
>> downfall).
> Yes, you can buy laws and make really nice public witch burnings.
> But unfortunately there is no witchcraft, in reality. Just because
> you have a good business lobby it doesn't mean you have a case in
> the moral court.
>> That's not to say that bitcoin (or Napster which failed to do so) can't
>> evolve past a criminal enterprise.  I was simply pointing out that it
> The BitTorrent, which forked from MNet, a way too ambitious project
> for its own good, is a protocol. Protocols can't be possibly a criminal
> enterprise, whatever 'criminal' happens to mean this decade.
> That way, TCP/IP is way waaay waaaay more 'criminal', and we should
> shut down the Internet. And be it just because of bronies.
>> hasn't done so thus far and the mechanisms it's using are incentived so
>> that investors have a vested stake to cover up or remain willfully
>> ignorant of that criminal activity.
> A friend of mine had no money on him, so I bought him a beer,
> and he paid me in BitCoin, from smartphone to tablet, over 3G,
> instanteous transfer. Was that criminal, somewhere, under some
> lunatic court of law? I don't know, and couldn't care less.
>> In the RISKS part of the transhumanist/bci portfolio, the
>> over-dependence on bitcoin should be spelled out as a specific risk,
> Yes, very much so. I don't think that's the plan, though.
>> unless of course the ZS people truly believe they are post-logical and
>> true believers, which would make them a cult and not the ultra-logical
>> transhumanists they truly believe.
> Logic is overrated.
>> I'm not claiming what you state below, only that the market which was
>> set up has yet to evolve past the tipping point.  Do you believe bitcoin
>> has evolved past a criminal enterprise?
> BitCoin is a cryptographic system, implemented in a system that is
> open source, and used by real people for things they find useful.
> Some of their activities you might find objectionable. In fact, so
> do I. But this whole idea that the cryptosystem, protocol and
> its implemenation can be 'criminal' just smacks of cathegory error.
> People do things other people find objectionable, this hasn't changed
> for the last few million years we've been around. The tools themselves
> are good or bad only instrumentally, never morally.
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greg at bolcer.org, http://bolcer.org, c: +1.714.928.5476

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