Saturday, April 30, 2011

Reasons to hold bitcoins

1) Cheap. There are no Transaction fees . (or very low -- you set them)
2) Safe. Decentralized, cryptographic nature is secure, trusted.
3) Growing mistrust. Increasing interest in citizens circumventing corrupt/irresponsible governance will drive demand. As of writing, most of the Google searches for bitcoin is coming from Russia
4) Rampant Inflation. According to MIT's most comprehensive ever estimate of consumer prince inflation:

Over the last 12 months, prices have gone up 3.2%,... [but] annualize the data from the last 3 months and you get 7.4%

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Refreshing Frame of Wikileaks

There are a whole lot of 'frames' the media imposes on facts.

I have to admit I see it here, and it plays into all my biases.

This is a clear demonstration of how authorities exert control over the media through the use of soft power - under the threat of removal of access and privileges when journalists start doing journalism. Besides encroaching on the freedom of the press to report on matters of high public interest embarrassing to the president, the move would appear to be redundant, since Marinucci was not the only party to the event who recorded footage, nor was she the only person to post that video on the internet.

He's still right though. And I love it.

I also love how Wikileaks dropped 2222 Canadian-related Cables on us days before the election. This will lead to interesting allegations whose severity and truth won't be fully determined until after the election.

No really, I love it!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The CIA has their eye on bitcoin

So it begins. I predict smear campaign (it's not safe, it's for terrorists and drug dealers, etc.) by the end of 2012.

How to burn an ISO from the command line

Keep forgetting dd syntax. Here's how to write an iso directly to media (optical, usb) from a (linux) command prompt

First, make sure the device is unmounted. Here, my USB drive is /dev/sdb. /dev/sdb1 automounts so:

umount /dev/sdb1

Then write the disk

sudo dd if=./ubuntu-rescue-remix-10-10.iso of=/dev/sdb

Monday, April 25, 2011

Noam Chomsky on Anarchism

Noam Chomsky on Anarchism:

It's based on the assumption that any... structure of authority and domination has to justify itself. None of them are self justifying. Whether they're in individual relations or international affairs or the workplace or where ever. They have a burden of proof to bear, and if they can't bear that burden, ...they're illegitimate and should be dismantled and replaced with alternative structures which are free and participatory.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Where is the demand for bitcoins coming from?

As usual, Google knows.

Cheap way to record scenes

I think I've found what I've been looking for:

~$200 and works with iPhone and Android. Would love to have 5-10 of these to pull down data and merge the data over a mesh network...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Wisdom of the markets

How to you feel about these statements?

1) Netflix to have 30.0 million (or more) subscribers at the end of 2011. 60% Chance (as of 2011/04/23)
2) Muammar al-Gaddafi to no longer be leader of Libya before midnight ET 31 Dec 2011 62.9% Chance
3) Higgs Boson Particle to be observed on/before 31 Dec 2014. 30.0% Chance
4) NASA to announce discovery of extraterrestrial life before midnight ET 31 Dec 2011. 5.4% Chance
5) A majority government to be elected in next Canadian general election. 45.0% Chance
6) Ali Abdullah Saleh to no longer be President of Yemen before midnight ET 30 Jun 2011. 78.0% Chance
7) Ali Abdullah Saleh to no longer be President of Yemen before midnight ET 31 Dec 2011. 90.0%

As Robin Hanson would say, if you're convinced any of these estimates are wrong, why not pay yourself and fix them?

Assorted links

1. Cracked's excellent take on a post-scarcity society.
2. Made me laugh
3. Bitcoin is blowing up! Get some free bitcoins here
4. I need to learn more about I2P and Freenet
5. Sending anonymous email
6. Receiving anonymous email
7. Beginners Guide for GnuPG in Ubuntu

Introducing tails

Tails: The Amnesic Incognito Live System.

Boots from USB into an OS that forces all network traffic through TOR. Writes nothing to the disk. Easy, instant anonymity.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Many of the costs of poverty are sociological rather than narrowly economic per se

Many of the costs of poverty are sociological rather than narrowly economic per se.

That's the always insightful Tyler Cowen over at marginalrevolution. Definitely worth a read.

Observing that:
- 60% of Utah belongs to the church of LDS and has the lowest child poverty rate in the country
- The poorest community in the United States, in terms of measured income, is mostly Hasidic Jews (1/20)

He notes that:
A political conservative is more likely to make this point than to simply focus on the lack of money earned by the poor. A political liberal is more likely to assume that the rate of strict religiosity can rise only so high, and take that as a background constraint.

He's quick to point out tho that religion is a viable solution yes, but not a viable policy.

It's an example of his fallacy of mood affiliation

For this reason, liberals sometimes underrate the conservative point, because they do not like its political implications, and this leads liberals to misunderstand poverty. The conservatives end up misunderstanding poverty policy. Almost everyone ends up a little screwy and off-base on this issue

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A case for not voting

Here's some of the best news I've heard in a while, on voter turnout in Canada:

In addition to falling overall voter participation, another significant trend is the extremely low rate of participation amongst youth voters. Approximately twenty-five percent of eligible voters aged 18 – 24 voted in the 2000 federal election. Moreover, studies have indicated that many youth who don’t vote remain uninvolved in the political system, and do not voting when they get older.

Why is this good news? Well it has got alot of people worried. Low voter turnout can undermine the legitimacy of government. If everyone ignored government, it would go away.

"What a quack." you might be saying. "Convincing everybody not to vote -- that's not very realistic."

And yes, you'd be absolutely right. But you know what else isn't very realistic? Affecting the outcome of an election by voting. So that's how I'm choosing to exercise my vote this election - by not voting. You may think it's a waste of a vote; but its no more of a waste than yours.

Heck, even George Carlin Doesn't vote

And, back to the good news, not voting sends a very powerful message. It's gets people talking about electoral reform.

Some experts place much of the low voter turnout blame on Canada’s electoral system. Canada has a single member plurality system, commonly called First Past the Post (FPTP). In a FPTP system, a single individual represents a specific district. Instead of obtaining a majority of votes, the winner only needs to receive more votes than any other candidate.

Electoral reform. Isn't this what Canada really needs? The green party has support of somewhere between 5 and 10% of the Canadian public, yet they aren't even allowed into the debate. (Note: this is not an endorsement of the Green Party)

So that's how i'm casting my vote. For true, representational democracy.

Monday, April 4, 2011