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1  Bitcoin / Meetups / Re: Houston, Texas, United States on: May 24, 2013, 12:50:30 PM
I'm from Pearland, so anywhere other than north Houston works for me.  My schedule is erratic, but flexible as long as I have a couple weeks notice.

I'll likely be out of town next week, but should be back by Friday.
2  Bitcoin / Meetups / Re: Houston, Texas, United States on: May 23, 2013, 09:35:19 PM
I'm still hanging around lurking.
3  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / Re: Looking for 2000 LTC loan (2200 back in 1 mon); will also consider other altcoin on: March 12, 2013, 03:16:28 PM
I was the lender in this case.  I can vouch that the loan has been repaid.
4  Economy / Speculation / Re: When are you going to cash out? on: February 07, 2013, 06:01:16 PM
I originally had small staggered sell orders starting at 7 and moving up at 19% increase intervals.  That would have sold half the coins I bought at 2 by the time the price reached 100.  During the period of stability around 5, I canceled them all.

Tax reasons.  I didn't make the rules, and I don't like them, but I've gotten pretty good at playing by them.  I haven't paid income tax in years, not because of any fraud on my part, but simply because I limit my taxable income.  If I sell my coins, that streak will come to an end.  So a major cash out is no longer part of my plan.

And as others have mentioned, the necessity of converting back to any other currency to spend is declining daily.
5  Economy / Speculation / Re: [poll] are you giving bitcoin for xmas on: December 13, 2012, 05:10:50 PM
Last year I gave casascius coins to immediate family, younger cousins, and a few others.  Where children were involved, they seemed to grasp pretty quickly that I was giving them something kind of like gold that they could spend over the internet.  Then I gave the coins to the parents, explaining only that they were valuable and should be kept in safekeeping until the recipients were older.

That approach worked pretty well.  For a brief period in time I was called "eccentric" rather than "crazy", and I still occasionally get asked by one of them how much their bitcoins are worth.

So I'll be giving them out again this year.  Why quit what produces positive results?
6  Economy / Gambling / Re: Mind & Probability Paradox bitcoin betting on: November 02, 2012, 03:08:58 PM
Past results don't influence a future random result, whether they are known or not.  (not getting into entangled particles and Bell's inequality here)

In the three door problem, the actions of the host are not random.  Therefore, the outcome of choices made after his interference are not random.  That's why his knowledge allows him to influence the odds.  In the scenario you suggest, where he doesn't know what is behind the door, his actions become random again.

It isn't that knowledge of past choices or lack thereof influences random events.  It's that knowledge enables the host to create a system that isn't truly random.
7  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: What got you hooked on Bitcoin? on: October 02, 2012, 03:07:23 PM
I stumbled across Bitcoin in may of 2011.  I read everything I could over the next 72 hours, and by the time I finally stopped to sleep I was hooked.  There have been lots of reasons for using bitcoins, so I break them into 3 categories which can be broadly summarized.

1.  Intellectual:  I'm learning from my experiences, and enjoying it. 

2.  Pragmatic:  There are things I can do with bitcoins that are impractical or impossible with other currencies.

3.  Moral:  This was something that was "opt in" rather than "opt out", thus truly voluntary, and any social contract emerging from that state is legitimate to me.
8  Bitcoin / Project Development / Re: Gold-foil Chocolate Casascius Coins for the Halloween kids this year? on: September 30, 2012, 05:05:27 PM
500 ordered
9  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / Re: Litecoin users... Why are you using litecoin? on: September 29, 2012, 05:00:14 PM
1. burnside's exchange.  really.

2. is silver superior to gold?  all you can really say is that it's slightly different.  it depends what you intend to use it for.  Bitcoin is more useful at this stage, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't want to hold a few litecoins just in case.

3. not qualified to answer this.

4. I've seen a few auctions for silver.  I'm only interested in stocks/bonds at this point though.

5. not at this time.

6. bought.

7. 31.  United States.
10  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: Care about Bitcoin? STAY AWAY from the "Bitcoin Fundation" on: September 27, 2012, 06:03:56 PM
I'm trying to read their material, but I keep getting distracted by new posts in threads like this. 
11  Economy / Economics / Re: Poll - If the reward halving is being changed, will you quit bitcoin? on: September 15, 2012, 03:27:13 PM
I have bought, used, and given away BTC with the understanding that they would be produced according to certain rules.  Changing those rules after the start of the game is attempted theft.  It is no different than accepting gold-backed dollars only to be told afterwards, "Those aren't worth anything any more.  We decided to print a few billion extras even though we told you we were only printing as much as our reserves could cover.  Sorry."

Fortunately, BTC has one important difference.  You can't steal from me unless I allow it.  You can't change the rules on me unless I go along with that change.

So what do you think  I would do in this hypothetical situation?
12  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: maybe pirate is just a front for banks/governments/people who would destroy btc? on: August 25, 2012, 05:09:43 PM
When you buy below X and sell above, you drive prices together across time, decreasing volatility and making money in the process.  When you do the opposite, you lose money.  The short of it is that traders who increase volatility will on average lose money to pay the gains of the traders that decrease it.

For this entity to cause wide swings AND profit, he must so panic the market that the average trader makes horrible decisions and adds even more volatility than the initiating entity, thus allowing the bulk of this entity's trades to actually reduce volatility.  Otherwise, he will lose money in the attempt.

Smart traders are waiting to take advantage of opportunities like this, including those that don't want to see bitcoin destroyed.  Any entity that tries to manipulate the market will only be increasing volatility in the short run, and funneling money to those traders in the long run.  It's a "kill it now at whatever cost, or it will rise stronger than ever" type of strategy.  And a widely distributed public ledger isn't the sort of thing that actually dies.  Which makes it one of the worst possible strategies to employ.  Not that someone won't be stupid enough to try.
13  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: What's your Aim? on: August 23, 2012, 04:10:57 PM
A few years ago I created Apophis Dismantling LLC.  Its stated goal is to protect the earth from asteroids.  Its actual function so far has been to allow me to convert a small amount of untaxed income into wage income each year, so that I can move money from a regular etrade account into a roth IRA and avoid paying capital gains taxes every time I decide to make a trade.

Apophis Dismantling can never do what it was officially created for, because raising money isn't as simple as selling 1/1,000,000 share for $100 and doing that over and over.  There are taxes, fees for an IPO, exorbitant amounts of protection money to be paid to the listing agencies if you want to sell bonds, etc.  In short, I'd end up owing the government millions of dollars before I'd hired my first engineer.  And before I even got to THAT point, I'd have to hire someone to tell me HOW to proceed.  I'm not going to pay millions of dollars for the privilege of attempting to save the world.  (an attempt that would probably fail anyway, to save it from a threat that will probably pass harmlessly by)  I'm too bitter and spiteful.  So my LLC won't ever do this.  It will just sit there so I can go to bars and brag about being a CEO of a tech company.

But I reckon a few other people have the same idea.  A mass driver can be as simple as a drill, a few springs, and a couple solar panels.  Given several years to arrange a rendezvous with the target, existing ion propulsion or ablative sail technology can easily manage the task without adding much mass to your initial payload.  Getting your primitive craft into orbit to begin with can be left to others with proven track records.

Sooner or later someone is going to attempt this, probably someone like myself with absurdly grand ideas and little practical knowledge.  Someone is going to realize it's hardly a stretch from deflecting an asteroid to maneuvering it where you want, and not much more of a stretch to add functionality to your mass driver until you're actually mining.

Someone is probably going to stumble upon GLBSE or the equivalent, which by then should be large enough to handle such an offering.  I've already witnessed enough to make my time/money investment worthwhile even if BTC crashed to 0.  Now I want to witness this.  I'll be waiting.
14  Economy / Speculation / Re: I dumped. Are you? on: August 19, 2012, 03:18:38 PM
If I sell at the wrong time I take a loss and end up with fewer BTC over the long run.

If I sell at the right time, I make a profit and owe taxes to a bloated government that thinks "You didn't sell that."

So no.  For me, dumping was never an option.  There were other ways for a mostly all-in investor to hedge against stable or falling prices, the simplest assuming mining difficulty will follow price.  The exchange rate can do whatever it pleases, and tomorrow I'll be slightly wealthier by most measures that I care about.
15  Economy / Economics / Re: Thorium power, how is it going in the US? on: August 16, 2012, 05:54:16 PM
What he's said is consistent with my vague recollection from when I had access to those same hypothetical naval manuals.  So I have little trouble believing the theory he was in the US Navy.  ET perhaps?

I don't believe he's leaked any classified information.  The manuals themselves are classified, but except for specifics everything I saw in there was well known to the outside world.

What he has actually said or implied, is that non-classified material of a general scientific nature is in a classified document.  Hence, he can't point you to his source, even though he knows there are bound to be non-classified sources.  If that's considering leaking classified material, I've yet to meet the sailor who isn't guilty.  Evidence of trolling, I don't see.
16  Bitcoin / Meetups / Re: Houston, Texas, United States on: August 02, 2012, 08:42:25 PM
close enough
17  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin: low transaction fees, I don't think so on: July 11, 2012, 05:25:41 PM
B forcefully takes from A.  B willingly gives to C.  It is possible to fault B, but not C.

Belief that a service should not be provided through force does not equal a condoning of the act of acceptance itself.  Those doing the taking in order to provide the service, (B) and those willingly receiving (C) are two parties engaged in two separate actions.  Belonging to the latter party while condemning the former does not necessarily make one a hypocrite.  It USUALLY leads one to hypocrisy because one tends to support policies which perpetuate the handout, thus supporting the initial action that one supposedly was against.

For example, let us suppose drunk driving laws really make the highways safer.  And let us suppose that I, a non-driver with an ideological stance opposed to such laws, but with nothing to lose from such laws myself, am regularly a passenger on those highways.  Every time I get into the car, I am willingly accepting the benefit of a law I am ideologically opposed to.  This does not make me a hypocrite.  What WOULD make me a hypocrite would be the realization that the law is benefiting me personally, and a resultant shift to supporting the law, even though it goes against my underlying principles.

Accepting social security would not make Rand a hypocrite.  Switching her viewpoint and suddenly saying, "oh, well, actually we SHOULD pay social security taxes," in order to perpetuate the system and benefit herself, even though such a saying was inconsistent with her philosophy, would be hypocritical.

Those few individuals who consistently advocate against the very programs they benefit from, knowing full well the cost should they succeed, are not the hypocrites.  They are the few people with a demonstrated ability to resist the forces that lead to hypocritical behavior.

You could still argue that Rand was against the very act of accepting a service at below cost, and was thus a hypocrite. (not an easy contention to prove) But that hasn't been the argument implied so far.

I hope not to see you bow out over this Portnoy, as I consider this primarily a discussion on logic and the nature of hypocrisy, rather than Rand's ideas.
18  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: San Antonio Meetup on: June 16, 2012, 05:13:29 PM
I'm in Pearland, which is practically a giant suburb of Houston.
19  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Ridiculous on: June 16, 2012, 04:59:09 PM
I'm pretty sure I spent approximately 36 hours attempting to read every post in the forums before I first posted.  Shortly after that first post, newbie purgatory was created.

I'd vow never to donate as well, but I seem to recall seeing that Mt Gox owns these forums?  If that's true, I've already donated plenty over the past year.
20  Other / Beginners & Help / Re: Introduce yourself :) on: June 16, 2012, 04:51:32 PM
There seem to be a lot of us that are coming out of hiding after lurking for approximately a year.  For me, the tipping point was a post that indicated another bitcoiner lived nearby.  Anyone needing to boost post count want to explain your tipping points?
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