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1  Other / Off-topic / Re: Worldwide Strike 2012 on: April 15, 2011, 11:08:14 PM
How silly? Why are they silly? Oh wait, you lot are capitalists. Never mind, carry on. (Personally, I think the silliest thing is that they seem to want to keep the government. The getting rid of money isn't so silly. I'm supporting Bitcoin because it's a tool against government, not because I like money.)

Quote
Is anyone really surprised that a janitor makes less money than a brain surgeon?
Which is more important for society? If all the janitors suddenly disappeared, what would happen? If all the brain surgeons suddenly disappeared, what would happen? I suggested that in the first case, perhaps the brain surgeons would "led full, rich and happy lives until they [are] all suddenly wiped out by a virulent disease contracted from a dirty telephone", or something.

For a further discussion on  the differences between doctors and janitors, check out this thread on Reveft.
Particularly the fifth post, which I will quote part of here:
Quote
Now why should they be paid differently? We have already established that the doctor most likely emerged from a position of privilege and cannot perform their task without the janitor. In short, we have established that the doctor and janitor live in a mutually benefiting relationship in the sense that both of them are necessary to one another's survival and well-being.

In short:
So your brother should say that they should be paid differently because one's purpose is more valuable than the other. But we have already articulated the opposite. If he is going to argue that one went to school for a long time, we have dismissed that reasonably and attributed it to privilege. If he is going to argue that the doctor's job is harder, this is false as the janitor's job is more difficult and arduous while the doctor's job is more technically advanced. This doesn't make it harder though.

I really can't be bothered arguing the point, because I don't enjoy banging my head on walls.

In other words, you don't give a damn about people's preferences and the only acceptable set of values is your own. If people die from brain surgeries done by janitors in your world then so be it. This is the future under your system, and this guy is your hero:

He believed in the same things that you do... for everyone else except himself, of course.
2  Other / Off-topic / Online poker sites shutdown; seized by the FBI on: April 15, 2011, 10:34:21 PM
Breaking news:

http://www.businessinsider.com/boy-genius-online-poker-scandal-2011-4
3  Economy / Economics / Re: A Resource Based Economy on: April 12, 2011, 02:15:24 AM
One thing Venus Project is right about is that superabundance relative to today is possible, or should be at any rate. If they propose to have an computer that builds up anything that people ask, then sure, nothing about that idea is inconsistent with the idea of capitalism or of human action so long as they are not saying that capitalist acts between two consenting adults will become illegal. In this scenario the god-like computer will simply be fulfilling the role of a "super entrepreneur".

Eventually prices will be cheap, but prices will still exist. Even if a car becomes very cheap to build, it does not follow that each person will be able to own 50 000 cars each. So long as the universe is finite then there will be prices, and this is not something imposed upon us but rather something that follows as a necessary consequence of the fact that there is real scarcity in the world and there always will be, land is not homogeneous and neither are people, and each person has a different set subjective values. You cannot centrally plan knowledge that only exists inside the individual, like individual preferences and how they interact to allocate capital via the price mechanism.

Again, I see no reason why a "super entrepreneur" type of computer could not exist so I don't deny that. I don't think we're there today but certainly I can only imagine where we would be if not for all of the waste and misallocation caused by wars and central banking.
4  Economy / Economics / Re: A Resource Based Economy on: April 12, 2011, 02:05:16 AM
Venus Needs Some Austrians
Zeitgeist Movement along with the Venus Project (forum discussion)
5  Economy / Economics / Re: A Resource Based Economy on: April 12, 2011, 01:57:25 AM
When are they going to build something?

When we choose to value a better life for all people.

Who doesn't want a better life? Who's "we"?
6  Economy / Economics / Re: A Resource Based Economy on: April 12, 2011, 01:54:46 AM
Worldwide debt stands at trillions of dollars. What resources does this amount reflect? Prices are manipulated because information is private, not public when it comes to owning resource rich lands. Prices are arbitrary when the currency they are valued in can be manipulated to the benefit of a select few.

Yes, the central planning of the price of money has caused a great deal of disruption and misallocation. You hurt the many when you place the power of money in the hands of a select few.

There are more than enough resources available to provide for all people. Arbitrary restriction through economic institutions ensure that a small group of people maintain control over those resources at the detriment to the many.

Which economic institutions are you referring to, here? If you are referring to the problems caused by governments then I agree, but unfortunately there are laws of physical nature which impose a real cost on the exploitation of resources. It takes physical labor and capital to exploit resources and convert them into a form usable by people. It's not free.

You assert a false dichotomy when you say we can only have statism or capitalism.

Well, we can trade with people and exchange in mutually beneficial exchange. This is what I call capitalism. Or, we can force a person to do what we want. This is what I call statism. Either you use force or you don't. Maybe you don't use force in every sphere of life, but I don't think it's possible to "partially" force someone to go to jail or to pay their bills. How is this a false dichotomy?

We can choose to live without being subservient to anyone or anything but the laws that govern nature.

Hell yes! It seems we want the same things, but this is what I call capitalism. Maybe we're simply talking about the same things?
7  Economy / Economics / A "resource based economy" in practice on: April 11, 2011, 12:41:06 AM
I found this article interesting:

http://www.overcomingbias.com/2011/04/evading-sharing-rules.html
8  Bitcoin / Project Development / Re: Bounty for Bitcoin Animated Movie [13622.05 BTC ($2520) and growing] on: April 10, 2011, 11:38:06 PM
It doesn't look like I already sent the 50, so, where do I send it?

17eSZivDJpuJp9TxezTXVxkgLbsr3XZM1i

Sent away! I didn't think 50 BTCs would be worth as much as they are now ... I should have loaded up back then  Roll Eyes
9  Bitcoin / Project Development / Re: Bounty for Bitcoin Animated Movie [13622.05 BTC ($2520) and growing] on: April 10, 2011, 11:35:26 PM
It doesn't look like I already sent the 50, so, where do I send it?
10  Bitcoin / Project Development / Re: Bounty for Bitcoin Animated Movie [13622.05 BTC ($2520) and growing] on: April 10, 2011, 11:11:28 PM

So what was the final outcome? Cause the thread title still says 13622 and growing... I'm confused.

The bounty was awarded.

Sweet! I'm only asking cause apparently I pledged on page 2, but I didn't visit the forums in a long time and I was never PMed about it.
11  Bitcoin / Project Development / Re: Bounty for Bitcoin Animated Movie [13622.05 BTC ($2520) and growing] on: April 10, 2011, 11:07:20 PM
Did Satoshi ever give his OK? It seems that the community has more or less accepted this?

Satoshi did not communicate, so we substitute him with Gavin.

So what was the final outcome? Cause the thread title still says 13622 and growing... I'm confused.
12  Bitcoin / Project Development / Re: Bounty for Bitcoin Animated Movie [13622.05 BTC ($2520) and growing] on: April 10, 2011, 11:00:25 PM
Did Satoshi ever give his OK? It seems that the community has more or less accepted this?
13  Economy / Economics / Re: A Resource Based Economy on: April 10, 2011, 10:56:32 PM
A question for the RBE folks: How is any economic system not ultimately based on resources? If we're not living in a paradise as promised by RBE proponents, it's not because there's a conspiracy to hold back resources (although there is a lot of waste caused by governments). Prices are not arbitrary; they reflect actual availability of resources as well as demand for those resources. Simply asserting that "resources are abundant" will not magically make it so, and to the extent that any practitioners of RBE follow the principles of mutual exchange and trade then they are actually following capitalism (though probably not what they think of as capitalism). To the extent that they go against the principles of mutual exchange and trade then they are simply following statism, which might be fine for them but isn't fine for me. We have enough of that as it is.
14  Economy / Economics / Re: Thought experiment: Resetting spendings each month; what would happen? on: April 10, 2011, 09:09:36 PM
what would happen... if people stopped imagining new ways to rule over their neighbours and simply let others live in peace, building up a society through voluntary exchange and freedom?
15  Economy / Economics / Re: Inflation, Fractional Reserve, and Bitcoins on: August 05, 2010, 03:46:38 PM
Given that I actually agree with you up to that point, how is my line of reasoning bunk? My point still stands. The supply if Bitcoins is limited: The banking system in aggregate cannot find enough Bitcoins if it loans its on demand deposits out! Why should the depositor accept quasi-bitcoins in the form of banking credit instead of the actual thing? On demand deposits simply cannot be loaned out if a banking system is to ultimately remain stable. Sure, some banks can try to do it, but then they better not call them "on demand deposits". Some might get away with it, but sooner or later, someone will find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Deposits can be loaned out, but not with a guarantee of redemption. That is simply impossible as Bitcoins cannot be created out of thin air.

I see two kinds of "deposits" into a bank:  "Investments" in the form of perhaps even a stock purchase into the bank itself, and "certificates of deposit" or some other time-based "bond" that has a defined expiration date and guaranteed rate of return.  Both could conceivably create the initial pool of money that could then be used for making loans.

The traditional "on demand" bank deposits with Bitcoins seems to be something that has all of the disadvantages of a conventional bank and none of the advantages.  Mainly, you are dealing with an extra level of bureaucracy and people telling you that you can't necessarily have access to your funds and sources of embezzlement and fraud.  Normally the advantage a bank offers is the ability to carry on transactions electronically or in a "light-weight" arrangement where you don't have to cart around a briefcase full of money (or gold).  That is something which isn't even remotely a problem with Bitcoins.

If most "depositors" in a bank were actually shareholders, it would also put an interesting twist into the relationship between the customer and the banker.  In theory this already happens with credit unions in America, but I've never seen it put into a formal relationship in terms of actual shares of the bank itself.  This is why "checks" are called "share drafts" by credit unions, as you are in theory giving away shares of the company when you purchase items from your account in that manner.... but that is more of a ruse than anything legitimate.  It would be interesting, however, if you could make corporate shares fungible as a sort of alternative currency in and of themselves with their own exchange rate.

I agree with you here, RHorning. There would be less of a case for actual on demand deposits within a Bitcoin economy. A banking system based on shares and time deposits (i.e. bonds) would be honest.
16  Economy / Economics / Re: Inflation, Fractional Reserve, and Bitcoins on: August 05, 2010, 03:42:16 PM
Given that I actually agree with you up to that point, how is my line of reasoning bunk? My point still stands. The supply if Bitcoins is limited: The banking system in aggregate cannot find enough Bitcoins if it loans its on demand deposits out! Why should the depositor accept quasi-bitcoins in the form of banking credit instead of the actual thing? On demand deposits simply cannot be loaned out if a banking system is to ultimately remain stable. Sure, some banks can try to do it, but then they better not call them "on demand deposits". Some might get away with it, but sooner or later, someone will find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Deposits can be loaned out, but not with a guarantee of redemption. That is simply impossible as Bitcoins cannot be created out of thin air.

So supposing that there exist bankers that take on-demand deposits of BTC and make sound-loans of BTC that pay interest in BTC. What I'm saying is no fraud or scamming by bankers. And no hedging on my part, these are fractional reserve banks. They lend out any 90% of depositor's BTC and keep 10% on hand as easy "cache".

What you are proposing (and I hear proposed by others as if it were a common case) is a run on all banks at the same time of all "on-demand" BTC deposits.

No need for a full bank run; only 10% would be necessary in this case. I already went through all of this in my previous posts, though. What exactly is it that you believe is a myth or bunk? Money cannot simultaneously be lent out and kept as an on demand deposit. If one bank lent out too many BTCs and has a deposit call, then another bank has to have correspondingly greater reserves in order to lend that bank BTCs. The banking system cannot in aggregate practice fractional reserve banking to a significant degree and remain stable over time. The market will determine where that point is, but I doubt it is as high as 90%.

Quote
Now if "good banking" is going on and there is no BTC in-house, then all the BTC is out on BTC interest producing loan and is backed by collateral. That makes these loans nice low risk "BTC income producing properties". So at that point the banks can sell these nice low risk BTC income producing properties to other investors willing to pay BTC now in exchange for more BTC later. If there is a default the investor claims and sells the collateral.

Sure they can. What they can't do is simultaneously create such a paper and let the depositor withdraw the capital backing said paper! That would hollow out the bank. In order for a bank to create a paper and remain honest, what it needs to do is this:

Bank receives 100 BTCs from A. Bank gives A a paper in return, only redeemable at a future date.
Bank lends those 100 BTCs out to other people as loans.

What it cannot do is this:

Bank receives 100 BTCs from A. Bank credits A with 100 BTCs at its bank which can be withdrawn, spent, or transferred at any time.
Bank lends 90 BTCs out to other people as loans.
A withdraws his 100 BTCs <-- They no longer exist.

It cannot do this unless it sells the 90BTC of loans to another party in return for real BTCs which it can then use to back its deposits. It cannot back its deposits with paper, because the depositor does not want paper, he wants BTCs. That's what he agreed to and that's what the bank promised.

Yes, the bank can now borrow BTCs from another bank in order to pay out the depositor, but a banking system cannot do so in aggregate. Loans need to be backed by savings.

To summarize:

It is fraud to place two property claims on the same BTC. To say that the depositor owns a physical BTC at the same time as a lendee owns that same BTC, while telling the depositor that the BTC is solely and wholly his and can be withdrawn, spent, or transferred at any time, is fraud.

It is NOT fraud to give the depositor a paper which represents future BTCs and tell him that he no longer owns any physical BTCs, because he gave them up in return for the paper. It is furthermore not fraud to then lend these BTCs out, since they no longer belong to the depositor but they belong to the bank. This is otherwise known as the depositor purchasing a certificate of deposit or bond with the bank.

17  Economy / Economics / Re: Inflation, Fractional Reserve, and Bitcoins on: August 05, 2010, 12:34:21 AM
Not true. If I deposit 100 bitcoins at a bank, the bank lends out 90, and I want to withdraw my 100 bitcoins, the bank is screwed. Even if they lend out 25, the bank is screwed.

On demand deposits simply cannot be loaned out if a banking system is to ultimately remain stable. Sure, some banks can try to do it, but then they better not call them "on demand deposits". Deposits can be loaned out, but not with a guarantee of redemption. That is simply impossible as Bitcoins cannot be created out of thin air.

Not to pick on Bitcoiner, I've seen this line of reasoning in lots of threads. However, it is bunk as it leaves out obviously everyday solutions currently in use.

Obviously if there is "a run" on a bank's cash reserve, their obviously most common solution is to BORROW cash at interest from another bank. Sometimes this money comes from a central bank, but normally it comes from one of the other banks who are not experiencing "a run" on their cash.

A bank does not "go bankrupt" when it runs out of cash. It goes bankrupt when it runs out of credit worthiness. Banking is always based upon trust in the bankers making the decisions.


Given that I actually agree with you up to that point, how is my line of reasoning bunk? My point still stands. The supply if Bitcoins is limited: The banking system in aggregate cannot find enough Bitcoins if it loans its on demand deposits out! Why should the depositor accept quasi-bitcoins in the form of banking credit instead of the actual thing? On demand deposits simply cannot be loaned out if a banking system is to ultimately remain stable. Sure, some banks can try to do it, but then they better not call them "on demand deposits". Some might get away with it, but sooner or later, someone will find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Deposits can be loaned out, but not with a guarantee of redemption. That is simply impossible as Bitcoins cannot be created out of thin air.
18  Economy / Economics / Re: On Hoarding on: August 05, 2010, 12:29:21 AM
Monetary deflation is only a problem in a banking system where new money is created from credit and the math requires an increasing number of loans to pay interest or else someone must default.   It is perfectly stable when money is not debt and its existence does not depend upon paying someone interest.

In order to fall far enough to break your neck, you need something to propel you up that high in the first place. Fractional reserve + legal tender + money inflation is a good way of doing that, but credit based on real savings in a free market would find it much harder to do so. The people so scared of monetary deflation forget that a great inflationary expansion must occur before there can be a deflation!
19  Economy / Economics / Re: Lending at negative interest rates. (People like bigger numbers.) on: August 05, 2010, 12:22:17 AM
I was going to summarize my criticisms of your point of view but wikipedia already did it better.

It is enough to say that I concur.

By the way, just because people put extensive thought into something doesn't imply it is correct. The communists had lots of theories about why that model was better. Empirically, they didn't prove out. Many people saw the consequences of communism as mathematically obvious. That did not make them closed minded.

Communism in theory uses fatally flawed concepts. If ever we are to have communism on this world it will be in the form of vast material wealth that will leave nobody wanting for basic goods. Scarcity (and therefore economics) will always exist up until the point we can create new universes, or something like that. Maybe it will exist even then.
Communism in practice... 'nuff said. In my personal experience, the people I've encountered who support those ideals tend to argue with emotion, dismiss ideas out of hand, and blindly assert facts without backing them up. No wonder the methodology tended to be so violent. Communism is the perverted offspring of folk economics, a dead philosopher's ideals, and the power of the state.

For the record, I'm a pragmatic libertarian. Believe but do your own math. Math works. Empirically validated functions rule. Philosophy is easy to twist to any whim. That is my philosophy! :-)

Economics != Philosophy. Austrian economics does not say what ought to be, but it does tell you what happens. Are you a libertarian who's unfamiliar with the Austrian school or were you just joking around? Whether you agree or disagree, I recommend you at least do the research. Go over to the Mises forums, ask your questions there, and then feel free to disagree with the people who respond to you. At least have an open mind about it. Once you read more, you'll also find that there is actually plenty of empirical support for it, as well.

-------

Criticism of the Austrian School

...

A copy/paste of something refuting something you admittedly are very unfamiliar with does not a valid criticism make Wink

The criticisms there aren't very strong and misunderstand much of the Austrian School's points, like the whole "unscientific" thing. People who claim that don't really understand what it's about, and "a priori" are used in mathematics and geometry as well.


For the record, I agree with that one criticism that states that Austrians overplay their differences. There is nothing strange or unusual about the Austrian school of economics once you learn what it's all about, except perhaps the name.
20  Bitcoin / Project Development / Re: Bounty for Bitcoin Animated Movie [5050 BTC and growing] on: August 04, 2010, 01:29:54 PM
I'm in for 50 given Satoshi's OK Wink
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