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1041  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Liberalism is under attack from both sides on: November 05, 2018, 06:37:49 PM
It's also interesting I have seen you make a comment about preferring to reshape an environment as the best means to solve problems.  Imagine if the political environment was reshaped so the politicians focus was on the constituents best interest as opposed to lying to them while doing what their bosses (corporations) want.

If there was a benevolent dictator to maintain such an environment, then it might work OK. But in reality that sort of thing would have to be done through some government institution which would ultimately be controlled by politicians. (Even if you try to make it some independent body, it wouldn't work: look at how well the Supreme Court has been at being politically-neutral and independent...). So for example if campaigns were exclusively publicly-funded, then the system would be either initially designed or eventually corrupted to massively favor incumbents and disfavor third parties, since that's what the people in power would want.

The leftist solution to government problems is to expand government, creating endless oversight positions. But this doesn't address the real problem of politics itself being broken, since every part of government will at some level be determined by politics. The ultimate solution is to minimize the size of government as a whole so that politicians don't have as much opportunity to cause harm, and corporations don't have any incentive to bribe them etc. This is the way I'd like to change the environment.
1042  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Liberalism is under attack from both sides on: November 05, 2018, 11:05:17 AM
I find it really frustrating that I usually find myself agreeing more with conservatives nowadays even though at heart I really believe in (classical) liberalism. The left is so screwed up; they used to at least sometimes say good things, but now they're more like a crazy cult. Democrats' opposition against Trump is a good example: I don't like Trump at all, and you could fill whole libraries with books on how his views&actions are immoral, anti-freedom, and low-utility; however, the Democrats barely ever attack him on actual policy, and instead just jump on him for daring to defy the left-cult's dogma.

Politics just doesn't work. The whole idea of having to convince a bunch of idiots that you're right is a bad one; even if you succeed, the costs are too high and the end result too fragile. To the greatest extent possible, I recommend changing the world through methods where you don't have to convince anyone of anything in order to start moving forward. (Satoshi's creation of Bitcoin being the best example.)
1043  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: tv show "startup" (about crypto) on: November 03, 2018, 04:15:10 PM
This forum for example is a cryptocurrency(bitcoin) platform,but the money raised In here is via FIAT, and theymos gets paid as well as pays his MODS in FIAT, USD) currencies
We use FIAT currencies to promote this forum(paid advert,corper membership,evil IP etc, they are all paid for in US dollars)

No... Only BTC is accepted for ads and copper memberships; 100% of the forum's income has always been BTC. ~80% of the forum's expenses are also paid in BTC, including all mod payments.
1044  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Looking back at the White paper... Do you think Satoshi would be proud of us? on: October 31, 2018, 06:45:25 PM
It is a bit disappointing, though not surprising. The fact is that most people don't particularly desire the kind of freedom that Bitcoin provides, and furthermore they can't handle it (eg. secure key management). But the most important thing is that anyone can use Bitcoin trustlessly if they want. Maybe some of the people who are getting exposed to Bitcoin through centralized services will eventually move toward trustlessness over time. (Though maybe only after getting repeatedly burned by the costs of trust...) The biggest key to decreasing trusted-service-use is IMO in making it far easier and cheaper to do so securely. For example, cheap, secure, and trustless hardware wallets and point-of-sale terminals would go a long way.
1045  Other / Meta / Re: Is there a thread here on the ten year anniversary of the white paper? on: October 31, 2018, 09:31:14 AM
I posted some thoughts in this thread.

@theymos: How will the tenth anniversary of this forum be celebrated? I don't mean what happened in the April Fool's Day Tongue

No plans yet. I consider the forum's 10th birthday to be Nov 22, 2019, so it's a ways away.

I'm mainly surprised by the "we" used by Satoshi

That's standard practice in academic papers, even when written by one person.
1046  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: THE WHITEPAPER and Your Observations on: October 31, 2018, 09:30:44 AM
Honestly, the whitepaper was never that important to me. I wrote some of the first-ever documentation on the (old) wiki, and while I used the paper to get a general understanding, most of my info came from Satoshi's forum posts and the code itself. The paper was meant to get the basic idea of Bitcoin across quickly to people who already had a fair bit of crypto knowledge, not to explain the whole system. It's impressive that it does manage to explain a big chunk of Bitcoin in 8 pages, and there are several interesting quotes, but some people are over-obsessed with it. If you want to understand Bitcoin's technology and history, you'd be far better off reading all of Satoshi's forum posts, for example, which have a lot more detail. I particularly discourage people from pointing newbies to the paper as their first explanation of Bitcoin; the paper was directed at people who already knew the internals of similar P2P systems, and it is terrible at explaining things to newbies.

That said, the paper is important as a milestone and as a statement. Satoshi's post announcing the paper was the first that anyone had ever heard of Bitcoin; it attracted Hal and a few others, who engaged in some pre-release beta testing and spread the word to others. And even in this, the world's first exposure to Bitcoin, the ideological basis for Bitcoin was made clear.

The "next birthday", when the code was released, is more meaningful to me. As we've seen endlessly in the years since, anyone can write a paper with a bunch of ideas. Satoshi single-handedly writing Bitcoin in fully-working form is more meaningful and impressive, and it stands as a testament to the fact that even one man can start a revolution which totally changes the world if he works hard enough at it.
1047  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Merkel not seeking Reelection! on: October 29, 2018, 05:13:13 PM
Very interesting... When I think of the "center-left globalists" who seemed overwhelmingly powerful in Obama's era, I think primarily of Merkel, Obama, Soros, Hillary Clinton, David Cameron, and Trudeau, who are mostly gone or waning. That faction is still very much around, but they seem a lot weaker, and fading.

It makes me a bit uncomfortable, since while I don't like that faction at all, I also don't like the nationalists who seem to be picking up steam. I do very much hope that the EU crashes and burns, though, since the EU is a totally anti-freedom institution run by a small handful of people who want to engineer society to their whims, and having many small independent states tends to provide more total freedom than fewer large ones.

I don't follow German politics much; how do things look there? Will there be any actual change from the status quo? It looks like the Green Party is gaining, but that sounds like a group that would want to just tweak things around the edges, not make major changes.
1048  Economy / Auctions / Advertise on this forum - Round 259 on: October 29, 2018, 08:49:41 AM
The forum sells ad space in the area beneath the first post of every topic page. This income is used primarily to cover hosting costs and to pay moderators for their work (there are many moderators, so each moderator gets only a small amount -- moderators should be seen as volunteers, not employees). Any leftover amount is typically either saved for future expenses or otherwise reinvested into the forum or the ecosystem.

Ads are allowed to contain any non-annoying HTML/CSS style. No images, JavaScript, or animation. Ads must appear 3 or fewer lines tall in my browser (Firefox, 900px wide). Ad text may not contain lies, misrepresentation, or inappropriate language. Ads may not link directly to any NSFW page. No ICOs[1], banks, funds, or anything else that a person can be said to "invest" in; I may very rarely make exceptions if you convince me that you are ultra legit, but don't count on it. Ads may be rejected for other reasons, and I may remove ads even after they are accepted.

There are 10 total ad slots which are randomly rotated. So one ad slot has a one in ten chance of appearing. Nine of the slots are for sale here. Ads appear only on topic pages with more than one post, and only for people using the default theme.


- Your ads are guaranteed to be up for at least 7 days.
- I usually try to keep ads up for no more than 8 or 9 days.
- Sometimes ads might be up for longer, but hopefully no longer than 12 days. Even if past rounds sometimes lasted for long periods of time, you should not rely on this for your ads.


Exact historical impression counts per slot:

Info about the current ad slots:

Ad blocking

Hero/Legendary members, Donators, VIPs, and moderators have the ability to disable ads. I don't expect many people to use this option. These people don't increase the impression stats for your ads.

I try to bypass Adblock Plus filters as much as possible, though this is not guaranteed. It is difficult or impossible for ABP filters to block the ad space itself without blocking posts. However, filters can match against the URLs in your links, your CSS classes and style attributes, and the HTML structure of your ads.

To prevent matches against URLs: I have some JavaScript which fixes links blocked by ABP. You must tell me if you want this for your ads. When someone with ABP and JavaScript enabled views your ads, your links are changed to a special randomized URL which redirects to your site when visited. People without ABP are unaffected, even if they don't have JavaScript enabled. The downsides are:
- ABP users will see the redirection link when they hover over the link, even if they disable ABP for the forum.
- Getting referral stats might become even more difficult.
- Some users might get a warning when redirecting from https to http.

To prevent matching on CSS classes/styles: Don't use inline CSS. I can give your ad a CSS class that is randomized on each pageload, but you must request this.

To prevent matching against your HTML structure: Use only one <a> and no other tags if possible. If your ads get blocked because of matching done on something inside of your ad, you are responsible for noticing this and giving me new ad HTML.

Designing ads

Make sure that your ads look good when you download and edit this test page:
Also read the comments in that file.

Images are not allowed no matter how they are created (CSS, SVG, or data URI). Occasionally I will make an exception for small logos and such, but you must get pre-approval from me first.

The maximum size of any one ad is 51200 bytes.

I will send you more detailed styling rules if you win slots in this auction (or upon request).

Auction rules

You must be at least a Jr Member to bid. If you are not a Jr Member and you really want to bid, you should PM me first. Tell me in the PM what you're going to advertise. You might be required to pay some amount in advance. Everyone else: Please quickly PM newbies who try to bid here to warn them against impersonation scammers.

If you have never purchased forum ad space before, and it is not blatantly obvious what you're going to advertise, say what you're going to advertise in your first bid, or tell me in a PM.

Post your bids in this thread. Prices must be stated in BTC per slot. You must state the maximum number of slots you want. When the auction ends, the highest bidders will have their slots filled until all nine slots are filled.

So if someone bids for 9 slots @ 5 BTC and this is the highest bid, then he'll get all 9 slots. If the two highest bids are 9 slots @ 4 BTC and 1 slot @ 5 BTC, then the first person will get 8 slots and the second person will get 1 slot.

The notation "2 @ 5" means 2 slots for 5 BTC each. Not 2 slots for 5 BTC total.

- When you post a bid, the bids in your previous posts are considered to be automatically canceled. You can put multiple bids in one post, however.
- All bid prices must be evenly divisible by 0.02.
- The bidding starts at 0.02.
- I will end the auction at an arbitrary time. Unless I say otherwise, I typically try to end auctions within a few days of 10 days from the time of this post, but unexpected circumstances may sometimes force me to end the auction anytime between 4 and 22 days from the start. I have a small bias toward ending auctions on Fridays, Sundays, and Mondays.
- If two people bid at the same price, the person who bid first will have his slots filled first.
- Bids are considered invalid and will be ignored if they do not specify both a price and a max quantity, or if they could not possibly win any slots

If these rules are confusing, look at some of the past forum ad auctions to see how it's done.

I reserve the right to reject bids, even days after the bid is made.

You must pay for your slots within 24 hours of receiving the payment address. Otherwise your slots may be sold to someone else, and I might even give you a negative trust rating. I will send you the payment information via forum PM from this account ("theymos", user ID 35) after announcing the auction results in this thread. You might receive false payment information from scammers pretending to be me. They might even have somewhat similar usernames. Be careful.

[1]: For the purposes of forum ads, an ICO is any token, altcoin, or other altcoin-like thing which meets any of the following criteria: it is primarily run/backed by a company; it is substantially, fundamentally centralized in either operation or coin distribution; or it is not yet possible for two unprivileged users of the system to send coins directly to each other in a P2P way. The intention here is to allow community efforts to advertise things like Litecoin, but not to allow ICO funding, even when the ICO is disguised in various ways.
1049  Economy / Auctions / Re: Advertise on this forum - Round 258 on: October 29, 2018, 08:44:20 AM
Auction ended, final result:
Slots BTC/Slot Person
1 0.10 ni23457
4 0.10 ChipMixer
3 0.10 lightlord
1 0.08 FirstGlobalCredit
1050  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Active Shooting at Pittsburgh Synagogue 7+ dead already on: October 28, 2018, 07:25:24 AM
The political reaction in here and in the media reminds me of this video from 2008.
1051  Economy / Speculation / Re: How will the next big recession affect the BTC price? on: October 27, 2018, 05:11:30 PM
Really?  We just got done recovering from the 2008-09 disaster, which to me doesn't seem that long ago.  I'll admit that I don't exactly have my finger on the pulse of the global economy, but what signs are pointing to another recession?

A lot of mainstream analysts have been talking about it for a while, even before this recent stock market crash. I'd say that the general analyst consensus is that at least a mild recession will start in 9-24 months. Keep in mind that most people believe that the market is governed by the business cycle, where expansion, occurring for about two-thirds of the time, is punctuated by periods of recessions occupying the other third of the time. (Though personally, I suspect that the business cycle is to a large extent a self-fulfilling prophecy...)

Commonly-cited reasons for the end of expansion and entering recession include:
 - Higher and increasing interest rates
 - Tariff worries
 - Possible slowdown in the rate of growth
 - Various economic indicators such as the steepening yield curve, high employment, housing data, etc.
In addition to that, I think (though most mainstream analysts would disagree) that the US economy is built on a house of cards:
 - The federal budget is totally unsustainable, and the political climate is nowhere near a point where it could be fixed.
 - The stock market has been rising unnaturally since at least 2011. The S&P500 Shiller PE Ratio just dropped a bit, but it's currently at 30, which is still ridiculous. I think there's been too much money floating around, and nobody's had anywhere else to put it but the stock market. (Rising interest rates are changing where this money is going a bit.)
 - The fractional-reserve, debt-based economy is generally unstable.

So I wouldn't be surprised if the next recession is as bad or worse than 2008. In order to prevent these massive crises (which will probably ultimately culminate in the USD's total failure someday), very serious and painful changes would be necessary, and I don't see it happening.
1052  Other / Meta / Re: sent the wrong bitcoin to the paid address of the forum, on: October 26, 2018, 07:43:45 PM
I already refunded it yesterday. (OP's topic was split from elsewhere: he posted in a bunch of random topics while also sending me 3 PMs in rapid succession...)

He paid to his account-unique address, so verification wasn't a problem. If he'd paid to a different address, then I would require a signature.

This is very rare to happen

It's less rare than you might think; it happens once or twice a year, sometimes with very large amounts...
1053  Other / Politics & Society / Re: AI represents our desire to create God on: October 25, 2018, 12:13:27 PM
There's definitely a strong element of that, especially in the surprisingly large community of techies who want to upload everyone's minds into a simulated universe. See for example Roko's basilisk, which is a highly religious idea. The AI=God idea is old and kind of obvious, and can be seen for example in the 1994 novella The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect. (Probably there are much older references to the idea, but that's one I know off-hand.)

That said, even if everyone was already true believers of some religion, AI (even superintelligent AI, if done carefully) would be an obvious possibility with clear benefits. So I definitely wouldn't say that "creating God" is the main goal of / impetus for AI research.

I think that the human mind has a built-in strong tendency toward religion, and people who eschew traditional religions often (but not always) end up replacing it with something else, even unknowingly. Examples include vague spiritual beliefs, politics, and AI. Another one which I don't often see mentioned in this context is the simulation hypothesis, which is almost exactly deism. In fact, the simulation hypothesis is similar in some ways to the ancient cosmological argument for the existence of god.
1054  Economy / Speculation / How will the next big recession affect the BTC price? on: October 24, 2018, 05:29:27 PM
US and global markets are looking shaky. Probably things will recover in the short-term, but a long-lasting global recession doesn't seem far off. There are good reasons to think that it might be even worse than the "great recession", though you never know. How will this affect the BTC price?

On one hand, a lot of people might want to sell their BTC and move back to traditional investments while they're low, especially if they got into BTC in the first place as a way of getting better return-on-investment vs already-peaked traditional investments. On the other hand, people might lose faith in the fiat economy entirely, especially those who have already taken the step of buying BTC.
1055  Other / Meta / Re: Fire Hydrants on: October 22, 2018, 07:15:53 AM
I was trying to think of solutions for alternative captchas as bypassing them automatically is obviously a huge problem with bots, but I get the feeling that if there was one it would have been implemented by now (and there are probably far smarter people than me working on this).

I don't think that captcha bypassing is a huge problem on the forum. The current captcha is sufficient.

Modern reCaptcha can't be automatically bypassed. If you want to bypass them programmatically, there are many sites where they have people solve them for you. Typically, the client wanting to solve the captcha will act as an HTTP proxy so that the solver uses their IP, and it's undetectable. They charge somewhere around $0.003 per recaptcha. (Don't like doing captchas? Imagine solving them for a living...)
1056  Other / Meta / Re: Fire Hydrants on: October 22, 2018, 06:14:20 AM
My dilemma is about signs that slightly go in the next square, should I check it, shouldn't I not....

How it works is that Google compares what you answer to what thousands of other people have answered. So you want to answer what you think other people did, regardless of whether it's absolutely correct. It's best in my experience to be quite lazy, not selecting small edges or small examples of the keyword visible in the background.

I've been thinking that you could maybe make a better and perhaps less frustrating captcha by showing people a randomly-generated inkblot, asking "what do you see?" with a free-form text field, and comparing their response to everyone else's responses to that inkblot, using the same principle as recaptcha.
1057  Economy / Reputation / Re: Is this not merit abuse really ? on: October 21, 2018, 02:28:55 PM
Well, it appears that your source merit either wasn't upped to 250 a month ago like me, or you are just letting it expire. Theymos gave me instructions to try and do my best to distribute all of it. I'm doing the best that I can; yet have already had complaints. I really despise this statistic.;stats=topsendban Now I am on the list that appears to point out merit abuse suspects. I was originally very honored to become a merit source. But now I feel that my reputation is at stake with every single merit that I am obligated to distribute. I know that I only have black trust at the moment. However, I keep checking my trust rating to make sure some DT member doesn't decide to red tag me because they feel that I am being "abusive" or derelict in my duty.

If they complain about amounts, tell them to complain to me. It's best if sources try to exhaust their source allocations, even if it means giving posts higher amounts than is typical. If you have 150 source merit and you only see 3 merit-worthy posts in a month, then I'd rather you over-give each of them 50 merit than let the merit expire. That way there are more people capable of sending merit, and the "merit economy" is less top-down.

If a DT member tags you for something stupid involving merit (ie. probably anything less than selling merit), then they're not going to be a DT member for much longer.

Aside from that, if people complain about whether things deserve merit at all, then that's something to perhaps think about, but if you conclude that they're wrong, then that's that. You don't need to stress about it or defend yourself constantly. It's conceivable that someday you and I will end up disagreeing too much about this stuff and I'll remove your source status, but it's really not a big deal.

The topsendban list is just a first indication of abuse, and many excellent people are on it. Your place on there acts as a sort of benchmark: eg. chandra12 has a similar score there, but whereas you are an extremely active merit-giver with a diverse selection of posts merited (most of which anyone would agree with), chandra12 only has two large merit sends. His behavior in comparison to yours while having a similar topsendban score is what creates a strong abuse impression.

I appreciate the work of you and other sources who take it seriously!
1058  Economy / Invites & Accounts / Re: Hacked invites/accounts are not allowed on: October 21, 2018, 12:02:08 PM
Accounts on sites that require KYC such as bank accounts, PayPal, etc. are assumed to be hacked unless you explain why they're not hacked.
1059  Other / Meta / Re: Merit giving mistake. Page reload resulted in multiple merits given. Suggestion. on: October 20, 2018, 03:38:41 AM
I don't really understand how this can happen. Browsers are supposed to warn you before resubmitting POST forms.
1060  Other / Meta / Re: Hidden Text 123456789101112131415161718192021222324 In ANN Threads on: October 20, 2018, 03:22:25 AM
You can also use spaces, but then your post is more limited in length because each space beyond the first is converted to &nbsp; internally and therefore counts as 6 characters.
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