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261  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Trump Impeachment Public Hearings [serious discussion] on: February 13, 2021, 09:54:10 PM
They voted to acquit. 7 Republicans flipped, which is surprisingly high IMO; I'd expected it to stay at the 5 who voted to table Rand Paul's motion from a while ago. It's especially odd that Richard Burr voted to convict when he previously voted that the whole thing was unconstitutional. With such a high number, maybe there's some small chance that they could bar Trump from running again via Kaine's censure resolution, though I doubt it.

I don't think that this will have much political effect compared to just not having a trial at all. Maybe if the Democrats had not freaked out about every little thing that Trump did, people would take them more seriously here, and would be less forgiving of the Republicans who voted to acquit. I find myself more-or-less agreeing with many of the House managers' arguments in this case, but they've been baselessly using the same language for years, such as in the last impeachment. All politicians lie so constantly that everyone just rolls their eyes when they speak unless they already agree, so any attempt at real argument is wasted.

If I were a senator looking at this as an impartial juror:

Trump's conduct was definitely not criminal incitement. He didn't tell his supporters to go break into the capitol, and he was careful to always use words like "peaceful". The specific language he used covered his ass enough to avoid criminal incitement, and a private citizen could definitely have used the same language and be protected by the first amendment. Impeachment is another matter, though, and maybe there's also some separate "abuse of office" civil/criminal law which could be used against him.

Trump's conduct was really beyond the pale for a president. He was clearly spreading misinformation and ginning up his supporters in a dangerous way which any idiot could've seen would lead to this sort of outcome. I don't think that he had some sort of premeditated coup in mind, but I think that he was rather happy with the riot, at least initially, and it's quite possible that when he was making his speeches and spreading his misinformation, he was hoping that his supporters would burn down everything and somehow manage to keep him in office, even if he wasn't actually explicitly planning what would happen. It was a months-long childish outburst based on narcissism, not a real, rational plan to stay in office. "If this sort of reckless disregard for his office and the country isn't impeachable, what is?" is a compelling argument IMO.

The best arguments I've heard against impeachment come from this line in the Constitution:
Quote
The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
First, Donald Trump is neither President, Vice President, nor a Civil Officer of the US. However, that sentence in the Constitution is in Article II, whereas a lot of the other stuff about impeachment is some distance away in Article I, such as the now-famous sentence, "Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States." Because these things are in completely different sections of the Constitution, it seems to me that the Senate has the power to impeach someone and disqualify them from office in a context disconnected from Article II. And in fact when the Senate has impeached judges, they are dealing with an Article III official, and that Article II excerpt doesn't apply at all. So I think that it's constitutional to impeach a former President, or anyone in fact.

Second, "other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" in that first Constitution excerpt above is meant to be read in context as "other high Crimes and Misdemeanors on the same sort of level as Treason or Bribery, which we mentioned explicitly." The Framers explicitly did not want Presidents impeached for "mal-administration". So I think that the argument really comes down to whether you think that Trump's extremely irresponsible conduct reaches about the same level as treason or bribery, in which case he can be impeached, or whether you think that it's more a case of him being a really terrible President, in which case impeachment is not constitutionally appropriate.

It's a close one, but I think I'd vote to impeach if I was in the mindset of being an impartial juror. The level of recklessness and selfishness brings it roughly to the level of bribery IMO, and not merely a type of "mal-administration". (If I were actually a senator, I wouldn't look at it as an impartial juror, though. I'd be making utilitarian calculations, and it's difficult to say what I'd do, especially since I would never agree to be a senator in the first place, or ever be elected if I ran.)
262  Economy / Auctions / Advertise on this forum - Round 333 on: February 11, 2021, 02:01:34 PM
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.

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. Hero/Legendary members, Donators, VIPs, and moderators have the ability to disable ads; these people don't increase the impression stats for your ads.

Design & ad restrictions

Ad text may not contain lies, misrepresentation, or inappropriate language. Ads may not link directly to any NSFW page. No ICOs[1], loggable mixers[2], banks, funds, or anything 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.

See the ad design rules for info on designing forum ads.

When advertising a new service, you should always check with me in advance whether your service is OK. I will sometimes accept bids of people who don't do this, but such people are taking the risk of being rejected at the last minute. It's also a good idea for you to have me check your ad's HTML+CSS in advance, especially if this is your first time advertising.

Duration

- Your ads are guaranteed to be up for at least 7 days.
- I usually try to keep ads up for no more than 12 days.
- Sometimes ads might be up for longer, but hopefully no longer than 14 days. Even if past rounds sometimes lasted for long periods of time, you should not rely on this for your ads.

Stats

Exact historical impression counts per slot:
https://bitcointalk.org/adrotate.php?adstats

Info about the current ad slots:
https://bitcointalk.org/adrotate.php?adinfo

Auction rules

New members are likely to have their bids rejected unless they PM me first, telling me what they're going to advertise. New members might also be required to pay some amount in advance. Additionally, 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 mBTC per slot. (10 mBTC = 0.01 BTC.) 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 @ 50 mBTC and this is the highest bid, then he'll get all 9 slots. If the two highest bids are 9 slots @ 40 mBTC and 1 slot @ 50 mBTC, then the first person will get 8 slots and the second person will get 1 slot.

The notation "2 @ 50" means 2 slots for 50 mBTC each. Not 2 slots for 50 mBTC 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, like "5 @ 10 and 1 @ 50".
- All bid prices must be evenly divisible by 5 mBTC.
- The bidding starts at 5 mBTC.
- 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.
- If two people bid at the same price, the person who bid first will have his slots filled first.

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.

Price flattening

At the end of the auction, after the winning bids are all determined, I will do a "price flattening" operation. This has no effect on which bids actually win, but is instead just meant to make the prices actually paid by bidders more equal. For each bid, in order of lowest to greatest price/slot, I will reduce each bid's price/slot to the highest value which is equal to or only the minimum increment greater than the next-lower bid. This allows you to bid higher prices without worrying so much, but you still mustn't bid more than you're willing to pay. Example:

Code:
This:
Slots  mBTC/Slot  Person
    6      200       A
    1      160       B
    1       80       C
    1       80       D

Becomes:
Slots  mBTC/Slot  Person
    6      90       A [step 4: reduced to 85+5=90]
    1      85       B [step 3: reduced to 80+5=85]
    1      80       C [step 2: same as the next-lowest, unchanged]
    1      80       D [step 1: the lowest bid is always unchanged]

Payment, etc.

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.
[2]: A loggable mixer is a service marketed primarily for improving transaction privacy which accepts full custody of cryptocurrency for a time and has the technical ability to log where the cryptocurrency comes from and goes to (even if they promise not to log).
263  Economy / Auctions / Re: Advertise on this forum - Round 332 on: February 11, 2021, 02:00:53 PM
Auction ended, final result:
Slots mBTC/Slot Person
2 20 AliceMoore
4 15 lightlord
1 15 Murat
2 10 DogecoinMachine
264  Economy / Auctions / Re: Advertise on this forum - Round 332 on: February 09, 2021, 12:38:48 PM
Current auction status:
Slots BTC/Slot Person
5 10 DogecoinMachine
2 10 AliceMoore
1 5 Bitcoin Gambling
1 5 lightlord


The auction continues.
265  Economy / Economics / Re: Tesla Bought 1.5 B in Bitcoins on: February 08, 2021, 08:34:12 PM
I've had at least 50% of my net worth in BTC continuously for 8+ years. Bitcointalk.org has always existed as much as possible purely in the crypto economy, with 100% of the forum's income being from cryptocurrencies over all of its history. I think that there is a decent chance that Bitcoin will be the next world reserve currency. So I'm nothing if not a Bitcoin true believer. But all that being said, if I was a Tesla shareholder, I would be annoyed.

Tesla is a car company, not a hedge fund or some ideological tool of its executives. To the extent that it does any speculation, it should be in the realm of car production. It should be using excess cash to build factories, hire more people, and stuff like that. If they think that they have more cash than they can usefully spend on that kind of business investment, then they should return it to shareholders through dividends or buybacks. But in the second half of of 2020, Tesla issued at least $10 billion in new TSLA shares. This basically means that they took $10 billion from existing investors by reducing the value of their shares, and now they're using a big chunk of this money to speculate on a very volatile asset. If TSLA shareholders wanted to invest in BTC, they could've done that themselves: they don't need Elon Musk to take money out of their pockets and do it for them.

Now, it could make sense for a company like Tesla to hold BTC, but only for reasons unrelated to speculation. For example:
 - If the dollar was at risk of imminent collapse, but Tesla needed to store value to cover short-term, non-dollar-denominated expenses, it might make some sense to move some of their short-term cash to BTC. There are way less risky ways to hedge against inflation, though, such as through derivative contracts on the commodities that they need or on the TIPS breakeven.
 - If they were having difficulty transacting via the fiat financial system, they might need to hold BTC. It makes sense for cannabis companies to hold a lot of BTC, for example, since the fiat financial system is useless to them.
 - If some of the people they pay would prefer to receive BTC instead of fiat, it might make sense to hold some BTC to cover these expenses.
 - If they wanted to do something that only BTC could do, like some sort of smart contract thing, then it would make sense to hold enough BTC to do that.
 
But I don't think that Tesla actually has anything like those reasons in mind, or at least not significantly. It looks to me like they're sitting on too much cash, Elon likes Bitcoin for mostly ideological reasons (which I agree with!), and so he decided to throw a reckless amount of Tesla's cash at BTC. If Elon wanted to put his personal money into BTC, I'd be all for it, but this just doesn't seem responsible for the company to do. That said, Elon holds the majority of TSLA stock, so in some ways it's not really anyone else's business what he does with the company, though I view this kind of reckless management as unprofessional and outside of the expected behavior for the CEO of a public company. This action (and others) makes it clear that Elon views Tesla as being unlike other public companies, and instead basically an extension of himself to which he's giving other people the opportunity to hitch their wagons, come what may.

It is very bullish for BTC. $100k this year doesn't seem impossible to me anymore. But this is part of a trend of there being way too much money floating around in the system. BTC is getting swept up in the asset bubble of all asset bubbles. There's a high risk IMO that everything (stocks, real estate, BTC, etc.) will come crashing down, though probably not for 6-18 months. It's also possible that this bubble resolves itself through inflation (probably many years of stagflation rather than hyperinflation).

I haven't decided yet whether I think that this asset bubble could possibly be more-or-less maintained without inflation. Could the S&P go up 15% this year and BTC double, but without any subsequent huge crash or substantial CPI inflation? It's difficult for me to believe, but maybe? What would that even mean for the whole concept of assets, wealth, and value?

It's also always possible that BTC will crash. In particular, the higher the price gets, the more likely it is that governments see BTC as a high-priority threat that they need to take out of the picture. It's not easy to make Bitcoin technically unusable, but there are probably actions that the Biden administration could unilaterally take which would crash BTC to sub-$5k, for example
266  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Myanmar coup: The country is now under military rule on: February 07, 2021, 01:00:40 PM
Myanmar is not a country I know too much about, so I did some research due to the coup. This Al Jazeera documentary from a couple years ago is pretty interesting. It sounds like the military was already mostly in charge, and over the last years they've joined with the Buddhist monks to create something of a Buddhist theocracy, similar to some other countries in the region. Even in 2019 it sounded like Aung San Suu Kyi didn't have all that much influence. In the documentary they partially blamed her for the Rohingya oppression, but in hindsight it seems possible that she was just never in a strong enough position to do much.

Is anyone here from Myanmar? I wonder what it's like on the ground there.

But it would be very helpful to hit them with a brigade of sanctions on both their country as a whole and top people to try to make them fall from within.

Did that help with Cuba, Iran, or North Korea? Sanctions often just give the regime someone to blame, and it's the poor who are hurt the most from them.

Quick Aside before I go into the meat of it - How is pod save the world? Been looking into a new podcast that goes in depth into things and it keeps coming up, but curious on what sort of slant I’ll be getting with it.

They have a heavy neoliberal bias. Similar to FiveThirtyEight, whose podcast I do listen to, but Pod Save the World is much lighter on real info, so I don't find it worth the bias. For in-depth US news, I recommend C-SPAN's podcasts: Washington Today, The Weekly, and After Words. (I don't know of a good one for in-depth world news.)
267  Other / Meta / Re: DT update log on: February 02, 2021, 07:49:14 PM
This month 151 users were eligible.

Old:
Code:
HostFat
dooglus
CanaryInTheMine
Balthazar
yxt
A-Bolt
fronti
mprep
Dabs
Foxpup
babo
Cyrus
peloso
ibminer
TookDk
Mitchell
vizique
figmentofmyass
jeremypwr
dbshck
greenplastic
arulbero
Lydian
mindrust
Buchi-88
Lesbian Cow
willi9974
cryptodevil
suchmoon
JayJuanGee
achow101
teeGUMES
owlcatz
examplens
nutildah
dazedfool
minerjones
irfan_pak10
tmfp
BitcoinPenny
Royse777
o_solo_miner
sandy-is-fine
SyGambler
muslol67
LoyceV
actmyname
The Pharmacist
LeGaulois
TwitchySeal
phishead
TryNinja
bob123
eddie13
ekiller
condoras
bL4nkcode
Coin_trader
polymerbit
Yatsan
HCP
finaleshot2016
xtraelv
crwth
webtricks
Ale88
duesoldi
bobita
Vispilio
Baofeng
imhoneer
krogothmanhattan
wolwoo
JollyGood
El duderino_
KTChampions
Coin-1
sheenshane
o_e_l_e_o
logfiles
joniboini
Maus0728
coinlocket$
asche
DdmrDdmr
cabalism13
Hellmouth42
Husna QA
Bthd
fillippone
abhiseshakana
madnessteat
lovesmayfamilis
DireWolfM14
Corrosive
TalkStar
efialtis
Ratimov
zasad@
Rikafip

New:
Code:
theymos
HostFat
gmaxwell
OgNasty
SebastianJu
yxt
qwk
Vod
Anduck
Dabs
Foxpup
babo
Cyrus
Welsh
vizique
Timelord2067
jeremypwr
EFS
yogg
dbshck
greenplastic
hedgy73
hilariousandco
arulbero
Avirunes
Lydian
mindrust
buckrogers
willi9974
cryptodevil
suchmoon
achow101
teeGUMES
owlcatz
examplens
nutildah
minerjones
sapta
irfan_pak10
BitcoinPenny
yahoo62278
zazarb
bill gator
LFC_Bitcoin
sandy-is-fine
klarki
muslol67
LoyceV
SFR10
phishead
TryNinja
bob123
johhnyUA
ekiller
condoras
Coin_trader
polymerbit
Yatsan
HCP
finaleshot2016
xtraelv
crwth
webtricks
Ale88
duesoldi
Kryptowerk
bobita
nullius
Baofeng
imhoneer
krogothmanhattan
RaltcoinsB
El duderino_
Steamtyme
Coin-1
GreatArkansas
sheenshane
vycl87
joniboini
Agrawas
Maus0728
TheBeardedBaby
tvplus006
MoxnatyShmel
dkbit98
witcher_sense
cabalism13
anonymousminer
Bthd
fillippone
taikuri13
abhiseshakana
Coolcryptovator
lovesmayfamilis
DireWolfM14
Corrosive
1miau
YOSHIE
zasad@
Rikafip
268  Economy / Auctions / Advertise on this forum - Round 332 on: February 02, 2021, 12:44:20 PM
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.

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. Hero/Legendary members, Donators, VIPs, and moderators have the ability to disable ads; these people don't increase the impression stats for your ads.

Design & ad restrictions

Ad text may not contain lies, misrepresentation, or inappropriate language. Ads may not link directly to any NSFW page. No ICOs[1], loggable mixers[2], banks, funds, or anything 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.

See the ad design rules for info on designing forum ads.

When advertising a new service, you should always check with me in advance whether your service is OK. I will sometimes accept bids of people who don't do this, but such people are taking the risk of being rejected at the last minute. It's also a good idea for you to have me check your ad's HTML+CSS in advance, especially if this is your first time advertising.

Duration

- Your ads are guaranteed to be up for at least 7 days.
- I usually try to keep ads up for no more than 12 days.
- Sometimes ads might be up for longer, but hopefully no longer than 14 days. Even if past rounds sometimes lasted for long periods of time, you should not rely on this for your ads.

Stats

Exact historical impression counts per slot:
https://bitcointalk.org/adrotate.php?adstats

Info about the current ad slots:
https://bitcointalk.org/adrotate.php?adinfo

Auction rules

New members are likely to have their bids rejected unless they PM me first, telling me what they're going to advertise. New members might also be required to pay some amount in advance. Additionally, 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 mBTC per slot. (10 mBTC = 0.01 BTC.) 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 @ 50 mBTC and this is the highest bid, then he'll get all 9 slots. If the two highest bids are 9 slots @ 40 mBTC and 1 slot @ 50 mBTC, then the first person will get 8 slots and the second person will get 1 slot.

The notation "2 @ 50" means 2 slots for 50 mBTC each. Not 2 slots for 50 mBTC 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, like "5 @ 10 and 1 @ 50".
- All bid prices must be evenly divisible by 5 mBTC.
- The bidding starts at 5 mBTC.
- 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.
- If two people bid at the same price, the person who bid first will have his slots filled first.

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.

Price flattening

At the end of the auction, after the winning bids are all determined, I will do a "price flattening" operation. This has no effect on which bids actually win, but is instead just meant to make the prices actually paid by bidders more equal. For each bid, in order of lowest to greatest price/slot, I will reduce each bid's price/slot to the highest value which is equal to or only the minimum increment greater than the next-lower bid. This allows you to bid higher prices without worrying so much, but you still mustn't bid more than you're willing to pay. Example:

Code:
This:
Slots  mBTC/Slot  Person
    6      200       A
    1      160       B
    1       80       C
    1       80       D

Becomes:
Slots  mBTC/Slot  Person
    6      90       A [step 4: reduced to 85+5=90]
    1      85       B [step 3: reduced to 80+5=85]
    1      80       C [step 2: same as the next-lowest, unchanged]
    1      80       D [step 1: the lowest bid is always unchanged]

Payment, etc.

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.
[2]: A loggable mixer is a service marketed primarily for improving transaction privacy which accepts full custody of cryptocurrency for a time and has the technical ability to log where the cryptocurrency comes from and goes to (even if they promise not to log).
269  Economy / Auctions / Re: Advertise on this forum - Round 331 on: February 02, 2021, 12:43:12 PM
Auction ended, final result:
Slots mBTC/Slot Person
4 10 Stunna
1 5 elianite
1 5 Murat
3 5 DogecoinMachine
270  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Let’s talk about Section 230—and how best to stop the tyranny of Big Tech on: February 02, 2021, 04:08:56 AM
What do you think are the odds that Section 230 is repealed or changed to such an extent that bitcointalk would need to undergo any changes in terms of allowable content?

I think that legal changes in this area which would impact forum operations are pretty likely over the next 10 years, but how big of a problem these changes will be I'm not sure, and it'll probably happen as a very gradual process, not a sudden disaster.

A complete repeal isn't too likely anytime soon, though it's not impossible. I think that if you polled Congress right now, 70% would probably support repeal, but there are effective lobbying efforts to prevent this from actually happening. Most Republican lawmakers shouldn't want to repeal it, so lobbyists just have to make them realize this. Most Democrat lawmakers probably wouldn't mind repealing it, but Big Tech is largely located in deep blue states, and their lobbyists carry a lot of weight with Democrats. I could see a complete repeal happening if anger over Big Tech boils over, both sides blame section 230 rather than other more sane targets (such as antitrust, as nullius mentions), and Big Tech decides that they'll be better off lobbying for repeal than against it. A complete repeal would create huge costs and changes for Big Tech, which is why they lobby against it currently, but a repeal would give them an absolutely massive competitive advantage going forward; Facebook and Google would be becoming the Visa and Mastercard of social networks. It'd be similar to how Amazon eventually lobbied for the ability of states to charge sales tax on online sales: Amazon is among the best-positioned to navigate the thousands of sales tax jurisdictions in the US, use its size to overcome the added pricing pressures of tax on top of delivery fees, and be used as a platform for merchants who can't themselves deal with these things effectively.

Both sides have ideas for hundred-page-laws they'd like to pass in this area, but this isn't likely unless the filibuster is removed or one party gets a supermajority in the future, since everyone wants the tech companies to deplatform more people who they don't like and to stop deplatforming people who they do like, but everyone likes/dislikes totally different groups of people. Chipping away at the edges (like FOSTA-SESTA) is quite likely, and eventually this could accumulate into effectively repealing section 230 "by a thousand cuts".
271  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Let’s talk about Section 230—and how best to stop the tyranny of Big Tech on: February 01, 2021, 10:42:11 PM
Without Section 230, for example, theymos would need to delete all of the posts in the argument between OgNasty and Vod.  I mean all posts, on both sides.  Otherwise, the forum would be legally liable for the factual accuracy of all of their mutual accusations and recriminations.
theymos would be liable for defamation for any false, libelous statements made by either of the parties.

Neither of you are quite right. The forum would not become the publisher of each user's content even if section 230 disappeared. It would not be the same as bitcointalk.org being a newspaper with each poster as a journalist. Rather, it creates the opportunity for tort and criminal cases in the vein of: "bitcointalk.org should have done more to prevent xyz, and is therefore to some extent liable." It's similar to how people are often sued for things that happen on their property, even if they weren't the direct cause of it. If someone trips over a stair on your property, they can sue you for damages. Companies have been sued after people were murdered on their property, even if the companies and their employees had nothing to do with it. There have been criminal cases against property owners over drug deals conducted by third-parties on their property. Etc. None of these cases are certain to succeed against the property owner, but legal cases like these are common and incredibly expensive to defend against. Section 230 allows for any case like this against Internet service providers to be immediately dismissed instead of proceeding to a full court case in which the parties would spend millions of dollars and years of time arguing about the precise extent to which the service provider is actually at fault for the actions of third-parties. (The extent of moderation would impact these arguments about how much liability the provider has in each individual case, but zero moderation wouldn't guarantee zero liability, and extensive moderation wouldn't guarantee publisher-level liability.)

I can tell you what bitcointalk.org would do if section 230 were completely removed overnight: The Marketplace sections would be closed; signatures would be removed; altcoin/token promotion of any kind would probably be banned; and a lot of rules would need to be added. It's not that the forum would clearly be liable for eg. marketplace scammers or libel by forum members -- anyone bringing a case to that effect would have a good chance of losing --, but all of this stuff would create such a huge attack surface for lawsuits that the legal defense costs would end up amounting to tens of millions of dollars, and potentially much more if the forum were to actually lose even one of the hundreds of lawsuits which would be incoming. The scope of the forum would have to be reduced to something that could actually be reasonably defended, rather than the current near-universal scope.

If you don't like "big tech censorship", removing section 230 will force them to censor more to limit their liability, and it will give them a huge competitive advantage over smaller players because they'll have the resources to get as close to the line as possible. Facebook has the cash to endure thousands of incoming lawsuits and win 99.9% of them; your-niche-forum.org does not have these resources. Removing section 230 would move the Internet in the direction of TV as it existed decades ago, where there were only 3 channels and the content on these channels was highly regulated by the government. (Many establishment politicians would be quite pleased with this outcome, and may be intentionally aiming for this.)

If you think that big tech companies should be doing more to protect the public, and you want the government to get involved, you have to consider what happens when the government is controlled by people you don't like. Remember when the Trump administration subpoenaed Dreamhost to get a list of everyone who visited some anti-Trump website? Remember "free speech zones" under Bush? The government could in theory always do everything exactly as you want from now until the end of time, and this is how most people tend to think about the government, but in practice there are always hundreds of things that the government is doing right now that you disagree with, and there will almost certainly be periods in the future where it'll be even much, much worse from your perspective.

The only good solution is to refuse to use sites that have policies you don't like, and use/create alternatives. Keep the government out of it. For example, Parler is one alternative to Twitter, and they're using one alternative to AWS. Decentralized alternatives would be even better. If more people use these alternatives, then the alternatives will get more resources and grow, as long as this growth isn't prevented through eg. regulation. Bitcoin can help with this, in fact, since a lot of stuff throughout the economy is prevented through barriers within the fiat financial system, which is an oligopoly thanks to the same sort of regulatory capture I worry about with Internet regulations. (Eg. Pornhub, marijuana companies, etc. can't use the fiat financial system. I won't be at all surprised if the same happens with Parler and their service providers eventually.)
272  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Joe Biden says transexuals can pick whatever sex they want to be. on: January 23, 2021, 12:55:07 PM
For pro sports, I've long thought that they should split it into several divisions depending on your levels of certain hormones, similar to how fighting sports have weight divisions. Natural hormone levels are a huge determining factor in sports even among people of the same birth sex. Maybe they should even allow people to supplement hormones to bring them up to some standard levels for the division. The vast majority of people are basically excluded at birth from ever competing in eg. the Olympics because no matter how high their personal drive/spirit, they just don't have good enough body chemistry, and is that really fair?

If I was in charge of a school and I was required to preserve exactly two divisions for men and women respectively, I'd probably allow transgender athletes to compete where they want, since it's a school, not a pro sports league, and the risk/cost of emotionally harming a transgender student through ostracism seems higher than the risk of a transgender student intentionally cheating the system and completely ruining everyone else's fun. Owners of schools/leagues/property should have the right to set their own policies, though, including dividing it purely along birth-sex lines if they wish. No need for a one-size-fits-all policy, and I oppose government restrictions on private property owners.
273  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Bernie Sanders is the new Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee on: January 22, 2021, 12:55:36 PM
This means that he can pass budgets through the senate with a simple majority, instead of needing 60 votes.

Not exactly... Once per fiscal year (two this calendar year due to delays) the Senate can pass a budget reconciliation bill with a simple majority. This is limited only to budgetary things, so increasing the minimum wage for example wouldn't be allowed. As chairman of the budget committee, Sanders will have a lot of say in constructing any budget reconciliation bills, but he won't completely control the process or anything.

Senate and House chairmen are very influential in directing the flow of legislation, and they can also easily create news by conducting hearings on whatever they want and calling whoever they want as witnesses. I suppose that Sanders will use the position to push for much higher taxes and much higher spending, but the chairmanship is just a particularly good lever: he can't single-handedly do anything. Keep in mind as well that Democratic leadership wouldn't have made Sanders a chairman if they didn't think that he'd be at least largely controllable by the Democratic party apparatus, so don't expect him to pull any stunts like refusing to cooperate in passing any budgets through his committee if they don't include Medicare for All. Also, AFAIK the Budget Committee is one of the more minor committees; the appropriations committee is more powerful overall in constructing the budget, I think.

Now if the democrats start talking about how the republicans are blocking them on issues like healthcare, stimulus, fighting climate change... They're lying.

True. If all of the Democrats voted as a bloc, then they could get rid of the filibuster and do whatever they want. If anything fails to pass, then it'll ultimately be due to a bipartisan willingness to let it fail.

Exactly what agreement McConnell and Schumer reach on the Senate rules for the next 2 years will be telling. They haven't reached a deal yet, but it sounds like Democrats are willing to give Republicans a lot of power, and McConnell is even pushing for guaranteeing that the filibuster is preserved.
274  Other / Politics & Society / Re: ‘We really are the cucks': QAnon adrift after Trump ‘fails to ascend as God Empe on: January 21, 2021, 11:51:45 PM
IMO almost everyone wants to do good and is a good person at heart, even though almost everyone is also seriously misguided and flawed such that they do a lot of evil. It's easy to be cynical and say that these QAnon people are stupid and/or evil to the core and will just fall for some other con, but I think (and hope) that at least a lot of them actually will wake up to the fact that they've been conned, and they'll be better people for it. If you ever interact with these people, please be kind to them. If you treat them as untouchables, then that will just further entrench them in their beliefs.

The one cast-iron guarantee that the Democrats will remain in power is to create a third party that takes some of the GOP vote.

For a while. Nature (and politics) abhors a vacuum, and eventually either the Republican party or some other party will rise again. The Democratic party would be likely to fracture, for example, since they'd have less external pressure to counterbalance internal pressure. It might take decades to return to two roughly equal-strength parties, though.

The Republicans are in a tough spot. If they get behind the Trump die-hards, then they'll be turning off a lot of people, including many of their traditional voters, and they'll be filling their ranks with irrational people who are less likely to make good strategic decisions. If they reject Trump, then they'll definitely lose the Trump die-hards, who might go create a third party, and who's to say that they'll even get back all of the people they lost under Trump? IMO they probably need to reject Trump, but also rethink the entire composition of their coalition.
275  Economy / Auctions / Advertise on this forum - Round 331 on: January 21, 2021, 01:27:25 PM
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.

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. Hero/Legendary members, Donators, VIPs, and moderators have the ability to disable ads; these people don't increase the impression stats for your ads.

Design & ad restrictions

Ad text may not contain lies, misrepresentation, or inappropriate language. Ads may not link directly to any NSFW page. No ICOs[1], loggable mixers[2], banks, funds, or anything 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.

See the ad design rules for info on designing forum ads.

When advertising a new service, you should always check with me in advance whether your service is OK. I will sometimes accept bids of people who don't do this, but such people are taking the risk of being rejected at the last minute. It's also a good idea for you to have me check your ad's HTML+CSS in advance, especially if this is your first time advertising.

Duration

- Your ads are guaranteed to be up for at least 7 days.
- I usually try to keep ads up for no more than 12 days.
- Sometimes ads might be up for longer, but hopefully no longer than 14 days. Even if past rounds sometimes lasted for long periods of time, you should not rely on this for your ads.

Stats

Exact historical impression counts per slot:
https://bitcointalk.org/adrotate.php?adstats

Info about the current ad slots:
https://bitcointalk.org/adrotate.php?adinfo

Auction rules

New members are likely to have their bids rejected unless they PM me first, telling me what they're going to advertise. New members might also be required to pay some amount in advance. Additionally, 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 mBTC per slot. (10 mBTC = 0.01 BTC.) 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 @ 50 mBTC and this is the highest bid, then he'll get all 9 slots. If the two highest bids are 9 slots @ 40 mBTC and 1 slot @ 50 mBTC, then the first person will get 8 slots and the second person will get 1 slot.

The notation "2 @ 50" means 2 slots for 50 mBTC each. Not 2 slots for 50 mBTC 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, like "5 @ 10 and 1 @ 50".
- All bid prices must be evenly divisible by 5 mBTC.
- The bidding starts at 5 mBTC.
- 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.
- If two people bid at the same price, the person who bid first will have his slots filled first.

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.

Price flattening

At the end of the auction, after the winning bids are all determined, I will do a "price flattening" operation. This has no effect on which bids actually win, but is instead just meant to make the prices actually paid by bidders more equal. For each bid, in order of lowest to greatest price/slot, I will reduce each bid's price/slot to the highest value which is equal to or only the minimum increment greater than the next-lower bid. This allows you to bid higher prices without worrying so much, but you still mustn't bid more than you're willing to pay. Example:

Code:
This:
Slots  mBTC/Slot  Person
    6      200       A
    1      160       B
    1       80       C
    1       80       D

Becomes:
Slots  mBTC/Slot  Person
    6      90       A [step 4: reduced to 85+5=90]
    1      85       B [step 3: reduced to 80+5=85]
    1      80       C [step 2: same as the next-lowest, unchanged]
    1      80       D [step 1: the lowest bid is always unchanged]

Payment, etc.

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.
[2]: A loggable mixer is a service marketed primarily for improving transaction privacy which accepts full custody of cryptocurrency for a time and has the technical ability to log where the cryptocurrency comes from and goes to (even if they promise not to log).
276  Economy / Auctions / Re: Advertise on this forum - Round 330 on: January 21, 2021, 01:27:06 PM
Auction ended, final result:
Slots mBTC/Slot Person
4 10 DogecoinMachine
3 5 BoXXoB
2 5 lightlord
277  Other / Politics & Society / Re: How will Trump leave the White House? on: January 20, 2021, 11:49:34 PM
Walked right out the front door, like I said.

Didn’t have to be dragged through the WH by the secret service, or a swat team or anything like that. Guy left on Air Force One and went down to the Mar A Lago. Guess we’ll see if he starts his own party or does something along those lines.

He continued to say that he wouldn’t be fully out of politics and that he’ll be back in some form.

Yeah, he's always been too lazy/incompetent/unambitious to plan a real coup or anything like that. That said, I had been concerned that he might've gone so far off the deep end that he might do something out of actual insanity, so I'm relieved to see him gone, even though I'm not looking forward to the next 2+ years of Democratic control. I'll be curious to see what Trump does with himself. Probably it'd be best for everyone including himself if he just retires, but that seems unlikely.

Biden's inauguration speech was pretty poor, with a lot of platitudes and politician-speak. He tried to promote unity, but to me this call for unity came across as very fascist/authoritarian (which was also my impression of the DNC); it would've been more appropriate for him to have given the speech in the House where he'd have fasces hanging behind him... Moreover, he clearly wants to reduce tribalism and promote a wider American nationalism, but I think that the majority of Trump's 70+ million voters will hear Biden's speech as calling them white nationalists and domestic terrorists. To be clear: I think that it was and is possible for Biden to speak in a way which does reduce tribalism and make many Trump supporters accept him, and in fact the last few minutes of the speech was better at this, but on the whole this speech will fail to create any actual unity IMO, and it portends perhaps an even more divisive 4 years than the last 4.
278  Economy / Auctions / Re: Advertise on this forum - Round 330 on: January 18, 2021, 08:02:40 PM
9 @ 6 mBTC

I will not accept your bids.

Current status:
Slots mBTC/Slot Person
3 5 BoXXoB
4 5 lightlord
1 5 elianite


The auction continues.
279  Other / Politics & Society / Re: "Happy" Anniversary Covid-19 on: January 12, 2021, 09:50:57 PM
Random reflections on a year of COVID:
  • When the first cases appeared in China, I, like most people, dismissed it as an overblown thing like SARS or bird flu. Obviously it's become a world-shaping event.
  • When the lockdowns started, I thought that they would only last a few months, and even that few months would cause widespread economic ruin. The extended on-again-off-again lockdowns were surprising -- I was especially surprised by people's tolerance for it --, and I was surprised by how well the economy has handled it so far. Underneath the well-performing markets and some improving data, I suspect that there is quite substantial economic (and social) scarring, though.
  • I thought that the lockdowns were stupid when they were enacted, and I still think that they were probably bad ideas when weighing costs and benefits. It's not as if the lockdowns actually stopped the spread in most countries. The only countries that were able to largely stop COVID were extremely repressive regimes like China, and this repression is not an acceptable cost.
  • I don't put any particular blame on Trump, or give him any particular credit. Any other president would've probably taken 95% the same actions. Most Western countries had similar COVID stats regardless of their politics or what responses they took.
  • I'm still unsure whether the overall freakout about COVID was/is actually rational, or whether it was more of an out-of-control meme. Clearly COVID is much worse than flu, and its threat to human life should not be taken lightly, but does it warrant the enormously larger response than flu? I haven't done enough research on the stats to decide on this, and a lot still isn't known.
  • I'm surprised at how I've internalized the stay-at-home mindset, social distancing, mask-wearing, etc. myself. Even knowing that I'm not personally at much risk of dying, I have become super careful about this stuff. I like to think of myself as being sort of separate from society, but clearly I am far from outside of society's influence.
  • The boost in medical research is promising. Genetic engineering and genetic therapies will be important in the future. Vaccines were very much delayed by FDA rules, though. If people had been given the option to take less-than-fully-tested vaccines, various vaccines would've been out to the public in spring 2020 and very widespread by now.
  • COVID is a major turning point in history, probably even bigger than the 9/11 terrorist attack. Trump probably would've won in 2020 if not for COVID. Division was increased between pro-lockdown/anti-lockdown groups, and between people who thrived during the pandemic (largely the already-well-off) and those who were brought to the brink of survival (a lot of the working class). Extreme government spending and money-printing has been normalized worldwide. The majority of people have had their lives substantially disrupted, and have gotten used to a totally different way of living. The economy was damaged in a way that will have long-lasting effects. We're only seeing the tip of the iceberg of all the effects. We're not going "back to normal", that's for sure.
280  Other / Meta / Re: HTTP ERROR 403 on: January 11, 2021, 02:13:02 PM
Fixed, thanks.
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