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Author Topic: Bitcoin is beggining to get "bad" publicity...  (Read 9041 times)
Anonymous
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June 03, 2011, 01:36:41 AM
 #1

Progressives are raving on Twitter about how Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme founded upon faux-libertarian economics. Apparently the UK Serious Fraud office is looking into Bitcoin. A German lobbying group wants none of it. It keeps only getting better and better. How are things going to pan out. If you were a power-hungry government seeing Bitcoin as a threat, what would you first do to see to its destruction? Make it taboo in the eyes of citizens (a threat to freedom, etc.)? ...or raid households that seem to be running a Bitcoin node?

I have a feeling in my gut that things are about to get really exciting.
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June 03, 2011, 01:47:08 AM
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I would try to make it look like the public at large is against Bitcoin by using sockpuppets on social networks. I might hire some people to dig up dirt on early adopters to make them look like scammers. I think that I'd avoid speaking out against them officially except as a last resort.

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June 03, 2011, 01:51:19 AM
 #3

Progressives are raving on Twitter about how Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme founded upon faux-libertarian economics. Apparently the UK Serious Fraud office is looking into Bitcoin. A German lobbying group wants none of it. It keeps only getting better and better. How are things going to pan out. If you were a power-hungry government seeing Bitcoin as a threat, what would you first do to see to its destruction? Make it taboo in the eyes of citizens (a threat to freedom, etc.)? ...or raid households that seem to be running a Bitcoin node?

I have a feeling in my gut that things are about to get really exciting.

They are complete fools. The more they Tweet about the Forbidden Fruit, the more it will consumed. Everyone knows bad publicity is still publicity. I think it's hilarious that they are so up in arms over a currency that has a market cap that is less than $100 million. Far more is laundered and exchanged for illicit goods with U.S. dollars and other currencies.
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June 03, 2011, 01:52:45 AM
 #4

I don't think demonizing bitcoin will work. Hatred toward governments, banks and inequality is so great, and people are so dumb and desperate, that even if bitcoin was a ponzi scheme, majority would jump on the bandwagon just to prove they can rebel

If I was entity with interest in closing bitcoin, I would close the exchanges. Bitcoin doesn't have the critical mass to be effective value exchange between individuals
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June 03, 2011, 02:01:41 AM
 #5

I have concerns about the bitcoin client using IRC. As you may know, all it takes is a simple packet sniff or perhaps a viewing of the source to see where the clients are connecting to. IRC exposes your IP address in normal use. It would only take someone to attach to these channels and ping/info all participants to build a list of nodes in use.

There are ways to move away from this bootstrap scheme, but currently it is a large information hole that will no doubt surprise some Silk Road users. I know that an IP is not some kind of absolute geographical locator, but you can get pretty close, especially if the user has no control over how that connection is made from the bitcoin client.

I support bitcoin, just wanted to point out something that could be used against people. I am sure the devs are aware of this issue and have considered alternatives.

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June 03, 2011, 02:06:00 AM
 #6

I have concerns about the bitcoin client using IRC. As you may know, all it takes is a simple packet sniff or perhaps a viewing of the source to see where the clients are connecting to. IRC exposes your IP address in normal use. It would only take someone to attach to these channels and ping/info all participants to build a list of nodes in use.

There are ways to move away from this bootstrap scheme, but currently it is a large information hole that will no doubt surprise some Silk Road users. I know that an IP is not some kind of absolute geographical locator, but you can get pretty close, especially if the user has no control over how that connection is made from the bitcoin client.

I support bitcoin, just wanted to point out something that could be used against people. I am sure the devs are aware of this issue and have considered alternatives.


And how, in your genius mind, it is going to surprize Silk Road users if they are all on tor?
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June 03, 2011, 02:10:17 AM
 #7

Gavin's Public Relations thread is worth reviewing.
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June 03, 2011, 02:23:56 AM
 #8

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And how, in your genius mind, it is going to surprize Silk Road users if they are all on tor?

I am puzzled why you would state it in that way, I have not stated I am a genius nor ever expect to be. Of course, you could be sarcastically implying that having your public IP displayed in an IRC channel is not an issue. If bitcoin is supposed to at least support some kind of psuedo anonymity via public keys, why add icing on the cake with an actual IP address?

Even Tor advises you to be careful, as network analysis of patterns of communication can be used against you, not to mention hostile exit or entry nodes that only exist to log your behavior. But I am sure you were considering that before you replied.

Do not get snarky with me, I do not appreciate it.

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June 03, 2011, 02:30:18 AM
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And how, in your genius mind, it is going to surprize Silk Road users if they are all on tor?

I am puzzled why you would state it in that way, I have not stated I am a genius nor ever expect to be. Of course, you could be sarcastically implying that having your public IP displayed in an IRC channel is not an issue. If bitcoin is supposed to at least support some kind of psuedo anonymity via public keys, why add icing on the cake with an actual IP address?

Even Tor advises you to be careful, as network analysis of patterns of communication can be used against you, not to mention hostile exit or entry nodes that only exist to log your behavior. But I am sure you were considering that before you replied.

Do not get snarky with me, I do not appreciate it.


I'm just wondering, do realize that once on tor, bitcoin uses alternative peer discovery methods and there's not IRC? If not, maybe you should withhold your comments about Silk Road users being surprized until you learn a little bit about how bitcoin works?
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June 03, 2011, 02:36:53 AM
 #10

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I'm just wondering, do realize that once on tor, bitcoin uses alternative peer discovery methods and there's not IRC? If not, maybe you should withhold your comments about Silk Road users being surprized until you learn a little bit about how bitcoin works?

Then explain why, in a local capture session using Wireshark, I see IRC connections coming from my local bitcoin client? If this has been addressed in the latest public beta, that is something else.

I just don't get why the attitude has to be so abrasive. I like bitcoin, you like it. Hell, I like your avatar. What is it exactly that provokes these displays of harshness where there is no need? I wasn't trying to offend you personally.


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June 03, 2011, 02:44:55 AM
 #11

I have concerns about the bitcoin client using IRC. As you may know, all it takes is a simple packet sniff or perhaps a viewing of the source to see where the clients are connecting to. IRC exposes your IP address in normal use. It would only take someone to attach to these channels and ping/info all participants to build a list of nodes in use.

There are ways to move away from this bootstrap scheme, but currently it is a large information hole that will no doubt surprise some Silk Road users. I know that an IP is not some kind of absolute geographical locator, but you can get pretty close, especially if the user has no control over how that connection is made from the bitcoin client.

I support bitcoin, just wanted to point out something that could be used against people. I am sure the devs are aware of this issue and have considered alternatives.

You realize that your IP is broadcast to the entire Bitcoin network regardless of IRC, right?

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June 03, 2011, 02:51:10 AM
 #12

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You realize that your IP is broadcast to the entire Bitcoin network regardless of IRC, right?

Yes, there is that too - and when (not if) ISPs are directed by governments to filter port 8333 and the like, that will have to be addressed too. I only started with IRC because it may not be obvious to people that is the way the client communicates.

My only intent is to see everything migrate to other methods that make it harder, not easier, to identify instances of the bitcoin client running on a potentially hostile network.

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June 03, 2011, 02:53:16 AM
 #13

Progressives are raving on Twitter about how Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme founded upon faux-libertarian economics.

Do you have anything to show that it is progressives in general, or just individuals who happen (or you believe) to be progressives?
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June 03, 2011, 02:55:37 AM
 #14

If I was a government and wanted to kill Bitcoin, I would fork it.
* Mining difficulty is fixed at 1, but only blocks signed by the government grant coins.
* Government mining with geographically distributed servers to protect against disasters.
* Grant a tax credit if those taxes are paid with the new coins.
* Peg its value to the existing national currency, and offer a simple API to convert back and fourth for existing banks and credit card companies.

Benefits:
* The same convenience benefits of Bitcoin
* Inertia of the existing currency and infrastructure
* A big trustworthy government telling you "it's gonna be OK".
* Association with a powerful people's government, instead of a cabal of selfish libertarian crazies.
* Ability to raise taxes with inflation
* Ability to shut down evil nodes and revoke their coins
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June 03, 2011, 02:56:04 AM
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You realize that your IP is broadcast to the entire Bitcoin network regardless of IRC, right?

Yes, there is that too - and when (not if) ISPs are directed by governments to filter port 8333 and the like, that will have to be addressed too. I only started with IRC because it may not be obvious to people that is the way the client communicates.

My only intent is to see everything migrate to other methods that make it harder, not easier, to identify instances of the bitcoin client running on a potentially hostile network.

It is not the only way and certainly it is not the way it communicates on tor. In fact, you can run your client with noirc=1 in bitcoin.conf and still have fully functioning client.

So my question to you is how Silk Road users are going to be surprized?
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June 03, 2011, 02:59:25 AM
 #16

Any publicity= good publicity

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June 03, 2011, 03:06:50 AM
 #17

Ill use 2.5 men as an example; I never even considered watching it until after Charlie Sheen was "exposed by the media"

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June 03, 2011, 03:07:55 AM
 #18

Apparently the UK Serious Fraud office is looking into Bitcoin.
They are going to have Serious Difficulty to build a fraud case against a 100% voluntary, fully disclosed, over-discussed open source project without themselves being viewed as idiots.
I doubt they have the intelligence to really grasp how bitcoin works.
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June 03, 2011, 03:15:28 AM
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It is not the only way and certainly it is not the way it communicates on tor. In fact, you can run your client with noirc=1 in bitcoin.conf and still have fully functioning client.

So my question to you is how Silk Road users are going to be surprized?

Ah, I see. It is going to be like that, eh?

Okay, I can play ball.

Hostile Exit Nodes  http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=677943

Not Anonymous http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/04/not-anonymous-attack-reveals-bittorrent-users-on-tor-network.ars

Online Idiocy Kills http://beyondclicktivism.com/2011/02/14/online-idiocy-kills/

Among other examples. Executive summary is that Tor isn't perfect, so there are things to worry about in hostile environments.


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June 03, 2011, 03:16:34 AM
 #20

I hope they make us look like pigf*cking sodomite necrophiliac pedophile terrorist racist drug-dealing money-laundering gun-running slave-trading kiddy-porn puppy-stomping paint huffers. I need the price to stay down until I finish buying.  Nothing anybody does will kill Bitcoin. Nothing will stop it except nuclear war or a giant asteroid.  Satoshi Nakamoto himself couldn't stop it now. Critical mass has been reached. There is no going back. Cryptocurrency will be money for our great grandchildren. Austrian economics will be called...economics.

insert coin here:
Dash XfXZL8WL18zzNhaAqWqEziX2bUvyJbrC8s



1Ctd7Na8qE7btyueEshAJF5C7ZqFWH11Wc
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June 03, 2011, 03:18:02 AM
 #21

Ill use 2.5 men as an example; I never even considered watching it until after Charlie Sheen was "exposed by the media"

+1 winning

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Anonymous
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June 03, 2011, 03:20:07 AM
 #22

If I was a government and wanted to kill Bitcoin, I would fork it.
* Mining difficulty is fixed at 1, but only blocks signed by the government grant coins.
* Government mining with geographically distributed servers to protect against disasters.
* Grant a tax credit if those taxes are paid with the new coins.
* Peg its value to the existing national currency, and offer a simple API to convert back and fourth for existing banks and credit card companies.

Benefits:
* The same convenience benefits of Bitcoin
* Inertia of the existing currency and infrastructure
* A big trustworthy government telling you "it's gonna be OK".
* Association with a powerful people's government, instead of a cabal of selfish libertarian crazies.
* Ability to raise taxes with inflation
* Ability to shut down evil nodes and revoke their coins

The only thing the government is any good at is pointing guns and violence. The answer to bitcoin will be one of those two choices.

ninja edit: who can they point guns at? We are legion.  Cheesy
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June 03, 2011, 03:25:36 AM
 #23

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It is not the only way and certainly it is not the way it communicates on tor. In fact, you can run your client with noirc=1 in bitcoin.conf and still have fully functioning client.

So my question to you is how Silk Road users are going to be surprized?

Ah, I see. It is going to be like that, eh?

Okay, I can play ball.

Hostile Exit Nodes  http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=677943

Not Anonymous http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/04/not-anonymous-attack-reveals-bittorrent-users-on-tor-network.ars

Online Idiocy Kills http://beyondclicktivism.com/2011/02/14/online-idiocy-kills/

Among other examples. Executive summary is that Tor isn't perfect, so there are things to worry about in hostile environments.

It has nothing to do with your proposal that bitcoin is using irc and leaking IPs. The only thing you should concern yourself when on tor with bitcoin is that you
DON'T TALK SHIT!

Learning to do a wireshark capture doesn't make you a m4st3r h4x0r. You would know way more by reading our wiki than by using tools way beyond your understanding
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June 03, 2011, 03:30:52 AM
 #24

Progressives are raving on Twitter about how Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme founded upon faux-libertarian economics.
I have a feeling in my gut that things are about to get really exciting.

Yes, we're on the threshold of a metasystem transition, courtesy of bitcoin.

Let the progressive tweeters twitter witlessly about which they know nothing.

The louder they scream and whine, the more publicity and traction is gained for the bitcoin project.

They know they are useless parasites, and that it's almost time to purge western civilization and polite society of their endless complaining.

Progressives and their Banker-Mobster-Rat enablers are the disease.  Bitcoin is the cure.


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June 03, 2011, 03:32:14 AM
 #25

pigf*cking sodomite necrophiliac pedophile terrorist racist drug-dealing money-laundering gun-running slave-trading kiddy-porn puppy-stomping paint huffers.

I've gotta find somewhere I can use that quote, it's great!

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June 03, 2011, 03:34:43 AM
 #26

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It has nothing to do with your proposal that bitcoin is using irc and leaking IPs. The only thing you should concern yourself when on tor with bitcoin is that you

DON'T TALK SHIT!

Learning to do a wireshark capture doesn't make you a m4st3r h4x0r. You would know way more by reading our wiki than by using tools way beyond your understanding

Again, you assign me traits I didn't aspire to acquire. I used wireshark earlier this evening for something totally unrelated, but noticed the IRC traffic it captured when I had the bitcoin client running.

As for your assertion that users can specify -noirc, that is enlightening, but guess what, the average user doesn't give two shits about command line parameters, and even less will even bother looking them up. So it is safe to say they will be using IRC methods.

If the government decides to get all "serious" on us, there are a few vectors they could take.

I keep stating that I support bitcoin, and I believe in it, but all you have to offer is bolded text and fancy font sizes with 1990's color schemes.

Is there a point to it all? Yes. I am concerned that any easy route to mess with bitcoin will make it a short ride, and I have invested enough where that is a liability for me.

I don't get the hostility, honestly. I am not attacking you - or bitcoin for that matter. There are things that need to be addressed, I even admitted that core developers are more aware of the issues than I am, but this is what seems obvious at this point.

Why do you hate me?

fortitudinem multis - catenum regit omnia
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June 03, 2011, 03:40:34 AM
 #27

Ill use 2.5 men as an example; I never even considered watching it until after Charlie Sheen was "exposed by the media"

+1 winning

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June 03, 2011, 03:42:31 AM
 #28

If I were the government trying to stop Bitcoin I'd first get the mainstream media propaganda machine to put out some serious spin on the ideological aspect of it and then I'd move to shutdown all the online exchanges and at the same time forbid any online payment system from dealing with any such exchanges in the future.

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

If however you enjoyed my post: 15j781DjuJeVsZgYbDVt2NZsGrWKRWFHpp
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June 03, 2011, 03:43:55 AM
 #29


The only thing the government is any good at is pointing guns and violence. The answer to bitcoin will be one of those two choices.

ninja edit: who can they point guns at? We are legion.  Cheesy

Exactly. That's why offering a tax (guns) credit and link with the fiat (guns) currency is an advantage we will never have.
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June 03, 2011, 03:51:56 AM
 #30

Why do you hate me?

Probably because you're the 525th person to come in here this week and point out the same perceived "flaws" that have been debated to death on these very forums.  In short, READ THE WIKI BEFORE YOU POST.
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June 03, 2011, 04:02:29 AM
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I doubt they have the intelligence to really grasp how bitcoin works.

ok, i've heard this around here before(end of the forbes article for one), the idea that the government, the people strong enough, powerful enough, confident enough to steal well over half the wealth of its citizens with one hand while destroying other countries and keeping them from doing it to us in return, somehow, with all this pirated wealth have been unsuccessful in hiring anyone who knows anything about technology to be on their team. now, i think our quality of life as humans can be greatly improved, but i think it comes from returning to the use of simple logic that we are all capable of. If you don't like something, explain why, don't just mindlessly belittle it and chuckle about your meaningless unthoughtout insults, it really truly does not help.

bitcool, maybe you should watch bitcoinlady

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMDdTpbAZmE
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June 03, 2011, 04:30:38 AM
 #32

The discussion of how the government is going to stop bitcoin is the same as the highschool principal trying to stop a senior prank.


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June 03, 2011, 04:32:15 AM
 #33

I doubt they have the intelligence to really grasp how bitcoin works.
"they" here is defined as lawyers, not MI6. Maybe it's because I've met too many idiotic yet greedy lawyers and yours are way smarter.

If you don't like something, explain why, don't just mindlessly belittle it and chuckle about your meaningless unthoughtout insults, it really truly does not help.
If you felt insulted, sorry about that. I am not in the mood explaining my feelings.
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June 03, 2011, 04:47:31 AM
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I doubt they have the intelligence to really grasp how bitcoin works.

Don't kid yourself. Don't assume these places hire dummies. I used to work for a market regulatory agency, and some of the smartest people I've ever met worked there. Like one guy who used to work as a lawyer and who had a masters in CS that he pounded out on the side just because he likes computers. These places pay pretty good and they do get talent, and there are people who will work there on principle to help keep the markets safe even if they aren't earning as much as they could/used to in the private sector.

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June 03, 2011, 04:59:10 AM
 #35

Progressives are raving on Twitter about how Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme founded upon faux-libertarian economics.

Do you have anything to show that it is progressives in general, or just individuals who happen (or you believe) to be progressives?


Any takers?
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June 03, 2011, 05:03:05 AM
 #36

Don't kid yourself. Don't assume these places hire dummies. I used to work for a market regulatory agency, and some of the smartest people I've ever met worked there. Like one guy who used to work as a lawyer and who had a masters in CS that he pounded out on the side just because he likes computers. These places pay pretty good and they do get talent, and there are people who will work there on principle to help keep the markets safe even if they aren't earning as much as they could/used to in the private sector.
The fact that they even start thinking about building a fraud case against bitcoin is a sign that they don't understand the system.

"a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraud

A bunch of geeks and hackers got deceived by an open source project? that's funny.

If those government lawyers are really tech savvy and smart, then that's great. Nothing to see here, move along.
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June 03, 2011, 06:16:36 AM
 #37

I hope they make us look like pigf*cking sodomite necrophiliac pedophile terrorist racist drug-dealing money-laundering gun-running slave-trading kiddy-porn puppy-stomping paint huffers. I need the price to stay down until I finish buying.  Nothing anybody does will kill Bitcoin. Nothing will stop it except nuclear war or a giant asteroid.  Satoshi Nakamoto himself couldn't stop it now. Critical mass has been reached. There is no going back. Cryptocurrency will be money for our great grandchildren. Austrian economics will be called...economics.


Hear, hear!

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June 03, 2011, 06:37:10 AM
 #38

I doubt they'll raid people that are mining or just use bitcoin occasionally for legal things, or make you surrender your bitcoins or anything like that. Here's what I bet will happen:

1. Dwolla will suspend MtGox's account from their service, possibly freeze bitcoin user's accounts.
2. MtGox will have its domain name seized by DHS.
3. MtGox will be put under pressure to be shut down completely.
4. Bitcoin price takes a dip triggering a sell-off (hopefully won't be too bad).
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June 03, 2011, 06:48:53 AM
 #39

I'm worried about this situation since governments will look for any excuse they can to thwart anything that threatens their reign over money.
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June 03, 2011, 07:48:17 AM
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Quote

Probably because you're the 525th person to come in here this week and point out the same perceived "flaws" that have been debated to death on these very forums.  In short, READ THE WIKI BEFORE YOU POST.

Thank you then, for demonstrating the key flaw when people 'work' together online. I wasn't given a cursory link to a wiki, or even a single sentence to what was bothering everyone. No, they were fully justified in being A++ douchebags to me because I have the temerity to ask a question.

Great 'spirit' guys. Make sure to save a middle finger for CNN when they ask you the 'obvious' questions later.


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June 03, 2011, 08:03:51 AM
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So my question to you is how Silk Road users are going to be surprized?

Mewants uses silk road to buy the sacred herb for his avatar cat ^ ^
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June 03, 2011, 08:07:06 AM
 #42

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Mewants uses silk road to buy the sacred herb for his avatar cat ^ ^

Given his posting style, I can't find one fault with that statement. In fact, he should do *more* to stay away from a keyboard. Smoke up!

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June 03, 2011, 08:16:42 AM
 #43

I expect governmental responses to Bitcoin will tend to be similar to their responses to illegal narcotics. If they don't manage to kill it off right away they'll marginalize it with propaganda and persecution of users. They can't stop it altogether, but that's something governments have learned to live with already. What I'm wondering is to what extent they can suppress Bitcoin usage.

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June 03, 2011, 08:29:17 AM
 #44

Progressives are raving on Twitter about how Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme founded upon faux-libertarian economics. Apparently the UK Serious Fraud office is looking into Bitcoin. A German lobbying group wants none of it. It keeps only getting better and better. How are things going to pan out. If you were a power-hungry government seeing Bitcoin as a threat, what would you first do to see to its destruction? Make it taboo in the eyes of citizens (a threat to freedom, etc.)? ...or raid households that seem to be running a Bitcoin node?

I have a feeling in my gut that things are about to get really exciting.

Bitcoins one drawback is that so many of it's early adherents are stuck in a Star Wars fantasy land of their own creation.

Only this time the 'good guys' are the Sith....


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June 03, 2011, 08:43:20 AM
 #45

Progressives are raving on Twitter about how Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme founded upon faux-libertarian economics. Apparently the UK Serious Fraud office is looking into Bitcoin. A German lobbying group wants none of it. It keeps only getting better and better. How are things going to pan out. If you were a power-hungry government seeing Bitcoin as a threat, what would you first do to see to its destruction? Make it taboo in the eyes of citizens (a threat to freedom, etc.)? ...or raid households that seem to be running a Bitcoin node?

I have a feeling in my gut that things are about to get really exciting.

No offense OP.. but are you not like 17 years old?

Have you even finished high-school yet?

I remember what my "gut" thought in high-school... and it was usually 100% wrong.
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June 03, 2011, 08:52:40 AM
 #46

Don't kid yourself. Don't assume these places hire dummies.

There is a difference between simply being intelligent and knowing how to use your intelligence.

I know lots of highly intelligent people who fall for the most stupid theories because of group pressure, ideology, or emotional baggage.  I know one guy with IQ 150 who believes in astrology. *eye roll*. Human beings are all kind of crap, really.

People who are both intelligent and wise are very rare indeed, and they don't tend to work for government.

Also, people working for such agencies tend to be sequential thinkers and may struggle to grasp the bigger picture with Bitcoin.


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June 03, 2011, 09:02:45 AM
 #47

"UK Serious Fraud office is looking into Bitcoin" is this based on statement by some idiot sysadmin at a hosting provider who said so while banning a user who used lots of CPU on a "trial account"?

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June 03, 2011, 03:39:23 PM
 #48

I hope they make us look like pigf*cking sodomite necrophiliac pedophile terrorist racist drug-dealing money-laundering gun-running slave-trading kiddy-porn puppy-stomping paint huffers. I need the price to stay down until I finish buying.  Nothing anybody does will kill Bitcoin. Nothing will stop it except nuclear war or a giant asteroid.  Satoshi Nakamoto himself couldn't stop it now. Critical mass has been reached. There is no going back. Cryptocurrency will be money for our great grandchildren. Austrian economics will be called...economics.

Wow.
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June 03, 2011, 03:56:29 PM
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I doubt they have the intelligence to really grasp how bitcoin works.

ok, i've heard this around here before(end of the forbes article for one), the idea that the government, the people strong enough, powerful enough, confident enough to steal well over half the wealth of its citizens with one hand while destroying other countries and keeping them from doing it to us in return, somehow, with all this pirated wealth have been unsuccessful in hiring anyone who knows anything about technology to be on their team. now, i think our quality of life as humans can be greatly improved, but i think it comes from returning to the use of simple logic that we are all capable of. If you don't like something, explain why, don't just mindlessly belittle it and chuckle about your meaningless unthoughtout insults, it really truly does not help.

All government has at its disposal is violence. Violence displaces rational thought. It is not mindless, but it is certainly limited in its ability to utilize the minds of its members. And that is even more true when compared to the market, which is the sum of all voluntary human action - all the creative and analytical thought in the word combined in the most productive of ways.

Observe a spontaneous protest or rally some time. Or read some of the stories of civil disobedience being carried out by Free State Project members. Each and every time, the .gov shows up looking for someone "in charge". They simply cannot comprehend something happening without someone running it from the top down. Now that is not quite the same thing as bitcoin, but it is analogous. Government is predicated on authoritarian violence and the threat thereof. It is saturated with it. All of its "problem solving" consists of taking a hammer to what always looks, to it, like a nail.

Any individual can understand bitcoin, but in the role of a government employee or agent, he would be unable to apply that understanding to the problem. All he can do in that role is think of the best least embarrassing way to use violence to "solve" the problem. It's not that the government is completely impotent to act against bitcoin. It's just that the voluntary, creative, and highly mobile environment of the bitcoin community is exactly the sort of "problem" that governments are least suited to "solve".

All they can do is hurt some people enough to make them stop using it, or scare them with threats. That won't kill bitcoin any more than the War on Drugs has killed cannabis sales in the USA.

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June 03, 2011, 04:49:52 PM
Last edit: June 03, 2011, 08:11:00 PM by cloud9
 #50

Don't only criminals and not bitcoiners in general need to fear non-repressive governments and the democratic law?  Are bitcoiners not on the right side of the law?  Is trading/exchanging cryptographic key pair data rights illegal?  Are there a lot of computer power going into generating these key pairs?  Does the effort in producing these unique key pairs make them valuable (for other cryptographic applications as well due to the key holder having access to the public key and privately holding a valuable key solution - do you need to brute force attack the right to 50 x 1e8 SHA keys for 10 minutes at 4.44 Thas/sec?  Will the effort to brute force break this SHA keys be cheaper than their value?  Are they worth their value?  Are they valuable in cryptographic value, to protect their own value?  Does the key holder have the ownership rights to the key pair as the key holder?  Can you legally transfer your unique digitally protected transferable software licenses if the license allows for that?

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June 03, 2011, 05:19:07 PM
 #51

Don't only criminals and not bitcoiners in general need to fear non-repressive governments and the democratic law?

No. Because all governments are based on repression (of individual rights in favor of the interests of the political class) and democratic law can easily and at any time outlaw any peaceful activity if it is practiced by a minority.

Quote
Are bitcoiners not on the right side of the law?

Currently, yes. But I'd wear it as a badge of honor if we weren't. Laws against peaceful and mutually beneficial activities deserve to be broken.

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June 03, 2011, 05:58:23 PM
 #52

Currently, yes. But I'd wear it as a badge of honor if we weren't. Laws against peaceful and mutually beneficial activities deserve to be broken.

Bitcoin is not "just" for anarchists and state-haters. In fact I beg to differ and refuse to believe it has anything to do with it.

Bitcoin is not ideological. Crypto-currency has no agenda. It is a perfectly legitimate, legally created commodity.

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June 03, 2011, 06:04:42 PM
 #53

It doesn't have to be, but it is inherently disruptive to the status quo, and libertarians and anarchists are going to use it. If you don't want to be affiliated with us, you will have to not use bitcoin. Sorry.

...No wait, I'm actually not sorry. I look forward to more and more people rejecting the political means.

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June 03, 2011, 06:18:23 PM
 #54

Actually, if I were from the Gov, I would simply do some online campaign claiming Bitcoin is EVIL and will make you BANKRUPT, and declare any use of it is ILLEGAL

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June 03, 2011, 06:32:28 PM
 #55

It doesn't have to be, but it is inherently disruptive to the status quo, and libertarians and anarchists are going to use it. If you don't want to be affiliated with us, you will have to not use bitcoin. Sorry.

...No wait, I'm actually not sorry. I look forward to more and more people rejecting the political means.

christ.  Roll Eyes

I will use bitcoins and still think anarcho-caps and libertarians are dumb. Millions of others will use bitcoin and not give a fuck about anarcho-caps and libertarians or what they want to achieve.

Is bitcoin disruptive? Certainly, and a good thing too in my opinion. Sure I want disruption that empowers people, but I'm not interested in the retarded inanities of people whose conception of reality amounts to little more than the self-centered egotistical petty-bourgeois ignorance of those that have never known hunger or oppression. Others just want an easy way to pay for stuff. Ideologies as usual will have to run to keep up with the world before finally falling away with exhaustion. This is how it has always been, and thank fuck for that.

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June 03, 2011, 06:35:28 PM
 #56

I wish you had one coherent clear argument against these supposedly inane ideologies along with a rational defense for your preferred system. If you could do just that, I would respect you; however, so far you have only stated your position, strewn a helter-skelter of ad hominems and fooled yourself into having the last laugh.
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June 03, 2011, 06:39:50 PM
 #57

I wish you had one coherent clear argument against these supposedly inane ideologies along with a rational defense for your preferred system. If you could do just that, I would respect you; however, so far you have only stated your position, strewn a helter-skelter of ad hominems and fooled yourself into having the last laugh.

You're right, perhaps I will start a thread, The G Manifesto.

In the mean time I do not fool myself into having the last laugh, I merely amuse myself in laughing at anarcho-caps and libertarians. I do this because it's easy, and fun.

I should be ashamed of myself though, as it's exactly like picking on autistic children.

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June 03, 2011, 07:22:14 PM
 #58

true and well said, though a bit mean.

on the assumption that it's fine to be a libertarian when you're 17 and only objectionable if you don't outgrow it in your 20s, i'll actually answer atlas's questions in the formal terms that could possibly be persuasive to him. i'll choose to suppose that he'll learn the contextual nuance through experience eventually.

(1) if you oppose state action because of a distaste for 'violence', you ignore even a hint of any consequentialist ethic in dwelling on the state's use of force to impose law rather than on its reduction of violence in imposing law. you also ignore the negative effects of inaction. e.g., you would never kill someone, but you'd have to conclude that it's okay to let them die (rather than, say, impose a small automated tax) of 'violent' forces like illness or starvation. very few people on reflection are willing to admit that they care nothing about the consequences of their moral choices and, accordingly, bar consequentialism entirely from their ethics.

(2) markets are imperfect because (a) the starting position for everyone is not the same, (b) humans are not fully rational, (c) humans face informational asymmetries and other transaction costs in bargaining, (d) much fraud and private coercion goes undetected, including the sort that leads to monopoly and oligopoly, which in turn affects trade.

(3) advocating for a libertarian endpoint makes the same mistake of a greedy algorithm: even if you assume that no government is better than what we have, that doesn't mean that monotonically reducing government (by any measure) is superior. that requires a separate argument that is rarely if ever offered, because it's (surprise!) context-dependent and requires nuance and sensitivity.

(4) most of the criticisms of government 'coercion' are misplaced because they depend on voluntary action. don't like taxes? nobody's 'forcing' you to earn money, and you can move to a regime you prefer. don't like 'fiat currency' because it inflates? then don't hold it long-term. don't like banks because of their relationship to central bankers? nobody says you have to use them; credit unions in the united states often charge no fees and pay higher rates anyway.

(5) there are collective-action problems in many large-scale endeavors, and these relate in complex ways to pecuniary and nonpecuniary externalities. our choices affect others in many ways, not all of which are efficient. good papers on this topic are 'the tyranny of small decisions' and, actually, any good legal textbook on an economics-rich subject like contract or tort. a simple nontechnical example are the environmental costs of industrial activity, but libertarians often have a viscerally negative reaction to that point.

if you're serious about reflecting on your own beliefs, atlas, and aren't just interesting in thumping your chest and repeating the same truisms, i am happy to provide reading materials at any level of sophistication you would prefer.
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June 03, 2011, 07:54:18 PM
 #59

true and well said, though a bit mean.

on the assumption that it's fine to be a libertarian when you're 17 and only objectionable if you don't outgrow it in your 20s, i'll actually answer atlas's questions in the formal terms that could possibly be persuasive to him. i'll choose to suppose that he'll learn the contextual nuance through experience eventually.

I'm not a libertarian. Try political nihilist.

(1) if you oppose state action because of a distaste for 'violence', you ignore even a hint of any consequentialist ethic in dwelling on the state's use of force to impose law rather than on its reduction of violence in imposing law. you also ignore the negative effects of inaction. e.g., you would never kill someone, but you'd have to conclude that it's okay to let them die (rather than, say, impose a small automated tax) of 'violent' forces like illness or starvation. very few people on reflection are willing to admit that they care nothing about the consequences of their moral choices and, accordingly, bar consequentialism entirely from their ethics.

It's impossible not to dwell on the state's use of force because the entire planet is under coercive rule. One should not have to resort to a desert island under your absurd social contract theory. One should be able to interact with other persons with no previous arrangement unless it was one they explicitly agreed to. Not only is a social contract invalid, it serves no utilitarian purpose other than possibly to serve the parasites that benefit from the current status-quo. Which brings up the question is that could a society without our current set of order function better or be on par? That has yet to be determined; however, we remain with a set of order that leaves a lot to be desired.

In addition, to your argument about a lack of order allowing many to starve and die of illness: It simply holds no water. The fact you argue that the labor of many should be enslaved (taxes) to care for the 'less fortunate', only demonstrates a certain belief that humans cannot naturally gain value from voluntarily caring for its fellow man. This is easily destroyed by the fact of the existence of effective charities and it can be further argued that these charities would be a lot more effective if they wouldn't have to compete with government monopolies on force and the ineffective systems of welfare it supports.

Simply put, there is little ground supporting the current status-quo over trying new regimes.


(2) markets are imperfect because (a) the starting position for everyone is not the same, (b) humans are not fully rational, (c) humans face informational asymmetries and other transaction costs in bargaining, (d) much fraud and private coercion goes undetected, including the sort that leads to monopoly and oligopoly, which in turn affects trade.

The starting positions for people will never be the same and I have yet to see a solid argument proving that there is something wrong with this. In fact, 'poverty-stricken' nations tend to be the most well-off in terms of happiness. Citations can be provided upon request. Also, of course humans are not fully rational, so why in the name of all that is rational would you want to put a few humans in the charge of the regime of life and our affairs? In addition, what makes you think a central regime can detect more fraud than through voluntary means? Won't a central regime with a monopoly on force would simply act more in its best-interest and encourage more fraud?

This holds absolutely no water.


(3) advocating for a libertarian endpoint makes the same mistake of a greedy algorithm: even if you assume that no government is better than what we have, that doesn't mean that monotonically reducing government (by any measure) is superior. that requires a separate argument that is rarely if ever offered, because it's (surprise!) context-dependent and requires nuance and sensitivity.

Of course but the amount of government control, it's techniques and much of its variables have been tried with absolute failure, starvation and holocaust. Really trying anything else would be better than trying the same shit again.


(4) most of the criticisms of government 'coercion' are misplaced because they depend on voluntary action. don't like taxes? nobody's 'forcing' you to earn money, and you can move to a regime you prefer. don't like 'fiat currency' because it inflates? then don't hold it long-term. don't like banks because of their relationship to central bankers? nobody says you have to use them; credit unions in the united states often charge no fees and pay higher rates anyway.

Invalid argument. Monopolies on force disrupt the ability for voluntary services to thrive for they would only threaten the enabled bodies. Also, we are forced to earn money and sustain ourselves by our very right to life. You are indirectly implying the right to live is negotiable. That the right for an individual to sustain himself can be somehow compromised.


(5) there are collective-action problems in many large-scale endeavors, and these relate in complex ways to pecuniary and nonpecuniary externalities. our choices affect others in many ways, not all of which are efficient. good papers on this topic are 'the tyranny of small decisions' and, actually, any good legal textbook on an economics-rich subject like contract or tort. a simple nontechnical example are the environmental costs of industrial activity, but libertarians often have a viscerally negative reaction to that point.

We all affect each other. So, somehow, in your arrogance that it's best we elect a powerful few to somehow effectively manage it all? There is no point here.

if you're serious about reflecting on your own beliefs, atlas, and aren't just interesting in thumping your chest and repeating the same truisms, i am happy to provide reading materials at any level of sophistication you would prefer.

You're an arrogant, pedantic, hypocritical individual.
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June 03, 2011, 08:03:11 PM
 #60

ah, well. ~~~~~, you were right.
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June 03, 2011, 08:05:11 PM
 #61

You've offered nothing. You stated nothing but rhetoric with no sound argument. No real counter. Just faith in the status-quo. You hold no higher ground but only willful ignorance.
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June 03, 2011, 08:41:40 PM
 #62

"UK Serious Fraud office is looking into Bitcoin" is this based on statement by some idiot sysadmin at a hosting provider who said so while banning a user who used lots of CPU on a "trial account"?

I think what happened was that this sysadmin read about bitcoins and got scared, called the SFO and was told "thank you, we have taken down these details and will deal with the matter as necessary". This doesn't mean a detailed investigation has actually opened nor does it mean the UK SFO are actually suspicious about bitcoins (yet). It does mean that a few people in SFO are going to discuss bitcoins and figure out whether it's in their remit to look at it or not.
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June 03, 2011, 08:52:01 PM
 #63

If anyone cares they can comment on these two articles and set them straight like I did:

"How to Purchase Guns and Drugs Anonymously"

http://blogs.forbes.com/benzingainsights/2011/06/03/how-to-purchase-guns-and-drugs-anonymously/

http://www.benzinga.com/trading-ideas/long-ideas/11/06/1137434/how-to-purchase-guns-and-drugs-anonymously

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

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June 03, 2011, 09:13:06 PM
 #64

I hope they make us look like pigf*cking sodomite necrophiliac pedophile terrorist racist drug-dealing money-laundering gun-running slave-trading kiddy-porn puppy-stomping paint huffers. I need the price to stay down until I finish buying.  Nothing anybody does will kill Bitcoin. Nothing will stop it except nuclear war or a giant asteroid.  Satoshi Nakamoto himself couldn't stop it now. Critical mass has been reached. There is no going back. Cryptocurrency will be money for our great grandchildren. Austrian economics will be called...economics.


Hear, hear!

Hear, Hear !

made  my day!

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June 03, 2011, 09:39:40 PM
 #65


Time to shrug.

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June 03, 2011, 09:52:41 PM
 #66


They are doing us free publicity with that. People will read that article, they will see Bitcoin interesting and get attracted to it. By the time they learn that it's not anonymous at all they'll be convinced anyways.

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June 03, 2011, 09:54:03 PM
 #67

ah, well. ~~~~~, you were right.

Actually I found Atlas' answers to your points pertinent and well argued. If anything he gave you proper reply, so unlike the 17yo answer your were expecting. This calls for proper answer, unless you want to be branded the childish speaker harboring truisms. Awaiting for your enlightenment as of why the current state of affairs should be maintained regardless of its countless documented failures.

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June 03, 2011, 10:15:54 PM
 #68

Laughing is certainly easier than thinking.

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June 03, 2011, 10:38:36 PM
 #69

Actually I found Atlas' answers to your points pertinent and well argued. If anything he gave you proper reply, so unlike the 17yo answer your were expecting.

i wasn't expecting or asking for a reply. what he wrote wasn't even slightly responsive, however. the problem here is that people think they're offering new thoughts on grand questions that have been debated to death by countless others who have examined the propositions in much greater detail. read 'anarchy, state, and utopia' and then nozick's own refutation of it, as a start. looking for new political thoughts in this forum is a fool's exercise.

in the end, almost no experienced policymaker or businessperson is an extreme libertarian (or whatever other minor variant of it you want to call your own ideology). you can come up with psychological theories for that ('the rest suckle the teat of the state' is a common one) or dwell on the exceptions (like peter thiel, for whom the first words that come to mind would probably be even too uncivil for this forum), but the beliefs are almost inconsistent with having significant real-world business experience in the end.

i know it doesn't satisfy the craving some seventeen-year-olds have for formal logic as applied in the political sphere, but it's hard not to let your interlocutor's absence of any experience enter your thoughts, even if that means you're resting partly on authority. dozens of people work for me, and i've created significant wealth for myself and for others. it's hard to debate 'political nihilism based on voluntary contract' with someone who's probably never negotiated or signed a single complicated voluntary contract and has no detailed understanding of contract law.

law is complex and subtle. it's more complex and subtle in the common-law world than in civil-law countries, though even then the difference isn't as stark as some continental commentators would like to suggest. it's fact-based and messy, like all practical reasoning. to boil it down to 'governments have done some bad things, thus there should not be governments' is exactly as juvenile as it sounds, and it deserves a laugh because i've never encountered an ideologue whose mind was changed by logical argument rather than by outgrowing their fringe beliefs.

one issue may be that certain conclusions are accepted on faith (on both sides!), and thus argument is pointless. if you accept on faith that the goal of all practical reason is to promote 'human freedom', and by 'human freedom' you mean the absence of government, then there's nothing i can say to convince you that libertarianism is mistaken. if, on the other hand, you are at least moderately a consequentialist, at least i can point you to empirical studies of happiness and make arguments about the cost-benefit analysis of various policies. very rarely is it clear which group the extremists on this forum fall into, however, and relatively few have even thought about it.

have you witnessed any political growth in this forum, ever, on anyone's part? if not, why shouldn't people simply laugh at foolishness?
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June 03, 2011, 11:20:01 PM
 #70

Actually I found Atlas' answers to your points pertinent and well argued. If anything he gave you proper reply, so unlike the 17yo answer your were expecting.

i wasn't expecting or asking for a reply. what he wrote wasn't even slightly responsive, however. the problem here is that people think they're offering new thoughts on grand questions that have been debated to death by countless others who have examined the propositions in much greater detail. read 'anarchy, state, and utopia' and then nozick's own refutation of it,


Just because I'm amused by your opinions and your rejection of logic in public policy, I just have to point out that the above is an 'appeal to authority' fallacy.  It's every bit as wrong for you to expect us to read Nozick and agree with his conclusions as it would be for us to expect you to read Mises and do the same.  If you can't articulate the point without dropping names, you don't have a point.  Did you learn to debate on the Internet?
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looking for new political thoughts in this forum is a fool's exercise.

In addition to being generally offensive, this entire subject is off topic, and if you intend to continue there are better sections of the forum for this debate.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 03, 2011, 11:24:05 PM
 #71

Progressives are raving on Twitter about how Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme founded upon faux-libertarian economics.

Do you have anything to show that it is progressives in general, or just individuals who happen (or you believe) to be progressives?


Any takers?

No takers and no sources.

Atlas, you've given us absolutely nothing.
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June 03, 2011, 11:26:09 PM
 #72

Just because I'm amused by your opinions and your rejection of logic in public policy, I just have to point out that the above is an 'appeal to authority' fallacy.

you didn't read carefully enough; i made a far more direct, outright appeal to authority later in my message!

you're entirely wrong, though, and it's demonstrative of the inability of people to read carefully in this forum. my reference to nozick was not at all a citation of authority. it was just a plea that people try reading something where all their ideas have already been defended better than they're defending them. i'm the last person who would cite nozick as an authority because i agree with almost nothing he wrote (except his temporary repudiation of part of it).

have you read him? you're writing as if you have no idea what he wrote or what positions he took. again, they are not even remotely consistent with mine.

have you even read mises?

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this entire subject is off topic, and if you intend to continue there are better sections of the forum for this debate.

yes, fair enough.
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June 03, 2011, 11:29:55 PM
 #73

i'm the last person who would cite nozick as an authority because i agree with almost nothing he wrote (except his temporary repudiation of part of it). have you read him?

Age is catching up to me, I honestly can't remember.

Quote
have you even read mises?

Yes.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 03, 2011, 11:43:34 PM
 #74

i wasn't expecting or asking for a reply. what he wrote wasn't even slightly responsive, however. the problem here is that people think they're offering new thoughts on grand questions that have been debated to death by countless others who have examined the propositions in much greater detail. read 'anarchy, state, and utopia' and then nozick's own refutation of it, as a start. looking for new political thoughts in this forum is a fool's exercise.

Yet the point is that Atlas made this thread about the bad rap Bitcoin is getting, and someone brought in the political sauce to it, side discussion to which you contributed. I understand clearly from your stance that you think yourself far superior in experience and wisdom than the common poster on this forum when it comes to political matters, even though it doesn't surprise me since you fancy yourself as a "connaisseur" and this forum is about technology and economics, both which are not directly related to politics.

Under these premises that I think you will agree to, I am trying to understand now the motive for your posts and their content. I frankly do not understand why you are willing to take part in a political discussion on a forum that isn't dedicated to such topic to only state to your detractors that the level in here is too low to deserve any contribution from your part. You are either genuinely attempting to elevate the discussion in here, in which case you can't deter from any arguments based on the premise that it is too low and unrefined for you, or you are being dishonest and reluctant to discuss in the very fashion you are accusing others of.

Also, this is a public forum, you might not be asking for replies, but you should certainly expect some. I think to establish a proper level of respect between the speakers, it is required that you either answer to post directed to you or you admit the point over and done. Which is not what you are doing. You are attacking the writer, not the content delivered. I regard this as disrespectful considering the people who answered you took the time read your posts and provide proper and honest answers. If you wish for such grandeur of speech, you ought to show the way.

Quote
in the end, almost no experienced policymaker or businessperson is an extreme libertarian (or whatever other minor variant of it you want to call your own ideology). you can come up with psychological theories for that ('the rest suckle the teat of the state' is a common one) or dwell on the exceptions (like peter thiel, for whom the first words that come to mind would probably be even too uncivil for this forum), but the beliefs are almost inconsistent with having significant real-world business experience in the end.

That's funny. The first thought that crossed my mind is that people nursing such political thoughts would naturally act against governmental expansion, which would in return close them doors in the political world, or they would altogether not seek office. It is but natural to expect people you qualify as idealists to stick to their ideals, isn't it?

Quote
i know it doesn't satisfy the craving some seventeen-year-olds have for formal logic as applied in the political sphere, but it's hard not to let your interlocutor's absence of any experience enter your thoughts, even if that means you're resting partly on authority.

A pure logical argument can subvert the need for common knowledge. I think politics are abstract enough at their core to allow for such arguments to prevail. And I think you should give it a try before dismissing the possibility of your interlocutor grasping the concepts you are trying to convey. I'll say it again, I think Atlas made valid points against your prior arguments, and you haven't answered them. As a detractor of your ideas, I could just as well accuse you to refuse to confront your points with someone that doesn't share your views of politics to begin with. This will only result in a succession of ad hominem stands on both sides until you chose to either attempt to refute Atlas' points or step out of this discussion. I'll view any other action from your part in this thread as proof that you are being dishonest about your intention to engage into a proper argument.

Quote
dozens of people work for me, and i've created significant wealth for myself and for others. it's hard to debate 'political nihilism based on voluntary contract' with someone who's probably never negotiated or signed a single complicated voluntary contract and has no detailed understanding of contract law.

law is complex and subtle. it's more complex and subtle in the common-law world than in civil-law countries, though even then the difference isn't as stark as some continental commentators would like to suggest. it's fact-based and messy, like all practical reasoning. to boil it down to 'governments have done some bad things, thus there should not be governments' is exactly as juvenile as it sounds, and it deserves a laugh because i've never encountered an ideologue whose mind was changed by logical argument rather than by outgrowing their fringe beliefs.

I'm quite startled by this stance. The frame upon which our current political system is built, which you appear to support, has been crafted in antiquity, and it's forefather, Plato and friends, have made quite a point of proving that politics is the affairs of every citizen, disregarding experience and standing. I think a quick re-read of the dialogue "Protagoras" will get you back on track on this one. Certainly laws are complicated to write, for them to be rigorous in such fashion that there is no room for interpretation outside of their original intent, but the rule the law is meant to convey is simple, and debatable by all. Unless you are refuting the very frame of republic and democracy, in which case I wonder who is the most anarchist of us 2.

Quote
if, on the other hand, you are at least moderately a consequentialist, at least i can point you to empirical studies of happiness and make arguments about the cost-benefit analysis of various policies. very rarely is it clear which group the extremists on this forum fall into, however, and relatively few have even thought about it.

I'm open to discussion, but let me make things clear when it comes to me, since I can only speak for myself and only wish to do so: I do not hold happiness to be synonymous of freedom. I also am more concerned about being in control of what it is that will cost me more than it's perceived efficiency. You can't properly discuss politics with an anarchist or a libertarian if you refuse to discuss the argument regarding aggression and the use of force by the government. I can just as well say you are stuck on your principles and deaf to my plea. Unless you're willing to agree on some middle ground for the premise leading to such discussion, nothing will happen. You have to perform a gesture to prove you stand by your own words before you can sermon others with them.

Quote
have you witnessed any political growth in this forum, ever, on anyone's part? if not, why shouldn't people simply laugh at foolishness?

You seem to overestimate the power of argumentation, and I'll wager that your stance is not humble enough for others to listen to you without animosity. If your wish is but to laugh at the content of the discussions in here, a simple "lol" will do. Calling people names on the other hand, will result in retaliation.

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June 04, 2011, 12:22:43 AM
 #75

I have a feeling in my gut that things are about to get really exciting.

Have you seen the charts? http://bitcoincharts.com/markets/mtgoxUSD.html

Dollar parity was "really exciting". We're way past that!

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June 04, 2011, 01:35:27 AM
 #76

I'm always wryly amused at how statists always think that libertarians couldn't possibly have read the works of people who support their position. "Read Nozick!" Because I couldn't possibly have read Nozick already and found his arguments to be insufficient to overcome objections which were so obvious to me that I came up with them without even having read the thorough (and heretofore unanswered) rebuttals published in response to him. No, I must be completely ignorant.  Cheesy

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June 04, 2011, 01:44:13 AM
 #77

for crying out loud.

as i've explained twice now, nozick is a libertarian (as you'd surely know if you'd in fact read him), and i wasn't citing him as authority. i was citing him as an example of a more thorough and intelligent set of arguments than the ones being offered here, even though i don't agree with them. why is accurate reading comprehension such a difficulty here?

that's a third time. do i need to do it a fourth?

the irony is that in responding a point i didn't make while pretending not to be ignorant, you've demonstrated your very ignorance. you couldn't possibly think nozick supports me if you've read him.
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June 04, 2011, 01:49:03 AM
 #78

UNK, I totally agree with your motives. You're a fine gentlemen. You have my upmost respect.

These arguments tend to be very shallow and I'm glad to see somebody who relates. It's a pleasure to meet you.
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June 04, 2011, 02:00:10 AM
 #79

Unk, you seem to have missed my point: You assumed that we had not read Nozick. At least in my case, you assumed wrongly. That is all. I know that Nozick is thought to be a libertarian, and it's very clear that you aren't. I was under the impression that you were calling Nozick to the stand because he was a "libertarian" who argued for a minimal state, thus making him superior in your mind to anarchist (i.e., consistent) libertarians, or as you put it, he "argued better" than we did. I thought it reasonable to presume that you think he argued better than we because his position is closer to yours than ours, because it frankly makes no sense whatsoever to critique the argumentation style or quality of random people on the internet by referring them to a professional academic which you presume we have not read. Of course we aren't as good at presenting ideas as a professional academic. We're amateurs, at least most of us. It has nothing to do with who we have and haven't read.

In any case, Nozick is a poor choice for that. He was not a libertarian for most of his life. In fact he doesn't seem to have had any particular position on political ethics at all. His writings read more like "what if" maunderings than systematic treatments of any idea, positive or negative. From the time that he published Anarchy, State, and Utopia to the time of his death he had been a neoconservative, a social democrat, and an apathetic nihilist. I don't really care to mine the writings of such a muddle-headed and unprincipled thinker as he was for tips on how to present my ideology.

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June 04, 2011, 02:11:11 AM
 #80

Of course we aren't as good at presenting ideas as a professional academic. We're amateurs, at least most of us. It has nothing to do with who we have and haven't read.

that's my only point.

as it happens, among other things, i'm a professional academic myself, hence my frustration with the debate. as goatpig rightly points out in a particularly thoughtful response, i probably just shouldn't enter them here. 'i think someone's wrong on the internet' syndrome and so forth . . .

my apologies if my prior post was given in an exasperated tone.
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June 04, 2011, 02:20:40 AM
 #81

I'm always wryly amused at how statists always think that libertarians couldn't possibly have read the works of people who support their position. "Read Nozick!" Because I couldn't possibly have read Nozick already and found his arguments to be insufficient to overcome objections which were so obvious to me that I came up with them without even having read the thorough (and heretofore unanswered) rebuttals published in response to him. No, I must be completely ignorant.  Cheesy

as i've explained twice now, nozick is a libertarian (as you'd surely know if you'd in fact read him), and i wasn't citing him as authority. i was citing him as an example of a more thorough and intelligent set of arguments than the ones being offered here, even though i don't agree with them. why is accurate reading comprehension such a difficulty here?

There is a saying that he who lives in a glass house shouldn't throw stones. Smiley


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June 04, 2011, 02:24:29 AM
 #82

i'm not sure what your point is. 'Because I couldn't possibly have read Nozick already and found his arguments to be insufficient' was surely ironic, not factual.
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June 04, 2011, 02:27:56 AM
 #83

For a professional academic, you sure know how to give such frivolous issues your time and energy. Haha.
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June 04, 2011, 02:28:12 AM
 #84

My point was that Nozick didn't defend libertarian ideas very well at all in my opinion. I suppose I didn't make that clear.

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June 04, 2011, 03:00:42 AM
 #85

Given your criticism against MacFall I think it is fair and proper that I am a little direct. If MacFall hadn't read Nozick, what did he mean exactly when he said he "... found his arguments to be insufficient to overcome objections ... obvious ... without even having read the ... rebuttals"? Where did he 'find' these arguments do you suppose?

Since your response was unrelated to what MacFall actually said, it would seem you had not actually fully read what he wrote before you criticised his reading comprehension. An honest mistake I'm sure, but I found it amusing given the circumstances.


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June 07, 2011, 12:37:09 AM
Last edit: February 09, 2015, 06:09:22 AM by iCEBREAKER
 #86

My point was that Nozick didn't defend libertarian ideas very well at all in my opinion. I suppose I didn't make that clear.

 Shocked  Are you seriously trying to find fault with the late, great Robert Nozick on a bitcoin msg board completely full of info-anarchist and cyber-libertarian types?

OH NO YOU DIDN"T!!!  

Nozick was a professional logician and philosopher.  His Ultimate Defense of Liberty (a book called Anarchy, State, and Utopia) won the Book of the Year award.  How many vastly-influential bestsellers have you put out.  My guess would be 'zero.'

How long have you been a tenured Harvard professor?  Oh that's right you don't even teach at the local podunk junior community college.  

Yet, you disrespect the accomplishments of your superiors, via appeal to your own glorious Jesus-drenched personal opinion.  If you intended to persuade anyone besides yourself that your opinion is more than a gnat compared to Nozick's elephant, citing something besides your knee-jerk reaction would be advisable.

You keep name-checking Nozick and claiming to have understood his argument, while seeing through its fatal flaws with your monotheist death-god annointed vision.  But there's no reference to anything that Nozick wrote, only to his name and your amazing secret discovery of his hidden weaknesses.

And you wrap your inordinate self-regard in Christian superstitions, which you proudly display on your electronic sleeve.  How typical.

I've had enough of ignorant Fundy hicks insulting great men of mind such as Prof. Nozick.  It's time to push the personal criticism squarely back, onto both the mouthy, semi-educated liberal polisci hacks and the blue-nosed bumpkins who, while normally enemies, waste no time when uniting to disparage and attack brilliant thinkers like Nozick and libertarianism in general.

How often are you called upon to defend individual freedoms from hideous, terrible statist monsters like the incomprehensible John Rawls?  Probably never, because you're simply not up to the task.

"Anarchy, State, and Utopia" is one of the best books ever written.  That's why it's required reading for so many university classes (unlike anything you have or ever will have produced in your entire life).

With immense clarity and articulation, Nozick laid out and rigorously examines the case for the minimal night-watchman state with the practiced, orderly precision of a sushi chef.  

Then he proceeds to gut, fillet, and serve both stinking anarchist and Holier-than-though do gooders, like the mating pair of poisonous pufferfish they are.

When you try to tear down a great historical figure like Nozick, who is so much more respected and beloved than your entire family tree will ever be, using only negative feelings and emotional poo-pooing, it tells us far more about you than him.

I'd love to see you spend just ten minutes struggling as you try and read one his more technical books on the perennial mysteries, such as "Philosophical Explanations."  

Your simplistic, fable-filled head would explode on contact which such a dense tome of critical thinking.  All you would know is that you can always one-up anyone by saying "Well I put God on top of that."

But whatever, not everyone is cut out to live "The Examined Life" of a philosopher.  That's why the superstitious version of religion (you know, the one that makes dumb asses feel qualified by mere Falwellian faaaaayyyyth to disregard anything beyond their limited comprehension as 'unconvincing') is so popular.


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June 07, 2011, 01:00:30 AM
 #87

Appeals to authority, unfounded assumptions, ad hominems, and non sequiturs abound in the above post. Oh, and name-calling. Considering that plus the amount of vitriol, I suspect trollage. And badly done trollage at that. Go back to YouTube.

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June 07, 2011, 10:00:45 AM
 #88

My point was that Nozick didn't defend libertarian ideas very well at all in my opinion. I suppose I didn't make that clear.

 Shocked  Are you seriously trying to find fault with the late, great Robert Nozick on a bitcoin msg board completely full of info-anarchist and cyber-libertarian types?

OH NO YOU DIDN"T!!! 

Nozick was a professional logician and philosopher.  His Ultimate Defense of Liberty (a book called Anarchy, State, and Utopia) won the Book of the Year award.  How many vastly-influential bestsellers have you put out.  My guess would be 'zero.'

How long have you been a tenured Harvard professor?  Oh that's right you don't even teach at the local podunk junior community college. 

Yet, you disrespect the accomplishments of your superiors, via appeal to your own glorious Jesus-drenched personal opinion.  If you intended to persuade anyone besides yourself that your opinion is more than a gnat compared to Nozick's elephant, citing something besides your knee-jerk reaction would be advisable.

You keep name-checking Nozick and claiming to have understood his argument, while seeing through its fatal flaws with your monotheist death-god annointed vision.  But there's no reference to anything that Nozick wrote, only to his name and your amazing secret discovery of his hidden weaknesses.

And you wrap your inordinate self-regard in Christian superstitions, which you proudly display on your electronic sleeve.  How typical.

I've had enough of ignorant Fundy hicks insulting great men of mind such as Prof. Nozick.  It's time to push the personal criticism squarely back, onto both the mouthy, semi-educated liberal polisci hacks and the blue-nosed bumpkins who, while normally enemies, waste no time when uniting to disparate and attack brilliant thinkers like Nozick and libertarianism in general.

How often are you called upon to defend individual freedoms from hideous, terrible statist monsters like the incomprehensible John Rawls?  Probably never, because you're simply not up to the task.

"Anarchy, State, and Utopia" is one of the best books ever written.  That's why it's required reading for so many university classes (unlike anything you have or ever will have produced in your entire life).

With immense clarity and articulation, Nozick laid out and rigorously examines the case for the minimal night-watchman state with the practiced, orderly precision of a sushi chef. 

Then he proceeds to gut, fillet, and serve both stinking anarchist and Holier-than-though do gooders, like the mating pair of poisonous pufferfish they are.

When you try to tear down a great historical figure like Nozick, who is so much more respected and beloved than you're entire family tree will ever be, using only negative feelings and emotional poo-pooing, it tells us far more about you than him.

I'd love to see you spend just ten minutes struggling as you try and read one his more technical books on the perennial mysteries, such as "Philosophical Explanations." 

Your simplistic, fable-filled head would explode on contact which such a dense tome of critical thinking.  All you would know is that you can always one-up anyone by saying "Well I put God on top of that."

But whatever, not everyone is cut out to live "The Examined Life" of a philosopher.  That's why the superstitious version of religion (you know, the one that makes dumb asses feel qualified by mere Falwellian faaaaayyyyth to disregard anything beyond their limited comprehension as 'unconvincing') is so popular.

Lol Grin

You an me, we certainly don't agree about politics, but I did enjoy that^. Wink

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