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Author Topic: A basic paper on Bitcoin ethics. Considerations for the btc community.  (Read 2167 times)
phoebusg
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June 04, 2011, 10:10:14 AM
 #1

http://www.scribd.com/doc/57071530/Bitcoin-Ethics

Read at your convenience and discuss. We could use this as source to develop a larger document for bitcoin ethics - to ensure a healthy community grows around bitcoin protecting it in a way and mediating its growth.

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carlerha
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June 04, 2011, 10:39:52 AM
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I didn't read your article yet, but immediately reacted to the  "Bitcoin: Freedom or Anarchy?" statement/question.
Please restate this, as anarchy is indeed the ultimate form of freedom.
Definition: "absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual".

Edit: I discovered that the word 'anarchy' is also validly defined as "confusion/disorder", which is nonsense, regarding the original latin etymology saying an-archy = not-power/authority. It's a result of people successfully planting negative co-notations in a word, essentially to the point where it is adopted in the dictionary. Saying that anarchy is disorder and confusion is like saying that the word car means global warming and death.

phoebusg
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June 04, 2011, 11:44:29 AM
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It'd be nice if you went further than the title. Even the abstract would do. No I'm going to keep it because it fits the content and gets more attention Tongue

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June 04, 2011, 12:02:19 PM
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It'd be nice if you went further than the title. Even the abstract would do. No I'm going to keep it because it fits the content and gets more attention Tongue

I won't bother reading anything with such an ignorant title, I doubt the content would be any better informed. Anarchy is defined as the absence of hierarchy and is not at all incompatible with freedom.
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June 04, 2011, 01:32:39 PM
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I didn't read your article yet, but immediately reacted to the  "Bitcoin: Freedom or Anarchy?" statement/question.
Please restate this, as anarchy is indeed the ultimate form of freedom.
Definition: "absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual".

Edit: I discovered that the word 'anarchy' is also validly defined as "confusion/disorder", which is nonsense, regarding the original latin etymology saying an-archy = not-power/authority. It's a result of people successfully planting negative co-notations in a word, essentially to the point where it is adopted in the dictionary. Saying that anarchy is disorder and confusion is like saying that the word car means global warming and death.

It'd be nice if you went further than the title. Even the abstract would do. No I'm going to keep it because it fits the content and gets more attention Tongue

I won't bother reading anything with such an ignorant title, I doubt the content would be any better informed. Anarchy is defined as the absence of hierarchy and is not at all incompatible with freedom.

I read it all and it's not as extreme as you guys think it is. He's still a statist though. But I'm glad that you (phoe) acknowledge that this is the end for the state. The Bit Revolution has begun.
WNS
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June 04, 2011, 02:02:45 PM
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Your paper makes a number of basic errors.

You state that bitcoin leaves no evidence, which is the opposite of the truth, the blockchain is a FULL RECORD of everything that has happened. Sure it does not have your name on it, but that's just a traffic analyses problem. being anonymous requires: knowing what you are doing,  only dealing with others who are also obsessive about it and, in all likelihood, only dealing in BTC, since transitions to meat-space is the highest risk part of maintaining an anon transaction.

While the control of currency has some interesting political consequences, the multi-currency problem is completely banal. I live in the US and have CAD in my wallet, I can trade it, it will stay out of the banking system, and will be more anon than local currency. but this is not really a problem, any more than cash is in general, I don't see that you have made a strong case that BTC are different in this regard.

All cash systems are highly anonymous, and rely on a high level of trust, Bitcoin does not change either of these. Bitcoin only really addresses three problems:

1) physical transport ( by providing low cost transactions )
2) supply side inflation ( by controlling creation in protocol )
3) counterfeiting ( by tracking all coins to creation )

All existing cash systems have developed ways to deal with these issues, at least to some degree, with BTC they are built in.

In short, I'm not sure that there is a case to be made that BTC are qualitatively different, from a users perspective, than other forms of cash. Barring such a case we have no reason to believe that a new ethical framework is needed.

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phoebusg
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June 04, 2011, 03:04:57 PM
 #7

It's simplified indeed. But not really an error. If you want to be anonymous you can with bitcoin - completely. It's not the same with a cash currency where you can handle transactions in person. Say you wanted to buy drugs or a war-head. You would need to at least show up in person and risk the transaction.

I agree with the other points though and welcome the feedback. Further - do you think bitcoin would affect societal change(s) in some way?

An ethical framework is needed, since if there is no taxation the current state-model cannot operate. It's up to individual information and decision to help or not help in his local community. Bitcoin can allow a hoarder that damages even himself in the sight of profit and greed. Hence this brings ultimately a societal change - to a new system?

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June 04, 2011, 03:51:18 PM
 #8

OMG, that paper was a joke.  I was LOLing after every other sentence.  The only reasonable and factual statement in the whole calm paper was that bitcoin does indeed enable anarchy.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
phoebusg
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June 04, 2011, 04:14:53 PM
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Haha, I'm glad you found it entertaining at least Smiley
So do you have any positive to contribute in the theme of it however?

phoebusg
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June 04, 2011, 05:39:22 PM
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I read it all and it's not as extreme as you guys think it is. He's still a statist though. But I'm glad that you (phoe) acknowledge that this is the end for the state. The Bit Revolution has begun.

Thank you cindy. I'm seriously concerned though about how this newly potential self-organized system will work if the community in general is hyper-fixated in numbers.

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June 04, 2011, 11:05:52 PM
 #11

Anarchy means no rulers not no rules. One can be governed by many things without needing a government.
WNS
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June 05, 2011, 12:16:03 AM
 #12

An ethical framework is needed, since if there is no taxation the current state-model cannot operate.

Bitcoin does not abolish taxation. I am a miner, I get paid for my contribution of processing power, I convert that to USD, and pay for my expenses. I do this all completely on record, I even make some of my decisions about when to sell and when to convert based on the tax consequences. Since I convert to USD I use a bank, all completely legal, traceable auditable (even more than the cash in my wallet). There is nothing new here for the end user except low transaction costs and a protection form printing press inflation, that hardly requires some new morel framework.

You can work under the table in cash you can do it for bitcoin. Try walking into an interview at Honda or Google and telling them you want to be paid off the books, for 90% of the economy, just not going to happen, even if people are paid in BTC.

It's up to individual information and decision to help or not help in his local community. Bitcoin can allow a hoarder that damages even himself in the sight of profit and greed. Hence this brings ultimately a societal change - to a new system?

High infrastructure societies have strong incentives to socialize, and this is usually the most cost efficient way to deal with things like bridge and road maintenance (some here will disagree, but I stand by that position). For these societies taxation is a functional necessity, and so it will continue. Some think a head tax will be used, I personally support a VAT style tax system with higher rates especially for energy, Since the physical side of the economy will still be mostly traceable, but these are policy decisions, not ethical decisions.

Some subset of any economy is a black market, bourgeoisie ethical considerations don't have much say there, and for everybody else we already deal in cash every day, somebody stuffs their mattress with the stuff, or keeps a chest full of gold coins in the cellar, it just doesn't really matter at the end of the day, bitcoin will not change that.

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proudhon
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June 05, 2011, 02:48:06 AM
 #13

Proudhon wasn't against the unqualified notion of property rights.  He was, rather, against a certain sort of property rights regime where an agent's right in property was basically limitless - e.g. the putative right to own lots of land one has no intention of using.
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