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Author Topic: Wikipedia: "Some criticize Bitcoin for being a Ponzi scheme..."  (Read 5428 times)
Akka
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November 12, 2012, 06:29:26 PM
 #21

You can really see how strange Wikipedia works, by comparing the German Wikipedia article with the English one.

The German one has about 5 times the text and is of much better quality.

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smickles
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November 12, 2012, 07:02:25 PM
 #22

Has anyone actually mentioned the ECB document in the talk? … (or am i just missing it)

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November 12, 2012, 07:39:15 PM
 #23

Has anyone actually mentioned the ECB document in the talk? … (or am i just missing it)

It was mentioned there but for a completely different reason. The talk is semi-protected, which means that you need to have an account that is at least 4 days old and have at least ten edits to participate in the discussion about Bitcoin article.
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November 12, 2012, 10:05:18 PM
 #24

I don't have a Wikipedia account, but I will make my point anyway (maybe someone else can have a go at it on the wiki talk).

If I am getting it right the essence of his argument is not whether Bitcoin is a Ponzi Scheme or not, but just that as it has been mentioned as such in an article (or several articles), it should therefore be included on the wikipedia page.

My main point would be: why would Wikipedia need to report false claims?  If people claim "(2*(2+1)) = 5 " on several news websites, then should wikipedia mention this, when logic and the correct application of arithmetical laws shows this is not the case?  If I say "the sky is only green, always has been green and always will be green", should this be mentioned on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sky ?

If the claim can be logically debunked by looking at the definition or properties of a Ponzi scheme, it has no place in the article.

On the other hand, you might say the argument is so commonly believed that there is value into reporting it (in contrast to the green sky for example), fine.  But then it should be clearly  refuted with the proper arguments afterwards.  Just adding "It is commonly said the sky is only green", might be technically correct, but then just leaving it as such is obviously lacking for a encyclopedia.

You might think bitcoin is a shitty investment for delusional people, but it is not a Ponzi scheme, so this statement should be either removed, or mentioned but corrected with the proper arguments.

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November 12, 2012, 11:53:08 PM
 #25

Nobody likes it when something they are enthusiastic about gets criticized, but we don't remove criticism from articles just because we don't like it when they are criticized, that would run contrary to Wikipedia policy. - SudoGhost 20:46, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

The guy should apply that to himself.
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November 12, 2012, 11:56:42 PM
 #26

You guys are hilarious. See what you have done?  Cheesy
Quote
If you came here because someone asked you to, or you read a message on another website, please note that this is not a majority vote, but instead a discussion among Wikipedia contributors. Wikipedia has policies and guidelines regarding the encyclopedia's content, and consensus is gauged based on the merits of the arguments, not by counting votes.

However, you are invited to participate and your opinion is welcome. Remember to assume good faith on the part of others and to sign your posts on this page by adding ~~~~ at the end.
Note: Comments by suspected single-purpose accounts or canvassed users may be tagged using: {{subst:spa|username}} or {{subst:canvassed|username}}


But here comes the best part:
Quote
The Register article is particularly useful because it explains why Bitcoin has the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme. John Nagle (talk) 18:34, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

From the immortal Dumb and Dumber "Were in a hole... We just gotta dig ourselves out"
Maged
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November 13, 2012, 12:34:46 AM
 #27

I don't have a Wikipedia account, but I will make my point anyway (maybe someone else can have a go at it on the wiki talk).

If I am getting it right the essence of his argument is not whether Bitcoin is a Ponzi Scheme or not, but just that as it has been mentioned as such in an article (or several articles), it should therefore be included on the wikipedia page.

My main point would be: why would Wikipedia need to report false claims?  If people claim "(2*(2+1)) = 5 " on several news websites, then should wikipedia mention this, when logic and the correct application of arithmetical laws shows this is not the case?.  If I say "the sky is only green, always has been green and always will be green", should this be mentioned on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sky ?

Yes. The problem here is that many people think Wikipedia, encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc. are authoritative when it comes to subjects they cover. However, that is not the case. Wikipedia articles are a compilation of several reliable sources and is the end result of all of this other research that was done.

If you could find a significant number of new sites, published articles, and the like that aren't overwhelmingly disproved by even more reliable sources, then you absolutely can say that "(2*(2+1)) = 5" and that the sky is green. In a large majority of cases, this works just fine.

If the claim can be logically debunked by looking at the definition or properties of a Ponzi scheme, it has no place in the article.

If the media is calling it a ponzi scheme, then this is clearly a common misunderstanding. So, if it's not a ponzi scheme, you would expect an overwhelming amount of articles to at least point out this error for the sake of their readers. Find those sources, and this problem goes away.

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November 13, 2012, 01:21:28 AM
 #28

Holy crap.  I'm reading through the talk page for the Bitcoin article and that sudoghost guy is being a willfull pain in the ass. 

"It does not matter that it has been refuted, the article does not present it as a fact but reflects that sources have criticized this,"

If it's not presented as a fact, what's it doing there?  It's supposed to be an encyclopedia.  I'm pretty sure that's part of the Wikipedia thing... to be encyclopedic.  Not to add the criticisms of every tom dick and harry to every single article. 

If he's claiming that the Register and Reuters quotes are sufficient sourcing to keep the sentence in, then I think he's wrong.  Neither quote directly makes the Ponzi criticism, but instead continue the assertion that some unnamed person or persons have criticized.  At some point good sourcing means that someone with an actual name is going to have to say with their mouth or keyboard that Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme, or even just has the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme.

(Which last phrase--"having the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme"--is just more weasling.  You can't stack weasle statements in hopes of building a strong assertion.  Either say it or don't.)

Honestly, there must be some good source out there that makes the case that Bitcoin is Ponziesque.  Why doesn't he go off and find it rather than digging in fighting this thing?  Seriously, be constructive.

 
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November 13, 2012, 01:58:30 AM
 #29

Damn it why has no one mentioned the ECB comments concerning Bitcoin as a Ponzi scheme?

Does no one here really not have a Wikipedia account with sufficient creditability to add to the discussion?

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Spaceman_Spiff
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November 13, 2012, 02:27:15 AM
 #30

Damn it why has no one mentioned the ECB comments concerning Bitcoin as a Ponzi scheme?

Does no one here really not have a Wikipedia account with sufficient creditability to add to the discussion?

It's being mentioned, only, they are cherry-picking out the negative comments (ECB paper is fairly neutral on the Ponzi-terminology), except for Rudd-O, who defended bitcoin, but got a bit too fed up with SudoGhost and went on a rant Smiley .

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November 13, 2012, 02:46:17 AM
 #31

Uhhhh....Bitcoin is money...hence, it's a Ponzi scheme. It's a little different in that those benefitting from the scheme are all those who hold BTC rather than the printer of fiat. But, I mean, duh -- it's as much a Ponzi scheme as the US dollar or GBP.

Ponzi scheme has a pretty specific meaning. Fiat money, social security, bitcoin and a million other things are not Ponzi schemes.  Anything where someone might make or lose money is not automatically a Ponzi. 

A Ponzi scheme is advertised as an INVESTMENT (bitcoin, fiat money don't qualify) which falsified returns are supposedly earned (social security does not do this) and later investors money is used to pay the earlier investors these fake returns. 



I guess I disagree here. Fiat is a ponzi precisely because its value is derived from the investment of time and effort (work) by the next guy to receive it. Over time, inflation guarantees more investment is needed to maintain value. Sure, governments don't say "join our investment with incredible returns" but the fact that they sell fiat and rely on the fact that people will do more and more work to acquire it or have the fiat collapse in value seems to fit the definition of ponzi.

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November 13, 2012, 02:47:18 AM
 #32

Damn it why has no one mentioned the ECB comments concerning Bitcoin as a Ponzi scheme?

Does no one here really not have a Wikipedia account with sufficient creditability to add to the discussion?

It's being mentioned, only, they are cherry-picking out the negative comments (ECB paper is fairly neutral on the Ponzi-terminology), except for Rudd-O, who defended bitcoin, but got a bit too fed up with SudoGhost and went on a rant Smiley .

I just dug up one of my old Wikipedia accounts and did it myself. Lets see if they delete my comment. It was perfectly civil and rational.

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Spaceman_Spiff
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November 13, 2012, 02:57:06 AM
 #33

Damn it why has no one mentioned the ECB comments concerning Bitcoin as a Ponzi scheme?

Does no one here really not have a Wikipedia account with sufficient creditability to add to the discussion?

It's being mentioned, only, they are cherry-picking out the negative comments (ECB paper is fairly neutral on the Ponzi-terminology), except for Rudd-O, who defended bitcoin, but got a bit too fed up with SudoGhost and went on a rant Smiley .

I just dug up one of my old Wikipedia accounts and did it myself. Lets see if they delete my comment. It was perfectly civil and rational.

nicely done

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November 13, 2012, 03:14:16 AM
 #34

I just added a comment with suggested text and footnote.  The citation isn't perfectly formatted, but it's a step anyway.

Also, the original sentence under scrutiny ought to be fixed for it's broken link and weasel words, but I'm not going to continue in the discussion because it was a nightmare just leaving that one comment. 

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November 13, 2012, 03:24:20 AM
 #35

Ahahahaha...... this is unbelievable.

update: 404 maintains a steady lead.

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November 13, 2012, 07:15:56 AM
 #36

I think SudoGhost makes a good and valid point, which is that some *have* criticized Bitcoin of being a ponzi. Though we as Bitcoin users may be offended by these comments, they are the publicly-stated opinions of some and must be acknowledged in this article.

I think the entire article stands as proof against such naysayers, so I would ask that everyone work together to improve the overall quality of the page, adding new info and images, updating references, and not waste your time squabbling over syntax in the Talk page. There are major sections of the article that need work, and I hope you can each look for ways to contribute in a positive and meaningful way, for the good of our publicity and image.

Cheers,
jtibble

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November 13, 2012, 07:19:01 AM
 #37

I think SudoGhost makes a good and valid point, which is that some *have* criticized Bitcoin of being a ponzi. Though we as Bitcoin users may be offended by these comments, they are the publicly-stated opinions of some and must be acknowledged in this article.

I think the entire article stands as proof against such naysayers, so I would ask that everyone work together to improve the overall quality of the page, adding new info and images, updating references, and not waste your time squabbling over syntax in the Talk page. There are major sections of the article that need work, and I hope you can each look for ways to contribute in a positive and meaningful way, for the good of our publicity and image.

Cheers,
jtibble

See, that's the problem -- we can't work on improving the Wikipedia page because that cocksucker SudoGhost is cockblocking that.  If the page weren't cockblocked, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

1FPwsMACGqCFtAxpMVHznHe7TkrHMRxB6M GPG key.  Only civil and rational replies accepted.  If you can't follow this flowchart or engage in verbal abuse, I'll point it out and add you to my ignore list.
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November 13, 2012, 07:22:14 AM
 #38

I think SudoGhost makes a good and valid point, which is that some *have* criticized Bitcoin of being a ponzi. Though we as Bitcoin users may be offended by these comments, they are the publicly-stated opinions of some and must be acknowledged in this article.
The problem is that those opinions are factually incorrect, and yet the article lacks any refutation of those false opinions, and gives the impression those opinions are correct. That statement can stay there, as long as it's refuted with the truth.

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November 13, 2012, 07:30:50 AM
 #39

Wikipedia has been a bad joke for a long time.  This is just more proof.

I like the way they fawn over anything "Andresen" is quoted as saying in the press, but when other developers are there actually arguing with them, they are dismissed.

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November 13, 2012, 08:57:22 AM
 #40

SudoGhost is reading this thread, so I am going to address my reply directly to him.

I've been reading this discussion, and it should come as no surprise that when you attack and insult others like that they aren't exactly eager to help. Calling me "SudoDouche" and creating subpages on your websites attacking me doesn't do you any good; it works towards damaging the credibility you would have otherwise had and you're shooting yourself in the foot with that behavior. I say this in part because readers do occasionally visit the talk pages and will see these discussions and may impact how they view Bitcoin; when you resort to petty name-calling when you don't immediately get your way, you don't exactly make Bitcoin look like something used by a mature crowd that should be embraced and taken seriously.
This is just a general threat that you can't back up, I heard it in almost identical form on several completely unrelated forums where the word "Bitcoin" was replaced with something else to fit context.

As for the article and this talk page being locked, that has nothing to do with this discussion; you can thank HowardStrong for that one, he decided that he should vandalize the page (and that's pretty much one of the only diffs you can see, the rest inserted pornographic images and vulgarity on the page to the point that the diffs had to be revdel'd).
Not sure why you had to state the obvious.

With that said, I can see where "Some criticize Bitcoin for being a Ponzi scheme" can be assumed to have an issue. On the one hand, it is a factual sentence; there are sources that criticize it for this reason, that does not imply that it is a Ponzi scheme, that would be jumping to a conclusion not given by the text. It has been criticized for this, and that's something that is sourced, you can't "un-source" that; no matter what sources you present, it's going to somehow un-criticize Bitcoin, the criticisms are still there, it doesn't matter if you can "prove" with your personal logic and with sources that don't actually support your argument that it isn't one; you're disproving something not relevant.
The "Ponzi scheme" argument was born right after bubble collapse in June 2011, a lot of people lost there money and were very angry. I can list forum threads with literally thousands of post where word Ponzi appears in every second post. The argument was picked up by media in form of poorly combined articles, I can prove it by pinpointing incorrect statements in the article you referenced. The argument died down since then and no matter how much time you are going to spend looking for a more fresh reference you won't find one. Therefore I argue that the article you listed is not reliable source. To be more specific:

the developers who wrote the first bitcoin mining software probably paid themselves by having the first crack at generating bitcoins with almost no competition.
This is their only argument why Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme, the word "probably" is a nice touch ascertain credibility.

Given the fact that there will still be demand for an anonymous currency transfer scheme and people will still want to gamble online and buy illicit drugs online, it’s quite possible that bitcoins (or some derivative technology) can survive after a massive bubble correction.
The article contradicts to itself, because by definition a Ponzi scheme can not recover after collapse.


On the other hand, that multiple Bitcoin enthusiasts have misread this sentence thereby repeating the same flawed arguments over and over does indicate that a clarification would help. Perhaps the statement can be clarified to read "Some criticize Bitcoin, accusing it of being a Ponzi scheme." or something similar. - SudoGhost 04:29, 13 November 2012 (UTC)[
Sure, but if you want to include such a controversial statement then you have to mention the opposite point of view e.g. ECB explains how Bitcoin does not fit the definition of Ponzi scheme and Coding in my sleep blog gives more detailed explanation.

If you have to infer it, then it doesn't "clearly" say it. Inferring a conclusion not given by the document is synthesis, and that's not sufficient. Especially if you're trying to say that the document says this, when it does not. - SudoGhost 03:53, 13 November 2012
That is incorrect, Wikipedia defines Synthesis as
If one reliable source says A, and another reliable source says B, do not join A and B together to imply a conclusion C that is not mentioned by either of the sources.
It does not state or gives an example where a conclusion based on a single article is Synthesis. Moreover, to understand even a simple statement formed with a natural language a person has to apply "common sense" because it always has an ambiguity.
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