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Author Topic: Kill the Politics forum  (Read 18570 times)
Jessy Kang
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June 15, 2011, 11:30:10 AM
 #1

I got some fellow small business owners interested enough to check out, first they could not post or ask any questions (awesome move that), then once they dug around the tax evasion and "lets overthrow the government" derp scared them off.

Most of us would not think of plastering our political party logo on our business. As far as customers are concerned, Bitcoin.org is the face of Bitcoin. The two are largely inseparable. You come here to get the client software, and linking to it or advocating it leads your customers (as well as others) to think that you subscribe the the values expressed here. What kind of crazy business owner is going to link their business to a site and brand that advocates tax evasion and the overthrow of the government?
 
Yes, Bitcoin MAY change things- but it will never get a chance if people don't keep their politics on political web forums. You may be able to get people to adopt your currency- but not if you insist on linking it to your politics.

It's all well and good for Atlas etc. to use his allowance money and play "Come at me bro" with the US Government from behind Tor and three proxies- but real businesses don't have that option so would prefer he take the chest puffing and false bravado elsewhere.
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caveden
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June 15, 2011, 11:55:51 AM
 #2

Most of us would not think of plastering our political party logo on our business.

True, but Bitcoin and bitcoin.org are not business. Like it or not, bitcoins have a political and economic background, you cannot really separate them.

Instead, I advice you to link your friends to apolitical sites like weusecoins.com or that Bitcoin Consultancy I saw somewhere, and maybe prevent them that if they come to this forum they will see heated political discussions. That's inevitable and should not be banned, IMHO.

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Jessy Kang
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June 15, 2011, 12:13:06 PM
 #3

Most of us would not think of plastering our political party logo on our business.

Like it or not, bitcoins have a political and economic background, you cannot really separate them.

if they are inseparable, that means the Bitcoin logo is an inherently political logo? You can see the problem, say Amazon might have with your politics?

I know it would be nice to piggyback your political views on the Bitcoin and gain wider acceptance, but it's not not going to happen- it's like wrapping barbed wire around a nice juicy steak- no ones going to eat something that dangerous just because the steak looks good.

You are saying Bitcoin is not simply a currency- but a delivery vehicle for the overthrow of the existing political system. Do you REALLY think that's widely marketable? Honestly?

That is clearly a mistake, and making it is not worth the minor inconvenience of a forum migration. The Politics forum on Bitcoin.org has absolutely no relevance to the development of Bitcoin and is only detrimental to it's adoption. How long until the Bitcoin founders are actually confronted in a television interview with some of the inflammatory content ON THEIR OWN SITE and have to backpedal and say "oh well it's...".
TradersEdgeDice
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June 15, 2011, 12:30:16 PM
 #4

I agree with you.  This is an open source project.  It behaves beyond the scope of one.  That works against it in many ways.

If the treasury department or the Federal Reserve had a politics section (or a forum at all), it would be crazy beyond measure.

For bitcoin to succeed, it needs to lower its value as a target.  That means losing, not just politics, but the vast majority of this forum and let third party sites distribute the political target value.

Whenever you allow someone enter information, you put your site at risk.  If bitcoin.org is limited to the technical aspects of the project, the administrators can put bigger restrictions on the nature of discussion.

Bitcoin.org is obligated to secure the code and protocols and rules related to the bitcoin, not to guarantee every lunatic's freedom of speech.

The internet will not stop allowing people to say or do whatever they want.  Not any time soon, anyway. Setting up a forum is trivial.


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Grant
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June 15, 2011, 12:36:23 PM
 #5


like it or not, bitcoins have a political and economic background, you cannot really separate them.


Yes you can!

I have to disagree with you. I myself am a nanorchist (that's the guy that always must take the fight from both anarchists and minarchists) but that's personal. Let's move over to business...

Do you want to see bitcoin succeed as a global internet commodity ? If yes, you have to put all your politcal associations aside, its a revolutionary easy way of transfer money. And let's stop there, no it wont take down the fed nor will it replace euro nor SDR, stop there, noone has till now monetized the web and we are about to do it!

You have to make it appeal as more than something pure ideological. (trying to make it have people believe it will oppose or replace the fed is totally ridiculous)

caveden
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June 15, 2011, 01:09:37 PM
 #6

You are saying Bitcoin is not simply a currency- but a delivery vehicle for the overthrow of the existing political system. Do you REALLY think that's widely marketable? Honestly?

Have I REALLY used these words? Honestly?


People, if bitcoin has no political-economical view built-in, then why in hell do you think it has a logarithmic growth, with an asymptotic limit? Stable monetary supply is an economical position supported only by Austrian economists. All mainstream "economists" support monetary inflation.

And, again, like it or not, using bitcoin instead of dollars or euros or whatever is a political position. It is not like "overthrowing government", but it is at least the equivalent of saying "I do not authorize the government to finance itself nor its banker friends with the inflation of my money." This political position is built in bitcoin. If you don't agree with this position, sorry but you should not use bitcoins. You should just keep using the currency of your government.

Saying that bitcoin has no political/economical view built-in at all is just wrong. It does.

Now if you don't like the political debates here, just don't join them. Honestly, I doubt that these debates scare more the condescending subjects of governments than stuff like SR for ex.

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Lupus_Yonderboy
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June 15, 2011, 01:42:51 PM
 #7

Oh my, the ideologues are not going to like this thread at all </snicker>. Personally I find it highly ironic that the greatest hurdle to widespread adoption of bitcoin right now is the perception that it is for drug dealers, anarchists, and other shady characters. Then, anyone actually wanting to research bitcoins comes here and sees such wonderful threads discussing secession, bringing down governments, revolutions, etc etc. Here's a hint for you guys:

YOU ARE AN UNPOPULAR EXTREMIST MINORITY. THE PEOPLE YOU NEED TO MAKE BITCOIN WORK WILL NEVER SHARE YOUR POLITICS

You may as well change the official logo to read "Bitcoin: Currency of teh crazy"

Unless catering to a specific crowd, legit businesses don't mention politics. Its a good way to alienate at least half of your potential customer base. There are not enough Libertarians in the world to support bitcoin. Satoshi chose his initial adoption crowd well, but bitcoin is outgrowing the "herp! all governderp is bad!" crowd. You were useful, now it is time to put the politics aside and let real businesses step in and see this through to its maximum potential. You get a nice reward for early adopting, but bitcoin is a digital currency, not a revolution. Try to bill it as such and it will utterly fail with the general public, and condemn bitcoin to being a footnote in Wikipedia.

I would find it extremely amusing if the reason bitcoin 1.0 died was because the anti-gov't ideologues couldn't stfu from their rants long enough to let it grow. The absolute best thing the dev team could do would be to kill these forums and let other sites continue the conversations. Maybe leave the technical discussion and have it heavily moderated.
Basiley
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June 15, 2011, 01:50:41 PM
 #8

Jessy Kang thats why, actually, 90% FEDs undercover play Atlas-similar roles online/offline "on duty".
high-profile targets more vulnerable and [supposed/promoted/presented/provoked/guinded/established]offenders look more dangerous.
some people are so lazy and hungry for awards, promotions, to invent something new. or simply unable.
Jessy Kang
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June 15, 2011, 02:48:11 PM
 #9

"I do not authorize the government to finance itself nor its banker friends with the inflation of my money."

See. That right there. That's the kind of talk that makes everyone move to the next subway car.
caveden
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June 15, 2011, 03:56:04 PM
 #10

"I do not authorize the government to finance itself nor its banker friends with the inflation of my money."

See. That right there. That's the kind of talk that makes everyone move to the next subway car.

If "everyone" wants to have their money devalued by government, then they don't need to move anywhere, just stick with government currency. Using bitcoins implies in not wanting monetary inflation in the long run. And it is built-in in the system.

Seriously, if you really want to get your money devalued by government's inflation, then don't use bitcoins, it doesn't make sense. I just think you are the minority there. Most people would rather being able to protect the value of their money, IMHO.

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Jessy Kang
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June 15, 2011, 04:40:34 PM
 #11

Using bitcoins implies in not wanting monetary inflation in the long run.

So you think the Pizzaria owner, computer repair guy, Amazon- that's why they are going to start taking Bitcoin because "Using bitcoins implies in not wanting monetary inflation in the long run."? (which by the way sounds a whole lot less bearded dude living in a van down by the river than "I do not authorize the government to finance itself...")

So all those shopping carts, fulfillment systems- you honestly thing any business owner will factor, even one tiny bit monetary inflation as an immediate practical consideration in their adoption of Bitcoin?

Here's the thing about business owners- even small ones. We aren't, for the most part- poor. We make very little money trying to do an end run about the government- it's really not worth it. You have to be a fricking HUGE corporation, before you can hire enough good lawyers and accountants to cheat on your taxes and get away with it. A few try, they nearly always get caught and end up paying more than they would in the first place.  The ones that do don't paste a big "I'm a tax dodger, come at me Bro" Bitcoin logo on their door- they keep it a private matter with their accountant. For most part it's easier for us to just pay- we pass the costs onto the consumer.

So while average Joe six-pack might deeply resent the money taken from his salary- for most business owners- while we may not love it, don't really care as much. It's just overhead. All this anti-tax and inflation stuff- all you do is scare businesses away because they don't take the same level of personal offense that you do. Say a person steals your wallet, sure it pisses you off and you would chase them down- as a business we call it shrinkage and it's just a number to be managed.

For you all this is a personal slight and a matter of principle- but we don't care, we just pass it on- and we aren't really interested in your fights or your anger. Or taking the bullet for you because we actually have enough assets to make it worth while for the government to make an example of us.

Bitcoin may enable you to break laws and avoid policies that you resent, but it is not by definition tied to that use, and if you insist on trying to make it so it won't be able to serve that, or any function for very long.

Even if you *think* Bitcoin will change everything- when the other guys are moving the big wooden horse into their city, you stop beating on the damn drums.
theymos
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June 15, 2011, 05:25:32 PM
 #12

Bitcoin was made for political reasons (at least partly):

Quote from: Satoshi
Yes, [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 like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be
holding their own.

Quote from: Satoshi
It's very attractive to the libertarian viewpoint if we can explain it properly.  I'm better with code than with words though.


Embedded in the genesis block, which is required for running Bitcoin:
Quote
The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks

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Jessy Kang
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June 15, 2011, 05:42:43 PM
 #13

I don't really see how the current position of the BitCoin.org operators is consistent?

We have to shut down SilkRoad because selling drugs is illegal and makes Bitcoin look bad. But oh, advocating tax evasion and the overthrow of the government on our own website, in direct contradiction of the Bitcoin Wiki PR guidelines- all good.

We don't have enough mods, so new adopters of the technology we are advocating cannot actually post their questions and receive tech support. But we do have enough mods for endless pompous wharrgarbl in multiple irrelevant forums that not only do not advance Bitcoin, but are actively hindering it's widespread adoption by trying to piggyback their agenda. So priorities straight.

Despite the forums being under considerable load and running slowly, these irrelevant forums cannot be simply hosted elsewhere. So relevant forums, needed for the actual work of advancing Bitcoin are often slow and occasionally inaccessible as well. So developers can't have a cohesive thread about improving software clients because some of the leather elbow patch crowd want to fondle themselves while looking at regurgitated glowing words on the shiny metal box.

The problem with all this, is that it's a Catch 22. If we don't say anything, nothing changes. By pointing out how foolish it is, the operators risk loss of face by actually being responsive and doing anything about it- let alone replying.

So we'll no doubt end up with the same sort of patronizing "we know what's best" brush off from the Mods- if they deign say anything at all to us peasants. Or maybe they'll censor another one of my threads, they seem pretty fond of that.
Jessy Kang
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June 15, 2011, 05:55:15 PM
 #14

Bitcoin was made for political reasons (at least partly):

Quote from: Satoshi
Yes, [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 like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be
holding their own.

Quote from: Satoshi
It's very attractive to the libertarian viewpoint if we can explain it properly.  I'm better with code than with words though.


Embedded in the genesis block, which is required for running Bitcoin:
Quote
The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks

Great, so Bitcoin- in it's very essence, at the core of it's code is a libertarian "plot". It's bad enough we have Masonic symbols on our paper money- but you go pointing out that Libertarian/Anarchist/Anti-Establishment propaganda is "hidden" in the base CODE? What side are you on? Are you TRYING to sink Bitcoin?

Do you get that these are NOT the talking points you really wanted to put out there? That when the mainstream media like Fox gets that it's not a Drug currency- worse it's a SUBVERSIVE POLITICAL currency they will have a fricking field day?

Look, I'm sure the people that run this place write awesome code but Bitcoin has gotten beyond that. Hire someone, recruit someone corporate- anything. Keep control if you need, but get some better advice and strategy. This is not about how smart people like you guys think, you need to be prepared for how dumb people think.
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June 15, 2011, 06:26:54 PM
 #15

Feel free to kill it. I'll happily create a independent board to cater to the politics crowd.
Jessy Kang
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June 15, 2011, 06:41:40 PM
 #16

Feel free to kill it. I'll happily create a independent board to cater to the politics crowd.

Done. If Bitcoin.org kills the politics I'll buy you the forum script of your choice- I use IP.Board and like it but I'll leave it to you to decide.
Anonymous
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June 15, 2011, 07:21:16 PM
 #17

Feel free to kill it. I'll happily create a independent board to cater to the politics crowd.

Done. If Bitcoin.org kills the politics I'll buy you the forum script of your choice- I use IP.Board and like it but I'll leave it to you to decide.
You're too kind, Ms. Kang. I can really empathize with the goal you are trying to achieve and -- contrary to what you may perceive -- I find it quite virtuous. However, I will not be needing your charity. I already have a team of developers lined up to build something I like to see as revolutionary; contrary to the model of business most forums use today.  I plan to be paying my users in Bitcoin -- handsomely, according to the quality of their material. A bit like Witcoin but more direct and more liquid in terms of conversation.

Anyways, again, thank you.
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June 15, 2011, 07:25:50 PM
 #18

Well clearly this is a political and economic project

But two points

One is that bitcoin is not ready for mainstream adoption. It is odd to think of currency as a software project, but we are and do, and there just is not a rich enough feature set yet to keep people from getting confused. I don't know if we are even in beta yet. So I'm not really concerned about expanding into that market yet.

The other is that I agree that bitcoin.org should pare itself back to discussions around the actual protocols and software - maybe even all the way back to a listserv, not a forum

But, I guess I'm not all that concerned. Question and answer like stack exchange sites are already springing up and well as sites like weusecoins.com  -- People shouldn't have to come here to read or download anything if they don't want to anymore than people go to the paypal forums to use paypal. We are just now experiencing the first explosion of growth that will make these forums unwieldy (and brought me on board the project). Before this it made sense to have one forum where everything could be discussed. Now maybe it doesn't. But it will take time to decentralize a bit.
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June 15, 2011, 07:27:57 PM
 #19

I'd be happy to see the politics forum go, if it would stay gone. I even have it ignored. But I suspect that such discussions would crop up again all over the place, which is why the forum got created in the first place. Perhaps instead it could be made completely inaccessible to newbies (and search engines).

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June 15, 2011, 08:13:24 PM
 #20

Unfortunately, currency itself has become politicized.  We didn't do that.  And I don't see that there's really any way to make a use-case for Bitcoin without pointing this out.

Fortunately, however, the political stance of Bitcoin is extremely neutral.  I mean, don't you yourself use Bitcoin in order to avoid the political aspects of official currency?  The point of grass-roots anonymous decentralized currency is to de-politicize trade.  Anyone who isn't interested in a more liberating currency can just use Paypal or Chase Quickpay or probably a dozen other electronic transfer services.  The world doesn't need yet another.

But Bitcoin on it's own will not dismantle any political systems that individuals do not want to see dismantled anyways.  The systems that Bitcoin will help to weaken are popularly despised, such as the banking system and the war on drugs.  And there is more political dissent among mid-sized businesses than you might think.  Amazon, for instance, is constantly engaged in tax battles and flat out refuses to collect taxes in some cases.  So that was an extremely poor example.

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