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Question:  How many Bitcoins have been lost or likely never to be claimed or used?  (Voting closed: June 03, 2011, 11:55:48 PM)
Less than 1 % - 20 (19.4%)
Less than 5 % - 23 (22.3%)
Less than 10 % - 16 (15.5%)
Less than 15% - 5 (4.9%)
More than 15% - 39 (37.9%)
Total Voters: 102

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Author Topic: Bitcoins Lost  (Read 19924 times)
carp
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March 03, 2011, 08:39:52 PM
 #81

So you're saying Bob is exploiting Adam by making use of his basement and offering little to nothing in return?
Adam inviting Bob to use his basement, at cost, is a completely fair exchange.

I don't know how much we will disagree in the end. I mostly agree with the concepts that you espouse on some level. That said, I have both been a landlord for several years, and spent some time thinking about these issues and what I could reasonably do to avoid being an exploiter.... and what that even means.

I think the problem here is that many of these things are only easy to define well in very simplistic examples, like we see here. Once you start looking at a real situation, things get murky really fast.

First of all, Adam, in the real world, is oftenly not a free man himself. He is someones wage slave. He is in an exploitive relationship with a bank, who has a lien on his house. Unless he is independently wealthy, or his wage slavery pays him enough to afford the place enitrely, he may, in fact, be risking more than profit.

For example, if Bob moves out, having the space empty may reduce some costs, but, likely its not 100%, in fact, the cost reduction may be more in the realm of 50% or less. As such, any time the space is empty, Adam is in fact losing. Finding new tennants can take time, depending on time of year and economics.... so this is a real risk.

More than that, Bob can cause problems, do damage. As someone who has had to clean up after tennants, and listen to the complaints of neighbors (as often as not, unreasonable complaints).... there are indeed costs, if not always direct financial ones.

What do we include in Adam's costs? Do we include the fact that maintaining his standard of living past his useful working years as a wage slave will require a reserve of money? What about the reserve of money he may need when the heating oil tank leaks (I had that happen last year, over $20k out of pocket unexpected, not something I was at ALL prepared for and left me in a very nasty financial situation), or the roof needs to be fixed, etc.

For a while I kicked around the idea that the house should be owned by everyone in the household... but that makes things very hard if you still want people to be mobile. Not everyone wants to pick a place to live for the next 5-10 years, some people don't want to commit to something longer than a year.... some wont last more than a year before others are saying "its him or me".

I just... don't see how to apply these ideals unless you have a group of interested and dedicated people who want to come together into a commune. Not that I am against this concept but, I have yet to find myself in the situation where I knew enough people who were interested and I would feel comfortable entering into such a situation wtih.... well thats not true.... I met one such person.... and I married her....  but so far thats about it.

Honestly, I think people who look at rents as exploitive discount too much the exploitation of the landlords by the banks. Ive done some basic math crunching and, maybe its different elsewhere but, I look at rents vs mortgages and tend to think things are generally much closer to equity than it may seem.
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March 03, 2011, 09:34:27 PM
 #82

Tell me, why does a monetary incentive to provide services to people bother you so much?

Especially since nobody's forcing anyone to charge, or accept, any specific price, so if one person is charging enough that another can undercut him profitably, they will.

The "evil landlord" that I always hear the proudhoun crowd whining about has to live somewhere, too... and eat, pay the bills, etc. Not to mention pay for upkeep on the space they're renting out. Which, of course, is ignoring the opportunity cost of not using the space themselves. If the tenant doesn't like paying rent, there are plenty of other options: Home ownership. Other apartments, with lower rent. Buying a tent and living out in the woods (Which, in a 100% free society, would amount to Home Ownership).

Nobody's locking them in at night and marching them to their job at gunpoint. It's an apartment, not a prison.

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March 03, 2011, 09:38:39 PM
 #83

Nobody's locking them in at night and marching them to their job at gunpoint. It's an apartment, not a prison.

There are, however, coercive forces at work and I think it is important that we acknowledge that. Capitalism as we know it would not exist without the state, but that doesn't mean that employer-employee or landlord-tenant relationships are inherently coercive.
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March 03, 2011, 09:55:22 PM
 #84

There are, however, coercive forces at work and I think it is important that we acknowledge that. Capitalism as we know it would not exist without the state, but that doesn't mean that employer-employee or landlord-tenant relationships are inherently coercive.

Capitalism as we know it is not Capitalism. What the world knows as "Capitalism" is in fact best described as Fascism That's not a popular term, but what it boils down to a partnership between government and business. This isn't even necessarily overt, it's just that it's cheaper to buy support a politician so that he will pass legislation benefiting the company than to actually out-compete other companies. Landlord-tenant and employer-employee relationships are not inherently coercive. The current economy places the balance of power with the employer in one case, and the landlord in the other. In a market with more jobs than workers, and more homes than landlords, the balance of power would be in favor of the worker and tenant.

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March 03, 2011, 10:21:23 PM
 #85

The balance of power in a free market is a dynamic relationship, but it always end at two parties agreeing to a particular scheme.

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March 03, 2011, 10:29:48 PM
 #86

The balance of power in a free market is a dynamic relationship, but it always end at two parties agreeing to a particular scheme.

Yup. Without coercion, both parties end up happy. Since they're both happy, both are better off than when they started. Both profit.

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ribuck
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March 03, 2011, 10:43:37 PM
 #87

Yup. Without coercion, both parties end up happy.

Sure. So the focus should be on getting rid of the coercion. But not everyone is ready to accept that the dominant coercive force is the state.
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March 04, 2011, 02:15:40 AM
 #88

I was talking to my Muslim neighbor today who was telling me how he was trying to sell his house through self-financing to the buyer, but his religion requires that he can't charge interest. He gets around this, however, by just going into an agreement with the buyer to sell for a higher selling cost, but without any interest in the payments. 

This discussion made me think of this thread.

Do not waste your time debating whether Bitcoin can work. It does work.

"Early adopters will profit" is not a sufficient condition to classify something as a pyramid or Ponzi scheme. If it was, Apple and Microsoft stock are Ponzi schemes.

There is no such thing as "market manipulation." There is only buying and selling.
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March 04, 2011, 02:19:57 AM
 #89

Adam is losing the use of his basement for the month. He could otherwise have stored his things down there, or had a sleepover party down there, or fermented wine down there, or set up a Bitcoin mining cluster. The fact that he can't do these things for a month represents a cost to him that he recuperates in his rent.
It's unfair that Bob should pay Adam for work that Adam isn't doing. Adam can enjoy the benefits of doing those things if and when he does them.
But he can't do them because of Bob, which is why it is fair to expect Bob to compensate Adam for the loss Bob is causing.


If Adam breaks Bob's leg, and this causes Bob to be out of work for a month, would it be fair or unfair for Adam to pay Bob his month's wages as compensation for the loss Adam caused Bob to take?

Do not waste your time debating whether Bitcoin can work. It does work.

"Early adopters will profit" is not a sufficient condition to classify something as a pyramid or Ponzi scheme. If it was, Apple and Microsoft stock are Ponzi schemes.

There is no such thing as "market manipulation." There is only buying and selling.
carp
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March 04, 2011, 01:05:59 PM
 #90

Adam is losing the use of his basement for the month. He could otherwise have stored his things down there, or had a sleepover party down there, or fermented wine down there, or set up a Bitcoin mining cluster. The fact that he can't do these things for a month represents a cost to him that he recuperates in his rent.
It's unfair that Bob should pay Adam for work that Adam isn't doing. Adam can enjoy the benefits of doing those things if and when he does them.
But he can't do them because of Bob, which is why it is fair to expect Bob to compensate Adam for the loss Bob is causing.


If Adam breaks Bob's leg, and this causes Bob to be out of work for a month, would it be fair or unfair for Adam to pay Bob his month's wages as compensation for the loss Adam caused Bob to take?

Not if Bob wanted Adam to break his leg. Smiley

I think this is a really hard area beacuse free market and anti-exploitation arguments tend to argue right past each other. I think both tend to have some interesting, and even valid points. However, I tend to feel like anti-exploitation is making a statement about how we as individuals should want to act towards eachother, whereas free market arguments seem to avoid any talk of motivation, and focus solely on the transaction.

At Yale some professors (or at least a math one) put lectures on youtube, I watched a few on "game theory" recently. So I am no expert, but I feel qualified to now talk out my ass like I think I am one. This all reminds me of the Nash Equilibrium. The set of moves where everyone has played his best possible move, in relation to everyone else's move. Nash himself postulated that you would have a very stable society without wars if everyone had a paranoid fear of everyone else and acted in complete self-interest. Nash was also a paranoid schizophrenic, so this concept may have come naturally to him Smiley

The interesting thing is, that depending on the definition of the game, there can be multiple such equilibriums, and they are not all equal, that is to say, some raise the overall score more.

So to half ass connect this. If Adam rents Bob his basement. The free market argument is, Adam could have made more money setting up a workshop down their with Carol, or brewing beer with Dave. So if Adam feels he should charge more for the basement to justify not using it for that, then thats what he does, and that price is of course fair by definition because, its his to sell.

The exploitation argument is that if Adam is going to rent to Bob, he should do it because he wants to do it, because he values giving Bob shelter. Of course, he incurs risks and costs, and needs to ask that Bob "pull his weight" and make sure Adam isn't just incurring more cost for slogging his dead weight along.

The thing is.... if Adam has other uses for it, and deicdes that he doesn't value (or can't afford to value) housing Bob above other things he can use the space for, then he should do those other things right? So... both arguments seem to end up at the same place.... but they are not even trying to talk about the same aspects of the transaction.
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March 04, 2011, 02:03:56 PM
 #91

Not if Bob wanted Adam to break his leg. Smiley

I think this is a really hard area beacuse free market and anti-exploitation arguments tend to argue right past each other. I think both tend to have some interesting, and even valid points. However, I tend to feel like anti-exploitation is making a statement about how we as individuals should want to act towards eachother, whereas free market arguments seem to avoid any talk of motivation, and focus solely on the transaction.

I don't understand what exploitation is. To me, the question is "am I in a better situation now than I was before" is way more important than anything else. I am concerned with maximizing prosperity for everyone, not what's fair and what's non-exploitative, who profit more, how equal is our society, etc.

Garrett Burgwardt
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March 04, 2011, 04:44:35 PM
 #92

If Adam wants a person to live in his basement, that has some value which would make the rent cheaper for Bob. But Adam doesn't want someone living in his basement - he does however want money. They will come to an agreement at the point where Adam gets enough money to part with his basement, which he doesn't want to do. Again, if he does, rent very well may come close to minimum required.
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March 04, 2011, 09:22:18 PM
 #93

I don't understand what exploitation is. To me, the question is "am I in a better situation now than I was before" is way more important than anything else. I am concerned with maximizing prosperity for everyone, not what's fair and what's non-exploitative, who profit more, how equal is our society, etc.
Well, slave owners make tons of profit. You would tolerate slavery in your society?

If Adam wants a person to live in his basement, that has some value which would make the rent cheaper for Bob. But Adam doesn't want someone living in his basement - he does however want money. They will come to an agreement at the point where Adam gets enough money to part with his basement, which he doesn't want to do. Again, if he does, rent very well may come close to minimum required.
Bob should compensate Adam for supplies and labor, no doubt. However, Adam does not do any labor or contribute any supplies in simply letting Bob occupy the basement. Why should Adam get something for nothing?

Carp: Thanks for your thoughtful responses. For the record, I have nothing against landlords, employers, and lenders as people. All the ones that I've met seem very nice. You seem nice, too. For the most part, exploiters operate under the coercion of their own exploiters. Exploiting others may make them comfortable, but it will not make them free, kind of like kapos. Even though many kapos weren't very nice prior to their promotion, they got ahead by exploiting others on the order of their own exploiters.

You mentioned some of the problems that crop up in cooperative situations. These problems happen in exploitative ones, too. In the case of an apartment building, residents, whether they own their dwellings or not, can disrupt each other. In an exploitative situation, a the plaintiff resident will appeal to the landlord who may or may not use his authority to fix or at least eliminate its symptoms. The landlord's solution may not satisfy the residents, but that's irrelevant. All bets are off if the resident has a dispute with the landlord. In a cooperative situation, residents will have to work things out amongst themselves. Of course they can try to do the same in an exploitative situation, but the landlord can rule out whatever solution they come up with. Ten thousand Internets to whomever can guess what solution I came with for my neighbor's disruptions.

As Bitcoin pioneers, many of us may have a choice between engaging in exploitative relationships or cooperative ones. I encourage everyone to choose the cooperative path and not seek undeserved positions of power over one another.

Use my Trade Hill referral code: TH-R11519

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March 04, 2011, 09:27:31 PM
 #94

I encourage everyone to choose the cooperative path and not seek undeserved positions of power over one another.

It seems to me that your problem isn't with the systems used (renting, employment, etc) but with the coercion used by some people using those systems.

As long as there isn't any coercion, then both people are better off by the deal, regardless of the exact nature of the deal, whether it's a co-op, or an employee/employer relationship, or something else entirely.

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March 04, 2011, 09:38:13 PM
 #95

It seems to me that your problem isn't with the systems used (renting, employment, etc) but with the coercion used by some people using those systems.

As long as there isn't any coercion, then both people are better off by the deal, regardless of the exact nature of the deal, whether it's a co-op, or an employee/employer relationship, or something else entirely.
If an employer isn't exploiting you, he's your partner. If a renter isn't exploiting you, he's your seller. If your lender isn't exploiting you, he isn't charging you to borrow from him.

Use my Trade Hill referral code: TH-R11519

Check out bitcoinity.org and Ripple.

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myrkul
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March 04, 2011, 09:49:06 PM
 #96

If an employer isn't exploiting you, he's your partner. If a renter isn't exploiting you, he's your seller. If your lender isn't exploiting you, he isn't charging you to borrow from him.

Please explain to me exactly how exploitation is inherent in each of these situations:

Employment

rental property

charging interest

because I don't see how, in the absence of coercion, any of these things is bad.

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March 04, 2011, 09:50:09 PM
 #97

If an employer isn't exploiting you, he's your partner. If a renter isn't exploiting you, he's your seller. If your lender isn't exploiting you, he isn't charging you to borrow from him.

If an employer offers me a certain amount of money for my services and I accept, we are both in a better position than before. If a landlord offers me a place to live for a certain amount of money and I accept, we are both in a better position than before.

Tell me how you fit in to this transaction, and how you can determine if I am being exploited or not.
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March 04, 2011, 09:52:51 PM
 #98

It would seem that he thinks any exchange in which someone realizes a monetary gain is "exploitative." This is so utterly absurd that I hardly know where to begin.

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March 04, 2011, 09:54:52 PM
 #99

It would seem that he thinks any exchange in which someone realizes a monetary gain is "exploitative." This is so utterly absurd that I hardly know where to begin.

I do. In order to determine whether or not any transaction I engage in is "exploitative", I must know exactly how much it costs the seller to produce the good or service.

Ridiculous.
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March 05, 2011, 02:25:56 AM
 #100

Well, slave owners make tons of profit. You would tolerate slavery in your society?

As far as ethics goes, it's wrong to enslave people not because it's "exploitative" but because it's a violation of self-ownership.

Slaveowners profit for themselves, but it doesn't mean it's in their long-term interest to enslave people.

It's also wrong not to strive toward prosperity too. If you want to alleviate human suffering, you need an efficient economy.

I still don't understand "exploitation".

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