It's cute how you guys think your little gaming rigs are "capital" and that mooching off your parents' electric bill is productive work like "mining" or "farming".
A rack full of 20-40 GPU cores isn't 'cute'... Neither is manufacturing custom ASIC's... Yeah, it's like that.
Aside from the fact that the OP did not refer to mining rigs as "capital" but rather the funds used to purchase them... the OP is a brand new member with only one post. Not sure it represents "us guys". And who says we are kids? I pay my own electric bill, thank you very much.
Further, I do think the effort spent in mining is productive work, but for an unexpected reason: it's an accidential creation of supercomputing infrastructure. The currency aspect aside, Bitcoin miners have accidentally built what amounts to a democratic supercomputer for hire. You know, China's world fastest computer, Tianhe-1A, which Wikipedia says is 2.5 petaflops? The Bitcoin community is now well between 3 and 6 petaflops (depending on how you calculate it) and growing, and, in all likelihood, for rent at any rate that brings its participants more income than Bitcoin mining. At today's rate, the starting cost to rent a percentage of those petaflops is the equivalent of 7200 BTC per day, or the same percentage of USD $5400/day. Something which a decade ago was only available to institutions with billion dollar budgets, institutions that would definitely refer to their
investment as assets.
Supercomputing decodes the human genome and finds cures for cancer. How's that for non-productive work?
Before you know it, you'll have someone start a mining pool that not only generates bitcoins, but provides a secure platform for automatically distributing and running workloads for hire to pool participants when available, and will mine bitcoins in the remaining time. I wonder how much computing time on Tianhe costs, and how hard it is to get. Compare that to, "I've got 1 PFLOP/s in my pool, and we can start as soon as your BTC payment is received."