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Author Topic: Occupy Round Table on Bitcoin  (Read 9989 times)
kwukduck
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December 09, 2011, 03:17:07 PM
 #1

Yesterday there was a short item about bitcoin brought up on the occupy-mumble server and i was able to record it in time.

This may reflect how most occupiers think of bitcoin.

http://www.zshare.net/audio/97162286c26905e6/
 (for some reason the audio won't play for me on-site, but it's only 14mb)

Also, there was some chatting going on, that came down to 'we need a world without money!' and 'bitcoin will just fall back into a system that we have now'.


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December 09, 2011, 04:17:05 PM
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Yeah, that's why I dropped out of the various movements going on. They talk about blue sky ideas, but have few practical solutions that even they can agree upon. Besides, most of them just don't have a clue. Bitcoin is a fundamental new technology based upon a primary concept in communications. It's like the discovery of how fractal geometry redefines natural sciences. Sure, cryptography has been around for ages to secure the value of ideas, but Bitcoin is the purest extract of the concept and will be like warp drive for global finance.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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December 09, 2011, 04:26:00 PM
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Yeah, that's why I dropped out of the various movements going on. They talk about blue sky ideas, but have few practical solutions that even they can agree upon. Besides, most of them just don't have a clue. Bitcoin is a fundamental new technology based upon a primary concept in communications. It's like the discovery of how fractal geometry redefines natural sciences. Sure, cryptography has been around for ages to secure the value of ideas, but Bitcoin is the purest extract of the concept and will be like warp drive for global finance.

Although I do support occupy movement simply for the fact that some of them are smart enough to at least know something is going wrong in the global financial market, I completely agree about the fact that many have absolutely no clue about how to go about making things better.

All I can hope is that the awareness brings more knowledge over time and they will find many paths to improving on the current situation. It isn't going to happen over few months, or even few years imo.
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December 09, 2011, 05:01:14 PM
 #4

They are just normal people that found themselves jobless and are tired of the government wasting billions of THEIR taxes in bailing out banks

Of course they aren't the most clever people around, they are just NORMAL people.
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December 09, 2011, 05:11:38 PM
 #5

People who say "we need a world without money" are actually saying "we need a world without trading and barter," for the two are the same.

Money is simply the good for which people most commonly barter. Remove any form of money from society and you'll quickly observe people finding other things to trade with.

If trade and exchange are occurring, then goods are being traded between people. Whichever good is most commonly used in trade is given the name of money. Not only is it a silly idea to "remove money" from society, but it is in fact as impossible as removing speech.

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December 09, 2011, 05:18:05 PM
 #6

Maybe they just don't want governments able to print as much money they want to keep bailing out banks
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December 09, 2011, 05:27:02 PM
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Maybe they just don't want governments able to print as much money they want to keep bailing out banks

I doubt many of them would advocate removing the monopoly authority of Government (or the Fed) to coin money. I can't imagine them suggesting that money be provided by the marketplace, or even for a Government-money backed by gold.

At the heart of the Occupy protests is an antagonism toward material inequality - they don't want rich people to be rich when poor are poor. The couch it in terms of corruption, yet they do not protest any corruption or cronyism on the left - such as the Solyndra scandal or Soros' influence on prominent politicians.

They're just socialists who don't mind government power and corruption as long as it's used to force people into equality.
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December 09, 2011, 05:29:48 PM
 #8

Bitcoin is a very significant step but it is no panacea.

Bitcoin still behaves like money. Money as a network clumps into areas of excess and poverty.
We will still have large nodes and there is no smoothing algorithim in place to mitigate the effects of money.
The debt based society still exists. That is, you can open a debt against someone just the same.

Still, Bitcoin is a very signifcant fix on money by some decentralisation.

One step at a time.
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December 09, 2011, 05:31:31 PM
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Bitcoin still behaves like money.

In what way would you prefer it to behave?
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December 09, 2011, 09:50:24 PM
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Bitcoin still behaves like money.

In what way would you prefer it to behave?

I'd like to see an algorithim built in to smooth out the network. The problem with money right now is that it collects into the haves and have-nots because all networks naturally form this pattern.
Thus money, because it is a network always takes on a mind of it's own unless we design against this unintended property.
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December 09, 2011, 10:05:01 PM
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Bitcoin still behaves like money.

In what way would you prefer it to behave?

I'd like to see an algorithim built in to smooth out the network. The problem with money right now is that it collects into the haves and have-nots because all networks naturally form this pattern.
Thus money, because it is a network always takes on a mind of it's own unless we design against this unintended property.

Can't tell if serious....

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December 09, 2011, 10:21:00 PM
 #12

Hmm... Let's see if distributing the wealth works... Developers: Please write into the code that all BTC be equally distributed among all clients on the network.

Something tells me their will be a whole lot of other instances of clients running... Greedy People... what can you do with them ? Smiley

Corporations have been enthroned, An era of corruption in high places will follow and the money power will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people until wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. ~Abe Lincoln 1ApJdWUdSWYw8n8HEATYhHXA9EYoRTy7c4
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December 09, 2011, 10:43:55 PM
 #13

A couple days after Occupy LA was shut down, I encountered some now-roaming protestors on my way home. I asked them "what do Occupy people mean when they say 'End the Fed'?"

Although opinions varied, the general consensus was that the federal government should keep printing fiat currency, but it should be under more democratic control. Their issue is with the Fed being run independently like a private bank, not the general monetary system.

I suspect that most Occupiers, being normal people, just want less corruption and more equality but to otherwise keep things the same. I don't think they will support Bitcoin any sooner than the general population.
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December 10, 2011, 12:16:30 AM
 #14


[/quote]

Can't tell if serious....
[/quote]

They say money is the root of all evil right?

I put it to you that money is a flawed technology and Bitcoin only solves some of those flaws.

Already there is some evidence that Bitcoin is owned by a 80/20% divide. We weren't aiming for practically all the Bitcoins to be held by Mt.Gox, yet this is what we have. Why? It's natural, here's why:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354.500-revealed--the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world.html
and this pattern can be found again in major internet nodes and in geography with cities.


You might say that the problems money causes is simply a reflection of flaws in human nature. This may be true but that's like an engineer who complains about a user who doesn't read the documentation and then makes a mistake with the design; it would be better to take the Apple iPad attitude that ease of use is as much a part of design of the tool than it is a result of poor user education. I say money as a peer to peer system has inherent flaws that need to be taken into account. I think these have been written about in peer to peer software research... anyone got any links?

---
My brother's an intelligent guy but he argues in favour of money printing and won't listen to Bitcoin ideas.
I think what we have is a situation where people won't accept the quantum leap to accept the idea of Bitcoin because it would mean admitting we've been idiots all along. It seems just too revolutionary, too much in one go.
Take Argentina. Only ~12 years ago they went though a massive run on the banks. Nobody could get money out the banks and so people staved and died as they couldn't get medicene. Also, there has been a long history of 20-30% inflation. If you hold cash in your hands for a month or 2 the next thing you know is you're paying higher prices. So what do people do about this? Buy dollars!
To be fair houses and cars are also used. But you see my point? The average person cannot grasp even the simplest financial concepts.
The only thing they understand is when I logged on and checked my valuation after forgetting for a year... to find I'd made £10,000.

I think what you've got to do is show an example of paying in Bitcoins and earning in Bitcoins because then when they see you are carrying on as normal while they're in Weinmar Republic they'll want to copy you.

There are other things Occupy can do, such as local trading and local currencies. Again it's decentralisation; making the network smaller to lower that networking effect I mention at the tpo of my post.
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December 10, 2011, 12:38:06 AM
 #15

People who say "we need a world without money" are actually saying "we need a world without trading and barter," for the two are the same.

Money is simply the good for which people most commonly barter. Remove any form of money from society and you'll quickly observe people finding other things to trade with.

If trade and exchange are occurring, then goods are being traded between people. Whichever good is most commonly used in trade is given the name of money. Not only is it a silly idea to "remove money" from society, but it is in fact as impossible as removing speech.
People here underestimate the intelligence of people who advocate a world without money. I'm one of those people btw, although I see implementing that kind of system as a very long term plan. Bitcoin is a step forwards and it's very practical, which is why I like it. It's something that's happening now, not 50 years in the future.

You are correct to say that people who say they want a world without money mean they want a world without trade and barter. What you don't understand, and I'm not surprised, is that there is technically nothing stopping us from doing just that. Barter could obviously exist for unique items but technically we can produce everything people need in enough abundance for the whole world. The resources are there and the technology level is there.

It would require some changes to way we produce and use things, production would need to be more cyclical, creating products to last and focusing on recycling more. And more than that, private property would have to be rethought. The focus would need to be on access which means that we would make sure people can get conveniently from point A to B, for example by an advanced carpool which could be an automated taxi system and of course with automated mass transit that's already in use, such as subways.

No one would own these transit methods, they would simply be there for everyone to use. This is gargantually more efficient than the disastrous system we use right now where most cars have a single person in them at a time. And even worse, the cars are parked most of the time simply taking huge amounts of space. In an efficient system we would only have a very small percentage of cars parked, for a buffer. This same principle can be used for a number of things, everything that people don't constantly need can be "pooled". With these efficiency changes we can provide basic needs to all 7+ billion people if we want to.

It isn't straightforward to remove money even if this was chosen as the proper direction, money has radically corrupted our incentive systems which is one of the main obstacles for a different kind of system. But I think that it won't take very long anymore for automation to get cheap enough that companies don't have any cheap country to go to for cheap labor, they will simply build robots. That is the breaking point for our current system, because there won't be enough work for people anymore.

Then we are forced to give people the purchasing power they need, which changes the game entirely. This development could eventually lead to a system with no money because the incentives to do stuff would be based on creativity and intrinsic motivations. Extrinsic incentives and rewards based on them are on their way out, once the breaking point is reached the type of system we have now is simply over.

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December 10, 2011, 12:53:00 AM
 #16

I don't really have a complete picture of what the Occupy movement thinks, but I know for a fact that there are a lot of people there who think like me. I do think that they could embrace Bitcoin much easier than the regular folk. I did and I'm not exactly pro capitalism. I do think that the original free market that Adam Smith proposed is something much saner than the global cancer of centralized corporate/government dictatorship and I see Bitcoin as a way to build a fairer market paradigm. It's definitely a step forward.

But at the same time it will never be enough for me. Any kind of market system will always be inefficient compared to a system that's designed for efficient use of our resources and meeting the needs of human populations. The opposite might have been true in the past but our technological capabilities are starting to be at a level where we can simply automate everything (with some limits, of course) and let people apply themselves, be creative, without the burden of being forced to get the money to pay the bills every month.

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December 10, 2011, 01:05:48 AM
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I don't really have a complete picture of what the Occupy movement thinks, but I know for a fact that there are a lot of people there who think like me. I do think that they could embrace Bitcoin much easier than the regular folk. I did and I'm not exactly pro capitalism. I do think that the original free market that Adam Smith proposed is something much saner than the global cancer of centralized corporate/government dictatorship and I see Bitcoin as a way to build a fairer market paradigm. It's definitely a step forward.

But at the same time it will never be enough for me. Any kind of market system will always be inefficient compared to a system that's designed for efficient use of our resources and meeting the needs of human populations. The opposite might have been true in the past but our technological capabilities are starting to be at a level where we can simply automate everything (with some limits, of course) and let people apply themselves, be creative, without the burden of being forced to get the money to pay the bills every month.

Well, in a post-scarcity scenario, I have to agree with you.  Fuck property rights, when things are abundant, eh?


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December 10, 2011, 01:24:43 AM
 #18

Well, in a post-scarcity scenario, I have to agree with you.  Fuck property rights, when things are abundant, eh?
I wouldn't put it quite like that but the fact is that private property is not much else than a burden in a world with enough abundance. No one has incentive to steal or hoard if there is enough for everyone. I admit we're not quite there yet but we are technically closer than people realize. But for such a scenario to actually come about I think we still need some more time to develop both technologically and as a society.

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Let's talk governance, lipstick, and pigs.


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December 10, 2011, 01:24:54 AM
 #19

Animals don't need money. Humans are animals. Therefore humans don't need money. Families take care of one another throughout most of the animal kingdom. They share resources. Money was probably created to make the weekly sacrifice to the gods easier. No worries that the small size of your fatted calf will anger the gods.  Money allowed wealth to aggregate for the institution of temples and palaces. Sure, money makes barter easier just as dogma makes thinking easier. Maybe we can soon put money to rest and learn to go back to sharing resources smartly.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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December 10, 2011, 01:47:31 AM
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Animals don't need money. Humans are animals. Therefore humans don't need money. Families take care of one another throughout most of the animal kingdom. They share resources. Money was probably created to make the weekly sacrifice to the gods easier. No worries that the small size of your fatted calf will anger the gods.  Money allowed wealth to aggregate for the institution of temples and palaces. Sure, money makes barter easier just as dogma makes thinking easier. Maybe we can soon put money to rest and learn to go back to sharing resources smartly.
+1

From an efficiency standpoint nothing beats sharing. Most of the waste we have in our current system happens because we don't share. Everyone must have their own, even if they use it only occasionally. I do see the convenience of having exactly what you're used to, when you need it, but especially with the technology we have today, that excuse is getting old. For example we could create a cloud network where you have all your files and everything you need to personalize a device. This way you could log in from any device anywhere and have all you need.

Moving from one home to another would be much more convenient in a society based on access. There would not be much that you'd need to take with you, except perhaps some unique items that have sentimental value. Just imagine a world where everyone has access and no one has the incentive to steal or hoard. That's not utopian, it's a very real future scenario. The technology level to create that is already here and the resources are here, it's only a matter of growing out of our outdated social, economic and political paradigms.

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