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Author Topic: Gold collapsing. Bitcoin UP.  (Read 1808266 times)
cypherdoc
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August 04, 2012, 11:32:15 PM
 #2701

cool bitcoinica story
There is one thing that ZT did right, and that was to design the site in a way, so that everybody could quickly understand how it works - or at least believe to do this. Compare the success (number of active users) of Bitcoinica with the few others that have some similar direction. No one is using BitcoinOPX. icbit has probably not that much more traders. ZT clearly showed that there is some demand for such a site. And one could argue, that it is only fair, that those that don't know how to play lose the game.
Just curious, did you do this only on a upward ramp?

the reason Bitcoinica was so successful was that Zhou was so accessible.  he was everywhere on the Forums talking up the site, answering questions, and explaining what he was doing (superficially by my estimation).  his young age was intriguing and captivated the younger kid newbie traders here who defended him with a passion.  perhaps they saw themselves via his personna.  even the older devs were captivated by his charisma; look at Amir, Donald, and Patrick who bought the ponzi from him right at the wrong time.  personally, i think Zhou knew it was going to blow up and used his excuse for going to school as an out.  why give up a highly profitable business unless those profits were based on a ponzi?  no proof, just my intuition based on my interactions with him and the vulnerabilities in the site that i saw.

no, i only manipulated the market that one time.  i never deposited a cent onto Bitcoinica b/c i distrusted the site immensely.  i am not The Manipulator everyone talks about.  
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August 04, 2012, 11:40:34 PM
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i am not The Manipulator everyone talks about. 

Just what the manipulator would say!!
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August 04, 2012, 11:45:10 PM
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Bitcoin has as much potential as anything to be exploited as a sharp tool by the few against the interests of the many. 

how so?  just b/c some early adopters might own more Bitcoin than later adopters doesn't mean they could or would use their newfound wealth to exploit others.  many of us early adopters have a libertarian bent and would reject those type of behaviors i would hope.  but the most important reason i have against early adopter exploitation of others is that they cannot print more Bitcoin.  in that sense Bitcoin is very much democratic and fair than any other currency the world has ever seen including gold.  gold coins can be shaved, physically diluted with other metals, and weights can be obscured during tx's.  and from a more practical viewpoint of a gold standard, paper representations of gold would be absolutely required for everyone to participate in the system. and once that happens fraud is inevitable.
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August 05, 2012, 01:34:17 AM
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personally, i think Zhou knew it was going to blow up and used his excuse for going to school as an out.  why give up a highly profitable business unless those profits were based on a ponzi?  no proof, just my intuition based on my interactions with him and the vulnerabilities in the site that i saw.

You seem to forget what happened to bitcoinica.
It's wasn't a problem with hedging (although according to the leaked mails they were not profitable in the last months), nor was it a vulnerability in the code.
No, just third parties (linode) and bad/suspicious work from security "experts" (hacked mail account, release of the code with identification inside).

You've been lucky to have been right because of the wrong reasons (even if i admit time would perhaps have proved you right, but i don't think it has to be).
Anyway, nice story about how your burned some bears Tongue

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August 05, 2012, 02:03:34 AM
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cool bitcoinica story
There is one thing that ZT did right, and that was to design the site in a way, so that everybody could quickly understand how it works - or at least believe to do this. Compare the success (number of active users) of Bitcoinica with the few others that have some similar direction. No one is using BitcoinOPX. icbit has probably not that much more traders. ZT clearly showed that there is some demand for such a site. And one could argue, that it is only fair, that those that don't know how to play lose the game.
Just curious, did you do this only on a upward ramp?

the reason Bitcoinica was so successful was that Zhou was so accessible.  he was everywhere on the Forums talking up the site, answering questions, and explaining what he was doing (superficially by my estimation).  his young age was intriguing and captivated the younger kid newbie traders here who defended him with a passion.  perhaps they saw themselves via his personna.  even the older devs were captivated by his charisma; look at Amir, Donald, and Patrick who bought the ponzi from him right at the wrong time.  personally, i think Zhou knew it was going to blow up and used his excuse for going to school as an out.  why give up a highly profitable business unless those profits were based on a ponzi?  no proof, just my intuition based on my interactions with him and the vulnerabilities in the site that i saw.

no, i only manipulated the market that one time.  i never deposited a cent onto Bitcoinica b/c i distrusted the site immensely.  i am not The Manipulator everyone talks about.  
Your memory is wrong. The unholy trio was hired by Tihan, not by ZT.
I played a little bit on bitcoinica, and there was no need for anybody to explain anything - everything was intuitive. I recently looked at BitcoinOPX - I have no clue how this should work, and I am by far not the only one. And that despite this user giving page long examples.
And if ZT really wanted to steal the funds, he could have easily started some sort of fractional reserve system, but apparently he did not.
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August 05, 2012, 02:19:37 AM
 #2706

personally, i think Zhou knew it was going to blow up and used his excuse for going to school as an out.  why give up a highly profitable business unless those profits were based on a ponzi?  no proof, just my intuition based on my interactions with him and the vulnerabilities in the site that i saw.

You seem to forget what happened to bitcoinica.
It's wasn't a problem with hedging (although according to the leaked mails they were not profitable in the last months), nor was it a vulnerability in the code.
No, just third parties (linode) and bad/suspicious work from security "experts" (hacked mail account, release of the code with identification inside).

You've been lucky to have been right because of the wrong reasons (even if i admit time would perhaps have proved you right, but i don't think it has to be).
Anyway, nice story about how your burned some bears Tongue

i stopped following the minutia surrounding Bitcoinica sometime in January i think.  i had seen enough problems to make me sign off.  yes, what u say is possible altho a pessimist might argue the ponzi nature of the scheme coming to a boil could have logically led to staged hacks with a subsequent sale. 
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August 05, 2012, 07:24:10 AM
 #2707

let me say a few more things about Bitcoinica.  one of the indicators to follow when looking at financial stress of a bank is if the interest rates offered on CD's start to rise.  this indicates that a bank is low on reserves and is looking to add to deposits to strengthen its balance sheet.

soon after i signed off on debating Zhou i noticed he started offering interest payments for anyone willing to deposit new funds. if you recall, his business model before this did not include outside deposits or a money market acct which he constantly complained about.  instead his private "reserves" were in fact getting entirely lent out to speculators wishing to place leveraged bets.  which meant in fact he oftentimes had no reserves uncommitted as indicated by the starfish.  that is not a safe situation and basically meant he was an infinitely leveraged business.  by offering healthy interest rates he was able to lure in more BTC and USD the way i understand it.  ppl like Memory Dealers got sucked in.  did he in fact lend out those new monies as well?

bottom line as i see it, there was never a sustained period of time where his business model was stable and running smoothly.  another way of saying it was that it was an unstable business model that he kept tinkering with to show profits.  i wouldn't have touched it with a ten foot pole in terms of buying it until perhaps he showed a sustained level of profit for at least a year with a stable model.
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August 05, 2012, 07:58:01 AM
 #2708

This was an interesting hour of video.

Congressman Ron Paul's Final Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee Hearing

Congressman Paul's subcommittee met on August 2nd, 2012 to examine sound money and parallel currencies.

Bitcoin is discussed briefly, in the context of being a barter currency, at around 48:38.

A part I found interesting was the comments by guest Nathan Lewis on his belief that only large institutions such as Citibank would be the ones to offer an asset-backed (likely gold-backed) private money system.  This started at 58:45 and runs to then end.

I now realize they just don't get decentralization and the power of cryptography.  Nearly every sticking point could have been answered with "except with bitcoin ....".

 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPCFKHCCKF0&feature=player_detailpage#t=2918s

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August 05, 2012, 08:27:07 AM
 #2709

All the bulls that have stuck it through the hardest times.

I thank you.

To all the bears still "taking a look"?

You're clocks running out Smiley.

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August 05, 2012, 02:46:49 PM
 #2710

This was an interesting hour of video.

Congressman Ron Paul's Final Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee Hearing

Congressman Paul's subcommittee met on August 2nd, 2012 to examine sound money and parallel currencies.

Bitcoin is discussed briefly, in the context of being a barter currency, at around 48:38.

A part I found interesting was the comments by guest Nathan Lewis on his belief that only large institutions such as Citibank would be the ones to offer an asset-backed (likely gold-backed) private money system.  This started at 58:45 and runs to then end.

I now realize they just don't get decentralization and the power of cryptography.  Nearly every sticking point could have been answered with "except with bitcoin ....".

 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPCFKHCCKF0&feature=player_detailpage#t=2918s


thanks for that.  it was interesting.  the solution they're talking about is Bitcoin but just don't realize it.
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August 05, 2012, 03:28:04 PM
 #2711

This was an interesting hour of video.

Congressman Ron Paul's Final Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee Hearing

Congressman Paul's subcommittee met on August 2nd, 2012 to examine sound money and parallel currencies.

Bitcoin is discussed briefly, in the context of being a barter currency, at around 48:38.

A part I found interesting was the comments by guest Nathan Lewis on his belief that only large institutions such as Citibank would be the ones to offer an asset-backed (likely gold-backed) private money system.  This started at 58:45 and runs to then end.

I now realize they just don't get decentralization and the power of cryptography.  Nearly every sticking point could have been answered with "except with bitcoin ....".

 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPCFKHCCKF0&feature=player_detailpage#t=2918s


thanks for that.  it was interesting.  the solution they're talking about is Bitcoin but just don't realize it.

I was almost yelling to my screen: "BITCOIN, you idiots".

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August 05, 2012, 04:32:45 PM
 #2712

http://www.safehaven.com/article/26417/two-disturbing-gold-charts

Thoughts?

http://elbitcoin.org - Bitcoin en español
http://mercadobitcoin.com - MercadoBitcoin
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August 05, 2012, 05:52:11 PM
 #2713


I see technical analysis on gold and silver as mostly self-fulfilling prophecies (with some interested "prophets" behind the scene painting the ticker), possibly useful only in the very short term -and not the most useful thing anyway.

A worthwhile article by Martin Armstrong, dated yesterday:
''We are on the Verge of a Very Profound Systemic Global Meltdown''
http://armstrongeconomics.com/693-2/2012-2/we-are-on-the-verge-of-a-very-profound-systemic-global-meltdown/

Related:
Economist Richard Duncan: Civilization May Not Survive 'Death Spiral'
http://webabuser.blogspot.com/2012/08/economist-richard-duncan-civilization.html

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August 05, 2012, 06:41:25 PM
 #2714

Bitcoin has as much potential as anything to be exploited as a sharp tool by the few against the interests of the many. 

how so?  just b/c some early adopters might own more Bitcoin than later adopters doesn't mean they could or would use their newfound wealth to exploit others.  many of us early adopters have a libertarian bent and would reject those type of behaviors i would hope.  but the most important reason i have against early adopter exploitation of others is that they cannot print more Bitcoin.  in that sense Bitcoin is very much democratic and fair than any other currency the world has ever seen including gold.  gold coins can be shaved, physically diluted with other metals, and weights can be obscured during tx's.  and from a more practical viewpoint of a gold standard, paper representations of gold would be absolutely required for everyone to participate in the system. and once that happens fraud is inevitable.

Exploiting a situation for personal gain is entirely normal and natural, and any rational system design would be centered around that being the base behavior of almost everyone.  I certainly exploit any situation which I run across or engineer (to the degree that my personal ethics allow, at least) and if anything this seems to me to be something of a cornerstone of Libertarian philosophy.  I've not much use for the fantasies of some of my Liberal brethren because they seem to neglect various realities such as this since they are unpleasant or something.

All men are demonstrably NOT created equal.  Human evolution cannot keep pace with the shift from hunter/gatherer modes in which we evolved to modern capital-based  modes.  A slight advantage in one area can produce the ability to dominate in our modern world than was the case in hunter/gatherer times.  (And other degenerate issues such as inheritance where a person who would likely be a truck driver if left to his own devices ends up as the president of the US.)  The most reliable way for distribution of wealth to occur is for the masses to take rather than relying on the few to give.

Hoarding of any medium is usually in itself exploitation insofar as it reduces the carrying capacity of any system which relies on the medium.  Taking gold from the few is messy and probably not very effective.  My hope for crypto-currencies is that it would be easier and more effective for the masses to 'take'...and in being so produce the conditions which would keep hoarding and other abuses to a reasonable and workable level.


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August 05, 2012, 09:23:13 PM
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As tvbcof pointed out, they have nearly identical purposes, but are in different classes.
To clarify, because the suggestion above is basically 180 degrees off of what I meant to say:

...

Similar to a startup, I consider the most likely outcome for my investment in Bitcoin is near full loss, but expect to learn interesting things along the way.

Similar to some (but not many) startups, I do see Bitcoin as having a potential to have a positive impact on some aspects of our societies.

I see now - my misinterpretation. Smiley

I agree with the startup view. The only thing I'd point out is that there have been numerous other attempts, much like in social networking. Multiple attempts were made with varying degrees of success until Facebook hit the magical formula. It seems very likely that Bitcoin is in that position, where the magical formula has been realized. While that doesn't guarantee its success, it drastically increases the likelihood. I guess we're inverted - I see around a 2/3rd chance of success, you (maybe?) see a 2/3rd chance of failure.

I must have missed the question; perhaps you did not have my attention. But I see several reasonable arguments for analysis when it comes to Bitcoin.

Aside from the math, great summation. Smiley

The only additional point I'd add is that Bitcoin can be good for transferring wealth over time. As it matures, it will be immune to internal supply shocks the way other forms of money are. That's one of the things that make gold such a powerful store of wealth - the flow in use is minor compared to the stock held as savings (referring to physical, not paper).

i wouldn't have touched it with a ten foot pole in terms of buying it [Bitcoinica] until perhaps he showed a sustained level of profit for at least a year with a stable model.

There was also the faux attempt at establishing legitimacy by appealing to the New Zealand government for certification, rather than pursuing credibility in the eyes of the market. That was the final straw for me. It was certainly a valuable service which met a demand, but the implementation ran away from Zhou and as you said earlier, his youth seemed to guide toward irresponsible missteps in the reactions taken.


To quote Stephen Hawking: "Rubbish."

Those charts are looking at gold and the DOW without considering the common denominator upon which both are being measured - the USD. What happens with the dollar should affect equities and gold synchronously. In other words, they should both move together - DOW up, gold up; DOW down, gold down. As the realization of counterparty risk increases thanks to events like those surrounding MF Global and PFGBest, gold will be held more readily than equities, resulting in the separation of the ratio in favor of gold.

The Armstrong and Duncan links from conspirosphere are very good reads as well.
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August 05, 2012, 11:08:26 PM
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Exploiting a situation for personal gain is entirely normal and natural, and any rational system design would be centered around that being the base behavior of almost everyone.  I certainly exploit any situation which I run across or engineer (to the degree that my personal ethics allow, at least) and if anything this seems to me to be something of a cornerstone of Libertarian philosophy.  I've not much use for the fantasies of some of my Liberal brethren because they seem to neglect various realities such as this since they are unpleasant or something.

agree.

Quote
All men are demonstrably NOT created equal.  Human evolution cannot keep pace with the shift from hunter/gatherer modes in which we evolved to modern capital-based  modes.  A slight advantage in one area can produce the ability to dominate in our modern world than was the case in hunter/gatherer times.  (And other degenerate issues such as inheritance where a person who would likely be a truck driver if left to his own devices ends up as the president of the US.) 

agree here too.

Quote
The most reliable way for distribution of wealth to occur is for the masses to take rather than relying on the few to give.

oh boy, now we have a problem.  totally disagree.  you're probably referring to taxing the rich to give to the poor.  this must be the Socialist in you. 

i vastly prefer a system where the rules are uniform for all.  a system which strips the wealthy of their means of control such as the printing press.  if we did just that one thing the world would be a much better place.  forget Socialism.

Quote
Hoarding of any medium is usually in itself exploitation insofar as it reduces the carrying capacity of any system which relies on the medium.  Taking gold from the few is messy and probably not very effective.  My hope for crypto-currencies is that it would be easier and more effective for the masses to 'take'...and in being so produce the conditions which would keep hoarding and other abuses to a reasonable and workable level.

forcibly taking Bitcoin from the rich to give to the poor would once again be a terrible idea and would stifle any chances of a nascent cryptocurrency from taking hold due to this threat. 

the single best way to discourage hoarding is to allow free market principles to take effect and let the price of Bitcoin rise to its fair value.  hoarders then would most willingly relinquish their stores of Bitcoin into circulation for usage by the general population, ie, poor people.
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August 05, 2012, 11:31:03 PM
 #2717

The most reliable way for distribution of wealth to occur is for the masses to take rather than relying on the few to give.
oh boy, now we have a problem.  totally disagree.  you're probably referring to taxing the rich to give to the poor.  this must be the Socialist in you. 

i vastly prefer a system where the rules are uniform for all.  a system which strips the wealthy of their means of control such as the printing press.  if we did just that one thing the world would be a much better place.  forget Socialism.

Unless I've misinterpreted again, I read that as the masses acting for themselves using tools that lower the cost of empowerment, while 'the few to give' is the socialist practice of politicians doling out freebies and promises. I can see how it could be viewed as the masses demanding their 'fair share' instead of working for it. Just an inversion of perspective.
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August 06, 2012, 02:19:56 AM
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The most reliable way for distribution of wealth to occur is for the masses to take rather than relying on the few to give.
oh boy, now we have a problem.  totally disagree.  you're probably referring to taxing the rich to give to the poor.  this must be the Socialist in you. 

i vastly prefer a system where the rules are uniform for all.  a system which strips the wealthy of their means of control such as the printing press.  if we did just that one thing the world would be a much better place.  forget Socialism.

Unless I've misinterpreted again, I read that as the masses acting for themselves using tools that lower the cost of empowerment, while 'the few to give' is the socialist practice of politicians doling out freebies and promises. I can see how it could be viewed as the masses demanding their 'fair share' instead of working for it. Just an inversion of perspective.

You've probably interpreted my statement as I intended.

Not perfectly clear in my original screed was that I do not believe that our modern world is structured such that the natural state is that there is an equal enough distribution to create even close to a harmonized society.  That, and only that, is the basis for my seeking means by which distribution of wealth to a level which makes society work as smoothly as possible.  I personally, while not wealthy by many standards, am distinctly in the 'have' catagory.  In other words, I have much more than I need and well beyond the mean on a global and local basis.  It's worth a lot to me to have a socioeconomic structure which works even if I have to shell out a sizable chunk of my income/fortune and more than most of my peers to make it happen.  That said, I am as human as anyone  will not necessarily do it willingly and am certainly in no hurry to part with my possessions to a political regime which is corrupt...I've zero interest in pissing into the wind and even less in forking over more of my shit than necessary to scum who give it to their well connected and wealthy friends.  You and I have been through this before.  I'm currently receiving a non-trivial amount of services in return for the taxes I pay and am happy for it...but while it is some combination of laziness and fear which induces me to overpay (and thus fund the notable war, death, graft and corruption that exists) I'm currently doing just that.  Sue me Smiley

I specifically do NOT wish to see anything like forced equality in wealth, and that is NOT the same thing as 'redistribution'.  My point is that in a modern society, it is not only possible but utterly likely that a large majority of individuals could work their fingers to the bone and have next to nothing to show for it.  That is not a healthy or stable situation.  My conception of 'redistribution' is nothing more than a mechanism by which the field is very roughly leveled such that most people who put in some effort can be suitable rewarded and most people who ride the backs of society do so at the expense of whatever fortune they may, for whatever reason, find themselves sitting on.  Taxes are probably the best way to do this if a decent political system exists to organize them.  But political systems come and go and evolve and devolve.  Other redistribution solutions exist as well.

---

Since this screed went longer than I initially intended, I'll double-up to include a basic response to cypherdoc as well:

In My (not so humble) Opinion, your slavish devotion to 'free markets' as the solution to every problem is as illogically and demonstrably absurd as are the various Love and Peace solutions of my kumba-ya friends who I tend to identify with a bit more.

Most people (or males at least) understand the relationship between a crankshaft and connecting rod.  Whether they are in a fight to the death to destroy one another, or in a harmonious relationship to do useful work is only a matter of perception.  They are designed to meet the force of one another and they exist is a stable relationship which functions well most of the time.  I seek similar solutions to a lot of problems including an exchange currency used by both people who, for whatever reason, have the ability to gain the upper hand in terms of wealth accrual and those who do not.


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August 06, 2012, 01:34:56 PM
 #2719

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All men are demonstrably NOT created equal.  Human evolution cannot keep pace with the shift from hunter/gatherer modes in which we evolved to modern capital-based  modes.  A slight advantage in one area can produce the ability to dominate in our modern world than was the case in hunter/gatherer times.  (And other degenerate issues such as inheritance where a person who would likely be a truck driver if left to his own devices ends up as the president of the US.) 

agree here too.


You probably agree with the USA founding fathers, too.  This quote "all men are created equal" is often misused.  Put in its historical context it was meant to mean that there are no God-appointed "lords" or "serfs".  Think of it like "every baby is equal" or perhaps "All men are created with equal opportunity".

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August 06, 2012, 01:48:47 PM
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Quote
All men are demonstrably NOT created equal.  Human evolution cannot keep pace with the shift from hunter/gatherer modes in which we evolved to modern capital-based  modes.  A slight advantage in one area can produce the ability to dominate in our modern world than was the case in hunter/gatherer times.  (And other degenerate issues such as inheritance where a person who would likely be a truck driver if left to his own devices ends up as the president of the US.) 

agree here too.


You probably agree with the USA founding fathers, too.  This quote "all men are created equal" is often misused.  Put in its historical context it was meant to mean that there are no God-appointed "lords" or "serfs".  Think of it like "every baby is equal" or perhaps "All men are created with equal opportunity".



i grew up in relatively humble beginnings and you might call me a "self-made man".  i put myself all the way thru college and grad school.  i also spent 2 summers as a kid at a disabled childrens camp as the son of the camp nurse.  i have great sympathy for the "underdog" to a fault.  this might explain my temporary lack of judgment for having voted for Obama b/c he was black hoping that he might actually do what he said.  this is why i truly do want to help Bitcoiners avoid the clutch of the Wall St punks. 

what i was agreeing to with tvbcof was that i do think certain men are born with more talents, intelligence, or drive than other men.  but i do believe that all mean should start off in life with equal opportunities to the extent that is possible but at some point market forces need to be allowed to work.
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