Do you know who knows everything about power ? Bitcoin people.

Sunday, 17 November, Year 5 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

The title is supposed to be funny, as in, we control the coolest thing that ever happened on planet Earth these past three thousand years, plus your horizontal and your vertical. We'd better damn straight know all about power, we're the powerful, in ways and to degrees never before seen or even dreamed abouti. However, the title is also true, as in, we control the hottest thing that ever happened on planet Earth, with gigajoules upon gigajoules of waste heat being dumped into your atmosphere every second so that we may keep getting incredibly rich through mining Bitcoin. Fair, huh ? Anyway, here it is, slightly cleared up and adnotated :

mircea_popescu In other news,
* mod6 reads
mod6 What a bunch of assholes!

mircea_popescu The crazy thing is... 70 cents per kw ? That's pretty damned huge. Just how much DOES power cost in the US these days.
mod6 I mean seriously.
asciilifeform I'm paying a tenth of that. Depends quite heavily on the region.

mircea_popescu No wait. This is for KW-month, not KW-hour.
asciilifeform Aha. Ok then it's absurdly cheap.

mircea_popescu Ok that makes more sense wtf. So why are they so pissed that there's a ~ 0.1 cent fee per KWh ? Something would have to be charged just to maintain the grid + meters + etc.

"Its totally unfair to put any charge on customers that are simply reducing demand," said Court Rich

mod6 The power companies in AZ are asswads.
asciilifeform Somebody needs to fire an accountant. They could've just reduced the rate paid back to the solar folks, subtracting line maintenance charge. Could've gotten the same spreadsheet, without the brouhaha.

mircea_popescu I suppose that's federally mandated or some retarded shit. The US is so far from a naturally regulating market economy it's scary.
asciilifeform In a market economy, a place like Az would be inhabited by Indians only.

mircea_popescu And people who like tans.
asciilifeform The day the plug is pulled, it will roast. Literally.

mircea_popescu Nah. Adobe brick. Quite pleasant.
mod6 It's the Saudi Arabia of sunlight, and anyone who has solar probably figures they're "sticking it to the man" since they get paid if they push back to the grid. We're being nicked and dimed here for everything in the US. And im sure people see this as just another brick in the wall.
asciilifeform See, when you boil frogs, trick is to use a nice temperature-controlled hob, and not a chinese unit with 'low/high/incinerate' settings on the dial. People notice the jumps.
mod6 Let alone, that Arizona has like horrid power company polices and rules. There are a lot of drifters who come through there, so it makes it actually hard to get power if you don't have good credit. They literally won't give you an account.

mircea_popescu Arizona would probably end up in the future as a whole state's worth of solar farms + datacenters here and there.
asciilifeform Datacenters belong in... Alaska. Thinkaboutit.

mircea_popescu No because they'd fuck it up. Hot shit belongs where it's hot already.
mod6 So they give you this meter thing that plugs into the wall, and from there you have to load dollars onto a simcard in an ATM and then put that into the meter. Then that ticks down until you run out and have to refill it.

mircea_popescu Hahaha kickass. Cabpower.
mod6 It's such a pain the the royal ass though. They only have these ATMs at certain locations. So you have to go out of your way to load the f'ing card to turn your lights on.

mircea_popescu Well no, the deadbeat is a pain in the ass. Company has to cut power every month. I knew people like that.
asciilifeform In the U.S., every service that lets you 'eat' even a little before mailing a bill, is thought of as 'credit'. E.g. phone service.
mod6 The whole system down there is obnoxious.

mircea_popescu Well it is technically credit.
asciilifeform There are even special phone companies for people judged unfit for credit where they pay $1 a minute.

mircea_popescu Anyway, I have trouble seeing this bloomberg article as anything other than "we're nice, give us free shit".
mod6 Seriously, it sucks a major dong down there if you have poor or no credit. It's like financial apartheid.

mircea_popescu Just you wait until Bitcoin comes into its own. It's already a case of no WoT, fu, you're not human. It will only get more stringent.ii
mod6 Yah, it's gonna be a whole different ball game for people. I have no idea what they're gonna do.

mircea_popescu I imagine learn to BDSM and find masters.
asciilifeform Anybody seen the crackpot musical 'Urinetown' ? 'It's a Privilege to pee!'

mircea_popescu Nope lol.
mod6 Yeah, blowjobs might be the first order of business.

mircea_popescu The adsites for such weirdos are already awash in women that identify as "slaves" and will "do anything" but are looking for a monogamous, husbandy relationship.
mod6 Haha. Sounds par.

mircea_popescu I guess it's been moving that way for a decade or two already. Not everyone is going to sit in front of the TV and whine in unison with horseface-whatshernameiii that men are "impossible to find". Some will get down to business and explore what "anything" means in that "do anything" bit. Probably goes the same way on the other half of the town too. Certainly gay porn sets are innundated with gay for pay actors shooting stuff in their cocks to get erections. I guess by now about half gay pron scenes are shot 100% by actors who aren't gay.iv
mod6 "Well no, the deadbeat is a pain in the ass" << this is true. They have a lot of drifters in AZ who come in and setup power and other utils and then flee before they have to pay. Thats how this system got to where it is now.

mircea_popescu Myeah. I bet.
mod6 But, *shrug*. It's certainly a royal PITA if you're on the shit end of the stick.

mircea_popescu I suppose the moral is, "don't be on the shit end of the stick". Moar liek azn, less liek SWPL.
mod6 It does amaze me that they (power companies) don't encourage more private homes to go solar so they can push back to an already strained grid.
asciilifeform The inescapable conclusions is that Az is: insufficiently hostile to the drifters... if they're still there.
mod6 There used to be terrible rolling brownouts out west all the time.

mircea_popescu Drifters are the anal childv, basically. Takes a point of pride out of resisting beatings.
mod6 The heat knocks out the power lots in the summer. I guess thats a function of cooling... but getting it back on line is hard as it gets overloaded on the draw. You'd think that having more people on solar would reduce the over all load. But then again, wth do i know?

mircea_popescu It also reduces income. Anything else can be borne, but less income is bad for any corp. That's why economic growth has been by now baked into the system at statal level. It's actually bad for corps when income dwindles because it exposes fixed
mod6 Yeah, but why charge the solar people? If anything, I'd think they'd charge non-solar customers more.

mircea_popescu Probably the idea is that they're the troublemakers and so they should pay.
mod6 Yeah, I have to believe thats part of the deal. They're seen as "sticking it to the man"... but really its probably a good thing over all. And creates independant households.

mircea_popescu Independant households are only good if they're inhabited by independent people. Which these aren't, I'll bet you.
asciilifeform Whatever happened to the calculation where photovoltaics turn out to be... Joule-negative (Joules over expected MTBF minus joules to manufacture - melting point of Si is quite high, etc)

mircea_popescu Shush you racist woman hater you.
mod6 *sigh* Oh well. Then again, if they can afford to get the damn solar units themselves (somewhere around $10k for an array), whats $60/year?

mircea_popescu They get the units for free don't they ? Just sign some paperwork.
mod6 I'm not sure. I know some people who were green-hippy types who shelled out for the panels.
asciilifeform Varies by state. In most places you buy the unit proper, and get a tax break later.
mod6 That sounds pretty accurate asciilifeform.
asciilifeform One of the inescapable problems is that the electric grid isn't really designed as a two-way machine. Odd as that may seem

mircea_popescu It could be. At a signficant cost.
asciilifeform Given that: it isn't simply a mass of wire, but step-down stations as well. Step-up isn't in the mix.

mircea_popescu People insist to not understand that the value of 1GW you can peel into 1KW consumers is not the same as the value of 1mn 1KW producers you have to link to 1mn 1KW consumers. This is the entire silkroad nonsensevii all over again. Nobody cares you have 1mn little dribblets of sugar all over your kitchen floor. Either get it in 1kg bags or you have no merchandise.viii
mod6 Interesting point.
asciilifeform 'Folks who won't learn thermodynamics are doomed to talk nonsense' and so forth.

mircea_popescu I'ma put this in an article just to have what to link later.

  1. The legend has it that emperor, let me underscore that, emperor Maximillian ordered all his artillery pieces have makeshift mufflers installed on their wheels when he had to go through the town Fugger lived in, because it was early in the morning and his grandiose highness didn't want to wake the banker up. Because just like me, the banker'd be in a horrible mood if woken up. It's a banker thing. []
  2. You think I'm kidding, do you ? I'm not kidding. You think eh fuck me, what do I know ? Trust me, I know. I'd have to know. You think oh but this can never be ? Yes it can be. []
  3. You know, that ugly short untalented skankboard with the HBO show. Don't ask me which one, they're all like that. []
  4. You imagine I'm making shit up, do you. Think about it : there's a lot more men who want to see other men fuck other men than there's men who want to go on a stage and stick it in some dude (let's not even consider the reverse for the sake of your squeamish self).

    Moreover, gay still means 2-3% of the population, as it always did. The fact that retarded children borne by the weakass women making up the middle class today earnestly believe gay men are about as numerous as normal men (let me underscore that, normal men, and see the normative heterosexuality for women article since we're on this) does jack shit for the actual reality in the field. A third of the demand is for gay titles, a 3% of the population is gay. What can you do ? And for that matter, twenty years of retarded faggotry parades have done jack shit to improve the fact that most gay people are very shy and very private still, as they were fifty or a hundred years ago in the middle of the pogrom. Should someone sometime manage to extract their head out of the mainstream ass, the tragedy of the cannibalization of the notion of queer by the much campier and definitely fringe "gay" all since the 70s still needs to be written. Please hurry up while the survivors can still be found.

    And since we're on that whole "think about it effort" : white men wanting to see white women being raped by black men are far more numerous than black men wanting to have anything at all to do with white women in the first place, of which subgroup those interested in any sort of rape simulation are even less numerous, by heaps and bounds. This doesn't mean pasty ass kids are performing in blackface (tho' that's probably coming as per rule 34), however it does mean that the abundance of "black power" and "all women should put hubby in a cock cage and fuck black guys exclusively" porn can scarcely be used as some sort of argument to bolster the siege mentality of the retarded pseudoright. Just saying. []

  5. There's an old article on the topic, Copilul Anal. It describes a certain type of control freak, the child that will insist to prove to its owners, be they parents, educators or anything else that their efforts are futile. No matter what you do, he will sabotage the end result, because his identity was erroneously invested at a very young age into this particular sort of control. The only correct response to such behaviour is complete investment, which is to say beating (irrespective of the age) to the point where the child physically faints. Upon its reanimation, the beating will resume, again to the point where the child physically faints. Upon its reanimation the beating will again resume, and this cycle will continue until the child is either completely broken, begging for his life to be allowed to do whatever he was supposed to do, and do it perfectly well and gladly and thank you for the opportunity, or else until the child lies dead, its consistency approximately the same as pink slime.

    Obviously this correct procedure is nothing the "civilised" West can anymore implement. The problem with this inability is that it allows the uncontrolled spread of the anal child and anal child-like behaviours, because on the short term they are more productive than most alternatives (a thin sliver of very competent, self motivated kids may obtain better results from actual performance, but the vast majority of children obtain better results by following this path). This is ultimately what corrupts and destroys "civilised" societies, because as the behaviour spreads the entire state becomes first ungovernable and soon thereafter net-negative (which is to say it consumes more than it produces). As all net-negative processes are necessarily time-limited (thermodynamics), the result will be statal collapse (and the beating to death of all anal children by the new powers that be).

    In short : spare the rod, spoil the child means that if you're not willing to cull the herd whenever needed, which means "if you're not willing to beat to death your own children should the need arise" your state and possibly your culture are doomed. It all depends on how inclined other people are to follow this principle, in that if they are then their children can marginalise and eventually curbstomp the subhuman abominations you tend to spawn. As far as the future is concerned, the situation where 100 children per million are abused horifically for absolutely no good reason is much better than the situation where 100 children per million are allowed to develop into anal children. Strange how the world works, huh. []

  6. This is actually a very important point. Consider you make widgets. Your costs are 1mn BTC for the widget factory, which has to be built to make any widgets at all, and then 0.1 BTC per widget in labour, materials, power and so on. Now, should you be selling 1mn widgets at 1.5 BTC each, your accounts look like this : 1.5mn incoming, 1.1 mn outgoing, 400k profit. Your per-widget fixed costs are 1 BTC, your per-widget variable costs are .1 BTC. Should you only sell 700k widgets, you're screwed : 1.05 mn incoming, 1.07 mn outgoing, 20k loss. Your per-widget fixed costs are now 1.428 BTC meaning you're barely covering that on the sale price. Let's hope and pray that your materials, labour and so on still only cost .1 per widget, although they could easily go up too (because if you get volume discounts, then you also get unvolume upscounts, right?).

    This is a basic tenet of economy, you can take a profitable business to the red by reducing volume, you can put a bankrupt business in the black by increasing volume. This is so well known 50 years and 150 years ago comedians were making quips about how they're making a loss on every sale but hope to make it up on volume. It's what it is. This is the modicum of sense Obama's folly made, back before being destructed in the marketplace - speaking of which, how about that, you read on Trilema the US news three days early - this is the end all be all of business : the one ruinous thing that can happen is volume drops, the one way to salvation is volume increases. Which is why inflation is now a fundamental building block of the old system, and which is why people are so antsy about the Bitcoin system. That's currently the biggest question in economy, irrespective what the clueless may still think. Can corporations be run so that they're at least able to survive and at best immune to the problems of volume ? If the answer is yes there's a lot of payoff, not least of all in ecology, in living saner lives and in living in saner societies. People are damned sick of having to put up with the pressures economies of scale introduce in their lives, as workers, as consumers. The environment is certainly damned sick of it as well. Can we actually enact a paradigm shift here ? Is there an actual opportunity to do so here ? We'll see. []

  7. From the "What the drug trade is, how the drug trade works and why Silk Road didn’t work and didn’t matter" article :

    Exactly contrary to the problem solved by the factory-and-dealership model employed by car manufacturers, flea markets such as for instance Ebay or Amazon work on the principle that both production and consumption are widely dispersed geographically, and take place in very many classes of items with low per class volume.

    In this perspective, suppose you want to buy a garden gnome with a smiling face, a yellow hat, 6 inches tall. Nobody is going to manufacture one such gnome to spec for your needs. The odds of someone having a garden gnome you can settle for that they no longer need are indeed pretty small, but if you collate together an entire continent it becomes feasible. Moreover because junk is essentially worthless, you can have any piece of pre-owned garbage you want fundamentally for the cost of shipping it. This is the flea market model, and this is what eBay does very well.

    This is also exactly opposite and perfectly inadequate for the drug trade : you don’t have many countless classes of dope, you have like six. About as many as on the run car models there are. You don’t ship cars from Ohio to Detroit or from Iowa to New York, you ship cars from Detroit where they’re made and from New York where they’re imported to wherever else.

    The strengths of the flea market model are irrelevant for the drug trade : we don’t need to discover where drugs are introduced in the system, we know already. We don’t gain anything from collating this production together, you will never have cocaine shipped from NY to LA under any circumstances. We don’t need to discover where drugs are consumed, we know already : everywhere. We don’t gain anything from collating this consumption together, in effect we just become more vulnerable if we do. In short, the current and traditional model of trading drugs is so very much superior to the ebay model and for so very many excellent reasons that the Silk Road wasn’t disrupting anything at all.

    This is very important to take into consideration. A system that works as one-to-many is not trivially transformed into a system that works as many-to-many. Every time you expect to push power into your mains socket what you are trying to do is to speak into your television. There's just no way you can personally improve the show by talking into the speaker of your tv set. There's just no way "people" just like you could aggregatedly improve "shows" in the general by having microphones included into their TV sets so they may speak into the... into the what ? Suppose the show isn't even live, you speak into the tape ? Into the old anamorphic 35 mm formats ?

    Changes of the one-to-many for the many-to-many paradigm always require complete overhauls, from the ground up. We now have the Internet, which for most of its userbase is nothing else but many-to-many TV, in the sense that you may now leave comments. How often do you figure these are read or given a shit about ? In a world where the average book on the NY Times Best Seller list sells 10k copies, and the average "big deal" article is read by 10k people ? The Zipf curve looks that way for a reason : while many-to-many systems are fundamentally different from one-to-many systems, the differences are only visible at the top. As far as the long tail is concerned, the Internet is still TV.

    There's obviously nothing wrong with that, it's natural and welcome and perfectly fine. It's also an argument to not switch off the one-to-many system, not just yet. Even if it is "old" and "obsolete" technologically. The welfare of the human race is a matter of business, and business is a matter of balancing the books. Will the benefits to the few at the top exceed the costs to transform the system ? And in this context, arguing ad populum on the part of the beneficiaries, pretending like they're "ordinary guys" in the hope that this may widen the basis of the discussion and in so doing vote them private benefits out of the public purse is particularly disingenuous.

    That said, it's certain that sooner or later the power grid will become many-to-many. Sooner or later it will also become wireless, so you don't need to drag cables with you if you're working underwater (which, incidentally, will allow the underwater cities already). Sooner or later everything happens. []

  8. I believe this to be a particularly apt comparison. Is your sugar spread all over the kitchen floor even clean ? And if you don't know what that means and had no idea power could even be dirty... welcome to my last month of horror. Dirty power ruined my birthday, that thing kills. Whether you personally knew it existed or not is really irrelevant to the topic. []
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