How to fail - the Scott Locklin method.

Tuesday, 16 April, Year 5 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

I've lived my life so far wihtout the vaguest idea as to who Scott Locklin might be. It turns out he's an ex biker/factory worker who lately fancies himself some sort of financier, scientist and whatnot - practically speaking yet another Kludge. I don't happen to particularly care, the world is full of people toiling under the burdens of unwarrantedly high self esteem.

Our paths on this Earth crossed about an hour ago, when my PR asked for permission to tell him off, which resulted in my review of their communication so far. It's an amusing little adventure, which I'll retell presently, but first allow me to give a little context.

Since we (by which I mean MPEx in this case) have a lot of money at our disposal, and since I'm one of those weird types who still believes money should be used to promote socially valuable projects (as the monthly MPEx reports do attest), I've ordered a number of fringe bloggers be approached with an offer to discuss MPEx and make a little change for their efforts. The idea is that poverty and unemployment in the anglophone world and the United States especially being at record highs, and centripetal forces in the anglophone world and the United States especially being at their strongest in many years, it may be salutary to give a little rope to those least apt to survive on their own, which is to say those outside of the corporate and governmental mesh which compose the emerging new socialism.

I've never reviewed the list, I've never reviewed the exchanges, I've never reviewed the results in any systematical manner. I simply never cared. This to my detriment, because lo and behold what sort of gems I'm missing out on :

To : Scott Locklin
Date: Thursday, December 20, 2012, 7:15 AM


Would you be interested in publishing a review of MPEx, the Bitcoin securities exchange? Compensation is available. You wouldn't be expected to write anything other than the truth.

Let me know.

From : Scott Locklin
Date: Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Bit coin escrow I do not care for I have to ask me, what's it there for?

I'm not a huge fan of bit coin. Can't think of any real purpose to trading them held in escrow. If you had exchanged backed contracts, it might be a different story, but it appears you don't.


The person is not quite certain of the actual spelling of this thing he's discussing, nevertheless he has an array of remarkably confused yet particularly firm notions, ideas and convictions on the topic. Somebody with more life experience would have dropped the entire thing right there, seeing how it is absolutely never worth conversing with those who not being "huge fans" of whatever topic are nevertheless inclined to inform the practicing professionals - imagine some douche who "doesn't care for baseball" explaining to Mickey Mantle the deal with "this stick they use for hitting the puck or whatever it is". I guess PR kind of sucks from this perspective.

To : Scott Locklin
Date: Friday, December 21, 2012, 12:22 AM

If you are talking about the options and futures contracts, they are all fully backed. Read up on the bonds part here: to understand how the option contract backing happens.

Read here: to understand how futures are backed.


The response doesn't fail, of course :

From : Scott Locklin
Date: Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 10:04 PM

If you want a more constructive piece of criticism (I'm skeptical of the BTC project, but sympathetic): brokers and exchanges are two different businesses. You're trying to do both. That makes you a defacto "bucket
shop" who no serious person will do business with.

Sure, some banks are effectively both broker and exchange, especially in currencies, but banks exist within countries with laws which keep them honest, and are made up of people whose houses can be burned down in the event of fraud. If you want to develop a model where people can exchange things without necessarily trusting each other, you either need some kind of personal accountability and skin in the game (in which case; welcome to the Julian Assange lifestyle), or you need a new model that doesn't look like a bucket shop.


This would be particularly ignorant an approach - and offensively so - because as it happens MPEx is not just the only Bitcoin securities exchange to explicitly separate the exchange role from the brokerage role, but also the first to do so. Everybody else is still in the dark rubbing sticks together, many many levels of sophistication under this otherwise basic distinction (take MtGox' problems as a good illustration of the troubles Pan troglodytes is battling with). MPEx actually has brokerages, both automated and full service, MPEx actually has deliberately and by design constructed a market for brokerages, this entire thing is walking up to Edison and telling him electricity should be used to generate light.

To : Scott Locklin

I seriously doubt you know anyone with the integrity or the volume of MPEx, generally speaking, but this discussion is at any rate veering into pure nonsense so let's call it good enough.

Apparently somebody's growing balls. Nice.

From : Scott Locklin
Date: Sat, Dec 22, 2012 at 3:39 AM

I know people who move more volume in an average second than your exchange will ever see. As for integrity: I didn't offer you money for your opinion on anything.


The problem with this is, of course, that he wasn't being offered money for his opinion. He was being offered money for charity. There is a difference, even if the aforementioned burdens of unwarrantedly high self esteem demand it not be recognised.

This would have normally been the end of it, my prominent position in the most important thing to happen since electricity (yes, Bitcoin is more important than the semiconductor) makes me the target to a lot of confused communication from a lot of confused individuals, which in ninety nine cases out of the hundred go exactly nowhere. However...

From : Scott Locklin
Date: Tue, Apr 16, 2013 at 3:09 AM

Thanks to the recent interest in BTC, someone is paying me to look at your exchange.

Can you provide me with a link to the contract specifications, legal documents, and anything else a hedge fund would be interested in? I see that some of the contracts have listed specifications, but others without volume do not. Public reviews would also be helpful.


Isn't this amusing ? The response went out as "This is much too far from an apology for your previous episode to count. Try again." of course, the person came back with some inane idiocy as you'd expect out of him by now, of course, and that's that.

The moral of the story, of course, is that I own this space. I also happen to be aware that I own the space, and it also happens to be the case that I own it for very good reasons and to everyone's benefit. Consequently, trying to argue with me from imaginary positions of force is going to hurt. I would hope this simple point can be understood through simple reading, so that the pain of learning it by the stick, like Max Keiser and company can mostly be avoided, again to everyone's benefit.

It is of course moderately concerning that as improbable as that may sound, there may in fact exist a deluded party seriously contemplating following this particular idiot's advice. We could of course snottily conclude that anyone stupid enough to take what this guy says seriously deserves his fate, much like anyone taking Keiser seriously deserves their fate. Still, I would much prefer it if well meaning ignorance would not end up driven into the spiked pit by millitant, arrogant idiocy. After all it's not Keiser paying the twenty million in stupid tax we've recently levied nor is Locklin paying the however many Bitcoins his putative employer is going to contribute to the greater drama timeline.

Perhaps this is one of those things in which I don't get a call.

Category: Rautati si Mizerii
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13 Responses

  1. Philip G. Potter`s avatar
    Philip G. Potter 
    Tuesday, 16 April 2013

    need to buy some credits...

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Wednesday, 17 April 2013

    Make me rich!

  3. My comment re: Locklin etc. (unfortunately, too big "to fit in the margin"):

  4. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Thursday, 18 April 2013

    I didn't even know there's a margin. Wonder if I should change that maybe.

    Anyway, what's the thesis here, that this Locklin fellow is less of an idiot than he presents himself or something like that ?

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