A little bit of Bitcoin history

Wednesday, 24 December, Year 6 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

Since #bitcoin-assets discussions got me reading old logs, here's a short livedi little gem not many are too likely to know about. I'm publishing it for the sake of providing material to the historian of the future ; I hope those involved won't mind it - it's been years after all, which in Bitcoin terms means generations.

**** BEGIN LOGGING AT Mon Apr 2 02:08:40 2012

02:08:40 * Now talking on #bitcoin-otc-expats
02:08:43 mircea_popescu lol what is this
02:08:58 rg im an expatriate

02:09:06 mircea_popescu lmao.
02:09:09 vragnaroda Well, I'd unban you both if it wouldn't make more drama in -otc right now.
02:09:14 vragnaroda So, fuck it.

02:09:18 mircea_popescu im not going back to otc.
02:09:18 rg mircea got banned too?!
02:09:22 vragnaroda yeah
02:09:24 rg what the fuck is this

02:09:40 mircea_popescu let smartass gmaxwell draft his coworkers into it.
02:09:52 rg #lamer-paradise

02:10:08 mircea_popescu the so called tragedy of commons.
02:10:27 mircea_popescu or why i never allow ops in my communities.
02:10:43 vragnaroda Well, I find it amusing that the two people with *paid* ads in -otc were both banned because gmaxwell's on the rag.
02:10:57 vragnaroda (Don't quote me on that. ;))

02:11:00 mircea_popescu i don't.
02:11:22 rg its ok
02:11:24 vragnaroda Well, amusing in the sense of self-destruction.

02:11:25 mircea_popescu and im also serious, i am not going back there.
02:11:28 rg on another day id probably be freaking out
02:11:36 rg but its a good day, we had sloppy joes for dinner
02:12:33 rg i think there will be fall out from this
02:12:37 rg depends how nanotube feels personally
02:13:11 rg id love to see:
02:13:34 rg -ChanServ(ChanServ@services.)- 30 mindspillage +V [modified 0 weeks, 1 days, 00:00:01 ago]
02:25:44 * copumpkin (~copumpkin@unaffiliated/copumpkin) has joined #bitcoin-otc-expats
02:25:52 copumpkin :O
02:25:55 rg wtf
02:25:58 rg you didnt get banned too did you
02:26:01 copumpkin nope
02:26:07 copumpkin I'm just an expat
02:26:40 * pigeons (~pigeons@ec2-50-16-126-159.compute-1.amazonaws.com) has joined #bitcoin-otc-expats

02:26:46 mircea_popescu mmm
02:26:52 copumpkin rawr

02:26:53 mircea_popescu this might actually end up a pretty cool party.
02:26:54 * copumpkin (~copumpkin@unaffiliated/copumpkin) has left #bitcoin-otc-expats
02:28:14 pigeons i thought he was joking, whoever mentioned this channel first
02:28:25 pigeons then copumpkin said it, and he doesn't joke ;)
02:29:04 rg i should do something childish like replace gmaxwell's photo on the photobook to gayporn

02:29:38 mircea_popescu this is srs bzns
02:29:46 vragnaroda pigeons: I think it was mcorlett, actually, and I made the channel after that.

02:30:00 mircea_popescu sooo...
02:30:06 mircea_popescu anyone know any good potty jokes ?
02:32:15 * nanotube (~nanotube@unaffiliated/nanotube) has joined #bitcoin-otc-expats
02:32:24 nanotube hello what's this then? :)
02:32:42 rg nanotube: we had to go somewhere safe

02:32:43 mircea_popescu o hi there.
02:32:49 nanotube :)

02:32:51 mircea_popescu you tell me what exactly is this magical policy you got going
02:32:58 mircea_popescu cause it doesn't seem like i like otc anymore.
02:33:14 pigeons I said "maxipad" in -otc the other day, and I thought of it because someone *at work* said it first (in reference to the ipad)
02:33:20 rg i like otc, i just dont like gmaxwell
02:33:23 rg and others dont aswell
02:33:28 nanotube well well... there's this link in the topic. been there for a bit now.

02:33:47 mircea_popescu yeees... listen, to avoid wasting time, did you read the chan log ?
02:33:48 nanotube now i can't say i'd have resorted to a ban, instead of a gentle suggestion to take the policy meta-discussion to another channel...
02:33:49 nanotube but...
02:34:02 nanotube the basic idea is to keep things friendly and pleasant ;)
02:34:09 rg you wouldnt ban your two channel sponsors?
02:34:10 rg smart move

02:34:12 mircea_popescu so how's it working then, in your estimation ?
02:34:20 nanotube i'd not have taken issue over a random invocation of a maxipad either. :P

02:34:33 mircea_popescu nanotube, seriously. read the log.
02:34:41 nanotube i did.
02:34:50 vragnaroda I don't know what brought maxipads up tbh; I didn't see that part.
02:34:57 rg terry said 'maxi pad'
02:34:58 nanotube lol i have no idea it was totally random.
02:35:01 nanotube anyway
02:35:01 vragnaroda That *really* depends on context.
02:35:10 rg 23:36 terry i have a maxi pad guys
02:35:11 rg 23:40 terry gmaxwell: Seriously - I'm genuinely curious. Are maxi pads NSFW these days?
02:35:12 rg 23:45 rg who the hell would be embarassed by maxi pad

02:35:19 mircea_popescu mkay. i've lived with the communists a decade or so. i won't stand for the sort of bull.
02:35:32 nanotube the only way to get 'perfect op-ing, in my opinion' is to be the only op. and then i can't sleep, and have to be on irc all the time.
02:35:43 rg i thought hte op list was fine
02:35:46 nanotube or cloning
02:35:48 rg before gmaxwell started opping himself

02:35:54 mircea_popescu i know. i never op anyone on my sites, exactly for the reason.
02:36:05 nanotube so my best alternative is to select some people who i think are generally reasonable and ask them to help out.
02:36:09 pigeons i also give gmaxwell the benefit of the doubt that by "I'll gladly remove anyone else who doesn't agree with the published policy." he means anyone who prolongs the current argument
02:36:10 nanotube and some of them will be too lenient
02:36:14 nanotube and others will be not lenient enough
02:36:18 nanotube and it won't be perfect
02:36:33 nanotube but first-best solutions are hard to achieve IRL.

02:36:34 mircea_popescu that's a strawman tho. your problem is that you have someone there who is convinced
02:36:40 mircea_popescu that he can "shape" public discourse.
02:36:48 mircea_popescu this person is not fit to live among peers, or in the free world.
02:36:54 rg i dont think its fair to claim the rules are posted
02:36:59 nanotube well, that's what chanops do all the time, shape public discourse.

02:37:01 mircea_popescu it's a fundamental problem of personal philosophy, which can not be glosssed over.
02:37:02 rg when theyre enforced when the ops 'feel like it'

02:37:06 mircea_popescu mno.
02:37:16 mircea_popescu there's a difference between the individual and the group.
02:37:25 mircea_popescu you can kick individuals that are agressing the group
02:37:29 mircea_popescu you can not agress the group.
02:37:31 nanotube a 'troll' is a form of public discourse. when a chanop bans a troll, he shapes public discourse in channel.

02:37:43 mircea_popescu nonono. a troll's not a troll.
02:37:43 rg what just happened was not trolling
02:37:53 rg well i didnt see what mary poppins said
02:37:54 nanotube not saying it was

02:37:55 mircea_popescu pff. a troll's not what we're talking about here.
02:38:11 nanotube just saying that the job of a chanop is to shape public discourse, like it or not.

02:38:23 mircea_popescu well then we dissagree.
02:38:32 mircea_popescu when a guy flings feeces it's a job for the police
02:38:39 mircea_popescu when some people protest that's a right.
02:38:48 mircea_popescu quite different categories, these.
02:38:49 vragnaroda I think you might be using the word ‹shape› differently.

02:38:56 mircea_popescu maybe so.
02:38:59 nanotube or discourse. :)

02:39:09 mircea_popescu i think "public" is the problem really.
02:39:28 mircea_popescu i mean it as "the discourse of the public" not "that said in a public place by an individual".
02:39:45 mircea_popescu in this sense creationism is public discourse, as fucking wrong as it is. you still can't ban people for it.
02:39:51 nanotube rg: people go afk, or don't feel like dealing with stuff, all the time. so by necessity things will be enforced imperfectly/sporadically...
02:40:13 rg or unfairly
02:40:15 rg in this case

02:40:40 mircea_popescu not even a problem of fairness. in simple economical terms : nanotube, you have hereby wasted more of your time than gmaxwell will save you this entire month.
02:40:46 mircea_popescu i can sign and seal this if you want.
02:41:02 nanotube haha well, this is irc. i've wasted so much time here already that it's not even funny
02:41:04 vragnaroda lol
02:41:24 nanotube so anyway
02:41:49 rg you know the scene in blue velvet where he first inhales the stuff from his pocket
02:41:51 rg thats me right now
02:42:13 nanotube could i sum up and just ask that we all keep it civil, and try to keep otc a pleasant place for all? well, for most? :)
02:42:19 nanotube rg: i haven't seen that movie.
02:42:26 vragnaroda I don't know that movie, either.

02:42:36 mircea_popescu apparently he has eccentric taste in movies.
02:43:00 rg well it isnt korean underage scat anime
02:43:04 rg so obviously vrag hasnt seen it
02:43:12 nanotube haha

02:43:30 mircea_popescu but no, nanotube, we can't sum it up. in general i can see your argument and it's valid, but in particular the guy is frankly either permanently or for some reason temporarily off his rocker.
02:43:49 mircea_popescu i have no way of knowing, but i guess if he makes a statement that it was temporary i'll have to buy that.
02:43:51 vragnaroda rg: My interest in Korean is fairly recent. ;)
02:44:37 nanotube mircea_popescu: "in general" he has been a reasonable and intelligent individual, in my estimation, over a period of at least several months, which is the reason everyone who has ops on otc has ops.
02:45:18 nanotube maybe today he may have been a little overzealous? but i think if you observe his discourse over time, you are likely to agree that he's a good and generally well-balanced fellow.
02:46:06 rg i disagree

02:46:18 mircea_popescu that i can agree, i guess. haven't interacted much realluy
02:46:26 mircea_popescu which possibly is the root cause of the entire conundrum.
02:46:54 mircea_popescu i know he's a frequent contributor to the bitcoin repos etc, that's fine and quite respectable.
02:57:45 nanotube reuters.com/article/2012/04/01/traders-bitcoin-idUSL6E8ET5K620120401 - your ipo was mentioned here, mircea_popescu :)

02:57:52 mircea_popescu eh ?!
02:57:58 mircea_popescu on REUTERS ?!ii
02:58:32 mircea_popescu One website offering Bitcoin options trading was 'listed' this month for an implied valuation of half a million dollars.
02:58:33 mircea_popescu ahaha
02:58:44 mircea_popescu ok, im corking this champagne bottle.
02:58:53 nanotube hehe

02:59:20 mircea_popescu nanotube listen, if finance doesn't work out for you, do pr.iii
02:59:26 mircea_popescu you're practically born for it :D
02:59:29 vragnaroda lol
02:59:31 nanotube haha

02:59:58 mircea_popescu i do not know (and i mean this in the most congratulatory manner) anyone that's equally smooth and not female.
03:00:32 nanotube hehe :) i surely am finding that i get to use my negotiation and diplomacy skills quite a lot since starting otc...

03:00:40 mircea_popescu but anyway. enough of teh sillyness.
03:00:44 rg ok good phew
03:00:47 rg the lady i found out was a cylon
03:00:51 rg they tell you in the episode im watching
03:00:53 rg phew!
03:01:00 nanotube heh
03:07:11 rg so
03:07:18 rg is battlestar galactica in a differnet dimension
03:07:19 rg ?
03:07:35 rg or just very very fast into the future
03:07:38 rg far*
03:08:15 nanotube no idea, haven't watched any.
03:20:21 rg nanotube
03:20:30 rg im going to ask you a personal question
03:20:38 rg if you had to show a project that you worked on that you were most proud of
03:20:40 rg wht would it be?
03:21:27 nanotube depends on the audience.
03:21:49 nanotube if it was some finance academic guys, i'd show them my academic papers or something
03:22:01 nanotube if it was some random guys, probably bitcoin-otc :)
03:26:32 rg so do you consdier -otc an extension of your self?
03:37:47 nanotube hm i think i'll need you to define more specifically what you mean by that.
03:38:30 nanotube inasmuch as anything i make is an extension of myself, yes. other than that... no. ?
03:44:32 rg ENsign Ro is a captain in battlestar galactica
03:44:33 rg !$@)@&*
03:44:36 rg NO WAY
03:44:39 rg shes from star trek tng

**** ENDING LOGGING AT Mon Apr 2 04:53:07 2012

To sum things up : back in 2011-2012 #bitcoin-otc was not only interesting and worth reading (ie, absolutely valuable) but much more importantly relevant for Bitcoin (ie, relatively valuablev ) not because I was there at the time, but because it was such that I could be there at the time. Similarly, the island of Manhattan was not valuable and important in 1650 merely because it could grow some crops or because it supported some hunting, nor because Peter Stuyvesant lived there, but because it was the only New Amsterdam to be had. Stuyvesant could have in principle lived anywhere else, much in the sense you could in principle buy any car you want. Nevertheless, for as long as the sort of car your sort wants exists, that's the car you'll be buying, no "coulds" about it.

There were other places which supported hunting and some rudimentary agriculture in 1650. None of them became the trade center of the entire continent and in due time of the entire world. This difference does not result from a difference in the flora or the fauna ; this difference does not result from the particular names that chose to be involved with one or another and it is in no case the result of "chance". This difference strictly results from the fact that New York never tried to "control the evaporation" of its atmospherevi, or in other words because its atmosphere was such that various names could be associated with it. That potential is what made it, and that same potential is what made any other axis mundi during the countless millenia spanned from Xanadu to Byzantium, and will make every axis mundi hereafter.

Had New Amsterdam been cursed with strong central government, attracting the crop of sterile barnacles that arrangement always attracts, the same trade would have gone on, and the same end results would have been reached, because contrary to pretense and appearance to the contrary, government never actually has any sort of actual impact in the world. The only difference'd have been that inept retellings of the history of the world for the benefits of the retardedvii margins of the world wouldn't have referenced it, but perhaps something else. That's all - and no government ever managed a iota more.


  1. Two and a half hours, so less than even the Ploiesti Republic. []
  2. Yeah, that was pretty much the first serious mention of Bitcoin-anything as a financial concern. Quite not the same as "here's this hip new thing kids are doing on the Internet", or the related "here's a new way for Bob to send Alice fiddy bux". Bitcoin as XDR, Bitcoin as the superstructure of the world, the measuring stick of the elite is quite a different story from Bitcoin as a toy, Bitcoin the "you know, for kids" hoola-hoop and so forth. Quite impressive for something over which no court and no government has any jurisdiction, wouldn't you say ? []
  3. Nanotube's very able diplomacy did result in me giving #bitcoin-otc a short probation. That it failed to convince me doesn't actually detract from his achievement.

    That aside, the amuck idiot that ruined its future never apologized for his idiocy, and probably to this day deludes himself into thinking that his idiocy is anything but idiotic. The cost of his idiocy to the people clueless enough to tolerate it are not likely to be itemized - roughly for the same reasons typified by "noi sclavi care nu avem servici"iv. Generally speaking there are reasons people don't, of their own power, amount to anything in the world. Those reasons are pretty much always the very people in question. []

  4. The original quote reads

    Vor merita, vedeti dumneavoastra, sa devina muncitori. Astia de-acum nu merita, astia de-acum n-au izidit nici o sansa, n-au aruncat pe geam nici o ocazie, n-au trecut, ca vitele, pe langa nici o oportunitate.

    Pur si simplu n-au avut noroc. Dar daca le dati acum 400,000,000,000 de euro, daca "investiti" suma asta imensa in a da o sansa fiecarui muncitor din tara asta, fiecarui sclavi fara loc de munca, atunci va asigur eu ca peste 5, sau peste 10 ani nu veti mai avea decat nouasprazece, hai cel mult douazeci-douzeci si una de milioane de tipi care tot asa, n-au avut niciodata nici o sansa, si nu merita sa fie muncitori sclavi, si daca le-ati mai da un 400,000,000,000 milioane acolo, sigur s-ar rezolva totul, si numai cine merita va mai fi sclav dupa aia.

    Adica tot ei. C-asa-i in tenis.

    which in English comes to

    Will deserve, you see, to become lowly workers. The current crop does not deserve, the current crop hasn't wasted any opportunity, hasn't thrown out the window any chance, hasn't passed, cattle-like, past any occasion.

    They simply had no luck. But if you give them now 400`000`000`000 euro, if you "invest" this immense sum in giving a chance to every worker in this country, to every "slaves without employment", then I guarantee that in 5, or in 10 years you won't have more than nineteen, maybe twenty-twentyone million dudes that just so, never had a chance, don't deserve to be slave-workers, and if you only gave them a further 400`000`000`000 million or something it'd definitely be sorted out, and only who deserves it will be a slave anymore.

    Which is to say exactly them. Because that's the game.

    The context being that at some point a few years ago, a surviving ex-communist aparatchick came out in full blast populism proposing some sort of law giving people money simply because they exist. Which, as you expect, created some aggitation among the dregs of society, the stupid, the worthless, the mean. It didn't come to anything, but their barely literate growls and grunts did make for some comedy gold. []

  5. The distinction being something like, a tractor is absolutely valuable because it can plow, just like any other tractor. However, if the tractor in question is also the only tractor available, it's also relatively valuable as the only thing that can do a class of jobs. In general practice this relative value of being 100% of something far exceeds the absolute value of being X dollar's worth of tool or whatever. []
  6. Until recently. So to speak, New York could only be New York up until it banned smoking. Today it is no longer the center of the world, and it won't long be the center of its immediate vicinity, either, specifically for this reason. []
  7. Literally, delayed. []
Category: Bitcoin
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4 Responses

  1. There is a tremendous value in offering the second chance of probation in serious matters as it almost always confirms that you were right to condemn in the first place.

  1. [...] whole context for this being that nanotube turned jwz in the middle of an ideological dispute between me and gmaxwelli, and I moved [...]

  2. [...] you actually afford to keep making the same choice, you think ? Or is it more a case of "noi sclavi care n-avem o sansa" [...]

  3. [...] remember anything noteworthy to have happened on that date ? [↩]IRC logs (and subsequently IRC lulz & drama -- the twin bedrock of early Bitcoin) exist that predate that date, however the cutoff is not [...]

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