How many years you got ?

Sunday, 02 February, Year 6 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

decimation Much like Mr. Yarvin's Goldenstein : Except Bitcoinstein has a much brighter looking future than Goldenstein
mircea_popescu Now you're making me read more of that stuff. It always pisses me off, because the kid is clearly bright and yet clearly wilfully stupid. Anyway.

decimation Sorry. He has his good moments, but I agree he is a spaz. Bitcoin is immune from legal tender law. Unlike fiat, no bank will be able to force depositors to accept bank credit (in bitcoin) as fungible with actual Bitcoin.
mircea_popescu Well this article does a lot to explain his psychological drive in being so bitcoin-butthurt. Anyway, the arguments he makes are mostly sound and generally banal, it just so happens they didnt work out for gold. The reason they didn't is that gold has a negative mining return. What I mean by this is : Romania sits on a mountain of gold. It was the main source of minable gold for the Roman empire, when they finally conquered Dacia the local king's treasury financed 100 days of straight games with plenty left over. The austrians mined it, Transylvania still sits on a pile of untold millions of ounces. About ten years ago a mining group formed to cut out one certain mountain, convert it to gold (and silver, palladium, tungsten, etc etc) and pay the government 20% (of the gold only). They've been trying to push this deal for the entire decade, hiring PRi, doing TV shows, paying the idiots living there fiddy bux a head to go "omfg we're dying of hunger", the works. It never worked, to date, it'll never work to any date. My objection, and i'm confident the thing that sunk the project (not for it being mine, but for it being sound) is simply this : why bother with all the digging, all the cyanide ponds, all that, just to get gold out fo the ground, move it 500 miles south west and then... dig a hole, put it there and guard it ? Just put up a sign, National Bank of Romania Gold Vault, Rosia Montana Division on that mountain and be don with it. It's... just as gold, and just as buried, where it stands.ii In short : a land deed on a gold field is as good as gold itself. You have a negative incentive to actually mine it, whereas you have a positive incentive to mine Bitcoin.

decimation Indeed. Gold in the ground as ore is just as good as gold in the ground as a bar.
mircea_popescu So the driving force isn't Bitcoin's immunity to the legal tender law, it's Bitcoin's immunity to the real estate law. Bitcoin is immune to human agency, which means you can't pass a law to hinder its fungibility. More importantly tho... there's no rational way to represent property in yet-unmined blocks. This is so obvious it escapes notice, yet it's the more important factor.

decimation Right, unlike anything physical, unmined Bitcoin is utterly useless.
mircea_popescu Right-o. Precisely BECAUSE it is in no way physical. Or in other words, the reasons all the "experts" in old-fiat crap give for Bitcoin's [eventual] failure are in fact its points of strength. This strengthening the chief pillar of all hermeneutics.iii

decimation Right, and all the game-theory arguments about savings is really just restating Gresham's law. Except bitcoin is harder than gold. Goldenstein < Bitcoinstein.
mircea_popescu Indeed. He does get a lot of mileage in wordcount out of restating the banal, but he does so in a pleasant form and this is a good thing, you never know which exact word combo is some guy's aha moment. Nevertheless, it's still just as much dicking about with shit we know.

decimation I find the Goldbug's (enemies of the fiatists) objections to Bitcoin to be amusing, because they complain about the lack of physicality. Whereas that's bitcoin's greatest strength, as you point out.
mircea_popescu Well in their defense, they just rooted for the correct principle their whole life, fighting valliantly for their sanity as an oppressed minority. To have, within their lifetime, their cookie stolen by a newcomer...

ThickAsThieves Old Republicans.
mircea_popescu Pretty much. Imagine if after having pampered Jesus for 30 years, the entire thing was suddenly taken over by baby Allah. Fucking religious war. So I can understand why a 50 something guy with a bunch of gold bars and no functioning linux distro is fucking pissed at Bitcoin. And tbh I kinda feel for him. Sadly tho, they also can't be helped, because... as TAT points out, "The problem here is that you have no mechanism with which to do so, and that because language is not employed for the purpose you imagine it employed."

ThickAsThieves And why in 15 years Bitcoiners will be crying over some newer thing.
Duffer1 I'd be surprised if it took 15 years.
ThickAsThieves Me too.
decimation At least James Turk is smart enough to recognize a good thing when he sees it. Hopefully he will get his Bitcoin exchange running at some point.
ThickAsThieves language exists so we dont have to hit each other and grunt to communicate, just more economy at work. Probably mostly cuz female facial expressions were never well-interpreted either.
mircea_popescu Possibly, though I find female facials easier to read than males'. I suspect the reason is people tend to spend more time looking at other bits, and so lack practice.

ThickAsThieves I always considered myself instinctively above average with body language.
mircea_popescu So does everyone else.

ThickAsThieves Yeah but me more so!
mircea_popescu Those with good reason for good reason, those without good reason for D-K reasons. Anyway. It's not clear at the moment that an improvement on Bitcoin is in principle possible. This is true of gold, too, at least up to about 2005 or so. It did take > 2k years with gold so maybe 15 is short. Maybe we have 250 years.

  1. Which pretty much sunk a number of aspiring "internet celebrities" into the muck, incidentally. 1, 2. []
  2. Moreso, actually, in that the expense of mining it acts as insurance against it being stolen. Basically, the equivalent for not mining your gold would be NRFB. Improves the value of any collector's item significantly. []
  3. The observation that as a novice reading a text, it will readily separate before your very eyes in the banal and the insane. As you approach actually understanding it however, that which used to appear banal regains its extraordinary (which is why it was put there) and that which used to appear insane regains its banality (which idem). This not exactly unrelated to the Seinfeld problem, which really is just a zoomed-in formulation of the same principle. []
Category: Bitcoin
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8 Responses

  1. And then watch some joker successfully prove P == NP... just out of spite.

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Sunday, 2 February 2014

    Or that, yeah.

    Cads' ex-gf, lol.

  3. Is very good I look picture becuse I dont undrestand English

  1. [...] gold and silver was about to become and exercise in still greater futility than ever before. Gold is scarce in absolute terms while silver is scarce in terms of being a low yeilding but valuable part of many ores primarily [...]

  2. [...] Here's one example. Do you understand what that means ? Do you see how the fact that you can make rounds of any size and call them coins therefore makes for a weaker currency than Bitcoin ? [...]

  3. [...] while there is no rational way to represent property in yet-unmined blocks, which gives Bitcoin a positive incentive to mine and a huge advantage over gold which has a negative incentive, [...]

  4. [...] legitimate in the gold bug's narrow, Linuxless(xvii) mind only. The controlling article here is, How many years you got ? That is, whereas with gold, capital must be risked to mine the new supply and a troop of soldiers [...]

  5. [...] the distant future, will likely defect and start a new Bitcoin. It's also worth asking yourself, "how many years you got ?" It's something to be aware of and think through and weigh against the untenability of the [...]

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