The great post of rebuttals

Saturday, 16 August, Year 6 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

To sum up what's going on here : the obsequious have finally got their marching orders, and they read something like this :

MP is doing much too well dominating intellectual discourse on the Bitcoin space, especialy the social, economical and most of all political implications thereof. He can't be engaged directly, seeing how he is so much smarter, better read and generally more capable than the entire collection of pro-government drones any one government could array. You can't, after all, fight fire with matchsticks.

What you can do is try and drown it out, and that's what we'll be doing : every lemming with nary a clue immediately make a blog and start dumping idiocy. If we get a hundred or so people working on this, who knows, maybe we can push out as many articles as MP publishes in any given interval, and while nobody will read those or care nevertheless Google can't really distinguish (we hope) and so we'll call it good enough.

To the idiotmobile!

(from an actual document signed by the Big Bad in charge of Bitcoin Suppression & Fiat Propaganda Bureau (actual name of the office in question)).

I will amuse myself for a little while quoting a whole list of these, just so you know. Here we go :

Preston Byrne (whom you remember as this idiot), I guess that makes me a Toryi :

1) Bitcoin already integrates pretty nicely

Bitcoin (and by this I mean all cryptoledger-based value transfer mechanisms) is not so radical or different from the existing order as we might like to think, despite its “anarchistic implications” and the fact that it “is not intended to be integrated.”

Because yea, stating things makes them true. The point of Bitcoin isn't that the banks couldn't use it to convey their own payments just as well as some random guy on the street. Quite the opposite : the point of Bitcoin is specifically that any bank could use it to convey its own payments just as well as any random guy on the street. And vice versa, since equality is commutative : that any random guy on the street is exactly as powerful as any bank. That's the important part there, and no amount of mealy mouthed "oh, but wait, guns can't possibly kill me because look, I bought a gun which I'm using to stir my soup!!!" will likely have any impact on that. Sure, you can stir your soup with a gun. Meanwhile, I'll shoot you in the head with another. Radical enough for you yet ?

Reasoning error is always indicative, and in here Preston has accidentally indicated the purpose of the entire exercise in governmental capture of so called "Bitcoin companies"ii as well as of this recent attempt to stuff astroturf in the discourse ballot. Specifically : while Bitcoin is in fact every bit as radical and government-disabling as everyone observed, the lemmings' hope is that if they use it to stir soup then perhaps a law may later follow to forbid use of Bitcoin for any purpose outside of soup stirring, and the effort to justify and legitimize that outrage may benefit from their inept practice. Not that it'll work, and not that Preston Byrne has any chance to survive the collapse of the system that he's currently working for.iii, but "you gotta try something" right ?

Wrong, but what do I know. Moving on :

Bitcoin is far from perfect.

ECDSA is imperfect. The hunt for the perfect mining algo is ongoing; Bitcoin’s in particular has proven to be a tremendous waste of electricity, the process little more than an environmentally harmful race to the bottom. The protocol supports a mere 7 transactions per second. Protocol development has been difficult to implement on account of the centralisation of mining power and community inertia.

This has got to be a high water mark in desperation. No, Bitcoin is not perfect. Know what else is not perfect ? Democracy. Suck it.

The hunt for "the perfect mining algo" is not ongoing any more than the hunt for a replacement for Obama is ongoing. Sure, you may write the words, "even now the hunt for a replacement for Obama is ongoing". Does that make the man less the president ? Didn't think so. So what's the point ? Marketing, in a word, Goebbles' hope that if you state a lie big enough and repeat it often enough some idiots may actually buy into it. And if they do buy into it, then maybe it'll make the later change where you USG-ize Bitcoin a lot easier to sell. Not that it'll work, but...

I do appreciate the insertion of "environmentally harmful" in there, you know you're getting under the skin of the enemyiv when they start lobbing that one about. Kinda surprised we're not at the Bitcoin is racist part yet, I know I've been poking them often enough with it. C'mon louts, get your courage up, it's not just "environmentally harmful", it's also "racist". Grow some balls, go for it. Bitcoin, the environmentally harmful racist terrorism that killed your auntie.

But the cherry on the top is.. wait for it... that "Protocol development has been difficult to implement on account of the centralisation of mining power and community inertia." Ain't that a beauty. So for one thing, the protocol doesn't exist, for historical reasons that go like this : MP told the fucking idiots to get cracking, they didn't, because "the protocol is the code". USG told the idiots to get cracking, they jumped : created a hardfork to allow the friendly folk at the NSA to model just how stable this thing is (and guess what - the results spooked the spooks), merged Heartbleed into the codebase (which then resulted in the exposure of Heartbleed for the entire world, which spooked everyone up and down and all around) and on it goes. What "protocol" ? And what "development" ? Nobody has the authority to do any sort of work on the protocol whatsoever, and talking of square circles and round cubes as if they were a thing isn't about to change any of that. "Community inertia" is simply people smarter than you, more powerful than you, better than you hitting you over the head so hard it hurts, yo.

But whatever, good luck with all that. We're moving on.

caseykuhlmanA certain dork in a weird hat (depicted to the right) by the name of Casey Kuhlman, of whom I've never heard and who's clueless enough to be derping about Bitcoin but not have a presence in the WoT, (but hey, it's all okay because he's "business partners" whatever that may mean with PB above, and also making some sort of "smart contracts" company or whatever) has some very lulzy things to say :

Anarchists: Go Experience Anarchy, Or Shut Up

One of the overarching points of the video is that Bitcoin is somehow sovereign, which I assume means a system unto itself. And I'm not simply picking out one word from many and obsessing about it. That is the entire point of a "Declaration of Independence" -- for a group to declare that it is no longer beholden to a prior sovereign and is now beholden to a different sovereign.

But who is the sovereign in which these individuals of common purpose are beholden to? Who knows.

I'm a relative outsider to this whole cryptocurrency thing. Sure, I'm trying to build a business which will utilize some of the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies. However, I am by no means a believer that a few cryptographic hashes and a fancy database somehow changes any of the real human dynamics which scientists, artists, philosophers, and the like have been pondering for a couple millennia.

As an outsider, it is (anthropologically) interesting to watch a bunch of (predominantly) white (predominantly) Americans (and Canadians) purport to claim that an interesting payment protocol will solve world peace, governmental overreach, and all the other ills of modernity. The idea that somehow because there are cryptographic hashes and p2p communications protocol that those will suddenly shift the paradigm of modernity and that we can reach a point where governments are unnecessary is... I'm not sure what it is actually.

I've lived in anarchy. I know what it looks like when governance systems collapse. I have felt how easy elite capture becomes in such situations. I have tasted hyper inflation. I challenge anyone who identifies as an anarchist to actually go to Somalia -- or another area where governance systems have collapsed for a significant amount of time. Spend some time there. Talk to people about their lives. Understand what the hell you're talking about.

Whatever the participants' individual motives are I cannot speak to, I suspect that many would identify more with libertarian thinking than pure anarchical thinking. For those that do have anarchical tendencies, please see above. For those that have libertarian thinking, please see below.

Now this sort of crud may work wonders on the monolinguistic, 50-contiguous-states bound sort of guy that makes a great taxpayer, for instance in Ferguson, Mo. (Hey, nice camos and things you bought those people invading you, isn't it nice to NOT be an anarchist ?) or in Boston last year or whatever. The problem is that the entire world does not reduce to that. For instance, I've lived in anarchy, and done splendidly in anarchy. Most everyone that witnessed the fall of the Soviet empire first hand loved it, remembers it, and is quite ready for a rehash.v

Compared to this, some guy's experience in Nowhere, Africa is very poor qualification. For one thing, saying anarchy didn't work in Africa is not surprising : democracy didn't work in Africa, monarchy didn't work in Africa before democracy didn't work in Africa, and for that matter colonialism didn't work in Africa either, which is how

they

we ended up even trying democracy in Africa in the first place. So, you know... maybe it's the Africa ?

That aside, some derpy tourist that bought himself a hut and imported fizzy for a year or two in Africa is in no sense in a position to know anything or have experienced anything. Go there without a dime, make a fortune locally, with the strengths of your wits or whatever you have, then tell me how adequate anarchy is to the world. Otherwise it just sounds like a discussion of how adequate you imagine anarchy to be to your own needs and expectations, which seriously... they're educable.

The funniest thing here being that Romania currently contains about a million or so poor, marginal fellows who yearn for anarchy and believe democracy is fundamentally dysfunctional and the proximate cause of their disenfranchisement - the exact opposite of his current position. Why this ? What could be the explanation ? Anarchy didn't make them rich or powerful anymore than democracy made Kuhlman relevant, why cling to either ?

It so happens I can tell you why. My grandfather once told a joke, right after the condemnation of Stalin by Khruscev. A bunch of people gathered around the dinner table, all local notabilities, and the man says "Eh, fellows, how great things were back in the time of Stalin"

Pause.

Horror.

"What do you mean ?" barely audible.

"We were younger then..."

That's the whole fucking story. The kid that grew up in the house with round rooms fears corners and the kid born in the house with square rooms despises wall curvature. So ?

The question I have for those who participated in this video is this: are you actually interested in doing the work necessary to craft a system? Only time will tell.

No, because you are looking at the wake, long after the ship. Look at the ship, the answer will be yes.

During my time in Somaliland I said the above more times than I could count. Mostly in response to idiotic stuff whatever Minister or other person of purported power who was sitting in some vaunted chair did. It would drive me crazy that Somalilanders in positions of power would drone on about how they were a "real state" but how they continued to fail to perform the most basic of governance functions. You can't have it both ways I would tell my friends. Either you need to do the work, make the sacrifices, and be your own state, or else you just need to shut up. More times than I currently care to count, I would watch the Somaliland government act as a rebel organization acts and then go on BBC Somali asking why the world wasn't treating them like a state. Most of the time the reason the "world" wasn't treating them like a state was because they weren't acting as a state acts.

Compare and contrast with

mircea_popescu: So. Inasmuch as you wish to continue, on the general expectation that bitcoin will eventually conform to your worldview, you're more than welcome to it. However, this will positively never happen. Bitcoin will just ruin academia as you know it and that's that.

TimSwanson: Mircea, you need to deal with the content of the chapters and not just say "hey, I don't know him".

mircea_popescu: Why ?

TimSwanson: Because that's how normal debates work.

mircea_popescu: You don't get to say how these debates work. Again, because Bitcoin.

So yeah, I can readily follow this nonsense. "Oh, son, you want to be a doctor, then you have to pay us 200k in tuition. Because that's how "normal" doctors work". Here's the thing : I don't care, and I will continue not to care. And as my not caring goes on, this alleged "normalcy" is withering and going away. This is what happens every time the ants of this world, the farmers, the workers, they who produce value obtain a means to safeguard that value from the crickets of this world, they who would redistribute "more fairly" the ants' value. Whenever the ants can start ignoring the crickets, the ants do, and whenever they do, that's the end for the crickets.

So no, the situation is not equal, because yes, as TheNewDeal points out you desperately need me, and I have no use for you. And so yes you will either do what I say or perish, and so yes I say what normal means. And if you don't like it... gee. I'm sure you can tell some other crickets all about how mean I am. Go do exactly that.

I could continue with this list for a while longer. I can't be bothered, six or so pages in, because it rapidly becomes repetitive : take some facts, mix them together with some nonsense, spread it all on the side of the bread that's buttered and hope someone comes and bites. It is, I suppose, a living as it is a way of life. Perhaps not fit for people, but then again we're not discussing people here, we're discussing normal people. You know, like normal programs are programs that don't work and don't do anything much when they do work, and normal theorems are highschool level fallacious reasoning, and normal meals are the meals you don't really like. As a young adult, the most important qualifying question anyone asked about anything was "da-i romaneasca ?" which would mean, "but is it Romanian ?" as in, made locally (versus imported). The person was really asking "is it shitty", but their question really works in the terms of "but is it normal ?".

No, it's not normal. Nothing about Bitcoin is normal, from its natural immunity to normative behaviour all the way down to its outright abnormal twisting of function and meaning in the most basic (or so we thought) workings of financevi. It's an abnormalirity, a sort of singularity of the abnormal.

PS. To preempt the most obvious, if meaningless objection from those involved or from others : lazy thinking, especially the sort that tends to yield mistaken results biased towards the statu quo is not distinguishable from plain shilling. I do not care to try and distinguish, if you're a mere useful idiot dedicating your life to pious fraud or an actual marketeer of evil it makes no difference to me - I'm not about to go look through your pockets for change. Think of it in these terms : if I say you're a shill, your objection that you're not being paid readily reduces to you saying you're a sucker on top of everything else, getting reamed both ways. The streetwalker working for free because nymphomania isn't any less of a streetwalker, she doesn't suddenly become a married woman just because her fee is vanishingly small. Ye ken ?

———
  1. The url indicates this is the second time he's trying to keyword stuff for that particular word. Your guess as to "why" is as good as mine. []
  2. That aren't really Bitcoin companies at all, but mere fiat ventures trying to turn a buck out of a clamored if unsubstantial association with Bitcoin into fiat profits. []
  3. Yes I do intend to have all these people hanged, once we're done taking over. This false impression that you can never hang for having said the wrong thing at the wrong time just as long as your view was at the time in the majority is not long for this world. It's fine and dandy to say absolutely anything just as long as that anything is a minority opinion, but affirming the majority view when the majority happens to be in the wrong is a capital offense, and will be prosecuted as a capital offense. Not that it hasn't before, just, US folk don't study any history - nor much of anything else for that matter. []
  4. Yes, the enemy. Inasmuch as you're a human being, these people are your enemies. Not sort-of, kinda, almost, but absolutely. They exist to try and make freedom a succession of "rights" and human life generally impossible. You may think the effort is somehow productive for you personally, much like fire may be usefully applied. Nevertheless, fundamentally, they're still your enemies, and if they can they will burn your life down. []
  5. Principally because once you've seen syphilitic chancre you can recognise it every time you see it again. Every time. So while the powders and salves Columbia employs may fool adolescent boys across the country, it ain't fooling anyone who knows what those things are. Which is why we aren't going to bed with her. []
  6. A lot more on this topic you can find around here, in the actual hot core of Bitcoin thinking. Work for your understanding damnit. []
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  3. [...] with all the recently promoted pseudo-agents as if they were actual agents, and "i don't see" and "that's not how debates work" and so on and so forth. And so there you have it, a bunch of idiots too stupid to be able to [...]

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