Friday, October 13, 2017
We know that money serves as:
- A Store of Value (SoV)
- A Medium of Exchange (MoE) and
- A Unit of Account (UoA)
But what happens when a fourth use of money is introduced, one which subordinates all the other characteristics: money as a system of control.
This talk took place at the Advanced Digital Innovation Summit on September 12th 2017 in Vancouver, Canada. Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a technologist and serial entrepreneur who has become one of the most well-known and well-respected figures in bitcoin.
Posted by defconquell at 8:38 PM
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Saturday, October 7, 2017
In this talk, Andreas recounts the history of Bitcoin and what it represents, building upon all the stories we've been told over the centuries about what "money" is, how we perceive its value, and why the old answers have changed as we adjust to this new world of digital peer-to-peer currencies. He also discusses global threats to economic stability and trust in the financial system, including demonetisation and wealth destruction through inflation. This talk took place at the JW Marriott Sahar (International Airport) on March 26th 2017 in Mumbai, India.
Posted by defconquell at 11:56 AM
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Chomsky explains how concentrated wealth creates concentrated power, which legislates further concentration of wealth, which then concentrates more power in a vicious cycle. He lists and elaborates on 10 principles of the concentration of wealth and power -- principles that the wealthy of the United States have acted intensely on for 40 years or more.
1. Reduce Democracy. Chomsky finds this acted on by the very "founding fathers" of the United States, in the creation of the U.S. Senate, and in James Madison's statement during debate over the U.S. Constitution that the new government would need to protect the wealthy from too much democracy.
2. Shape Ideology. The Powell Memo from the corporate right, and the Trilateral Commission's first ever report, called "The Crisis of Democracy," are cited by Chomsky as roadmaps for the backlash.
3. Redesign the Economy. Since the 1970s the United States has been moved toward an ever larger role for financial institutions. By 2007 they "earned" 40% of corporate profits. Deregulation has produced wealth concentration and economic crashes, followed by anti-capitalist bailouts making for more wealth concentration.
4. Shift the Burden. The American Dream in the 1950s and 60s was partly real. Both the rich and the poor got richer. Since then, we've seen the steady advance of what Chomsky calls the plutonomy and the precariat, that is the wealthy few who run the show and get all the new wealth, and the precarious proletariat. Back then, taxes were quite high on corporations, dividends, and wealth. Not anymore.
5. Attack Solidarity. To go after Social Security and public education, Chomsky says, you have to drive the normal emotion of caring about others out of people's heads. The U.S. of the 1950s was able to make college essentially free with the G.I. Bill and other public funding. Now a much wealthier United States is full of "serious" experts who claim that such a thing is impossible.
6. Run the Regulators. The 1970s saw enormous growth in lobbying. It is now routine for the interests being regulated to control the regulators, which makes things much easier on the regulated.
7. Engineer Elections. Thus we've seen the creation of corporate personhood, the equation of money with speech, and the lifting of all limits under Citizens United.
8. Keep the Rabble in Line. Here Chomsky focuses on attacks on organized labor, including the Taft Hartley Act, but one could imagine further expansions on the theme.
9. Manufacture Consent. Obsessive consumers are not born, they're molded by advertising. The goal of directing people to superficial consumption as a means of keeping people in their place was explicit and has been reached.
10. Marginalize the Population. This seems as much a result as a tactic, but it certainly has been achieved. What the public wants does not typically impact what the U.S. government does.
Posted by defconquell at 5:30 AM
Sunday, October 1, 2017
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Writing is hard. But it’s the only valid art form. You get better when you get old. Not like the movies – $10 million in cameras; herd a bunch of weird pretty cretins around while the light fails and you lose your shot. As Mamet says, lovingly swabbing down the warty helmet of MasterCard Multinational Financial Services Corporation with his greedy old tongue, in an ad that Facebook knows to autoplay every god damn time I log in to see who’s in love, having kids, successful – AKA not me – as the esteemed dramaturge intones in his Principal McVicker voice, in the ad Facebook knows to play because I’m a “writer”: more gold… need… more… reptilian gold...
Wait – that’s not a MasterCard ad. Sorry David. What he says is: I brought my pencil. Gimme somethin’ to write on, man. He’s right.
The good news is you don’t need anything. Just decades of unsparing agony that feel like millennia. The bad news: it’s the least valued skill in the world. Whatever was left, sucked out by white people paying black people 1/100th of a cent a word to make other white people feel bad. Sponsored by MasterCard. There are no good living American writers. Someone should remedy this. I’m trying but I also have a real job.
Other good news: Gogol and fucking Catullus still sound like they have a microphone in your head. Hundreds, thousands of years later. Across half the planet. The comedians around them may have had better lives. The musicians, the actors, such as… such as… exactly. Say what you will about David Foster Wallace. He’s dead but the motherfucker’s still with us. Cuffing his own hands so he won’t yank off the noose. It’s those clever details you remember. – Delicious Tacos
Posted by defconquell at 2:12 AM