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April 28, 2014

the unfungibility of the USD

Filed under: Uncategorized — @ 12:00 a.m.
the unfungibility of the USD

You think you have money, right? And that you can spend it wherever you want, right? Cash is king! Untraceable! Totally fungible! And yet:

When her husband tried to buy $500 worth of Amazon gift cards with cash in order to get a stroller, a notice at the Rite Aid counter said the company had a legal obligation to report excessive transactions to the authorities. – Petrozino

Here's to the ever increasing scrutiny of personal affairs by the USG.

prefer emacs-in-terminal to emacs-with-native-ui

Filed under: Uncategorized — @ 12:00 a.m.
prefer emacs-in-terminal to emacs-with-native-ui

Until today, I was using Yamamoto Mitsuharu's emacs-mac-port which is highly customized for OS X. It's a beautiful integration featuring per-pixel scrolling, mapping of the command key to emacs-Meta, and some other things I can't think of nor do I miss too terribly now that I'm not using it1.

I've been using the shell from inside Emacs, and I've come to the conclusion that it's entirely unsuited for my purposes. It'd be really neat if shell-mode were usable for me, and perhaps it will become so at some point but I've determined that any shell implementation that doesn't do man pages well and correctly is an inadequate shell and I'll go elsewhere, thank you very much.

I strive for any combination of the following onto 1 screen, with 1-chord focus switching between the regions:

  • editor
  • test runner
  • shell
  • compiler

The list continues, but that's the general top of it.

My flow now is to run Emacs daemonized2 in iTerm 2 (an open-source OS X terminal), and use the 'panes' functionality to get that much-desired one-chord access to my test runner or shell or IRC client or another Emacs client with an important org-file in it…

Now I just need to wire the terminal up correctly so that my arrow keys are sent correctly over my mosh connection3.

Footnotes:

1

Two finger swipes between buffers, with beautiful left/right animations including acceleration and whatnot. Gorgeous! Not terrifically useful for my flow, though.

2

This is definitely speed related. Sometime in the near future I'll need to profile my elisp so that it takes less than 6 seconds to boot Emacs the way I like it setup on an AWS t1.micro.

As a side note, running my full emacs config AND a Datomic transactor AND a Clojure webapp ALL on an t1.micro is just too much for the tiny little web instance to handle. Linux ends up randomly killing processes to get enough memory back

3

After #bitcoin-assets moved to the new voicing model, I didn't much feel like constantly authenticating with the Web of Trust bots and then the channel-operating bot, so I…installed Emacs 24 with all relevant dotfiles on my VPS and let it stay logged in for as long as my dirt-cheap hosting provider can keep it up and attached to the internet. This process actually kicked off my discontent with my old Emacs setup as I was now having to juggle the UI widgetry and the shell+Emacs commands in my poor, extremely limited brain!

Oh yeah, mosh. It's the most awesome thing ever - I've yet to need to restart my connection into the VPS in question or have it drop permanently. Mosh: say goodbye to broken pipes!

April 25, 2014

Scams everywhere! Nobody cares, though.

Filed under: Uncategorized — @ 12:00 a.m.
Scams everywhere! Nobody cares, though.

I entered Bitcoin eyes-a-goggle, wet behind the ears, looking to meet cool people and build cool things with them. I'd yet to understand that one cannot trust someone one doesn't know, and that bitcointalk.org is the worst place to find trustworthy individuals with whom to conduct business.

I rapidly came to understand that the space comprised of people working on Bitcoin related projects was 90% flat-out scams, 8% 'legit operations'1 run by crazies/addicts/incompetents and 2% real businesses run by real badass humans.

That 2% would have nothing to do with me2.

So I lurked, per hanbot's advice, and read. Read and lurked. Eventually, I started chiming in on the #bitcoin-assets IRC channel3; picked up the variety speak; and began to obsess over the scammers who seek to part the rubes from their bitcoins. And oh my god are there a lot of idiots out there. Scams abound, certainly, but only because there are so many damn greedy idiots out there seeking alpha in all of the wrong places4.

Channel topic in late-2012 through mid-2013 focused on all the scams going on in every which direction and rubber-necking the crazy runup to what turned out to cap out ~1200. The Bitcoin Trading Company was still a thing (GLBSE 3.14), and I was amazed that the scams could keep pouring forth and that the suckers would keep showing up to drop themselves into the chumpatron. Mr. Popescu calls this the "infinite hitpoints" problem - a practically infinite number5 of idiots can sustain a small crust of scammers essentially indefinitely.

Eventually BTCTC shut itself down, and the fraction of channel time devoted to discussing and mocking scams dwindled down to a trickle. This left us with Havelock and their pretenses of due-dilligence6. Sometime after that (January 2nd 2014) I launched this miserable excuse for a blog and started an effort to catalogue the prior two years of scams on bitcointalk.org.

Quixotic damn mission. There are years of fraudulent insanity buried in that forum, and after two weeks of cataloging the madness had to take the project out back and shoot it in the head for fear I'd come down with whatever disease is infecting the brains of those who seek to throw their hard-won bitcoins at unknown entities across the internet. I politely bowed out and went on with my life, seeking to deliver value for clients and build things for myself.

Things I could spend my time on that would bring more direct benefit to myself than obsessing over cryptoscams:

  • build really high-end products for the cool people in Bitcoin who either are now or will be in a decade ultra wealthy
  • learn Ragel
  • formalize the cryptocurrency network protocol
  • move to Argentina
  • close more deals
  • have more sex
  • recruit more partners for sex parties
  • throw more sex parties
  • work out more
  • clean7
  • meditate8
  • go to a gay club9
  • start building the retreat

Besides, my goals for this blog thinger is to be a place of noodling on the topics of crypto, finance, tech and economics10.

Footnotes:

1

Okay, not intentionally scams, but still predictably money-losing operations. See Dr. Greg. Mulhauser for an example of well-intentioned overreachers broken on the wheel of Bitcoin.

2

One simply cannot trust people one's never met, much less individuals one's not interacted with over an extended period. Ideally people build things and deliver on their promises and this is how you come to build trust - when people say they'll do a thing and then do it.

3

Fast forward a year and somehow I talked myself into a barony. Likely 'talked' is the right description, as only Mircea Popescu himself regularly out-lines me in the channel (w/r/t actual 'writing', though, the man is an indomitable prose machine).

4

For some unknowable reason the first thing your typical idiot asks once they get their grubby little paws on some BTC is 'how do I get some return on this'? Well, you don't. You're lucky enough to be holding a bitcoin - don't get greedy. Ever heard the phrase "you cannot con an honest John"? It applies doubly to Bitcoin. Bitcoin's not making anyone else ultra wealthy in the next decade. That already happened in the run up from < 1USD to > 100 USD. The rest of the appreciation should happen slowly, over time. Any more bubbles aren't a sign that Bitcoin's arrived, just the sign of…another bubble. They happen.

5

Not literally infinite, but as far as the scammers are concerned the numbers of sheep to be shorn far exceed their ability to perform the shearing and so we have a practically infinite supply. Ideally, this fishery runs dry at some point in the future, but the continued existence and dealflow on Havelock and recently Counterparty (plus Picostocks…) doesn't suggest that this'll happen any time soon. Hence this post.

6

Havelock is the operation that let CaVirtEx walk with their entire IPO stash.

7

I fucking hate cleaning.

8

I really fucking hate meditating.

9

I don't actually hate gay clubs. Beautiful young men like myself drink for free there. Everyone's super handsy, but that's quickly resolved.

10

Solicitation of input: how would you explain the difference between finance and economics to your typical hipster girl with an Etsy store?

April 24, 2014

First they came for the porn stars bank accounts...

Filed under: Uncategorized — @ 12:00 a.m.
First they came for the porn stars bank accounts...

And yet, when Presley went to Bank of America to open up a new account, she was summarily turned away.

http://www.xbiz.com/news/178172

First they came for the Islamists sending money to their families, and I did not speak out because I am not of the People of the Book.

Then they came for the people living off the land's natural bounty, and I did not speak out for I am well-fed, well-housed and worked hard to get here.

Then they came for the whores and hustlers and everyone else struggling to make ends meet without submitting to the humiliation of the dole.

Then they came for the Bitcoiners, but by then we'd already left.

Pack your bags, sweetie. We're moving to South America.

April 16, 2014

ERC WoT integration - such gift!

Filed under: Uncategorized — @ 12:00 a.m.
ERC WoT integration - such gift!

I love it when the world renders nice things to me! erc-gribble-mode appeared in my PMs on IRC today. A gift from 5356DE4752432A9E!

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

I have audited the tag beta_0 of 5356DE4752432A9E's repository located at
https://github.com/pf/erc-gribble. That tag is clean and will not steal your keys.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1
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=WN3v
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

It's a mode for an Emacs IRC client by the name of ERC that makes working with gribble and assbot a little less painful.

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