The Day Bitcoin Was Hacked

BitcoinHacked In the ninth year of Satoshi, at 9:30am UTC on a cold February morning, Bitcoin was hacked. The hacker (or hackers) found a way to take advantage of a command in Satoshi’s original code. Then, using some very impressive number-crunching power, they played man-in-the-middle and intercepted transactions as they approached the big Bitcoin miners.

ROSC 9: Maladjustments

Maladjustments As I sat with the TCM crew at Jay’s (for those who don’t recall, TCM means the creatively maladjusted), I realized that they were living up to their name. The ideas they came up with for the sanitarium people were pretty far outside the box. One idea, for example, was to keep a rolling stock of Uber driver credentials, which could be abandoned after each tax season (or if Uber …

Civil War and the Status Quo

StatusQuo We’ve all been hearing fears of civil war in America recently, and while I think those fears are overblown (as fears generally are), I want to address something that doesn’t make the news feeds: the fact that we can take this question seriously exposes a sick, degenerate status quo. We need to be clear on this point. Arguments Pro and Con I don’t believe civil war will come to America …

ROSC 8: The Exchange

TheExchange I don’t use phones very often; most days I talk on the phone no more than once or twice, and often not at all. Phone calls interrupt me, and interruptions waste a lot of my time… I have to figure out where I was before the call, reassemble the pieces, and get going again. In the construction business, we used to call that demobilization and mobilization, and it led to …

The Dirty Trick That’s Destroying Us

DirtyTrick Every civilization has its own peculiar characteristics, and because of them, each has its own vulnerable areas… areas that a clever adversary can take advantage of. Our Western civilization is no exception. And most unfortunately, we’ve been under a sharp attack for many years by people who found our weakness and are exploiting it. I’ll explain how and what we need to do about it. Our Foundations Western civilization was …

If You Love Bitcoin, Promote Good Altcoins

Altcoins Bitcoin spawns strong emotions in people, once they wrap their minds around it. And for good reason, of course: Bitcoin is the future, being born in our midst. One of the ways this goes off the rails, however, is when people think about Bitcoin in the old way. In particular, they think of the crypto-economy as if it were a zero-sum game. They fear the altcoins (Litecoin, Ethereum and the …

ROSC 7: The Cloaked Life

ROSC7 The Thursday after my visit to the sanitarium, I showed up early to the TCM lunch at Jay’s Bar. I brought a legal pad and a pen, sat down, and started making notes. “You look serious this time, Professor.” I looked up to see Michele handing me a lunch menu. “Yeah, I picked up another hard problem, and I want the team to help me with it.” Michele laughed. “I …

Why AI Could End Up Saving Us, Rather Than Killing Us

AIkill When I wrote The Breaking Dawn, I avoided mentioning artificial intelligence (AI). Big Data became an important part of the story, but self-aware machines were not. You can’t include everything in a novel and still keep it moving. But here is the story I had in mind for AI – why the tyrannical elites (“the Order”) shut it down. It illustrates why it may not be the disaster some people …

ROSC 6: Rise of the Scarred People

ScarredPeople In the back room of the sanitarium, young Esther showed me a handmade plaque, about the size of a typical award plaque, which it may have been originally. “Everyone here has gone through this,” she said. “Even me.” I’m pretty well used to dark things (having read lots of nasty history), but this was a dark perspective that was new and slightly jarring. It read: This is where scarred and …

The 16 Years’ War and Its Cost

WarItsCost Every night on American TV you can see repeating commercials to raise money for young people who’ve had limbs blown off. It might be cruel to ask the following question in the presence of these veterans, but millions of other people have been forced to pay for all of this, and they need to be protected as well. And so, with condolences to the young people who signed up for …

ROSC 5: The Late, Great Chester Cruz

GreatChester I found the Mueller Sanitarium for the Chronically Ill a few blocks from a place I worked back in the 1980s. It sits almost by itself, at least if you don’t count parking lots, and only a block or so from a rapid transit train. It’s tucked in between a middle class neighborhood and a small industrial park. The building itself is an old brick six-flat, apparently in good condition, …

Lift Up Your Eyes

YourEyes When was the last time you tasted the sublime? When did you last feel wonder? Can you remember feeling awed by something? These are things we need, if we are to thrive. They are fuel for the higher human abilities. If we lack them, as is currently endemic throughout the West, our higher abilities will lag. For lack of better terms we can call these feelings “upward movements of the …

ROSC 4: The Sanitarium

TheSanitarium When I walked into our latest TCM lunch, I saw a few new members, two of whom were young women. That made me feel good, because there had been a flaw in most 20th century liberty movements, in that they never drew many women. Liberation movements of the past featured lots of women, many of whom showed more courage than the men. So, I took it as a healthy sign …

Fish Are the Last to Notice the Water

FishWater I ran into this phrase in a physics lecture, of all places, and knew it would be the title of my next article. And this is generally a true statement. Those who are immersed in something… who have always been immersed in it… are the last to see what it really is. By now it should be obvious to the people of the West that they’re being held in a …

The Rise of the Superfluous Class, Part 3

Superfluous3Class I think I started something dangerous for these guys. I didn’t do it on purpose, but it happened all the same. While engaged in an innocent conversation, I inadvertently gave them a name. And having a name is dangerous. It gives people who might want to hurt you something to grab. These guys aren’t doing anything nasty of course – I’d be surprised if they ever did anything truly bad …

Entropy and Spontaneous Generation

EntropySpontaneous When I wrote two weeks ago about spontaneous generation still being enthroned in science as the primordial soup (and it is), I wanted to avoid a long discussion on entropy. But since that’s the only option left open to die-hards, it became an issue. So today I’ll explain entropy and how it ties into this discussion. Even if you’re not particularly interested in science, I think this will be of …

The Rise of the Superfluous Class, Part 2

Superfluous2Class You’ve gotta love serious people. “Dan,” my new friend from the superfluous class, showed up to Jay’s precisely on time. And he didn’t waste my time with a confirmation call; he just did what he said. We walked in together. I greeted Michele (again, that’s mi-KEL-ay, the Italian version of Michael), who pointed to his largest table. By the time we sat, he was on his way over with a …

Spontaneous Generation Is Still Enthroned in Science

EnthronedScience Spontaneous generation is a defunct theory text books use to illustrate the superiority of modern science. It was a medieval belief that things like rotting meat would spontaneously generate maggots, and so on. Our textbooks explain that this theory was abundantly disproven and that modern academics would never be suckered into that kind of silliness. Hold on to that thought. Breaking the Laws of Physics, Very, Very Slowly Let’s start …

The Rise of the Superfluous Class, Part 1

Superfluous1Class Jay’s Bar, my hangout back in the 1990s – through the heady years of the early internet, the cypherpunks, and the all-out gas that was the digital gold economy – seems to be coming back to its glory. Not into financial glory, you understand. Jay’s is a neighborhood bar, with some overlap from downtown; it’s never going to be a huge money-maker… which is just fine by me. Jay is …

How Free Money Fails

MoneyFails You might think that throwing free money into an economy would create a permanent party, but it never quite turns out that way. And I think it’s important to understand why. After all, we’ve been watching a free-money party since 2008, and if it ends, the morning after figures to be deep and dark. What if They Built a Building and No One Came? One of the primary uses of …