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The Discovery of Terra Nova by the Cypherpunks

Cypherpunks Ten years ago the cypherpunks were almost entirely forgotten. But now – and quite shockingly to those of us who were involved – cypherpunks are cool again. More than that, the discoveries of the cypherpunks are starting to change the world in a serious way. That being so, I’d like to briefly recap what the cypherpunks discovered, because what these people found was a new world… a “terra nova.” Land …

The Crypto Cleansing

CryptoCleansing A few months ago, as I was having a conversation with another crypto advocate, these words escaped my lips: “I hate to say it, but maybe we need a price crash.” As I said them, I had a slightly sick feeling of “Be careful what you wish for.” Now, the price has crashed. But in spite of all the pain that has caused, it was probably necessary. Why? Because it …

ROSC 19: Back to the Shadows

ROSC19 I got a strange phone call the other day. The person on the other end played like it was a wrong number, asking for Angie something, but they were listening to my voice way too closely. What they were doing, I was pretty certain, was to see if it was really me using the phone billed to me. The next day, I stopped by Jay’s Bar*, partly because I was …

The Maturity Level of Politics

MaturityPolitics A recent article by Joe Katzman illustrated the maturity level of modern politics, by explaining the true nature of the war raging between Donald Trump and the American media. And what it showed was that winning and losing in politics comes down to the same kind of insults that work on a fifth grade playground. The article (from a political-right perspective) defines a core principle of politics: That status and …

What Jesus Didn’t Say

WhatJesus Most of the things people associate with Jesus are things he never said. I’ll provide a few dozen examples below, but first please understand that I’m not doing this to tear anything down. Rather, I’d like to open a path away from obsolete and moribund beliefs. To do that, I’m drawing a hard line between Jesus and the apostles. I’d very much like people to differentiate between what Jesus taught …

ROSC 18: Not Parasites

rosc18 There’s something about being young, especially if you can feel young and righteous at the same time. The combination is potent and intoxicating. It’s a shame more people haven’t experienced it. And somehow I’ve stumbled into three or four groups of such people. I’m under no illusion that they look to me as some kind of leader (I certainly hope they don’t), but they are interested in new ideas, and …

The Baby Boomers’ Cultural Prison

BabyBoomers A few years ago I was struck by this comment by a reviewer named Michael Azerrad: Walk around any urban center in the Western Hemisphere and you’ll eventually come upon someone dressed like a punk rocker. That look was codified as early as 1977, and yet 34 years later, kids still replicate it… But in 1977, did you see bohemian youth attired like bobby-soxers from the ’40s? Azerrad was right. …

ROSC 17: The Rise of the Elderly

rosc17 Under the mindset of the factory era, old people were expected to move quietly to the side after they stopped working. From there they were to quietly dote on grandchildren, then get sick and die. That, however, has changed. For one thing, people are living longer and retaining their health into advanced ages. Also, old people never really were fit to be pushed off the stage. Certainly old people tend …

The Long Family of Mankind

Mankind If you could go back in time a thousand years, you would find individuals who reminded you very much of your current friends and companions. The same is true of people who will live a thousand years from now. Some of them will be nearly identical to the people you love now. And you would care about those people the same as you do their present-day counterparts. Please understand this: …

The Essential Goodness of the Crypto Community

CryptoCommunity Quite a few people have been complaining about the cryptocurrency community lately. And to be fair, they have legitimate reasons: Many get-rich-quickers, corporate sellouts, and outright scammers have shown up recently. But it’s far too easy for us to focus on the malicious and the misguided. The bulk of the crypto community are decent people, even if they’re unsure of the best paths forward. (No surprise in that, with perfect …

ROSC 16: Rebels with Full Bellies

ROSC16 Thank God for experience. Last week we had another of our meetings at Jay’s bar, and it almost turned into a disaster. Only long experience saved it. Everything was proceeding nicely until I saw my old friend Martin walking up to the bar with a man who creeped me out. This guy was perfectly attired and wore the same type of overcoat I used to see in and around power …

40 Years on the Road: A Report

40Yearsroad In 1977 I began taking road trips (driving a car or truck) up and down Interstate 80. I had taken a few road trips prior, but 1977 was the first time I drove cross-country as an adult and for work… the first time I was looking on the experience with moderately confident and mature eyes. I’ve taken road trips many times since, though not in the past two years.

Is Bitcoin “Bigger than General Electric”?

GeneralElectric I’ve seen a lot of headlines like these lately, and so I’ll take a moment to point out how wrong-minded they are. To compare Bitcoin (or any cryptocurrency) to a company is just wrong. As I keep saying, Bitcoin is not an investment. That is, It’s not a share of ownership in a corporation, like a stock. It’s not a promise of debt repayment, like a bond. Bitcoin is a …

ROSC 15: Building Ourselves a City

ROSC15 Theorizing is one thing; doing is quite another. No matter how good you think your theories are, applying them to the real world is always a revelation. More than that, actually doing is far more fun that theorizing. And right now hundreds of thousands of young people (and a lot of older ones too) are building the economy of the future. It’s a magnificent thing to be part of. The …

Advice To Bitcoiners Who Are Finding Themselves Rich

Bitcoiners A lot of Bitcoiners are waking up to find themselves rich these days, and I suspect that most of them have little experience handling significant amounts of money. And so, having been around the block a few times, I think I should pass along some lessons. Shut your mouth. Seriously. Tell your spouse, of course, and if there’s someone else you trust deeply, but after that shut up. If asked …

The Status Quo Has Been a Haven for Predators

Predators Over the past few weeks scores of people in the highest positions have been exposed as sexual predators, and that’s not likely to be the end of it. Most of their victims remained silent for years, largely because they thought that people wouldn’t believe them, or the status quo (people with power using media and law) would destroy them. And the victims were right. People didn’t want to hear their …

ROSC 14: The Bitcoin House

BitcoinHouse It’s been a strange but recurring theme in my life that when a cluster of bad things hit, something good follows close behind. Often, I learn later that the good thing was initiating just as the bad things struck. But whatever that is and however it works, it happened to me again. There is currently so much going on that I barely know where to begin.

Does Western Civilization Still Have a Purpose?

WesternCivilization When Western Civilization began to form at about 500 AD, it was full of purpose. In particular, it was devoted to bringing the light of Christ into the world: to overcome the ancient darkness and to replace it with righteousness. But please don’t imagine that when I say “bringing the light of Christ” and “500 AD,” I’m talking about the reign of the Roman Catholic Church and the “Dark Ages.”

ROSC 13: Time to Have Fun Again

HaveFun Last Wednesday was my day to reorient myself. I end up doing that from time to time, and I think it’s essential, given the complexity and pressures of modern life… and very certainly so, given the complexities of a non-standard life. Immediately I focused on the messes of the sanitarium and the “superfluous” people I had lent my time to. I don’t regret it of course – it was the …

Jesus Versus Religion

JvsR Religious people get an unfairly bad rap these days, so I want to start by defending them. My purpose here is not to slam religious people, but to show that religion doesn’t adequately represent Jesus. It was religious people who killed the ancient evil of slavery. First, the religious people of Europe, having inherited a full social system of slavery from Rome, disassembled it between about 500 and 1000 AD, …