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How to Defend Yourself from Ugly Stereotypes

This bit of advice applies to absolutely anyone who is being judged for variables outside their control. It was inspired by the kerfuffle surrounding the Gillette commercial. Whatever your take on that video, it’s clear that the debate around it is far more encompassing than the video itself. In the States at least, there has [...]

Return Engagements (Book One) PART 10… in which I recover

“Westward” brought Michael Burroughs to Rochester, Minnesota, and there to a stop. He exited the Interstate highway and meandered through the city, stopping at a grocery store to pick up some fruit, nuts, bread, and cheese. Then he headed out of town on Highway 14, going in whatever direction he felt a pull. He stopped as he crossed the Straight River (which wasn’t), got out of the car, sat on the bank, and finished his grocery store lunch. Then he took a walk and stumbled upon a long-abandoned mill.

The Untold Story of the Greatest Crypto Project Ever – PART 2

For someone who wanted to build a new world functioning privately and honestly, protected by cryptography, our base in San Jose, Costa Rica, was almost a dream… and more than any of us dreamed, probably. The investment tour was in early 1996, by my best guess. And it was a couple of years before the base was really set up; physical infrastructure …

Why “Conspiracy Theory” Is Hate Speech

“Hate speech” of course is a fairly silly term, since intent doesn’t necessarily follow the literal meaning of words. Let me give you an example: I once sold a house to a gay couple. The one of the pair I dealt with happened to be a really decent guy with a good sense of humor. [...]

Return Engagements (Book One) PART 9… in which I burn out

Picking up from Part 8, in which I waited for my companion and guide to die… leaving me stranded. The farther I drove, the more I relaxed, and that was proving to be problematic. For one thing, I was half-drunk and seriously worn out by the day’s events. For another, I’d been pushing thoughts out [...]

The Untold Story of the Greatest Crypto Project Ever – PART 1

While what we did wasn’t entirely hidden, it was only partly public. And for reasons that will become clear as we go, no one on the inside has wanted to talk about it until now. While these people didn’t do much that was actually illegal (at least so far as I know), none of them wanted any “special attention” from the powers that be.

The Two Crypto Economies

Bitcoin has always been hard to understand. Even Satoshi, its author, complained about that. The problem isn’t so much its complexity, but its newness – there’s really almost nothing to compare it to. Having nothing to compare to is also a problem related to the prices of Bitcoin and the other cryptos. We’ve never seen [...]

The Untold Story of the Greatest Crypto Project Ever

INTRODUCTION: I’m about to tell you the true story of the greatest of the crypto projects… a story you’ve never heard. It took place in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It was a massive experiment and one that had a serious impact on what came after. I almost wish I still had my donors [...]

Compulsory Sexual Ethics, In Reverse

Once upon a time gay people… homosexuals… were shunned, punished, and even beaten by the police. Horrible things to be sure, but they happened quite a lot. Likewise women were locked into societal roles. If you wanted to be a housewife, that was fine, but most any other avenue was closed to you, or at [...]

Our Moment at the Crossroads

Earlier this year I wrote an email to several friends, describing my feelings upon arriving at a crossroads for myself and my work. Surprisingly, nearly all of them wrote back that they were feeling the same thing. And so I think a lot of us have arrived at some type of crossroads lately. Why Now? [...]

Picking up from Part 5, in which my guide prepared to die. From 4:24 AM until sunup, Michael Burroughs lay in his bed, replaying the experience, slowly and repetitively. For a good portion of that time he was half asleep, but his examinations of the brief experience didn’t stop. It’s funny how these things work, [...]

I regularly go on about the necessity of forming your own opinions and making stands upon them. And while I’m quite certain about that, there’s another side to such things. We are complicated creatures, after all. The more we express and defend our own opinions, the more we tend to get locked into them. And [...]

Picking up from Part 4, in which my strange companion revealed my purpose. To every generation a handful of saints are born. Not Church-recognized Saints, but saints all the same, people who are of a cleaner and less damaged character than their fellows. Michael Burroughs was one such person. He was, by accident of birth, [...]

Call Me Pisher

“Call me pisher” is a Yiddish phrase from my youth, and it was used to instruct me in a very important lesson. (Though I hardly realized it at the time.) And since Yiddish speakers were often not particularly delicate persons, I’ll have to be a bit less than delicate today. In Yiddish, pisher properly means [...]

Picking up from Part 3, in which I was being hunted by two strange men who appeared in in Los Angeles. The lighter man at the diner had gone through five cups of Sanka, a Denver omelette, and a slice of pie while waiting for his friend, who still wasn’t back after four hours. Between [...]

Why I’m Committed to Something that Doesn’t Yet Exist

It’s a strange thing that so many people unquestioningly doubt, even oppose, anything that they can’t see, that they can’t count on with absolute certainty, or especially, that lacks the approval of authority. New and useful things, as we’ve all observed, begin as things that can’t be seen… things with no evidence, no substance, and [...]

Return Engagements (Book One) PART 3… in which I orient myself

Picking up from Part 2, in which I was being pursued across southern Wisconsin… although I didn’t yet know it. Now my examinations came to the outer world: July 10, 1963… what’s happening just now? And why would someone bring me here, with this woman as a companion? The second question was unanswerable, save that [...]

It’s Heretics Who Save the World

The people who have kept the world from a slide into darkness and pulled it forward have, to a shocking extent, been heretics of one form or another. I’m using “heretic” more broadly than in just a religious context, but please consider this: It’s the punisher who makes the heretic. Without punishers, heretics would be [...]