I can't wait to outsource all my web-surfing to an AI. Then I might be able to actually get some work done !
How was this modded "informative" when it fails to give any accurate information ?
If you knew what you were talking about, you wouldn't pretend there was a corner of the tulip market at the time - which there wasn't. Instead there was monetary debasing due to the huge influx of precious metals from the Americas (thanks in no little part to the invention of amalgamation), causing inflation on a massive scale (in about a decade this region's entire money supply grew by half), and a flight of savings to evade this debasement. Tulip bulbs were an asset of choice at that particular time and place because that's the asset that had the most efficient markets (there were lots of trading clubs and even a futures market which opened in 1636) and was thus deemed the most liquid. There were other investment bubbles too, we just remember tulip bulbs best because of how incongruous it sounds to us that a flower bulb may cost more than a house, and also because this asset exhibited the wildest price take-off. The final collapse had nothing to do with the plague, and all to do with the sudden decision of the Amsterdam Bank - Holland's central bank of thence - to cease free coinage and value depositors' accounts by metal weight instead of facial value.
Today the USD and EUR are quickly and massively debasing too, and many investors are trying to avoid the accumulating monetary risk by moving their wealth into another asset. Same causes, same effects, and I fully expect that, shall the monetary risk not realise, BTC valuation will come down towards something more reasonable and in line with its utility as a payment method.
Dunno why you were moderated Troll, this is a fair question.
The utility (actual value) of Bitcoin is as a payment method that works in minutes, between parties that can be anywhere with an internet connection (including outer space), for any kind of sum, with at most one intermediary which is under very high competition to provide the payment processing at a low cost and fast rate and no cancelling after the fact. It's not a Ponzi scheme any more than is any existing equity or asset that is tradeable, since no one is promising returns on this value. Buy it if you think it's underpriced, sell it if you think it's overpriced, and the market will tell you right or wrong.
That's leagues above existing systems (MasterCard and VISA, I'm looking at you - Paypal hardly merits mention). That's what makes it useluf, and therefore valuable, and drives the value of unitary bitcoins. The recent surge in value was part speculation, and part anticipation of the adoption of Bitcoin as a payment for buying stuff online. I expect it to start showing up besides debit cards and assorted e-gold or e-currencies variants you may find on many commercial websites and in-game. It's gonna be everywhere in freemium apps/games, too.
Yes the size of the blockchain is fast becoming a problem, especially now that enthusiasm about Bitcoins is growing much faster than the technological means to store the blockchain. Also, the size of every block is going to grow explosively as soon as online services everywhere start accepting bitcoins as payment option, and THAt will be much more problematic.
But then, it'll just drive some more division of labor, with people storing the blockchain and verifying transactions getting paid for the service, much like what is happening now in the mining part. There will definitely be growing pains and I can foresee a near-term future where transactions get a LONG time to validate because miners are swamped with transaction volume.
As for your suggestion, it cannot apply to Bitcoin in any way or shape. Reducing the size of the blockchain means making a "summary" of it where all the wallets that are now zero get short-circuited in the transaction history. i.e 'wallet A sends 1 BTC to wallet B which then sends it to wallet C', you shorten it as 'Wallet A sends 1 BTC to wallet C'. But that eschews the hashing process entirely, so it cannot be done trustfully AFAIK.
Capitalism is "you're free to choose who to slave for". You have to shop around or it'll suck.
Communism is "everyone is everyone's slave, or else". Think of it as "your neighborhood association now has right of life and death on you".
When humans develop collective minds that span more than one individual, or evolve the capacity to slide sideways across the multiverse by (quantically ?) experiencing every possible options in a given choices instead of having to decide, or can accurately predict the future, then you can say that human nature has changed.
Until then, it hasn't. Still a bunch of self-motivating self-actuating agents in the form of domestic primates.
Well, as soon as the formerly-poor have enriched themselves sufficiently, they tend to get in bed with those with power (kings and princes once, now presidents and federal administrators and chamber representatives) and lock the path of prosperity away.
Actually, the problem with the ITER approach is that it cannot ever produce net power because of Bremsstrahlung losses inherent to its design. Simply put, you cannot heat the plasma with radiowaves AND extract useful heat from it because it's more efficient at cooling down itself radiatively in radiowaves you cannot make good use of.
It is also highly vulnerable to disruptions, as are all magnetically-confined fusing plasma (all variants of tokamaks) - disruptions that are similar in nature to solar eruptions and will cause catastrophic damage.
But ITER will still eat billions, mostly in tax money, to get some science done at least... though it seems from TFA that this last part will be abandoned for the sake of trying futilely to produce energy instead.
the whole point of getting the shot was to keep you from dying, not 100 people around you dying
Those are not mutually exclusive. Vaccination is win-win this way. I'm fine with people wanting to die early (i.e. all hail the mighty wingsuit overlords !), I'm mixed about people who won't protect their own child from known preventable risks, and definitely against people who are actively helping out our species' predators.
Does not work with paleo kids. But then, maybe replacing the candy with bacon would do the trick.
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll test that hypothesis on my son next time he needs a shot, which will be the first time he'll be suficiently sentient to understand the words and project his anticipation.
The top 1% in this country control over 40% of the wealth, and the top 10% control over 80%. We are a nation of slaves.
The latter does not follow from the former. While I agree with your overall view of the US problem, you (the average american citizen) are not slaves because of how the wealth distributes across the population, but because the means to improve your own situation and do something about it have been locked away from you with your own support, through all kinds of excuses that range from patriotic cheering to misguided belief in taxation as a social equality tool, etc.
In short, you are slaves because the wealth produced by your work (and I mean that not just in the fiduciary sense of "wealth", it is so much more than mere monies and goods) is siphonned from you with all kinds of "nice" excuses, to the point where all the future wealth you *may* produce in the rest of your lifetime has already been hypothecated twice over. Banksters, politicians, lawyers, interest groups, basically anyone with the political/corporate clout to drain it has done so, decades after decades, and you've been sucked dry. Debt-slavery, not wealth inequality, has you.
Obamacare is such a poor substitute for true national health care I almost makes me cry. You have to pay for it
Well, yes, unless you want doctors and nurses forced to work (more slavery) you'll always have to incite them somehow. Funny how they tend to demand that you help them further their own ends with some of your wealth in exchange for them furthering your own ends with some of their own... And if at any point you wish for wealthier people to help you with that, you'll have to get their agreement first. You want a more compassionate, generous and caring world ? You can't get that at gunpoint. Making people act with morality is done by example and caring and teaching around, not by passing laws and sending in the armed goons.
Also, the evolutions of crime rates don't follow the evolutions of the racial proportions of the population. Crime is going up or down, and the percentage of blacks isn't going up or down at the same time or even moving in the same direction most of the time. This further disproves correlation between the two, disproving causation as well.
Switzerland has gotten rich by allowing criminally obtained money to be stored in it's banks
And so did every single person who ever sold anything to a criminal, ever.
refusing to cooperate with the authorities of nations from where it was obtained illegally.
When do they do that ? Seems to me from the news that they've pretty much always cooperated with other countries in order to freeze criminals' assets, when their judicial system is provided with sufficient proof of the crimes. As detailed here:
However, Swiss bank secrecy is not absolute and offers no protection to criminals. It is lifted in all criminal proceedings, including cases involving money laundering, corruption, insider trading, manipulation of stock exchange rates and tax fraud (which targets acts of commission and not omission, that is, forged documents - such as false invoices, false accounts or false balance sheets - which have been used to deceive the tax authorities).
On the topic of 'tax evasion': to think it wrong that swiss banks refuse to cooperate with US authorities when the US try to apply their own standards of "taxation by nationality" rather than "taxation by residence" standards of all of Europe and most of the world, makes as little sense as demands that adulterous women residing in the US be stoned to death at the demand of Saudi authorities.
At the bottom line, "redistributing wealth" does not. All the incentives and subsidies on one side and additional taxes and contributions on the other just offset prices and wages the other way, by the same amount. And that is why all the government's money represents tangible wealth that was taken from everyone and not just those you think paid more taxes than others. Everyone pays, directly or indirectly, either by charging more and paying less wages to compensate the tax burden, or by getting less real wealth for the same buck and/or for the same amount of work.
Funny sad thing is, the more distortion is imposed on the price/wage structure, the wider the gap between the uber-rich and the very-poor. Adding more "redistribution" makes it wider as prices ramp up one way, wages ramp down the other way, while the same amount of total real wealth is still spread the same across everyone. Again, at the bottom line the tangible wealth equality has all to do with homogeneity of the population and nothing to do with the means of redistribution that the state institutes. You can check this discorrelation using Giny coefficients, though it takes a lot of work and much data is still missing.
And still at the bottom line yet, in the end, the difference all this shuffling back and forth of money on one side and of real wealth on the other, is that in the "more shuffling" world the entire population has to pay for the people doing the shuffling - people who get fed and housed and clothed etc. It's an added wealth drain, and makes everyone poorer - although the redistribution masters do benefit at their level, because no one can refuse to pay them thus they alone can exempt themselves from the counter-offset in wealth / wages.