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Comment: Re:Not really about Bitcoin (Score 1) 327

by exentropy (#41168795) Attached to: Large Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme Collapses With a Loss of $5.6 Million

Bitcoin is not a ponzi scheme but it behaves similar to one - the increasing mining difficulty and limited overall amount of coins heavily rewards early adopters (who hoard their bitcoins) if and if only these early adopters can convince the latecomers that bitcoins actually have value (otherwise cashing out becomes hard).

By that logic, any company taking investor money is a ponzi scheme: the early adopters (i.e. initial investors) are heavily rewarded if and only if they can convince latecomers that the company actually has value (otherwise cashing out -- selling their stock -- becomes hard).

Comment: Re:Cheaper than a huge flying vacuum (Score 1) 524

by exentropy (#37390122) Attached to: $300M To Save 6 Milliseconds

To suck American's and other peoples' money out of their wallets from overhead. Same basic effect.

I'm not sure how this post got a +4 insightful -- he provided no reasoning to support his claim. I counter: hedge funds do not take money out of other people's wallets (they're not the government :D ). Rather, they are like entrepreneurs; they search for misallocated resources in the markets, and exploit any such misallocations to make money. For instance, sometimes they add extra liquidity to the markets (i.e. through high frequency trading), and sometimes they find undervalued companies and give them the necessary resources to continue operating. It's not that they are taking money from others -- rather, they are creating value and offering a valuable service to the economy as a whole. Remember: it's not a zero sum game -- if someone makes money by providing me a service, I am not poorer. In fact, I am richer because they are providing me with something I deem useful.

Comment: Re:Keynes like Newton (Score 1) 601

by exentropy (#37347424) Attached to: Krugman On Bitcoin and the Gold Standard
Keynesian theory is more certainly not akin to Newton's theories. Keynesianism differs significantly from other prominent schools such as the Chicago School, the Austrian School, etc. If you read up on the different approaches, you'll see that economists disagree a lot about some pretty basic things and we're really far away from a consensus.

Comment: Re:Keynesian? (Score 1) 601

by exentropy (#37347218) Attached to: Krugman On Bitcoin and the Gold Standard

So the testing part is looking at previous success a failure, and the prediction side would be using the previously success as a reaction to current economic situation and seeing the results.

Not all economists view their study in this empirical manner. For instance, the Austrians view the subject more like mathematics; they deduce their principles from basic axioms. The Keynesians (e.g. Krugman) study it in that way you just described.

This difference, though seemingly trivial, does in fact have important implications. For example, the minimum wage debate is fundamentally based on the distinction: the Austrians think that a lower bound on wages will create unemployment because all those whose value (technically, marginal revenue product) falls below the minimum wage will be unemployed, while the Keynesians require empirical evidence to support the claim that minimum wage laws have adverse effects on the economy.

Comment: Re:Of course he had a point (Score 1) 1271

by exentropy (#37328192) Attached to: Marx May Have Had a Point

Humans are corrupted by money and power. ... The corruption of money and power allow capitalists to exploit people just the same.

I'm sick and tired of this fallacy being bandied around, day in day out, by those who don't seem to understand what Capitalism is. How do capitalists exploit people when the economic system is fundamentally based on voluntary, free trade? Sure, they employ the labor of others in order to advance our businesses... Indeed, sometimes workers think their wages are "unjust"... But that is a far cry from exploitation or coercion, words which the ignorant tend to throw around without really understanding the economic system of capitalism.

And this comment about human corruption by wealth and power demonstrates that you don't understand the nature of human beings. Of course humans try to obtain more wealth! Of course they want more power to satisfy their desires! To deny this fact is to deny the existence of the evolutionary struggle in which each animal / human being tries to best exploit their environment in order to live. This is a fundamental fact of life that no one (not even the socialists/communists/marxists) can deny.

But I do not blame you, OP. You are simply spewing out platitudes which you have heard repeated so many times that they seem to gain an air of truth. I don't think you truly believe these terrible fallacies.

Comment: How can they patch this? (Score 1) 94

by exentropy (#36909196) Attached to: Sniffer Hijacks SSL Traffic From Unpatched IPhones
If an attacker can act as the gateway for a victim (man in the middle), he can use this attack. sslsniff works by intercepting requests between the server and the victim, and it removes all HTTPS tags/references/links. In effect, the victim doesn't know there was supposed to be an SSL connection. I don't see how they can patch this with the current technology..

Comment: Re:This is well known (Score 1) 499

by exentropy (#36841390) Attached to: Fed Audit's Initial Report Reveals Trillions in Secret Loans

taxpayers are coming out ahead -- by at least $40 billion

This is fallacious -- the taxpayer never comes out ahead financially (excluding the ones who are subsidized by the government). The author of that article is implying that, somehow, the taxpayer is gaining money -- an idea totally contrary to taxation.

% A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back the when it begins to rain. -- Robert Frost

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