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Comment: Re:Post-mortem copyrights are supposed to... (Score 1) 442

by wichawa (#44046813) Attached to: Birthday Song's Copyright Leads To a Lawsuit For the Ages

Writing a novel is a lot of time-consuming work.

I don't think anyone would argue against the notion that it can be. And I don't think anyone argues against the notion that if someone believes they have efficiently used their time according to their strengths, talents, and endowments, that they should not seek appropriate reward for their time and efforts.

However, just because someone has put a lot of time/effort/skill into something, why should there be a government policy in place that automatically grants a 70-120+ish year monopoly over the products of said time consuming work?

Instead of copyright laws which are unnecessary additional lines in the sand, why can't contract law provide all the benefits of copyright while eliminating many/most/all of the negatives? What do you, as an author, have against using contracts to protect your work? Why must we have additional laws to protect things which you can't prove actually belong to you? What can copyright law provide that non disclosure agreements and user agreements don't provide, except for monopoly controls over distribution channels?

Instead of copyright (which is automatically granted, application not necessary), would it not make more sense if the firm/individual actually had to apply to the people (we the taxpayers) that will be granting this distribution monopoly license (with a seemingly endless term)? Shouldn't the firm/individual have to prove to the people of its jurisdiction that protecting the fruits of its labour are necessary to the promotion and progress of the arts and sciences? How does providing you a distribution monopoly help the progression of the arts and sciences?

Why are libraries some of the most vocal critics against copyright? Please don't say: "vested interest in bolstering collection."

Most novels are only written because the author earns a reasonable living by doing so, and so can have "writing" as a full time job.

This is a form of No True Scotsman. Allow me to demonstrate:

Person A: True authors only write because they can expect to earn wages through their writing products (such as novels), as a result of the presence of copyright.

Person B: This might be true of less than 1% of authors, if it was ever possible to come to some consensus of "what exactly defines an author, professional or otherwise" and "how can our models actually determine the exact motivations for writing?"

Person A: Well, then these 99% of people are not true authors, as they don't earn a reasonable living by doing so through their writing products.

Fact of the matter is, if we really want to debate the notion of why novels/writing products are written, there is no way your statement can be proven correct any time soon (and it won't be anyways). Thus, I argue that (something more grounded in reality):

1) Most writing products (or narrowly defined by you as novels/ebooks) are written because one is either forced to through school or work. I'd put this at about 90% of the total writing products in existence.

2) The next largest percentage of writing products are produced out of pure creativity and enjoyment (best defined as leisure), such as the comments you and I have made here on SlashDot. I'd put this at about 9% of the total writing products.

3) I might be willing to say the next largest group of writing products is produced because one "hopes" to earn some wage through said product, whether or not there is a presence of copyright. I would put this percentage at about 0.8% of the total. 4) The next group would be the group that writes because they hope to earn a wage under the presence of copyright, and they otherwise would not write at all. I'd say less than 0.1% of writers act like this.

5) Then there is the next group group of writers that actually makes a living from their writing products, and there is absolutely no consensus as to whether or not total wages of authors are affected by the presence of copyright and copying technologies, nor whether or not these people would still be motivated to write if no copyright existed. But regardless, this is likely less than 0.1% of writers.

6) Other.

I fail to see how authors will not be able to earn a reasonable wage, if copyright were replaced with better alternatives. Why would firms cease to pay for certain types of writing products? At what point in time do you expect people to stop reading and writing?

Publishers spend about a(sic) much preparing a book (or ebook) for publication as they advance the author.....

This is how it works in every industry, ever. In every industry ever, an employer approaches an employee seeking help (or vice versa). Compensation can be paid upfront for said employee, compensation can be paid as a salary, compensation can be paid in incentives, as well as many other ways. The ways that employees are paid depend on the employee and the employer at the time, in context of their market. Copyright only distorts this.

Why do businesses like restaurants not retain the distribution rights to the derivatives of the products it has sold to you for the next 70-120+ish years?

In the writing industries that seek copyright protection, employees are paid on salary (journalists, reporters, copywriters, multi-book deals, etc...), employees are paid up front (one book deals, signing bonuses on multi book deals, etc), and employees are given incentives (kickbacks on sales after a certain target is hit, product volume, etc). Copyright distorts the writing products market heavily in favour of producers, and it is debatable as to how much of these distortions are actually passed on to the authors. In many cases the guilds and collection agencies are actually totally ignored, or do not distribute amongst themselves appropriately. Either way it is clear (and well researched) that consumers lose, and foot the deadweight loss bill.

The only important mechanism that the government needs to be involved with here is the process of protecting the author or publisher's right of first sale as is protected in every industry in every free market country ever. Some busboy can't just run into a kitchen and deliver the food to a different restaurant, this is called theft, as it would still be called if someone stole your crappy collection of English words in novel form before you published under your name, whether or not copyright existed. Publishers can evaluate their salaries, advances, and incentives accordingly. Instead of relying on a distorted supplier's market for their artificially monopolized good, publishers will seek other sources of revenue for the author. As an example that can easily be replicated in the writing product industries, consult Samsung releasing the most recent Jay-Z album.

Still, I am not sure what the mechanisms of an author's payments have to do with the fact that copyright, as it was created, was a pre and post market censorship policy to ensure that only one person was legally entitled to print the queen's words. It still serves a similar purpose. How do you argue against the notion that copyright still serves to promote censorship, instead of promoting or progressing the arts and sciences?

I fail to see what an author's payment mechanisms have to do with the fact that copyright, as it stands today, is a post market-entry policy designed to create a protective distribution monopoly for said product under copyright. How does this help consumers (when it clearly does not help producers that much), and how can you make the argument that publishers are the best at diffusing and distributing your novel and should thus have a monopoly? Since the advent of the internet, they have clearly shown this is not the case.

I fail to see how an author's payment mechanisms should protect a policy that exists in the face of alternatives; alternatives that don't attempt to create artificial scarcity and a "tragedy of the commons" on the copying and distribution sides of the technology fence, especially since laws protecting the rights of authors have no right to extend that far (as the authors/publishers have no right to tell anyone how to use their copying, storage, and distribution technologies unless they are being a good samaritan reporting real crimes). Why should an author have any say over how I use my computer and my internet?

I still fail to see how an author's payment mechanisms should allow the author or the publisher (without the need for application) an automatic 70-120+ish year distribution monopoly over said collection of words, after the publisher has already brought their good to market with their right of first sale protected.

No one argues against the right of first sale, as protecting market entry is necessary to our freedoms and a functioning society. It avoids the "tragedy of the commons" problem on the "creative performance" side of the publishing, the only tragedy publishers should actually be concerned with, and ensures that the author can actually publish its arrangement of words under its own name. If protecting the right of first sale wasn't a necessary mechanism to ensuring that the "scarce resource" of artistic talent was not subject to the tragedy of the commons, firms would rampantly specialize in plucking artistic product from the artist to publish as its own (not that there hasn't been any examples of this in the real world even with the presence of copyright....). To assume that scarce artistic talent and scarce distribution channels require a marriage through copyright law is a serious uphill argument that real logic/knowledge typically fails to support.

..... (and books rarely sell enough for the author to make anything beyond the advance).

How does the copyright policy help authors sell more copies of the book, or earn larger salaries/advances? In the music industry, we find that sales volumes are higher than they have ever been, and total wages are unchanged. Just because people are not going to pay as much for a book/song/album anymore does not mean that the price of these items are valued incorrectly. On average, books/songs are still priced entirely too high to ask most budget conscious consumers to pay for a copy of the work before being entertained. If an average author truly wanted a larger share of an average consumer's wallet, it would not support copyright law.

Novels would mostly die as an industry.....

This can not be substantiated with fact, or reality. Why did firms and individuals seek to use the printing press before the advent of copyright? Why do firms and individuals currently release material as open source, or creative commons? How on earth does Wikipedia exist? How on earth do people learn to code without being taught?

.... without copyright to protect the publishers for long enough to make a profit on their costs.

How is copyright the only way that a firm can recover its costs of publishing?

Who ever said the publisher deserves monopoly protection in order to cover costs?

What kind of business plan includes selling mBs of data in the information age?

Basically this is simply untrue, and ignores a gamut of more favourable possibilities for all members of society.

You can argue about the length of copyright being far too long, but not whether it's needed at all, at least where books are concerned.

I can argue about the length, implementations, language, residual affects, research, and the advantages of alternatives which already exist, all day long. I don't live in the states, but if I did I would claim that copyright law is unconstitutional.

More questions:

Why is copyright the only system proposed by publishers, in the face of alternatives? Why hasn't there even been the notion of trying something new over the last 15 years, when it is clear that the conclusion of this story is an endless court war against those that make the underlying technologies that support the very existence of these works protected under copyright?

Why is copyright only supported by the publishers within certain mediums, and not those that have built the medium or service the medium (excluding companies that own both patents any copyrights and attempt to do all, see companies like Rogers Telco)? Why do we always witness a merging of firms that build the medium and provide content on the medium?

Why should the taxpayers have to pay search engine programmers for building unnecessary search filters?

After we deem that it might be necessary to grant you a distribution monopoly because of the amount of resources you have spent on your novel or how useful your novel is to the progress, promotion, and preservation of the arts and sciences, why can't we decide the number of days this monopoly will last for on a case to case basis? I can't think of any novel/album/movie/whatever that would actually be granted more than a 3 day head start if they were to actually apply to the taxpayers for their monopoly. Why should you be the only person legally privy to this knowledge contained within your novel unless we consume it in the fashion and context that you desire?

Why do many firms and authors/artists within the copyright protected industries receive many forms of tax breaks and artistic grants, yet the people that provided these grants have no access to the products they create? Why does this contrast the changes being made in many nations as it relates to publicly financed research?

How do you explain the Nigerian film industry?

Copyright law is one of the last government policies I think of when I think of the term free market, or the notion that we should always be helping as many people as possible in the most optimal way. Possibly because I think of a monarchy (the source of copyright's creation for censorship purposes) attempting to do just the opposite. And then I think of some crappy writer trying to push his novel, thinking it is so profound that if copyright didn't exist someone would steal it for themselves and there would be no recourse.

TL;DR

To assume that scarce artistic talent and scarce distribution channels require a marriage through a legalized monopoly under copyright law is a serious uphill argument that real logic/knowledge typically fails to support.

Comment: Re:Beware Internet Echo Chambers (Score 1) 611

by wichawa (#44026397) Attached to: Microsoft Reputation Manager's Guide To Xbox One

This was a middle manager telling his engineers to make this happen "or else", and not much more thought put into it than that, because he read in a trade show mag somewhere it was his duty to defend the company from the evil pirates by any means necessary, ethics be damned. And the poor bastard fell into that pit trap and took the whole company's public reputation with him

Glengarry Glen Ross scenes just flashed across my mind, except they were transposed to IP related firms. The undying need for sales "leads" and aggressively asserting oneself over said "leads," as is well represented through Glengarry Glen Ross, shares so many parallels to the undying need to aggressively conquer more artificial territory of the mind.

I swear this would totally work as a film....

Comment: Re:Post-mortem copyrights are supposed to... (Score 2) 442

by wichawa (#44009825) Attached to: Birthday Song's Copyright Leads To a Lawsuit For the Ages

You are saying people would becasue people might make n -x instead of n, they would rather make 0.

That's the entire reason for copyright. It's a government investment in the authorship industries so that people don't forsake authorship in favor of other vocations. Because people might make n - x instead of n, they would rather make 0 in authorship and n - (x / 2) in some other job.

Actually, the entire reason for copyright was such that the monarchy of England got to choose who the official printing presser (pressee?) was.

It currently stands as a useful legal mechanism to ward off competition under what is technically known as a downstream distribution monopoly which fundamentally endangers the property rights of every individual along the distribution chain.

Outside of industry funded research, you will find no recent opinion that suggests the current government investment is at the optimal level, nor that it should be strengthened. Simple contract law, and in extremely rare cases a limited royalty term are seemingly better alternatives.

Your above reply to "Because people might make n - x instead of n, they would rather make 0" is very weak. First of all, you are assuming that in some alternative profession those from the creative industries would earn half as much, and you are assuming that the absence of copyright is actually proven to improve the overall earnings of those in the "creative" industries.

As people have studied the music industry over the last 15 years we are finding that piracy, and the presence copyright laws, do very little to change the wages of creative professionals. Gander for a few moments on google scholar.

Comment: Re:Post-mortem copyrights are supposed to... (Score 1) 442

by wichawa (#44009663) Attached to: Birthday Song's Copyright Leads To a Lawsuit For the Ages

Thats a stupid argument. You are saying people would becasue people might make n -x instead of n, they would rather make 0.

Glad you said this.

This is a common argument defending the viewpoint that extended copyright terms help protect creative works (either their creation rates at certain term lengths, or revenue rates along the term lengths), and that without furthered copyright protection terms creative works would no longer be produced.

This flies in the face of logic, as you suggest in your above comment, as well as the notion of "creativity" and "art".

One does not need an incentive to be creative; we are all naturally creative to a certain degree, and we will all produce creative works on some level - all of which are inevitably the reflection of our experiences and culture around us. To suggest that anyone actually owns a piece or whole of any of this.........

But regardless, I understand that business is business, laws are laws, and history is history, and that we should always seek to compromise when there are arguments on both sides of the fence for the existence of copyright. Yet I struggle to find any sensible opinion that doesn't suggest that good 'ole contract law or some extremely limited short term royalty legislation (in very specific, targets cases) would be a better alternative to both the current copyright AND patent slate of laws (though patents are best left for a different rant). I have yet to see any recent academic report which suggests that current copyright levels are optimal, nor any report which suggest it should be extended further. If you want to turn your creative works into a business, you can use contracts to do so, preferably contracts that do not involve every single human being within its jurisdiction.

Unfortunately, many professional artists and their management would prefer not to have to force every listener to sign some user agreement or distribution contract, as this would seem rather, how do you say it, "lacking of the ideals of an artist". Not that contracts would solve or reduce the existence of "piracy" anyways (a ridiculous premise to begin with, alongside all the net social loss we have empirically seen from libraries across the centuries?), but it would provide a much more targeted legal scope for the party to pursue some sort of perceived injustice.

Things like breaking and entering (leaking a creative work ahead of release date, where someone was required to gain unauthorized access to something), or identity theft (mass for-profit manufacturing under someone else's label) are already legitimate crimes that can be punished elsewhere.

Simply handing what is called a "downstream distribution monopoly" to anyone is a dangerous thing. Doing it for decades and hundreds of years is seemingly an article off TheOnion. When was the last time anyone has ever breathed the words "monopoly" and "good thing" in the same sentence? The best that has ever been said about a monopoly is that it is the "best out of the available alternatives, given our current circumstances." Is copyright really our best answer to help these types of trades/industries/markets? Really?

Comment: Re:Protecting the arts and artists (Score 1) 442

by wichawa (#44009159) Attached to: Birthday Song's Copyright Leads To a Lawsuit For the Ages

This is simply not true especially if you live in the United States, and most Berne Convention nations. Thankfully I do not, but I have written and extensively about copyright and have been employed as a result. For basic reference, see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Term_Extension_Act

"The Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998 extended copyright terms in the United States. The Act extended these terms to life of the author plus 70 years and for works of corporate authorship to 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever endpoint is earlier."

Although you are mostly wrong, you can occasionally be right: The most common cases in which an author's work immediately becomes public domain information upon that author's death is if that author maintained no legal estate holdings (despite their already existing copyright claims, which are estate holdings), if the author has forgotten to write a will (doesn't necessarily matter), if the author has no offspring (doesn't necessarily matter), or if the author has chosen no benefactors at all (again, doesn't necessarily matter).

Basically this is rare and the 70 year after life extension is most commonly employed.

You can search around for all of this information, but as an example to demonstrate my facts simply search around for the Winnie-the-Pooh copyright saga, as it generally contains an element of the estate, the offspring, some random charity benefactor, a couple different publishers, large multinational corporations, splitting of various medium rights, and much more. Some cite Winnie-the-Pooh as being one of the primary reasons for the Copyright Term Extension act, as this book would have been public domain in 2001 under the pre-1998 laws. This is no longer the case.

In this example you will notice that the death of the author of Winnie-the-Pooh occurred in 1956, and that the copyright lasts on this piece of information until 2026. There is no "corporate authorship" involved in this case, though Winnie-the-Pooh's original publisher likely could have had some sort of leverage in negotiation over attribution at the time of publishing, though they haven't been in the picture for some time.

My favorite is the curious case of classical music score sheets, most of which are not in the public domain as publishing houses from 80-90 years ago still own the rights to distribute the scores for many works written hundreds of years prior to "re-printing". These types of "works" would generally fall under the case of corporate authorship. Thus depending on circumstance or business intelligence of the printing firm, these terms can last for either 95 or 120 years, depending when the work was published under corporate authorship and which end date comes first.

Comment: An Appendix (Score 1) 1

by wichawa (#43398851) Attached to: In regards to Tsotha's comments on a Bitcoin Legitimacy Threat

Rather than making two journal posts out of the same topic, I am posting my replies to Tsotha's other comments in the Bitcoin legitimacy thread here as well. Once again, I had written out these replies but did not have the chance to login and post before the thread was archived.

Here is Tsotha's most recent comments which can be found at this link:

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3578327&cid=43309681

Here is the content in question:

Wichawa: "I meant whatever the previous commenter meant, to which the user provided no sources nor definitions. How would you like to define stability? Tsotha: "Well, for starters I would define a stable currency as one that had an average CPI of 0% with extremes between -2% and 2% or so. I would like to be able to stuff my mattress with money and not have the purchasing power of that money go down as I sleep. I don't really care what exchange rates are directly, since if another country doubles its money supply I ought to be able to buy twice as many quatloos (or whatever) for a dollar." Wichawa: "Which government do you belong to?" Tsotha: "I don't belong to any government :). But I live in the US. I'm curious what country has managed to keep a stable currency (by my definition above)."

My reply to this statement:

Well, for starters I would define a stable currency as one that had an average CPI of 0% with extremes between -2% and 2% or so.

Jeesh. I would not. Are you trying to equate the inflation level of the currency to the CPI? Because maybe that would be better. Real or nominal CPI? Without pointing out the flaws in CPI itself, the closest thing to a statement like this that I would agree with is that I would want my currency to best reflect the evolution of a stable Real CPI metric. i would not want the real purchasing power of my currency to have any serious fluctuations (within the percentage frameworks you suggest), and I would not want that metric for either inflation nor Real CPI to be negative in the long run. Either way I would not define a stable currency as being equitable to an evolutionary CPI which maintains growth rates between -2% and 2% with an average of 0%.

I would like to be able to stuff my mattress with money and not have the purchasing power of that money go down as I sleep.

Nor does it? Unless you live in Zimbabwe 3-5 years ago or in Germany in the 1930's. Furthermore, you are only shooting yourself in the foot holding money (or other valuables) under your mattress.

Banks have always specialized in securing your shit, and over the last 100 years they both secure your shit and provide a return on said shit. It is highly unlikely that you can secure your poo better than a bank.

I don't really care what exchange rates are directly, since if another country doubles its money supply I ought to be able to buy twice as many quatloos (or whatever) for a dollar.

It is good that you don't care what your exchange rates are, but to suggest that the stability of any one particular currency cannot be considered within the context of other currencies is wrong. If another country doubles its monetary base, this says nothing of the country in question. If the country in question doubles its monetary base in comparison to that of other nations, you might expect price instability in the short run within that nation moving foreword. The value of a currency within the spectrum of all other currencies can most certainly tell a part of the story as to whether or not a particular currency is stable.

Much like people do with bitcoin to suggest it is currently not stable. People equate this measure of instability to how the Bitcoin trades relative to the USD. This says nothing of the USD itself, nor the bitcoin itself, only that the stability of any particular dollar can be partially measured by how it performs relative to other currencies.

I don't belong to any government :). But I live in the US.

Shitty buzz bro, apparently you don't vote. You should get on that and have some pride in what your elected officials do. Until you do, you are likely a part of your jurisdiction's problems. The vote is the single most important thing in this world out of all of our human constructs.

I'm curious what country has managed to keep a stable currency (by my definition above).

None, because your definition is terrible. Even an ape knows that by design the purchasing power of every single dollar has decreased over time. This is systematically done through controlled inflation. Maybe if we can start talking in real versus nominal metrics we might have some basis for conversation moving forward.

User Journal

Journal: In regards to Tsotha's comments on a Bitcoin Legitimacy Threat 1

Journal by wichawa

Link to Tsotha's comments, and my replies:

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3578327&cid=43309761

Why am I responding here in a Journal? Because I was not able to login between my last comment and the time when the comments were closed for that archived article. Moving on, here is a question I posted for Tsotha in that linked thread above:

Comment: Re:That's the price you pay (Score 1) 490

by wichawa (#43306877) Attached to: Will Legitimacy Spoil Bitcoin?

They [the healthcare industry] contain some share of public and private presence. Should the government be waiting for Bitcoin transaction approvals in order to appropriate funds from the Bitcoin taxbase to the Hospitals that need these funds for equipment, drugs, and payroll within the immediate future? If there are already examples of transaction approvals taking upwards of 20 days, how do you expect to pay for refills and hospital payroll in a timely manner? People's lives depend on this.

Words can't describe how stupid this is.

Your words certainly don't: They just continue to show how ignorant you are. Let me restate the questions from the above quote, to see if you have better answers than the heaping pile of poo you just piled onto this thread regarding Bitcoin:

1. Should the government be waiting on Bitcoin transaction approvals in order to appropriate funds quickly to necessary medical services?

2. If there are already examples of Bitcoin transaction approvals taking upwards of 20 days to execute, how do you expect time critical government services to be executed within a timely manner?

First and foremost, the "industries" in question are security manipulations and assistance with fraud.

All things equal, if everyone adopted bitcoin today do you honestly think there will be no fraud and security manipulation?

You can already trade future contracts with bitcoin, and bitcoin is trying to lobby to be removed from "commodity" status such that you can trade bitcoin options contracts. When you start trading Bitcoin options, how much fraud and manipulation will be involved?

Tell me again which industries you have a problem with, and how this is a reflection of the currency system? Tell me again how bitcoin represents a better alternative to the current system in this respect, and how it helps move our society to a more socially optimal outcome?

Second, no healthcare system should deny urgently needed procedures for any reason, least of all for approval of payment.

But as we see already, it can take up to 20 days to approve a bitcoin transaction. Payroll is due every 14 days, and supplies need to be restocked weekly. People need to be paid and equipped in order to provide urgent healthcare. If you are denying these people their payments and equipment, they will deny people urgent healthcare services. So yes, moving to a community based currency system with no accountability will fuck up other essential services so hard no one knows where to begin.

It's not practical because medical records must be available already, so existence of insurance coverage, if needed, can be confirmed immediately.

Umm I said nothing about medical records.

Stop trying to confuse the issues with your red herrings. I only said things about government run healthcare services receiving TIMELY FUCKING PAYMENTS , and that timely payments are already proven to be an issue with bitcoin - as the community can take days to approve the validity of any one bitcoin.

But no shit sherlock: of course medical records always need to be available for both public and private purposes, yet still no system has perfect information symmetry. This once again has nothing to do with the currency systems in question.

Third, private healthcare without reliable public alternative can kiss my ass.

What the fuck? I clearly stated that all Western Democracies that I am familiar with have some element of both public AND private healthcare. For you to suggest one can exist without the other is logically fallacious and factually incorrect.

It sucks that you live in America and don't have a reliable public system - but don't blame the currency system for this: Blame the people you continuously vote in year after year. I lived in America for 5 years and yeah, it sucked paying 10 k for an MRI when I damaged my knee and could no longer walk/work/go to school for an extended period of time. It sucked paying 200 dollars for a GP appointment once a year. Yet, this has nothing to do with the currency system.

Damn, I wish people that supported bitcoin knew how to use evidence and argue properly.

Comment: Re:bitcoin's value is for it's utopian idealizatio (Score 1) 490

by wichawa (#43306561) Attached to: Will Legitimacy Spoil Bitcoin?

You do realize that empirical evidence shows that the government has maintained a quite stable money system for a long time, yes?

Depends on what you mean by "stable".

I meant whatever the previous commenter meant, to which the user provided no sources nor definitions. How would you like to define stability? If you would like to argue this point, feel free to provide definitions and sources. I am not the one trying to supplant the system in favour of the bitcoin system. Keep in mind I will make no claims for the stability of one particular government currency without considering the global context. I'm not going to sit here and defend Zimbabwe's currency management, nor am I going to suggest that the value of the US dollar has not been stable over the last few years (relative to the value of other global currencies).

The government has maintained a money system that slowly bleeds savers for about a hundred years now. That's not the kind of stability I'm interested in.

Which government do you belong to? Man that sucks! You should vote for a change in management. This is also not true of all government backed money systems, so I feel for you if you live in, say, the USA. Forced regional chartered membership ownership (which also gives special voting powers for that region's federal reserve bank) of each regional federal reserve bank is not necessarily a good thing, among other things that the USA system includes.

If it was much more simple and available to the public, say with the Canadian system, this would probably be a lot easier for the common American to understand.

Comment: Re:Transactional Currency, not Safe Haven Storage (Score 1) 490

by wichawa (#43306245) Attached to: Will Legitimacy Spoil Bitcoin?

Well, actually that wasn't me, since I don't respond to ACs. But since you've summoned the energy to actually log in......

Correct, you didn't respond to that, and I made a mistake with my comment in this particular comment reply line. If slashdot allowed it to be so I could edit and/or remove my own comments made with haste, I would have made my above comment disappear from the generally public eye - as it adds nothing to the conversation like the two comments before it.

I have never once made an AC comment on slashdot, nor never will. One does not learn by being an AC, nor does one help others become educated behind the veil of AC. In all cases I prefer flying under my flag, and even if I am breaking the laws of my jurisdiction I would prefer to be a civil disobedient rather than and anonymous coward. Allow me to further explain my thought process regarding my previous (terrible) comment though:

I hurled the AC's insult at the follow up commenter, and in haste wrote that you and the other username were the same username. Apologies for this. My original comment was made at 4:25am (my time), and should not have been made at all. I was not attempting to call you out, I was attempting to call out the commenter that followed up this thread with "Or maybe you do...". I have seen way too much rampant ignorance in bitcoin threads on slashdot (on all sides of the issue), and in this particular instance I wanted to call out some dude that was merely resorting to flaming another - by using a flame of his opposition, again. If the username fredprado actually had knowledge about the current monetary system and wanted to engage in civil discussion that would be nice, but for whatever reason my high horse decided to take issue with the flame, and I decided to use the previously used foxnews flame to show it can easily be used both ways in the Bitcoin/monetary-system debate (as yet again, the ignorance is rampant on all sides).

Once again, apologies for resorting to the same tactics of those I am apparently trying to be better than.

..... let me reply that if you don't realize dollars are backed only by debt you have some serious reading to do. This isn't even a controversial point.

My 5+ years of monetary economics training would like to have a word with you, and I am certainly not going to argue that the current money system is not backed by debt (in essence, within 140 characters of twitter explanations). But riddle me this:

How is the commodity backed system a better system (as you suggest with your initial comment in this reply line) than the fiat system, and how does it provide for more socially optimal outcomes, and why is this evidence that a proposal like bitcoin should be considered for mass adoption? I doubt you can make this argument without sounding like Ron Paul or some ignorant Foxnews analyst (At least Ron Paul is no longer ignorant about the issue, he just postures for states rights in general and uses the money system as a talking point to show there are other ways for each individual state to pursue - if they wished to).

But before you answer this question, let us both agree that I made a bad joke and terrible comment.

Comment: Re:Transactional Currency, not Safe Haven Storage (Score 1) 490

by wichawa (#43306233) Attached to: Will Legitimacy Spoil Bitcoin?

Well, actually that wasn't me, since I don't respond to ACs. But since you've summoned the energy to actually log in......

Correct, you didn't respond to that, and I made a mistake with my comment in this particular comment reply line. If slashdot allowed it to be so I could edit and/or remove my own comments made with haste, I would have made my above comment disappear from the generally public eye - as it adds nothing to the conversation like the two comments before it.

I have never once made an AC comment on slashdot, nor never will. One does not learn by being an AC, nor does one help others become educated behind the veil of AC. In all cases I prefer flying under my flag, and even if I am breaking the laws of my jurisdiction I would prefer to be a civil disobedient rather than an anonymous coward. Allow me to further explain my thought process regarding my previous (terrible) comment though:

I hurled the AC's insult at the follow up commenter, and in haste wrote that you and the other username were the same username. Apologies for this. My original comment was made at 4:25am (my time), and should not have been made at all. I was not attempting to call you out, I was attempting to call out the commenter that followed up this thread with "Or maybe you do...". I have seen way too much rampant ignorance in bitcoin threads on slashdot (on all sides of the issue), and in this particular instance I wanted to call out some dude that was merely resorting to flaming another - by using a flame of his opposition, again. If the username fredprado actually had knowledge about the current monetary system and wanted to engage in civil discussion that would be nice, but for whatever reason my high horse decided to take issue with the flame, and I decided to use the previously used foxnews flame to show it can easily be used both ways in the Bitcoin/monetary-system debate (as yet again, the ignorance is rampant on all sides).

Once again, apologies for resorting to the same tactics of those I am apparently trying to be better than.

..... let me reply that if you don't realize dollars are backed only by debt you have some serious reading to do. This isn't even a controversial point.

My 5+ years of monetary economics training would like to have a word with you, and I am certainly not going to argue that the current money system is not backed by debt (in essence, within 140 characters of twitter explanations). But riddle me this:

How is the commodity backed system a better system (as you suggest with your initial comment in this reply line) than the fiat system, and how does it provide for more socially optimal outcomes, and why is this evidence that a proposal like bitcoin should be considered for mass adoption? I doubt you can make this argument without sounding like Ron Paul or some ignorant Foxnews analyst (At least Ron Paul is no longer ignorant about the issue, he just postures for states rights in general and uses the money system as a talking point to show there are other ways for each individual state to pursue - if they wished to).

But before you answer this question, let us both agree that I made a bad joke and terrible comment.

Comment: Re:That's the price you pay (Score 1) 490

by wichawa (#43305319) Attached to: Will Legitimacy Spoil Bitcoin?

"you will if you want me to take you seriously"

This seems to be your incorrect assumption. I don't care if you take me seriously. You are just a slash troll.

So you want me to take your bitcoin proposal seriously, yet you do not provide one single source to defend your notions?

Who is the troll?

Me for suggesting you use logic and reason, as well as sound argumentative processes when trying to supplant a government system?

Or you, for trolling the entire goddamn monetary system without a single goddamned source to defend your viewpoints?

For anyone else unfortunate enough to have fallen down this thread. I doubt anyone actually has their head buried deep enough in the sand that they are unaware of government tracking of finances.

Once again, for anyone else down this thread: This is not a problem of the currency system, this is a problem of the powers granted to law enforcement within Shaitland's jurisdiction. Shaitland is unable to separate the two issues, as he believes they are the exact same issue. I have continuously asked Shaitland to separate the issues, yet Shaitland is unable.

The fincern ruling itself is a government declaration that they require financial institutions to gather this data for them. The DEA can raid you if you have purchased x number of common household and hardware chemicals/cleaners within a short span of time where those items can potentially be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Once again, for anyone else down this thread: This is not a problem of the currency system, this is a problem of the powers granted to law enforcement within Shaitland's jurisdiction. Shaitland is unable to separate the two issues, as he believes they are the exact same issue. I have continuously asked Shaitland to separate the issues, yet Shaitland is unable.

There was a semi-popular tv show that covered the DEA raiding these "bad guys" left and right. How exactly is it that the DEA is supposed to use your acetone purchase to find your evil meth lab if they aren't reviewing your purchases?

Pleas source this "semi-popular" tv show which likely uses ample circumstantial evidence no one beyond a 10th grade education would use. Then please consider the following:

"Once again, for anyone else down this thread: This is not a problem of the currency system, this is a problem of the powers granted to law enforcement within Shaitland's jurisdiction. Shaitland is unable to separate the two issues, as he believes they are the exact same issue. I have continuously asked Shaitland to separate the issues, yet Shaitland is unable."

I don't have an investment in Bitcoin.

Then why are you defending a system you don't understand, when trying to supplant a system you probably will never understand?

Personally I think currency speculation and speculation in general is just a form of high stakes gambling.

Do you honestly think that speculation will go anywhere with a new currency system? Welcome to the real world my friend. Do you even know what the differences between speculating, hedging, and arbitraging are?

I believe the Bitcoin system itself is numerically sound....

I believe bitcoin is not numerically sound. Please provide a source which indicates it is MORE numberically sound than the current money system, and how this works towards a better

.... and also that the cryptographers who designed it had a far better understanding of mathematics and mathematical models than economists whose mathematical expertise does not extend further than the general math and basic algebra required in their field.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA you do realize that pretty much all PHD Econ students are pure math/actuarial/engineering/CS students? They just use real world numbers instead of continuous mental masturbation, and they use the same mathematical principles. Read a fucking book bro. You know nothing of Economics, Mathematics, nor cryptography.

To suggest that one's algorithms can never be broken is fallacious on so many levels, and the new IBM and Lockheed Martin quantum super computers would like to have a look at your challenge. Im not saying you have suggested that it can "never" be broken, but I am saying that when it is, that is the end of the Bitcoin system as we know it. People will abandon it as they do not have a say in it, like they do with government. Pretty much everyone has a say in government except for a couple large exceptions, like minors such as (I imagine) you are.

Any information I've presented about Bitcoin is verifiable independently. Everything about Bitcoin is verifiable independently. It is a completely open design both in terms of theory and implementation.

Yet you provide no sources to back your claims. I don't want links to the fucking system itself.

That is like linking to a coca-cola advertisement telling me it is proof of how healthy coca-cola is for your body.

Jesus man. You need a lesson in basic logic, debate, and some post secondary education.

I will repeat: You will start providing me sources if you want me to take you seriously.

Comment: Re:That's the price you pay (Score 1) 490

by wichawa (#43304941) Attached to: Will Legitimacy Spoil Bitcoin?

Of course not. (Almost) no technology will ever solve the built-in greed and scandal problem.

Please provide a source which indicates that the bitcoin proposal will better solve the built-in greed and scandal problem better, given the set of other alternatives.

(Aside from Zero-Point Energy, but that is a discussion for another day...)

No, no we will not discuss this. I don't care what you want to call your device, get the fuck off my lawn. Why bring this up at all?

However, technology can make it easier to track the "paper-trail"

We already use technology to do this. Please provide a source which indicates that the bitcoin proposal will make it easier to track the "paper-trail", given the set of other alternatives. Please also state how this same source suggests that having more anonymity is a more desirable social outcome?

(utilizing BitCoin then could make it easier to hold those accountable who mismanage their responsiblity / fraud others).

Please provide a source which indicates that the bitcoin proposal will make it easier to hold those accountable who mismanage their responsibilities, given the set of other alternatives. I posit that this is not possibly true as nobody within an open-source community based project (like the bitcoin monetary system proposal) has any responsibility to anyone but him or herself. It should be your goal on the bitcoin system to mismanage responsibility and to defraud others, otherwise you are not playing this market correctly.

The key issue though is as long as the governed holds those in power responsible for their actions then any technology is largely irrelevant -- technology has the advantage that those wiling to make excuses "We don't know where the money is/went." harder to lie about.

This is a problem with your elected officials, not with currency itself, nor the current currency system. Please provide a source which indicates that the bitcoin proposal will better solve this problem better, given the set of other alternatives.

Sadly, the general populace doesn't really care about accountability even WITH with the current tech; I don't see this changing anytime in the foreseeable future.

Please provide a source which indicates that the bitcoin proposal will better solve this problem of accountability, given the set of other alternatives. I posit, that no, it won't as no member of the bitcoin community is accountable to anyone but itself.

One of the positive things about BitCoin I see is that people are starting to ask "Why isn't the money trail more traceable?"

The money is already traceable, to a degree, and government budgets are already traceable, to a degree. If you have problems with the transparency of government expenditures and law enforcement in your jurisdiction you need to vote to change this. Then you need to understand that this is a problem with your government and your law enforcement, and not the currency system in general.

Why do you we continue to let the Army go extremely over-budget?"

This is the definition of a red herring, has nothing to do with the money system, and you are using it to distract from the issues at hand:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_herring

Your two sources do in fact support your red herring but have nothing to do with the currency system.

But yes, I agree, the american military spends money in stupid places, and too much money in general. How is this a fault of the currency system? You literally vote people into office to spend this money in a stupid way for you. Don't like it? Vote someone else in.

If BitCoin were to ever become popular guess who will be the first to "discredit" it ?

It already is popular, and nobody is discrediting it as an alternative currency, much like no one was discrediting E-Gold before Bitcoin. Yet neither of these will ever become a scaleable currency that achieves mass adoption without government involvement. You ignore basic premises in logic and historical evidence to suggest otherwise.

Comment: Re:That's the price you pay (Score 1) 490

by wichawa (#43284771) Attached to: Will Legitimacy Spoil Bitcoin?
Thank you for not addressing all my my points, many of which I called you out on for being factually incorrect. I am once again going to address each and every one of your sentences in faith that you have more fight in you to defend the bitcoin system.

"After you have proven both these two things, you then need to realize this is a policing problem not a currency problem. "

Can you address this again? Because you clearly are not able to separate the wheat from the chaff. Once again, you are the one trying to supplant the system: You need to provide the evidence, you have the burden of proof.

Aside from demanding I support claims I never made like the 100% anonymity of Bitcoin ....

You did in fact claim this when you said:

The anonymity that people talk about with Bitcoin comes from the fact that there is nothing to indicate who any particular address is controlled by.

Do you need me to offer you the definitions of "anonymity" and "nothing" within this context? If you are not implying 100% anonymity with this, what are you implying? If you don't believe Bitcoin is 100% anonymous and can't prove how it is a better alternative than the already pseudo-anonymous currency system, what are you trying to show? I have seen you throughout these threads: You may be a successful investor and hedger of the Bitcoin currency, but you are a wolf in sheep's clothing. You are leading the blind into your profit margins.

And once again, in my previous comment I addressed each of your use cases for where Bitcoin was apparently "better" due to its levels of anonymity, and showed how in each case, your claims were false or argumentative of a different standpoint/issue (you mostly have issues with law enforcement, you must have a petty MJ felony from high school or something).

Please continue to talk yourself away from those use cases though.

(which you cleverly supported with my example of the lack of 100% anonymity of Bitcoin)

Thanks. I am pretty clever. And I have 5+ years of monetary economics training, so I also know a thing or two. You talk theory with no basis nor sources, yet want to supplant a system that has taken hundreds of years to develop.

, your odd insistence that my references to how irreversable Bitcoin transactions somehow requires me to prove that all transactions of any kind are not reversible,

What the fuck does this mean? Let me repeat your claim: "Anonymity is usually optimal for transactions where payment can't be reversed." Now let me ask you again in 140 characters or less: What types of payments can not be reversed, and how is more anonymity better than the current system or some other alternative like a gold standard?

and your winning point about how my suggestion that escrow works out better than reversible transactions somehow requires that I prove Bitcoin is the first and only place escrow became available.... everything you said can be reasonably summed with the above.

I pointed this out because clearly you do not understand what Escrow is nor how people use it. You still don't, if you read your above comment and your previous comment on the matter: "Most of the rest [of transactions] can be better solved with escrow or a deposit in escrow than current methods." If you put this in conjunction with your previous statement, this implies that all "transactions where payment can't be reversed" are better solved with Escrow. Both statements are simply untrue, and you have failed to provide any evidence for your case, nor have you addressed the fact that the majority of Escrow payments are executed with a government back currency. Once again: you have the burden of proof as you are trying to supplant the system.

I will ask this again since you didn't answer with your most recent comment: all things equal, if everyone adopted bitcoin today, how would the Escrow system be better off?

I'm not going to provide you references for all the examples of currency tracking and government action.

Once again, this is not a problem with the currency, this is a problem law enforcement in your jurisdiction. Can you stop confusing the two please?

Furthermore, you can provide me AT LEAST SOME FUCKING EVIDENCE of government tracking and action (and you will if you want me to take you seriously). Then, once again (as i will repeat ad nauseum to you), you need to understand this is a problem with your law enforcement and not with currency itself.

If there are so many cases where this has happened, can you please provide me with two different ones? Then can you once again understand that currency tracking as a mechanism for law enforcement is not the same thing as currency itself?

You have a vote: Limit the power of the law enforcement agents in your jurisdiction with your voice. Don't hide, speak out.

Most of these law enforcement techniques are secret.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHABAHABAHABAHABABABBAHABAHAB (pause) BAHABAHABAHABAHABAH

That being said, source please.

For the detection of metal strips in cash it requires no evidence.

Sucks to live where you live, man. You should elect new officials. Once again this is not a problem of currency itself, this is a problem with law enforcement in your jurisdiction. Not my fault you guys voted in Bush and the Patriot Act. I lived in the states for 5 years at around that time: It was pretty funny watching Bush unfold. Don't worry though, when you grow up you'll be able to move away as well.

Any quantity of such metal strips is trivially detected with RF.

Please provide me a source of the police in your jurisdiction doing this with no warrant. After you do, please once again understand that this is a problem with law enforcement in your jurisdiction, not with currency itself.

Unlike the rest of the bill the strips will clearly show on scanners at the airport as well.

Have you ever been to an airport? You do realize it is your inalienable right to own as much cash as you want, and have it on your person, yes? Have you ever heard the term "bury it under your mattress"? Please provide me a source for the TSA in your jurisdiction detaining a person without warrant for having too much cash, and clearly mark if this was a domestic or international flight. After you do, please once again understand that this is a problem with law enforcement in your jurisdiction, not with currency itself.

You are not allowed to carry more than a certain amount of cash on international flights as the other government will want to ensure they are taxing the sellers of the products you are buying in their country, within a reasonable degree.

Law enforcement, as a rule, does not tell everyone what techniques they use.

You do realize that law breakers, as a rule, do not tell everyone what techniques they use either, right? Even if law enforcement in your jurisdiction is not telling everyone what techniques they use, please tell me how this is a problem with currency? If the law enforcement officers are using these techniques maliciously against ordinary citizens without warrant, you need to vote for change in your area, and this is not a problem with currency.

But a particularly paranoid friend of mine who worked at a gas station collected the little strips and stuck them to a sheet of paper. After a year of collecting them from every 20 that passed through he put it to the test. He traveled with the strips in his trunk 3 days out of a 5 day work week and was pulled over on all three days. It could be resounding coincidence.

Yes. It could be resounding coincidence. Or a whole host of other reasons not limited to the one you mentioned, which I believe you fabricated anyways since this is completely anecdotal and you have not once provided a source, when I have asked for many. Stop defending a system you don't understand, while attack another you probably never will.

Before I entertain your poor argumentative form any further, care to mention your level of education as I have?

All that is beside the point. Government controlled currency is simply an extension of government.

No shit sherlock. That is why people use it: Because they have faith in the government. Nobody has faith in a bunch of nerds and banking/investment-banking servers cranking out algorithms that are not proven to have any immediate purpose. Even the bitcoin system itself, only has the value its constituents place in it.

So long as you are using such a currency you are at the mercy of the will of government and the will of others.

Please prove how the bitcoin system provides a better alternative to this, using as many sources as possible: while doing this, please show that you are not at the mercy of the bitcoin system when using their currency.

The right to property is one of the few rights you have even if there is no government and it should not be subject to the will of government or the tyranny of the majority.

That is factually, logically, and philosophically, incorrect in so many way: If there is no government, you would have no right to anything except for the laws of nature. These are not friendly laws, my friend, this is Darwinism (and potentially fits the definition of anarchy) at its finest.

Furthermore, what on earth does this have to do with currency and how does bitcoin provide a better alternative? I would rather be subject to the tyranny of the government (which I vote for) rather than the tyranny of the bitcoin operators, and the masses that compose it (in which I don't vote for).

Can I ask you one yes/no question: Were you around in the days where everyone used E-Gold to buy their drugs online?

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?

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