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Comment Re:There is at least one big difference (Score 1) 385

Energy and the rules about creation of new energy are contained with the Universe. We have no clue how this would function outside of the Universe. Maybe there's an infinite supply of energy there - more than enough to spawn billions of Universes. Maybe the normal rules of physics don't apply (quite likely, actually) and creating a Universe winds up kicking off a process that spawns two more Universes. I'm not sure how testable any of this is - that's a question for physicists - but you certainly can't discount a multiverse because it would use up all the energy in the Universe.

Comment Re:Doctors hate us... (Score 1) 179

If you're an addict you're borderline withdrawal all the time anyway. You've paid on the installment program. But it looks like you're arguing that withdrawal is a good reason to keep using. That's no the argument I'm making at all. Some people kick and never, ever go back. Some people die before they kick. Addiction is not a constant variable. Everyone is different even if the daily dose is exactly the same.

Comment Re:Doctors hate us... (Score 1) 179

Addiction is a complex problem. You want to blame the chemical compound, but it involves aspects of genetics, education, and psychology. How come people can take heroin for years and then suddenly stop? How come some people can try heroin once and be hooked, and others can do it occasionally and never spiral downwards, while still others can try it and NOT LIKE IT and never do it again? It's easy to blame the drug. That makes it simple. It's the drug's fault. The drug is evil. Ban the drug! The reality is that life is not that simple. Less so when you involve religion, morality and politics, because then you get "solutions" that have no relation to, let alone impact on, the real problem.

Comment Re: I guess /. still approves this crap (Score 0) 268

You are seriously comparing the Fed to Zimbabwe while harping how Bitcoin is so far superior to the US dollar? The only little problem with your theory is that reality has bitcoin fluctuating in value over 30% a day whereas the US dollar is still (despite 60 years of doom and gloom prophecies) the world's go to reserve currency. If I had a good I wanted to sell in Bitcoin I have NO FUCKING CLUE how to price my good, since I don't know how much bitcoin will be worth tomorrow. Call me when you can buy a car or a house in Bitcoin.

It's ok to live in a theoretical world if your models fit reality somewhat snugly to reality. However when your theoretical world has no connection to reality it's called FANTASY.

Comment Re:Selective or Universal, Multiple Consensus (Score 1) 42

If you don't trust an identified host to execute your transaction how does blockchain magically make that better?

Tanktalus provided one example upthread, what you might call "trusted competition" (or "competitive trust"). More generally, "trust" in the real world has many complexities, many shades of gray, and they are are not static. You might trust Ben Carson (or at least a younger one) to perform complex neurosurgery on your infant, but you might not trust him to run HUD. (Ben Carson didn't trust Ben Carson to run HUD. Oops.) As another analogy, during the Cold War the United States and the Soviet Union trusted each other in certain ways, not in others. In particular, they trusted each other to blow each other up if sufficiently provoked ("Mutual Assured Destruction").

You could easily make the same basic argument about Bitcoin, and I might even join you in making that argument -- that the world is full of currencies (including many better currencies in terms of what currencies are supposed to do), and there are many other ways to create and to operate a currency than to use Blockchain algorithms (and to consume the equivalent of Holland's entire electricity demand in the process, last I checked). I remember the early commercial Internet when lavishly funded startups like Pets.com could advertise on the Superbowl but made absolutely no business sense. Blockchain is going to have its share of dubious applications and hucksters. Bridge well crossed, actually. Blockchain's first use case (Bitcoin) might be extra dubious. That said, I'm not brave enough to predict that Blockchain algorithms have no reasonable use cases that are "best fits" for the technology, especially if parties who understand business and government at least fairly well are working together. No matter. We'll find out soon enough, probably within the next year or so.

Comment Re: Selective or Universal, Multiple Consensus (Score 1) 42

By that I mean, Intel, coke, att etc each get only one vote's worth of trust each, same as Linus, stallman, BoA and any registered, trusted developers.

Because that's not what certain industries (or regulators) want, but they have many, many use cases where Blockchain fabrics are useful. The Linux Foundation's Hyperledger fabric (and open source code) certainly isn't opposed to "flat" consensus models -- you can do that! But telling the semiconductor industry, or the beverage industry, or some other group that they must adopt one specific consensus model slams hard into reality very quickly. Choice is good, even democratic. ;)

Hyperledger provides something called Byzantine Fault Tolerance using the PBFT protocol as a supplied consensus algorithm. It's a great choice for many use cases, in part because it's well proven over many years, with mathematical proof. So you've got something solid to work with, out of the box. But the consensus algorithm is pluggable, and there are Hyperledger users plugging away. Pluggable consensus is critically important for openness and flexibility.

Comment Re: Could be big in Fintech (Score 1) 42

IBM started offering Blockchain as a Service some months before Microsoft did. This particular announcement is significant because IBM is apparently the first to offer Linux Foundation Hyperledger 1.0 Blockchain as a Service, and in the industry unique ultra high security form, too.

Comment Donate the Bitcoin (Score 4, Informative) 268

Devrtm (the original poster) can donate his/her Bitcoin to any IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt charity(ies) that accept(s) Bitcoin, for example the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Devrtm can then enjoy a U.S. personal income tax deduction for the full, fair market value of his/her donation, with no capital gains tax owed. It may be possible to make the donation anonymously, but Devrtm must keep records of the donation in his/her personal files, to document the tax deduction in case there is a future IRS inquiry. The tax deduction will likely be worth substantially more than what Devrtm paid (if anything) to obtain the Bitcoin. If Devrtm is subject to state or local income tax then there may also be charitable deductions allowed in those tax returns.

Comment Selective or Universal, Multiple Consensus (Score 3, Interesting) 42

Once you spend even a few minutes trying to understand how financial and other industries operate (and want to operate in the future), you quickly realize that one size does not fit all. There are a few Blockchain use cases when it makes sense (if you can meet the scalability requirements) to have an open network, to distribute every transaction record (in whole form) to every node, and to have a "flat" consensus mechanism, with every node getting one equal vote. An awful lot of real world use cases don't fit that particular formula -- maybe most of them. Yet Blockchain, as a solution approach, still makes a great deal of sense if you can relax those artificial restrictions. That's exactly what the Hyperledger/Linux Foundation community has done. The Hyperledger 1.0 network can be permissioned, can avoid distributing every record (contents) to every node (but still maintains the chain itself), and offers pluggable consensus mechanisms. And you don't have to consume the equivalent of Holland's total electricity production, and climbing, to make it work -- far from it. That's flexible, and that's significant progress. It's also open source.

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