Leverage, Knowledge, and the Uncapitalizing of America
The most egregious falsehood regarding economic health that is nonetheless widely believed is surely that we ought to measure it by the magnitude of goods and services consumed. This is dangerous nonsense. Consumption is the result of a complex web of individual commitments of time and energy towards uncertain ends. The result is delayed, and the greater the complexity, the greater the uncertainty, the greater the delay, and the more plentiful the result is likely to be. To measure the health of such a mechanism only by its tangible output and not its internal workings is like measuring the health of a tree by its size. …
What would it seem like if it did seem like a global, digital, sound, open source, programmable money was monetizing from absolute zero?
Ludwig Wittgenstein once asked a friend, “tell me, why do people say it is more natural to think that the sun rotates around the earth than that the earth is rotating?” The friend said, “well, obviously, because it just seems like the sun is going around the earth.” Wittgenstein replied, “well, what would it seem like if it did seem like the earth were rotating?”
Semantics Therefore Reality
As Bitcoin begins its quadrennial bull run, we must brace ourselves for the wider world’s sudden and ill-informed interest. A great many newcomers will arrive with an open mind — as we all did once — but so too will many representatives of the incumbents to this disruption emerge from the woodwork to insist that what we can see with our very own eyes isn’t actually happening because, according to their theory, it can’t. …
DE LA TALEBENNING, OF COURSO, IDIOTAS!
Friends, we have reached the end. This is il ultimo appendiccio. There shall be no more.
Readers may remember that the solution to my puzzle (which nobody solved) was that, in the second has preimage in the section, How Fragile Nassim Will Respond To This Essay, there must be a quote from Part IV of The Waste Land. The puzzle, therefore, was, what quote? It could not be solved because SHA256 cannot be cracked.
However, in Appendicio Numero Due, I teased the reader that, if you got this far, maybe you could go further and just guess the quote anyway? …
de la Talebenning, of courso …
The competition is closed!
I’m a little sad to say there were no winners, but shout outs to Theo Mogenet, Alex Anokhin, and Zen Xiu for particularly entertaining answers that were far more complicated than the actual solution. And of course, thanks to all who submitted. The fact nobody got it right means BTCPay Server GETS ALL THE MONEYZZZZ :D
As a reminder, in Appendiccio Numero Uno, not only did I reveal the preimage of the first hash in the section How Fragile Nassim Will Respond To This Essay, from the original A Tale of Two Talebs…
de la Talebenning, of courso …
We’re back, folks!
You knew we would be because we clearly have unresolved business, does our little gang of anti-Talebites. One such can of worms is the competition as described in L’epilogo del Essayo, which we will come to shortly, but for the time being we must deal with my prediction as to how Fragile Nassim would respond to the original essay.
As a reminder, I said the following towards the end of A Tale of Two Talebs:
Cryptography is another field in which I know a great deal more than Fragile Nassim. And so rather than state my prediction outright, I am going to put it through SHA256 and post the hash. …
Mentis Yardbug is back!
God-damned neofascist hate blogger.
He has been back for a while, to be fair, having, I guess, decided that Urbit is very nicely poised to slaughter the surveillance capitalists in their sleep and that the project no longer needs his input.
Although, I believe that part of the reason is that Urbit had become so successful that the power-hungry postmodernists scurrying around the Valley had both heard of it and heard of him, and that, therefore, the association was holding Urbit back. As my good friend DMX once said, “if you love something, let it go.”
This is big, by the way. Curtius Moldvin wasn’t supposed to be allowed to return in the ’45 — ’13 NYT-NPR-Harvard era, and definitely not in the ‘13-present big tech era, but back he is. The tide is turning. …
Or, equity, leverage, liquidity, and duration as a guide to understanding money
Ever the irrationally exuberant optimist, I think that an under-appreciated leading indicator for Bitcoin’s success is the seriousness with which serious people seem to take it. While Bitcoin Twitter can mostly appear to be chaotic, memetastic noise, from time to time one can detect some encouraging signal.
In the space of a few days in mid-February, Lawrence White edited (but not wrote, to be clear) a Coindesk article on crypto-dollarisation, and his long-time colleague at UGA and respected monetary economics and free-banking scholar George Selgin implored Bitcoin Twitter to take fractional reserve banking more seriously. Having long found Selgin to be practically the perfect gateway drug to Bitcoin, I was particularly excited to dive to his defence, but was also quickly frustrated that Twitter proved a less than convenient medium. …
“It’s Time To Reflect” made short enough for children
It has come to my attention that some people found It’s Time To Reflect to be too long, to contain too many references and too much self-reference, and to have taken too many tangents for the apparent sake of interesting links. Given that my absolute priority in writing (and tweeting (and thinking (and living)))))) is to stockpile fans and gain #clout, I thought I should make a version for those who are too GOD-DAMNED IMPORTANT AND BUSY to read beyond a tweet.
Also, buy my book.
(Please tweet them. PLEASE!)
the halving was not a group call. It was a celebration of a nonviolent revolution trolling its way to victory.
At approximately 8.23 pm GMT yesterday, the 630,000th Bitcoin block was mined, the first to offer the reward to its successful miner of 6.25 bitcoin rather than 12.5, as has been the case for the past four years. You may have caught wind of this, what with #BitcoinHalving briefly trending on Twitter, an uptick in coverage of Bitcoin in the media over the past few days, or for some other reason.
There are good ways and bad ways to describe “the halving”. Or rather, there are ways that are factually true and then there are ways that are spiritually true. Whatever mainstream coverage you read on this — if you found any at all — I would bet took the factually true route. They will have told you something like the…
Cargo Cult Math comes home to roost, (mis)modelling the markets and the virus
Gerd Gigerenzer is a fascinating guy, not nearly well known as he should be. He is famous for promoting the concept of ecological rationality: the idea that ‘rationality’ is not universal and axiomatic but depends on the circumstances in which decisions are to be made, or on their ‘ecology’. This might seem like a dull truism, but it is primarily useful as a direct challenge to rational choice theory, and, by extension, much of behavioural economics.
I first became interested in Gigerenzer’s work last summer following an off-hand Twitter comment by Ole Peters. Regular readers will already be racing to deduce connections between ecological rationality and ergodicity economics. The fact they both think behavioural economics is a bit silly is a good starting point, but I would personally aim much higher. I believe they will become two of the three most important new areas of study in economics in the coming years that maybe — just maybe — will save the discipline from its cargo cult mathematical suicide in the twentieth century. …