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Copied and pasted a long thread about the 2020s (part 2)
I have found a very interesting thread in a forum, I decided to copy and paste all the comments that the author of the post had made. The author posted this in 2019, the author also posted another in the past in 2018 about the same subject. But this will be about the 2019 post (part 2) I won't be sharing the link to the website because I want to protect the identity of the users since it is a mental health forum. But here is the link to part 1: https://www.reddit.com/The2020s/comments/dzpb6l/copied_and_pasted_a_long_thread_about_the_2020s/ --------------- Here we are! Today it is the year 2019, the near end of the 2010s.The 2010s was an interesting decade to say the least, internet use continued to spread like wildfire worldwide with more and more people becoming dependent on the internet. When I was a kid in the 2000s I felt like the odd one out because I was addicted to the desktop and I didn't know many other people who were addicted to computers, but today in the 2010s this seems like the new normal except now most people are carrying desktops in their own pockets (cellphones). In the 2000s politics was very moderate and there was much less polarization, now polarization is pretty much a growing trend with many people sharing very strong political believes on the internet. The internet became a political tool and metaphorically a source of political fuel in the 2010s, everyone can now share their believes on the internet and inspire a new group of followers, something that the world didn't have or realized it had until the 2010s and we are still getting used to this. In 2010 there were 6.9 billion people and 1.9 billion internet users, in 2019 there are about 7.8 billion people and about 4.5 billion internet users. Which means that internet use has increased by 237% while the world population has increased by at least 12%.By 2030 the world population is expected to reach 8.5 billion people and more than 7.5 billion people are expected to be internet users, that could very well be 90% of the worlds population. This means that the internet will truly begin to take over the world during the 2020s, it will continue to make big changes on how we will live and how we will communicate, it may become almost impossible to live in the western world without being online. Climate change is a big issue, in 2010 the global average temperature was 0.62 Celsius above 20th century average, in 2018 it was 0.79 Celsius above 20th century average. The 2018 temperatures may not seem like much but everyone who is informed about the summer of 2018 will agree that it was a very hot year, so hot that record wildfires within the arctic circle happened.By 2030 we could potentially reach 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming since pre-industrial times, again the number does not seem much but the consequences are huge. Mudslides from melting soil will turn mountains in death zones, lower food harvests and nutritional value will increase risks of starvation, loss of fresh water will result in wars over water, the Maldives will be flooded as well as Bangladesh which will cause huge mass migrations, the ice will melt even faster which are increasing sea levels, you get the idea.In the 2020s global warming will become a much bigger problem, but there is no guarantee that enough will be done to cut emissions. Developing countries such as India want nothing more than to have the same quality of life as the western world does, not much can be done to dissuade India until the country suffers greatly from global warming and the potential for growth seems impossible. As long as developing countries believe that growth is possible they will contribute massively to global emissions just as soon as the developed world begin to cut their emissions, and worse yet developing countries often have very high populations which will contribute to global warming even more than it could have done. In the 2020s there will be a new global superpower which would be decided by 2030, it is unlikely that America will remain the superpower due to its stagnant economy and the potential loss of trade partners in the near future. The most likely contenders for being the next global superpower is Russia and China, this struggle for power could potentially trigger a 2nd cold war. Global relations will change, there has been a growing loss of trust in the 2010s between nations and that trend will continue to escalate during the 2020s while new crises emerge.This loss of trust could result in balkanization in some parts of the world, particularly in ethnically diverse countries such as Papua New Guinea and Tanzania. Countries will begin to do their own thing and ignore international agreements as trust disintegrates, the Paris Agreement and the United Nations might be abandoned in the 2020s.To put it shortly, the world power will likely shift from Anglo-America to Asio-China/Russia, international co-operation and aid may regress into nationalistic autonomy, and from democracy to populism. Technologically, most breakthroughs will be related to the huge spread of the internet in some way, in other words most technological advances will be adaptations to the way we live with the internet and learning the full capability and power of it. 5g will be adopted reluctantly due to health concerns, but it will be adopted anyway at some point in the 2020s quickly and this will cause even more dramatic changes within our society. If you think our world has changed drastically so far just wait until 5g comes! By 2030 we could have fridges that are connected to the internet, many other inanimate objects would also be connected to the internet and whatever information is processed will be used to benefit companies as well as sniffing out bad behavior. Because of 5g, the 2020s may be the last decade when privacy is possible in society. Lastly, I am going to talk about generations and their role in the 2020s. Pretty much all Baby Boomers are going to retire in this decade to have their previous role as leaders replaced by Gen X, Gen Y will all be adults and will be trying to make big changes in the world, Gen Z will begin to grow into adults, there will be a new generation in the 2020s (generation beta). What do you think will happen in the 2020s? Very keen to read your thoughts about this topic!Have a good day. ------------------------- reply to user: Honestly I will never be able to answer with confidence about Brexit! I think many people in the parliament don't seem to know what to do, I think most likely Brexit will be on hold until the EU itself fails. Today the EU is already struggling to survive.How will the EU fail? When its financial situation gives European nations the incentive to leave so they can grow their economies by themselves without restrictions, the Syrian refugee crisis (5 million people) destabilized the EU to its core and it was the refugee crisis that started Brexit in the first place.Imagine what would happen to global politics if 20 million migrants went into Europe, it would certainly change a lot of things. reply to user:Religion could make a comeback in the 2020s, particularly in a scenario where climate change pushes people to turn to religion for comfort. Islam is on a sharp rise due to the fact that they have a lot of children, it will also become the biggest religion in the world in the near future, at that point most people on Earth will be Muslim.I think ISIS largely happened because of food shortages in Syria which resulted in civil war, if a similar thing happened in another vulnerable Muslim country then you can expect another wave of suicidal radicals wrecking havoc and forming another radical group.I have once predicted a similar uprising in North Africa resulting in a mass Christian migration into Europe, the number of Christian migrants could exceed 20 million. ----------------------- reply to user: Yeah the idea of the European Union has been a flawed and overly ambitious project right from the start, Europe is quite a divided continent with many countries having a strong sense of identity, trying to make Europe into one country will inevitably backfire. Without much doubt the EU will collapse, however it will live on under a different name by one or a few countries that still cling onto the vision.After EU falls there is a chance that a few more so-called unions may form, these unions may be alliances that share the same political views which could result in a polarization.Germany had a good shot at attempting to rule Europe again though, we tried it and probably won't do it again for a while. ----------------------- reply to user: Funny enough I have just very recently found out that the UK is going to have another general election, so far at the moment it looks like Labour is doing well with public approval, it is a likely possibility that Jeremy Corbyn may become the next prime minister.If Jeremy Corbyn becomes the next prime minister that would mean that Brexit will be cancelled, this could cause major polarization and unrest if there are still people who really want Brexit. Who knows what would happen if the majority of pro-Brexiteers protest in the streets because they didn't get what was promised to them? A British revolution is another real possibility. reply to user:Predicting elections will always be difficult for me because of how uncertain and at times random they all are, who would of thought that Trump would win in 2016? Would Trump win again in 2020? I mean it sounds crazy but if it happened in 2016 then it can certainly happen again in 2020. Although I do think that Trump has less of a chance of winning in 2020.A good thing to take note of is when Trump withdrew from the Paris Agreement much of America didn't follow suite, there are many American companies who still follow the Paris Agreement guidelines because they don't agree with Trump, there are many Americans who have not been implementing Trumps policies.Elections can never be predicted with 100% confidence, but Trump is more likely to lose in 2020 than 2016. ------------------------------- Thank you all for your replies, they have been smart and intuitive contributions. :-D Last night I just began researching about the 1920s out of interest (I think I might have mentioned the 1920s in the old 2020s thread). I have just started learning about the 1920s so there is a lot that I don't know about it but there are a few themes that resonates with today trends, which I will mention below.And because I am not well informed about the 1920s the below information would be hypothetical and open to speculation. The 1920s was an economically prosperous time for the Western World, but the economic prosperity abruptly ended with the Stock Market Crash in 1929 and resulted in the Great Depression in the 1930s. A very similar situation is happening today but is happening much slower and at the moment is less severe, the Stock Market Crash in 2007-2008 resulted in an economic crawl that is still persisting to this day. I have a feeling however that the full effect of the 2007-2008 economic crisis is yet to be felt in full force. Political movements such as Socialism and Fascism were on the rise in the 1920s-1930s partly because of the economic situation, those parties believed that capitalism is out of control and needs intervention to prevent the degeneration of society. The term supercapitalism was created by Fascists, it pretty much means a degenerated form of capitalism that is doing more harm than good to society. The blame of the 1929 Stock Market Crash was placed on Capitalism by both Socialists and Fascists, anti-capitalism exploded in the 1930s which resulted in far-left/far-right nations fighting one another by the end of that decade. Lets say that the next Great Depression is to start in the early 2020s, we already have a lot of young people who have a favorable view on Socialism, on some level there are many people who are blaming Capitalism for the economic crisis. Nations have already been polarizing in the 2010s, so what would happen if we enter the next Great Depression and then a massive surge of Socialism/Fascism happens straight after? The world would be in a very similar situation as the world in pre-WWII. If the 2020s Great Depression happens then Capitalism in the Western World could end, the more young people has power over America the more likely that the nation will transition into a Socialist state. Kinda ironic because in the 20th century Anglo-America fought against Socialist Russia and in the end capitalism unexpectantly won as the leading world policy, but in the 2020s Russia may abandon their socialist past and turn to capitalism as they take advantage of the new resources revealed by global warming, just as Anglo-America turns Socialist Asio-Russia will turn Capitalist (I'm not sure about China, but I'm pretty sure that India is taking the capitalist route too). The Arctic will melt a lot during the 2020s, Russia may likely claim most of the new oil reserves which will cause worldwide tension as oil will be running out, America will be stuck with the last remaining reserves of oil in Alaska and Canada which may result in poor relations between Canada and America, eventually China may have most of the oil reserves in the Middle East because I believe that the Middle East will turn to China for economic interests as America begins to lose its grip on the region. Nothing is forever, everything changes.To those who fear for the future of America I just want to say this, even if America loses influence on the world America will still cling onto their core values in their own home and I can't see America giving up on the American dream, I think that the American dream is redefined by each of its passing generations. ------------------------------ This is probably the last comment I will post in this thread so I'll be sure to write out anything else I can predict or think about the 2020s, again I may be repeating things but at this point its hard to avoid because I posted quite alot about the 2020s at this point. I definitely agree with :user: that if WW3 were to happen in the 2020s it would be similar to how WW1 started, everything was fine then suddenly everything wasn't and the world fell into further chaos resulting in a world war. Currently I believe that the 2020s will start off with a cautious optimism, the decade where Gen X and Gen Y fully realises that the world is in their hands and they will bring about changes. If I could name a main theme of the end of the 2010s I would say 'youth in protest'. A growing number of young people believe that civilization won't be there when they grow up, they see no point in taking part in a society that they believe will inevitably fail due to climate change. In the 2020s the 'youth in protest' will grow to such a degree that societal values of the 20th century will be rendered obsolete. But where does the cautious optimism comes in? I believe the optimism is the result of hope of a better future as the youth wields more power to make changes. We will likely see a big wave of new famous Gen Z's and who knows what they could contribute to this world? Today(Nov,2019) we can all sense that things are changing but what if the changes of the 2010s are volcanic rumbles compared to the eruption of the 2020s? The 2020s will likely be a social and societal fragmentation, the crossroads of a post-consumerist world. Baby Boomers are largely responsible for the world we live in today, very soon Baby Boomers will lose their power over the world and that power will be passed onto the younger generations who have different values. Most Baby Boomers favor capitalism, a growing number of younger generations favor socialism. Conspiracy theories are a growing trend, due to the upheaval of technology it has become easier to believe in conspiracy theories because what was crazy 10 years ago seems feasible today. I think if everyone starts to believe in conspiracy theories then a lack of trust would become so hard to overcome that the government would have no choice but to allow a degree of autonomy. Allowing autonomy would cause more and more lands to demand independence, most of them will be city states like Hong Kong or Singapore. I can't think of anything else, going to conclude it here.The 2020s would either be the beginning of a new era or a long-winded dying of the present post-consumerist era. The Baby Boomers will recline on their chairs and leave the whole world to Gen X and Y, Gen Z will become adults. I haven't mentioned robots but they will begin to take some of our jobs, which can possibly trigger a neo-luddite movement. WW3 hopefully won't happen, a 2nd Cold War is more likely to happen though. Hopefully there won't be an epidemic like the Spanish flu, in this case it will most likely evolve from a strain of bird flu. Climate change will trigger protests and changes, some fear that its already too late to stop global warming. Thank you for reading, lets make the 2020s as good of a decade as possible. ---------------------------------- reply to user: Yeah I've been getting a growing sense that a British Civil War might happen, last year I could not see a civil war happening but now it seems like a real possibility, today it is easy to figure out why it would happen. I bet not many people in the 17th century civil war wanted it to happen and didn't think that it would happen but you can learn what ended up happening, Charles I got beheaded and maybe Boris Johnson might meet a similar fate.Not a certainty, I can never be certain but its something worth worrying and preparing for. In the 2020s, I think the U.A.E is a possible candidate for a world power and I can see them cutting deals from America and making deals with China instead 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend.'. Imagine if America-UK runs out of energy and oil resources, in this scenario it is likely that U.A.E+China+Russia will own all the remaining deposits by then and we may have no choice but to give up a degree of independence in exchange for some of their oil and energy.Another scenario is the race for the last of the remaining resources that our society still largely depends on, the nation that has the most resources will have the most power and nations that lack those resources will form alliances with them for resources in return.We may possibly see the first super-corporations being established, a very large and powerful corporation that may be the true power behind everything and maybe even more powerful than political figureheads.Those super-corporations may become independent nations that have their own goals and projects, mostly they involve technologies for either saving our eco-systems or to control us. I have once thought about the year 2075, I imagined a huge city (at that time many countries collapsed, civilization largely being left with city-states ran by trillionaires) the city uses mind control technology to maintain order, the A.I is used to help the elites figure out the next best course of action, human clones are used for labor and war, everyone is constantly being watched due to surveillance that will be almost everywhere.The 2020s will be the start of the new world that future generations will recognized as the true 21st century, 2000-2030 will be seen as a transitional period. ------------------------ We are only 2 days away from the 2020s, I am going to post about the decade predictions to avoid the regret of not posting it before the 2010s ends. I will have a bit of closure about my 2020s threads now that I'm doing this for the last time, I might be a bit risky and do my best to make a scenario story for fun even though about half of it will be inaccurate haha, since accurately predicting the future is like trying to fly without wings. But still, some of the predictions I have thought about have already come true even before the 2020s has started, which makes it clear that the world is changing faster than we thought and will continue to increase the throttle. There is already some tension between America and China over trade, at the moment as I write this they have agreed to a truce after a trade war that not many knew about but there is tension and might escalate in the near future, if America attacks another nation again then half of the world will turn against America and will cut all trade-ties with it which would cause America to descend into chaos. In short, America could get sanctioned but other nations will be at risk of being sanctioned if they commit any future acts of aggression. There would likely be more riots and terrorism, there will likely be a much worse refugee crisis caused both by climate change and acts of aggression by ISIS or a nation. There could be more online communities that provide a source of humanitarian relief and charity, some online communities will run on bitcoin(or other forms of cryptocurrency) so that they can afford more resources to help people with.I have once predicted that there will be a mass migration of Christians from North Africa due to Islamic radicalism, well as of 2019 there already are Christians in Nigeria (North Africa!) being beheaded by ISIS so a mass migration from North Africa is very possible, in fact the whole Arab Spring and its neighbors could produce masses of migrants due to the continuous descent into chaos. Out of all the Muslim nations Turkey-Saudi Arabia-Iran-U.A.E appear to be the most stable while others are highly vulnerable, I have a good feeling about U.A.E solely because it has many long-term goals to ensure economic security so I can see them having a good influence on Iran and Saudi Arabia, U.A.E will likely make trade deals with China and China could offer U.A.E military protection thus protecting the U.A.E from Saudi Arabia and Iran since the risk of a war going on in the Persian Gulf is high.Dubai will become a more important city and will become a cultural as well as scientific center, much of its workforce would likely be desperate people from South Asia looking for work. If a new superpower enters world-stage then the West could face sanctions for acts of war against the Arab Spring, especially if the new power is disapproving towards the West, if the West is sanctioned then it will enter a long-term economic depression and could be forced to house refugees.Populism will spread as more people feel like they are living through a crisis, populist candidates appeal to people by presenting themselves as the solution to their crisis. Populism has been on the rise in the 2010s and many people believe that most populist movements have been right-wing, the most common theme of 2010s-populism are anti-immigration and America/Britain first, those populist movements have resulted in Brexit and Donald Trumps presidency.If populism continues to spread in the 2020s then we will see more and more nations implementing anti-emigration policies and we will see them turn away from globalization as they retreat into the concerns of their own nation. The European Union will decay due to countries leaving, the United Nations too will decay as countries start to defy and leave so they can do their own thing, globalization is at a big risk in the 2020s. Largely due to technology more and more people will begin to lose their jobs, and more people will lose their homes to man-made disasters. Self-driving cars will begin to render Uber Drivers and Taxi drivers obsolete, mass-production is becoming more automatic so more people who work in mass-production will lose their jobs, self-checkout machines in shops will continue to slowly render retailers obsolete. Newspapers are dead, and soon TV will be.Nations will be able to provide more resources with robots but there will be less consumers since not many people would be able to afford to buy many things, this would cause a worldwide economic crisis and we are overdue for a 1920s-style economic crash.What will the government do with all those homeless and unemployed people? Universal income will be the most likely solution but it is highly unlikely that many people would live comfortably since they will have to work very hard to survive and you'd have to be very lucky to get a job, in turn people will begin to reject the government and the system, some (hopefully many) people could turn to online communities to support one another and due to the failing economy will turn to cryptocurrency which they use to support themselves. The Sagrada Familia will finally be complete, I think it would be nice to make the wonder of Sagrada Familia the icon of the 2020s. Other projects will be completed as well such as The London Super Sewer, The Giant Magellan Telescope, The Square Kilometer Array radio telescope, a few big bridges (and a tunnel for boats in Norway) and a few new railways here and there. There will be at least a few major space achievements thanks to Elon Musk and some privatized science projects will offer few more major breakthroughs in science, the first manned mission to Mars is scheduled in the 2020s but its chance for success is low due to the many risks and dangers, space junk will become a much bigger problem and will need to be cleaned up before we will never be able to leave the Earth. The mission to Mars would likely be re-scheduled or postponed. 3D printing is expected to enter mainstream which in itself will change many things, 3D printing could even render some shops obsolete because you could print whatever stuff you want at home instead of going to a shop looking for what you want, a creator sub-culture may develop from 3D printing enthusiasts.Vertical farms are expected to be erected for the first time in cities, this trend will grow because agriculture is also expected to fail in the long-run so there is a lot of funding put into vertical farming because vertical farming could replace conventional field farming, in the 2020s however vertical farms will only generate a very small percentage of food and its produce would not be sold in mainstream shops for a while.Lab grown meat will be a new growing trend in the 2020s, but its adoption will be slow due to skepticism and lack of popularity. Will there be wars? Likely more than the 2010s.Because not much has been resolved at 2019 we can expect things to grow more tense, especially since we are all facing an impending global warming crisis and a decline of globalization. Russia and China will become more dominant and influential throughout the world, developing countries will bear the brunt of climate change while the developed countries are increasingly destabilized by the flocks of refugees flooding in, developing countries could be reduced into war-zones like Syria in the 2010s.The trade-wars between America and China could involve other world powers and it could escalate into the 2nd Cold War, with a Cold War there is always the chance of a 3rd World War looming.The west will decay as the western economy worsens, Russia and China would exploit whatever resource they can get with their new influence in a decaying world but their economic growth will be fragile too.China is threatened by the loss of fresh water once the Himalayan ice melts, much of Chinese agriculture is threatened by floods, when the Chinese eco-system fails then you can expect them to attack their neighbours or best-case scenario demand resources from their allies.Russia is threatened by the same thing that will give them economic prosperity, global warming, when the ice melts the methane would doom us all and will also release long-forgotten epidemics into our world, Russia will face a huge refugee crisis coming from the south due to water shortages so you can expect Russia to heavily enforce their borders.European politics will change drastically due to responses from refugees, if Europe refuses most refugees then it is possible that armies of angry refugees could invade Europe in the future.Africa is gaining so much but that growth will not be expected to last due to climate change, water wars reduce some areas into anarchy like Libya in the 2010s, Nigeria-Ethiopia-South Africa would likely be the most prosperous countries of the continent, the African countries that are developing would likely begin to adopt the same lifestyle as the West is living like eating fast food and being online all day long. I do not know much about South America but some parts appear to be on a verge of political change and turmoil, I do believe that they are at risk for water shortages due to melting ice in the Andes, I can't see them stopping the destruction of the Amazon so that will be ongoing. South America will grow economically but like the rest of the world it will be a highly vulnerable growth.Australia will continue to be burnt alive by wildfires, we should start seeing more and more Australians moving to colder areas such as Tasmania New Zealand and Britain. Indonesia will continue to destroy their rain-forests to make money out of palm oil, don't know what their political situation would be though but would most likely go down the capitalist path. All in all the 2020s will be a time of disruption, the pace of life will get faster and faster, fake news and deep fakes will spread, misinformation will be rife, as the internet spreads and becomes more disruptive more restrictions will be put on the internet, because we are growing more dependent on technology cyber-attacks or power-cuts could bring us back to the late 20th century, people will grow more scared and desperate and may turn to drastic courses of action if said course of action is the only solution.We are at risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and bird flu, obesity and depression will become a bigger burden than it already is, transgender people will be the new normal as people are now coming out as transhuman, in some parts of cities driving a car could be banned because of driverless cars replacing transportation in some city centers, cars are switching to hybrid/electricity as electric car plugs appear in many built-up areas, more and more people have had their DNA stored into a database and I can't say for sure how this data will be used. Online communities give me hope, and I hope that online communities become so rich with cryptocurrency and popular that when the decaying society that thrived in the 20th century fails we got the new online society to fall back onto and rebuild a new society from scratch instead of trying to rebuilt a society that failed us. I wish us all the best of luck. --------- reply to user: I think you are definitely right about 2020 Britain being pretty much the same as 2019 Britain except that it could get worse especially since the NHS is in the process of being privatized which sucks for me too because I am a Type 1 Diabetic, I am inclined to think that Boris Johnson will resign in the near future just to be replaced by another equally unqualified/unpopular Tory. I am going to be a bit controversial and biased but I want to blame Democracy for the situation that Britain is in right now and I want to explain why I am skeptical towards Democracy.So the idea of Democracy is to get the public to choose who becomes the leader and its down to the public to make that important choice, but many people do not want to run the country and many people do not know what is best for their country.In a Democratic society the best way to win a vote is to promise the public everything and appeal to them, you don't have to be good at politics to win and you don't have to tell people of your true intentions all you have to do is lie and be charismatic. Politicians probably hire professional psychologists to trick people into voting for them because they know how to trick the system to get them into the position that they both don't deserve or are qualified for. Its no wonder why Politicians are losing their efficiency, they do it as a job because many politicians do not need to be good at running a country to become the leader and like I said they just need to know what the people want to hear and to put on a charismatic face.I believe that running the country should be reserved for those who want to run the country and have the countries best interest at heart, it should be reserved for professionals who know what they are doing and have had years of training as well as experience. In a Democracy if you get two candidates, one is a businessman who is very charismatic but only knows about business, the other one is a ex-Sergeant who has had 20 years of experience in the administrative field but he is not as charismatic. Even though the Businessman is less qualified he will win because he is charismatic and knows how to trick people into voting for him instead of the professional, repeat this process and you'll end up with a very ineffective government or circus full of charismatic millionaires who trick and lie to the public to maintain their lofty position in society. And that is probably how Britain ended up with the government it has, people have been lied to and people don't know who is best for their country so we end up voting for the wrong people or get tricked into believing that Democracy is the best form of government.Sadly Democracy will put Britain(as well as other nations) at risk of a power hungry Populist who will present him/herself as against the present government and will use his/her charisma to appeal to us to make us believe that the Populist is the solution to all of our problems caused by the government, but once the Populist gets elected s/he will show his/her true colors and the public will soon regret their vote.This process will keep repeating itself while we have Democracy, I believe that its not working and maybe we are better off leaving our politics to the professionals elected by professionals. I also want to thank you for all the replies you posted on my 2020s posts, they have helped keeping the 2020s posts alive. Again, thank you. --------------------- reply to user: Not only that but many people are also misinformed because Democratic candidates lie and be all fake to get votes and on top that they also spread rumors about other candidates or pretty much anything so that they'll get more votes, its bad because not only many people already don't know what is best for their country but they will find it very difficult to know for sure what will be best because of all the lies and misinformation. --------------------- reply to user: Its scary that some people out there actually believe that Jeremy Corbyn is anti-semetic, its such a ridiculous and desperate accusation just to make Jeremy Corbyn look bad and lose. And its scary because if people actually believe those bogus anti-Semetic accusations then it just shows how much the media controls us all.Donald Trump is indeed right about journalists and fake news being an issue, but I think the reason why journalism is such a joke in America is because it is privatized and they are becoming desperate so that they can survive kinda like 'IT' from the Steven King novel.Capitalism and privatization can corrupt journalism because capitalism makes journalism more about money and getting attention so it degenerates into what it currently is, but Donald Trump is very capitalist, which could mean that Donald Trump is a cause of journalism gone wrong and he is getting backlash from the world he helped to create whether he knows it or not. Journalism does need to be regulated, especially now we are becoming fully aware of how powerful mass media can be. I could be blaming capitalism because of mass media and it could turn out that capitalism isn't to blame after all, but I still believe that its probably best for journalism to just focus on entertainment and to leave actual news to a more professional environment where the professionals highly focus on telling the people about unbiased truths. ------------------------------
Proposition : The only thing that matters for Bitcoin to succeed is its ability to be a good store of value
Proposition : The only thing that matters for Bitcoin to succeed is its ability to be a good store of value. Let me say it again. Bitcoin might be completely crap on the transactional side, you might have to wait 3 days for each transaction to confirm and pay 10$ : if it is a great store of value, it will succeed nevertheless, it’s market cap will become huge and we will all be rich. If it is not a good store of value (because, for exemple, it is perceived as unsafe) it will fail. Now you might think it is ludicrous, absurd. So let me try to convince you otherwise. But first, I would like to make a point. The point is that there is no difference in theory between value storing and speculation.You might think it is completely different things, and it may well be in practice for the average Joe, but from a theoritical point of view, there is no difference. In both cases, if you are a rational economic agent, you buy some asset X at time t0 (witch might be dollars, euros, gold, etc...) in order to spend it latter at time t1. In the mean time, you expect asset X to be the best possible investment (speculation) because otherwise you would have chosen another asset Y, wich you could exchange at time t1 for more X (having more of someting is always better). So the best store of value is the best way to teleport your wealth in the future, it is also the best asset to speculate on. (The reason I say it is true only in theory and not in practice is because in practice there is something called risk aversion, suffice it to say that it can be mitigated by special agents (invesment funds, etc) and in the end what really matters is the expected value of the asset : EV = p1x1 + p2x2...) Now you might try to recall why you bought bitcoins in the first place. Let me refresh your memory : You bought bitcoins because you thought it was a good way to become rich. I know it because I bought bitcoins for the exact same reason. In other words, you speculated on bitcoins : you used it as a store of value. Many people thought the same way and this is the reason why Bitcoin today has a 3 billion dollars market cap. Now this might not be a proof that the store of value side is so important, you might think of yourself as a special snowflake who bought bitcoins early for this specific reason, but expect others to use bitcoins for very different reasons. But still, it suggests that this speculation side of things may not be completely irrelevant. Now you may have heard about the transactional value of bitcoin and the famous formula MV = PQ. This certainly suggests that the medium of exchange side of things might be important after all. For exemple, there was recently a post from someone arguing that bitcoin was on the verge to world domination because banks were going to use it as an inter-bank medium of exchange. I’m affraid, even if it is true (and it may well be) that it will have no impact whatsoever on the price of bitcoin. It would be good publicity though, but nothing more. Now why do I say this ? First some empirical evidence : when merchants all over the world began to accept bitcoin, it did not increase the price contrary to what many expected (including myself actualy). On the contrary, it seemed to depress the price more than anything else. The reason, I believe, is that it incited people to spend bitcoins wich where automaticaly dumped on the market by the merchants, creating selling pressure. Now if every bitcoiner had rebought the same quantity of bitcoin they had just spent in order to conserve their speculative exposition to bitcoin, it would have had no impact at all, but it was not the case. The truth is, the transactionnal value of an asset depends solely on the time both parties have to be exposed to the asset in order for the transaction to complete. In the limit that this time tends to zero, the impact on the asset price also tends to zero. It is obvious, because if you buy 1 bitcoin on an exchange and then re-sell it immediatly, it can not have any long term impact on the price. You may not agree with all this but I think many will agree, so I will jump to another point and defend this thesis later if needed. Now I would like to make another point : If bitcoin succeeds as a store of value and it becomes the standard way to store wealth in the world, it will nescessarily also be used as a medium of exchange, because why wouldn’t merchants accept it in a world where everybody saves in bitcoin ? I am affraid, however, that the reverse is not true. First, if all you savings are in dollar, why on earth would you not directly buy your stuff with you dollars ? Well there are some cases where you might want to use bitcoin : To buy drugs on the darknet, to buy porn on the internet, etc.. But this will only ever be niche use cases, and even if it became fashionable, it would’nt change the fact that these kind of use have no impact whatsoever on bitcoin price. In fact they are dependant on bitcoin market cap to be sufficiently large, (ie being a good store of value/investment in the eye of many people) : If bitcoin market cap was 10 dollars, you obviously couldn’t use it to buy $50 worth of meth on the darknet. It doesn’t mean the market cap would magicaly grow to allow such use as a wrong understanding of the MV = PQ formula might suggest. It would just mean that bitcoin could not be used for this, and would not be used for this. In other word, it would be useless. Now what is the relation between bitcoin market cap and it's qualities as a store of value ? It is simple : if bitcoin is not a good store of value, nobody will want to hoard bitcoins, so everyone who is currently hording will want to sell, and noboby will want to buy. In other word, the value of bitcoins will be zero. And when the market cap is zero, it can not even be used as a medium of exchange anyway. So let us analyse bitcoin qualities as a store of value. First there is the dilution/inflation/scarcity aspect. With a fixed supply of 21 million coins, bitcoin pretty much scores A+. It is just impossible to imagine something better. But alas, there is another aspect to consider : for bitcoin to be a good store of value, it has to be safe. If there is a 20% probability that Bitcoin will stop working within one year, for whatever reason, you have to take that into account. And suddenly it doesnt look like a great store of value anymore. So bitcoin resiliance is of the utmost importance, it is actualy, I believe, the single most important factor that will determine wether it succeeds or not. Let me say it again : Bitcoin success depends solely on its resilience as a store of value. And what bitcoin resilience depends on ? On decentralisation. The one single distinguishing feature of bitcoin. This is why, I think, we should concentrate on this aspect, more than anything else. It is also why, I think, Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn are just plain wrong. They want to sacrifice some security (decentralisation) to improve transaction bandwidth, while in reality, security is many,many many orders of magnitude more important that anything related to transaction bandwidth. Now you may not agree with this way of seeing things, and that’s ok. I just wanted to explain this theory so that everybody can think about it and come to his own conclusion. If I am wrong, please try to change my mind, I may have forgoten something, my logic might be wrong, etc... Bitcoin is a communauty and we must think together about these issues and try to reach, together, a better understanding. In the meantime, HODL to your coins ! Finally, I would like to say that I am not a native english speaker so this might explain the poor english. EDIT All this is inspired from http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.f2011/04/on-monetary-restandardization.html "In any economy, there exists no less than one commodity or security of inelastic volume which is overvalued due to reservation demand. Ie: one scarce good which is money." EDIT 2 I should not have talked about Mike Hearn etc... and entered the block size debate. My point on the importance of the store of value side of things is independant from the block size debate.
•Cosmos, a blockchain interoperability project has released its platform dubbed “Cosmos Hub”. This comes after 3 years of planning and development and a $16,000,000 USD raise in 2017. The platform aims to solve scalability of distributed technology by proposing a platform of blockchains.
CRYPTOCURRENCY TRADING SERVICES
•Traders on Coinbase can now transfer cryptocurrency directly from its trading platform to the institution’s custodial wallet offering Coinbase Wallet. •Coinbase Pro, Coinbase’s professional platform lists Stellar Lumens for trading. •New Zealand based exchange Cryptopia migrates 35% of the platform’s funds into new wallets. •DX Exchange, an Estonia based exchange utilizing Nasdaq’s trading engine launches security token offering (STO) listings. •Trust Wallet, Binance’s endorsed wallet now supports Ripple (XRP). Traders and developers building on top of Trust Wallet can take advantage of the support of the Ripple ecosystem. •Hong Kong based exchange Gatecoin shuts down as a result of a legal dispute with a payment processor and a devastating 185,000 ETH and 250 BTC hack in 2016.
•In the U.S state of Texas, a bill has been proposed to require identity verification for sending cryptocurrency payments. •Central bank of Russia aims to introduce an annual limit of 600,000 rubles ($9,100 USD) for unqualified investors who want to purchase digital assets. •Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the decision to create a portal for regulated ICO’s. •Singaporean based exchange Quoine has been found liable by the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) for reversing 7 trades from market maker B2C2 in April 2017. Trades were valued at 10 Bitcoins per 1 Ethereum. •The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and the Investment Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) is now seeking regulatory input on cryptocurrency exchanges, in an attempt to integrate securities laws where appropriate. •In the U.S state of Colorado, governor Jared Polis has signed the Digital Token Act on March 8th, 2019. This will exempt specific cryptocurrencies with specific characteristics and functionality from being classified as a security.
•Tether has recently updated terms of service which will shift its reserves from 100% traditional currency (USD) to a combination of traditional currency and cash equivalent assets such as loans. •Samsung unveils a native cryptocurrency wallet for its flagship S10 device that can be found on the Samsung Galaxy Store. Wallet will support Ether (ETH) and ERC20 based tokens alongside 4 dApps from the outset. •MyEtherWallet launches an alpha version of its Ethereum blockchain explorer, EthVM. INSTITUTIONALIZATION •Kakao Corp, the creators of KakaoTalk – South Korea’s most used messaging app raises $90 million USD to supplement the launch of a new blockchain platform in June dubbed “Klaytn”. •A blockchain based ETF, consisting of 48 companies involved or building blockchain technology has launched on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). •Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) announces that it will not add a Bitcoin (BTC) futures market in March.
•Mark Karpeles, the CEO of Mt Gox faces a 10-year jail term from the Japanese authorities for embezzlement of client assets. •Danelle Dixon has been appointed the new CEO of the Stellar Foundation, previously COO of Mozilla. •Konstantin Ignatov, CEO of multibillion-dollar pyramid scheme OneCoin has been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Ignatov’s sister, Ruja Ignatov is charged with wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.
•@cz_binance – “Populaunpopular opinion: Everyone will be in crypto, sooner or later, whether they know it or not, whether you like it or not.” •@barrysilbert – “Wells Fargo, a Buffett investment, has been fined 93 times for fraud and other abuses, for a total of $14.8 billion in fines since just 2000. I'll take bitcoin's "charlatans" over that any day.” •@erikVoorhees – “Crypto is software eating finance”
THE BLUEPRINT FOR FIXING AMERICA SOONER RATHER THAN AFTER IT IS TOO LATE
BEFORE going further with this, bear in mind it was a response to the previous post "WHAT IF LIBERTY WAS ATTACHED TO HUMANITY" and perhaps one might read that long list of QUESTIONS FOR HUMANITY before diving into issues on how one might repair our corner of the world...onward... Some people claim we are beyond a "tipping point" of no return. This analysis is commonly applied to global warming to describe the melting permafrost that is releasing methane gas which is believed to be 100 times more potent and lasting than carbon dioxide in causing global warming from the greenhouse effect. Others apply the "tipping point" idea to America's national debt; stating that if we switched from our fiat currency back to a gold standard, we couldn't pay off the interest, let alone our debt, based on current exports and GDP figures. Therefore, we have become a patently bankrupt nation contrary to the principles Thomas Jefferson and others warned us to follow to avoid the use of credit. A bankrupt America in a world of currencies based on a tangible asset like gold or levels of exports would be unable to purchase oil to feed our pathetic industries, let alone our levels of consumer consumption of energy. I managed to get through 2016 without using a drop of petroleum, propane or any other non-renewable source of energy. I studied and invested in solar and wind and it took me more than a decade to select and test the appliances, like a low wattage crock pot placed in an insulated cooler, to learn how to maximize my ability to live on minimal power. Americans don't have a decade to spare. Denmark did it well. They invested in wind and now boast regions with little or no use for petroleum; which is at the heart of both global environmental destruction, loss of rainforests, pollution of rivers, oceans, aquifers and war, which leaves its own lasting toxic landscape, enormous national debt, widespread death, loss of culture, physical and emotional scars. If poor little Denmark can cure its ills, why can't America accelerate our transition to renewables, save a bundle along the way and reduce our desire or need to engage in wars related to acquiring petroleum reserves, or our need to retain a fiat currency required to fund wars, oil purchases, bribe foreign officials and our own elected leaders. If the spigot of free money were removed, would America be as corrupt as it is today, or as destructive worldwide, as we've become? I believe part of the "Blueprint for fixing America" involves ridding ourselves of the patently corrupt, financially inept Federal Reserve and if possible, dismantling the BIS, IMF and World Bank, or at the least, installing a series of common sense policies to both upgrade these systems, regulate their actions through intelligent policies designed by a political body that relies on both public opinion through debates and analysis of performance driven QC metrics. The system of printing treasuries and taxing citizens was born, not from political debate or even a public vote, but by a small corrupt group in Congress and our banking system a century ago. It has failed to produce a healthy, debt free nation; the imperialism it funded has failed to produce a healthy, democratic, environmentally sustainable world, or even a world that views America as a true democracy, rather than the brutish arm of global corporations, and it has failed to produce a stronger middle class in America. Therefore, after 100 years of failures, perhaps it is time to replace the defective financial systems and taxes which fund defective military campaigns and patently defective, if not murderous systems of politics. What will replace "fiat currencies" remains to be seen, though models based on gold, silver and copper seemed to work pretty well before, and future models, such as bitcoin, or credits based on real production of exports, or levels of kwh power from renewables might also prove viable; something, anything, based on a real, tangible asset would be an improvement as it would eliminate the ability of a corrupt banker to simply press a button, create money from thin air, instantly indebting citizens of a nation seen as instant inflation, and then instantly buy their land or bribe their politicians: A person, corporation or group utilizing money for illegal activities would have to actually perform some kind of work to acquire it. Not so the case today. Whether it is to fix our energy policies, our role of the military in global affairs, our rapidly deteriorating environment, rapidly expanding levels of poverty, homelessness or levels of toxins we are exposed to either from the environment or self-ingested through legal and illegal drugs, our rapidly deteriorating mental health, intellectual capacity, shrinking middle class and standard of living; no matter what the policy is in America that needs to be changed, we aren't changing fast enough. We are like a deer caught in the headlights of a speeding automobile. The revelations of just how corrupt and dysfunctional our government, political and economic systems are has only recently been exposed to those who will study and analyze the evidence, and its so shocking they are either paralyzed or ineffective in bringing about effective change. You can't blame them too much. Faced with a new huge problem we really weren't aware of 20 years ago, and now faced with the prospect of trying to educate a sufficient body of Americans to create the change we must, the proponents for change stumble around testing different solutions; and more often than not, they fail. That is expected. Democracy as proposed by our Founding Fathers was the first of its kind and is an experiment. Experiments don't always work as planned; usually they do not. The trick in this democratic experiment is to recover before its too late. Whether or not we are past a tipping point is somewhat irrelevant as long as we don't give up. We must continue to innovate, to remain optimistic that we can and will prevail; and remain dedicated to the idea that our form of democracy can be shaped into a true popular democracy where every voice counts, where corporations cannot sway us from an honorable path, where people in other nations can become proud in their own quest to emulate our experiment in democracy without the need for our military to force our current corrupt brand of democracy on their citizens. That process has only exposed our defects to a wider geographic landscape and hardened the resolve of many citizens against mirroring America's brand of democracy. As that resistance continues to increase, our military will find it increasingly difficult to find willing souls in each nation who will undermine governments; and therefore our military and corrupt corporate agenda will need to employ hired guns to execute agendas; witness ISIS and CIA funding to topple Syria. In the old days it was easy to find citizens within a nation who were eager to bring American ideals to overthrow a brutal dictator. Today, the people of Syria living under a patently defective leader would prefer that brand of freedom to anything an "American Democracy" might represent. Today, the American brand of Democracy, as a valued export for nations to acquire, is worth less than toxic toilet paper. Dumping nuclear waste on a foreign nation would be less harmful and they know it. Its not that the original design of our democracy was either dishonorable, nor was it a bad idea or even poorly designed. In its day it was brilliant and even today it is far superior to the democracy Americans live with daily. We don't have a real voice in the process of electing our President, nor do we have a real voice in the way Congress operates, nor a real voice in the various emerging "secret courts" that increasingly preside over the actions of citizens, nor a real voice in public spending policies that are bankrupting future generations who have even less, if any voice, even faster than they are bankrupting current generations of our young in their 20's, who are far poorer than the older generation who at least had a chance at home ownership and developing a profitable business under some "free", "capitalistic", "market driven" middle class system that is all but gone in America today. What we are witnessing is not only a rapidly shrinking middle class and rapidly expanding population of impoverished, but a rapidly evaporating system of democracy, rapid expansion of our national debt and destruction of the global environment all taking place at the same time. Its an interlocking series of events that are quite telling in their synergistic effect on each other, yet complex enough to defy our ability to manage today's crisis du jure, let alone plan and execute an intelligent series of steps to bring a halt to these grave trends and thereafter, create a thriving, financially solvent, reasonably moral, non-violent America that can again become a shining beacon of Democracy for all the world to emulate without force; rather by simply becoming envious of our prosperity and the success of our middle class. Today, any envy foreigners might hold for American ideals are primarily focused on the celebs, and a level of wealth, few global citizens will ever attain; nor should they try. The lifestyle of the rich and famous is patently unsustainable and not very good for the financial health of a nation or the environment. Wealth in and of itself is no more evil than a car used in a bank robbery. Wealth, when properly applied can build schools, buy solar panels or wind turbines, or create innovative R&D facilities to invent new technologies that can foster new businesses and provide more Yankee exports. On the other hand, wealth applied to bribe politicians, build leaky oil pipelines or systems that pollute groundwater, or simply to buy a $50,000 dress for a Grammy Award ceremony is dangerous, destructive folly. Therefore, part of the path out of this mess needs to be a sense of modesty and reality based on what we've learned in the past 200 years about gross decadence and the ability of large groups of citizens to become easily hypnotized by fabulous levels of wealth most of them will never attain. Perhaps in a class entitled Personal Econ 101 we should both encourage people to develop ideas, invent, market, sell and manage a personal business, and include a section on prudent personal policies on how to manage their new found wealth; race tracks, casinos, bars and brothels are probably not good habits to hold if you expect to build and retain a thriving business, or nurture a reasonably sane, healthy family to carry your business and wealth forward to future generations. Teaching kids in any nation to acquire wealth merely so they can buy a new black beamer is not conducive to creating a sustainable society, sustainable financial policies, a sustainable environment, nor a sustainable government or society. Modesty, education and the prudent application of technology, financial resources, labor and mined or manufactured assets all have their place in creating a sustainable world or fixing what ails America and the world today. It is unfortunate, though easily predictable, that current generations all around the planet have generally lost all hope in obtaining that kind of world. They understand the government corruption; they see through the American Democratic farse and in their minds, if that enlightened nation is but a brutish scam based on corrupt political figures, extortion and murder, what hope does any human have of finding any peace or prosperity in any land? The result is an increasingly predatory nature of our tweens, teens, young adults and even middle aged folks who should know better, but are almost just as selfish and short-sighted as the desensitized generations raised on bloody TV and video games. Murder isn't really so bad as long as you're on the right side of the barrel; its expected in today's world. Get over it. We have become a mentally sick species destined to extinction if we don't change that attitude. We are living in the 6th great extinction and there is no guarantee our species will survive the process; in fact, some historians and anthropologists note there is a group of wealthy elite who are encouraging a mass die off to bring the human population down to 100M to perhaps 1B from the 7B level today. Perhaps we should let them proceed. Perhaps the earth will be better off after that horror show is over; but the really big question then becomes, if that sick group who would wage global genocide and continued environmental destruction to accomplish their agenda is the primary ruling elite after the bloodbath, what sort of future for habitats, let alone our own species, can we expect from that twisted group? Its another global problem staring us, the educated, enlightened 21st Century Human in the face, like headlights in the eyes of a deer; and we just don't have all the answers required to put humanity and the planet, or even our own nation, back on a predictable, moral, ethical, sustainable course. And so life in the 21st Century has become a giant hedonistic free-for-all suicide party; the population of predators and sociopaths is growing at a logarithmic rate, while those who would embrace charitable or democratic ideals are quickly being marginalized, or easily used and abused by those with power and money to do so. I personally believe the only way to halt, then reverse these dire trends is for the few remaining souls with a moral compass to unite and develop an action plan to first fix America. But with so many internal challenges, and personality conflicts even between "good souls"; we have failed to unite, we have failed to even be able to clearly identify people of moral fiber, as the many wolves in sheep's clothing are all around us. Recently I did a cursory audit of a huge, wealthy environmental group aimed at "saving dolphins, oceans and the environment", and found they had neither the wisdom to create prudent policies, nor any real effective activity, save their ability to sell t-shirts and expand their member base and revenue streams; very sad. And so the blueprint to cure America must include QC metrics; how many kids passed a high level math test as a result of your after school, charter school or public school program? How many of them are employed while in college because they clearly understand the student loan program in the U.S. is a patently defective system designed to enslave them? How many understand that trappings of financial slavery and are attempting to live intelligently within their modest means, rather than "...spend money they don't have for things they don't need." (George Carlin). We need to teach our young that the hypnotic glitz and glamour of the celebs and elite is not nearly as nourishing as a camping trip to a pristine forest that we need to keep pristine. We need to teach them that throwing money at an environmental charity is not quite as effective as simply picking up your trash, as well as some extra trash when visiting a beach. We need to teach them that car pooling is both fun and profitable, and we need to teach them that mending clothing to squeeze the last day out of a pair of shorts can be financially more sustainable and even a lot sexier than trying to acquire a $500 leather jacket, or 7 inch plastic pump cowboy boots. We need to find our roots as a blue collar worker, and Ag sector economy, rather than a nation of dog walkers, maids and gardeners serving the wealthy. Unfortunately, the population of families able to make a living in the Ag sector is also vaporizing, due to regs related to GMO seeds and USDA policies that have almost eliminated the ability of small farmers to survive. Meanwhile, our blue collar "MAKE SOMETHING USEFUL" jobs are all being outsourced to overseas sweat shops, as are our innovative White Collar Silicon Valley jobs in a world of a rising population of programmers, leaving only a dwindling white collar sector of financial management jobs (who produce few if any useful, tangible, sustainable products we really need, save a thriving toxic derivative market), and a bunch of dog walkers and real estate agents who only sell what already existed; a bit of dirt with some wood and a splash of new paint - the American Home - which is a center for consumption, doesn't actually produce anything useful, including intelligent, caring, charitable kids with any sort of skill set required to fix our nation, let alone our planet. I know of mothers who are so so so proud their son or daughter is a top notch dance champion, and as a musician, I am proud to be able to play rock, jazz or classical piano pieces, even sometimes at public gigs, but if I didn't make something tangible, useful, sustainable during the bulk of the hours in my week I'd feel useless; I'd just be another consumer instead of someone who manufactures SOMETHING tangible that others can use to both improve their standard of living, and reduce their impact on the environment. Folks who install solar panels do that sort of "honorable, ethical, blue collar work". Granted, they aren't manufacturing something, but at least they are doing some work that leaves a real, tangible asset on a structure that has the immediate effect of reducing America's reliance on petroleum; and that has long-term, positive financial and environmental consequences for the family, community and nation. Turning back to our stellar "Entertainer" kids, or kids studying to become real estate agents, you have to wonder if those grads will be surprised when they wind up as baggers at a grocery store trying to pay down a student loan that will never end, while paying off child support payments for kids they couldn't afford, nor spent time with to educate them on what mistakes to avoid, (nor ever went camping with them to teach them the value of minimalism, or pristine environments), while paying for social programs like Social Security and Obamacare our poor, bankrupt nation that exports almost nothing simply cannot afford. I praise our artists for their studious habits and wonderfully inspiring productions, cutting edge journalism and screen plays that cause us to reflect on ourselves and humanities journey through time; but with an overwhelming onslaught of advertising, high fashion, porn and violence, it might be prudent for every artist to also hold down a "day job", at least part-time, that actually contributed to creating a more financial, environmental and ethically solvent America. Even a part-time daily contribution by every breathing American towards these objectives might help reverse dire trends and create a united population of educated citizens who both care and are doing something constructive to counter-balance our highly destructive, unsustainable way of life today. Parents and schools need to educate kids on balancing selfish, personal agendas with activities that contribute to society in real, tangible production of products and services focused on deploying technologies that move America towards curing our ills before the "tipping point" trends running amuck today topple us over. The "Stockdale Principle" outlined in the book Good To Great embodies some of these ideals; taking a harsh, honest audit of where we are today and then designing effective management plans to get through the horrid state of affairs and emerge victorious through action based on optimism, and not Pollyanna optimism alone, nor on a fatalistic, hedonistic, careless, if not predatory attitude that seems to enshrine American values at every level of our society. A little discipline is a good thing, when balanced with creative abandon to invent something no one has seen before. A champagne party to celebrate a financial victory is probably also a good thing, IF - key word - you actually accomplished something that helps heal the world or provided some relief to your local community, our nation or a wetlands marsh. Drinking champagne every Sunday morning or buying a new pair of 7 inch plastic pumps just because your debit/credit card allowed it, and you think you deserve it after a 60 hour work week, is a rather short-sighted, if not myopic way of life based on endless consumption, that ignores the increasingly pressing problems of your life, your local community and the global village we all share. Perhaps that $10.00 price you paid for that cocktail might have made a difference had you had saved it to buy a PC keyboard for a child without a computer. Perhaps that $49.00 price for those dress shoes you didn't really need would have been better spent on buying a motherboard for a kid who could learn to install that board into a recycled, dented desktop case, then plug in that new keyboard you also bought them, and build their own PC, complete with a recycled monitor that was headed for a landfill and is now part of a child's at-home education system. Perhaps the parent in that home might remind their child with prudent guidance, that WHEN their math homework was done, THEN they can spend a short time playing some video game on that PC, before they move on to complete their history and science homework, and further remind them that if they fail to keep their grades up, that suite of video games can be uninstalled or blocked altogether. Perhaps instead of turning on the TV to gather the family, which only serves to fracture the family after kids begin wanting consumer items they can't afford, so they begin exploring methods of acquiring capital, like drug dealing in alleys, parents would leave the TV off and focus their energy on helping their kids get through those homework assignments, learn a little math, science and history along the way, learn what it means to create a sustainable home, community and financially solvent nation, and clearly learn what happens if we do not. Perhaps if more parents spent more time educating their kids, and got smarter along the way, more American adults would realize just how under water our nation is, and with some hope derived from that education, learn to fix the mess in their own lives one step at a time. Its a tall order and I am not sure Americans are willing to give up their baseball games or detective dramas in exchange for spending several hours each evening exploring socially relevant topics; whether political, scientific, or even charitable. But if American consumers don't modify their behavior and levels of consumption, and their hit list of acquisitions, most of which are unattainable due to our shrinking middle class and utter lack of any export industry able to finance our debt without utilizing our defective, bankrupt, imploding global system of fiat currencies; there is no hope for the generation that follows who will repeat the same mistakes because they don't know any better, or weren't educated soon enough to avoid those same mistakes. The painful truth is that as our society finds it increasingly difficult to acquire these sought after luxuries, and we continue to plunge into the financial abyss and political chaos of a third-world nation, we will have both blown the once-in-a-species democratic experiment, and our own ingenious potential to both cure our nation and help heal the planet torn by the industrial age and environmental destruction that is the legacy of a petroleum age. Petroleum was a blessing and a curse. It allowed a great global brain trust of 7 billion to be created and all the wonderful technology that mass invented, along with 7 billion mouths to feed and feet to shoe, who unfortunately also want 7 billion shiny black beamers we can't afford to build, let alone fuel. Elon Musk of Tesla once said to build 500,000 EV's would require all the lithium the planet can produce. Therefore, we need to invent and deploy another alternative and do so quickly, and while we're at it, utilize simple, affordable, practical technologies and habits like car pooling, mass transit and shopping only for what we really need, while recycling as much as possible, and ensuring our time spent is focused on educating our young so they don't make the same mistakes our generation did. All of these fundamental changes are part of healing America and the planet we all share and whether or not we do it or embrace it, the reality is this Spartan lifestyle IS coming sooner, rather than later, to every community on earth. Get used to it. Get used to the pain of rapid change and a deteriorating social fabric, social services, a rise in unethical, predatory conduct on every front, and a high risk for a rapid implosion and die off of humanity that will be horrific. This IS our future if we do not mend our ways and no amount of technology can save us from wanton, unbridled consumerism, or our universal tendency to ignore harsh realities. A little discipline and practical, effective planning, balanced with our artistic, humanitarian and spiritual agendas is required. So, curing what ails America is a complex idea that won't be completed by simply electing another corrupt official. You can't cure America by electing a new Mayor, Governor, Congressman or President. You won't accomplish it by switching banks or moving to a community sponsored credit union. You won't do it by simply installing solar on your roof and then pouring yourself a glass of champagne to celebrate the money you'll save on your electric bill or patting yourself on the back for reducing your need for petroleum, nor should you put the money you might save by car pooling into a fund for your annual trip to a Vegas casino where you can blow it in a weekend of heated hedonistic abandon. That sort of wreckless behavior might make sense to a 20 something kid who has never dropped five grand on a crap table, but in today's world that population of wealthy empowered young is also evaporating, and for the rest of us, prudence should guide nearly every action on this high wire act of trying to save humanity from itself. One good mistake, or worse, a continued series of imprudent mistakes, is all that is required to blow our last chance to avert the economic storm already at our door. In fact we don't even need to make a mistake; just continue on as we are doing today and there is little hope of any real, effective change for the better anything in the next 100 - 500 years of humanity's journey on this earth. Since much of this transformation must embody fundamental changes in how our federal government operates and the QC metrics that need to be installed to change its underlying principles of operation, bloated budgets, imperialistic campaigns and lack of focus on improving the plight of America's middle class, let alone provide much relief for America's impoverished, I suggest that a huge part of "the cure" involves finding and installing politicians who can "Get 'er done". We haven't seen anything like that anywhere in America for several decades, if not for more than a century. Sure, there are a few rare politicians who actually have a reasonably solvent, financially prudent, moral, ethical, perhaps even legal game plan, but they are quickly overwhelmed and marginalized, frustrated or assassinated, or through some other means, ejected from office; a process which leaves only the corrupt or inept left behind. This begs the question, "Would America's recovery be accelerated if a popular driven vote of no confidence by citizens could quickly remove politician's from office?" I don't mean impeaching a President after a billion dollar televised trial that requires Congress to stop dead in its tracks to handle a process that distracts them from more critical resolutions, rather I mean that if 60%, 70%, 80% or more Americans were polled each month, and were found to absolutely PRESS THE REJECT BUTTON, then the President in the Oval Office bowed out on Friday, the V.P. took the hot seat, we held an impromptu election to replace them from viable candidates, and the same rapid, low-cost process was enacted for Congress, State Governors and Legislators, County Supervisors and our Mayors and any other elected official. Put another way; when 80% of your constituents think you're doing a crappy job, odds are you saw that figure rising and the moment it hit 51% the warning shot was fired over your bow. When it hit 70% you had a hole in your boat and probably should have both modified your course and began polling citizens, civic planners, scientists, artists; hippies, bankers, anyone and everyone, on what you might do to improve your performance, and heal your reputation by delivering real solutions to real problems citizens are faced with every single day. Granted, a rapid change in high level leadership can create chaos; but we already have that today, so there's no big loss there. Granted, Americans can be a fickle group and a popular President today can easily become vilified the moment the food stamp program get slashed, or health insurance rates take a hike. Granted, if our currency goes into a freefall, as many economists predict, and we can't get the oil we need, if we begin experiencing brown outs and black outs like many developing nations endure daily, and if our highways continue to deteriorate just like our system of healthcare, ag and manufacturing sectors, its going to be pretty tough to stay in the Oval Office when such a system of rapid REJECTION is in place. That said, these negative trends are already with us across the board and I don't see either Presidential Candidate really mentally capable of fixing any of them; not one. To assume Hillary will fix things is insane; she's a known felon with absolutely no remorse, and though not convicted in a court of law, every American paying attention knows it. To assume Donald can fix it is to believe a businessman who often bases his profits and retained earnings on bankruptcy laws, and who would alienate a huge Latin American population, gays, women - name the group - is equally insane. Donald might actually be good for America, as he might be able to gut a lot of the bloat in government today, but at the end of the day, would you rather have a surgeon or a wreckless butcher performing your open heart surgery? The answer, I believe, is to enact a series of laws that require a politician at any level to step aside quickly when a massive, popular vote of NO CONFIDENCE appears; whether its a poll taken weekly, then summarized and enacted upon on a monthly or quarterly basis, or whether we simply employ such a law to regulate Congress, quickly removing Legislators who refuse to impeach any President who acquires a massive level of public wrath measured by frequent, regular, popular vote driven surveys managed by a known, impartial, trusted audit team; i.e. your local librarian staff. Perhaps if the libraries around the nation benefited financially from educating our young and at the same time, acting as a central community gathering place for political and charitable action committees, we'd see some improvements. Frank Zappa said "If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to a library." and with the emergence of google, wikipedia and thankfully, the retention of libraries in our culture, there's little or no excuse for Americans not to continue obtaining an education, especially during this period of national crisis. With the technology that exists TODAY there's little or no excuse for failing to develop the polls, surveys and rapid voting mechanisms that would provide politicians with a "HOW AM I DOING?" answer, and if a rapid REJECT mechanism was built into every political office, things would probably get better much faster than any other method we could devise. Put another way; a drunk surgeon shows up to do your heart surgery and you happen to wake up just as they have begun cutting you open. You realize that person is patently unqualified to both perform the job ahead, let alone care for your life along the way. No matter how many other expert healthcare professionals might be present, wouldn't you vote to "STOP EVERYTHING. EJECT THIS CLOWN AND BRING IN ANOTHER SOBER, QUALIFIED TEAM LEADER?". Do you really think repairing our fragile, torn, crippled, dying nation is any less critical than your open heart surgery? Do you realize Washington D.C. has one of, if not the highest rate of alcoholism in our country? That's a huge "in-your-face" clue as to why things are as bad as they are in our nation and communities today. We have TV shows like the Apprentice or Survivor where only the best make it to the final episode. As Donald himself knows all too well, substandard performance gets you "FIRED!". There's no big trial; no long expensive paperwork trail. Its done with a smile, perhaps a pat on the back for those good things you were able to accomplish early on, but if you lack the stamina or ingenuity or prudence to continue making progress, guess what? You're done. Get out. Let someone else take the ball and run from wherever we are towards the goal line. Some will argue, and rightly so, that in a nation where the top political leader can be rotated like a pair of shoes, the only real power lies in a military Junta of corrupt, power hungry Generals and those who serve them or are "taken out". Well, if you've intimately studied American politics, that's what we have today anyway. Get a clue. Ike warned us about the Industrial Military Complex, wives of military officers and the officers themselves have come forward and revealed the way things work, so its no big surprise to see Obama swearing he's going to reduce deployment, then not long after he's in office, continue America's occupation in foreign lands. Its no big surprise to see every nation on earth condemn Israel for the situation in Palestine, and then see the U.S. is the only nation to veto resolutions that might force Israel to mend its ways. Its no surprise to see Orthodox Jews making overtures with Iran, while the government of Israel and Hillary threaten to bomb Iran into oblivion. It is no surprise to see rising rosters of homeless in America while we spend trillions fighting wars to acquire oil at a time in human history when we've already proven we can get all the energy we need to run entire nations from wind and solar projects; if we actually built them. And so the question of whether or not a rapid rotation of Presidents or Congressmen, Governors or Mayors might lead to a nation led by military leaders has already been answered; we already are. Perhaps only by putting someone in the Oval Office who understands this problem early on can we expect American streets to look less like battle grounds, and American Cops to look and act less like U.S. troops in Iraq. I may be wrong, but the system in place is patently corrupt, patently defective and completely ineffective. Whatever Democracy and America were SUPPOSED to be 200 plus years later it surely has not become. The solution? Throw the bums out and do it with less fanfare, less budget and less lost time. Hey, we might even make a weekly TV show out of it. Why do we have to wait forever for a State Of The Union address? When a nation is as messed up as we are today, a weekly 15 - 30 minute BOARD MEETING with American Stakeholders - every citizen - seems more appropriate. Like any board meeting, it should cover Old Business; i.e. programs being implemented and their QC Metrics produced by third party citizen bodies, and available online for download and analysis, and New Business, proposals for new programs, budgets, and a selection of innovative ideas that were gathered from the citizens themselves. A true representative of Americans would embrace their people, their ideas, their audits, and actively seek their opinions of their performance in office. A true representative of Americans wouldn't need a LAW to leave office if they knew their performance sucked and an overwhelming majority of Americans wanted them out; they'd just apologize - quickly - and step aside. And so the BLUEPRINT to fix America quickly, if not in time to avoid a complete meltdown, probably includes a rapid REJECT/RE-ELECT process. Its like a Jehovah Witness I know explained, as they are looking for good honest souls; "You have to sift through a lot of mud to find a few flakes of gold." Its a lot like the kids I teach in hard-core neighborhoods; you have A students, B students and F students. Very few kids are C or D students for long in a well run class. They are either encouraged and want to learn, and soon rise to the B or A level, or they are not encouraged or lack the desire and in a well run class they fail within a week or two and are asked to go spend their time in some class, some where, that they actually want to participate in. There is little sense in wasting time trying to teach a kid something they really do not wish to learn. The old saying "You can't teach a Pig to sing; you waste your time and just annoy the Pig." applies. And so the BLUEPRINT also means putting the right students in the right classes, and ensuring ALL STUDENTS understand the value of useful, productive work that requires skills America needs to remain competitive; unfortunately, ballet isn't one of them. If a kid wants to learn to play guitar or piano; great. Let them learn it like I did and study at home after finishing their math and science homework. They'll know it better and learn it faster at les cost than mommy having to spend hundreds or even thousands on piano lessons or instruments for a school marching band. I was also in a marching, orchestra and jazz band and while I have fond memories of it and wish America was so wealthy it could continue to afford these types of electives, those days are long gone. WHEN we have a balanced budget and WHEN we have kids no longer living in cars with their mothers anywhere in America - and I mean ANYWHERE - and WHEN we have cured our nation of our addiction to oil and plastic clothing; WHEN we have enough spare renewable energy to drive desalination plants to irrigate our fields to replace the crops lost due to global warming and ever-widening regions of drought, and WHEN we have desalination plants - 100's if not 1,000's of them - that do not produce dead zones from brine discharge, do not run by burning coal, LNG, petroleum, or require any process that produces nuclear waste; WHEN we have a planet that is not engaged in wars over in ground assets used to drive unsustainable economies and consumer practices, and WHEN we have Judges, Mayors, School Teachers, Governors, Legislators and Presidents all keenly aware that if they screw up a POPULAR VOICE can hand them a Pink Slip in a blink, THEN I will happily support schools with music and painting electives. In the meantime, the basics please; its all we can really afford and any child who really wants to learn to carve wood can take a class online, get a paper route or learn to repair computers in a free class they study online at their local library, then save their pennies to buy their first chisel, paint brush, ballet slippers, guitar or upright piano as the case may be.
This is Coin-a-Week, the laziest coin coverage yet. We reprint coin-a-day archives with minimal revision and marginalia, not because the original was spectacular, but because we have it at hand and we have plenty more where that came from. For a behind-the-scenes view of lazy coverage, send a message to coinaday (that's me) or /coinaweek (also obviously me) or request a subscription in the comments. [There was a reference to the dogecoin post following being caught in the filter, then:] Fixed; spam filter issue. Thanks ThePiachu ! Coin-a-Day Jan 1stWeek February 14th Welcome to the first Coin-a-DayWeek post, as introduced yesterdayintroduced "about a week ago"(tm)! Today I'm talking about Bitcoin, since it's the foundation for everything. This gives us an opportunity to review my format: what else should I have included? This post is something of a template for how I will be covering other coins. Up next for tomorrow"in a week"(tm) is dogecoin. I have not yet decided upon the next one after that, although I have an extensive list to choose from based on just the list I started with off the top of my head and the comments from yesterday. Summary: • 21 million coins limit; 13,675,325 13,837,675 currently  • All-time high: $1124.76 [0.1] • Current price: ~$314 256  • Current market cap: ~$4.3 3.5 billion  • Block rate (average): 10 minutes [0.2] • Transaction rate: 58882 transactions in the last 24 hours, estimated $22.6 million [0.3] 83,982 transactions in the last 24 hours (covering about Jan 2nd), estimated ~$230 million. [0.3] (revised) 96,919 transactions in the last 24 hours (around Feb 14 2015) [0.3] • Transaction limit (current): 7 transactions/second [0.4] (This varies based on transaction sizes but is a commonly cited estimate.) [3 transactions / second estimated at normal / current transaction sizes; I use the 7 transactions / second and "theoretical maximum" values for this series] • Transaction cost: 0.0001 BTC standard fee (or free under certain conditions) [0.5] • Rich list: Top 100 addresses hold 20.36%20.9% [0.6] (I know I've seen a better richlist with a pie chart but forget where) • Exchanges: Many. [0.7] (There are also many notable direct sellers not listed on there.) • Community: Extensive. Highest merchant adoption. • Processing method: Proof-of-work; paid with block reward + transaction fee • Code / Development: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin ; strong developer team and community • Distribution method: mining • Innovation or special value: First cryptocurrency; largest market cap Description Bitcoin is the gold standard of cryptocurrencies. It came first, it has the largest market share, and it has one of the highest unit prices. It is the foundation upon which substantially all alt-coins have been based, so it will be described here, and referenced frequently in later articles in comparison. Bitcoin is based upon a distributed transaction-processing system called "mining". In it, computers race to solve a problem (making a hash less than a given value) which allows them to add a set of transactions to the ledger (add a "block" to the "blockchain"), and gain a reward in bitcoins. This reward acts as the incentive for transaction processing as well as providing new bitcoins. This reward is progressively halved over time until eventually there will be 21 million bitcoins  There is also a transaction fee (technically optional, see reference for details) [0.5]. Transactions are a combination of inputs (which are previous unspent transaction outputs or miner rewards) and outputs. The inputs must be greater than or equal to the outputs, and the difference is the transaction fee. Bitcoin uses "addresses" which are hashes of public keys. An input must be properly signed by the private key in order to be spent. This provides the cryptographic security of the network: as long as the mathematical models and program implementations used are correct, then the system will behave as expected (money cannot be spent twice; money cannot be spent by someone who doesn't own it; etc.). This is the "trustless" and "decentralized" nature of the system: there is no central authority relied upon to validate transactions (like a payment processor). Instead, this functionality is implemented by independent 'nodes' following a public protocol and monitored by other independent sources. For instance, if any miner were to attempt to add a block which spent bitcoins which did not exist, or for which a proper signature was not provided, other miners acting in accordance with the protocol would refuse to build upon this block and clients (wallets) would also not recognize it as valid. Most of these features are common to the alternative coins ("altcoins") which were developed after bitcoin and are based upon it ["clonecoins"]. Its code is also the basis for many of the alt coins. Community Without being too inflammatory and with tongue-slightly-in-cheek, Bitcoin has developed a userbase of crazy libertarians who constitute the coin's greatest strength and greatest weakness. Most of them deny the value of any alternative coin. Some of them believe that bitcoin will inevitably become the global reserve currency . Merchant adoption is currently the strongest of any cryptocurrency. It has grown very significantly in the past year. It varies by country, industry, and in-person versus online, but there have been many major adoptions. They use payment processors rather than accepting it directly for the most part. Rather than attempting to put a big list here we'll make today's 10,000 NYAN challenge to the reader with the best source listing all or as many merchants accepting it as possible. C'mon people, I swear I've seen this on /bitcoin before. Footnotes  http://coinmarketcap.com/ [0.1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Bitcoin (Wikipedia used as a source for 'general knowledge' confirmation) [0.2] https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/FAQ#Why_do_I_have_to_wait_10_minutes_before_I_can_spend_money_I_received.3F [0.3] https://blockchain.info/statshttps://bitinfocharts.com/bitcoin/ [0.4] https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Scalability#Current_bottlenecks [0.5] https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Transaction_fees Transactions fees can be omitted. For most transactions, this causes a much longer time until confirmation. For a transaction less than 1000 bytes, with outputs greater than 0.01 BTC, and with a higher priority, they may be safely omit the fee. [0.6] http://bitcoinrichlist.com/top100 [0.7] http://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/bitcoin/#markets  There were various precursors in cryptocurrencies, notably Hashcash, the proof-of-work function (not a currency as the name might imply). And there had been other digital currencies previously. But this was the first virtual currency introduced which revolved around decentralization powered by cryptography. These two aspects: decentralized exchange and a reliance upon cryptography will generally define cryptocurrencies here. "Centralized cryptocurrencies" may also be considered, but are considered atypical. [This footnote was also in the Dec 31st launch; this may be made broken into a separate topic eventually.]  Requiring a hash to be less than a given value forces the solver to try many values of an otherwise irrelevant value. This requires processing time, thus "proof-of-work". The "difficulty" is a parameter which decides how small a hash must be to be accepted. https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Difficulty This is called "proof-of-work" (as opposed to "proof-of-stake", a later development based on demonstrating ownership in a currency) and its purpose is to regulate the average speed of the block generation as well as provide a mechanism for determining whose block is allowed to be added to the chain.  https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Controlled_supply  https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Transaction  https://www.quora.com/What-does-Yishan-Wong-think-about-Dogecoin/answeYishan-Wong  Based on the author's reading of /bitcoin. This may not be representative of more sane communities like Bitcointalk or the broader community.  http://nakamotoinstitute.org/mempool/speculative-attack/http://nakamotoinstitute.org/mempool/hyperbitcoinization/ Additional Reading • Original whitepaper - https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf • bitcoin wiki - https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Main_Page • bitcointalk (general source) - https://bitcointalk.org/ • bitcoin.org - A general reference • /bitcoin On second thought, let's not go there. 'Tis a silly place. Disclosure I am unqualified. These posts are known to the state of California to be made from products which may induce cancer under certain circumstances. Thank you for reading, and I look forward to all discussion and critique! [edits complaining about formatting issues removed for brevity]
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