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Professor-rat (buttdarling) wrote,
@ 2012-03-16 10:38:00
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    Spock paper scissors
    FAS - Adm. McRaven said.

    "The direct approach is characterized by technologically-enabled small-unit precision lethality, focused intelligence, and interagency cooperation integrated on a digitally-networked battlefield.... Extreme in risk, precise in execution and able to deliver a high payoff, the impacts of the direct approach are immediate, visible to the public and have had tremendous effects on our enemies' networks throughout the decade."

    "However, the direct approach alone is not the solution to the challenges our Nation faces today as it ultimately only buys time and space for the indirect approach and broader governmental elements to take effect. Less well known but decisive in importance, the indirect approach is the complementary element that can counter the systemic components of the threat."

    "The indirect approach includes empowering host nation forces, providing appropriate assistance to humanitarian agencies, and engaging key populations. These long-term efforts increase partner capabilities to generate sufficient security and rule of law, address local needs, and advance ideas that discredit and defeat the appeal of violent extremism."

    "As Al Qaeda and other extremist organizations attempt to franchise their ideology and violence globally, we will likely remain engaged against violent extremist networks for the foreseeable future," he said.

    Reading Leon Trotsky, Victor Serge, John Reed, Tony Cliff, Ernest Mandel, Chris Harman, Marcel Liebman, Alexander Rabinowitch, Duncan Hallas and Paul Le Blanc will rot your brain on the Russian revolution and Bolshevik counter-revolution. Instead try Orlando Figes, G. Maximoff, Voline, P Avrich, P Arshinov and Emma Goldman. Also some of the reactionaries histories contain some facts here and there.

    The more developed theories of Antonio Negri, Michael Hardt, John Holloway, John Jordan, Subcomandante Marcos and Michel Foucault consistantly amount to a detailed metaphysics of...shit. Nothing stinks worse than a neo-hegelian pile of shit that keeps getting turned 'right side up'.

    A dirty word among the Western public in today’s economically downtrodden world, outsourcing in science isn’t about losing jobs, it’s about opening up access. As Iorns explained, not every scientist can afford to buy the most cutting edge super computer for simulations, or live near the largest radio telescope array, or invest their own time in mastering the latest microarray techniques. Which means that when their research requires equipment, access, or understanding they don’t possess, scientists have to look elsewhere for help. In the past, this was done through a sort of collaborative barter system. I’ll do the computer simulations for your atom cooling experiment if you find that spin coefficient for Strontium that I need for my latest paper. Now, Science Exchange is transforming that bartering into a real money-based transaction system. You need some help with your research? Science Exchange will find the scientific service providers that fit your specifications. The free market sets the prices, and scientists can get more done because they are focusing on the work they really want to do instead of trying to be a jack of all trades

    Hannu Rajaniemi's "Elegy for a Young Elk" is one of those stories that throws new ideas at you almost faster than you can comprehend them. It takes place at a time when most of humanity has evolved to posthumanism is the sky except for a few who have stayed behind on Earth where a nano-plague has rendered technology useless. Kosonen is one of the stayers who is visited upon by his posthuman wife, Marja, and tasked with finding a "spark" that was lost in the city, the only place on Earth where posthumans cannot go because of the firewall that protects the city. An interesting groundwork, mind-bending ideas and a subplot involving Kosenen's and Marja's son make this a stimulating read.

    In Naomi Novik’s “Seven Years from Home”, a diplomat visits a distant planet on a bureaucratic mission to enlist them into the galactic confederacy. To accomplish this, she encourages a long, drawn-out war between to the planet’s two main factions: the nature-loving Melidians who command an amazing amount of control over all things biological, and the Esperigans who are also being prompted by the confederacy to find new way of attack. It’s a complex situation that rendered amazingly realistic by the first-person narrative. Novik’s beautiful language not only does an excellent job at world building, it also completely engrosses the reader in the story. Well done

    Suffice it to say that we ought to draw a distinction between “anarchy” in terms of unrestrained chaos and “anarchism” in terms of a political theory involving organization and mutual aid in absence of state coercion.

    Anarchism in terms of the left-wing or egalitarian movement is directly opposed to capitalism and rights founded only upon private property, and thus opposed to “libertarianism” as it is defined in the US and UK. (In fact, “libertarian” used to be virtually synonymous with left-anarchism and the radical labor movement until the 1950s when American pro-capitalists adopted it for their mantle. Thus we now have to resort to calling the other libertarianism “left-libertarian” or “libertarian socialism”.)

    Imagine if we lived in a world where your bank accounts could never be audited, seized or controlled by the state. Imagine if the currency system itself made organized theft impossible. In the future, I predict this is precisely how currency systems will operate. While this may sound like a bold claim, economic analysis demonstrates why my prediction may become reality.

    The emergence of new crypto-currencies now means that it is possible to store and transfer wealth in such a way as to avoid any possibility of organized theft. While crypto-currency wallets may still be subject to the occasional hacking theft, they cannot be subjected to organized theft, and this point makes all the difference.

    Thiers’ Law states that: "In the absence of effective legal tender laws, Gresham's Law works in reverse. If given the choice of what money to accept, people will transact with money they believe to be of highest long-term value. However, if not given the choice, and required to accept all money, good and bad, they will tend to keep the money of greater perceived value in their possession, and pass on the bad money to someone else. In short, in the absence of legal tender laws, the seller will not accept anything but money of certain value (good money), while the existence of legal tender laws will cause the buyer to offer only money with the lowest commodity value (bad money) as the creditor must accept such money at face value."

    In the case of Bitcoin — a decentralized electronic cash system using peer-to-peer networking, digital signatures and cryptographic proof to enable irreversible payments between parties without relying on trust — legal tender legislation can be effectively bypassed due to the online international anonymous nature of the currency. Because Bitcoin operates on a floating rate exchange and because the number of Bitcoins cannot be arbitrarily inflated by a criminal organization, we should expect Bitcoins to operate under Thiers’ Law and eventually push bad fiat money out of circulation. This situation will arise due to expansionist monetary policies that promote currency devaluation. Inflation, taxation, and black market goods provide the impetus for people to deal with the hassle of a new currency system in order to protect their wealth. Perversely, we can see that the banning of highly desirable products leads to the state undermining its own currency.

    Bitcoins are “good” money in the sense that they have all of the advantages of commodity money with none of the downsides. Historically we know that when people are free to choose, they will always choose commodity money over fiat money that is imposed by state decree. If this was not the case, legal tender laws and gold confiscation would not be necessary in order for state issued currency to gain dominance in the market place. While the market for Bitcoins remains rather volatile, this volatility will dampen over time as more and more users begin accepting and transacting with the currency.

    The cryptographic and peer-to-peer nature of the Bitcoin currency makes it virtually impossible for the state to stamp out of existence. If it should become necessary, the entire Bitcoin network can be anonymized with utilities such as Tor; thereby making it impossible for the state to track down and prosecute users. Further, wallet files can be hidden anywhere, making confiscation all but impossible. On top of these attributes, Bitcoin also makes it possible to transfer money internationally without any fees or restrictions.

    All of these facts point to a future dominated by stateless voluntary currencies, which will leave humanity free from wars, organized theft, violent black markets and the deleterious effects of inflation.


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