[Most Recent Entries]
Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in
[ << Previous 20 -- Next 20 >> ]
[ << Previous 20 -- Next 20 >> ]
|Sunday, August 10th, 2014|
|Gamma Gamma Hey
Hacking is simple, says author claiming role in breach of spyware firm
DIY guide provides instructions for carrying out similar muckraking exploits.
by Dan Goodin - Aug 10 2014, 4:00am AUSEST
An anonymous author who claims to be the hacker who penetrated controversial UK-based Gamma Group International and aired 40 gigabytes of its dirty laundry has published a how-to guide for other hacktivists.
"I'm not writing this to brag about what an 31337 h4x0r I am and what m4d sk1llz it took to 0wn Gamma," wrote the author, who rightly cautions that the unauthorized access of other people's networks is illegal. "I'm writing this to demystify hacking, to show how simple it is, and to hopefully inform and inspire you to go out and hack shit. If you have no experience with programming or hacking, some of the text below might look like a foreign language. Check the resources section at the end to help you get started."
The do-it-yourself guide explains how hackers can map entryways into a target's network, scan for vulnerable services and exploit any that are found. It also lists some of the most common methods hackers use to keep their IP addresses and other digital fingerprints off their attacks. Among other things, the how-to suggests installing Whonix inside a hidden encrypted volume created by TrueCrypt and carrying out all operations from there. It also counsels against using Tor and instead using hacked servers. Again, this is illegal.
Ars is unable to confirm the claims that the author had any connection to the Gamma Group hack, which has now turned into the source of multiple news articles. Most notable of the news accounts so far is one reporting the government of Bahrain used the Gamma Group's FinFischer software to spy on citizens who were later tortured. With 40 GB of e-mails and other data in the open, it wouldn't be surprising for many similarly damning articles to follow. Ars doesn't advocate trespasses of networks, but also believes the guide, and its claim to be published by the hacker behind the Gamma Group breach, is a newsworthy event worth reporting. FROMhttp://arstechnica.com/security/2014/08/hacking-is-simple-says-author-claiming-role-in-breach-of-spyware-firm/
|Thursday, August 7th, 2014|
|"Deutschland über Allah"
Young Turks and "Deutschland über Allah" in the 1910s
The spirit of universal Ottoman brotherhood soon melted away, revealing a harder, more exclusive ideology. The Young Turks [who seized power in 1908] embraced something called "pan-Turanianism"—the notion that all Turks from the Russian steppes to Anatolia came from a single ancestral land called "Turan." In this view, the entire historical orientation of the Ottoman Empire toward Europe and the Middle East had been misplaced. Instead, the empire should be focused on reuniting the Turanic peoples in Russia and Central Asia. In his book Allah Is Great, Lev [Nussimbaum aka Kurban Said] compared the Turanian obsession to "blood and soil" ideas in Germany. In a kind of Turkish parallel to the German idea of lebensraum, the future was to be found in the East—in an invasion of Russia to reclaim ancestral lands from the thirteenth century and earlier, not only those of the Ottomans but of the other great Turanians, the Mongols and the Huns.* (*Since at least the eighteenth century, Russian ministers and theorists had referred to the Ottoman capital not as Constantinople but as Czargrad, in anticipation of absorbing it into the new world-dominating Super Russian Empire. The counter-theory of the pan-Turanian principle meant that if the Russians wanted to reconquer Constantinople, the Turks would do them one better, reconquering half of Russia.)
What clinched the Turkish-German axis in the First World War was really the personality of Enver Pasha. A dark fireplug of a man who had served as the Ottoman military attaché in Berlin, Enver had embraced all the pointed helmets and polished boots and talk of Wagnerian Götterdämmerung-cum-Jihad. (Kaiser Wilhelm did his part by spreading the rumor that he had converted to Islam.) When Enver led the Young Turks to power in 1908, as war minister, he was sporting a Kaiser Wilhelm mustache, which should have been a clue as to which way things would go. What ensued may have amounted to the most dramatic "self-colonization" in history: in the name of achieving instant modernization and international power, the Young Turk junta turned the Ottoman Empire into a virtual military colony of the German Reich. "Deutschland über Allah," said some diplomatic wags. But it was a dead serious maneuver, and it happened with lightning speed. Enver turned over the entire Ottoman officer corps to the Germans; more than twenty-five thousand German officers and NCOs assumed positions of direct command. A Prussian officer founded the Turkish Air Force, and two German battleships arrived in the Golden Horn. The German crew brazenly donned fezzes and sang "Deutschland über Alles" beneath the seaside villa of the Russian ambassador.
The Young Turks had launched the Ottoman Empire off a cliff. It is hardly remembered now what a large role Turkey played in the First World War, except for the storied Gallipoli landing, where the defending Turks slaughtered British, Australian, and New Zealander expeditionary forces. Almost everywhere else, it was the Turkish soldiers who were slaughtered. More than three hundred thousand Turkish soldiers died fighting the Russians in the Caucasus alone, as a result of Enver's plan to begin a great reconquest of the ancient Turkish heartland. The plan was to take Baku so as to launch Turkish armies across the Caspian in oil tankers, landing at Kizel-Su and crossing Turkestan, conquering Bukhara, Samarkand, and eventually, even Mongolia. On the eve of the revolution, the czar's forces poised for a final attack on Constantinople. Had Russia stayed in the war and the Bolsheviks not prevailed, Istanbul might today be called Czargrad and the Middle East might be an imperial Russian federation. The Turkish rout was the fault of poor planning and bluster—Enver sent Turkish troops to fight in the Caucasus in winter with no overcoats and without even boots—but the increasingly fanatical Young Turk junta looked for someone else to blame for the failure of the Turanian dream. Thus, the infamous Armenian massacres of 1915 were set in motion.
SOURCE: The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life, by Tom Reiss (Random House, 2005), pp. 106-108
|Monday, August 4th, 2014|
There was a cascade of coverage of the President’s August 1 remarks concerning John Brennan and his defense of his embattled CIA chief, as Obama was also widely derided for his seeming defense of those who tortured “some folks” after 9/11. (Obama did not mention that the order to torture came from the Oval Office.)
“Well, at least he called the crimes out as ‘torture,” some observers noted. Others, including some in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), called for John Brennan’s resignation as CIA director after he admitted the CIA had spied on Congressional investigators who were writing a thousands-of-pages-long report on the CIA Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation program.
An Executive Summary of that report, in a censored version produced by the CIA itself, is now back in the hands of the SSCI, who may or may not release it soon. The Committee has already decided the full 6000 or so page report itself will not be released for years (if ever), a cover-up of immense proportions.
Jason Leopold, who has been covering the story for Al Jazeera America and VICE, noted astutely in a tweet the other day, that Obama’s comments at his August 1 press conference included a reference to his only banning “some” of the CIA’s torture techniques. Leopold believed Obama previously had always been more absolute in his prohibition of torture.
The full quote from the August 1 presser is worth reproducing here. The quote below begins in the middle of Obama’s defense of those who used torture after 9/11, i.e., those who are the subjects of the Senate’s controversial torture report (bold emphasis is added):
And it’s important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that those folks had. And a lot of those folks were working hard under enormous pressure and are real patriots.
But having said all that, we did some things that were wrong. And that’s what that report reflects. And that’s the reason why, after I took office, one of the first things I did was to ban some of the extraordinary interrogation techniques that are the subject of that report.
Only “some of the extraordinary interrogation techniques”? Not all? Was this merely a slip of the tongue by the President? No one in the press corp seemed to notice, and no one took him up on the issue. To date, no one has in the press has at all (besides Leopold’s tweets), though it is very much worth noting that Jeremy Scahill reported in July 2011 on the CIA’s continuing use of black sites and torture in an important article in The Nation. Others had surmised as much even earlier.
But there was a much more insidious and institutional salvage of torture by the U.S. government, which, rocked after the Abu Ghraib revelations, tried to hide and maintain its use of detention and interrogation techniques that relied on force, mental cruelty, fear, isolation, stress positions, sleep and sensory deprivation, and the use of drugs. Waterboarding, for all the attention given to that brutal form of torture, was never really a major component of U.S. torture. There were even some in the CIA who would be glad to see it go.
Using solitary confinement, loud music and 24 hour bright lights, verbal abuse and humiliation, “dislocating the expectations” of prisoners by, for instance, moving them around every day so they never had a sense of solid place or safety or time to rest, or using drugs to disorient them — this is the kind of torture that leaves deep psychological wounds, and which the U.S. wanted to maintain in its interrogation arsenal.
What Obama Meant by Banning Only “Some” Torture
Over the past few years, I have shown how first the Bush administration hid their torture program within a 2006 rewrite of the Army Field Manual on interrogation, then how the Obama administration via Executive Order made that same field manual the law of the land, incumbent on both the CIA and the Defense Department.
I showed that when in January 2009 Obama publicly revoked the Bush torture program, which the government labeled “extraordinary interrogation techniques,” and all the John Yoo/Jay Bybee/Steven Bradbury Justice Department memoranda approving that same torture program, he did not do it in a blanket fashion, but referred the memos themselves to Eric Holder for review. Ultimately, as a Department of Defense spokesperson actually told me, the Holder and the Justice Department never rescinded one of the Bush-era torture memos, in particular the one that approved forms of torture that would be used in a special section, called Appendix M, of the Army Field Manual.
Obama’s admission that he had only banned “some” of the previous administration’s torture techniques was not the first time the government has made such an admission, however obliquely.
Last April, I wrote how the Department of Defense’s main directive on interrogations (3115.09), which supposedly had banned SERE-derived torture techniques (like waterboarding, hooding, etc.) used by the government after 9/11, in fact made a note that only some of the SERE techniques were banned. The ones that were not banned resided in — the Army Field Manual on interrogation, the same manual Obama had endorsed in his Jan. 2009 executive order on “lawful interrogations.”
SERE stands for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape, and is the name given to DoD’s program to prepare military and CIA and other specific government personnel for capture and imprisonment by a brutal enemy. Its participants take part in a mock-prison camp exercise, and it was the kinds of torture practiced during that exercise that were utilized in full-blown operational mode by CIA and Defense Department interrogators in the so-called War on Terror.
The SERE-derived model, which is what the “extraordinary interrogation techniques” really were, was superimposed on an earlier torture program based on isolation and sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, fear and drugs, developed by the CIA and codified in a 1963 interrogation program that is referred to today as KUBARK. Earlier this year, I obtained a version of the previously declassified KUBARK manual with new portions now unredacted.
But oddly, besides myself, only Obama seems to have noticed that not all the torture techniques were rescinded by him. The press and certainly the Senate and the House of Representatives have ignored entirely the use of torture in the Army Field Manual. While some bloggers and human rights groups have noted the anomaly of having the nation’s primary instructions on interrogation include torture techniques, and some have even called for a repeal of Appendix M or a rewriting of the field manual itself, none of these groups or individuals have made this a primary issue. Nor, when the controversy over the Senate report on the CIA torture program is discussed, is the ongoing presence of torture in the Army Field Manual ever mentioned.
The failure to take on the entire torture apparatus is one reason accountability for U.S. torture cannot get sufficient traction. The argument remains shackled by what the Establishment deems reasonable dialogue about torture. So one can criticize the embrace of euphemism to describe torture, or argue why waterboarding is torture, or shout loudly why the redacted portion of the SSCI’s Executive Summary of their years-long investigation should be released, but evidently it is not reasonable, that is, establishment-sanctioned via the New York Times or other media or political authority, to bring up torture beyond the terms already established.
But now Obama has done it. He has said he banned only “some” of the torture techniques that were the target of the SSCI’s report.
The end of the ATLANTIC
James_Blair • a month ago
None of this matters. Various groups have been trying to destroy the internet ever since its creation. If the ITU fails in its role, it will simply be ignored and something new will rise up to take on the role.
Europe has tried to carve out its own internet several times and it always fails. They can mandate something, but they can't make people use it. See the history of the ISO and the internet in the 1990s for details.
Sending party pays was little more than an attempted financial shakedown by the usual suspects in Africa. If it had happened, it would likely have only hurt the african countries involved who would have found themselves off the internet.
The world is just too interdependent now for anyone to go their own way. If the ITU or the politicians try, the commerical sector will push them back into line.
"If no compromise is reached, blocs of countries could theoretically go their own way, giving rise to competing or duplicative domain-name systems. If"
The informal processes that have always made the internet work will solve the problem. The authoratative DNS root servers will still be authoritative. The Saudis and Egyptians will have a choice of either using the real thing or some half-working local joke service
|Saturday, August 2nd, 2014|
Bitcoin vs NXT vs NEM
« on: March 09, 2014, 01:10:25 PM »
First, I want to introduce myself. I am a bitcoin and NXT investor, NEM stakeholder and relative newbie. I am writing this after thinking daily about cryptocurrencies for the last month and here are some of my reflections. To be clear about my political leanings and purpose, my thoughts here reflect a position that NEM should be made for the people, should have a high service, and if designed well then it can do this and will be desirable and successful, but would not be in the original stakeholders short term gain. In fact, a system can be designed to somewhat be against the original stakeholders, but in doing so would be very attractive to new people and the long term effects would be to make it successful. As a stakeholder, I would of course like to be able to make a good profit, but as an idealist, I see a real possibility to do something with NEM that can really change the world in a better way, and would rather see that done. The two do not have to be necessarily opposed in the long term, but it seems they are in the short term. This could set NEM aside from the common “pump and dump” coins which concern literally more than 99% of the coins on the market. I have done this by first briefly analysing bitcoin and some of its major flaws that have been addressed by interesting alt coins, then analysing NXT and how it has responded. It is responding well, but not perfectly. Then I’ve tried to find problems with NXT that NEM can address to make itself add value.
Bitcoin quite simply is revolutionary. It has a completely different way of thinking about financial transactions that can completely upturn the financial world, but hasn’t, because at its core, it is flawed. As a necessary proof of theory and model, it has clearly shown that some kind of electronic decentralized system of value can someday be very successful, but as for fulfilling the exact needs that this market will have, it isn’t doing so well. The system can be redesigned and should be. It is the birth of bitcoin 2.0. The following list of alt coins will demonstrate flaws that have widely been observed in bitcoin and how they are being addressed.
Name coin – A clone of bitcoin but added a single extra function of having aliases and new protocol for websites. NXT has already done this.
Peercoin – A clone of bitcoin. Looked to address bitcoins flaws with mining and being so slow. Still a clone of bitcoin but added the functions of being quicker and added an innovative focus on PoS instead of PoW. NXT has addressed these and gone completely PoS and has quick block times, with the potential to be even faster and more robust.
Worldcoin - Super fast block time of 30 seconds. Still just a clone of bitcoin with an added function. NXT, same as above. It has been addressed.
Doge coin – Another simple clone of bitcoin, but with good publicity. Basically, it is cool. NXT has not made itself “cool” and to some extent has polarized itself in the alt community between investors that love it and miners (the majority) that hate it.
Prime coin – Another bitcoin clone but benefits science. NXT has not found a way to “benefit” anything but its investors.
Quarkcoin – Another clone of bitcoin with 6 forms of encryption, CPU mined for decentralized. Fast block times. Again addressing problems with bitcoins miners, but also adding additional encryption. I am not sure if bitcoin’s encryption needed to be addressed as I hadn’t been aware of major flaws with it. As far as I know too, NXT is using a good form of encryption and all coins including bitcoin are securely encrypted.
Vert coin – Another bitcoin clone but by this time ASICs had changed bitcoin and alt coins. It was originally designed to be totally decentralized. But the arms race if computing power has left processing in the hands if a few big pools and processing centers. This can cause problems like 51% attack or mining issues addressed by KMG. NXT has been designed against a 90% attack and has been designed in a way that it is easy and very light on resources to run a node.
Coinmessage/Bitmessage – Two of many bitcoin based programs that allow a user to send encrypted private messages. NXT has incorporated this function.
Zerocoin – A much more anonymous and harder to track system of payment than bitcoin. NXT is incorporating this into its protocol too.
---- backbones ----
Mastercoin – Another bitcoin clone, but has added the feature of being able to add assets, so that a cryptocurrency will not just represent money, but any kind of financial asset. NXT has developed a system mirroring this and is currently testing it for release.
Protoshares/Bitshares - Another bitcoin clone that is also trying to build a feature that allows bitcoin to not just be a currency, but a marker for any kind of financial medium. Again, NXT is addressing this.
Counterparty - similar to Mastercoin and Protoshares (I think) (I think being addressed by NXT)
Ethereum – is very similar to Mastercoin, Protoshares, and Counterparty in that it really looks to expand what a cryptocurrency can be used for. Except…. It is not basing itself off of bitcoin. It wants to be a completely different code that is much more efficient and much easier to utilize, making it a foundation for a multitude of other protocols to be built on top of it. This is a very good idea and a true Bitcoin 2.0 idea, but is also in a way what NXT is already doing now.
Furthermore, NXT is working on problems with large blockchains, instant transactions, decentralized exchanges, and trying to implement P2P file sharing, in addition to many other core features. The most exciting thing about NXT in many ways is that it has been designed from the ground up to be able to easily incorporate many extra functions and services of potential bitcoin 2.0 applications. The code is designed to be very adaptable to additional features.
While many weaknesses have been found in bitcoin, most of the bitcoin alt coins above have found flaws in bitcoins miner system, which suggest it is its biggest flaw. Most of the coins above also set out to solve the bitcoin miner system with small tweaks, not revolutionary redesign which is really needed. Peercoin though set out to change the miner system in a totally new and in many ways better way. This system is called PoS or “proof of stake”. This system is ultimately much better in almost all ways then the traditional mining method of PoW, but still has its flaws. In the form of NXT, its biggest criticism is that its initial base wasn’t wide enough, and as it is currently implemented doesn’t benefit newcomers to the ecosystem.
One of the problems with crypto currencies is that they basically give the biggest awards to the earliest adopters. These are not just gains of double or triple, but of huge magnitudes. This leads to many currencies being labelled as “ponzi schemes” or “pump and dump” coins. To a large extent with most cryptocurrencies, this is a fair and just labelling. There is an exception, and bitcoin has crossed this borderline. That is when a cryptocurrency goes from just existing as a speculative investment, to providing a real world service. When a cryptocurrency can provide a real world service and provides value to the consumers, its value is then justified and legitimized by its service. But a coin that is not being spent in the real world is just a scam. Bitcoin has a limited crossing over, but just barely, the other alt coins, not so much. For instance NXT’s current real world services are encrypted messaging and an alias system, which both are rarely used. Neither at this time are of particular importance to any normal person, but in the future if NXT becomes more popular, they could of course bring some value.
But still….. the problem exists in the everyday consumer’s mind, how can it be possible that one person got 500 bitcoins in a day, for running a program on his computer and now those coins are worth $500 a piece. This makes a new investor very wary of investing and screams to the average consumer, “You are paying a lot of money for something that somebody else didn’t pay much for. Now is that fair?” Cryptocurrencies in their original spirit were designed to make things more fair for the average person, not less. Cryptocurrencies hold the promise that no longer are governments and large institutions moving markets against the small consumer, but in reality, up until now cryptocurrencies have failed, and instead have just been an easy way for early adopters to take advantage of the average person.
NEM has already seen the value in having as many initial investors as possible. 2000 seems a lot more fair than 70. But wouldn’t it be better to say that in the first few months that NEM had 200,000 investors? Wouldn’t that narrative sit far easier in the minds of the consumer in a year or 5 years from now. It is a much better narrative than one guy got 500 coins in a day, or 70 investors got it all at once. Advertising a coin as the most widely dispersed upon initial creation creates a much grander narrative for the end point consumer. When I think about my investment going towards 70 people or 200,000, the 200,000 just sounds a lot more fair and attractive. Even more, it is just more logical and sensible and real world applications of how things have traditionally happened. People are more comfortable with it. I think it is best then to design NEM in a way that encourages 2nd tier investors and even 3rd tier investors to get a really good deal and therefore increases the user base. The user base of bitcoin is estimated at 350,000,000. I would hope that NEM would target its adoption in a way that at least the 3rd tier investors will exceed 200,000,000, basically giving NEM the momentum from that point forward, to go on and far excel all the other cryptocurrencies, especially if it has more services and options than bitcoin.
How can this be done? I think the simple answer is to make NEM give the most value to the end point consumer, not the initial stake holder. NXT is clearly not trying to address just one problem with bitcoin, it is trying to address them all, but it hasn’t gotten them all and it hasn’t done it perfectly. This still leaves room for NEM to have a good chance at obtaining a sizeable market share.
My friend, who is a bitcoin miner, gave the accurate example of typical alt coins flaws. He explained that all the coins are like trains in a way. Some are longer and some are shorter in length. Some carry more information and heavier loads and some less. And just like trains can run off of different fuels like coal, diesel, or electricity, so can coins run off of different encryptions and mining systems. But one thing that remains is that trains need tracks to go someplace. They need an endpoint for the user. A coin without real world spending is a ponzi and just as useless as a train with no tracks. No matter how good the coin or how many options, if it isn’t used, it is pointless, just like no matter how good a train, without its tracks, it is useless. The point is that NEM needs to encourage users to adopt and spend. A cryptocurrency being used is a live and growing one and justifies its value with its services provided.
I have thought of a tentative system that might address bitcoins biggest flaw, which I call PoS³, which looks to increase stake, spend, and service. But why is this needed?
Bitcoins flaw is that it just really rewards the miners for holding up a network but the average consumer doesn't gain as much as compared to a bank or other traditional financial service that offers interest. Nxt has switched this where the consumer is now their own banker, but it really is only beneficial for the big players that are heavily invested. This encourages Nxt holders to buy and hoard, not spend and grow the network. The average consumer still has no reason to use Nxt. But with a PoS³ system that is weighted correctly, the average consumer can stand to gain "interest" on par with a traditional bank account by investing heavily in this currency, supporting the network, and spending. This system could easily gain higher interest rates and lower fees because no brick and mortar buildings will be built and no personal need be employed. The system will run itself. A person’s financial services will physically be stored on their lightweight computer power at home or pocket. This PoS³ system can all be controlled with equations similar the KMG (Kimoto gravity well) applying to each factor and then combining. I suggest that the KMG equivalent for each of these three factors combined in a total way that is weighted towards the average consumer, or at least a power user, not the original stakeholders. So for instance with NEM, there might be 2000 shareholders. It seems that they should be encouraged to reduce their funds by at least 90% or up to 99%. So for instance if a shareholder was given 1,500,000 shares, then the optimum rating any account could have for the proof of stake portion of PoS³ would be holding 150,000 possibly as little as 15,000 NEM in a node with heavy traffic dealing in shares that are often traded and channelled through multiple layers of accounts in a way that assures the system can't be beat as transactions fees would eat away at the profit. This would be a cap that would work against the rich having an unfair advantage with stake, and even a disadvantage weighted on stake above the cap of 15,000. But I also propose a cap against those that are providing a service. Something like any one node could not be weighted to more than 1% of the network. The balance is to find a benefit for somebody that creates a large and powerful service, but that not so powerful that they can take over or have too much control. Again.... This would encourage lots of smaller initiatives to get involved. The more small but powerful initiatives are involved, the more the network grows. And if a specific service grows above its optimization cap, it still can reallocated resources in another area to make another great service, effectively making the network better. Another possibility of point of service is that if a node gains more than the allocated top point, they will still be rewarded but not to the same extent or as heavily as they were before. This type of system would intentionally encourage a more distributed field of services instead of the one that currently exists in current real world markets where the bigger a financial entity is, the more they can manipulate the market. With a KGM like algorithm that starts to kick in after a nodes reached 0.01% to 0.1% of network service value, many different competing nodes can be encouraged to start thus creating more competition. Again, this creates a network with more end points and more value to the consumer.
(Please see part 2 in the comments)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 07:43:09 AM by SomethingElse »
Re: Bitcoin vs NXT vs NEM
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2014, 01:11:43 PM »
Stake = the amount of coins in a wallet.
Spend = that wallets spend score, basically a score that tracks how often and to how diverse an accounts spending has been. (think credit score for high use)
Service = how important is that node to the network.
Basically, each node could have a wallet and only one wallet attached to it. Two factors depend on the owner of the wallet, spend and stake. This system if designed correctly could also encourage the everyday consumer to be desired to be paid in this currency and spend it. (This would not be unlike the system with credit cards where a person gets “miles” or “points” for using the card, but with Proof of Spend, the wallet’s points will go towards their chances of mining/forging.) The third factor which is service is determined by third parties finding value in connecting to that node. The service aspect encourages people to make "top apps" so that their app becomes a point of high volume and/or connection. This encourages developers to spend time and effort turning this crypto currency's shares into real world services. And by making useful and valuable services to consumers, the consumers will be drawn to the service and a part if the ecosystem.
Making original stake holders encouraged to disperse the initial wealth addresses the complaint that so many people have with NXT, that how can a currency only have 70 founders (if that). But with NEM there is a public auditing to root out sock puppets and then those original 2000 stake holders have been further incentivized to spread out to 20,000 or even 200,000 stake holders. I prefer 200,000, and even 200,000,000 stake holders if possible. This means the average investor in 5 years from now will see 70 lucky people in a system like NXT, or a few hundred lucky in a system bitcoin, verses a 200,000 or greater small investors in a system like NEM. Which is more attractive to the consumer? And which system is more attractive to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th tier investors? A currency that is spent and used on a daily basis ultimately is the one that brings the most value to the consumer. A share of NXT or NEM has no value in and of itself of than the service it can provide. Crypto currencies, quite simply are in the service industry, and the one that can provide service along the "Google model" or "Facebook model" whereas the bottom investor gets things for free instead of having to pay for them will win. And then and only then as a secondary result will the currency become valuable. For this reason it also seems best to lower NEM’s transaction fees as low as possible. It has been suggested 0.01% and that is low, but I wonder, is that as low as NEM can go, or is it too low? In some ways the average consumer wants low fees, but the "miner/forger" wants higher fees. 0.1% is one penny taxed for every $10. That sounds fair to me and not unreasonable to the average consumer. There has been talks of a bottom cap of 1 NEM. But that really reduces the daily transactions and will limit the price of NEM. For instance if NEM was valuable, why would I buy something for 1 NEM if I had to pay a 1 NEM fee. I'd encourage the exact opposite. That there would be a max fee of say 10 to 100 NEM on very large transactions. This would encourage big spenders to invest big money in the NEM ecosystem because it would be easily moved. But once those large amounts of money found their way in, some might stay in the ecosystem. This is more like the Facebook and Google model. “We offer extremely low transfer fees, you like that, oh wait, now you use the service a lot!” Likewise one might impose a very small minimum transaction. So that if the rate is 0.01%. A Minimum transfer would have to be 0.00001001, which basically is 1000 satashi and the fee if 1, but..... That's not scaled well. What if a person sends 0.00001400 satashi. Well??? What is the fee. Therefore, it seems better to make the smallest transfer 0.00010000 that way the fee can scale to two places. If...... If.... NEM achieved the price point similar to what bitcoin once had with a $1000 per coin price, then that means the smallest transaction would be 10 cents. In today's financial system most if not all goods can have their price rounded to 10 cents. But if NEM were to go higher than the feasibility of daily transfers becomes more difficult. At some point wouldn't it be difficult for NEM to expand, therefore, I would suggest that another algorithm be included in NEM. This would be something like another way of adding a decimal point. Say, after the first trillion transactions a decimal point is added, so that now there are 9 decimal points instead of 8. And then after 10 trillion it goes to 10 decimal points and then after 100 trillion it goes to 11 and so on. It's a fairly wild guess and a person with a lot more math skills and economic theory would do a lot better at figuring out when an extra decimal point would be added, but it could be done and written into the code on day one. This would mean that at a certain amount of transactions would mean a rise in popularity, which would in theory mean a rise in price and therefore a need in the raise in decimal points to cover smaller transactions. This also mirrors how in the stock market a stock that is too valuable can split.
This best coin is the one that has the quickest, fastest, cheapest, safest, easiest, most efficient network with the most end points. A crypto currency is not at all about the coin or the original code, it is about the network that can be built upon it. To that end, bitcoin is failing. It has been around for 4 years and has seen growth but not the kind of growth that could have easily been possible, the type of growth reflected by Google, Facebook, or Netflix. These are the leaders in their fields, services that had huge growth. Bitcoin is growing, but not at all to the magnitude or degree as these giants that went on to dominate their fields grew, each in their own right taking over previous services that weren't up to the challenge of adapting to meet consumer’s needs. One need only review the bitcoin verses M-Pesa stats to see this, when arguably magnitudes higher development costs and effort has been put into bitcoin but had failed to provide the growth that M-Pesa has. This is why M-Pesa was targeted in design towards understanding the average consumer needs of the average Kenyan. Both bitcoin and M-Pesa have similar goals and a similar appearance at the user level, but much of the rest is totally different. Money can be sent instantly over mobile phones in Kenya in seconds, even small amounts or micro transactions. I've had small amounts of bitcoin in transit for over 12 hours leaving me wondering if it was really lost or not. That is simply unacceptable, and the average consumer would be appalled by this. Visa and MasterCard take only a few seconds, on par with M-Pesa. Bitcoin has had many years to improve the code, but has it? It can't because the fundamentals of the system are flawed. The miners are not rewarded well to quickly process small transactions quickly and effectively. Instead they are brought reward by wasting huge amounts of computational power and electricity solving pointless problems, essentially busy work with no point other than to be busy. If that same amount of electricity and computational power were instead reallocated towards actually maintaining the network efficiently and quickly, a financial network unlike any yet created would exist. If it was encouraged to be decentralized, if consumers were encouraged to invest, if developers knew they would be rewarded for adding value to consumers, it could be very successful. If NEM as a part of the Proof of Service aspect of forging/mining can encourage widespread network stabilization, it can offer something that neither bitcoin nor NXT offer.
In PoS³ many things can be accomplished towards making a successful currency. The proof of stake encourages people to initially move large amounts of value into NEM. Proof of spend encourages them to use that money as their profile rating is higher. And lastly point of service can be instituted to incentivise developers to build the “train tracks” of NEM. When these three factors are combined and attatched to a node, each respectively controlled by a KGW factored algorithm targeted to benefiting smaller accounts with higher volume, the average consumer and providers will want to be in the ecosystem more than previous systems. They average or high level users and innovators will see the highest interest rates in mining/forging, but not the stakeholders. Mass adaption on the M-Pesa scale can happen, but be truly decentralized and therefore controlled by the free market. M-Pesa controls over half of Kenya’s economy, there is no reason why a well-designed cryptocurrency couldn’t do that on a world scale.
In summary, NXT has done a really good job of making a new cryptocurrency system from the ground up that addresses and fixes many of the flaws of bitcoin, its main strength being that it addressed the two biggest problems with bitcoin, the miner problem and the fact that it is difficult to add addition services on top of it. This is a huge breakthrough. But NXT still has one major flaw and a few minor flaws. Its major flaw is that it still appears to be somewhat of a ponzi scheme in that the original founders have already had huge exponential growth. In this way NXT is similar to bitcoin. If NEM can address this so that the original distribution can be spread out, it is better. To this extent it has tried to spread out to 2000, which is a great improvement over bitcoin or NXT, but can go much farther to be more reputable in the minds of the consumers. I feel like this is a one-time shot. The crypto currency that addresses this key flaw, stands a lot to gain in the long run gaining reputability in the minds of the public.
In addition, two novel coins have addressed other flaws in cryptocurrencies, in that Primecoin works towards an altruistic motive. So far NXT hasn’t done that. If NEM can find a way to do that, it would benefit it too. Lastly, Doge is cool, and while that doesn’t seem like it should be a big factor in success, it might be more important than everything else mentioned here. I believe it can become popular by giving the endpoint user the most value. That is how the so many of the biggest companies that are successful today became “cool” and ultimately successful, though a good internet meme, endorsements and advertising would help too, none of which NXT is doing well.
As a final note, the biggest thing that NEM seems to have going for it, is that it sought to have a fair initial distribution. There are three big flaws with bitcoin, which are distribution, ability to be a backbone of a new financial systerm, and the mining system. NXT has only addressed one well, which is the backbone aspect, and has done well to address the mining issue but can be improved, and has failed the initial distribution test. This essay explains how NEM can do well on all three, but a final suggestion on the distribution test. NEM has around 2000 investors. Each were initially promised at least 1,000,000 shares of NEM. Even if this is increased to 1,500,000 shares, there are still quite a few remaining shares out there. A suggestion could be to create a second round of IPO, on in which 100,000 shares will be sold for 0.75 bitcoins each (or ten times the last IPO investor). This second round of IPO would begin after the original stakeholders have been given wallets and their shares and are free to sell them or use them as they please. New buyers of shares would have to create new account on the official NXT website, one account per user profile, and must write a 100 word introduction of themselves. (Sock puppets will not be scanned for.) This 2nd tier of fundraising could last up to three months or until all the NEM is sold. At the end of the three months, all extra NEM not sold could be destroyed. All funds raised from the 2nd tier of fundraising would be used to support the infrastructure of NEM, marketing and advertising. Again, a great marketing and advertising campaign is something that no cryptocurrency has done well up to this point, and NEM could be the pivot point. An eventually 3rd tier promotion might be for instance that every year for a set amount of years, that a person that joins a facebook page, or twitter page, or forum, has a chance of winning a lottery in NEM, maybe for instance 100 people will be awarded 10,000 NEM. This would be similar to the marketing method done by Publishers Clearing House and their sweepstakes, which ended up being wildly successful.
Hopefully, this essay has shown the importance of having a great infrastructure and service value to the consumer starting day one. If this was done it would bring the number of official shareholders to 12,000, an impressive number indeed. One the public can have confidence in. Furthermore if good clients and infrastructure were built during the three months, the 2nd tier of investors will have less of a gamble and much more confidence in what they are investing in will be real. They will have seen real test wallets in action. They will probably be able to obtain small donations of NEM from caveat would be of course that NEM would have to have a good code and clients and exchanges set faucets to test the network and clients and decide whether it is good for them or not, as opposed to the initial stakeholders who invested blindly and with faith. Having an initial stakeholder list of 12,000 accounts is quite impressive and is a number that I feel like the public can get behind. The up upon being released for the 2nd tier of investment. This is all possible. The NXT code has been released and many of the NXT supporters who have already done ground work will find value in additionally supporting NEM. NEM stands for “New Market Economy” and this essay has tried in spirit to live up to the name and ensure that NEM is indeed a new type of economy and market, radical and fresh.
Re: Bitcoin vs NXT vs NEM
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 04:21:27 PM »
I agree with more of your analysis. Basically, the connection with the real world (so far, none of the coins excepting BTC has achieve this). At Trello board, there are several ideas to work on them. I am part of the Fair Trade initiative which, based on the 'social and egalitarian' character of NEMcoin, aims to use decentralized assets exchange to help farmers to trade their products without paying extensive fees to intermediates. It is still very preliminary but some ideas are being discussed.
The other point of your analysis is the distribution. As early adopter, I would like to get good profit on the relatively short-term but, I agree with you that this is not healthy for the movement and we should move to intermediate positions that, while keep a decent profit, can help to give value to the money.
Again, I think it is important to have good exchanges sites but in parallel to a more or less developed ecosystem. If we manage to create a 'flow of money' from trading exchange to trading merchants we will improve coin market capitalization, increase the value of the coin and give long-term sustainability.
Thinking loudly; one research area in which I also can help is to create simulation models of coin distribution. Then, we can have some sort of predictions about how can be the best way as we stakeholders should contribute to distribute the coin for a larger number of people (As you said 200.000 would be really a huge goal to achieve) in order to increase the coin value
It would be interesting to attract more people to this discussion. I will post a link in the BTC threat
|Friday, July 11th, 2014|
A portmanteau word meaning 'rooted'
Posterior subcapsular cataracts are cloudy at back of the lens adjacent to the capsule (or bag) in which the lens sits. Because light becomes more focused toward the back of the lens, they can cause disproportionate symptoms for their size.
I have one in my right eye so I now use glasses for watching TV and riding a motorbike. Like about 24 hours a week. CYCLOPS!
|Friday, July 4th, 2014|
Years ago I posted that stainless steel was no good - burned things - and my comment was in line, I think, with many other people's opinions.
Well now I'd like to recant.
We've gone back to using the stainless steel pan.
There was a simple trick we had to learn - use a low heat. That's all.
I cook pancakes in it, fried eggs, sausages, omelettes, onions, etc for sauces...
It has relatively high sides which is good for my purposes - I don't need low sides to flip my pancakes - I turn them with the spatula.
Non stick is potentially horrible stuff and, I would say, educates you towards becoming a less skilled food preparer (that's what I am, not a 'cook', just a 'food preparer').
Iron rusts unless you want to become a devotee of the culinary arts or something, which I don't and which I think is the common trend, where most of us are.
Copper is dangerous, read that on this thread.
I found enamel made things stick worse than anything else. Don't know what that was about. Haven't got that pan now. Might try again some time but they're rare nowadays.
Wouldn't use aluminium.
There's really no choice.
christopher109 RE: nooodles Apr 13, 2010 03:08 PM
we have progressively acquired two frypans of french origions; one spun blue steel- thin steel and heats through fast and a much heavier iron one for just about anything. We also have a small cast iron pan from a hardware store which carries a slow heat beautifully for onions and poaching eggs. Never had a non stick - the handles always seem heavier than the pan which is dangerous. Steel pans become non stick with seasoning and use.
When new, season iron and steel pans with a handful, or more for bigger pans, of coconut threads. heat gently and move around the pan for half an hour untill the threads are black. Heat opens the pores of the steel and the oil goes in. Do every few months. clean with a detergent NEVER IN DISWASHER and some kind of pot scraper -brass or stainless balls of stuff that looks like it comes off a lathe. The objective is to create a smooth patina through regular thorough cleaning and wiping with cooking oil. The extra cost of a steel pan is worth every cent. the french brands you see are unchanged over decades - must be something in that.
Also steel and iron responds well to accidental overheating - just put it somewhere safe and let it cool! overheat a non-stick and it will be buggered. We often put pans back on the gas ring for a minute after washing to evaporate off water as rust can be a problem. some drops of cooking oil and wipe when hot with a paper towel. I also have a cast iron wok bought from a hardware store in singapore 30 plus years ago - god what a machine.
Have been told and follw religiously - wait till pan is hot before putting in butter or oil. Last great advantage of steel and iron pans you can use any cooking tools in them, and did you know that the reason you use a brass mesh thing on a handle (go to chinese supermarket / hardware store) for lifting food out of oils in a wok, is that oil will not stick to brass.
|Stop or I'll shoot again
In a certain (fairly high) percentage of shootings, people stop their aggressive actions after being hit with one round regardless of caliber or shot placement.
These people are likely NOT physically incapacitated by the bullet. They just don’t want to be shot anymore and give up! Call it a psychological stop if you will. Any bullet or caliber combination will likely yield similar results in those cases.
And fortunately for us, there are a lot of these “psychological stops” occurring. The problem we have is when we don’t get a psychological stop. If our attacker fights through the pain and continues to victimize us, we might want a round that causes the most damage possible.
In essence, we are relying on a “physical stop” rather than a “psychological” one. In order to physically force someone to stop their violent actions we need to either hit him in the Central Nervous System (brain or upper spine) or cause enough bleeding that he becomes unconscious. The more powerful rounds look to be better at doing this.
- See more at: http://www.activeresponsetraining.net/an-alternate-look-at-handgun-stopping-power#sthash.mS6z2CFM.dpuf
|Tuesday, July 1st, 2014|
Here are stated elements of the general thinking of Mr. Huben regarding science and knowledge.
“science is about honesty and validity: if they want truth, they must go to mathematics.”
“IMHO, science is better than philosophy because it is VALID: it works repeatably in the real world.”
“science MODELS reality, and that the models give approximations of the measurements we take.”
“Science is about modeling the world around us as accurately as possible.”
“You don't "believe" in models. You accept or reject them based on whether they are accurate enough to beat out other models.”
“If some things are not doubted in science, it is because evidence justifying doubt would be quickly communicated.”
“The basic ideas of science are not axiomatic: they are empirically observed.”
“Observing results is not science: interpreting them is.”
“But even if your contention is correct, that doesn't mean science isn't better than philosophy as a way of knowing.”
“But philosophical ideas of truth are IRRELEVANT to science.”
‘We don’t need the idea of “truth” at all for science.”
‘EVERY scientific model is known to be inaccurate”
“Sometimes newer models are shown to be RELATIVELY more accurate, and they are preferred.”
“Pretty much all models are KNOWN to be false by measurement or other methods: the question is how to use that knowledge to find better models that explain the conflicting data.”
“Very simply, I declare (via Occam’s Razor) that I don’t need “truth” or “a priori” any more than I need “soul” or “god”.”
“Those are hardly presuppositions: they are models. And it is clear that they are models because there are alternative models such as the brain in a vat, Pascal’s demon, or the butterfly’s dream. It is also clear that they are NOT NECESSARY to science because we don’t need to know if physical reality exists to model the goings on we observe in either physical reality or whatever else may be.”
“If there is a class of propositions with “no possibility of evidence being able to prove or disprove”, we cannot know if they are true or false. Not only can we doubt them, but we can safely disregard them because the only way they could be relevant is if they provided some evidence.’
“Knowing something can simply mean you are applying a model to something, however accurately or inaccurately. No need for a concept of truth.http://critiquesoflibertarianism.blogspot.com.au/2010/07/thelowlyphilosophers-foolish-defense-of.html
|Monday, June 30th, 2014|
Charles Sanders Peirce took strong exception to those who associated him with Bergson.
In response to a letter comparing his work with that of Bergson he wrote, “a man who seeks to further science can hardly commit a greater sin than to use the terms of his science without anxious care to use them with strict accuracy; it is not very gratifying to my feelings to be classed along with a Bergson who seems to be doing his utmost to muddle all distinctions.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Bergson
More idle speculation about the aether
Latest thoughts on unification. When it comes it may have one or two of these features. Probably none.
Space-time is meaningless outside our universe. And there is only one we know about. I'm assuming that will stay that way. Space-time has the mark of its birth called 'entanglement'. Now in some yet undiscovered way entanglement acts as a pilot-wave for gravity. Another way of saying unified-field-theory is quantum-gravity.
So I'm assuming only one universe with an asymetry called time. Why one?
I'm thinking that nature is ergonomic and there is a well known principle of least action. Also I think it would have taken an eternity for enough matter to accumulate to form the cosmic egg.
Now having formed, I'm thinking why would this unique creation stand still?
It could move faster and faster. Things elongate at very high-speeds. Then when some things elongate they may divide. This is called fission. I don't have a clue about any of this. I'm just thinking out loud.
But assume high speed at least and then we're told something called inflation happened. Even if this occured from a ' standing seed' start, its described as being so fast that it even sounds like it broke the speed of light for a micro-second ( trilion, trillioneth of an etc)
This alleged breaking of the cosmic speed limit ( Einstein) also happens ( according to John Bell) during entanglement. I've rabbited on before about that so I won't detail quantum mechanics again.
Something that happens in QM is ' causality violation'. And now theoretical physicists are talking much more about QM things going on in and around singularities. The Big Bang and Black Holes mainly.
A macro-sized object exceeding the speed of light could cause something very singular to happen.
The creation of a bubble with space-time connected enough for gravity-as-we-know-it to work even at faster than light speeds if we can figure this out. This could be a problem, first for quantum computers and then, soon after, post-humans.
Maybe things would be clearer if I said what I don't think is likely.
Supersymmetry is contraindicated by time ( and chirality?)
Many-worlds - as I said.
Anti-big-bang and/or anti inflation theories are looking less likely every day it seems.
A better theory without quantum computing is hardly likely to happen.
Any lone genius is unlikely to come up with a TOE. Quantum mechanics had a lot of parents. Another Dirac would be nice though. One for cosmology this time.
Obviously all the Deepak Chopra, quackery is out. I'm not even too crazy about Paul Davies attitude towards religion and Roger Penroses neo-Platonism.
Now is all this theorizing just a waste of time?
Actually, I think getting a better theory will help us get off this poor overloved planet and out into this galaxy, then others. It could even be the 'cavalry' to save us from certain death. It really shouldn't be that hard to figure out. Once you know some parts of the equation you can figure out the rest.
If it takes a village to raise a child, maybe it'll take a blockchain to raise a theory of everything for the rest of our time. Maybe we can even crowdsource a 3D printer for a new universe for when this one wears out.
Violating causality could be our ultimate destiny.
|Saturday, June 28th, 2014|
That eternal, infernal alliance
Church and state
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has awarded Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov with an order for “glory and honor.” Patriarch Kirill gave the order to Zyuganov in Moscow on June 27, one day after the longtime communist leader celebrated his 70th birthday.
Kirill said Zyuganov — who in 2010 called for the re-Stalinization of Russia and has called the Soviet Union “the most humane state in human history” — deserves the award as “one of the most famous Russian politicians who has expressed interest in the welfare of the nation and the protection of traditional moral values.”
|Thursday, June 26th, 2014|
|MR university racket
What I see here are people who almost all of the time would agree that market prices are the appropriate way to measure value, but in one particular instance, when comparing US incomes and output to those of countries with high market-valued incomes, inexplicably make a special exception and suggest that World Bank PPP estimates are better than market data. On the other hand when comparing US incomes to those of poorer countries these same people would never dream of going by PPP. So much for intellectual integrity.
- See more at: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2014/06/my-interview-with-ralph-nader.html#comments
Purchasing power parity (PPP) is a component of some economic theories and is a technique used to determine the relative value of different currencies.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purchasing_power_parity
|Wednesday, June 25th, 2014|
Free at last
Think not that I come to send peace for I bring only the sword.
Proyect has left the building! I saw his thoughts made manifest. I saw what his henchmen were planning to do. They're like locusts. They're moving from planet to planet... their whole civilization.
After they've consumed every natural resource they move on... and we're next.
Nuke 'em. Let's nuke the bastards.
The only mistake I ever made was to appoint a sniveling little weasel like you Secretary of Defense. However, that is a mistake, I am happy to say, that I don't have to live with. Iain McKay... you're fired.
In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And they will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind against the remaining Marxist states.
"Mankind." That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the 25th of June, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom... Not just from tyranny, oppression, or persecution... but from annihilation.
We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, this day in June will no longer be known as a tax holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the red night!" We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our anarchist independence Day!
|Monday, June 23rd, 2014|
The translucent society
A way of coping with and manageing crypto-anarchy through use of Brinworld tactics and advancing technology, chiefly quantum computing & encryption.
Freenet suffered from problems of scale relating to numbers and strengths of supernodes required. We can fix them now. The peoples-cloud should have fewer server-farms backing it up than the peoples own computers with a dedicated ( peoples DRM?) part devoted to mixmaster-remailing of encrypted data.
This is claimed to be the new Maidsafe vision btw. Its often been the case recently that great discoveries have been made by different people at the same time. Calculus, evolution, etc. Just another example.
The Ferengi-like Nxt appears to be evolving rapidly towards this basic sort of model as does Ethereum in its vaguely Borgish manner.
One way or another a new internet is being born. One with features described by Tim May in Cyphernomicon and other features as described by David Brin, Jim Bell and Robin Hanson from the mid 1990's.
The idea of a translucent society rather than a transparent one recognises the crypto-anarchist realities outlined by May, but seeks to manage and minimise the most anti-social of them.
If this were entirely a futuristic vision then future-shock effects would have to be factored in. However we have several hundred years of revolutionary experience to draw on. And this includes some invaluable examples of specifically anarchist revolution.
Keeping this in mind and building on the past with a concrete strategy of working towards a * Four Freedoms* friendly translucent society we may then leverage a diverse set of tactics involving greater and greater numbers of people.
The weaknesses of all other alternatives is that that either have a bad track-record ( communism and capitalism) or they remain suspended in theoretical mid-air with no connection with any past and no path laid out toward moving towards their desired state of being. " Pie in the sky" and " Cloud-cuckoo-land theories" often attract the demegogues and the fanatics.
If we don't want to repeat the past then we will avoid these.
I don't want to completely discourage them though. Certainly Francis Fukuyama doesn't recognise any threat to liberal-democracy yet so what me worry.
We have already taken vast strides towards a more peaceful anarchistic and open-world. These steps promise to become exponentially even vaster so...chance favours the prepared mind - get prepped!
|Saturday, June 21st, 2014|
|A New Dawn in the Middle East
We have completed the development of a new rejuvenation technique, where was can now raise Defense Engagement Assets on Demand, also known as The DEAD. These recently resurrected will form a new Army, the 666th Zombie Group, which will be focused on the Middle East.
With this new capability, none of our precious youth need be risked in actual battle. We can use them to fly drones from the safety of their US Bases, and the actual boots on the Ground will be the living dead.
With this new approach, we have eliminated the costs of Medical Evacuations, Medics in the Field, all the medical facilities of the VA, and eliminating active service pay to Zombie troops because they can eat what they kill, so saving billions of tax dollars. And if Zombies get wounded in battle, we don’t have to pay them a pension. Resurrecting old warriors is economical to a fault.
WHY NOT HERCULES?
If a person accepts hearsay and accounts from believers as historical evidence for Jesus, then shouldn't they act consistently to other accounts based solely on hearsay and belief?
To take one example, examine the evidence for Hercules of Greek mythology and you will find it parallels the "historicity" of Jesus to such an amazing degree that for Christian apologists to deny Hercules as a historical person belies and contradicts the very same methodology used for a historical Jesus.
Note that Herculean myth resembles Jesus in many areas. The mortal and chaste Alcmene, the mother of Hercules, gave birth to him from a union with God (Zeus). Similar to Herod who wanted to kill Jesus, Hera wanted to kill Hercules. Like Jesus, Hercules traveled the earth as a mortal helping mankind and performed miraculous deeds. Similar to Jesus who died and rose to heaven, Hercules died, rose to Mt. Olympus and became a god. Hercules gives example of perhaps the most popular hero in Ancient Greece and Rome. They believed that he actually lived, told stories about him, worshiped him, and dedicated temples to him.
Likewise the "evidence" of Hercules closely parallels that of Jesus. We have historical people like Hesiod and Plato who mention Hercules in their writings. Similar to the way the gospels tell a narrative story of Jesus, so do we have the epic stories of Homer who depict the life of Hercules. Aesop tells stories and quotes the words of Hercules. Just as we have a brief mention of Jesus by Joesphus in his Antiquities, Joesphus also mentions Hercules (more times than Jesus), in the very same work (see: 1.15; 8.5.3; 10.11.1). Just as Tacitus mentions a Christus, so does he also mention Hercules many times in his Annals. And most importantly, just as we have no artifacts, writings or eyewitnesses about Hercules, we also have nothing about Jesus. All information about Hercules and Jesus comes from stories, beliefs, and hearsay. Should we then believe in a historical Hercules, simply because ancient historians mention him and that we have stories and beliefs about him? Of course not, and the same must apply to Jesus if we wish to hold any consistency to historicity.
Some critics doubt that a historicized Jesus could develop from myth because they think there never occurred any precedence for it. We have many examples of myth from history but what about the other way around? This doubt fails in the light of the most obvious example-- the Greek mythologies where Greek and Roman writers including Diodorus, Cicero, Livy, etc., assumed that there must have existed a historical root for figures such as Hercules, Theseus, Odysseus, Minos, Dionysus, etc. These writers put their mythological heroes into an invented historical time chart. Herodotus, for example, tried to determine when Hercules lived. As Robert M. Price revealed, "The whole approach earned the name of Euhemerism, from Euhemerus who originated it." [Price, p. 250] Even today, we see many examples of seedling historicized mythologies: UFO adherents whose beliefs began as a dream of alien bodily invasion, and then expressed as actually having occurred (some of which have formed religious cults); beliefs of urban legends which started as pure fiction or hoaxes; propaganda spread by politicians which stem from fiction but believed by their constituents.
People consider Hercules and other Greek gods as myth because people no longer believe in the Greek and Roman stories. When a civilization dies, so do their gods. Christianity and its church authorities, on the other hand, still hold a powerful influence on governments, institutions, and colleges. Anyone doing research on Jesus, even skeptics, had better allude to his existence or else risk future funding and damage to their reputations or fear embarrassment against their Christian friends. Christianity depends on establishing a historical Jesus and it will defend, at all costs, even the most unreliable sources. The faithful want to believe in Jesus, and belief alone can create intellectual barriers that leak even into atheist and secular thought. We have so many Christian professors, theologians and historical "experts" around the world that tell us we should accept a historical Jesus that if repeated often enough, it tends to convince even the most ardent skeptic. The establishment of history should never reside with the "experts" words alone or simply because a scholar has a reputation as a historian. Historical review has yet to achieve the reliability of scientific investigation, (and in fact, many times ignores it). If a scholar makes a historical claim, his assertion should depend primarily with the evidence itself and not just because he or she says so. Facts do not require belief. And whereas beliefs can live comfortably without evidence at all, facts depend on evidence.
|Friday, June 20th, 2014|
Ripple, started as early as 2004 and redesigned in 2011-2013, is a protocol for sending money, just as SMTP is a protocol for sending messages online; Ripple is also a currency (XRP) and a decentralized exchange. With all three parts combined, anyone would be able to send money anywhere, a la Bitcoin, but the protocol is currency agnostic. Thus, you could swap among BTC, DOGE, EUR, XRP and any other currency fluidly.
Ripple’s website often compares the technology to email (i.e. Ripple makes sending money as easy as sending email). Currency agnosticism might prove to be one of the big innovations with Ripple: Following the email analogy, this is kind of like being able to send a message to someone’s Facebook inbox from Gmail, or perhaps being able to send an SMS via Skype.