Category Archives: Technology

Showdown for the Future: Strzok’s Government Guards Versus the Blockchain Gang

The following article first appeared on Steemit on January 23, 2018.

Government lackeys deleting FBI agent Peter Strzok’s texts may delay justice, but it will only serve to accelerate the blockchain revolution. Because while the operatives who pulled off this latest data disappearance caper may be giggling like Geishas today, a generation of idealists battle hardened after countless similar disillusioning obfuscations finally have the tools to do more than just “go Galt.”

It’s blockchain, it’s cryptos, it’s a philosophy of honesty and trust built to thrive within the very disinfecting sunlight that the cockroaches who run our world fear so much. And as they are backed into the last dark corner they will make one final stand to save a system that exists only to draw our blood and give mediocre people who lack humility a taste of power.

For too long people in government have been terrible stewards of our ship of state. Whether through incompetence or outright corruption, their steady pattern of negligence is unforgivable and—to use one of their own catch phrases—unacceptable. It defies logic that the government can pull up footage of you jaywalking five years ago but can’t fulfill the essential charters which allegedly justify its large, fancy office parks—as evidenced by the now NSA claiming to have lost surveillance data collected during the George W. Bush administration.

Further, what’s even more sickening is their self-aggrandizing culture of smirking “public servants” constantly patting themselves on the back, which only leads to overconfidence in the honest and brazenness by the crooked. The Coen Brothers’ horrifyingly hilarious lampoon of DC-area culture in the movie “Burn After Reading” comes to mind.

It’s a never-ending series of inept displays where the government gets off scot-free, no one is punished, and nothing changes. Yet somehow we serfs remain on the hook for every parking ticket, cell phone data overage, or typo on our tax forms.

Because in our world, not only is it “a big club and you ain’t in it,” apparently we were too stupid to join one of these wings of the Enforcement Class which, while not enjoying a life as luxurious as the extremely wealthy and powerful they serve, do get to live in relative comfort and are afforded institutional protections to hide behind after every blunder.

In a society forced to feed this bloated bureaucratic racket, is it any wonder that intelligent and capable people of an independent nature are checking out? Some move an existing business out of a high-tax state, while others like Karl Denninger simply refuse to start another venture until the system cleans itself up and stops disincentivizing risk taking.

And despite the stock market’s recent wild run, there has been a shift away from traditional investing after one too many market crashes fostered generational mistrust in the system. Right now that withdrawn brainpower and investment capital are pouring into cryptocurrencies, not just as a store of value but as an exodus into a new post-paradigm era of earnest, decentralized trust.

This will be a devastating blow for government hierarchies that employ lazy button pushers living under the delusion that because they receive a government paycheck they are patriots. Also threatened is the army of dependents the government needs to keep helpless in order to justify its own existence. Expect to see a PR campaign of sob stories about them which attempts to defend the status quo.

Proponents of the old paradigm should be deathly afraid of the rising young generation whose personality is a curious blend of Doctom Boom enthusiasm, mellow hipster non-judgmentalism, and tech-savvy competence that integrates numerous fields of knowledge. They are fueled by a no-nonsense impatience for the symbiotic racket of pandering for votes and handouts that they have seen demoralize the national climate through the axis of government, finance, and military since 9/11.

Perhaps they saw their parents lose a house during the 2008 Financial Crisis. Or maybe their older brother had to close a small business. All under the shadow of entities deemed “too big to fail” receiving billions to keep their own ossified doors open. But the young have been watching. And today, empowered by brains making connections as fast as the devices in their hands, they’re marching fearlessly to take back the world.

God bless them for it. May they have the audacity to forge a better future for us all under their banner of selfie-taking, equity-seeking, idealistic expertise. Those of us who are a little older, who got scorched by the fires of disappointment and abused trust, we are rooting for you. We were once as hopeful and now hold you in admiration for taking things to the next level.

Because maybe we got caught looking backwards trying to honor a system of ideas, both taught to us in school and preached by the mainstream media, that was in fact secretly being undermined by our trusted leaders the whole time. If you don’t begrudge us that we came up short, we won’t look at you with envy. Will you perhaps throw us a bone on the way to your triumph?

The Crypto Tax: Bureaucratic Banality Versus Humanity Unchained

The following piece first appeared on Steemit on January 7, 2017:

The cryptocurrency world has been abuzz with indignation about a provision within the recent US tax bill whose implications, under the guise of filling a loophole, threaten to render crypto trading a no-win proposition. But before committing digital hari-kari, let’s dive in and see how it might all play out.

The basic premise is that beyond capital gains on profits, by simply converting one currency to another in order to facilitate a purchase order, every step of crypto trading is considered taxable. But can the letter of the law actually be implemented or enforced? Or is this whole “like-kind, taxable event” scenario just a fear tactic to discourage crypto trading when there is neither the brainpower nor the capacity to follow through?

Perhaps in truth it is the IRS bogeyman that should get chills down his own spine thinking about the impossible workload created by this hastily written provision. A commenter I saw on YouTube said he would set a bot to conduct a million trades valued at one cent each, then send the IRS a single sheet of paper for each trade. Imagine if only one thousand people pulled this stunt—does the IRS even have the logistical capacity, let alone enough skilled analysts, to process this paperwork?

Who would develop the software to track all of the trades? Would people currently working within the blockchain community itself suddenly decide to work for the “good guys?” Or would some hackers be forced into it like Frank Abagnale from “Catch Me If You Can?” Beyond that, how many tax preparers are competent in this area? Probably close to zero!

Back to the IRS, this is nothing like auditing people in the 1960-2000 era when there were real assets like boats and mountain lodges to confiscate. Today’s young Americans at best only got to taste that kind of wealth if their parents were affluent—and as adults all they have for the government to take is their time, energy, and brainpower.

This is a profound change because for so long people in the affluent West have been able to achieve fulfillment in a way that people in the Third World have not. The impoverished billions who lack access to infrastructure or banking languish like a fallow field or an oil cartel’s reserves—but now we also struggle just to maintain our quality of life, let alone reach our creative potential while battling through inflation, outsourcing, market crashes, costly wars, and staggering debt loads.

So why hold on to the America Dream when it’s been taken from us and there are no institutions to believe in anymore? With such small room for error compared to previous generations, how many of us can break through economically via traditional methods to extricate ourselves from the thirty day cycle of terror and live comfortably?

The maturing web has established deep roots of connection across the world, and as mankind comes to the realization that we have all been artificially stunted, we are screaming to be set free. As painful as it is to think that your own country’s policies and muscle contribute to this status quo of stagnation—one step forward, two steps back—but the past seventeen disillusioning years speak for themselves.

And yet out of the frustrating ashes of the 2008 financial crisis came Bitcoin and blockchain technology, because we can’t all write punk rock anthems or protest in the street wearing Guy Fawkes masks. Today the Crypto Revolutionaries are withdrawing billions from the petrodollar system in a quiet civil war that’s part John Galt and part Tyler Durden. But unlike Iraq or Libya, which also sought financial independence, the system can’t invade or bomb us because we live within their cities.

The prescient see this technology as a fresh breeze that will clear away needless paperwork, regulations, and systemic inefficiencies. Meanwhile political manipulators use the potential loss of jobs as a fear tactic to stall new infrastructures that altogether bypass the need for their grandstanding. It’s this typical “jobs at any cost” mantra that is too shortsighted to consider that many obsolete or pointless occupations will be replaced by new, more relevant work.

Perhaps the government will try some high-profile prosecutions like Wesley Snipes to keep people in line, but if so, it means they just don’t have their finger on the national pulse—which is disgust, punctuated by exhaustion, that has morphed into fearlessness. People are quietly “going off the grid,” and not by moving to a yurt out in the country, but by sending their dollars down the escape hatch away from fiat tyranny into the open horizon of the crypto realm.

So the longstanding dream of abolishing the IRS may not be necessary if it simply ends up starving—and therefore the recent sneaky tax provision is likely a “too little, too late” salvo from this desperate and ossified bureaucracy. It is up against too many sharp minds competing in a technological arms race that will have its own winners and losers, but ultimately may very well change the world.

Right now within the microcosm, we’re witnessing the timeless tale of mediocre people who fear not getting any credit for what the producers create. Their shortsighted greed cannot grasp that a rising tide lifts all boats, let alone that disruptive innovations can create opportunities that are more significant and meaningful than the tax-chasing and compliance-enforcing banality that comprises their lives today.

So grab your wallets and saddle up, we’re riding deeper into the Digital Wild West…

Is Our Dirty Laundry Ready for Blockchain’s Disinfecting Sunlight?

The following piece first appeared on Steemit on December 27, 2017:

In the previous article we explored how blockchain, in finally holding The Powers That Be accountable for their crooked ways, might provoke an “empire strikes back” defensive response. Because indeed, corrupt industries that feed off taxpayers and destabilize nations will not give up the golden goose easily, and therefore we should prepare for a fight.

But assuming that the juggernaut of this public-ledger technology ultimately wins out against the monolith of military, government, and big banks, let’s consider how blockchain might affect us on the micro level. While digital developers are usually earnest, cerebral people who tend to come from a naively idealistic perspective, in an ironic twist it is the likes of pornographers and drug dealers that often first adopt and enhance their technological “gifts to the world.”

So the question is how will vice—not to mention people just trying to get by in an imperfect world—be affected by and react to the purifying sunlight of blockchain? Is our human essence endangered at this intersection of amorality, immorality, pragmatism, and idealism? Will we all forfeit the chance to grow or be forgiven when our every fault is hanging out on this figurative clothesline?

It’s as if blockchain by definition is on a collision course with human nature itself, where in making our every action public that last bit of wild animal is re-engineered out of us. Will such scrutiny cause us to lose the magic that edgy, non-conformists create? Will abstract mental leaps that we often make when intoxicated or uninhibited be stifled by self-consciousness imposed by the hyperlinked public spreadsheet?

In today’s global village, you might never see the same face at the grocery store, and you honk at other drivers because you don’t know any of them personally. But the ledger of the blockchain may force our psyches back into what life was like in the days of “The Scarlet Letter.” Or to paraphrase the Borg, “You will be moralized.”

Because blockchain could be seen on the micro level as a forced return to chaste, small town living where shame is the motivating factor in people’s behavior. Where everyone knows each other’s business and is judged for their smallest actions. However, in the past this was done for the greater good of the town’s survival—everything was interconnected, each craftsman and farmer was in business together, and there was no centralized power grid or foreign factory to rely on for goods and services.

So the danger now lies in the fact that while the ability to know our neighbors’ foibles increases—think online stalking times a hundred—since we don’t need to trust each other, we’re allowed to recoil in horror rather than empathize, forgive, or help them. If we’re not careful we might turn into monsters, ruthless and righteous toward each other without the context or personal connection that would soften such haughty judgments.

On the other end of the spectrum, this could all lead to a rebirth of the Ben Franklin Renaissance Man spirit and a return to eighteenth or nineteenth century style of local control. Where each town has a unique identity, its own currencies, its own beer and whiskey recipes. The ultimate form of decentralization and empowered communities as the human animal is unyoked and unleashed to create and share.

A final consideration: once we start turning over rocks high and low, there’s no telling where it will stop or what we will uncover. Just how dark is the dark web, and do we really have the stomach to look? Are we ready to know just how many foreigners are squatting across the country? Do we really want to try to rein in the various underground economies? What percentage of storefronts exist solely for money laundering purposes?

Hopefully open discussions about such implications will help us monitor blockchain technology’s impact on us, because I believe ultimately the takedown of large-scale corruption will be a net-positive resulting in a cornucopia for all. If we can manage the effects on our private lives to ensure human dignity, the bigger payday is a release from the compounding weight of corruption, debt, and hidden perversion that has us in a vise grip. Already trillions of dollars have been stolen, countless lives have been needlessly redirected and stunted by state power—imagine the possibilities if we are liberated from so many middle men, regulations, and the hundred ways our money is siphoned off.

Maybe the best way to use the blockchain revolution as a controlled burn against the old way of doing business is to offer blanket immunity on a national level. Amnesty from malfeasance and repudiation of all debts. A backdated reprieve for every pen we stole from our employer and every mansion a member of the Pentagon’s brass paid for with “black budget” funds. Everyone goes free for the sake of the future.

And if that’s what it takes to harness the clearer future that blockchain’s elegant simplicity promises, then we would be fools to waste years seeking righteous punitive measures. Everyone has skeletons in their closet, and if we are not biologically wired to live in an all-seeing, all-listening, all-storing surveillance state, then we are definitely not prepared to have our drawers and spreadsheets put under the public microscope.

The young generation of today seems fueled by a philosophy of specialized idealism that is so optimistic because they have flipped the power of the state on its head, personally empowering themselves with the same technological tools that were meant to enslave them. Can the rest of us find some of this fearless zest to overcome skeptical dread of the unknown? Because the next block on that chain truly is unwritten…

Blockchain Transparency Versus Establishment Corruption: The Coming Showdown

The following piece first appeared on Steemit on December 17, 2017:

Bitcoin’s recent surge in price to astronomical levels has launched blockchain awareness out of the shadows and onto the tip of everyone’s tongue. Beyond dreams of making a quick buck or developing new currencies not tied to central banking, this technology’s triple-entry bookkeeping concept is a revolution in accurate and trackable data management.

Whereas single-entry bookkeeping was naturally prone to error, the double-entry method which we have used for centuries still leaves ample room for malfeasance. Only now with the convergence of technology and worldwide internet connectivity is this new redundant and transparent method possible.

Today many people from all walks of life are bitter about how central banking and globalism have made a hell of the modern world, particularly when things seemed so promising at the turn of the century. In the wake of so much disillusionment, disruptive technologies such as blockchain and cryptos are seen by some as potential saviors enabling wealth extraction from a corrupt system as well as offering a people-first economic approach.

But this rebellious and idealistic dream may in fact open a Pandora’s Box of unintended consequences that few people have considered. Buckle up for a winding ride as we make some startling connections.

First consider what blockchain promises: transparency, accountability, security, a perpetual paper trail that is both easily accessible and which cannot be forged or altered. Ostensibly this is what everyone in society wants: realistic, accurate data so one is able to make confident decisions.

But looking back on the past fifteen-plus years of life in America, it seems as if the real-world playbook preaches the antithesis of this forthright philosophy. On September 10, 2001, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced in a press conference that the Pentagon could not account for $2.3 trillion dollars. And today that number exceeds $10 trillion, making a person wonder if our system is not only susceptible to corruption, but in fact deeply rooted in such obfuscation—and not simply to get ahead or even survive, but as an extension of its true identity.

Some other major events with shady overtones are: the 9/11 attack itself which resulted in a double insurance payout for the World Trade Center’s new owner Larry Silverstein. The subsequent 2003 invasion of Iraq led to billions of dollars being paid to private contractors, convoys to nowhere as chronicled in the 2007 documentary “No End in Sight,” and even pallets of cash totaling $12 billion being dropped all over Iraq—as if someone wanted to fund a new insurgency into existence, and which now haunts us to this day in the form of ISIS.

Also of interest is the 2006 documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car?” which explores how the late 90s General Motors EV1 was subsequently recalled and destroyed seemingly without cause. Yet only shortly afterward the hybrid revolution began with models like the Toyota Prius, and shortly followed by all-electric models from Tesla and the Chevy.

It’s as if the EV1’s only fault was in preempting the oil industry’s timetable for phasing out the combustion engine. It’s like some weird mishmash of the movies “The Formula” and “The Big Short.” In the former, George C. Scott tries to track down a WWII-era synthetic oil formulation, and in the latter Christian Bale finds that the big banks delay paying him off for his prescient gamble until they themselves have found a position to be able to also profit off the deal.

Which is a perfect segue to another dark moment of our time, the multi-trillion dollar bailouts for Wall Street in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. While millions of Americans lost retirement savings and homes to foreclosure, the government propped up “too big to fail” institutions by way of virtually unlimited funds with no oversight. Somehow the country has remained overtly functional for the last nine years, but the detritus and lingering resentment under the surface probably was one ingredient that led to the surprise election of political newbie Donald Trump last year.

The most recent macro lie of significance is the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act, which has caused so much financial and mental aggravation in recent years—not to mention all the extra paperwork. Needless to say its failed launch, being upheld by the Supreme Court through the semantic loophole of calling its mandate “a tax,” and the pragmatic scrambling of health insurance carriers away from such a disaster, has left a nasty film of resentment across the land which is ignored only by the most enamored Obama supporters.

Bottom line on the ACA: mountains of money have been wasted, healthcare has diminished both in options and quality, and people are suffering and dying. No amount of catchy jingles or billboards full of happy hipsters can gloss over such a horrendously flawed program. We still await final reckoning for this debacle while many Americans come to grips with the fact that changing their diet and exercise habits is a more reliable fix than holding out for some single-payer system to replace the ACA.

Now, to bring this all back to blockchain, consider if any of these major events had been subjected to the honest accounting that this new technology promises. How would the American people have reacted to some Pentagon bureaucrat authorizing millions of dollars of hundred-dollar bills being loaded up onto pallets (as happened for a second time when Obama airdropped $400 million in cash to Iran in 2016)?

Consider the Red Cross, a charity so inefficient that it has drawn boycotts in the wake of recent disasters. And what if triple-entry accounting had been implemented while the Clinton Foundation operated in Haiti? Now are you starting to see the showdown that’s out on the horizon?

Let’s explore: several years ago I told a close friend that the upcoming young generation is a unique combination of selfish and altruistic values that may very well save us all. They’re so spoiled on a personal level yet aggressively seek equity for apparently every living person on Earth. I think the recent wave of racial advocacy and sexual harassment claims is but a raw expression of this core value which desires transparency and truth.

But what this generation doesn’t yet see is that beneath individual cases of perversion or the nebulous legacy of “white privilege,” is a monstrous wall of corruption which has ensnared this country at least since the end of WWII. And if they think they can just overturn every rock in the name of the fairness that blockchain promises, they are in for a brutal fight.

The “empire” is not going down just because some androgynous college students gather in the streets. If TPTB can’t first absorb you (by adopting, co-opting, or integrating Bitcoin, for example), they will attack you with all their might. Because we’re not just talking about charities that cook their books, or individual taxpayers who try to shave off a couple thousand dollars they owe each year.

We’re talking about major institutions that operate for decades and whose tentacles extend across the world. The web of incestuous DC insiders who siphon off billions of dollars from “flyover country” on an annual basis while they cycle through cushy government and private sector jobs. The nexus fromWall Street to Congress which creates the illusion of solvency, functionality, and even indignation when it makes good theater to keep the human livestock at work and paying taxes.

Bottom line, if the Idealistic Generation gets its way they may very well expose and undermine this smokescreen of prosperity and functionality to collapse the very paradigm itself. If programs like Social Security, Medicaid, and various pensions are revealed as indebted beyond redemption, then the currently accepted world construct where America is the central linchpin will be fractured. Chaos will ensue as the power vacuum seeks to be filled by the likes of China or Russia, or taken advantage of by rogue states or death-obsessed ideologues.

But if this is the real gambit that SJW activists are precipitating beneath their anti-Trump rhetoric, do they even realize it? How many of them have the vision to see where the momentum is headed, considering how immature, erroneous, and shortsighted their internal GPS seems to be?

So how does a person with the prescience to see blockchain’s value act or invest when the best-case scenario of the coming collision poses the danger of a soft civil war where one side seeks an undefined equity at all costs, and the Goliath in charge seeks not to just save its own skin but prevent a devastating worldview earthquake which could destabilize the present balance to the point of no recovery for centuries?

Considering the political climate both in DC and among the public, is it hyperbole to fear that America is on the precipice of losing its standing in the world? The DC swamp draining revelations may be so demoralizing as to be unrecoverable for our shocked nation.

And if blockchain actually threatens to reveal the entire global economy as nothing but an insolvent Ponzi scheme full of debt bubbles, skimming from the till, money laundering, drug running, and human trafficking—then is there even a strong enough bridge to get from the ugly status quo to that idealistic and transparent other side?

I foresee a lot of blood, lost fortunes, and collapsed infrastructure before that day ever comes. So invest in crypto all you want, but just be sure to have some canned food and loaded brass to protect your cold, hard wallets.