21 December 2013

The future of Bitcoin

[One of a series of articles.] So far I’ve talked about Bitcoin myths and how Bitcoin is in a speculative bubble. In this article I’m going to discuss Bitcoin’s future. My view regarding the long term future of Bitcoin is fairly simple: I maintain that it doesn’t have one. And not just because there are pre-existing superior digital cash systems. No, the fact that better digital cash systems were invented in the 90s points at the fact that there are specific reasons why they haven’t taken off, and that it’s not to do with technology. ... Read more

20 December 2013

Bitcoin and quantitative easing

Update 2015-08-16: People told me I was wrong, and Bitcoin could never be forked. And then suddenly, Bitcoin was deliberately forked… Update 2017-12-01: Bitcoin was forked again, and the fork was a success (i.e. it kept value). So now, inevitably, there are half a dozen more forks planned. Original 2013 article follows: It’s frequently stated that Bitcoin is finite, that there can be exactly 21 million Bitcoins, and that’s it. ... Read more

19 December 2013

Explaining Bitcoin

[One of a series of articles.] You’ve probably heard about Bitcoin. You might not really understand what it’s all about though, so here’s my non-technical explanation. Imagine you’re growing tulips. Anyone can grow tulips, but it takes time and energy, which puts a limit on the number of tulips around. However, they have no intrinsic value; you can’t use them to heat your home or feed your kids. But, people like them, they’re pretty. ... Read more

10 December 2013

NSA ♥ Facebook

A while back, the Washington Post reported on a set of leaked NSA slides that most people seem to have ignored. There was one interesting piece of data in the report that I think deserves more attention. On the slide titled “Address Books” is a table setting out how many people’s address books have been collected, and how many are “Attributed” — that is, how many allow the NSA to tie an online ID to a real named person. ... Read more

26 November 2013


Texas has some of the safest cities in the US — but the fourth highest incarceration rate of any state. In part, this is because it was one of the first states to establish a “three strikes” law, which (combined with the disastrous “war on drugs”) helped triple the prison population during the 80s and 90s. Things are getting better now, but there’s still a long way to go. In the mean time, it’s conservatively estimated that over 4,600 children in Travis County alone have an incarcerated parent. ... Read more

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