Friday, November 29, 2013

Why One Bitcoin Will Be Worth More than One Troy Ounce of Gold

Coming from someone who is invested in both the answer is simple: you can easily hold and spend Bitcoins, or BTC. As a currency, BTC is infinitely better than gold.

Gold is a relic of a prehistoric monetary system. It is not suited for the modern digital economy. Paper money was a solution to the inherent inconvenience of gold. Bank-backed gold certificates of the deposits were used as money simply because of convenience. Unfortunately, banks started to issue more of these certificates than they actually had on hand. Moreover, the issuance of paper money enabled the rise of a powerful and elite class of bankers that to this day that remains outside of public scrutiny. Bitcoins were invented to circumvent the dilution of currencies via governments and fractional-reserve banking.

Bitcoins are more suited to the modern global economy. Like gold, there is a limited supply of them. But unlike gold, they are easily transmitted from payer to payee via the internet. For this very reason, Bitcoins are a more legitimate investment than gold is. However, in the event of societal collapse gold will be the only asset that will still "work." I don't see such a collapse happening anytime soon so I recommend investing more of your hard-earned cash in BTC than gold.

Monday, November 4, 2013

My first world problem: Cruddy products put out by Samsung, Google, and Verizon

Ever since I got this device I've had problems. I originally bought it when it first launched in 2011. Before that I had a Samsung Galaxy S which had GPS problems like you wouldn't believe. I took a leap of faith with this Google backed Samsung phone and thought it was a good decision. It has taken many years of tinkering and updates to finally get it working as a daily. LTE is absolutely horrid on this phone. It is slow and eats battery life like candy. To make it usable I have disabled LTE on this LTE-capable device. The reasons get pretty technical but basically Verizon phones are on CDMA but LTE is based on the GSM standard. The Galaxy Nexus has 2 radios, one for each system.

Android 4.2.1 also had its share of problems. Bluetooth was broken on it and it would crash and the phone would self-reboot once in a while. Unfortunately, this is the latest official version of this phone. Google released 4.3 many months ago but Verizon has not pushed the update out onto the phones. Sprint is pushed out the update at the end of October 2013. To remedy my bluetooth woes I am using Shiny ROM 4.3 which some awesome developer produced for those that love this phone (or simply because they are stuck with it).

Now I am at a crossroad. I love the customizability of the Android platform and what you can do with it. However, I just want a darn functional phone and if it took 2 years to update this phone into something usable then I don't know what to say. Just when things are finally turning around, Google has decided to abandon support of the Galaxy Nexus. Kit Kat is not coming with official support.

Is it because Google has finally figured things out in terms of hardware?

I don't think so. The Nexus 5 is impressive but after seeing 2/3 Nexus 4's die of the flashing red LED I I will stay away.

I'm tired of being patient with you Google. My next phone may very well be an iPhone. The build quality and reliability of Apple products is undeniable.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Banks Charging Money for Deposits? Outrageous says Zerohedge

According to my good friend Tyler over at zerohedge, the Bank of New York's decision to charge institutional accounts with large amounts of cash is heresy. He states that it is a move to drive holders of cash into ponzi investments like US treasuries.

I would like to remind him that that is how banking institutions used to work. They used to charge depositors of gold a storage fee. When those first banks started to loan out certificates of redeemable gold, they became immediately susceptible to bank runs because they would never have all their depositors' coins on hand.

This move by the BoNY needs to be replicated across all banks so that people get accustomed to being charged for having money at banks. Only then can we systematically set up banks that don't lend out money but instead only charged depositors a storage fee. Those banks will never have a run and bailouts will no longer be necessary.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Top 1%

I came across this fascinating article that was shared via a facebook friend. It breaks down the top 1% into more categories and goes over how they became wealthy, what bennefits they enjoy, and just how effing hard it is to "make it."


Since the majority of those in this group [the lower half of the top 1%] actually earned their money from professions and smaller businesses, they generally don't participate in the benefits big money enjoys. Those in the 99th to 99.5th percentile lack access to power. For example, most physicians today are having their incomes reduced by HMO's, PPO's and cost controls from Medicare and insurance companies; the legal profession is suffering from excess capacity, declining demand and global outsourcing; successful small businesses struggle with increasing regulation and taxation. I speak daily with these relative winners in the economic hierarchy and many express frustration.

Unlike those in the lower half of the top 1%, those in the top half and, particularly, top 0.1%, can often borrow for almost nothing, keep profits and production overseas, hold personal assets in tax havens, ride out down markets and economies, and influence legislation in the U.S. They have access to the very best in accounting firms, tax and other attorneys, numerous consultants, private wealth managers, a network of other wealthy and powerful friends, lucrative business opportunities, and many other benefits. Most of those in the bottom half of the top 1% lack power and global flexibility and are essentially well-compensated workhorses for the top 0.5%, just like the bottom 99%. In my view, the American dream of striking it rich is merely a well-marketed fantasy that keeps the bottom 99.5% hoping for better and prevents social and political instability. The odds of getting into that top 0.5% are very slim and the door is kept firmly shut by those within it.

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is this: A highly complex and largely discrete set of laws and exemptions from laws has been put in place by those in the uppermost reaches of the U.S. financial system. It allows them to protect and increase their wealth and significantly affect the U.S. political and legislative processes. They have real power and real wealth. Ordinary citizens in the bottom 99.9% are largely not aware of these systems, do not understand how they work, are unlikely to participate in them, and have little likelihood of entering the top 0.5%, much less the top 0.1%. Moreover, those at the very top have no incentive whatsoever for revealing or changing the rules. I am not optimistic.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Capitalism Distorts the Value of Life

How does one define capitalism? To me, capitalism is the unbridled pursuit of more and more money at any cost. It is greed. However, greed is a human emotion, a human desire. Capitalism is greed on the level of an entire society. It is an entire civilization saying it is okay to desire more money and power without considering the consequences.

Under capitalism, anything rare has a price. "How is this of value to me?" becomes the modus operandi for living and for life. Cash nexus, or trying to put a price on everything, is a process that distorts the true value of commodities, relationships, and ultimately of life.

Capitalism is being able to make and sell widgets for more money than it costs you. It does not take into consideration the sustainability of resources. It is only concerned with making more money. Capitalism is shortsighted, only able to see short-term financial gains and nothing more.

Such a simple concept is illustrated by Dr. Seuss's "The Lorax." Only when unsustainability threatens profits does it become a consideration.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

End Central Banking Now

We are anonymous.

The leeches (central bankers) have taken over the host (society). we must fight this infection.

The banks get the big spenders elected who get the US in more debt and more at the mercy and control of the bankers who make the money out of thin air and loan it at interest to the United States.

I am tired of paying 45% tax (35% Federal + 10% State) just to service old debt. Where are the old UNITED STATES NOTES that were declared the only legitimate currency by the Founding Fathers?

The old "United States Notes" were issued debt-free by the treasury.

Our new "Federal Reserve Notes" come with interest and are obligations of the U.S. government. Therefore, under the current regime of money creation, without the national debt there would be no money.

The Fed buys bonds to fund government spending with money it makes out of thin air. Instantly, the U.S. government's money has interest attached to it- interest that has to be paid by future generations through taxation.

The government is a slave to the banksters. We are slaves to the government. Ergo, we are the bankers' slaves.

Toil away, minions. Keep on running on the rat wheel without seeing who put you on there.

Central Banks and the income tax need to be abolished. The power to issue currency needs to go back to the treasury.

We are anonymous.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Peak Homo Sapien Sapiens. The Coming Catastrophe

We live in interesting times. For most of human history, our numbers dwindled below 1 billion globally. It wasn't until 1804 that we reached 1 billion because of technological advances resulting from fossil fuels. For most of human history, we had relied on the sun for energy. Whatever fell from the skies and was captured by plants and converted into chemical energy was the energy that we could use.

When fossil fuels were discovered and started to be used, we were tapping into vast stores of chemical energy. It was energy that had been captured by plants and animals eons earlier. There's nothing wrong with using it but we must use the "energy piggy banks" gifted to us with great responsibility because it simply won't last forever.
Instead, we have greedily and rapaciously used these fossil fuel reservoirs to our own detriment. The burning of fossil fuels releases Earth-warming greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. These gasses will permanently alter global weather patterns and make agriculture more difficult and unpredictable. Unfortunately, the current economic paradigm calls for infinite growth and ignores the limits and capacity of the Earth.
I tried to debate the limits of growth with an economic professor but it was like arguing with a pigeon. He believed that humans populations and economies can sustain infinitesimal growth. He refused to draw connections between the study of life (biology) and the study of human life (economics). This arrogance of people, of our own superiority to Mother Nature, is what will get us all killed.

We must realize the truth: that the Earth is a closed biosphere and that what we are doing to it: our unbridled consumption, our daily choice to take the car to go 1 block to the store on the corner; and our sense of entitlement will be the end of us.

What do we do? Use less energy. Money is energy so vote with your wallet. Recycle. Fix and reuse what you can. Don't buy into the Black Friday hype. Save your money for a rainy day.