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Ether Mind

2010 - Welcome to the Future!
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Friday, December 21, 2007

Tales of the Cypherpunk 12

While Shilo dangled above the city, Moe was part of it. She melded so completely with all the cultures and fashions and currents of people that it seemed she was born to be a spy - but no, she couldn't be, not her. No native could be so perfectly natural, sipping Kahlua latte in the corner of the shop. Long, dark red hair. Full, moist red lips. Black leather, waist-hugging jacket with demure lapels, grey cotton T, dark blue wranglers and crossed legs. She leaned back in her lounge chair and her couture uncovered her right eye, for once.

"It's pronounced 'mo-eh'," she said. "It's not short for anything. Just short. I wish it were three syllables, one for each letter, but it's not."

" 'mm-o-eh'? " the mark asked, in a fit of punctuation.

Tyson drew his eyebrows together but said nothing. His green tea was nearly untouched.

"Not the same ring to it," said Mo-eh. "Well, speaking of trisyllabisms, were you able to get it?"

"Well, uh," the mark squirmed, "it looks like they're not available right now. I can't promise anything, but can you give me an expiration date? So if I get it, I'll let you know."

Moe sighed, delicately massaged her temple with two fingers. "Wednesday, at the latest. Well, hey, Joe, it was great talking to you, but Ty and I have to get going. People to do, things to see."

"Right, sure."

The mark left.

Moe smiled slightly.

Tyson sipped his tea. "What was that all about? You're buying information?"

Moebatted her eyelashes at him and stuck out her lips. "That's why you're not the S-2. If I actually told people what I wanted, they'd probably bomb the office. So far, Allah knows why, they're only after Shy. They don't want us dead, but" she took a drink and checked for surveillance "they want information. Now, I've been probing the opfor and this guy just confirmed my guess. He can't get me the database I asked for because the only person with access is unavailable. HR says she's been at work every day this week, but the custodians haven't taken any trash out of her office. She is only responding to emails. My flowers weren't even delivered. Now this guy stood to make a meg if he found her, but he couldn't."

"So.. she's the one our client may have. What does she do?"

"Here's the fun part."

Legos as Capitalist Running-dogs

Some commies in WA decided that their day care subjects were learning unhealthy things by playing with legos. Obviously they're idiots, but I can't really blame them for trying to ensure fair play and wotnot.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

NYT sends innocent dog to Iraq to die

They lied about WMD, too.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Ron Paul Blimp

Very rarely do I see something politically-related that's THIS funny.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Tales of the Cypherpunk 11

How had fate caught Shilo at such an impasse? He hung thousands of feet above the concrete jungle by a wire. He pulled himself along a flimsy metal rail attached, by suction cups, to the smooth concrete undersurface of a great bridge. These suction cups were not particularly strong or technologically advanced; occasionally, Shilo could hear one pop loose. There were, simply, a lot of them.

His heart did not skip. Hooks on his instep rested precariously on the rail; a pathetically thin wire was stretched from his belt to a third hook; His hands were held fast by the strength of their fingertips. Hand over hand he pulled himself forward, unable to look ahead. Behind, the bridge and clinging rail disappeared into darkness. Below, far, far below, the lights of the city illuminated an atmosphere like smoke, but there were no details or sounds.

Shilo himself was nearly invisible, clothed from head to toe in darkness. The whites of his eyes were dimmed behind lenses that sat flush with a skier's mask. Was it worn for warmth in the night sky? Was it caprice to emulate the burglars of fiction past? Seen from some meters away, Shilo's movement was just another twinkling of the stars around him. Hand over hand, he continued.

The silence, unheard in the lower levels of the city, was nothing new to an antisocial cypher. What irritated him was the silence in his head. It was unconscious, like a two-day growth of stubble. He'd turned off his AI, Misori, last. How long had her image been running, handling his housework? She had shut down every process, and then his wireless chip, and then, in an unusual fit of interaction, asked for confirmation that he really wanted to shut down the core.

Her soul evaporated instantly when power failed to refresh the core capacitors.

Now, alone, without even the subliminal whine of EM in his brain, Shilo felt a mass approach below. It was a clinging droplet of city, anchored to the bottom of the bridge by a cubist's interpretation of a hyperboloid. To someone, anyone, unfamiliar with modern engineering it would appear that the structure hung from the bridge's keystone; in fact, the bridge was supported by the structure and an enormous reservoir of Hydrogen gas inside. It was onto the impossibly steep and slippery slope of this thing that Shilo fell when he released his grip.

He did not fall further. He turned like a cat and landed with hands and feet, back arched, center of gravity nearly over the abyss. He slid his hands and feet across glass, never lifting one until he reached a gently humming air intake.

Regaining Currency

Floating money like ours has no intrinsic value, which isn't so bad. If the government collapses and the money's backed by gold, it's not like you're going to get your gold back. The problem is that people say our national debt doesn't matter and mention that Americans have 72000000000000$ or so saved up. Well, yah, but that's a whole lotta nothing.

The gold standard is worse. First, the money supply needs to be constantly proportional to the size of the world economy in order to avoid inflation. However, this implies that as the economy grows, we must find more gold. Otherwise the growing money supply will be backed by less and less gold, which would confuse people with the paradoxical implications of zero inflation and high inflation occuring simultaneously.

If a basket of commodities including gold is used as a standard, then similar problems occur, but instead of one problem you have something like N! problems, which, in layman's terms, is bad. Also, most commodities are either perishable or finite in number.

If the commodities are locked up in Fort Knox, then all the loot is going to waste. If it's distributed through the economy by some futures scheme or something, then it's not really "backing" the currency in a very comforting way.

The solution is to use some sort of stock index as currency. There would be constant deflation, but that would be largely irrelevant (or a good thing) since all of the world's savings would be invested in economic growth.

This system is only feasible with ubiquitous IT, not to mention the cooperation of or abolition of governments. To avoid a disastrous mismanagement of the index, multiple varieties of currency would have to compete. These would have to be easily, instantly converted from one to another at point of sale. They would also have to be managed by private companies, which has been illegal for a few centuries, in order to minimize the use of the index's clout to pursue political objectives.

Though in the end, paper money is just paper when the bombs fall.