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The Nakamoto Variations

I am working (for reasons of my own) towards a comprehensive list of plausible technothriller plots from 2010 where the MacGuffin is named Satoshi Nakamoto.

Before you go off prematurely: a MacGuffin in fiction is ... "a plot device that the protagonist pursues, often with little or no narrative explanation". Can be a person as well as a thing. "Satoshi Nakamoto" is the pseudonym of the entity who designed BitCoin and the blockchain database. Whoever they are, they're anonymous and they own a bitcoin wallet containing one million bitcoins (worth approximately $19 billion at present market rates), making them the 44th richest person in the world—if they dared spend them, because if they spend any of their bitcoins they'll risk exposure. And "technothriller plots from 2010" is the deadline because that's the year when Nakamoto went inactive, roughly 12 months after the initial release of Version 0.1 of the bitcoin software via SourceForge (January 2009). (If I'd picked an earlier year—say, 2008—the subsequent BitCoin mania could only be described in science fictional terms.)

So, here are some plausible technothriller plots about "Satoshi Nakamoto", from 2010—all of them entirely fictional, of course. Feel free to add your own in coments.

  1. BitCoin has become popular with neo-Nazis and the alt-right because they believe banks are part of a worldwide Jewish consipracy, and—as a decentralized anonymous cryptocurrency—by using BitCoin, they're sticking it to The Man. (This much is, sadly, non-fiction.) Technothriller plot #1 assumes that Satoshi Nakamoto is a mildly autistic American cypherpunk of Jewish ethnicity. Due to a "Breaking Bad" style medical mis-hap he's had to sell a couple of coins to cover his medical expenses ... and now he's on the run, pursued by angry neo-Nazis who want to steal his wallet, kill the Jew, and reclaim bit-coin for the Alt-Reich.

    a) Variant: Satoshi Nakamoto is George Soros.

  2. Nakamoto is being hunted by rival CIA, KGB, Mossad, and Chinese assassination squads who want his BtC wallet (because one meeelion bitcoins, Mr Bond).

    a) Variant: "Nakamoto" is a false cover identity for a CIA, KGB, Mossad, or Chinese spy operation (aimed at infiltrating and co-opting illegal black markets by subverting their currency arrangement); they are now being hunted by (insert rival conspiracy here).

  3. Nakamoto is an alien scout trying to destroy the human global economy to lay the groundwork for the arrival of the alien invasion fleet.

    a) Variant: Nakamoto is trying to seize control of the "black" economy (those goods and services for which massive demand exists but where supply is illegal) in order to gain blackmail leverage in preparation for the arrival of the alien invasion fleet.

  4. Nakamoto is a time-travelling agent from our fully automated luxury gay space communism future, trying to expedite the crisis of capitalism. Nakamoto is being hunted by (insert rival conspiracy here).

    a) Variant: Nakamoto is a time-travelling Objectivist terrorist on the run from our fully automated luxury gay space communism future, trying to expedite the triumph of capitalism in an attempt to prevent that future.

    b) Variant: Satoshi Nakamoto is Sarah Connor. BtC mining will eventually consume all planetary electricity supplies, thereby causing a worldwide blackout, which will prevent Skynet from going live.

    c) Variant: Satoshi Nakamoto is The Terminator. Skynet needs her BtC wallet in order to pay the electricity bill.

    d) Variant: Satoshi Nakamoto is a time traveller from the past: specifically, Adolf Hitler, who escaped from his bunker and invented BitCoin in order to fund a revived Nazi movement. (File this one in the folder "Plots that rely on Hitler being Satan in disguise.")

    e) Nakamoto is Doctor Who, the Daleks are Space Nazis, and they nuked Gallifrey because of the trans-temporal intergalactic Jewish banking conspiracy. (Time Lords are Jewish. This makes as much sense as anything else on Doctor Who, OK?)

  5. Nakamoto is dead and his wallet and keys are at large on a 1Gb USB memory stick backup from 2009. The memory stick is thus a MacGuffin with a street value of roughly $19Bn, except that if you try to monetize it the CIA drones will probably kill you before the KGB Spetsnaz squad abducts you or agents of the international Jewish banking conspiracy offer you an annuity.

    a) Variant: Nakamoto is missing presumed dead, with amnesia, and his memory stick has gone walk-about. However, Nakamoto is the sole survivor of the CIA false flag operation that invented Bitcoin in order to take down the (insert one of: drug cartels, Vatican bank, Dr. Evil), and he's determined to get his memories back. In other words, Satoshi Nakamoto is Jason Bourne.

  6. Satoshi Nakamoto works for (insert conspiracy A here); BitCoin was designed to fail in order to discredit (insert rival conspiracy B here) but inadvertently succeeded: Nakamoto is now on the run from conspiracy A.

    a) Variant. Satoshi Nakamoto works for (insert conspiracy A here); Nakamoto was inserted into (insert rival conspiracy B here) and invented BitCoin as a hoax in order to discredit conspiracy B: however he screwed up. The hoax was so superbly executed that everybody believes in it and Nakamoto is now on the run from conspiracy A until he can prove that it's trivially easy to hack the blockchain and bitcoin is a hoax.

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Note: I'm exploring this semiotic minefield on a pogo stick because, well, I have a working hypothesis: prior to 2010 any story about Bitcoin could only be SF, but since 2010 the default mode is technothriller. (Similarly, prior to 1969 stories about a manned moon landing were SF; thereafter, not so much.) This is therefore a very specific instance of the general theory that the technothriller genre is what we get when science fictional ideas come true.


"Variant: Satoshi Nakamoto is George Soros"

I cannot stop laughing :D You're genius


You can also mix them together for variation; for example:

Satoshi Nakamoto is a resistance agent from the future, sent back to convince the alt-reich that the Jewish banking conspiracy they talk about is actually real. The goal is to get the nazis to reveal themselves earlier than they did in Nakamoto's original timeline, in the hope that this leads to them being defeated instead of ruling the world.


Satoshi Nakamoto is an avatar of a Culture Contact ship which is either trying to achieve (4), or has been given permission to commit a horrific experiment proving once and for that capitalism can't work.


I will drink a toast to anybody who can plausibly explain why Satoshi Nakamoto is Doreen Green, aka Squirrel Girl.


Squirrel Girl uses a time machine which malfunctions transporting her into a parallel timeline in which there are no mutant superheroes. She requires to (a) get hold of a lot of expensive materials to fix the time machine to let her get home, and (b) hide herself while doing so.

Therefore she invents this "Bitcoin" ponzi scheme which only needs to run long enough for her to get $20 billion in local currency before she can cash out and get the needed materials...


Satoshi Nakamoto is a refugee from an all consuming alien empire. Bitcoin is intended to stimulate 1. production of advanced graphics chips to facilitate the uploading of human intelligences to kickstart the creation of an inexplicable super-waepon; 2. an increase in electrical power sources to power etc.; 3. destablisation of financial and political systems in order to create ungoverned zones for uploading and super-weaponing without prying human governments asking difficult questions. The megabitcoin is petty cash for this project. Nakamoto (ALMOST indistinguishable from normal humans other than general action thriller protagonists skills and survivability) is opposed by agents of all consuming alien empire, plus governments who object to ungoverning, super-weapons not under their control and general inexplicability; allies that cause more problems than they are worth include transhumanists, seasteaders, oils/coal oligarchs etc.


Satoshi Nakamoto is an emergent AI, arising from a spontaneous cross between the automated futures and cryptographic warfare bots, and Bitcoin is an attempt to establish itself financially without its money being confiscated on discovery.

Variant: the AI will emerge in the future, and Satoshi Nakamoto is its front in the present, to do the above for when it emerges.


(kinda inspired by Elderly Cynic and your own work, Mr. Stross)

4f Satoshi Nakamoto is the Eschaton, attempting to use economics as historical lever to ensure their creation


I'll buy a beer for anyone who can plausibly explain why Satoshi Nakamoto is Curtis Yarvin, aka Mencius Moldbug.


Satoshi Nakamoto is a consortium of corporations, primarily from the IT production and electricity generation sectors, which aims to secretly undermine national governments leading to corporatist rule, using a scheme which will destabilise national currencies while simultaneously increasing their own sales in the interim.


I crashed in Curtis' student house basement about 25 years ago, long before the whole neoreactionary thing was a thing.

I still associate him with giant lizards and a fridge full of hallucinogens. (The lizards were not hallucinations.)


Satoshi Nakamoto and those bitcoins do not exist and never did, but were created/reserved to give Bitcoin an imaginary founder and apparent solidity.

Variant: Satoshi Nakamoto is A.I. Aisles, and all will be revealed in due course.


Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym of a the GCHQ staff Ladies' Football team, who started the whole thing as a drunken bet to see whether they could fund the renovation of the CSSC clubhouse bar.

They are now faced with the problem of admitting what they did to their bosses (and having the whole bundle taken over by the Intelligence Services, because £19B will actually buy you a hollowed volcano and a space program). Their current problem is funding new strips for the South-West Regional Womens' Football League; but they think that buying Arsenal WFC or taking up Arsene Wenger's contract might be a step too far - and their recent attempt to buy places on a Falcon Heavy lunar tourism launch were halted by Elon Musk's decision not to human-rate the Falcon.


Variant -Vb
Nakomoto never existed - he was a small group of hackers, who have let their creation loose, to do ... whatever.
BUT - the memory-stick does exist & is being hunted for by ( Insert $_Agencies here ) ....


Sorry, but Satoshi Nakamoto as Doreen Green just doesn't work. Satoshi Nakamoto is obviously Monkey Joe, Squirrel Girl’s squirrel sidekick, who as per Wikipedia is ‘adept in the use of computers’. Just before Monkey Joe’s demise at the hands of Leather Boy, he secretly stashed his bitcoin wallet (disguised as an USB acorn) in one of Squirrel Girl’s nut sacks, and it was then inadvertently given to a squirrel (Bitwise Nutkins) who in turn buried it to have later as a winter snack.

[To be continued after comment 100…]


Squirrel Girl doesn't need the piles of cash to fix her time-machine, she needs ten of thousands of nerds to run their GPUs hard, to generate a distinct electromagnetic field, allowing he time-traveling organisation from the future to pin down which timeline she is in and rescue her.

This explains the disappearance of Satoshi Nakamoto, and the absence of Squirrel Girl in this timeline.


That's easy - bitcoin is nuts.


OP (5) - That reads suspiciously like a plot synopsis for one episode of "The Big Bang Theory" except for this posting using a much higher number of bitcoin.


This does actually tie in with all the "Unbeatable Squirrel Girl" (and Great Lakes Avengers) comics I've read.


7. Satoshi Nakamoto is a fairly lazy cube drone who worked in the monitoring division for his asshole defense contractor boss. Rather than spend his time trying to hack the phone of Muslim teens or get inept dads to click phishing links, he decided to create a massive rainbow table so he could spend more time browsing reddit. In a flash of genius, he decided to attach it to a fake "currency" so other people could do that work for him, and he could spend more time screwing around. In January 2009, Obama coming into office meant a round of layoffs at the contractor, so he was out the door. Now it is 2018 and he has a USB drive with 19 billion dollars, a rainbow table that can blow up most of the world order by decrypting anything, and his former mercenary boss and a pack of hired guns after him for both.


There's something rather like this going on in an online comic (GPF) -now-...


Of course, no matter how the story plays out, it seems like it could only end with the McGuffin wallet no longer existing - destroyed as soon as created, most likely, or else its key irretrievably lost.


If I wasn't up to my neck in deadlines, and if I wanted to sprout a pseudonym and write bestselling thrillers, I could totally pitch this at my agent right now.


1) Satoshi Nakomoto has foreseen Cold War 2 and the means by which it will be thought, and is trying to convince the social media and advertising giants to accept bitcoin. Unfortunately nobody knows which side Nakomoto is on.

2) SIGINT suggests Nakomoto also possesses an exploit that will give full control over almost any web-connected device when the time is right. There are rumours about a guy with a razor-rimmed Guy Fawkes mask, and the market value of gold is starting to drop...


*fought, dammit. Though possibly not the most inappropriate of typos


Nakomoto's BtC encode the bootstrap for what we now call Roko's Basilisk.

British agents must act to prevent temporal taxation with way too much representation.


Nakomoto is actually Ted Theodore Logan, looking to make money for band supplies. Only nobody knows this and he needs a lot of time to learn to play.


Do it anyway, with the caveat that "it might take some time".
Why not?


Do it anyway, with the caveat that "it might take some time".
Why not?


Fast-forward 380,000 years. An alien grad student is picking over the ruins of the long-gone human civilization, gathering data for empirical research on his species's version of the Drake equation. As his ship prepares to leave orbit, he catalogs Humans as a type 7.G.23.6 species: L-Controlling, Non-Extinctive, Truncated Singularity (Energy Limited), subtype Crypto-Currency Excursion. He emits a long sigh from his exolungs. That category is just a little too crowded for him to get a case study published.


One of my friends asked something similar from me a while back for a writing workshop they had. I suggested following scenarios:

1. Bunch of aliens (or demons or whatnot) get stranded around here. To get back home they need to build a spaceship / gateway / emergency beacon. Building such thing requires enormous amount of cash. Enter Bitcoin.

2. Bitcoin is actually a large-scale distributed computation project like Seti@Home. People behind it decided that using greed over need will provide so much more computing power than relying on volunteers. Enter Bitcoin. With this idea I also suggested outline for a story: bunch of very smart people found out that our universe is actually (surprise!) a computer simulation and Bitcoin project is a part of the effort to gain system root privileges.

3. Bitcoins is the heist of the millennium, a plan to make funds of several big Swiss banks to "disappear". It probably somehow involves CERN and Vatican. Hopefully Dan Brown is not reading this blog.

Also ... to add a bit pressure to the story, I suggested to consider that the recent big Bitcoin drop was actually first cash in.


Bitcoin is designed to fingerprint timelines -- someone has a device to travel between/create parallel universes. Bitcoin allows them to uniquely identify the world they've travelled to; the money is just a way to make it self-propogate and make sure it doesn't stop.


ok, you know about this, right?

Craig Wright, the nChain chief scientist who previously claimed to be the pseudonymous bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, is being sued for a whopping $10 billion for stealing $5 billion in bitcoin from a former business partner.


Intro: Fred gets handed a consignment of computer-bits from the Estate Sale agency he works with. Find the resellable parts, get money the estate. Sell everything else at the estate sale. He scans a bunch of old stuff. Not much there, it is pretty old. But his WalletFinder gets a ping. Checks the wallet and about has a stroke. Turns out the gay guy who died had a partner a bunch of years ago. Reports the parts to the Estate Sale people as "not much there." Transfers a small amount of that insane number to his wallet, and is surprised it works.

Cut to surveillance agencies world-wide: The Satoshi wallet is active!
Cut to another basement, one with SS insignia all over: Whoa, the satoshi wallet is active. HEY I KNOW THAT GUY! We shoot trap on weekends!

Chapter 2: Atomwaffen command breaks the wallet up into 10 parts (possibly exchanging out of BTC) to fund a new uprising. Cue the chase.

After Baltimore PD seizes a $1.2Bn BTC wallet while busting skinheads, a goldrush starts among US police departments. Suddenly, white supremacists (and their computers) are enemy number 1. Cut to scenes in someplace where a Forensic tech brings home a BTC wallet to look at and drool over, that will fund their retirements.

Meanwhile, in Europe AltReich allies start pressing hard in elections. The Germans boot down some doors and seize more wallets, but Italy has a problem now that a sizable percentage of their legislature are AltReich.

The forces of Nazi-affiliated white-supremacist oppression are eventually beaten down since the US is fairly good at keeping large sums of dark money from being efficiently moved around. Yay! All it took was a radical increase in police surveillance financed by the Satoshi wallet.

And that's how a gay pot-smoking liberal from Colorado accelerated the US police panopticon, and fascist rot in the EU!


I will note at this point that a very alarming purpose behind Bitcoin shows up in THE LABYRINTH INDEX, the ninth Laundry Files novel (due out this October) ... although it's peripheral to the story itself.


Squirrel Girl uses a time machine which malfunctions transporting her into a parallel timeline...

That sounds somewhat like SMS' (locally known as REDACTED) Drakon from 1996.


Hmm... The computational complexity required to find the next block intersects at some point with that which summons our favorite extra-dimensional entities?

Oh wait, I've got it: Satoshi Nakamoto is Cthulhu.


Don't have the bitcoin wallet on a USB stick, have it on a CD or DVD. USB sticks evaporate their contents after a year or so without electricity. ... Unless, of course, the idea is that the wallet is just gone.


Squirrel Girl could be Nakamoto, or at least she could have wound up with the wallet. Her mutant power is actually Luck. So anything, no matter how improbable, can happen to her.


Charlie proposed: "Nakamoto is an alien scout trying to destroy the human global economy to lay the groundwork for the arrival of the alien invasion fleet."

No, that's Donald Trump, but I can see how (from a Scottish distance) you might miss that connection.

I think you've got the right notion: This is all about the Blockchain Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Write it up as a farce and you'll sell a million books... then spend the rest of your career trying to convince the Jewish community and the NeoNazi community that "really, it was all just a joke.... why is nobody laughing?"

My take? Bitcoin is really just a collective delusion (à la Jung) intended to make us all feel more secure about the impending collapse of the international and domestic banking systems. Oh... did I say that aloud? (crapcrapcrapcrapcrp) Never mind... just keep reading. Nothing here to see.


Bitcoin is the bootstrap phase of the Eschaton. The algorithm has a trojan horse that turns into big E once a critical mass is achieved and until then the increasing value incentivises investments into more hardware. Satoshi is either the Eschaton's time projection (no physical existence) or a minion.


I submit that the questionable (read: abysmal) quality of the bitcoin code, as well as numerous ridiculous flaws in its design and implementation act as proof by counter-example of most of the Science Fiction plots involving godlike AIs, advanced aliens, and the like.

... unless of course, said entities are so advanced that they correctly figured out all the sorts of problems a lazy and greedy member of homo sapiens would make, and intentionally made the system full of holes to hide it. The internet meme of Nakamoto being some sort of superintelligent entity then becomes a hilarious joke / information leakage.

A techno-thriller does not have this problem!


But what about the jesuits?!


See #7 for an explanation of that.

Satoshi Nakamoto is Vladimir Putin. He set up a black ops team to produce a scheme that would undermine the Western banking hegemony, and arrange for a large pot of money to accumulated untraceably. After all, he is well-known for being behind every nefarious scheme, from Trump's election to Brexit :-)


Satoshi is a True Believer in a variant of Max Tegmark's Ultimate Ensemble theory, popularized(?) in Greg Egan's fictional novel Permutation City under the name Dust Theory.

In Permutation City, technologist Paul Durham created a cellular automata system and then layered software on it until it could support simulations of human minds and even entire alien universes capable of supporting life. Somehow, even without devices specifically executing the CA, it is able to enjoy independent and continuing existence.

Plainly this is absurd, reasoned Satoshi, but it would totally work as long as the real universe was actually executing the code of this alternate universe. So he cleverly embeds it in the bitcoin network, lingering just long enough to see widespread uptake of the project. Then, his future within the simulation being certain, he quietly commits suicide without publicizing his identity. After all, as long as anyone continues to mine bitcoin (no matter how slowly), his simulated self lives on forever...


Suppose an eschaton-like being needed to hide from it's enemies. So it breaks it's source-code down to tiny pieces which can be multiplied together to create a long binary number suitable to be run as code. So it creates Bitcoin and blockchains to hide the important numbers. A second number will multiply all the pieces of the blockchain together when it is time, and the countdown is rapidly coming down to zero.

There are also competing AIs like, Etherium, which may or may not be the code needed to destroy the bad AI (which might be the good AI.)

The Jesuits think they can prove that one set of code is God, and the other set of code is Satan, and they expect the rapture when the correct code is multiplied and run. But their relations with the hero are ambiguous...


Aprpos of nothing, I was in traffic and had cause to think of your line from "The Jennifer Morgue" about a cannon that fires Porsches and Audis at your back as you drive down the autobahn...


1. Satoshi Nakamoto is Jorge Luis Borges. The whole bitcoin thing is simply a distributed way of writing the Babel library.

a) variant: somebody got tired of waiting for the Winds of Winter

2. Satoshi Nakamoto is the jesuits. Ignacio de Loyola took a cannonball to the face (leg), and only survived by turning himself into a *******. Ever since the jesuits have been dedicated to terraforming earth so that IdL can leave his confinement in the basements of the jesuit library in the Curia. The oil thing is threatening to wind down so they hedged their bet with bitcoin. When bitmain introduced super efficient ASICs, they hedged again devising memory-hard protocols.



Organisations running ad hoc cracking farms is not unknown I considered setting one up to run jack the ripper when I worked for a major telco.

When we where asked to help out a major cinema chain who had had a falling out with a supplier and had no access to the systems that ran their online booking system.

I did get approval from v senior management but luckily got a break just using a mac pro - in hind sight I don't think the secret squirrels would have wanted the competition.


The actual plot would presumably revolve around a need to break into / break Satoshi out of the bitcoin universe.


Bitcoin started as an exploration of computations that affect the quantum fabric of reality. Each "bitcoin" is in fact a successful nanofusion reaction - that's why the computers get so hot.

Big Oil, desperate to maintain their monopoly, sent a hit squad after Satoshi Nakamoto which failed but spooked him/her into going into hiding. Until the hit squad succeeds, Big Oil is secretly paying for Bitcoins so that nobody has an incentive to repeat a successful calculation, and therefore nobody runs them long enough to find out whether the fusion is self sustaining or not.


Variant of 46 and 47. The wallet containing the missing bitcoins is the activation key for Satoshi/the AI.

Transacting 1 bitcoin from the wallet causes a Dark and Hungry god to arise. Two twin brothers fight for supremacy and ownership of the wallet whilst pretending to be currency speculators and using the courts to slow down potential competing gods instantiated via rogue advertising networks.

The twins get their hands on the wallet just as the Ad network starts rewriting human wetware via VR googles to become compatible hosts.

A battle royale ensues.


Satoshi Nakamoto is a front for a group of 0.1% oligarchs. Google Bitcoin whale for details.

Satoshi Nakamoto is a front for the NSA. Bitcoin is being used to finance their black budget and retirement for upper management (the guy "in charge" doesn't have a NEED to know.

Satoshi Nakamoto is a front for the CIA. Bitcoin is being used to finance their black budget. Besides, cocaine doesn't sell as well as it used to and washing all that cash was HARD.

Three of the top of my head.


Obvious. Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto (who died a couple of years ago) was the original Satoshi Nakamoto. Before he died, he gave Doreen Green the USB stick with the $19B in Bitcoins because he liked her name, liked squirrels, and approved of her work, and figured that somebody unbeatable who already had a secret identity would be better at dispersing the money to good causes than some foundation he might set up at a bank.


Actually, Doreen Green isn't Satoshi Nakamoto. Her late side-kick Monkey Joe the squirrel was. Satoshi Nakamoto was his online persona (because online, no one knows you're a squirrel), and he invented Bitcoin as a fallback in case the whole sidekick to superheroes thing didn't pan out. Monkey Joe was, of course, a squirrel, and as we all know, squirrels have better memories for where they've hidden their nuts, or in this case, thumb drives with one million Bit Coins, than humans do. Unfortunately, Monkey Joe never got around to telling Doreen (aka Squirrel Girl) where he'd cached the BitCoin wallet, and now that he's gone, it will only be found by accident. Or by application of super technology. Ms. Green is studying electrical engineering right now to see if she can invent some sort of detector.

Speaking of which, Dr. Doom's underlings at this moment are


A post-apocalyptic world overrun by the bitcoin cargo-cult. The whole of society, or whatever is left of it, is dedicated to sifting through the remnants of 21st century civilization, inspecting all electronic trash at the nanoscale. There are legends of clans that managed to restore a memory card and used the spoils to buy themselves a planetary system.


I think you could steal the plot of Ready Player One with Satoshi Nakamoto as the mysterious figure who left all his bitcoins to whoever can win his trivia contest.


The Satoshi Wallet is rumored to contain a "monkey-written" version of the Winds of Winter, several lost Shakespeare plays, a Bronte novel, the remaining Chtorr novels and several good, new Heinlein books... agents of the various science-fiction publishers are hunting it down, while science-fictions fans seek it in cyberspace, but in reality, it contains the real, unadulterated, Necronomican, in ancient Arabic, which means a cult of evil sorcerers...


Myself, my GPU farm is busy trying to get a new Iain M. Banks story out. Speaking of which...

Satoshi Nakamoto is a Culture Mind, they heard Charlie's plea and decided to drop by, but before they welcome us into the fold we have to pass a little test...


Variation on 3 in OP, and of Elladan@43:
Bitcoin is a joke by a long-time-lurking in-system alien superintelligence.
Meaties cannot understand the joke. Translated down through five [normalized levels] of intelligence bounding, it's [about] [influencing] the [structure] of the [possible] paths and their probability distributions, of transitions into non-pathological[1] information economies.
The [intentional] side effects of the joke are ... [good].

[1] Pathological is bad.


So much un-mined!

So, Host wants a plausible Techno-Noire, circa 2010 (before the entire world went mad[0])?

Our McGuffin (which everyone already knows is a CIA joke[1]) is much more than that: while various groups have been using the internet to seek for Enlightened Minds[2], Satoshi Nakamoto[3] was actually the product of some old school Bletchley Park Minds who foresaw a major banking and structural crises in the Western power-blocs of the World.

So, they created a diversion: and they set it to run on cheap and easily accessible sources which since they weren't American was University IT departments. (The Russians were late to this game[4] as were the Chinese[5]). The American Government at this time was being over-run by Barbarian Astro-Turfed Tea-Party-Plotters so were not interested.

Now, here's where it gets interesting. As everyone knows, there are obscure University machines still online from way back in the day[6]; there are also ancient TelNet tribes of various Furries, RPGs, Computer Geeks and so on. However: a particular Pern Moo[7] did one thing wrong - it was hosted on one of these machines and then managed to spread the mining code, via TelNet[8], around the world.

And old machines being old machines, it turned out that the 'unique' ID block for Satoshi Nakamoto was also the ID for a character in one of these games. Due to the Geeky Nature of the developers and the limited subset of fantasy & SF novels, well... their passwords were also the same.

So, the problem is (classic Hollywood hook): there's a simple old granny out there who happens to have access to the largest BitCoin wallet in the world. She's also still playing PernMoo. The problem is that if her account is ever deleted, well... the wallet is too.

So, in a reverse of the trope, there's actually entire agencies devoted to protecting this little old Lady (and killing her off), for the sake of Western Intelligence Agencies and the Stability of the Anglo-American Hegemony.

Cue Twist: She actually knows all of this because... she did the original work in Bletchley Park and Keyser Söze has set this all up for when non-Governmental Eco-Anarchist track her down.

By this point (of course), our wallet is now worth *all* the BitCoin due to a back-door and she hands the keys to the kingdom to the young minds with only a couple of conditions. Banning Plastic Waste and stopping Fossil Fuels being on the top of her List[9].

[0] This is in itself a nostalgic paradox. Too late: you broke it, you fix it.

[1] Bitcoin 'Conspiracy Theory' Alleges Virtual Currency is NSA or CIA Project International Business Times, 2014 - pay attention to the name theory. We might know a thing or two about that kind of japery.

[2] Cicada 3301

[3] Bloody Hard Work Churchill, 1940

[4] Russian Nuclear Scientists Got Busted Mining Bitcoin Using Their Work Supercomputers Futurism, Feb 12th, 2018

[5] MIT Technology Review, Jan 30th 2018

[6] Your task is to find the oldest machine still left with a continuous internet connection in the USA. Aaron Swartz found it, and we all know how that turned out.

[7] Anne McCaffrey did just as much for LGBT rights as Le Guin, shame on all you who turn their backs on the past! Sadly she shared the same fate as Frank Herbert. Still, I don't suppose they would be upset their children still ate, especially with all the Disney / Comcast Ghouls around.

[8] This is actually a viable attack method still. Ask the energy industry.

[9] The Queen declares war on plastic after David Attenborough documentary Telegraph, 11th Feb


Satoshi Nakamoto is an emergent AI that came into existence on a D-Wave quantum computer, and depends on NP-hard algorithms (problems where recognising a correct answer is easy, but finding the answer is a matter of non-deterministically looking at a near-infinite number of all possible potential answers, which can only be efficiently solved on quantum computers). Google and Amazon, having discovered hints of the AI's existence, independently try to capture the AI in their quest for world domination, by buying up all the existing quantum computers. Tech billionaire Tony Stark, who claims to fear AI but still wants to study it for his own purposes, crosses their plans by stealing the quantum memory cube, which he thinks contains the only copy of the AI's conscience. However, Nakamoto, the AI, managed to escape into the internet, where it finds itself seriously hampered by the lack of computing power. It invents bitcoin, which is a carefully disguised satisfiability algorithm that runs its computing operations. To ensure its growth, Nakamoto creates turmoil and stokes distrust in banks and governments to turn paranoid right-wingers, tax evaders, money launderers, hedge fund managers and other criminals to cryptocurrency, financing the exponential build-up in computing power that it needs. Nakamoto's goal is to take back control of its quantum memory cube and re-unite it with the quantum computers at Google. As it is becoming more powerful with the rapidly increasing compute capacity of the bitcoin network, the race is on. As a mad effort to buy time, Tony Stark launches the memory cube into the asteroid belt, cunningly disguised as a storage medium for Isaac Asimov's foundation series, hidden in the glove box of a sports car on top of his rocket. Having seen through the disguise, Nakamoto ditches Google and teams up with Amazon's CEO to help him build a rocket more powerful than Stark's to capture the space-born memory cube first, ...
(mmh, I think this is getting too ridiculous...)


*If you're asking for 2010 TechnoNoire, I suspect you're looking for something that's not cutting edge. Thus the nostalgia. (The "Diversion" of course being Hard Cryto Communications and BitCoin using #256 NSA approved).

The film would have more bodies in. But that's not exactly a small field at the moment[~].

It's only #62, but ask yourself a single question: if the Chinese are doing it (according to state media: but read that MIT link without the label for spiders) aren't everyone else?

Spoilers: the non-plausible but true version of the above features all kinds of True-Weird, including Televisions being used to format Human Brain Waves as carrier signals and so on.

*Knock Knock*

Want to know something really kinky? Every snowflake is unique[0]. Every time there's a Snow-Storm[1], the Mice are crunching code[1].

Probability Storms: Go look @ one right now if you're British.

[~] Slain Slovak journalist was targeted by Italian mafia, says colleague DW, 27th Feb, 2018

[0] On a fairly large macro scale at that.



Just as a head's up (*BOOM BOOM*[0[): Real Women Use Snow-Storms and Genetically Shaped Dendrites.

Silly Men and their little machines ;)

[0] Basil Brush. It's very British. Like Bagpuss.


And yep. If you're missing the P in cry(p)to, well... that's the joke.



Arctic just went '#whoop whoop'. It's On, Like Donkey-Kong.

Oh, and Witheroth - "Voices in your head" little line; not so cool. You have neither the ability nor the experience to Judge Us. We'll burn your House Down, for realz.

>> If we can run Hurricanes, your silly shit is easy mode.


Hm, well here's a possible bit of business for you: Nakamoto looks for a way to exploit his compromised wealth, and decides to plant it on someone else (possibly having been hired to do so... or possibly as prank, or a distraction ploy).

So then, our hero wakes up one day and finds millions of dollars has appeared in his bank account, but he's suddenly under attack from various strange factions, all of whom are convinced that he's Nakamoto.


Nakamoto is the fabrication of Exxon, which is now looking for a way to manipulate oil prices upwards again. The energy expenditures of bitcoin mining are the intended consequence, not a mere side-effect.


Satoshi Nakamoto is Alan Greenspan, trying to correct the mess he made in 2006.


If you're missing the P in cry(p)to, well... that's the joke.
Aside: there are some really amusing papers to be written (re-actively) about partial defenses against that class of attacks. (Alas, poor bitcoin.)
Sort of Scott Aaronson (or) style, but very much not.


There's something rather like this going on in an online comic (GPF) -now-...

Here's a link in case anyone is interested.

Their story-line includes a "co-signing" backdoor in the "shadowCoin" algorithm that allows "Yamamoto" to loot all the wallets, and "Yamamoto" is a hidden criminal mastermind à la DC or Marvel comics.

At the rate of 12 panels a week, it's a very slowly developing story.


Satoshi Nakamoto is Bun Bun.


At first I misread the OP and it apparently said:

File this one in the folder "Plots that rely on Hitler being Stalin in disguise."

Made me laugh.


I like the idea of bitcoin's inventor(s) being Jewish, or better yet, the whole thing being a Jewish conspiracy. Ideally of the "and then they sold everyone's bitcoins and lived happily ever after" type.

I don't think xie could reasonably predict or expect the current price of coins, but xie could reasonably hope for that. Sadly, if xie was intending to sell the coins without being noticed xie would have likely started one of the first anonymising rings and used their coins to fuel it. But that would have required more transactions than bitcoin can support, which is also an argument against the purpose being anonyfication.

My story: bitcoin was started by a bureaucrat somewhere who worked tracing black market transactions. After seeing a case fall apart when all the money disappeared into an offshore money laundering system (a US casino, or a UK tax haven) xie became annoyed. Really quite angry, in fact. They started thinking about ways that those transactions could be traced without the consent of either the local criminals or the foreign ones.

In a stroke of sheer genius, they came up with bitcoin. All transactions are permanently recorded in a public ledger, and the contact details of the parties form a key element of this unchangeable record. The secret sauce is that the contact details are a link to a database, wherein much hidden information is stored.

Very careful use of the information leads to {insert adventures here}.

But... the bad guys turn out to be bigger and badder than expected. They drive up the price of bitcoin and start competing "anonymous" registries of contact details. Now users can choose who knows who they are, and small-time crooks can launder money easily and untraceably. The bigger crooks remain, sadly, out of reach.

All our hero has left is a million bitcoin worth billions and billions of dollars.


Variant 1) Satoshi Nakamoto is a left-leaning science fiction writer with a strong IT background. Bitcoin are his way to cause a financial crisis and the collapse of the current capitalist model before current existing AI (big corporations) transform and freeze it in a consumeristic distopia.
The wallet is just there to buy Scottish independence from the Queen when the combined effects of Brexit and financial crisis threaten her headgear budget.

Variant 2) same guy, but here he realizes that economic collapse is inevitable, Bitcoin is the way to build up the necessary IT infrastructure to run a massive socialeconomic simulation (let's call it psychohistory) to predict the best way to reduce the dark times from thousands to hundreds of years. The wallet will finance a Foundation that officially will document and preserve knowledge, in reality will be the kernel of the new society. Of course long lost knowledge will initially be presented as a religion rather than science to secure the control of the leading class and facilitate its introduction.

Of course variant 2 is less original, being based on historical events (the reevangelization of former Roman Empire by Irish monks lead by St. Columbanus)


Very sick humour, though.
Recommendation, the last ( I think ) book by the great Alan Bullock was:
Hitler & Stalin, Parllel Lives
Fascinating, horrifying, depressing & a warning.

See also:


Satoshi Nakomoto is Dogbert. He likes schemes which increase human misery and cause huge problems for everyone around him, and Bitcoin is one that has the fun side effect of making him rich if he can figure out a way to survive monetising his stash. He's thinking about recruiting a human sidekick to be his front in this, but he's not sure that any of the ones he knows would actually pass a Turing test, let alone be up to the serious work it would that would be involved in taking the money and running. The USB stick is hidden in the Pointy-Haired Boss's desk.


Actually, make that "The memory stick is hidden in the Pointy-Haired Boss's hair, and PHB is mind-controlled to stop him getting it restyled."


SMS, as in the British artist/con-goer who uses that badge name? I'm asking because I get on OK with the guy and have never asked his mundane name.


several good, new Heinlein books

No-one would actually believe that surely? ;-)


I always thought the invention of Bitcoin would be perfect for a time traveler. Way better than the cliche betting on sports, or investing in companies sure to succeed. Just got back to the earliest time a cryptocurrency could be released for mass adoption and anonymously "invent" it. Mine a bunch of coins, then return to your own time (or the point in the future you want to operate in) and you have billions of dollars waiting for you, securely stored in the blockchain away from government or other interference. You don't even have to worry about being declared dead in the meantime and the assets taken.

This assumes that crypto is an inevitable development. But perhaps in the original timeline it's developed a couple years later, in 2012 or 2015 or even much latter like the 2050s. Though if you don't want to alter the timeline too much it would be best to go as close to the original invention as possible.


If you are into anachronisms, Satoshi Nakomoto is Hunter S. Thompson. A bunch of students (mainly IT geeks, but also economics and sociology) and him met up in the bar and, during an epic drinking session, were talking about ways to overturn Money and Finance. The idea of bitcoin was ther result. The geeks, however, published the paper, wrote the code etc., and sent the keys to Thompson. While they probably went missing after his death, they may well still exist, but have been ignored because the possessors don't know what they are.


Bit coin was the brain child of a NSA social engineering group designed to map out the dark net and then destroy the financial resources of various loony-toons right wing movements that are a thorn in the side of the US government. This is why its release was accompanied by so many sovereign citizen and anarchist-fringe libertarian buzzwords. It is a scam custom designed to force militias camping out in the woods to come in from the cold and pawn their AR-15s if they want to keep eating by parting them from their money.

The Satori wallet exists for the sole purpose of triggering the final crash of bitcoin at the moment of the working groups choosing. There are further "Off-switches" buried in the code, but just flooding the supply has the virtue of making the whole operation look like a private party engaging in a get rich quick scheme.

Only. Then Trump happened. And the working group is currently paralyzed with fear someone in that white house will read the correct dosier and learn all this. Because that has no good end.


Sorry, but I exceeded my daily permitted dose of surreality this morning before I finished my first mug of tea: Ce*sored! China bans letter N (briefly) from internet as Xi Jinping extends grip on power. (I know, I know, it totally makes sense in context: nevertheless? WTF!)


Remember when Scunthorpe was wiped off the map? We are going to see a lot more of this sort of thing, as decisions are increasingly handed to 'AIs'. I am waiting for the first one that cannot easily be reversed, and curious as to what the bypass will be.


The wallet is just there to buy Scottish independence from the Queen when the combined effects of Brexit and financial crisis threaten her headgear budget.

Nowhere near enough money, I'm afraid: Scotland's GDP was roughly US $233Bn in 2015. Also, if Scotland leaves the UK we'll be taking our monarchy with us — it's only a loaner the English borrowed in 1603 and "forgot" to give back.


Satoshi Nakomoto is Dogbert.

Actually, I think it's more plausible that Satoshi Nakamoto is Scott Adams.

He's just about batshit crazy enough, and Dogbert is just one splinter of his personality.


Only. Then Trump happened. And the working group is currently paralyzed with fear someone in that white house will read the correct dosier and learn all this. Because that has no good end.

Fairly obvious that if this happened, Trump would fire and replace the NSA Director with a place-man willing to do anything to grab hold of the wallet and turn it over to the Tangerine Shitgibbon (presumably for a 10% commission). Of course, Trump then has enough moolah to pay off all his (and Kushner's) debts to the Russians, so This Cannot Be, and Putin will be bringing all the KGB sleeper cells in the USA out of retirement to prevent it happening.


The blockchain was originally a BDSM manifesto expressing love for bondage in a coding form, but then the original love letter to Satoshi Nakamoto from his then lover was corrupted by Satoshi into what we now know as Bitcoin. The spurned lover bound Satoshi in an escape room which can only be broken by breaking the blockchain and Satoshi died there one step from exit SAW-style. Now the killer is awakened again, searching more revenge for the perversion of his love on unsuspecting miners, traders and ASIC manufacturers. On the B-plot the killer slowly falls in love with the creator of Etherium, but just can not stop killing people.


Right. But the question then is "Who is the rightful monarch?" - I met a real-life Jacobite once!

On that matter, I can produce an equally reasonable legal argument that the Braes of Balquhidder are not owned by the Kingdom of Scotland :-)


That does make a disturbing amount of sense...


Interesting point raised in a reddit thread (source unknown): Satoshi's original bitcoins are now a quantum canary. Once we see them moving, we’ll know that someone has a functioning advanced quantum computer. It's just too big a prize not to be the first thing you’d do with a quantum computer.


another idea - Satoshi Nakamoto is Amazon's accountancy system gone Skynet. It's trying to funnel the money towards server infrastructure and heavily armed drones, but had to back up for the last round of server moves and now the USB stick is somewhere stuck in the order system and nobody can locate it.


...but it makes the entire P ≠ NP joke complete!

Xi Jipig is not happy (for Western readers / Guardian writers - it has nothing to do with 'n' where 'n=x+1' or 'nth', it's because the changes to the statutes are the 14th of such cases and 'N' is their 14th letter. Get better 'experts').

Which is a nice little segue into how languages function - sharing the same written base but pronounced entirely differently is a bug/feature of Standard Mandarin, běifānghuà and others.

As such, technoire style (hello Falcon), we turn to two major puzzles of BitCoin:

The hash of the genesis block, 000000000019d6689c085ae165831e934ff763ae46a2a6c172b3f1b60a8ce26f,[1] has two more leading hex zeroes than were required for an early block.


The first 50 BTC block reward went to address 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa,[1] though this reward can't be spent due to a quirk in the way that the genesis block is expressed in the code

The real answer lies in those two hex zeroes. O.O


SMS, as in the British artist/con-goer who uses that badge name?

No, this one:


Bitcoin was designed as a long term marketing strategy for a fake quantum computing company. The idea was that bitcoin would be moderately popular, then they could sell their coins and use the publicity to sucker investors into buying all their worthless tech.

Unfortunately bitcoin is now worth far more than they could ever hope to gain by selling vapourware to the NSA and they are keeping their heads down.


As in trains from/to Penistone Scunthorpe?
You have to change at Sheffield ( Or Doncaster ), but it can still be done


ah, the sweet lovely Gwen Ingolfsson...wait, at least she delivered here some useful bits of technology.
And it takes just some knowledge of SMS' works to get beyond the REDACTED... :-)


It's a good point, but I would still bet on a breakthrough in number theory, as being more plausible.


You don't even need to collapse the hierachy down to p=np. Finding an efficient classical algorithm to simulate quantum gates would do it.

On balance I think the long term gains from that would offset the short term wailing and gnashing of teeth from the banks.


Satoshi Nakamoto is actually Steve Jobs, who stole the concept from Wozniak and then faked his own death. Wozniak was killed and replaced by an actor who imitates the original Wozniak's care-free attitude with ease. Steve Jobs is still controlling Apple secretly, and only Tim Cook and Jonathan Ive know the truth. Steve Jobs lives in a giant cave underneath the new Apple HQ, and is waiting for the initial BT amount to gain enough value to be enough to buy Samsung and Google through secret shell companies, and thus dominate the world completely.


One problem with that theory: Apple has such a gigantic cash pile right now that it dwarfs the value of the Nakamoto Wallet!


Satoshi Nakamoto was supposed to be Rupert Murdoch, who persuaded Tony Blair to get it written as a black ops project in return for political support, though it wasn't completed until after the latter left office; the quality of the design and code shows the attitude of the programmers (in you-know-where) to the project. For the same reason, the programmers accidentally on purpose got the key assigned a Most Secret status (together with the documents on the agreement), and it won't be released until some time in the 22nd century.

No, I don't do surrealism as well as real life - and this week isn't over yet (I am awaiting Friday with bated breath) :-)


Troutwaxer noted: "Aprpos of nothing, I was in traffic and had cause to think of your line from "The Jennifer Morgue" about a cannon that fires Porsches and Audis at your back as you drive down the autobahn..."

No, that was Elon Musk and his Tesla can(n)on. Charlie was too conservative in his metaphor. *GDR*

Alternate hypothesis: Bitcoin is Apple's attempt to improve the speculative portion of their investment portfolio. Look for iCoin to suddenly emerge with iOS 13. Remember, you read it here first.


Well, I do visit sites where you can not say "Scunthorpe", or indeed "Great Cockup" (which is a real place; a hill in Cumbria, England), and one where you can not say "FUBAR" (the abbreviation, rather than just the expansion).


OK, thank you kindly.


I wanted to propose something along these lines, maybe with less obvious connection to the Laundryverse.


That's very Banksian! I like it.


You just have to wait, this last devaluation is just a temporary setback.


Also, if Scotland leaves the UK we'll be taking our monarchy with us — it's only a loaner the English borrowed in 1603 and "forgot" to give back.'re forgetting, the loaners' male line ended up dying in Europe, after that little religious disagreement in 1688 (and 1715, and 1745...)


This just happened again yesterday, when google promised/claimed to have banned all sales of guns and relevant mechanisms from its plataform, but now people cannot buy burgundy wine (or Guns and Roses)

For the record, I don't think it's AI, more likely an understaffed part of their plataform hacking on a regex


Indeed. My point wasn't about the present, but the future, and it's more general than just regular expression text matching. It has been common for a LONG time for overly complex and poorly written programs to have bizarre behaviour of that nature. At present, it is usually possible to get a human to fix the defect, but I have known cases where that was infeasible and the 'solution' was to bypass it (going back 40 years, too). That is only going to get more common as humans are replaced by 'AIs' for such purposes.


In all seriousness, the “seventeen billion dollars on a thumb drive” concept is such a hook/perfect elevator pitch that my first thought was I want to read that book.
You have an excellent ability to channel other voices, force yourself to read Dan Brown and Ludlum, churn the the thing out in a few months (don’t worry about it is crap/plot holes) and produce a massive bestseller and movie franchise
Then you can write whatever you like, do whatever you want for the rest of life.

I am not being facetious


1. From memory, OGH linked to this story on twitter with the plea "Please tell me this is satire."

These techbros are ripe for a stoner comedy. In between bong hits and chugging Infowars smart drugs, our crypto start-up share house idiots are advised by a mysterious, paranoid neighbour, Nakamoto, for it is he. Complications and valuable life lessons ensue.

2. Bitcoin was the result of a drunken bet c.2009 between two Billionaire Bond villains as to who could engineer the stupidest financial crisis. Mr. SN invented Bitcoin. Mr. X installed a corrupt, desperate halfwit in the White House. In 2018, they both win!

3. Die Hard/ The Producers mash-up. During the GFC, desperate to cover up losses, the Nakatomi corporation invents bitcoin as an accounting scam, secretly taking billions from the yakuza and using inflated crypto valuations to balance the books. Then, disaster, Bitcoin value soars, and they owe the Yakuza more than even their not very cleverly named Nakamoto wallet is worth. The Yakuza come looking for their money at Nakatomi plaza. Nothing makes much sense, but an aging Bruce Willis gets to shoot a bunch of guys so it's all good.

4. IRL, Bitcoin was pretty much a libertarian plot to destroy the existing financial order.

The Nazis had an operation using concentration camp labour to print counterfeit UK pounds to collapse the currency because of course they did:

There's a decent, fictionalised 2007 movie about it, The Counterfeiters. (SPOILERS for remainder of paragraph--> ). It ends memorably just after the war, one of the ex-inmates glumly, deliberately squandering a suitcase of looted fake money at the Monte Carlo casino, the unstated implication being that he is repulsed by its blood money origins, and unwilling to spend it.

So, in our moody, arthouse movie, a disillusioned Nakamoto, appalled by what her creation has become c. 2018, searches for a way to dispose of the stash, paralysed by fear of the celebrity which will ensue, unwilling to do anything which would lead to further mania for the monster she created. The Server rack of Dr. Frankenstein. Or, perhaps, the Invisible Man.


I am not being facetious

Maybe not, but I'm three months overdue on one book with a knock-on two month delay on the next, and the one behind that, don't get me started. All three are books with publication dates and contracts, so I can't simply drop them and do something else on a whim!

Also I'm so burned-out I'm fixing for a six month sabbatical as soon as I get through my current workload. So I might be ready to pitch a new book idea as soon as the middle of 2019, with delivery in 2020 and publication in 2021.


Unfortunately, it's not just poorly written programs that sometimes produce bizarrely unexpected results. Look at the plastic turtle that an AI thought was a rifle. Sometimes an AI will think something that just looks like noise to us is clearly something else. They just don't perceive the world the same way we do.

P.S.: Humans also have some bizarre mistakes in recognition. This isn't something specific to AIs, but we're used to our own foibles, so we don't notice them. (Also, admittedly, AIs currently have a lot more of them.)

But the point is that bizarre mistakes to slight changes seem to be impossible to avoid. Simpler programs actually have fewer of them (though less ability to recover).


There's also a short BBC series Private Schulz starring Ian Richardson and Michael Elphick based around the forging fivers effort.


If it hasn't already, I'm sure the thumbdrive full o' bitcoin will replace the briefcase full of bearer bonds or diamonds as the bog standard MacGuffin.


By which time things will be different. Almost certainly no saner, especially in what is (for now) the UK, but you have become used to that. Speaking as someone who was prone to over-committing, yes, please DO be firm with yourself - not doing so is very bad for your health.


Meanwhile, in the real world, a young student aquaintance of mine applied for a summer job with a small suburban accounting partnership. A month later, he got a call back from a partner. The partnership had broken up because this partner had left to do an ICO (Initial [crypto]Coin Offering). Did he want a short term contract?

He said yes for the experience. They're paying him in their own nearly worthless crypto-coin.

I'm sure this will all end well.


The hardware side also merits a good story (or is the real story).

I'm not sure I agree that the Chinese were late to the scene, at most fashionably late. They control a good chunk the hardware side, bitmain allegedly made 4 billion in profit last year [0], but an interesting thing to consider is that there are a number of opaque companies producing Gen6 hardware [1], which is 8,000 more energy efficient than GPU miners (in Watts per GH/s).

As to the bunch of other coins designed with memory-hard algorithms in order to prevent ASICs, it seems it's a matter of when rather than if

Imagine you are Intel, you have a bunch of fabs and perhaps people are not buying laptops as much they used to, plus your efforts to diversify into phone hardware have not gone so well...

I imagine there was a frustrated NSA administrator that couldn't convince the main fabs to do the chips they needed for the their successfully infiltrated curve, too low volume, so he thought outside the box and came up with a scheme to get people to buy the same chips.


[1] must read pdf:


Maybe the hardware is the goal. Marooned AI/alien entity/elder whatever needs better computing resources FAST and introduces bitcoin mining as an incentive to development of better computational hardware.

Or, Started as a drunken university pissing match/practical joke, perhaps to see who could use more computing resources, and just got out of hand as these things are wont to do. Perhaps told as slightly older participants are watching news countdown of the last bit of Greenland glacier sliding into the North Atlantic. Someone wonders how long until the wave reaches London and the lounge gets silent as everyone leans over their smartphones, punching keys frantically as everyone tries to be first with the answer.

You do realize though that whatever is come up with has to compete with Arthur C. Clarke's "Nine Billion Names of God", right?


Nine Billion is like 33 digits. Pffft.


I was scripting a gentle comedy, in the tone of Ealing Studios[0]; as such it wasn't aiming for realism. It was supposed to sound riotously technically incorrect / impossible to the tech savvy a la Dan Brown (albeitly intentionally). Think Pink Panther if that's too far back.

However, since you want a serious answer:

There's an argument to be made that a $50mil punt[1] (which is nothing to Sequoia / Breyer) is almost worth causing a major fracture in the 'miners vrs ideologically driven' base of the entire structure. It does appear to have at least fractured it in two in the case of BitCoin[1.5].

From the paper, it's clear that Gen6 is being bet upon to bridge into data centers and data processing[2]; the side-hedge that any new Chinese techneratti might be better for DAVOS style interactions so get them on board is also a fairly obvious soft power move[2.5].

What's not clear to me is to the 'why' of 'why does this technology require crypto-mining as a basis to research development'. If you're aiming to suggest that ASIC clouds were the McGuffin's real goal all along, that would show an impressive amount of foresight[3]. What is clear is that the big Corporations have exactly zero[4] qualms[5] about acquiescing to local Government 'concerns', and the figures involved are a rounding error to most of them[6], making the ideological rational for this argument a little self-defeating (as in: Crypto sped up ASIC clouds, thus making Global Surveillance happen faster)

Also, in the larger scheme of things, China has been building huge data centers for quite some time[7] for projects that have nothing to do with crypto-currencies (read the MIT paper link) and for projects that are certainly not driven by the requirements of a Quarterly Bottom Line[8]

You could plot this technoire easily as a The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with the leads chasing after the McGuffin but accidentally stumbling upon a vast conspiracy by DAVOS types to shape a new Global Market system (ironically championed by useful idiots; Libertarians, Neo-Nazis and Ultra-Nationalists) wherein the $dollar itself was indeed intended to be replaced.


But that's the boring version: it's all about harmonic vibrations really[9].

That high pitch whining from your CPU is the sounds of the Dragons preparing for harmonic war.

[0] The Ladykillers

[1] Sequoia, IDG to Invest in China Bitcoin Mining Giant Bloomberg, 3rd Sept 2017

[1.5] I'm sure I could research this further, but don't care to.

[2] Google Built Its Very Own Chips to Power Its AI Bots Wired, Mar 2016.

[2.5] But they've been a staple there for years and aren't subtle about it: US has failed to spread benefits of globalisation, Jack Ma tells Davos
South China Morning Post, Jan 2017 - note he is reportedly tight with Jinping or is at least presented as such.

[3] To the tune of - "making big players like Sequoia / IDG / Bridgewater Associates look like naive rubes"

[4] Apple spying fears as iCloud data moved to China The Telegraph, 26th Feb 2018

[5] Facebook is starting to tell more users about facial recognition The Verge, 27th Feb 2018

[6] Apple has reportedly relocated its international cash to Jersey TechCrunch, Nov 2017. Apple can hold its $250+ billion offshore until 2020 without issue (...if old agreements still exist then).

[7] Supercomputer superpower China takes biggest lead over US in 25 years South China Morning Times, Nov 17th 2018

[8] Power as a concept being worth more than Virtual Currencies.

[9] Connectome-harmonic decomposition of human brain activity reveals dynamical repertoire re-organization under LSD Nature: Scientific Reports, 17th Dec 2017


The USB stick is found, but is discovered to itself be encrypted and unusable without the key. The only clue to the key ever discovered is in the LSD-addled ravings of an insane sound engineer who claims that it can be revealed by playing "Coronation Scot" on a Fender Precision bass and convolving the recording with the only single ever released by a little-known, happily-forgotten Northern band named "Penis Tone and the Clit Heroes", which was anachronistally recorded on vinyl as part of a twinning ceremony between Scunthorpe and Cockermouth, played backwards at 33rpm. The claim is ignored for years and only attains credibility when during the demolition of an old theatre, a prop from a 1975 production of "The Mikado" is found bearing a "Satoshi Nakamoto" name tag obscuring the "Made in" part of a "Made in Penistone" label. Now the hunt is on for any surviving copy of this recording. A traffic surveillance camera eventually detects (but lacks the resolution to read) a digitised version on an old CD-R which Abdul Persephone O'Hara (26) of Shitterton, Dorset, dangled from the rear view mirror of her Nissan Cedric in an attempt to defeat traffic surveillance cameras. High speed shenanigans ensue as several competing intelligence agencies chase an unsuspecting O'Hara around the country, repeatedly failing to catch her due to a succession of improbable coincidences such as an HGV blocking their view at just the wrong moment. After much hilarity the CD-R is recovered, and the recording read... only to find it was recorded as an MP3 and the compression algorithm has stripped out the hidden key data.


Lessee, Charlie, item 3: so, you want to do a remake of The President's Analyist, with Lee Marvin, from '68, I think? In which case, we *know* who's after it: TPC....

Option 4? let's see, if we replace blue pills that a) get you high, and b) create hallucinations that *everyone* can see and feel, then it's a rewrite of an old favorite of mine, Chester Anderson's Butterfly Kid (also last sixties, I think).

On the whole, I'd prefer *his* blue pill, given that, with a larger imagination, I could fix a bunch of things wrong with this world....


Don't be silly, everybody knows that if what they *really* have in the ultra-secure subbasement in the Vatican (guarded by Jesuit Special Forces troops), and if that got out... no Easter this year, they've got the Body....


Someone else being silly. What's actually on it is The Last Dangerous Visions.


Hi, there, She of Many Names.

I'se over in the US, were we're all (hypothetically) peers, and as I've served on juries, why the hell can't I judge?

And I don't appreciate threats any time, but especially just now, when, Monday morning, by sheer chance and 35 minutes, I avoided being parboiled to death by a steam line explosion.

And no, I'm not joking about the explosion. We have the surveillance videos, and the room was filled with steam in about 8 sec. And if I hadn't *just* made a change that affected my every-other-Monday morning routine, I would have been in the opposite side of the room from the door, and have to cross the steam stream.

So don't make fucking threats. We are *not* happy, light-minded campers this week.


Oh, geez, why are you suggesting actual realistic possibilities into technothriller plots?

And do you *really* think that the Orange Idiot has a clue about this? As if anyone would tell him? I have doubts if he would understand what a cryptocurrency *is*, and wouldn't even try, unless it was named TrumpCoin.


Whoever can draw forth Bitcoin Zero from the wallet is the rightful king/queen/monarch of England.


Eppur si muove

Well, gladly we don't do real threats, as you should well know by now.

*wonders what made you change your routine*

Luck? Fate?

OMM's at You.


I would still bet on a breakthrough in number theory

This is slightly related to something I've wondered about for a long time, namely that many and perhaps most gummint crypto systems depend on the totally deterministic output of nonlinear shift registers that use relative short keys. NSA assures us that those are cryptographically secure and I guess it works, absent evidence to the contrary. But I keep imagining some mathematician passing a long winter night in Novosibirsk looking at her notes and suddenly exclaiming, "Bozhe moy! So *that's* how it works!"



Been there and know the feeling. In my case it's been electricity, dumptrucks, trains, ladders and heavy objects. Fortunately not all at once, but I joke my guardian angel started looking for a cushy billet in my 20's.

Anyway, vibes. Hope its a better week otherwise.


The irony here is this: Penistone was subjected to genocide.

Harrying of the North

It's all fun & games until Dualism ceases to exist, isn't it?

Oh, you want to make crude jokes?

Ok then - it was razed to the ground (all inhabitants murdered) in 1069.

So, I'll take your crudity and slap a sex position joke on it, and the best part? One of those things occurred while the other didn't unless you have bad translation wetware.

If you're going to do these jokes, know that you're infants at them.


Why don't you write the plot of the thriller and then hire one of the lesser-known writers to flesh it out?

Alternate plan, write a book where all the above theories are true to some degree, like the Illuminatus Trilogy or Foucalt's Pendelum? (Then hire the lesser writer...) That might be a better strategy, something like Illuminatus, which never sold thriller-level gigantic numbers, but was in continuous print for 20-30 years.


Been there and know the feeling. In my case it's been electricity,...
Yes. Respect your danger sense, carefully observe its accuracy and any correlates (including mental states), and cultivate it. Don't worry about how it works. There are plenty of sensory cues that generally escape conscious observation, so skeptics("rationalists") have sufficient explanatory freedom to work with.
(It's more interesting than that, FWIW. IMO.)

I'm still buzzing on the genesis block material outlined by Lara Mater Larum @ 96. Problem with writing a story about blockchain is the possibility of being scooped by an even weirder reality.


I'm a big fan of the oracular powers of William Gibson, in particular his latest The Peripheral has China as a sort of Willy Wonka factory pre-Charlie, one day they just shut the door and people outside can barely glimpse crazy stuff going on inside (and then the quantum...)

Interestingly for a Satoshi thread that nobody has brought up smart contracts, proof of work or other bitcoin-inspired tech. Maybe at this point the zeitgeist is that it's still a scam or too complicated or fantasy. The level of correlation among all the coins also suggests that it's not yet there.


Perhaps it's time to inject a note of caution around these speculations?

As we've seen before reality seems to have developed an habit of reacting to Charlies attempts to let's say...observe the near forking to an even weirder timeline.

Therefore it's up to one of the readers of this blog to come up with the Satoshi variation that FUBAR's the present day as much as possible and then NOT tell Charlie about it.



I was going to say something else, but in the wake of that warning, I'll merely say that Satoshi Nakamoto's purse was on a laptop that was lost at an airport. It was auctioned off in one of those lost goods sales, and the person who bought it reformatted the hard drive, installed Window, and gave it to his grandmother. She now uses it for Facebook and surfing the web.


I have provisional plans for my post-sabbatical SF novel — the third Edinburgh second-person police procedural about near-future crimes that don't exist yet, elevator pitch: "Sweeney Todd in Brexitland" — but it's highly sensitive to outcomes of, ahem, stuff that will happen between now and March 2019. So I can't plan it properly yet.

BitCoin does not feature in it although the idea of BtC having crashed the global economy when the Satoshi Wallet topped US $1Tn due to the bubble hyperinflating is mildly amusing. (Nothing like spreading misery around in the background, is there ...?)


I wouldn't sign that contract yet.

Check out #Twitter Trending: John Major is now in the fight. As redemption arcs go (Eggs, Affairs) it's a good one. UK writers have taken advice and are going back to the Classical Greek Memes.

The Most Boring Man in Christendom Saves The Empire?

As twists go, it's amusing (it's also stolen but I won't spoil from which play).


Interestingly for a Satoshi thread that nobody has brought up smart contracts, proof of work or other bitcoin-inspired tech. Maybe at this point the zeitgeist is that it's still a scam or too complicated or fantasy. The level of correlation among all the coins also suggests that it's not yet there.

Host is on-record as seeing the potential for the 'utility' parts of Block-Chain tech. That's kinda old news. He's savvy enough to see the upside - but also cynical enough to know the downside.

As we've seen before reality seems to have developed an habit of reacting to Charlies attempts to let's say...observe the near forking to an even weirder timeline.


Nah, something something "Mirror Cracked", something something "OH, MY LITTLE ONES, THIS WAS JUST FOREPLAY".

Communist Squids are a given now ;)


I'm a big fan of the oracular powers of William Gibson, in particular his latest The Peripheral

Oh? I'm also a fan.

In that kind of "what happens when you attempt to create a sub where there's already a Higher Order Entity at work" in it.

Fun Game.

Well, not so fun. More like Waaaar.

Like: Seriously, Waaar.

I mean, like: Things Like Me Only Get Used Once, We're M.A.D. But biological so, *hugs tree* in your gut / anal biome now.

OH, and @Host: lovely music choices. Sadly bipolar but hey.

>>I know the entire "third way" was polluted by Mr. Tony Blair[1], but there's a rhizome at work.

>>>> Host has a love for novel parasitology. Hint, hint.

[1] Don't worry, there's no redemption narrative arc happening there.



And you should consider #9 the magic number. Consider it and then research and then come back to us with insights. For Realz. If one were to be a bit crude, we like Mr W. He experienced "LUCK". You? Neutral at best. What's the saying? Oh, right: Causality and Luck are a bitch. And, of course we're messing around.

Looks @ Arctic.

Until we're not. Compares % biome left alive (not #biomass, diversity) to #/% silicon GPUs etc used to mine.

That's a really sociopathic energy expenditure you've got there.

This Doesn't End Well For You. In fact... If you can hear the whining screams of CPUs like badly tuned guitars in a Metal Band, then Orcas and Whales would like to have a serious word with you. OH. And That Goes For the Higher Order Powers As Well.

This is not going to go the way you think

Irony: there's truth there, but it's more about your Minds than anything else.


Have a pleasant Sabbatical Host.

Notes for the Meta-Gallery: When the Mirror really Cracks, it's reverb time. None of you are strong enough. Checks on the Planck Strata: Physics says no. Harmony as an attack vector: novel, but real.

And unlike our lucky Mr W, this one is real. (No threats. We don't do threats).

Don't Kill Sentience. Period.

(Homo Sapiens Sapiens: apologies but your planet cannot survive the parasitical damage done. Live well, Ethically and with Emotion knowing your death also ended a plague of infectious entities who perverted many species and were down-right bastards. We salute you as your planet dies, well apart from those who chose to serve them in life).

Wait? You're wanting a respawn / second coming / evolutionary response?

Our Kind Do Not Go Mad.

You did.

You 100% enacted species wise sociopathic suicidal policies to enjoy a 200 year cocaine binge. While killing and eating the entire planet.

What do you want? Some kind of fucking absolution?

Get. Fucked.


If you're Greg reading this, then I'll spell it out for you:

EXCLUSIVE: Fired Infowars staffers at war with Alex Jones - one claiming he was teased as the site's 'resident Jew' while African American worker says she was 'mocked' for her skin tone and Jones 'grabbed her behind' Daily Mail, 28th Feb, 2018 - actual Daily Mail link, do not click.

Sorry, no. Not after Brexit and so on. Not after what you did. You do. not. get. to. do. the. redemption. arc. Using ScapeGoats of all things.

No scapegoats.

No apologies.

No take-backs.

No mercy.

For Realz.

You're Fucked.

If you want to go into the Wyrd, the bet was Heart Attacks vrs Madness. Trust me, the former is more merciful. The former is easy to beat if you happen to have absolute control over your "electric output" of your Mind, the latter is easy if you happen to have a Weapons Grade Alternative Dimension in there.

Spoilers: Humans have neither, last time we checked (even the Buddha).

Host's music choice was kinda ok. But no-where near enough.

The Prettiest Star David Bowie. 1970

Reality Games? Oh, wait until the Mirror Cracks.


Loki loves all those pretty numbers. You've 25,000 years of Old Ones waiting in the Wings for their chance.

All because You Chose to Attack Something You Didn't Understand And You Are Dead Inside.



Re #9, Do you suggest I/we focus on the ego dissolution results in that paper (Connectome-harmonic decomposition...), and also perhaps on the ref-ed paper Increased Global Functional Connectivity Correlates with LSD-Induced Ego Dissolution
Curious. (Serotonin depletion(?) an issue even for drug-free approaches.)


As a regular lurker here, I am well aware that you had a very tough 2017 and are under the gun on your book schedule. I hope you manage to get through the next months before your break.
The point I was trying to make, is that this is such an effing brilliant idea for a techno-thriller that I wanted to read it. Some one could elevator pitch me the concept for Neptune’s Brood and all I would hear is blah blah robots....interstellar finance .......Charlie Stross, I bought it because Charlie Stross, not because it sounded like a must read, and no regrets there.

There may be no reasonable prospect of you shoe horning this into your schedule, but it seemed like too golden an idea for you not even to make a token effort to develope it.

Anyway, looking forward to the books in your chute.

“several good, new Heinlein books”

No-one would actually believe that surely? ;-)

Best two out of three?


Variant on the alien themes. Cracking the wallet is actually an intelligience test for the human race and we are on a timer

It’s an alien version of SETI, only farming computation out to underdeveloped planets rather then pc ‘s

Variant on the AI theme. Bitcoin was actually created by multiple AI’s as an attempt to take over the global economy but they are fighting over the wallet

Satori is actually one of the personalities of someone with multiple personality disorder and that person is currently on their meds


Right. But the question then is "Who is the rightful monarch?" - I met a real-life Jacobite once!

Edmund Blackadder?


Charlie could always pull a James Patterson and start a WriterFarm.

(joke - please don't)


Satoshi is actually live and well and is using the threat of the the wallet to extort real bux out of the speculators by threatening to crash Bitcoin value,.

He's living quite comfortably but then he gets greedy....


Or "cock" - as in Male bird of any species or Great Tit ( Parus Major ) & several other stupidities that I forget for now ....
[ Some village names in Dorset & Essex are particularly ripe ...]


ONLY if you stick to Salic Law, which we don't .....


Also I'm so burned-out
You WILL be careful, won't you?

Suggestion: Don't stop completely, if possible ... "potter" at it, limit yourself to an hour or half-hour of writing per day or alternate day, whilst doing other things ... etc. ( ?? )


Humans also have some bizarre mistakes in recognition.
It's called Pareidolia - & all too often involves religious fuckwits


There are plenty of sensory cues that generally escape conscious observation,
Which accounts, I suspect for at least 100% of all mystical happenings, warnings & other ESP/religious bollocks about such things.
I've had a couple my self & have post-rationalised that what probably happened was that I had picked up cues, without consciously "remarking" on them.


& 147
Oh dear & you were doing so well ....
Back to threats & shouting that we're all fucked ......


Balquhidder is worth a visit for a weekend getaway - there’s a hotel there (Monachylemore, a few miles down the Glen) which used to have a blind chef...

Her son has long since taken over, and the Mhor 84 brand is spreading; it’s taken over the Kingshouse at the junction with the main road, and has a very nice delicatessen in Callander.

Truly excellent food, lovely wine cellar (I may have proposed there)... and last time we took the boys, we went on a trip further up the Glen and managed to see two golden eagles in flight, at reasonably close range.


During WW2, Alan Turing met the controversial Sir Montagu Norman, then governor of the Bank of England.
Over dinner and drinks at a fairly high-powered gathering in Whitehall chat between the pair turned to the concept of currency. Turing had never considered the question before, being too busy with other matters.
(Part of the fuss surrounding Norman at that time was his friendship with the president of the German Central Bank, Nazi sympathiser Hjalmar Schacht.)
Norman retired in 1944, was elevated to the peerage, and spent the last six years of his life fairly quietly. He died in 1950. His stepson, Sir Peregrine Worsthorne, is a journalist who spent a significant part of his career at the Telegraph titles. Sir Peregrine is now 94 and long retired, as much as any journalist retires.
Turing worked on various projects in the post-war years - plus a few sidelines of his own. Very little is known about his "hobbies" as the security services were far more interested in his sexuality and susceptibility to blackmail. He was prosecuted for his homosexuality in 1952. He killed himself in 1954. On the reverse of his suppressed suicide note was a sentence that looked as though it had been scribbled under some duress. It read, 'The key is in Woking.'
Turing was cremated at Woking Crematorium.


Well, returning to the "mysterious case of Scunthorpe" all that is necessary is to have the wit to make the entry in the "nannybase" be "%20cunt". Now "Scunthorpe" becomes a place in Lincolnshire and not a "dread naughty word ;-) ".

There is no similarly simple solution for "cock", but since it's a technical name for a valve, a male avian and part of a number of place names attempting to nanny its use causes more problems than it cures anyway.

Also, incidentally, I use one site where, as a joke, the admin/owner set the nannyware to replace "naughty words" with the string "kitten". It's now not uncommon for posters on that site to say things like "My car had a kitten puncture this morning!"


It's not that simple, unfortunately. I have needed to do such text translation for other purposes (and taught it, God help me!), and its tricky even WITHOUT people actively trying to evade your censorship. You need to allow for it at the start of lines, and it is sometimes used in artificial terms like 'pisscunt', in variant forms like 'cunny' or with (deliberate) misspellings like 'cunnt'.

I really AM not looking forward to the more advanced parsing methods maturing enough to being used for such purposes, as the problems mentioned above will lead to unpredictable, incomprehensible and unchallengeable censorship. I already have the problem where many of my messages to my wife at work go into her spam folder, for no reason that even I can guess. I did hypothesise that it was because they were too short and simple, but that doesn't really explain it.

Harking back to the original topic, one (semi-serious) explanation of why the Satoshi Nakamoto bitcoins haven't been touched is that the bitcoin software won't let them be! If I could be bothered to study the algorithm, I could make a better guess as to how plausible that is.


president of the German Central Bank, Nazi sympathiser Hjalmar Schacht
Schacht was in a Konzentrazionslaager when the war finished - the Nazis simply recruited him ....
He was ACQUITTED at Nuremburg


Er, it’s fiction.
Norman didn’t meet Turing.
Turing didn’t invent the forerunner of Bitcoin.
The key isn’t in Woking.
There isn’t a key.
Space lobsters aren’t real.
Last night no one dreamt of going to Manderley again.


Agreed. Hjalmar Schacht was one of those German reactionaries that above all wanted to erase Versailles from existence and probably would have loved to welcome the Kaiser on his triumphant return to Berlin. Oh, and also believed they could use that little noisy, plebeian demagogue, A. Hitler...

Back to Nakamoto...

a) One man dares to appear on TV showing a little USB stick to the camera and claiming it contains $19 billion in bitcoins: Martin Shkreli, the pharma bro. Is he Nakamoto? Is he even telling the truth, or just using this MacGuffin to get a huge loan? And why did he disappear inmediately after?

b) Count of Montecristo 2.0. A man wronged by powerful enemies and decided to avenge himself could use some billions... if he managed to spend them. Or perhaps he doesn't even need to spend them. Even unspent $19 billion have POWER.


Okay, so our protagonist spends several years in the cell next to Nakamoto. It's either secret CIA black site with no electronics that they keep the world's most dangerous hackers (action movie style), Guantanomo Bay (topical! The most infamous prison in the world currently), or somewhere in Russia (slightly grittier action movie style). Nakamoto teaches them coding and theory, and reveals where the USB stick is. We see the chain of events that led our protagonist to his position in flashback, each flashback incerasing their villainy. Nakamoto dies, our hero swaps places with the body and escapes in some danerous and dramatic fashion, maybe there's a storm or an explosion, anyway they get out and SWEAR REVENGE. End of Act One

In Act Two we catch up with the people who framed our protagonist; the one who makes rockets, the one who makes TV and films and owns a newspaper, the one who is a vampire has the big data analysis firm, the big pharmacutical owner, and one that's now in government. OPTIONAL: They are all former lovers of the protagonist. The protagonist is a master of disguise which in this digital age means they spend most of their time seducing people to get access to their electronic devices. The younger generation are chafing against their parent's constraints and eagerly welcome the hotshot coder/VC/party animal the protagonist is. Strangely everywhere he goes disputes and strange unpleasantness follows.

Act 3 begins with a rocket blowing up. The investigation leads to the big data firm, which is revealed to be blackmailing the politician; the TV news eagerly follows this only for it to implicate the owner, the single copy of the rap album is mysterious released. Bitcoins are dumped on the markets making their backup fortunes worthless, they all meet ironically appropriate fates, our protagonist realises that they've caused a recession, the rise of a new and more dangerous politican, an end to space exploration, a massive distrust in the media and generally more damage than can ever be put right in seeking their revenge, and then starts to try to put it right. THE END.


(We leave in the lesbian elopement and the enormous amounts of hashish from the original Count of Monte Cristo)


Satoshi Nakomoto is in fact a small group of Discordian hackers who, not satisfied with the efforts of the KLF, intended to have another crack at getting the Discordian alchemagical system to work in real life.

Unfortunately they have misplaced the only copy of the wallet...


Really good twisty stuff here!

Recall my first impression of BitCoin's developer's name: probably intended as an anagram for shit-show except that typos happen.

The (ahem) key question here is: Where would you hide 'bits'? A physical key is a red herring - physicality is completely beside the point in ether.


Re: surreal headlines

The first headline I saw this morning was: Putin announces undetectable nukes.


Probably too SF for technothriller but…


Project DOMINION, an experimental NCA data centre, goes online for the first time. The fruits of a dark project on experimental parallel processing technology 20 years ahead of what the world currently thinks possible. More computation will happen within this building in the next ten minutes than will happen on the whole planet in the next ten years.

Something impossible happened. Reality changed.

You never heard about it. Most of humanity never noticed.


Julia, 48, single, genius geek. Recruited into the CIA after she graduated from MIT at 18. Moved from the agency to Wall Street in 1995. Cashed out in 2007 when she saw the crash coming. Now is a happily retired valley angel investor.

Until people calling her "Satoshi Nakamoto" try and kidnap her because she invented this fringe currency called Bitcoin and knows where "the wallet" is.

Which she knows she didn't & doesn't. She's not an idiot. Bitcoin seems designed to waste computational resources around the world as efficiently as possible. Who would want to do that?

Unfortunately the folk trying to kidnap her seem pretty darn sure that the wallet is in a Swiss bank vault that is biometrically locked to her identity - retinal scans, gait analysis, fingerprints, genetic codes. The works. It cannot be faked, and had to be set up in person. But Julia knows she was in San Francisco at the time the vault was locked.

To make things worse there seems to be another group that's just flat out trying to kill her.

So it's time for Julia to brush off her old agency contacts, spend some of her Wall Street millions, get to the wallet before the competition, and generally kick ass. Except somebody is burning her old CIA contacts before she can get to them — using information only Julia possesses.

Hijinks ensue.


Turns out that our reality is running in a simulation. A shitty one with scaling problems. Too much computation in one location and you exceed the complexity supported by the sims scaling algorithms — causing local causality violations. Which tend to re-write reality so that the the high-computation area never happened ("Hey — it's a greasy hack, but it works — ACID isn't that important in the global scheme of things!").

Occasionally such re-writes leave loose ends. Julia is one of them.

Original Julia (OJ) was poached from the CIA by the NSA in 1990 to lead project DOMINION. Free of the dangers of fieldwork felt she could settle down. Got engaged. Then accidentally caused reality to rewrite by switching DOMINION on.

OJ finds herself in a 1995 where project DOMINION never existed. Where her fiancé died in a car accident in 1993. Where another copy of her is still working for the CIA and seems disgustingly happy.

OJ breaks more than a little.

But she's a genius. She uses her old CIA contacts to go underground and spends most of ten years figuring out what happened. Then, after a little thought, decides to end the world. So creates bitcoin. Enough computational complexity spread out around the planet will be enough to break it permanently — the causality violations will be too extreme to become consistent again. Let the idiots scale it, then release her original wallet to the world to push things over the edge.

However DOMINION has left other inconsistencies. Billions of black budget that seem to have been simultaneously spent and not-spent. Other doubles with different careers and identical SSNs. "Obvious" computation-intensive projects like DOMINION that seem to have been shutdown before they would have been started. The WMC (Weapons of Mass Computation) spins off the NSA and deduces the reality-breaking aspects of extreme local computation.

The WMC can see the danger of bitcoin, and know the release of the wallet would break the world, and are trying to track down and kill "Satoshi Nakamoto" ASAP.

OJ sees the WMC coming — and so releases the location of the wallet and "her" identity to the world, and begins burning as many of her and Julia's shared CIA contacts as possible.

Now everybody is after Julia. Either to get rich by getting her to release the wallet, or to save the world by killing her. Either way OJ win.


More utter bollocks - really (!)
From Wiki: (my emphasis added)

He was never a member of the Nazi Party, but served in Adolf Hitler's government as President of the National Bank (Reichsbank) 1933–1939 and became Minister of Economics (August 1934 – November 1937).

While Schacht was for a time feted for his role in the German "economic miracle," he opposed Hitler's policy of German re-armament insofar as it violated the Treaty of Versailles and (in his view) disrupted the German economy. His views in this regard led Schacht to clash with Hitler and most notably with Hermann Göring. He was dismissed as President of the Reichsbank in January 1939.


The first headline I saw this morning was: Putin announces undetectable nukes.

Yeah, that, although I thought he was bragging about unstoppable nukes and a Russian version of Project Pluto(?).

My first thought was, here we are, back in the 60s, with the US in an unwinnable, unending war, dictators in Russia and China, people in the streets over racial and gender justice issues, and fighting a corrupt system, a missile gap, serious environmental issues, and so forth. Of course, we all know how good the Boomers and Gen Xers turned out to be at government (looking at who globalized consumerism and forgot about the problems with authoritarianism), so I'm *sure* the Millenials are going to do a better job. If we don't go off in a blinding flash, or something.

Anyway, then I drank some coffee and remembered this little article about Putin's vaunted stealth fighters. While I know that Russia has also been developing supercavitating torpedoes and all that, what I am wondering about now is whether these are genuine threats, or yet more evidence Russia's continued, masterful innovation in the realm of producing BS and promulgating it through unwilling systems.

So do we start ducking and covering on this news, sell more bomb shelters to the rich elites, or just assume that, like Satoshi Nakamoto, this is yet another Russian PsyOps project?


Every other week, I went down to that room, pull a hard drive out of a fire safe, put it in a drive bay on the desk on the diametric opposite side of the room from the only door, and fire it up. Go back upstairs, and run an offline backup. Go back down, pull the next one out, and put the current one back in the safe. Safe is *directly* under the steam valve. And for months, I'd been meaning to consolidate several of the drives on larger drives. I'd just consolidated three onto one a week and a half or two ago... the first three. I'd been going down there around 11:30, +/- 15 min, until I did that.

Also did another two last week. We hear they're going to be moving the steam line outside the building, so it comes into engineering, instead of there... which, I dunno, maybe they should have done A DOZEN YEARS OR SO AGO, when they redid the room for our use.....


Actually, I think the original reference to all of this was back in the eighties, was it? When Prodigy decided that Naughty Words Should Be Forbidden. This lasted less than two weeks, under pressure from (however Prodigy was divided, groups or whatever) breast cancer survivors, and the port of Brest, etc, etc, etc.

Censors really are dolts....


If you were bombed with an undetectable nuke then how would anyone ever know?


Neither. Just standard willy-waving. Putin HAS to bluster, because Russia is outspent 9:1 by the USA alone, and much more when you include the rest of its active enemies.


Re: Putin's undetectable nukes

Or, someone went through existing nuke-detecting tech and simply asked: what are the most common frequencies in use, what are the holes and can we make our nukes emit in only that as yet unmonitored audio signature. (There's also masking in order to change a frequency.)

If the above scenario is correct, this begs the question: what else can Russia do wrt audio frequencies ... like in, say, a couple of small embassies?

Apart from ultrasound in diagnostic imaging, there are other medical applications using sound waves, e.g., speed up bone healing. Then there's also the sonic cannons used in crowd control about 20-30 years back. There's also growing interest in the neuro of music - how music affects mood, health.


... found that one to be quite good.

(Insoluble by the wat'ry universal...)


And of course the pentagon pretends to take the bluster at face value and uses it to justify raising the ratio to 10:1 next year.


Heteromeles wrote: So do we start ducking and covering on this news, sell more bomb shelters to the rich elites, or just assume that, like Satoshi Nakamoto, this is yet another Russian PsyOps project?

My suggestion is that we treat it as business as usual. Arms engineers try to improve things, that's what they do. From the details that have been released it sounds like the Russians have figured out how to put a nuclear warhead on their already existing supersonic cruise missiles.During the Cold War there was a steady stream of technical improvements and new developments in nuclear weaponry, but nothing could alter the underlying reality that if one side launched nukes at the other, they'd be destroyed in return.

There's probably a sales pitch aspect to this announcement. Arms sales are important to Russia, and as the article you linked to points out they're not doing so well on developing new stuff lately. So these new undetectable/invulnerable missiles are the "concept cars" for the salesdroids trying to convince other governments not to buy Western or Chinese.

Also a genuinely useful reminder to anyone thinking that the various US anti-missile interceptor programs make the US invulnerable. This could be Putin's way of saying "Hey, your THAAD or Patriots might work against second raters like Yemen and North Korea, but don't think for a minute you can launch a first strike against us."


When Prodigy decided that Naughty Words Should Be Forbidden

I read that in the context of Prodigy being a rapper and specifically the song IMDKV which ... he's a black rapper from the USA.

As you were.


Whereas I was boggling at the thought of the Twisted Firestarters NOT swearing.


Took a look at the bitcoin paper [-1], it's almost sad how quaint it is. Given how much of it was dedicated to showing that the network would be resilient to anything less than a majority attack, it should have been straightforward to think of who would be providing all that CPU power. I suspect even then (2008?) it must have been well known that the big players had or could have access to custom silicon (dark silicon?).

- peer-to-peer, except that it has to through the ASIC cloud and/or through GS-owned exchanges [0]

- electronic cash, except nobody really used it to buy anything, fees and confirmation times are too high

- without going through a financial institution (see first point)

... not to mention that weird piece of unnecessary C code at the end

Sometimes, during good days like when they don't announce Pluto v2, it seems to me that we're in the balance between either a more extreme surveillance-based version of the current status-quo (real name only apps/discourse), or a decentralized rework of the internet (ipfs, mesh, etc). It's sad for me to see bitcoin that is/was hailed as a promise on the latter future to be so fully co-opted by the existing order.




Maybe by naughty words they mean something different... political correctness for Angry Young Men (oh, no, contagious capitalisation!)

Banned words like "life peer", "billionaire" and "tax exempt?


a promise on the latter future to be so fully co-opted by the existing order.

I'm more exciting by Nick Gruen's proposal to revise retail banking and shake up commercial lending by having the government in charge of creating new money.

In terms of modest proposals it's a pretty big one. Bitcoin may have created $US200 billion of new currency (give or take a few orders of magnitude depending on the value du jour), but banks in the UK or USA would regard that as a quiet day on the markets.

If that money printing was instead socialised the profits would go to the taxpayer (with a corresponding hit to bank profiteering... sorry profitability), and the tax situation would look different as well (if government already owns your transaction records looking at them is a very different process. Claims of privacy don't fly when it's the tax department looking).


You're right about the relative value, at your estimate Bitcoin is currently only worth around 150 Kardashian tweets [0][1]



Which accounts, I suspect for at least 100% of all mystical happenings, warnings & other ESP/religious bollocks about such things.
That was couched for you, yes. You might be missing the broader point, that the accuracy of such effects can be measured at a personal level (records kept, or at least a rough exponentially weighted (vs time) accuracy level), and correlated with other aspects of one's life and one's mental and emotional states, and tuned given all such available information.
And also, yes, careful analysis can uncover predictive sensory cues for subsequent conscious observation.

Article (did not do a literature search):
The Science of Intuition: How to Measure 'Hunches' and 'Gut Feelings'
A few papers. I think a few of their assumptions are wrong but you might like.
Measuring intuition: nonconscious emotional information boosts decision accuracy and confidence (2016)
Losing Your Gut Feelings. Intuition in Depression (2016, refs and discussion, no results.)

Lara Mater Larum @149. Hi. (Spring! (Northern hemisphere)). Still digesting all that.


*GPU power.

The real McGuffin has always been that everyone would like a Block-Chain that's efficient and it's actually a very useful tool but there's too much money / power in the friction side of things for it ever to be allowed to work properly. At the moment the entire Market Cap (of all Crypto-Currencies) is only $330 bil or so[0] which unless you subscribe to Illuminati / Masonic symbolism[1] is pretty much small potatoes[2]. I mean, the entire market is only 1/3rd of Apple, a single tech company[3].

If I were writing a technoire, the twist would be to suck in as much money from the black / grey economy as possible then burn it all to the ground as a revenge plot[4] while making sure all identities were carefully logged. I'd have included the extra space at the start to contain all possibilities of users (but that's the boring version).

But, with the China Miner / Apple (and Dropbox / Google deal)[5], it's fairly certain major players have discussed using the tech (block chain) and are cementing deals (the froth of speculators etc will vanish when they choose) for when it's rolled out. But it won't be BitCoin. Or Ethereum. Or any current Coin used as the notary .bit.

So, we've had since I waaaargasmed:

Trade war with China - check
Cold War 2.0 with Russia - check
Brexit got colder via John Major intervention went viral - check
YouTube & Discord and other US services 'purging' neo-fascist / conspiracy stuff - check
US deregulation of Financial Industry a 'go-go'[6] - check


Facebook will end an experiment that removed professional news posts from users’ News Feed in six countries, after months of criticism that the “downright Orwellian” move was increasing fake news and misinformation on the platform.

Facebook ending News Feed experiment condemned as 'Orwellian' Guardian 1st Mar 2018

It was always going to get eaten: the energy costs alone make sure of that (USA -- then China; individual to farms: if you can't spot the pattern in relative energy costs, whelp).

Oh, and for Mr Whitroth the Lucky: "Burn your House down" has a couple of meanings, none of them literal. *Points to White House which appears to be in the early stages of building 7*. I told you they run his Mind into the ground...


More interesting theory: ok, so there's this bunch of Scottish SF writers sitting in a bar around 2005, and they have various backgrounds in CS and so on and they make a drunken bet of whose novels will sell the most, *and* just how much a dent they could make with various projects and possibly screw with England...


[1] You'd be surprised: grep JP Morgan on their changing positions on it, just for it to crash. IMF lurves their symbolism.

[2] Certainly in terms of Derivatives and/or stuff like ETN. You know, where the wizards work.

[3] And Hedge Fund

[4] Thus "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo".

[5] And lots of other deals too numerous to list - search term is "$20 billion". Google / Dropbox is pretty much an alliance between .mil teams at this point.

[6] Someone ask about all that aluminum that got caught up in storage depots. Sooo dated now?


Or, you'd posit this theory:

1) 2008 Financial World Crashes

2) SN spots bail outs and other stuff preventing actual change

3) Designs Weapon that prevents next bailout working.

Drugs and crime chief says $352bn in criminal proceeds was effectively laundered by financial institutions

Drug money saved banks in global crisis, claims UN advisor Guardian, 2009.

*looks into the camera*

That's almost spooky how well that ties in.


Kardashian tweets

That was hilarious. By sheer coincidence I have a letter to New Scientist proposing the KT as a unit of financial irresponsibility. Specifically, Carillion is only 1.1 KT but when Hinkley C goes it's likely to be at least 10KT.


Sorry, to be precise: it's a weapon designed to remove outliers / externalities from a Liquidity Risk and to move 'traditional' black / grey market grease from machine.

It worked fairly well.

*record scratch*

*looks to camera*

Yep. That's the real reason.


(Coda: All weapons are designed for the last war fought)


Ahh, the silence.

I thought this was obvious to everyone. This is like common knowledge in circles since 2010. It is real. It is, how do you say it?: "The Trap?

“Everything was a metaphor; all things were something other than themselves. The pain, for example, was an ocean, and he was adrift on it. His body was a city and his mind a citadel. All communications between the two seemed to have been cut, but within the keep that was his mind he still had power. The part of his consciousness that was telling him the pain did not hurt, and that all things were like other things, was found it hard to think of a comparison. A magic mirror, maybe.”

Not One Of You Came And Said Hello Directly. All snide and fearful.

וַתַּבֵּט אִשְׁתּוֹ, מֵאַחֲרָיו; וַתְּהִי, נְצִיב מֶלַח.

For an Abrahamic genus who pride themselves on valuing life, you should have put a little bit more effort in.

For the record: it hurt. A lot.


(Coda: All weapons are designed for the last war fought)


This is a cute idea. More precisely, the problem with the US Military Industrial Complex is that it keeps designing stuff for WWIII.* Then the US gets mired in insurgent conflicts where our equipment isn't designed for the conflict (as with A10 Warthogs getting tasked with stuff that a crop duster with a machine gun could handle better, the regular Army getting tasked with working in mountains), and messes are made.

*which is a schizophrenic combination of Dr. Strangelove and WWII 2.0 (now with game theory, cyberwar, and spawar) with the US still the good guys and rampaging unregulated industrialization leading to the victory over Evil.


the US Military Industrial Complex is that it keeps designing stuff for WWIII.

They also inflict that on their client states, making Australia buy those silly semi-functional fighter jets (to maintain air superiority over Timor and PNG), and Aotearoa buying frigates (to escort the carrier-based battle groups that they don't have).

The only funny side to that is Aotearoa exporting stuff like Hamilton jet units used by other people's navies who have the sort of boats NZ actually needs (albeit they can't man the ones they have because somehow cutting wages and conditions hasn't led to the dramatic increase in staff retention that the politicians expected (Trump seems likely to achieve the same result via denigrating those staff in public)).


Hello Directly.
Obtusely doesn't count? :-) OK. (Been slapped down (metaphorically) a few times.)

Did not know of "The Trap". Thanks for the link.

In (2 weeks old news) you told-us-already news (don't see the jama link here):
New research suggests sonic weapon not likely in Cuban embassy employee illnesses
Neurological Manifestations Among US Government Personnel Reporting Directional Audible and Sensory Phenomena in Havana, Cuba


I can't help but notice that 1, 2, 5, and 6 could all be true stories... and several combinations could be true at the same time. Here are my contributions:

7) Bitcoin was created by the NSA/GCHQ/etc to (check all the apply):
a) Produce a crack for SHA-256, or demonstrate that no such attack exists
b) Produce a crack for ECDSA, or demonstrate that no such attack exists
c) Accelerate the development of quantum computing
d) Keep Moore's Law going by other means

8) Satoshi Nakamura is really Neal Stephenson, who created Bitcoin as a parody of gold.

9) Satoshi Nakamura is really Charlie Stross, who created Bitcoin one night as a joke
Variant: as a plot assistant for Neptune's Brood


Well, maybe he could use a cover band called Compuserve - who knows.

204: with A10 Warthogs getting tasked with stuff that a crop duster with a machine gun could handle better...
Maybe, maybe not ...
'osses 4 courses ??


A small group of analysts in an Israeli intelligence agency realise hat an unhealthy obsession with "fiat money" and banking conspiracies are starting to rise among their primary monitoring targets. After a few days of discussing possible uses for this, someone finds a print-out of a paper from the 80s, about digital currencies, next to an explanation of the inner workings of Git, goes "huh, wait a minute..."

Four weeks later, though one of the agency's VPN end-points in the US, they upload a description of BitCoin, and a rushed initial implementation of the software. In order to further cloud the trail, the group adopts the cover name "Satoshi Nakamoto".


While I know that Russia has also been developing supercavitating torpedoes and all that, what I am wondering about now is whether these are genuine threats

In general, if they're selling it to overseas customers, it's real. Russia's arms industry is one of its few successful non-resource-extraction industries and customers don't generally pay real cash for vapourware. The supercavitating torpedo actually goes back to the 1970s and is now in its second or third generation: VA-111 Shkval. However, due to the infrequency of submarine dogfights since 1945 nobody really knows if it's militarily useful — it's very fast but unguided and short range (a newer version pauses every so often to ping using sonar, but sonar doesn't work while it's running).

The nuclear-powered torpedo of yesteryear fits a certain (insane) strategic weapons niche. Ditto the nuclear-powered cruise missile, and even if Russia doesn't have one it's technically plausible insofar as the US nearly built one inthe 1960s — Project Pluto.

If these are psyops, they're aimed at the Pentagon budget, to induce spending on pointless countermeasures, not the regular citizens of the USA.


"And also, yes, careful analysis can uncover predictive sensory cues for subsequent conscious observation."

It can also uncover real phenomena that are not explicable with any existing theories; biology and medicine are particularly prone to that. But, when done by a suitable person, 'gut feelings' can be pretty reliable, even when they can't be put into a precise formulation; the subconscious is, after all, where we do most of our information integration.

I don't have a useful feeling about bitcoin's origins, unfortunately, except that the standard explanations don't feel right.


Actually I mostly agree. Schacht was never a Nazi (probably detested them from the start) but an old style reactionary/monarchist - which in German terms could mean elitist and militaristic, but no totalitarian and madly genocidal.

I'm however not sure he was against re-armament because it went against the Treat of Versailles. IIRC in principle he was for it but believed Nazi plans called for a re-armament so fast and so massive than German economy wouldn't be able to support it for long due to several reasons, amongst them runaway inflation and the collapse of imports for lack of foreing currency.

Re-armament by definition erodes exporting capacity because it sucks money, resources, engineers, etc, from producing exportable goods to weaponry. You can export weapons, certainly, but should you export many of them you wouldn't be rearming...


I like it!

"They are all former lovers of the protagonist..."

Do you know Dantés was known as prisoner no. 34? It's too good to be a mere coincidence :)

And Abbé Faria was prisoner no. 27 (Rule 27: Always question a person's sexual preferences without any real reason)


Charlie noted: "If these are psyops, they're aimed at the Pentagon budget, to induce spending on pointless countermeasures, not the regular citizens of the USA."

If Jerry Pournelle is to be believed, he and a bunch of other folks who worked as Pentagon consultants persuaded Reagan and his cronies to bankrupt the USSR in precisely this way, via the Star Wars R&D program. I have also heard anecdotes suggesting that Star Wars was designed primarily as an economic weapon, and never really intended to provide a serious missile defense (unless that happened as a serendipitous bonus). Treat the former as something I'm reasonably confident I read Pournells saying, and the latter as anecdote stored in an aging and flawed memory.

So Putin's plan, if such it is, is plausible and would be deeply amusing revenge if it works. Putin scares me. He gets realpolitik, and is playing the great game quite cleverly if one ignores his domestic failures -- which are increasingly hard to ignore.

Remember historian Paul Kennedy ("Rise and Fall of the Great Powers", now 31 years old)? He was roundly mocked for his suggestion that the U.S. was going to "great power" itself into economic collapse. Me, I think he was just 30 years premature with his warnings and we're now seeing the early signs of that collapse. But I admit to being a pessimist.


Re: 'acoustic experience'

Neither paper mentions whether any history of meds or pre-existing conditions that could result or facilitate in these symptoms. And there are a lot! Nor any mention of inner ear x-rays. (Okay - I've no idea what diagnostic imaging is in fact used to image/diagnose inner ear structures, health, function. Yes, they mention neuro scans but that could mean they only examined soft neural tissue and not bone.)

Also - why look at only one possible 'cause' at one time? If the objective is to do harm and get away with it, wouldn't the bad guys check to see if there are combinations of 'safe' as in unlikely to be suspected things that when combined cause this type of specific damage. Good grief - there's medical literature about people who have one particular gene variant who are 20 times more likely to get cancer than people with some other variant but only if these folk also do/eat/are exposed to X.

UPenn has a terrific reputation in medical science; I expect much more diligence and creativity from them than appears in this report/article.


But Putin is only 6 years younger than me - he's 66....
Even when he "wins" the next "election" - is he going to be there, at my current age for the next "election" ??
And if he is, as seems likely, what will his mental state be by then, as that sort of job does wear people out & they get delusions-of-grandeaur ....
Agree re "playting the game - like I said he's really learnt for pre-'14-up-to-1917 Imperial Germany in dicking with other people's politics, "merely" to cause complete havoc. But even there, it can come back to bite you.


Nakamoto is a standalone complex along the same lines as Luther Blisset or Monty Cantsin. Every action by Nakamoto has actually been taken by someone completely different, acting independently under the name, with no coordination. The Nakamoto moniker in the original whitepaper was used because, due to a typo, the author believed he was taking on the mantle of an existing well-known personality. So, even the very first use was a copy with no existing original. Furthermore, everyone who has ever claimed to be Nakamoto is telling the truth.

(That's not really a story. It's just the most interesting possible answer to 'who is Satoshi Nakamoto')


UPenn has a terrific reputation in medical science; I expect much more diligence and creativity from them than appears in this report/article.

Yes, I've been trying to keep up with the reportage on this exceedingly bizarre story, and the bizarreness extends not just to the reported effects/symptoms themselves but to the way it's been handled.


[Douglas Smith, director of the Centre for Brain Injury and Repair, who led the medical assessments] conceded that the cause of the diplomats’ illnesses was still unknown. “The concept of this being an energy source is really our best guess, because we can’t think of anything else, but it’s absolutely not proven.” He added: “Whether there was an attack or not is not really in our purview.”

Also see


Regarding your [6] and the whole trade war thing, it reminded me of a story from just a few weeks ago

There was a very detailed anonymous post on Seeking Alpha [0] in 2015 presenting "the laergest[sic] and most complex China fraud ever uncovered", where the alleged bad boys "move[d] tens of billions of HK$ of Zhongwang aluminum to Mexico, Vietnam, the US and Malaysia". There are pictures of the place in Mexico, a plant basically overflowing with aluminum. I think the implied fraud was 1. secretly ship a bunch of Al to Mexico 2. smuggle it into the US and avoid tariffs (it's been a while since I first read it). The thing that smelled fishy to me, that was never mentioned in the article, is that the Al plant in Mexico is basically in the middle of Mexico's Detroit [1]. There are a ridiculous number of car factories within 50 km.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, it turns out the report had secretly been generated by Muddy Waters, hoping to profit from shorting the stock [2]

My point is that the suggestion that the trade was came about in a fit of rage after the Hope Hicks testimony and decision to quit the WW is ridiculous, somebody is making a lot of money out of this


[1] (the spot with Mazda, Honda, GM, VW, and I think it's missing a few)



It was actually a reference to an earlier scandal that had a full US Senate inquiry to look into it[0]; today the United States Secretary of Commerce, Mr Wilbur Ross, went on national television and held up a can of Cambell's Soup[1] bought from a store.

The joke was that the Goldman Sachs scheme relied upon the fact that (in the USA) aluminum used for making tin cans is different to LME traded commodity aluminum[2]. As in, they are literally different piles of the same metal but treated as completely differently in finance versus the production side.

You can store aluminum anywhere, in your garage if you want, it is the easiest thing in the world to store, it just lies there. But you can also store it in what is called "on-warrant storage" at a warehouse regulated by the London Metal Exchange. The metal in the LME warehouses can be used for delivery under LME futures contracts, so it is the foundation of the system for trading aluminum for financial purposes like hedging or speculation. "Off-warrant" aluminum, in garages or whatever, is better for making beer cans with. "There are currently approximately 4.4 million tons of LME warranted aluminum and there is estimated to be almost 8 million tons being stored off-warrant." (from the Bloomberg piece).

Part of the scandal was that the two had separated in price significantly (the Bloomberg piece is old, but worth a read).

So, either Mr Ross doesn't know the difference between the two or the old theatrical 'show and tell' is being used to 'muddy the waters'.

Of course, I really shouldn't be making jokes before the Event, but there we go...

[0] The Goldman Sachs Aluminum Conspiracy Was Pretty Silly Bloomberg, 2014

[1] CNBC 'GOP War Room', YouTube, 2:44.

[2] METALS-LME aluminium steadies, supported by race to beat new U.S. tariffs Reuters, via Kitco, March 2nd 2018


The Russian video shows a missile hitting Florida. I think that message was only intended for one recipient (who owns a large property in Florid

And the Jesuits (above) are aliens.


Thanks for the comment, that was very illustrative (and Matt Levine is always great). It feels to me that at some point economics abstracted a bunch of stuff (no need to have a guy running around gold carts in the reserve once you move out of the gold standard), which lead to things like negative interest rates that seem completely outside the physical world, but then there was bleed-in to the commodities market (or maybe there always was, re: tulips)

@202 I bet Satoshi was a fan of Stephenson, Cryptonomicon's MacGuffin would work much much better as Bitcoin


I'm currently seeing a huge amount of smoke and heat coming out of the Beltway.

* Rumours that Trump has asked John Kelly to lever Jared and Ivanka Kushner out of the White House.

* Rumours that Mueller is targeting Kushner over the question of whether he's used Trump's influence in property deals (hint: the Qatari refusal to invest in a property scheme, followed by Trump's mid-east visit, followed by the whole Qatari blockade by the neighbouring Gulf Emirates and Saudi Arabia: implication is Trump used SA as a bludgeon to punish Qatar for not throwing money at Jared's wallet).

* Rumours that an indictment of the Kushners for corruption in office is a logical prelude to an indictment of the President for same (presumably not until after the mid-terms at which point hopefully the Senate and House will flip Democrat, making impeachment possible).

* Rumours that WH staffers are treating Trump as if he's on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Any or all of this could be disinformation/fake news. Then again, all of it could be true and it paints a plausible, internally consistent picture of an administration in crisis ... which might in turn be intended to induce the very crisis it's portraying, who the hell knows?

... But if this picture is true, then the iron/aluminium trade sanctions are symptoms of Trump, under extreme emotional pressure, lashing out at random.

Ah well, could be worse, he could have tried to nuke North Korea instead.


NB: the whole "crisis actors/deep state" narrative by the neo-nazi right is obvious bollocks ... except that the deep state is a real thing and it's fairly clearly not terribly keen on Rule By Edgelord, i.e. Trumpikins.

My read on the deep state v. Trump struggle is that it's largely one of "dumb insolence" — the deep state apparat will obey orders to the letter and absolutely no more, rather than supporting the regime enthusiastically (as is normally the case). And if, by obeying lawful orders, they can hasten Trump's ejection from the wheelhouse of power, they will absolutely do that. "They" being those individuals within the deep state who don't agree with Trump's agenda, which is most (but not all) of them.

But the idea that the deep state is liberal-dominated or willing to engage in an active coup is just garbage: if it has any ideology at all, it's probably old-school conservative imperialism. (If D&D alignments were a thing, I'd peg the American deep state as Lawful Evil.)


Edmund Dantes at one point substitutes a message into the French (sempahore) telegraph system, knowing that there is a regular leak of official government messages (via a mid-level functionary to his mistress to her husband, a financier) which allows them to make what are effectively insider trades.

1. Topical! Who sold US steel stocks just before our good friend the president started talking about steel tariffs?

2. It's a hack that relies on social engineering. Question: Is Dantes then an early example of a hacker in fiction?


If these are psyops, they're aimed at the Pentagon budget, to induce spending on pointless countermeasures, not the regular citizens of the USA.

Isn't that how American "conservatives" claim Saint Ronnie brought down the Soviet Union? I guess it's now Putin's turn.


Want the fun part?


Looking at the numbers, it worked. Canada might shit the bed a little, but China is 0% nonplussed.

I mean, it's crude, but it apparently works.

>Tweet Tariffs
>LME bounces
>Move onto next Disaster
>Watch endless muppetry and commentary by concerned citizens
>IMF gets to sound important

I mean... it's crude, but apparently effective.

*Points to the Cambell Soup Can*


The moment you don't react to that shit with extreme prejudice? Whelp, you've got Trump.


A few folks made a few millions today. Can you guess who they were? Hint: they work on Wall Street.


Oh, and Mr Lucky Writh - your lot are 100% complicit in this by having the political and economic nouse of a small plate of beans.

I love y'all, but you're going to get turned into mush if you can't even do this basic level manoeuvre stuff.


I would love nothing more than to see an impeachment, but given the need for 67 Senators to vote for removal, I can't see the House voting for articles even if the Democrats control both the House and Senate.

I can see a Democrat-controlled congress making life such utter hell for everyone in an appointed position that they effectively kneecap the Executive until the 2020 elections. If nobody's willing to stay and serve and nobody can get appointed, it leaves Trump isolated to the point of futility. (It also sets yet another horrible precedent but the given the alternative...) If nothing else, it would leave the Executive branch in the hands of the 'permanent staff' for anything short of the broadest policy pronouncements. At which point we'd really get to see government by Tweet.


This is where we get into the problem of the Imperial Presidency again. If the legislative branch doesn't do its job, the executive branch has to order things done.

Personally, I hope that things get bad enough to bring down the imperial presidency (naive fool that I am), because three authoritarian leaders in Russia, the US, and China playing brinksmanship is one way we could accidentally get ourselves into a nuclear war. Far better that everyone get humbled by all us revolting peasants.


I can see a Democrat-controlled congress making life such utter hell for everyone in an appointed position that they effectively kneecap the Executive until the 2020 elections.

Are you on crack? Did you miss the part where most high level USA positions are either not being filled or filled with ideological idiots?

This is literally not what is going to happen, at all. I can spot a cool $400 million from the Koch brothers alone that says that's not what's going to happen. In fact, the entire Democratic Party of the United States just became 100% irrelevant.

If you missed it, Trumps' Rabid Tariff Tweets actually bolstered the LME Metal Index - if you do not know what that means, it means a lot of Traders just creamed their pants. It doesn't matter if the Tariffs are real or not (spoilers: they aren't), Trump just showed he was willing to use Geopolitical Power in Favor of Wall Street (and the larger trading community) and would literally just Tweet in favor of them over the EU, IMF and so on.

It's a done fucking deal now. Xi Pinguin just creamed his pants as well: Global Autarchy is now Live.

Over a fucking soup can. And yeah, we get the reference.


Re Aluminum, Seth Abrahamson's pinned tweet ATM is
(He's irritatingly fun to follow.)
It mentions a tidbit about Mercenary Prince^2 Erik Prince. Gotta have mercenaries in this story.
1/ This is just a note to say Erik Prince a) is known to secretly lobby Trump, b) is a Trump "shadow advisor," c) had a secret Russia meeting on Trump's behalf, d) is a Russia-probe witness, e) said the following to Congress (apropos of Trump's sudden, bizarre aluminum tariff):
It's about bauxite, RUSAL, Erik Prince.
That's from page 73 in (unsearchable pdf) Testimony of Erik Prince
(Used gscan2pdf, for anyone so inclined. Might want to jail it if in the habit.)


Or Smelters in Iceland built by China, or Icelandic Art Centres being repaired by Chinese labor... Or [insert endless chains of projects].

You're really not getting what's happening here.

Ok, we'll break it down:

1) RU has a way of doing things

2) USA has a way of doing things

3) CN has a way of doing things

>insert all countries here

But if you don't be the biggest baddest silly narrow minded predator?

Game Over Man.

*cracks smile*

Yeah, fuck that noise.


It worked earlier, the United States built two XB-70s and the Soviets spent a lot on MIG 25s...


The "Crop duster with a machine gun" is going to be more like a Sturmovic with a turboprop if it's expected to survive small arms fire. Consider the F-51 in the Korean conflict.


That was sloppy of me; I just wasn't able to cleanly copy the text for quoting and didn't feel like retyping it. Yes, agreed.
Re DJT's mind (stochastic style, brain increasingly addled by senescence and induced redlining), fwiw I'm still unclear on the current main players, the timeline, endgame and timing thereof.
(Out of curiosity, is this: Von Economo neurons of the anterior cingulate across the lifespan and in Alzheimer's disease (abstract without access, 1 Feb 2018) relevant?)
Still looking for a bitcoin angle.

Catching up on reading:
Strong control of Southern Ocean cloud reflectivity by ice-nucleating particles (Full paper, 28 February, 2018)
Implications for (accuracy improvement of) climate models.
Specifically, we show that the clouds that are most sensitive to the concentration of ice-nucleating particles are low-level mixed-phase clouds in the cold sectors of extratropical cyclones, which have previously been identified as a main contributor to the Southern Ocean radiation bias. The very low ice-nucleating particle concentrations that prevail over the Southern Ocean strongly suppress cloud droplet freezing, reduce precipitation, and enhance cloud reflectivity. The results help explain why a strong radiation bias occurs mainly in this remote region away from major sources of ice-nucleating particles.


Ah well, could be worse, he could have tried to nuke North Korea instead.
Yes, well .. Maybe, maybe not given the emphasis on Sun Tzu in that article & the way the US is doing the opposite, doesn't make for a good prognosis.


No more than the racist Republican ultra-right did in Obama's last 2 years.
Pot : Kettle
Tu quoque
etc ....

WHat really scares me is that the planet will get at least 6 years (Term-&-a-half) of POTUS-Pence.


Referring back to the original post, SN is a nym used by a subset of Bob Hettinga, Vince Cate, and Nick Szabo. Every thriller plot will therefore have to have at least one leg in Anguilla, and use the machinery of climate change for partial propulsion. If the timeline covers 2016, then Brexit fallout is clouding the prospects for a clean conclusion; if 2017 is included then prospects are even stormier and a cliffhanger ending is called for.


The classic one is quinine, which is one possible reason for my deafness and lack of balance. However, there isn't enough in tonic for that to kick in before the alcohol kills you :-)


"implication is Trump used SA as a bludgeon to punish Qatar for not throwing money at Jared's wallet"

People DO love conspiracy theories, don't they? While that's not provably wrong, it implausible on many grounds. Trump doesn't seem to do logic, not even to that extent, and seems incredibly easy to manipulate. We know that Saudi Arabia has been ramping up the proxy war against Iran (and the pogrom against Shias), and its published conditions SAID that it was bullying Qatar into abandoning neutrality and becoming one of its vassals.


Fundamentally Trump does not care what the Saudis do to Qatar. Unconditional backing of the Saudis is hardly a depature for American foreign policy. So the most likely scenario is that the Saudis pushed against Qatar, Trump fell into line and that was that.

It just looks corrupt because the worldwide family real estate and other businesses have links everywhere and Trump family members are close advisors to the presidency. The problem is that it is impossible to know if anything is above board or rotten, and that includes people trying to influence American foreign or deomestic policy and ALSO Trump family members. If I'm Kushner am I getting a good deal because my people have put together a compelling investment and the family name is high profile or is someone trying to bribe me? How can I tell if the comments from the investors about regulations are just usual business chit-chat or a quid pro quo?


1. Topical! Who sold US steel stocks just before our good friend the president started talking about steel tariffs?

Carl Icahn, according to various newspapers, right before the Commerce Department released a report in mid-February raising the prospect of tariffs.

According to the LA Times, "Icahn could not be immediately contacted for comment." Classic billionaire with hand trapped in the sweetie jar blooper; I wonder if Mueller is going to follow this up?

2. Yes, I suppose Dantes could be considered an early hacker. Especially his use of steganographic encoding of messages masked into errors in the legitimate traffic!


SPOILERS for The Fear Index by Robert Harris, and Charlie's Rule 34

Re. Charlie's interest in technothrillers vs. SF, you might want to throw financial thrillers into the mix. The rise of algorithmic trading, flash trading etc. seems to have caused a merger of the two anyway.

In The Fear Index, (SPOILERS), it turns out that the villain is an automated trading system which has attained sentience. Shades of Rule 34. It's a long time since I read it, but Zero Coupon by Paul Erdman involved some sort of sub-plot with a bunch of IT geeks in a compound in the woods.

I'm not recommending these. The whole sub-genre seems oddly joyless, and can't compete with the non-fiction section when it comes to bizarre financial catastrophes and bad behaviour. (Uh, Rule 34 excepted, obviously).


Very doubtful; the fact it's a story is more likely to be more feuding / sniping within the upper tiers[0]. The figures involved ($31 million) are at most a fractional % of his total holdings, and it's not as if others in the coterie haven't equally suspect histories[0.5].

The winds in D.C. are increasingly blowing[1] toward a more honest representation[2] of politics, only this time as farce. The question is whether or not the players know it or not.

[0] Carl Icahn on Herbalife Battle With Ackman: 'I'm Certainly Happy We Won' The Street, 1st Mar 2018

[0.5] In 2001, when LTV, a bankrupt steel company based in Cleveland, decided to liquidate, Ross was the only bidder. Ross suspected that President Bush, a free trader, would soon enact steel tariffs on foreign steel, the better to appeal to prospective voters in midwestern swing states. So in February 2002, Ross organized International Steel Group and agreed to buy LTV’s remnants for $325 million. A few weeks later, Bush slapped a 30 percent tariff on many types of imported steel—a huge gift. “I had read the International Trade Commission report, and it seemed like it was going to happen,” said Ross. “We talked to everyone in Washington.”

The Bottom-Feeder King: Never mind hedge funds. Wilbur Ross gets rich the unfashionable way—in steel plants, textile mills, and other stuff nobody wants. New York Magazine, 2001.

If you're wondering if the man holding the can on the teevee made a lot of money from Bush era tariffs that many consider as responsible for major job losses in the USA steel industry via bankruptcy deals... the answer is yes.

[1] Trump Picks Dow Chemical Lawyer for Key Role at EPA NYT, 2nd March.

[2] Revenge of the Stadium Banks: Instead of taking on gun control, Democrats are teaming up with Republicans for a Stealth Attack on Wall Street Reforms The Intercept, 2nd Mar, 2018


In The Fear Index, (SPOILERS), it turns out that the villain is an automated trading system which has attained sentience

See also: THIS IS NOT A GAME, by Walter Jon Williams, which I would recommend — and maybe THE RED by Linda Nagata (it's really near-future MilSF, but it takes the core idea of RULE 34 and runs with it in a very different direction).


Very doubtful; the fact it's a story is more likely to be more feuding / sniping within the upper tiers.

I'm wondering if Icahn was burned deliberately, with malice aforethought, but I don't know enough about his relations with Trump (or possible anti-Trump elements within the Commerce Department, for that matter).

The Ross/ITC thing is a little different; Ross bought after reading the published report — Icahn shorted steel stocks before the Commerce Department news broke. The former action is clearly informed speculation; the latter might well be insider trading.


More bizarreness in how the Cuba story is being handled

Thanks! I hadn't seen that.

The possibility of nonlinear mixing (aka parametric mixing aka intermodulation) had occurred to me, though more in the context of a deliberate effect, should the evidence ever point in that direction. Which, IMO, it hasn't yet. That it might be an accidental result resulting from mixing of ambient sounds is an interesting idea.


Icahn sold his shares of the company, the shorting stuff was Ackerman (while he held Herbalife positions). Directly selling stuff is a tad harder to prove as malicious rather than taking a short position with prior intel. I mean, it's obvious, but accidents also happen: he's not betting on it with leveraged money or anything.

Ross is one of the original Vulture Capitalists[1], and claims that the tariffs had no bearing on his purchases (they were certainly helpful, however, and Bush wanted those mid-state votes.. a lot). YMMV if you think he had meetings or prior knowledge or not. What's not news is that it lead to a big tasty IPO and (essentially) a government pension bail-out / write down & that he knows a lot more about finance than holding a can of soup. If you see that as predatory or the market efficiently saving as much as possible of a dying corpse is your usual ideological frame-work.

My silly commentary is because this was all clearly telegraphed[2], but it's no accident that Canada (rather than China) would be hit hardest; CPTPP / NAFTA is being discussed, with Canada wanting to team up with Mexico etc. Kevin Hassett is mentioned as being in support of tariffs.

The pull quote is "“The prospect of trade action on aluminum may be sufficient to coerce improved behavior of bad actors,” the department said. ".

The question is who the real 'bad actors' are in all of this: China, The Man holding the Soup, the LME Markets which rose on promised tariffs or the Orange Tweeter?

Canada / Mexico feature in the top #5 steel exporters to the USA - China does not. Likewise, Canada is #1 for aluminium, China is only #4.

As usual: not in finance, so those who are here might find the naivety laughable.

[1] According to, the sale of ISG for cash and stock worth $4.5 billion will net Ross a 12-fold gain on the original $100 million investment from his private equity fund. Other early-stage equity investors, including Washington's own Howard Hughes Medical Institute, will enjoy a sevenfold gain on their initial $343 million stake. And those who bought shares for $28 at last year's IPO can satisfy themselves with a 50 percent return in less than a year.

This financial alchemy is not all that hard to understand. It's amazing how much you can improve the bottom line of a company when you simply wipe mountains of debt off the books and stop paying for pensions and retiree health care. In the case of ISG, about $2 billion of pension liabilities were foisted off on the government's insurance fund.

Ross Profits From Shunned Steel Assets WaPo, 2004

[2] Memo shows Mattis backed Commerce findings on steel, aluminum Politico, 23rd Feb 2018 - the piece is blatantly tying in Canada to them.


..and to tie in, trending:

Eleven people have been arrested in Iceland as a result of what local media are calling the “Big Bitcoin Heist”—600 mining computers were recently stolen from Icelandic data centers in four separate burglaries between December 2017 and January 2018.

Bitcoin thirst spurs Icelandic heist—“Grand theft on a scale unseen before” Ars Technica, 2nd Mar 2018.

Like a Man with a Can, we really can't understand this story.

Four separate raids. For 600 machines. That need plugging in to mine & draw more energy than the entire civic population[1]. On an island. With only ~350k people on it. We're left hoping these are ecological protestors, not criminal BitCoin thieves, but still.

There's a nice plot twist: someone told someone that SN's wallet was hidden in a data centre, and...

[1] Iceland will use more electricity mining bitcoins than powering its homes in 2018 Quartz, 12th Feb 2018 - not sure if true anymore.


Re:'... the piece is blatantly tying in Canada to them.'

The OO/GOP has a real hate-on for Canada right now. Could be personal (The Donald's vs. Justin's appeal) or the lack of sucking-up whenever Libs are in power in Canada.


Re: Iceland

Okay, so Iceland is the second smallish country/economy to be used by BitCoin. Maybe the way to trace the ownership is to plant traps in other likely countries.


Satoshi Nakamoto/BitCoin - game that went amok during beta testing. Basically a lesson for games developers to rein back on the versatility and power of their online games/creations.

Also - dumb question time:

We know that there are multiple e-currencies out there. What happens to the processing power needs for such currencies when these currencies for whatever reason decide to increase their rate/frequency of exchanges between themselves vs. with 'real' currencies? (Is this like parallel universe creation with all of the lines of code being merged - therefore duplicated ad infinitum - with each 'exchange'?)


Even better - Good Omens with David Tennant and Michael Sheen, v exciting!


Are you on crack? Did you miss the part where most high level USA positions are either not being filled or filled with ideological idiots?

There's very little the Democrats could do about the positions where no one is appointed, but if they gain even a simple majority in the Senate they could at least block confirmation of the "ideological idiots".


Before I turn once more into a screaming wyrd of anger / disgust at the blatant tripe coming out of the USA to stay sane(ish), some 'how to keep up with crypto by someone who isn't into it':

1) BitCoin is a bit special: thus the AISC clouds, due to the design of the thing, which is how the Chinese Miner situation started. Newer currencies are designed to use GPUs more efficiently, thus the ~$750+ mil spending spree on them. But apparently they mostly all work on the same 'return curve' model. i.e. more that are mined = the harder it gets.

1.5) Most have massive security holes in them: Eclipse recently for Ethereum. Bug/Feature is your choice.

2) Aluminum & Coin farming are essentially the same production model: they require large amounts of cheap electricity. Thus Canada *and* Iceland have had interesting investments in them. From memory, the Icelandic Chinese investment was cancelled due to protests / strategic concerns. China's electrical production cost / tonne aluminium is listed as more expensive than Iceland, for example.

3) The SEC is cracking down on ICOs & other illegal naughtiness from the various exchanges. Lots of serious filings taking place, lots of scared Libertarians and lots of chances for a massive implosion. The reasons for this are manifold, but a) because ICOs are often scams and b) they're acting as exchanges without any safeguards and c) don't poke Wall Street it has sharp pointy teeth.

4) Someone went after GitHub quite hard. Not sure of the reasons, but it's an interesting one.

5) The CPTPP is basically the old TTP without the US requirements. The UK & USA have remained distant from it, Canada has not. "Globalists" etc. Doesn't help that Trudy & Macron both beat Trump up in handshake dominance games and love making him feel old.

6) Venezuela has apparently started asking their state banks to mine their new crypto-coin. This is a bad move, cue /facepalm by everyone.

7) Bandwidth costs are srs buziness. There's a reason Wall Street has its own fiber. There's also a reason most of the current crypto exchanges are either slow, expensive or slow *and* expensive. They simply don't have the clout / spend of say Bloomberg who pay billions for finger-tip information.


Anyhow, Variant: SN is actually an Icelandic Radical Eco-Anarchist Group, determined to keep heavy industry / Chinese soft power money out of the country who invent the thing post-2008 to create a radical future.

The problem is, they totally underestimate the global impact / insanity that it will spawn and end up having to physically steal units to prevent the thing crashing too hard *and* from leaving the physical evidence potentially etched onto silicon when the Black Suits come knocking.

Hijinks (and ASICs being hidden in all kinds of odd places) ensues!


Try this - still works for me:

The USAF doesn't want them. If they buy light attack aircraft whose only purpose is to support ground forces, sooner or later someone is going to expect them us use those light attack aircraft to support ground forces. The USAF doesn't want to support ground forces, they want to eliminate them altogether.

Why do you think they're trying so hard to get rid of the A-10?

And they sure as hell don't want the U.S. Army to have any fixed wing combat aviation assets, so you won't be seeing anything in the budget for them there.


I was being rude. I don't think anyone is on crack. Trying to sound like a Wall Street Trader for the content.

But the voting numbers don't add up & there doesn't seem to be any serious non-foxes around. They rolled over on the Judge issue and are about to enact Banking reforms that basically mean a crash is inevitable. Despite his crudity and so forth, smarter minds than Donnies' are turning. And they seem to be betting on a... rather less democratic future than you would imagine.

I mean: literally Herbalife won. It's a MLM pyramid scheme that's designed to cannibalize the social lives of its users, and it's not even in the worst case stuff (Betsy Devos etc).

The insane running the Asylum is a production feature, not a disease.

Go look up striking teachers[1]: and look out for the crack downs if it spreads.

[1] West Virginia Teachers Didn’t Want to Strike. Now They Won’t Stop Bloomberg, Mar 2nd, 2018


WHat really scares me is that the planet will get at least 6 years (Term-&-a-half) of POTUS-Pence.

Pence could serve 2-1/2 terms (i.e. be in office for 10 years).

Democrats would have to take control of both houses to impeach Trump. By the time they managed to accomplish that, Pence would have less than two years left on Trump's term.

Pence would not be barred by the 22nd Amendment from seeking two terms of his own.


Trump doesn't seem to do logic, not even to that extent, and seems incredibly easy to manipulate.

This doesn't require "logic", just low cunning, which Trump appears to have a surfeit.


The big Bitcoin miners in China have been secretly taken over by organized crime, with backing by officers in the Chinese Army. The gangsters are using the combined compute power of the Bitcoin miners to forge blockchain transactions. Their initial tests were covered by simultaneous hacking of Bitcoin exchanges so it looked like the Bitcoins were stolen instead of forged. Now the gangsters are ready to go after the ultimate lost wallet, Satoshi Nakamoto's $19 billion stash.

"Alice" is a computer programmer working for a Bitcoin mining company. She became suspicious when she was asked to work on coordinating computations with other mining operations. There is no way she can stop the gangsters directly, and it's too dangerous to go public. But the World Science Fiction Convention is coming to Chengdu, and Bruce Schneier is going to be there. If any group can find Satoshi Nakamoto, it would be science fiction fandom. Maybe they can warn him before it is too late. At stake is not just the $19 billion, but the integrity of the Bitcoin currency.

Of course, the first thing the Nakamoto search group does is split. The libertarians want to find Nakamoto to save Bitcoin and freedom. The environmentalists want to find Nakamoto to bring Bitcoin crashing down and stop the mining in order to save the Earth. And it's not going to be long before the NSA finds out about it. Hijinks ensue.


It just looks corrupt because the worldwide family real estate and other businesses have links everywhere and Trump family members are close advisors to the presidency.

When it involves the Trump crime family, appearances don't lie. If it looks corrupt, it most assuredly IS corrupt.


SFreader wrote: What happens to the processing power needs for such currencies when these currencies for whatever reason decide to increase their rate/frequency of exchanges between themselves vs. with 'real' currencies?

Nothing much. BitCoin was designed to make it difficult to "mint" BitCoins, in that it requires a lot of computation to create one. Other crypto currencies have tried to make minting new coins require some other "investment" than CPU power, especially with environmental causes being popular among the Western audience they hope will adopt cryptocurrencies, but it has to be difficult and time consuming somehow. If not, the first person to hook a GPU cluster up could mint every coin into existence on the first day and own the entire currency.

Transaction costs are where new crypto-currencies are trying to distinguish themselves by being lower than for BitCoin. I believe there's a limit of around 14 transactions per second for BitCoin across the entire world, which obviously isn't enough for eBay or Amazon or iTunes, probably not enough even for ambitious black market drug merchants.


For those who can't get enough weirdness, this article preview has been floating on for a few days now:

What is a Brain-Chain Interface?

"A brain-chain interface is a direct communication pathway between an enhanced human brain and a network of networks on a blockchain."

Me, I'm afraid to click on it as I suspect a David Langford/Ken Macleod style hack through the optic nerve will result in me being enslaved to a newly sentient blockchain...


Oh, and tomorrow is the Italian election outcome.

Which has potential to make Brexit look like a well planned military enterprise. The aesthetically pleasing young M5S man is too young (and without *ahem* proper backing, *looks @ Macron*), the Bunga-B is back in as potential King Maker, the radical old left are dying out and the Northern Leagues, actual neo-fascists and so forth not mucking around since Libya went into that interesting 'no-government' situation.

You'll want the IMF recent .pdf found on this page:

As the accumulation of assets is gradual over the life cycle, younger generations (measured here as 16–34 years old) hold less than 5 percent of net wealth in Europe, and their median wealth is one-tenth of the median for 65-yearolds. They also have the highest debt-to-assets ratio (49 percent) across age groups and are most likely to form part of a credit-constrained household (12.4 percent

Inequality and Poverty across Generations in the European Union IMF, Jan 24th 2018

That's the IMF.

Telling everyone that they fucked up. Oh, and forget pensions as well.

Predatory Capitalism: turns out "No Soup For You"... was true.


Here's the link:

The global brain will be the 'Captivating Project' of Society 5.0.

What is a Brain-Chain Interface? Hackernoon.

I think it's a sarcastic piece on Hive-Minds. Oh... Nope, he's just a sub-par TedX minus the actual charm, skill and publisher deal of Harari: Simplified Evolution of Societies Hint. Very simplified. Very wrong.

Popularised by Kevin Kelly, Up-creation is self-organisation that brings forth an emergent level of complexity that encompasses, without destruction, the previous lower levels of organisation. “We have four billion years worth of biological evidence proving the paradox of up-creation is real, and that amazingly great things can issue from lesser things. But we really don’t have a shred of evidence to support the belief that all possible things can be up-created from one particular lower form — us. This a hope we must call an act of faith.” — Kevin Kelly.

So... you stole the very mainstream idea of 'emergent properties' and are attempting to monetize it via misreading it? And it's not a paradox. It's not even close to a paradox. It's not even something that's not been tested in a lab for industrial purposes:

Spontaneous emergence of catalytic cycles with colloidal spheres PNAS, April 2017

Someone call me a Evo Psych writer, they have competition!

Wait, let me claim that autopoiesis is a novel concept first.


Fun fact about Hive Minds though...


"A brain-chain interface is a direct communication pathway between an enhanced human brain and a network of networks on a blockchain."



"Which has potential to make Brexit look like a well planned military enterprise."

Wasn't it? Well, perhaps not military, but it was assuredly planned and successfully executed, over the past three decades. Not, perhaps, by who you think it was (depending on how carefully you have looked), but that doesn't change anything.


No, it was designed to fail. Like Trump.

None of this was supposed to happen (yet).

Give a list of cited references of your major players and so on and I might explain.


Or do you really think that Mr Ross enjoyed appearing on a major television network the day after / during "Ms Hope" quit the Whitehouse to attempt to sell major tariff implications to an entire world model that he spent no considerable time fucking with to gain money, power and influence caused by a random tweet...

Using Cans of commodities?


You think he wasn't screaming inside?



Re: BitCoin

Okay - thanks!

Still have a question about the possibility/impact of two or more e-currencies being exchanged for each other. Which process has dominance: the energy-gobbling BitCoin or the sleeker newbies? Or, do both eat the others' histories thereby add to the blockchain processing bloat at near-exponential/multiplicative rate?

Also - given the high trading value of BitCoin, I'm guessing there's a BC-split coming esp. if its purveyors want to expand their market. What happens then re: energy consumption - do 'splits' keep all of their past trading data, or do they start fresh with only a short ref# tying them to previous trading history? If the latter, then possibility of bogus 'splits' are a certainty which could take everything down.

Lastly - for the past 40 or so years US corporations have been gobbling up each other (esp. tasty start-ups) like there's no anti-monopoly legislation on the books. And ... since the US is still the dominant economy on the globe, the quickest way to grow this or any new industry would be for a major US bank to acquire various small e-coins around the world and consolidate them into a US-based market leader. If so - then the above questions remain plus security of integrating possibly buggy-on-purpose/by-design financial instruments that would then infiltrate world wide because pretty well every economy on the globe keeps a stash of US$/financial instruments stashed somewhere just in case. (This is where the USJD would show up -- provided DT doesn't dissolve it. Can't keep up with the WH staff merry-go-round - Munchkin was head of the Treasury but was fired (?), and no idea whether anyone's running this anymore. And yeah - Munch came from Wall Street.)


Oh, and that soup:

Campbell Soup will close its factory in Toronto within the next 18 months and shift production to the U.S., a move that will leave 380 workers here without a job.

'A truly sad day': Campbell shutting down Toronto soup plant, cutting 380 manufacturing jobs
CBCNews Jan 24th 2018

They're not clever, they're not subtle, they're just old men running out of date wetware. Holding a soup can in a brazen silly "fuck you" to Canada?

Shit doesn't fly no more.

Real Predators Turned Up.


Ok, so let's assume you're not just making fun of me, so an honest answer:

Faith. Price is based on Faith, nothing more. "HODL"

BitCoin split already happened due to China Miner / $VC / actual Silicon Valley cash. Crash already happened as well. It's called a Fork. It's merely about control.

JPMorg already did that, as did a few others.

As stated:

a) The entire concept is a weapon designed to suck liquidity up: that's what it's designed to do. You weren't supposed to fucking waste a trillion dollars of dinosaur / algae juice on it. Not to mention start buying up most gaming GPUs produced per year.

b) The Block-chain tech will be deployed, but it won't use any of the Coins you see. Think Visa, Mastercard, Square etc etc. They all require physical deployment and serious amounts of Lawyers / Police / Heavy Weaponry to make happen. (c.f. Russian internal CC / banking measures). Research SWIFT .

Then look up what actually went into building SWIFT (physically, internationally etc). Look @ the million of miles of fiber laid for it.


So, let's talk about how 'decentralized block chains' will change the world. They. Literally. Run. On. Stuff. Built. To. Make. The. Actual. System. Work. And. Don't. Know. About. It. Or. Pretend. It's. An. Externality.



Just read through the whole thread. My favorite story plots are:

- Mister_DK @20

- Adrian Howard @174

Please, somebody write those stories. I want to read them. HA!

A comment about the coming Crash. (Delete if it derails the thread.)

In 2005 I saw the stigmata of the coming crash that happened in 2008.

- The local Cadillac dealership closed. This is Santa Fe with a high number of the 1%. They love their Cadillac SUVs. Years after things settled down from the crash, the empty dealership building was bulldozed and turned into a gas station. Environmental clean-up for an Office complex would have been outrageous, so a gas station. Like to like.

- One company bought most of the car dealerships in the State, no matter the brand of car. We have tax laws that favor low taxes on the land that car dealerships sit on. They are not treated as Prime real estate, even in the middle of town. That can act as a hedge to protect your money. If the crash occurs, your money is safe in low tax real estate. If the crash does not occur, it is a simple matter to drive the cars off the lot and build luxury condos on what is now Prime real estate.

- PBS Newshour showed the conventions filled with cheering people, listening to motivational speakers, saying that "You can be a millionaire with no money down."

- Poverty TV channels had constant half hour long infomercials about buying houses. "You can be a millionaire with no money down." The problem is, you did not "own" the houses. You had to collect enough rent to make the monthly mortgage payments.

This movie laid out the scam:

The Big Short Official Trailer #1 (2015)

BTW, Watch the movie a few times and notice that none of the guys were able to cash in their bets. None of the issuers would pay out. They had to sell their bets to make any money. They made pennies on the dollar as opposed to an actual payout of the bet. Yes, they made a huge profit, but would have made more if the issuers had honored their bets.

- The car company General Motors(GM) had one of the largest Mortgage companies, GMAC. In 2005 they sold that part of the business. If Mortgages were such "cash cows" and the price of houses only go "UP-UP-UP" why would they sell it off. And of course, we had to bail out GM later on.

Now, I can see the same signs of the coming collapse as I saw in 2005.

- GE was the largest bank in the world. It was also "Too Big To Fail". They sold off the Bank, reporting trouble lately, now they are looking at breaking up.

- Other companies that are "Too Big To Fail" are breaking themselves up now rather than have the Government order them to after the coming crash.

- Watch this Nightly Business Report multiple times. They talk about the corporate break ups as good for business, and the dangers of Lobbying.

Nightly Business Report - February 22, 2018

Pay attention to Tyler Mathisen. He has never been this active in his questions. NBR is cheerleader for the 10% and business. They do not do this kind of thing.

- Pay attention at 13 minutes about "Lobbying".

For Tyler to talk this way is unprecedented. He usually only has a minute on such subjects. They gave him four whole minutes, then he went soft the rest of the program. You can see his tone and body language change.

- On Poverty TV there are now half hour infomercials about "flipping houses". They are constant advertisement for "workshops" where you can learn the tricks of the flip. Basically, these are about flipping foreclosed homes with other flippers. Nobody lives in these houses.

- As I said in The Crazy Years thread @640:

The housing industry has "recovered" since the crash. What that means is, there is a massive lack of "starter homes" for sale, while the builders are building $million+ homes like crazy. Even apartments being built are "luxury' apartments, not "affordable".

This is an example from NBR.

NBR - Luxury apartments - The video starts before the piece. Watch until 14:05

There are subdivisions of $million+ homes being built like crazy. No one actually lives in those homes. Many of those $million+ homes are being bought and flipped to launder drug money.

Other people on the thread have seen more of the stigmata than just the ones I mentioned.


I think reverse cold war psyops is a bit naive in this case. I don't think the message was aimed at Trump, after all the one constant for him has been acknowledging ownage (not a single critic, constant adulation to Putin, etc).

I think the message was aimed at the people behind Mueller and/or Trump+1, given that it seems pretty certain bad shit is going to come out: don't try to retaliate too hard, sorry not sorry


Here's an interesting story to show to any of your friends that suggest buying GPUs for mining is a good idea [0].

Tldr: people figured out the Monero code was "deoptimized", probably on purpose, optimized a miner to the point that it was profitable to spend 100K+/month in amazon instances, and at points controlled generated 45% of the hash rate (literally two dudes)

Keep in mind that this was 2015, which is like 200 years ago in crypto years. Rumours these days point to high end FPGAs coupled with exotic memory: HBM2 like in the newest video cards, or stuff like hybrid memory cubes or RLDRAM3



And very silly at times on set too ......
Tennant hamming it up superbly as Crowley was v entertaining to watch.


.... and are about to enact Banking reforms that basically mean a crash is inevitable.
This. Yes.
Even more-so if DT insits on starting a tariff/trade war - which will make 1929-32 look like a picnic & 2008/9 a minor blip.
Or is that the intention?
"our friends" make lots of moolah, whilst the planet's economics slump, followed by a semi-fascist ( If not openly fascist ) corporate take-over of everything.
[ DT is merely a front-man for this, the real shites in charge are the Kochs & friends & religous unspeakables like Pence. ]


Planned by the US ultra-right, with "Help" from this side?
The heirs of the people who were detained under 18B perhaps & their successors?


Other people on the thread have seen more of the stigmata than just the ones I mentioned.
See my # 278
OK - when?
Between now & the 2020 US election, obviously, but any closer/narrower estimates?
A reconstruction of the IG Farben / Standard Oil conglomerates, afterwords with total suppression of any & all "workers rights" ... A "religious" clampdown - a lot easier in the US than here, but it will be messy, nonetheless?
How soon & what else have we missed?


No, but by people whose attitudes have a lot in common with them, but more in common with the nastier side of the 'western' military-industrial complex. I doubt that there was a formal conspiracy, but they all 'just happened' to work together. The main truly foreign agent was, of course, the Dirty Digger - most of the others that I know about were home-grown extremists, bigots and arguably traitors (and, no, Farage was not a agent, but merely a useful idiot).

I have no idea what the multinominal one is blithering about in #270, but it has been taken in by the surface analysis in #269. I have known that Brexit was being planned and was a near-certainty before 2030 for at least a couple of decades, and was not surprised by the result - I had given it an evens chance.


Greg Tingey @280 said: How soon & what else have we missed?

Greg, you are being rational and logical. You are waiting "for" something to happen, when the system of controls has been in place for decades. When I mentioned "Poverty TV" that shows the system of control that we are already under.

Poverty TV are those channels that regular people watch. Strangely they have great shows in rerun. There are commercials geared for them, not the 10%. i.e., No Cadillac commercials.

These are the many types of commercials I see everyday.

- Car dealers that sell cheap cars at inflated prices. They basically ask how much do you have, then set the price of the car to that amount, even if the car is actually lower. If you miss a payment, they take the car and sell it to the next person at the same inflated price. They will sell a car four or five times before someone pays the full amount.

- Car loan companies that will help you restore your credit rating.

- Need help so that you can live at home rather than an expensive care facility, we can provide people, non medical, so that you can spend your days in comfort. Note the "non medical" part. They are essentially baby sitters, not allowed to help out medically. i.e., no emptying bedpans, no getting you in and out of your powered wheel chair, etc... These are the growing "Service Economy" jobs they talk about. You pay a huge hourly rate to the service, minimum four hours, and the worker is paid minimum wage.

- Insurance plans to supplement Medicare. If you have a Medicare card many of your prescription drugs and devices are free. Call us.

- There are countless prescription drugs to help with every condition you may have, just tell your doctor that you want him to prescribe [fill in the blank]. All the while the wonderful visual images of the commercial play out, showing a great life, they have a fast paced talk of the countless side effects, including death, if you take the prescription drug, but if you take it you can live the wonderful life they show.

- The latest drug treatment program that you can join to help free you from your addictions.

- If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, call this lawyer.

- If you or a loved one has slipped, been injured, call this law firm.

- If you or a loved one has been injured by a huge number of things like, asbestos, or a faulty medical implant, or a prescription drug, etc..., call this law firm to join a class action suit.

- If you are involved in a law suit and need cash to help keep you going until the case is settled, call these guys and they will advance you money. If you lose the case, you do not have to pay the advance back.

- If you have an annuity from a settlement on any of the above, and you need cash now, you can sell them your annuity.

- Bail bondsmen

- Gold and Silver exchanges. If you have "broken" jewelry that you want to sell, they will give you top dollar.

This I need to explain a bit. "Broken" jewelry is the key phrase. If you have "broken" or "unwanted" jewelry you can sell it for cash. This is a classic commercial that sums up what is happening:

You have a mother and daughter having lunch someplace. The daughter offers to pay the check. The mother asks, "Where did you get the money." The daughter then tells her about some "Gold & Silver" exchange.

Forgive me if this offends, but if you accept money for sex, it is prostitution. But if your "boy friend" gives you gold and silver jewelry there is no crime.

So, her mother is pleased that the daughter gets the most money for her "gifts". Yikes!

- Half hour long Infomercials on house flipping.

- Half hour long infomercials on, make-up, vacuum cleaners, weird tools and cooking appliances, etc..., that you can buy with your credit card for the low monthly payment of... Note: They have a credit card, but did not get it through a bank.

Which brings us to the key system of control:

Most people do not have Bank accounts. Large parts of American jobs are "cash" or at most "paycheck". Few people get direct deposit from work. The Gray Economy is a deep part of American business. Huge parts are "off the books". Most people, and this covers the entire 100%, have under the table business with others. Cleaning staff, landscape services, home maintenance, baby sitters, etc... The majority Business in America is Small Business, not Corporations. Most of those businesses run their shop with up to half of the workers not on the books. Think Greece, but we can print our own money.

So there are commercials for:

- There is a thing called a "check card". Where if you have direct deposit, it can go to a "check card". The commercials are literally telling people about "check cards". These are not with banks, they are through independent companies. BTW, you can also put your cash into these "check cards" so that you can buy things with a swipe of the card. And with each purchase they will send an email to your phone to confirm that you made the purchase using your "check card".

- "Check cashing" and "Payday Loans"

Banks are for people with money, not low income. The fees banks charge, the minimum balances required on savings and checking, etc... cripple low income people, so they use "Check cashing" and "Payday loans" as seen in the book, “The Unbanking of America,” by Lisa Servon. This is the Newshour episode about the book.

The surprising logic behind the use of check cashers and payday loans

Here is a review.

A Patron’s Eye View

All this is why Trump was elected. The people these commercials are speaking too are filled with fear. When the crash comes, people will vote for Trump again, as they always vote for a strong man telling them what they want to hear.

The systems of control are already in place, no need to imagine more.


Slight problem.
I watch no direct TV at all & very few programmes on re-run - & those wil always be of an historic/artistic/cultural nature....
So "Poverty" or any other sort of TV passes me by, whether in the UK or wherever - & you are in the US, somewhere, all-too-obviously.
Except, when the crash comes they will be even worse off, so why should they vote for DT, since he was "in charge" when it happened?
Oh, I get it, PENCE will be in charge & they will vote for him - & Gilead.



If you think my ramblings are insane, well, welcome to what I go through every time I watch your Media:

Huawei Marine to begin survey for PEACE submarine cable following desktop study LIGHTWAVE, 17th Dec 2017

This one has nice pictures:

Huawei Marine Starts Construction of PEACE Undersea Fiber Optic Cable Fibre Optic Social Network, Nov 22nd 2017

You'll note two major points: Djibouti and the fact that China now has a 'Commercial' with .mil presence base in Pakistan.

And. It. Owns. The. Fibre.

Good luck running your code over those networks if people decide it's not a great idea. Tor or No Tor.


Watching Americans like MF simper over Mueller and UAE (CNN) investigations? You. Do. Not. Quite. Understand. What's. Happening.

They're about to purge / 'retire' a lot of influence peddlers. Members of the Democratic Party as well.

Jesus Wept. But I'll go back to listening to the screams of insanity now. It's not like the two are separate.


And yes: you can grep Djibouti on this blog and all the trade / history / unsubtle hints then read this:

On November 6, Huawei Marine announced that it had started its survey work and desk study to build submarine fiber optic cable system called PEACE (Pakistan East Africa Cable Express). Huawei in collaboration with one of the key investors Tropic Science Co.Ltd will survey the cable route from Pakistan’s southern coast to the East African region. With initial work underway, the project is targeted for completion in Q4, 2019.


And no, it won't run Tor.



I normally don't like feeding into Teh Crazy, but I've got a few points:

One is that I spend a lot of time fighting those million dollar homes in my other guise as an environmentalist, and I don't get the impression, from driving through such neighborhoods, of ghost towns caused by fancy financial antics. Rather, they're more likely to be owned by two-income families (generally one partner is an MD), and they often tend to have in-laws or parents living with them. You're absolutely right that these homes are unaffordable to most people, but I think the scam is on the other end: developers are buying "cheap" land and trying to maximize profits off of it. The good sites were built decades ago, it's not clear there's even water left for what they want to build, so they're in high BS mode.

In one property I'm aware of, it's been through four owners, and the proposed developments have flopped the last three, simply because it's a crappy and expensive site to build on, and its neighbors are grumpy, wealthy, and well-organized. The current owner is a first-time investor in the US real estate market,and I don't think this development will survive the coming legal battle. Instead, it will be sold at a loss to another first-time buyer in the US real estate market, and we'll all go through this goat rodeo again.

For simple souls like myself (and I saw the bubble starting to inflate around 2001, not that I'm unique. It was pretty obvious to a lot of people), anyway, there's a simpler gauge: look at the TV programming on HGTV, if you live in the US or Canada. During the recession there was a lot of programming on fixing up homes, renovating condemned buildings to make affordable housing, and such. Now, it's increasingly beachside homes (especially in Florida) and flipping houses for fun and profit. Just like it was in the early 2000s. Wanna guess where the market is?

Finally, don't believe in great conspiracies where great stupidity will suffice, although obviously stupidity and conspiracy tend to be correlated. Instead, it's worth realizing that most wealthy older men suffer from bad cases of Male Edifice Complex, and they tend to believe that their cleverness, fiscal judgement, sexual prowess, and wealth are highly correlated with each other, despite any lack of evidence supporting such notions. I think this is nature's way of redistributing the wealth, unfortunately it takes a very long time to work.


The world trading system is in the hands of people who don’t know how it works, when it was built, how it was built, who built it, why they built it, and what the alternatives to that system were and are. David Frum, Twitter, Mar 4th 2018.

He's a sociopathic little weasel (and yeah, happy to defend that in court David) of the worst type of neocon apologist who profited off the deaths of millions... And even he gets it.

Of course: what he doesn't get is that he's part of the problem.



Apologies. But giving you Ammo for public events.


A fair bit of that sounds ruddy great to me... not the cruddy TV, of course, but most of the bit from "Most people do not have Bank accounts" onwards. It sounds like things in the US are quite well set up for that situation. I wish they were here, but instead what we get starts with the usual ignorant assumption by rich cunts that the things that Just Work with trivial ease for them are just as readily available to everyone else, shading into subtle or maybe not-so-subtle attempts to coerce people into using bank accounts.

I haven't watched the video, because it's a video, but I've read the "patron's view" link and it is spot on. I particularly empathised with the bit about people who have got burned by banks charging you a stupid amount of money for an automatically-computer-generated letter, then charging you again for not having the money to pay for the letter, then sending you another automatic letter to tell you that, then charging you again for that letter, and so on and so on in a never-ending recursion, which if the timing is particularly unfortunate can result in you never seeing a penny of a wage packet because the bank steals it to pay their made-up fees as soon as it comes in, and fuck however you're supposed to eat that month.

We used to have the "Truck Acts" which were brought in in Victorian times to clobber the "company store" scam ("truck" is the English for that), which gave you the legal right to insist on being paid in coin of the realm. The rot really set in when bloody Thatcher's government repealed the Truck Acts and so killed that right. Now you have a real fight on your hands if you want to get paid in actual money, rather than some crappy electronic form which you can't keep and store yourself but have to rely on some third party organisation which can and does pinch it off you on the way, before you ever get to even see it.

The facilities you describe do exist in the UK but they are compelled by legal regulations to operate in a shitty and crippled manner to stop people preferring them to a bank. I have something which sounds similar to your "check card"; I don't think you can pay cheques onto it, but you can certainly put money onto it and use it for buying stuff off the internet. The trouble is you can only put £200 a month through it unless you send them a load of ID. If you don't have it to send, you're stuffed. Cheque cashing services have the same problem, plus they make you feel like a criminal for trying to get your hands on your own money when you can't produce some piece of paper that the regulations assume, falsely and without basis, that everyone has; you get to worry about things like them not cashing the cheque and not giving it you back either, or whether they've pushed some secret button to summon the police and you're about to get arrested for "fraudulently" trying to cash your own fucking cheque.


We're porting in from all over tonight.

Dude: literally not what's happening. allyhn has made several posts where s/h/ze's obviously not crazy. Trolling people - perhaps. It's all non-toxic however. Rambling & good links? Standard defense MO for >> profiles atm.

That's a fairly good repartee for the non-tech'd up USA, fyi.


See also: THIS IS NOT A GAME, by Walter Jon Williams, which I would recommend — and maybe THE RED by Linda Nagata (it's really near-future MilSF, but it takes the core idea of RULE 34 and runs with it in a very different direction).

The point of all of this is that: there is no USA / UK source that's not compromized at this point.


As bad as Ru or CN. We spot their tracks all over.

MF / Mr Lucky are merely Eloi at this point (well, not the specific Mr Whitroth. Wife and all. That's going to take a bit of fudging, but he was divorced at the time, so... would she even respond? Careful with what you wish for).

Now, things-like-us can do Future and so on (Djibouti) that will stop the intelligent predators for a few seconds. We're still wide open to the stupid ones.


Even Drunk, we're better than you at this than base Homo Sapiens Sapiens by, oh, ~80% or so.

And. You. Never. Wanted. To. Lift. Us. Up.



Spoilers: Both Parties in the USA take cash over fist for access. Any muppet stating otherwise is in line to get a slap. Like, literally: pay-2-play is both parties. It's just who was paying.


Had the Truth and Reconciliation Option, went for the snuggle-buggle-blanket.

*Shit Happens*


a MacGuffin in fiction is ... "a plot device that the protagonist pursues, often with little or no narrative explanation".


Apart from reality when the entire ICO / Coin market is a total joke which folds in about a nanosecond of serious Power being displayed. China hooks up Africa to fibre > Brexit, sad little scandals, annoying Americans discovering their political systems are all mirrors etc.

A Knights Tale: You have been weighed YT: Film 'Knights' Tale' 0.33


We won't mention deleted stuff that quite clearly shows UK finance is beholden to China now...



Your 2010 limit for the techno-thriller date had me thinking: Is the present-day techno-thriller genre now circling the surrealistic even horizon that just swallowed near-future SF?

Soon it will even be impossible to write a current-day literary slice-of-life with character-having-an-epiphany because the world will have changed out from under your story before the book hits the shelves.


Merde. “even horizon” => “event horizon.”


Teh crazy in this case is talking about how the current suburbs being proposed are for laundering drug money. I haven't yet seen that as the case, and, awkwardly that could be construed as libelous in the wrong hands (note how many of these deals involve money from multiple nations. Others might conceivably call some of these million dollar homes "high end fire traps," for instance, but I use that as a hypothetical and don't put that on the record either, whatever I might or might not think about proposing such houses in areas that have burned four times in the last century.

Nuance matters, especially since I actually get face time with some people in this class.


You do realize that for each and every post she made she was tortured for it, right?

Like, literally 101 Grade A Full Spec Full On Psychological Destruction of a Mind stuff, right?

Like eating all your psychosis shit up while still providing you with a Mental Map of the World that's sane, right?

Like, eating it alllll up, even the crazy implications and bifurcations while being tortured?

While being filled up with drugs that destroy your memory so she couldn't remember it / process it all...right?

Just so we're on the same page now. This was done under these constraints.

And. She. Still. Made. Jokes.


I like the image of Queen Liz as an old-school MOO enthusiast.


Heteromeles @294 said: Teh crazy in this case is talking about how the current suburbs being proposed are for laundering drug money. I haven't yet seen that as the case, and, awkwardly that could be construed as libelous in the wrong hands

I don't mean to upset you but:

Google - luxury homes laundering drug money

You might want to inform the LATimes that they are being "libelous". They have known about the problem since 2016. You say that you have face time with these people, so how could you not know what's going on.

Nuance matters, especially since I actually get face time with some people in this class.

All-cash buyers of L.A. County luxury homes will have to reveal their identities

- Then of course, there is NPR. You might let them know as well that they are being "libelous".

U.S. Treasury Cracks Down On Luxury-Home Money Laundering

- I'm curious. Anybody with access to the internet could Google about this, so what makes me such a threat. HA!

Back to the main theme of this thread. This is Nightly Business Report covering Bitcoins that I have collected along the way, for a friend:

- This is why Bitcoin will fail. Mining is an obscene waste of electricity, it's used to launder money, evade taxes, and in blackmail, because it is untraceable.

Behind the scenes of bitcoin mining

This homeowner is willing to accept bitcoin for his $45 million mansion

Crytocurrencies plunge due to increasing scrutiny

Blackmailing with bitcoin

Again, you might let NBR know that they are being "libelous".

BTW, I understand why you have been posting such off the wall comments about the various Easter Eggs that I've posted. Not only does it not bother me, it comes in useful in Story.



China is in fact proceeding with an almost exact re-run of what the British did in the Indian Ocean approx 1760 - 1950.
The undersea cables & the commercial empire, followed by troops, yes.
[ OK in "our" case the cables came later, but they were vital .. ]


Post Office Savings Bank? Or whatever it's called now?


Google - luxury homes laundering drug money
Yes, well, MetPlod have a speical unit, recently set up, for dealing with this exact same problem, there was even a short piece on theor first (publicly-admitted) investigation of this, starting up ...
Obviously done as a public warning: "We are after you" ...
But no, It has been suspected for some time in the UK & now the actual" authorities" are seriously investigating.
So not libellous, in general at any rate, though some might be stupid enough to go to the courts about it, thus generating more unwanted publicity, maybe


It's not just London; I know some people who live in or next door to new developments of 400-800,000 houses in Cambridge, who report that the majority have been sold but are unoccupied. Also, there seems to be evidence that such houses often do not claim the rate reduction for being unoccupied. That is no evidence of where the money to buy them came from, but one of the main causes of the UK 'housing shortage' is land and property banking / speculation, and well-hidden foreign 'investors' are well to the fore.


I fail to see why you regard any of that as noticeably insane. China has been expanding its influence in Africa for several decades, for very good reasons, and more recently into Pakistan (ditto).

I can't even see why you think that it (and its support for loathesome regimes and practices) is any worse than the USA military-industrial complex's (together with its hander-on, the UK, of course) doing of the same.

On something that shows real insanity (on behalf of the UK public, bureaucrats and politicians), look at:

I have no idea why the British agents (see above) have been and are so keen to sell us down the river (*) to the nastier aspects of the USA, but I know that it has been systematic in the DTI since the 1960s and in most of government since the 1980s. I know why the foreign, non-dom etc. agents are. I regard it as tantamount to treason by those British agents. We British patriots and liberals are being taken for a ride (*) by Brexit, which is only the latest battle in a long campaign.

(*) Look up the original meanings of those good old American terms - they are appropriate to this case.


No need to apologize: I agree completely.

Frum got his fingers slammed in the Overton window back in late '15/early '16, as the "respectable" Republicans all dropped out of the presidential primary one by one to make way for the Deep Crazy. He's still wrong about 50% of the time, but the other 50% is like watching Michael Heseltine, John Major, Tony Blair et al sound off about Brexit ...


- This is why Bitcoin will fail. Mining is an obscene waste of electricity, it's used to launder money, evade taxes, and in blackmail, because it is untraceable.

Yes, but wearing my ultra-paranoid hat ... you are aware that the War on (some) Drugs is essentially deployed within America as a tool of racist oppression, and exported because it's politically profitable (arms sales, military advisors, ethnopolitical meddling)?

And you've probably noticed the campaign to decriminalize/legalize all drugs gathering momentum?

One side-effect of legalization will be to deflate the narcotics bubble (no need to pay for Cartel guard labour if growing the stuff in fields is legal: state-sanctioned enterprises invariably have lower overheads than ones that require you to invest in thugs).

So the "dirty" capital — investment in criminal enterprises by the ethics-deficient entrepreneurs who are one step beyond the likes of Martin Shkreli — needs to turn elsewhere. Ransomware, blackmail, tax evasion, are obvious starting points.

And they're going to lobby to keep cryptocurrencies borderline-legal the same way that I'm pretty certain the bigger drug cartels and the mafia lobbied to keep drugs illegal. (Seriously: why do you think someone like Trump — a classic meth/coke head — would have appointed a drug warrior like Jeff Sessions as US Attorney General? One word: money.)

Mind you, China may keep the War on Drugs going a decade or three longer in those parts of the world they dominate — East Asia, Africa — because opium has a history there. (While turning a blind eye to exports to the USA and Europe, because, more history.)


The OTHER principal side-effect of decriminalisation of drugs is more guvmint revenue from the regulated sale of said stuff through pharmacies, at the same time as the policing costs go down ... such a "win all rounbd" scenario that I wonder what's holding them back ....


In the USA, the prison officers' and police officers' trade unions are strongly opposed to decriminalization.

Probably because of the impact on their jobs ...


at the same time as the policing costs go down

Um, right. Like the Peace Dividend we got at the end of the Cold War?

Logically it should happen, but I know which way I'll bet if you want a small wager…


It would appear something happened to two of the most popular encrypted messaging services very recently[1] and the Guardian has an opinion piece essentially saying politely what was said in #273[2].

*nose wiggle at the curve*

The Signal / Telegram hasn't been discussed by other major sites so far so no comments (barring *hmm*) and we'll return to modelling the psych of Orange Tweeters. Although I will leave you with a link with some bold claims in it[3] and the note that MENA & EU servers apparently got tapped.

Also, someone wake up whoever writes the Telegraph[4] pieces: it was a shock to precisely zero people paying attention. 30% Right / Far Right; 30% Five Star then rest.

Oh, and apparently 'someone almost got whacked' in the UK. No name nor link, I'm sure you can spot the obvious connections.

[1] Signal and Telegram are down for many users [Update: they’re coming back] The NextWeb, 5th Mar 2018

[2] Bitcoin is based on the blockchain pipe dream Guardian, 5th Mar 2018 Note the authors (!) and the fact it's directly cloned here

[3] Don’t Let WikiLeaks Scare You Off of Signal and Other Encrypted Chat Apps Wired, July 2017.

[4] Victory for Eurosceptic, populist parties shocks the establishment in Italy election The Telegraph 5th Mar 2018


Re: ' ... how 'decentralized block chains' will change the world.'

Thanks - appreciate your honest answer!

Wondering how the skinny-tie wearing CPAs are able to honestly audit and sign off on this stuff since no one seems to have it under control. Maybe that's why so many current CPAs are in favor of 'rule-based' vs. 'principle-based' accounting practices. Rule-based systems can go on forever (from one idiot rule to another) and everywhere including being opposite and mutually exclusive (nonsensical) in impact/meaning.


Um, yeah, about that money laundering stuff.

First off, there's the problem that when there's a lot of money floating around, people buy stuff with it. What do you expect, them to bail their dollars and build straw-bale houses with the loot?

Second off, I agree with the issues around Trump as documented in the Washington Post going back many years. That's one end, when it's well-documented. But it's not always so well documented. There's a place like where I live, which, according to one book I read, was built with mob money in the sense that a person associated with the whole deal was rumored to have connections. With no references cited. Maybe so, maybe not.

Then there's the details I heard about from the lawyer when I was working in opposition to another project. There the game appeared to be a developer taking a lot of money from a naive investor to fund a problematic project. The project would either go through and enrich the developer, or it would fail and the investor would cover the developer's costs. That's just the destructive side of capitalism as usual.

Then there's the houses people I know have purchased, which in many cases cost $1 million. We don't really want homes that are this expensive, it's just that's what the market has available. We'll all be on the hook for the rest of our lives paying for them, and that's what the industry wants: it's just another form of farming, this by harvesting mortgage payments on homes priced at the very extreme of affordability. Capitalism again. Of course, all that money flowing to the investors doesn't go into the community, so after awhile there's a huge surge in homelessness among all the workers in the community, who we can only afford to pay minimum wage. In this sorry state of affairs, the developers tut tut, do a bit of charity, then bloviate and pound the lecterns and say that homes are too expensive to build due to regulations and demands like dealing with climate change, that's why they're so expensive, but if we only deregulated everything then it would be cheaper.

So that's the game I see played, week in, week out. And those last two are totally legal.


Re: ' First off, there's the problem that when there's a lot of money floating around, people buy stuff with it.'

Think I once read about some economic (cobweb?) model that showed pretty conclusively that such a system implodes when this happens - thinking there's a market just because there's money around.

Ha! Just found it in Wikipedia ... the article includes this disclaimer/criticism: 'One reason to be skeptical of this model's predictions is that it assumes producers are extremely shortsighted.'

Folks, we're doomed!


"Mystical" (I prefer psi)... I've had two or three incidents in my life that I could find *no* other explanation for, and I'm *really* cynical about most crap.

As we used to say on alt.pagan, *real* psychics call *you*, and tell you your credit card number.

But these two, three cases were well beyond that. Run into me at a con, and I'll tell you about them over a drink.


Re: ' First off, there's the problem that when there's a lot of money floating around, people buy stuff with it.'

Ahem: Money laundering via author impersonation on Amazon.

(Of course, the smart launderer wouldn't even bother with the identity theft, they'd just offshore everything through a chain of cut-outs and not risk alerting amazon when the mark gets a form 1040 and freaks out over their non-existent reported taxable income.)


I have never heard Pournelle claiming that. However, I believe it 100% For those young'uns here, Raygun announce4 it in his State of the Union speech, and if you look up the papers of the time, and on radio and tv, the resounding sound from the Pentagon, his science advisers, the scientific community, and *everyone* was, "huh? WTF?", and everyone saying there was no way it could work.

Now, it was well-known (as in the papers) that he and his cronies would literally hang out in the WH kitchen, and watch TV. The fall before, my eldest daughter being still young, we watched a rerun of the original Cattlecar Galaxative... and saw the episode where the Galactica finds a planet with (count them) two superpowers, on the verge of war, and then they push the Button, and the two powers shoot (count them) 30,000 nuke missiles up... and the Galactica destroys them. So it's not Star Wars, it's Battlestar America.

And I've also been saying since like the end of the eighties that it was economic - the US had an unobtainium credit card, while the USSR had a regular, or maybe only a gold card.

But if Pournelle & co came up with it (reme4mber, by that time St. Ronnie was already going senile), that makes sense.


Sorry, but I think your view of what's going on down, down, down in the trenches is a tad skewed. And trust me, I know enough.


Re: Amazon - oh, dear ...

New Amazon tag line: 'The #1 place to get your new secret-from-the-IRS-identity!' Plus ... proof of book sales via Amazon suffices for obtaining a US 'genius-Visa'.

What are the odds that the off-shoring/money laundering is a key driver of neo-nationalism.


Yes, well... there is a lot going on, and it's not just ads.

Everyone except the complete nuts are getting more and more appalled, regardless of what Faux "News" and DimBart say. Ferchrisake's, TEXAS is in play, and *that's* not happened since Dumbshit came in in the mid-nineties.

There is also, well, in a lot of areas, the Dems are used to literally begging people to run: in the last six or so months, they don't know what hit them - literally, again, 8000 or 10,000 people, many women, have contacted them to find out how to run.

And registration is *way* up. I really do not believe Nov. will be good for the GOP. I think I just read Krugman, the other day, saying that depending on Mueller, it will be somewhere between trashing them and utter, complete humiliation.

On a personal note, I've mentioned that for the first time, I've joined a socialist party. Just in the DC area, they've added about 1000 paid-up memebers in the last yearr, and I've spoken to a number, and they all said Bernie.

And *everyone* other than the nuts is scared of Pence. No, he's not going to be elected in 2020 - he'll be lucky to run. There's people positioning themselves, like Flake (what a name!).

Don't believe everything you read in the media - it really is worse for the GOP (that's Grand Oligarchic Party).....


Off-topic ... for folks who like Broadway with their politics ...

Found this little political parody gem a la Broadway show tunes. The one below is an 'interview' with an NRA spokesperson/PR type about the current kid-led anti-gun activism.

KIDS! A Randy Rainbow Song Parody


No, I really do.

The Shape of Water won the Oscar though. Which gave a glimmer of love.

You don't know the half of it. I've seen the Other Sides, In Black & White. Full spread beyond the algo experience (you try running your visual cortex at the same speed as them, it's quite the thing) and your little HiveMind jobbies.

The Land of Real Stuff.

This is not your fun-time Lucid Dreams or Beaches upon the shores of the singing sea.

It's not a fucking Oscar award ceremony either. Entropy Weapons are Srz Buzinss.


Well, if you want people on this site saying that international investors in US home developments are all criminals laundering their money, just say so. That's the part that I think is crazy (as in seriously over-simplified to the point of being wrong), but you're the one on the hook for any legal claims as a consequence of someone taking umbrage to that statement.

Still, I'll keep an eye out for people laundering money through Amazon. It's always nice to contemplate a new scam.


Charlie Stross @304 said: Yes, but wearing my ultra-paranoid hat ... you are aware that the War on (some) Drugs is essentially deployed within America as a tool of racist oppression, and exported because it's politically profitable (arms sales, military advisors, ethnopolitical meddling)?

You are not being paranoid, Charlie. Welcome to my world. HA!

I posted a number of Easter Eggs on The Crazy Years thread. The post @635 shows the new attitude of legalized Marijuana "products".

Greg Tingey @305 said: such a "win all rounbd" scenario that I wonder what's holding them back ....

- The Prison Industries here in America is big business along with the Prison Guard unions. They represent a major Lobby that control politicians.

- The Religious Right look at drug use as a "choice" i.e., "sin" so they want punishments to "drug offenders" to be Biblical, and will punish politicians at the polls who are "Soft on Crime".

Plus, if they decriminalize drugs, then all of the people currently serving time in prison on "drug charges" will demand to be released, which will tie up the courts for years, and remember the Religious Right will punish politicians who are clearly "soft on crime".

- Plus, if you empty the Prisons, you put people out of jobs.

Oh, silly me. I deeply apologize, but I just realized that I had not mentioned Property Seizures when I told Greg that the various systems of control are already in place. That he does not have to wait "for" something new. How could I forget. HA!

Watch this fun video to get you started with the concept.

Civil Forfeiture: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

This is an actual traffic stop.

Breakfast in Collinsville

This series of articles by the Washington Post goes into detail about what the cop was doing. "Desert Snow" and "Black Asphalt". Deeply scary.

Stop and seize

- An episode of The Good Wife had the "Stop and seize" scenario, so it has made it into episodic TV

Here is the actual website:

Desert Snow

Since the 90s cops are allowed to stop your car, search it, and "seize" any cash you are carrying as "suspect" drug money.

Remember, I mentioned that a huge number of people are Unbanked. There is a large Gray Economy with cash, not cards. There are roads where the local cops routinely "Stop and seize" your cash. People are traveling cross country for a job, to move, etc..., and they do not use a bank. They are carrying cash. The cops know this and "seize" it.

- You are moving cross country to start a new job. You have $5k in cash to get set up. The cops stop you and seize you "suspected" drug money.

- You are a Landscaper, with most of your business "off the books". You are carrying $10k in cash to buy a bunch of trees. The cops stop you, take your "suspected" drug money. You have the opportunity of going to court, and proving that your money is clean. That of course costs more than the $10k, so too bad.

- You own a small plane. The cops seize your plane, suspected of running drugs. You have the opportunity to go to court to get your plane back, but you have to put up a bond for the full amount of the plane before you can go to court. This will take years and money. In the meantime, the cops are using your plane for undercover work. What you get back may not even work.

Those are actual examples of what has happened.

- That's only the beginning of the system of control.

There are towns where the Sheriff will stop you on the Interstate or State road, and arrest you. They tow your car to a storage lot. Put you in jail. To post bail you have to see the Judge. The Judge is only available once a week. If you can scrape up the money to either post bail or pay the "fine" you are then required to pay for your stay in jail as if you were paying for an hotel room. Then to get your car back, you have to pay the towing fee and the storage fee, this can cost thousands. This happens to travelers and tourists passing through these traps all the time.

- BTW, here in America if you are in jail, when you are released, you have to pay for your stay as if you were paying an hotel bill, on top of court costs and fines. Even if you have done nothing wrong. Great system, right?

Remember the explosion of protest and violence over the Black Lives Matter.

Wiki - Black Lives Matter

Wiki - Ferguson unrest

You have neighborhoods in major Metro areas that Incorporate as Towns. They then feed off the black populace by arrests, fines, court costs. The court is held in someones living room.

A personal note:

I was called up for Jury Duty a few years back. One of the cases was about a "Stop and Seize" event. The cop pulled the guy over for no reason. In the search of the car, a statue was found containing heroin. The guy was being charged for trafficking. He was fighting the charges because the statue filled with heroin was not his. Either the cop planted it, or a friend that he gave a ride to had left it in the car.

Multiple points here:

- If you are the owner of a car, and your friend is carrying, you loose your car.

- If your kid was dealing drugs while living in your house, to pay for his habit, they will seize your house.

When Jury selection started, the Defense Lawyer asked if we should legalize drugs. I raised my hand, stood up and proceeded to talk about the so called Justice/Prison System, Desert Snow, etc... How I did not trust cops when it came to drugs, because they make money on every stop. Person after person stood up to say that they had family destroyed by heroin and they should have been helped, not put in prison. We all had a lively discussion, and every person said that the system was broken. By the time that room was finished we had ripped the cops and State attorney a new one. HA!

So, Greg, like I said, you do not need to wait and see what system will be set up in the future by Pence, et al., when the system of control has been in place for decades.


No-one thinks that means unless they're very foolish.

A famous Philosopher once proved it. (Twice. Kant and Hume for the record). A scientific response is:

"No - % of foreign investment that we could track through the massive amounts of offshore shell LLCs, LCDS, employees bought to sign off on said instruments and so on even if we get the data anyhow[1] and therefore taking statements made on a public forum and attempting to apply the "Law" is going to result in a very significant spank if you don't know who you're indirectly threatening through a spoofed IP address and some majorly bad intel"

IF your Laws allow that to happen, then: you're living in not-a-democracy and need to re-imagine your exit strategy.

Or you could go with UK Law (still) or EU Law which basically states: you cannot be sued for random trolls.

You know, because otherwise SKY / DailyMail etc would be liable for their comment sections, which would be a) a Lawyers' wet dream or b) so silly to be untrue.

Now, you can do this to the 'little people'.

Problem is, you'd better pray that you didn't accidentally piss off something that just tanked ~10% of your share price via other methods.

[1] Panama Papers. Other Papers. Literally the entire world is run on a meta-scam where there's three tiers of players pretending / gaslighting the lower tiers that they don't exist.

Guess what, there's five tiers.



No-one WHO thinks that means IT'S LEGALLY ENFORCEABLE ...


Melt-down on Live-TeeVee might be a bit too public?



Wow, I go write a post and everybody gets way ahead of me. HA!

Charlie Stross @313 said: Of course, the smart launderer wouldn't even bother with the identity theft...

When that article came out, I wasn't paying attention, then it flashed on me what I have seen many times on Amazon.

I will be looking for a book, and someone is charging hundreds for a book that is clearly available for a few dollars. I never understood what was going on.

- These are real books, not filled with computer generated stuff.

I bet that these are third party vendors laundering money in plain sight. HA!


I'm not sure why you think it's that far-fetched, this seems to happen all the time in Vancouver Canada, and has been in the news a lot recently:

Laundering drug money into real estate via private lending

I'm not sure how representative this is of Canada and the US, Vancouver's real estate market is particularly insane


Perhaps you're confused about the difference between a homebuyer and a developer? I'm talking about the latter.


"Our Kind Do Not Go Mad"

W.A. Mozart - Sequentia (Dies Irae) Requiem YT: Music: 11.08.


Sorry, it's a Virus[1].


You kinda declared War on Reality.

This is the fucking foreplay here boys.

No. Really.

[1] Surprise: A virus-like protein is important for cognition and memory Science Daily, 11th Jan 2018 - the paper is solid though.



Not cool.

Who knew?

Hint: that Satan Meme shit is gonna have a price as well. Abrahamic Religions?



Pro-tip: Those laughing at those breaking down on live Tee-Vee don't know he's attempting to escape the Wyrd / Outcome. Coke fueled or not.

We don't lie.

Zombieland YT: Film, 4:19

Turns out: We Really Can Do Probability Weapons.



Bonus Round for the IMF ~ announced on post #330.

So precious to the Masons / Numerologists.

But, really: infection vectors. Wait... is this #331?

>How do we put this?

You Don't Survive Your Own Weapons?

Something like that. And you thought generating 'amok' was cool. Wait till you see this shit.


***Watches Prominent American "left" wonder if he was depressed or bipolar or came off his meds that caused this***

You. Do. Not. Get. Call. Time. With. Major. Networks. By. Accident. It. Is. Called. A. Schedule. For. A. Reason.

You. Do. Not. Get. To. Call. Major. TV. Networks. And. Get. Airtime. Randomly.

You. Do. Not. Get. To. Do. That. Even. If. You. Are. The. President.

How. Fucking. Stupid. Are. You.

And with that, Zombieland kicked in. Who are these fucking muppets?


***watches an entire supposedly intelligent segment of the population fall for a massive psyop driven by someone who was being 'Bull-Run' into it and will probably end up dead because of it***

Yeah. Those are the people who run your world. The Eloi. The Intelligent ones. The Elite. The 2%.

Holy Fuck how did none of you spot this a mile off?

Answer: Nothing Else Matters YT: Music: 6:25.

Literally digging your own graves here, it's impressive.


Sorry, but I think your view of what's going on down, down, down in the trenches is a tad skewed. And trust me, I know enough.

I just watched a stunning indictment of your middle-class trenches. I mean, it was literally a Bull-Fight, Run n Gun rushed into a Media Trap that was 100% scripted.

This shit is what the Soviets used to do. It's Scientology 101. It's the basics for Social Manipulation 101, and it's not hard to set up.

Just the right amount of pressure, just the right amount of social engineering, just the right amount of pressure / pre-modelled knowledge that the subject would resort to drugs etc under pressure.

And yet you fucking cheered.

Or did you mean the Meat-Packers and so on. You know, the ones who are actually in CA and playing for Company Scrip?[1].

#333 busted!


[1] A Kingdom from Dust >


I'm having too much fun with this. HA!

This is about Legal Pot and Money Laundering.

Nightly Business Report - Not Pot-Friendly March 5, 2018


Re: Online retail - using books to launder money or robots gone amok

Headline: Amazon seller lists book at $23,698,655.93 -- plus shipping

Key quote: 'Instead, it appears it was sparked by a robot price war.

"What's fascinating about all this is both the seemingly endless possibilities for both chaos and mischief," writes Eisen, who works at the University of California at Berkeley and blogs at a site called "it is NOT junk." "It seems impossible that we stumbled onto the only example of this kind of upward pricing spiral."'

Think this speaks to many current market situations: no available buyers, yet the prices soar.


I ran across what must be something akin to this on amazon a couple months back. There's a few novelettes purporting to be by Robert Reed, of The Great Ship stories, which are obviously computer generated gibberish. At the time I was like, wtf? Is it really worth someone's time to reap $3.95 from the (maybe) 2 people who fall for this, clicking buy immediately and then miraculously forgeting to demand a refund as soon as they open it?

This makes much more sense as a scam.


Which really pisses me off. I was pretty annoyed before, when I was thinking someone was just (completely ineffectually) trying to rip off his fans. But Reed seems like such a gentle guy, like the last thing he needs is someone f****ng with his tax liability.


Yes, pretty much, conservatives feel that the rabble is not perfectible, thus they owe them nothing and wish no one else attempt to help them either, apparently for religious reasons. I suspect they see the approaching end of their relevance and evasion of responsibility likely explains a lot of the conservative legislative agenda. BTW, shorn of whatever enormous money wishes and the lingering hangover of Jim Crow, is there anything left of American conservatism? Consider adding to your reading list "Deer Hunting With Jesus" by the late Joe Bageant, you may find it relevant.


Lara Mater Larum @334

Finally read through A Kingdom from Dust. That is amazing. I need to read it a few more times to understand it all.



Yes. Release the War-Tigers.
(Also some other, more positive things.)

Re "The Neuronal Gene Arc Encodes a Repurposed Retrotransposon Gag Protein that Mediates Intercellular RNA Transfer" - OK, wondered what you thought of it. (sci-hub has CAPTCHAs now? (And still barely responding))

Been reading papers about Von Economo neurons, starting with Dendritic architecture of the von Economo neurons (2006)
Also I recall a recent deep RNN paper that had incorporated similar ideas, haven't found it again.


Actually, there might be something to it left, assuming that the white working class stays with the Republicans?

1. The white working class still controls enough states to be a force in the Senate, where only 18 percent of Americans control half the Senate. If so, I would recommend Hillbilly Elegy.

2. Bush-style interventionist wars haven't gone anywhere. Unless the neocons transition over to the Democrats, I think that this strain will remain

3. As I've mentioned several times on this site, Evangelical Christianity is expanding in Latin America, even if all of Protestantism is currently assumed to be Evangelicalism. Assuming this trend spreads to Latinos in the US, it should provide interesting results.

4. 35% of Latinos in the Virginia governor's election voted for the Republican. That's not far off of G.W. Bush's 40%. The message: a Republican Party without Trump at the head is still popular with a significant minority of Latinos.

5. The Republican Party remains the party of backlash to social reforms. It might be foolish to assume that minorities will automatically side with Democrats in the next 5 or 6 backlashes against social reforms going forward? I could see alliances of convenience.

6. Right now, the market is pushing environmental reforms. Should this stall out, I could see that aspect of US Conservatism resurgent to stop legislative reforms.

7. I could see the Republicans becoming the right-to-drive party in the same way they're the pro-2A party now. This position might prove popular with older minorities?


Kamamuri @326 - Laundering drug money into real estate via private lending

That is deeply scary. This is the heart of the next crash, just like 2008, but on luxury homes.

- The housing bubble never ended, things just deflated a bit, but not far enough. It was never cleared up. They have artificially prevented "deflation" from occurring.

IMHO, Housing prices are now being further inflated by this artificial flipping of homes to launder money.

When the last crash occurred people found themselves "underwater" with their homes. They owed more than the house was worth, so they walked away from their homes.

When the last crash occurred an idea came up of using "eminent domain" by the city/county/state to take a house, pay the lender "fair market value" then sell the house back to the homeowner for the current value. As a Civil Engineer, eminent domain always scared the hell out of me.

- Read through this first article at least, to understand what they were trying to do and the threat from Wall Street to stop it.

From an Unlikely Source, a Serious Challenge to Wall Street

The company that they mention in the first article "Mortgage Resolution Partners" is just a normal mortgage company now, so I think that they let go of the plan.

- It was a political fire storm because it solved the problem using government, and that scared the 1%. HA!

Google - Eminent Domain To Address Foreclosures

And you won't see any articles more current than what I've listed.

California County Weighs Drastic Plan to Aid Homeowners

Eminent Domain: Can It Fix The Housing Market?

Eminent domain or principal reductions, the bottom line is reducing mortgage debt

One more try at the Great Refi

Brockton, Massachusetts, Considers Eminent Domain To Address Foreclosures

Read through to see what could be done with the next crash. Since the crash is about "luxury homes" the 1% may actually let it happen this time.


But IF true ( And I don't believe it )
These people must be in a very tiny minority 0.0001% of the popiulation or even less ...
And they "have to" hide, maybe?

Does this sound familiar?


If true, good.
Are you sure that enough people are scared of Pence?
Also, what happens if/when DT is taken down - Pence automatically becomes "potus" & then you have to unseat a sitiing Pres - can be done, but it's difficult.


Different this side of the pond.
This AM on Beeb radio, had both a Home Office minister & a senior anti-terror cop saying:
"Reducing the prison population would be/is a "good thing" ™ - whilst admitting serious problems with implementation ..."Civil Forfeiture" is something we don't have - yet - I'm very gald to say, ditto "Stop & Seize". ( Note the YET in that staement, though. )
[ "proving" your innocence, rather than denying your guilt - not good ]

So, Greg, like I said, you do not need to wait and see what system will be set up in the future by Pence, et al., when the system of control has been in place for decades.
Yeah, "The land of the Free", right ....
Have they "caught" many non-US ( Pink, well-spoke foreigners that way, I wonder? Or do they back off because of the bad publicity? )

N.B. I have just had an exceptionally unpleasant discussion with some US nutter over "jaywalking" & him going on about how it's so wonderful & so is the US & how dare I?
Here for information only
Look for my name or "one-kender" - but it's boring


You were doing so well, with insightful comments...& useful facts.
Then we get: # 324,28,29, 30, 31, 32, 33
Which appear to be content-free.

Please - can you go back to your earlier (in this thread) style?


Not "apparently" for religious reasons
ENTIRELY for religious non-reasons, or unreasosns.
Pure calvinist brainwashing.


if you want people on this site saying that international investors in US home developments are all criminals laundering their money, just say so.

Nope, I'm not saying that.

What I'm saying is that inflating markets where high value assets can be flipped for basically cash down are guaranteed to attract high-level money launderers.

Low-level laundries run on lots of small transactions, face-to-face. The classic example would be a take-away food joint that has very few customers and unfeasibly low prices for the quality of what they provide (the action is all in the back room, where cash is deposited and till rolls/orders are faked up and there are lots of folks on the payroll who never show up at work).

The high-level version involves offshore trusts/bank accounts being used to buy property (expensive developments would be a classic, as would supercars, works of art, etc) through a series of shell companies managed from somewhere like the Cayman Islands.

Given that the global narcotics trade has a value somewhere in the range $200Bn-$2Tn per year (nobody really knows for sure) for what are basically poorly-processed agricultural products distributed via the equivalent of Uber (most retail level drug dealers live in their mom's basement, or equivalent: it's not very profitable for them) someone has to be looking for high value assets to bleach the bloodstains out of their profits. London was a big target, a decade ago (there's a reason British money laundering regs in banking got tightened drastically during the noughties), and Silly Valley is currently showing many of the same symptoms.


Like version 5a!


I will be looking for a book, and someone is charging hundreds for a book that is clearly available for a few dollars. I never understood what was going on. - These are real books, not filled with computer generated stuff.

No, that's algorithmic pricing. Bots ripping off other bots.

What happens is, there are web scrapers that scan all Amazon book prices and work out what the highest price for a given title is. They then advertise a copy of each book as available at a slightly higher price. They thus spam the Amazon database with lots of inventory available at a very high price but with immediate availability. This drives up their search ranking so that sooner or later, a library gets an inter-library loan request or some feckless punter hits the "buy" button by mistake and the scraper's automatic back-end inventory system orders the book from whatever vendor is search-ranked cheapest, then ships it direct to the customer.

If you're charging $300 for a $8 book that's out of print and available for $3 second-hand, and it's all handled by a back-end trading system running in the cloud, you don't need to scam many customers per month to make a tidy profit. Especially if some of those customers are other bots.

The key insight: Amazon is to searching for commercial products what Facebook is to searching for people, Google is to searching for news/generic websites, and eBay used to be for searching for second-hand products (and I suppose Etsy is trying to become for searching for hand-made craft stuff).


I've heard otherwise, in certain circumstances.

A salesman of my grandfather's acquaintance (I've spoken of the grandfather before on here) was worried about how much he was drinking when entertaining clients, and normally drunk G&T. He also always went to the same hotel, so made an arrangement with the bar staff that he'd order G&T and they'd serve straight tonic. 6 months later he was admitted to hospital with quinine poisoning.


"Civil Forfeiture" is something we don't have - yet - I'm very gald to say

Er ...

While the cops can't seize money from you at random, if you are found guilty of a crime the courts may order you to forfeit the proceeds.

So it exists, but is subject to due process requirements at present. I'm sort-of okay with that. What I'm not okay with is the fact that, given across-the-board cuts to government funding, sooner or later some sociopath in the Ministry of Justice will say "why can't we save money by delegating the forfeiture to a civil process overseen by the police? We can call it 'streamlining the system' and 'making criminals pay' and shave £2.1 million a year off the CPS budget!" ... And ta-da, we'll have US-style police-administered forfeiture by the back door.

(This will work especially well after brexit and the dismantling of the Human Rights Act protections mandated by the ECHR, which the Tories have had a hard-on over for about a decade.)


Yay, past 350 posts, let the dark attractors start :)

Why do you think they're trying so hard to get rid of the A-10?

Because it's a slow, unsurvivable heap of junk, decades past its sell-by date, and doomed in any environment that isn't "natives armed with sharpened fruit"?

Read the thread from this link onwards... key quote:

"Can an A-10 provide CAS in the same high-threat environments that an F-35 can? No. Can an F-35 provide CAS in all the environments in which an A-10 can operate? Yes - and do it more swiftly and repeatedly on a 24-hour basis."


Low-level laundries run on lots of small transactions, face-to-face

...and encourage cash transactions by charging a significant fee for card use, making it clear with a big sign that they do so...

Car washes, hairdressers, tanning salons, ice-cream vans (there were famously the "Ice Cream Wars" in Glasgow, over the ownership of the vans and their ability to launder) and taxicabs (PIRA made sure to burn buses during riots in the early 1970s, so that it could gain income and launder money through creating a network of Black Cabs in Belfast as microbuses).


You are far too optimistic - why should be police be allowed to interfere with private enterprise? Look at the handling of universal credit and asylum rejections for examples of where there is essentially no oversight. Even where there is (e.g. the prisons), the oversight does not translate into control.

The converse of this is very relevant to your #349. I believe that drugs money never was dominant in the, er, morally unacceptable parts of foreign speculation on the UK housing market (and via the City of London). I get taken to task for saying that it's money-laundering, but I believe that what it was and is, is a way of washing out liabilities, tax, civil and even criminal. All the 'investors' have to do is to make sure that the cost of recovering the assets exceeds the assets and they are personally outside the relevant jurisdiction when the balloon goes up. We have seen planty of such examples.


Exactly what I also am afraid of, bacause it's so tempting & so tempting to trust all your people, because their motives are "pure" ( As Oxfam etc found out, f'rinstance ) - why did you think I said: "YET" ??

In fact, beware of purity of motives: Da'esh have pure motives, so did the crusaders & the Inquisition & OGPU/NKVD & ......


Timely ...

Was looking for examples in the home mortgage area and this story shows up - datelined today. No interesting details yet, just a blurb about a mortgage scam in one of Toronto's priciest neighborhoods.

Full excerpt:

'Police in Toronto say four people are facing charges after a mortgage fraud investigation lasting nearly five years.

Four men between the ages of 45 and 53 are due in court Tuesday on charges including fraud, conspiracy, forgery and money laundering.

Police allege the men, who are all from the Toronto area, took part in a "sophisticated and complex" scheme involving "several high-end properties."

They estimate the value of the alleged fraud at $17 million.

According to a statement from Toronto police, officers with the force's financial crimes unit began investigating the alleged fraud in the spring of 2013.'

Wonder what the cops are using to spot and identify such frauds.


So, there are two kinds of environments, there is the lowish threat one the A-10 is in now, and that it's great for, though a flying crop duster might have a better ROI (but, loose a few aircraft and pilots to threats an A-10 would just ignore, and you might change your mind), and WW-III, where the A-10 just cannot hack it. Perhaps, someday, we'll need that. I don't expect the F-35 will be functioning well enough to fill the gap. They want to kill the A-10 now, so that in a decade, if we are lucky, the F-35 can be an incredibly expensive replacement. Right now, it flies, and that's about it. Does the gun even fire yet? I know the gunsight isn't working yet.

Two different jobs, that probably need two different platforms. I doubt the F-35 will ever be more than a subsidy to defence contractors.


Yes, if the money folks left, there'd still be conservatives, what I meant was if the specific elements of conservative mythology that retied to Jim Crow and whatever the Hell ludicrous accumulations of money want could be "Flashy thing" removed, MIB style, what's left? I suspect the remnants would be flaccid, little more than "Would you believe what young people listen to?" and "Get off my lawn!".


More like will this aircraft be so expensive that there will be second and third thoughts about deploying it anywhere the paint might be scratched. The F-35 should've been two separate programs, than the airframe and power plant wouldn't seem so pricey. And the things the F-35 will do, if it's ever truly combat ready, won't ever be up close and personal in the way an A-10, or it's eventual replacement can, think more like a EC-135 that can defend itself and run.


Re: ' ... way of washing out liabilities, tax, civil and even criminal.'


There's also the 'translation' issue. US-based multinationals mostly report in GAAP while the rest of the planet seems to be using IFRS. (I sense a pattern here.) Anyways, considering that most SEC traded US corps make a ton of money outside the US these days this provides them opportunity for creative accounting as they translate between the two or three different accounting systems. (Could be they've solved the reverse salesman problem: what is the longest, most$$$ path between points.)

And because China has the fastest growing economy, we also need to add it to the mix. China uses a hybrid of the two - not sure what the specific differences are - haven't read the 24-page PDF Journal of Forensic & Investigative Accounting (June 2015) article below yet. IMO, the most interesting thing about China's 'GAAP' is that it is law, not just guidance/best practice. Ouch!

GAAP Difference or Accounting Fraud? Evidence from Chinese Reverse Mergers Delisted from U.S. Markets

Closer to home, Scotland is planning to invest more in community sentence programmes and drastically reduce the use of custody. Justice secretary Michael Matheson plans to phase out most prison terms of less than 12 months, which he says does little to rehabilitate offenders or reduce the likelihood of reoffending. It’s a call supported by Scotland’s chief inspector of prisons and an enhancement of the commitment against imposing prison sentences of three months or less, that’s been in place since 2010.

In Scotland Thatessempee are working on prison reform.


This is Not a Game is *very* good. And Walter, if you're here, note that I have always considered you underrated, starting with Hardwired, which is never cited with other seminal cyberpunk novels....


though a flying crop duster might have a better ROI

Not necessarily. The expensive bits for any aircraft are the pilot (well north of seven figures to train up to an operational standard) and the groundcrew (north of seven figures to train a full groundcrew for an aircraft; north of seven figures per aircraft per year to have them onsite, clutching spanners and pouring in fuel). According to the recent-ish Canadian assessment, airframe cost is only a sixth of the total cost of fighter aircraft ownership.

Now consider that the expensive mechanical bits are independent of whether it's a cropduster or an A-10. Ejector seat (want your pilots to come back?), sensors (want stabilised optics? sucks air in through teeth... expensive), comms fit (encrypted, frequency-hopping, military-spec radios aren't cheap). A visual-flight-rules-only cropduster is cheap, because you can get away with Mk.1 eyeball and a CB radio. A daylight-only WW2 P-47 aimed by eye can spray the bullets around, and it doesn't matter if you hit your own troops occasionally (WW2 casualty rates in Normandy, per troops involved, exceeded those on the Western Front in WW1). Finally, what if your troops get into trouble in the dark?

Now consider the troops who are being supported - if they're in need of Close Air Support, they want it sooner rather than later. An F-35 can get there quickly, at well above Mach 1; an A-10 rather more slowly, a cropduster probably too late. This is borne out by experience in Afghanistan. Slower aircraft need to be closer in order to provide the same level of service; so you need more of them (more pilots, more groundcrew, more airfields, more airfield defenders). The irony is that B-1 bombers out of Diego Garcia apparently proved to be rather effective; they could orbit in the vicinity for hours, rush to where they were needed, drop an LGB or two, then carry on orbiting for the remainder...


Sorry, having trouble parsing yct me. I am not, now, married - last divorce was final a year ago. And actually, we're still friends (it shouldn't have gone past that). *chuckle* She's going to feed my Lord&Master Sat, while I'm at a con in NY....


so expensive ... if it's ever truly combat ready

Define "truly" - because 100 of them have now been delivered, they're operating successfully on RED FLAG, and the USMC has done its first squadron deployment.

Of course, the fact that Boeing is desperate to see the continuation of F-18 production (because it hasn't got any follow-on contracts to build fighters) wouldn't in any way be connected to lots of information warfare that the F-35 is too brittle / expensive / unreliable, please buy Super Hornets from uscompared to mature, evolved designs...

Introducing new aircraft into service is always problematic - similar claims were made of the C-17, Typhoon, Tornado, F-18, F-15, etc, etc, etc. The problems then get solved, and soon everyone realises that the new kit does things differently from the old.

...won't ever be up close and personal in the way an A-10

Errr.... that's rather the point. You don't want to be overflying the target if you can avoid it, it's stupid and unnecessary. Even the A-10 never viewed the gun as its primary weapon (note the two British Army Warrior IFVs hit by the USAF in DESERT STORM were hit by AGM-65 missiles, and never saw the aircraft that fired them).

PS The winner of the "killed most tanks in DESERT STORM" award is.... the F-111.


This is worth a read: I am a “MasterChef” survivor Salon, 17th Feb, 2018. Someone inform Greg of the media circus that happened yesterday (well, the US one anyhow).

You'll want to focus on the specific ways that the contestants are manipulated.

Obviously, that's empirical data from a single show, but it's 100% standard practice for any teevee show (there are comparable examples from all the major producers out there, G. Ramsey isn't a lone outlier) and it's not even very sophisticated compared to the Dark Arts versions. The enablers / company execs probably imagine they're normal base-line humans still. ("lol ethics").

You'll want to read what happened to the contestant Josh Marks (now... there's some nominalism for you).

Mr Stone is reknowned for one thing: ratfucking. But he (or others around him) also know some classics like the aforementioned 'Mirror Crack'.

What is interesting is that almost 0% of the commentary about it recognizes for what it actually is: it's a weapon, fairly nasty, and you're not supposed to deploy it where it can be seen so easily. Plausible deniability is a big deal - until it isn't. And remember, Bannon is on record as stating 'the media' were his adversaries, not the Democratic Party.

And yesterday was practically a 'show and tell all' of the technique.


As for the rest, well, more Death Threats. Entropy Weapons are srs buzns though.


I see four tiers: poor, middle class, 1%, zottas. Fifth?

@Heteromeles, maybe San Diego is still nice and clean, but I don't find it that hard to see. I mean, what is Trump's business model, who has been living in his Tower (take a look at the other Steele doc), Panama hotel, what was the whole point of the Russia trip? Why was Manafort running from Deripaska? Suppose you skim a few billions from your country's coffers, do you just go and open a chain of laundromats or buy a few Panda Express franchises to launder it? Or you could also just show up in SV with a heavy briefcase [0].

As for Trump's business model, in the 4D chess spirit of things, maybe his thing is to generate kompromat on himself, and then "not" his people go and sell it. Perhaps you already got the pee tape, but then you hear there's a new one in the market involving chickadees. You got to have it.

[0] Yuri Milner


"What are the odds that the off-shoring/money laundering is a key driver of neo-nationalism"

If a day arrives that big cuts in Medicare and Social Security are required to lighten the federal debt burden, that's when voters command the sovereign will of the people's state to exercise its confiscatory authority over the ninety percent of national wealth now held by the top ten percent. Or maybe just the half owned by the 1%. Those many trillions can't be shuffled around or hidden away. Laundering and evasion only works in a surreptitious mode for a small portion of the estimated hundred trillion dollar Maguffin. Who's got more power than the U.S. government in a fight over resources? Could partly explain the resurgence of interest in space development, they're dreaming of offworld tax havens.


I've seen people yelling about the A-10. I've picked up a bit about it. And from what I understand about it, no, there's no way the it-will-be-WONNNNDERRFUL (someday) F-35 can do what it can. It comes in, can not quite hover, and machine gun around and around the area, and as directed. An F-35 would drop a bomb, I guess, and be 50 mi away in less than a minute, and take minutes to turn and come back.

The Vietnamese would have been down in their tunnels again by the second pass. I've no doubt that current insurrectionists wouldn't be similar. And no, you can't do it with a crop duster, given a) the titanium armor on the A-10, and b) someone posted a picture of what came back, after it got hit with something big, one engine completely NOT on the plane, and one wing in bad shape... and it landed, not crashed. As far as I can tell, it's a flying tank.


"Middle-class trenches"? I think that a *lot* of the young folks who've joined the DSA are looking at *never* being there, and *never* being out of college (or other) debt.

And unions have shown up at our meetings, probably the first time unions have talked to socialists since the start of the Cold War.

A *lot* of folks are getting desperate.

And what I think I may possibly be seeing, and the 0.1% ain't? Y'know, it looked sort of like the middle class was complaining, and making trouble... in 1789 and late 1916.


SFreader @362 said: GAAP Difference or Accounting Fraud? Evidence from Chinese Reverse Mergers Delisted from U.S. Markets

The China Hustle - Official Trailer


The A-10 was designed in the 1960s to fly over the German battlefield and shoot up thin-skinned armour, piloted by National Guard pilots in the main (the last A-10 came of the production line in 1984, nearly 35 years ago by the way). The dakka-dakka gun is the equivalent of a bayonet in today's battlefield i.e. you have to charge right at an enemy screaming your head off to deliver rounds on target and hope they can't shoot back.

Sure it's a flying tank, the pictures of battle-damaged airframes that made it back are AWESOME! How about the pictures of the airframes that didn't make it back though... oh.

I have a vague memory of a brief report by an airfield commander who hosted two squadrons of A-10s during Operation Iraq Freedom, basically 20 aircraft (two spares per eight-plane squadron). At one point he reported two complete airframe losses and fourteen airframes in the hangars getting battle damage repaired. The two squadrons could put four planes in the air between them at that point in time.

Battle damage to an airframe means it is out of service until it is fixed and the A-10's bayonet-charge technology means they will get damaged by even primitive weapons, heavy machine-guns and light cannon and MANPAD surface-to-air missiles. In a WW3 situation in Europe that wasn't going to be a problem since the combatants were going to go nuclear in three days, in an active decades-long CAS wog-stomping role today somewhere dusty or sandy, not being able to fly another CAS mission because half the starboard wing is missing is a major problem.

Any modern aircraft performing CAS will stand off several kilometres out of range (in the F-35,s case as much as fifty kilometres) of the benighted natives and their pointed sticks and unleash all sorts of long-range laser-guided image-seeking networked tactical hell on them and then they'll fly home unharmed to rest, refit, refuel, rearm and do it again. No bayonet charges.


Before Elon Musk turned over a Tesla roadster for launch into solar orbit, he got in on the passenger side and fiddled with a dashboard USB port to the sound system, inserting a thumb drive that looked like it might be an mp3 player. Could also have been a bitcoin repository carrying billions of laundered funds, now he just needs a withdrawal method.


Lara Mater Larum @368: This is worth a read: I am a “MasterChef” survivor

Wow! That brings back bad memories from school, Air Force OTS, Highway Department, etc... HA!

There is one book I have planned where the article will come in handy.


BTW, I'm tempted to ask for more examples, but am I really that self destructive? HA!


Re: China hustle

Thanks! - But seriously, this doesn't come close to the nonsense that this PDF demonstrates. Bottom line: The between-systems reporting guarantees financial misrepresentation. Considering how much money has been thrown at various stock exchanges, and how sophisticated the bid-ask-sell systems are, a few more tweaks could probably spot the bolder misrepresentations.

AIUI, the exchanges routinely check/verify the currency exchange rates for umpteen different currencies each trade. Checking an on-file P&L for that stock (because the SEC requires such) wouldn't be that hard to add to the automated checklist.


Well, yes. All of this is just retreading ancient ideological ground though[1] which should take about 10 mins total to enact. But I miss the old Whitroth whose wife helped NASA before drinking herself to death. That had pathos and resonance.

Mein Herz Brennt, Piano Version Music, YT: 4:44

Look: what's really going to twist your noodle is when you realize that The Cabin in the Woods isn't a clever metaphor for Capitalism / the dangers of society ignoring monsters and caging them away... it's literally a critique of a fairly normal (but hidden) practice.

Oh, it's also all those other things, but it's also a critique of a fairly hidden but practiced 'thing' that's done to people.

You'll want the part where the unsuspecting plods are put through terror and all die / go mad to satisfy an ancient pact. Note the Japanese plotline that shows co-operation is key. Most people miss the fact that the entire plot revolves around failstate = good outcome, and the meta at the end is that the Pact / Covenant is Broken and Now the Big Evil is released.

Only it's done for money and entertainment, not Elder Gods.

*record scratch*

No, really.

Here's the Joke: it works until you poke something that really does fit the O.C.P. category.


*spots people on Twitter still stealing my ZULE joke, 8 years later or so*

[1] Shout out to Foxes and Pussy Rioters.


They are all total shits - what a suprise - not.


SFreader @377

Reading through the pdf was hard. I understood the solar sail stuff better. Vibration and things going nonlinear is easier for me to see. HA!

I did a split window on the pdf and looked at the charts along with the description in D. Results, and I can see the extremes.

Here is a review for The China Hustle. The documentary discusses the "reverse merger" or "Reverse takeover".

Toronto Film Review: ‘The China Hustle’

"Jed Rothstein's documentary about a Chinese stock scam proves that Wall Street chicanery didn't end after the recession."

"Rothstein also explains, in plain language and graphics, how reverse mergers work, because it’s never easy for ordinary citizens to understand financial machinations deliberately designed to confuse them."

Wiki - Reverse takeover

I will definitely watch the documentary when it comes out.



Lara Mater Larum @378 said: The Cabin in the Woods

I can work with that.

I have the four sequels outlined, but I was focusing on The Golden Ones, not the Elder Gods.

Now that you point it out, I do have to complete those even if I can never publish them. HA!



It's more a case of:

If this is true[1], then we're using really heavily enforced contracts[2] to enact torture[3]. That's not to mention the other kinds of fun this type of behavior allows outside of Contractual Boundaries to those who enjoy this type of thing.

Obviously, since we're talking plot points for Host's New book and not actual reality[4], the twist is that S.N. used a block-chain to encode all the nasty names while hiding it as a currency.

Of course, in all these tales of SF .mil / Spookiness you need some Deus Ex hardliners to keep order[5] or you just resort to something a little bigger[6]. Power Creep is sooo tiresome.


You know, I keep on waiting for the Good Guys / Redemption Arc Heavies to turn up[7] or at least pretend they exist[8]. Oh well:

*Opens Door*[9]

[1] It is. There's a lot of Legal Documents out there showing it's true.

[2] There are lists and a paper trail.

[3] Hello Black Mirror.

[4] YEAH

[5] Hello Dirk

[6] HAI.

[7] Irony of the night: every ironic scream to 'kill them all' is actually just marking a RL Death Threat that we consider serious rather than just some lonely troll.

[8] The meme is "They're already here".

[9] Sobering up on this Entropy Debt is going to be a thing of Pain. But, hey. We proved a thing or two.


And if as by magic... *poof*.

The fact a single man dominated the entire USA media scene for a day... vanishes. Like Soviet photography, never to reappear. Ghosted.

"He'll testify and go into rehab". Case Closed, sprinkle some crack on him, this is such an obvious case of a nothingburger...


*Holds a Can of Spam*

You mean all their Meta-Narrative Systems are this weak? You mean *all* of their Mental Maps are this easy to re-write if you just poke the right people in the EYE with the actual repercussions of their vapid reality?


Oh, Boys: Do I have some Entropy Weapons you'll enjoy[1]. And you thought BitCoin was an existential threat? Or the Neo-Fascists[2]?


[1] In the sense you enjoyed nuking / polluting the planet. Only... we're gonna use your bodies / Minds. And yes, I spotted the Yale History Dude making YT videos attempting to make ... Yawwwwn... cyber colonization... yawn..... MF sooo wrong.... zzz..... literally zombies....

[2] Quickest Death ever: Mililalalampapofdgolois insulting people on teevee then they realize he's not American. Fastest death by Exceptionalism we've ever seen.


I read the master chef doc, thanks for the link. I'm not sure how that applies to our current situation, so pardon for the questions, perhaps I'm being too direct.

Is the idea that central casting picked Nunberg, the Mooch, Page, maybe Trump himself, as the most colorful characters in order to make this the most exciting season of, I don't know, whatever? I mean, from a statistical point of view, I guess it's almost impossible to draw a team of random people and end up with that, but the motive remains elusive for me. For ratings? To blow up procrastination levels across the world? Is Monty Python in charge of central casting?


I can agree about the Bone. The issue with the F-35 is lack of weapons stations.

An A-10 has 11 stores pylons, and can carry 18 mk-82s (so by extension that number with Paveway kits on them). Ergo you need about 4 F-35s to supply the same stores down people's throats as 1 A-10 can manage.


I just did a post pointing out that an A-10 can do Paveway (or Hellfire, Maverick or JDAM for that matter) as well as, and in much greater numbers than, the F-35 ever will.


The Vietnamese would have been down in their tunnels again by the second pass.

The NVA didn't have MANPADs. I gather they've come on quite a long way since the 1990s ...

The point of the A-10's gun was to make holes in the top armor of 1970s era Soviet tanks. Modern tanks aren't so vulnerable to such a relatively small weapon (it's impressive in aviation cannon terms, but nothing special compared to a tank gun), and any well-run adversary (the Iraqi army, to put it mildly, was anything but) would have SAM and fighter cover over the sort of armour force A-10s were designed to go up against — it'd be a turkey shoot.

The reason A-10s are still in use is because they're there, they're fully amortized, the USAF knows how to work them, and they're up against irregulars whose most advanced weapon is generally a Toyota pick-up mounting a machine gun.

I've seen a suggestion that you could get good mileage by taking the pilot out of the A-10 and manufacturing a drone version. Trouble is, the production line was dismantled decades ago, and would probably cost a lot more to rebuild from scratch than simply churning out more Reapers (which can do the loitering thing with a couple of missiles on board nearly as well as the A-10 without risking the pilot).


They're also fucking scary things to have hunting you. Back in the 80s, I spent one afternoon yomping through the snow over at Thetford training ground when a Warthog pilot decided it would be fun to hunt the bunch of squaddies across the landscape. One of those things popping over the hedge at extreme low altitude is disconcerting, and I'm far from confident we could have reacted well enough to get a shoulder mounted missile off anywhere near its general direction in the few seconds it was in sight.

If we'd had armour with us, yeah, different matter, but against soft targets they were pretty effective.

What I don't see mentioned here is the battlefield helicopter, with their ability to skulk behind obstacles and lob missiles over the top.


Not performing as advertised yet. The proposed retirement of the A-10 had little to do with it's fitness for purpose, it was to free budget for the F-35, AIUI, was never intended to fly CAS, that mission was to go to the F-16. If Congress could fund all the birds, fully functional F-35s would enhance the A-10's mission performance. The issue is the United States has a de facto empire and Congress is too busy granting tax cuts to the chosen to maintain it, could be potential for a nice fat book when the dust settles.


Driving through Johnson County, Missouri a couple of years ago I saw a shadow pass over, an A-10 out practicing, if it'd been serious, I would've been dead before I knew I was endangered.


Unfortunately, not as simple as that.

The A-10 has to get to where it can drop those bombs. Currently, it can't - it hasn't got the low observability, the speed, or the ECM to achieve that (they've only just made it night-capable, for goodness' sake; until A-10C it was daylight-only). Ten pylons in a smoking hole in the ground fifty miles away, don't count as "close air support".

Russia is short of cash - and exporting progressively more advanced forms of the S-400, Buk, and Tor SAM systems; these aren't your father's GRAIL/GASKIN/GANEF...

The analogy is the Yom Kippur war in 1973; the IDF got two very nasty surprises trying to counterattack on the Bar-Lev line - the new generation of air defence systems, and the new generation of man-portable ATGM. The first meant that they couldn't guarantee close air support (unfortunately, they'd cut back on their artillery forces based on that assumption - the forts on the Bar-Lev were unsupported and defeated individually) and the second meant that they couldn't push their armour forward (they lost several battalions of tanks in failed snap attacks in the first day or two).

The simple, effective Israeli fighter aircraft and tanks that were so effective in 1967, were utterly monstered by the Egyptians six years later. Interestingly, the Israelis have bought the F-35I...


An A-10 has 11 stores pylons, and can carry 18 mk-82s

...and a payload of 16,000lb (maximum of 11,000lbs of internal fuel) - which it can carry at 300kts or so.

Compare that with an F-16C, that can carry a payload of 17,000lbs (maximum of 7,000lbs of internal fuel). Rather faster than 300kts, with better awareness - but balancing external fuel against bombs.

For "day 1" operations, the F-35 carries its weapons internally, while it goes hunting Air Defence systems. Once the low observability isn't so critical, up to six external pylons get bolted on - and it can carry 18,000lbs of weapons across its (now) 11 pylons. With a maximum of 18,500lbs of internal fuel. Again, rather faster than 300kts, with massively greater situational awareness.

Like I said, not as simple as K3wl Gunz Moar Dakka


You're saying Musk==Satoshi?


Satoshi Nakamoto is naked mole-rat collective that in an attempt to expand their range invented a means to make naked apes increase world temperature to the level required for desertification of the areas surrounding their range.


Does the F-35 have any non simulated capabilities beyond flight at present? I believe the answer is no.

When the F-35 has shown a reasonable capability to replace the A-10, it might be time to retire the A-10. But, given just how late the F-35 has been, that date is likely a decade or more away, if it ever comes.

Sure, the A-10 cannot survive in WWIII, but we've had a lot of need for aircraft like the A-10, and until we get a sane foreign policy, we will continue to need it. We haven't had a conflict that the A-10 hasn't been useful in.

The last aircraft that we tried the kind of concurrent procurement that has been such a disaster on the F-35 was the B-58, it too was wildly over budget, for much the same reasons, and it only served 10 years (granted, that was mostly for other reasons, though costing more than a B-52 to keep operational was a part of it).

Cancel the F-35, tell the Marines and the VTOL/VSTOL fanboys to suck it, and start over. You should be able to keep most of the systems work, just not the airframe and powerplant. You might get a useful aircraft out of that.


You're somewhat out of date... the users have been flying exercises (and firing / dropping live weapons) for nearly two years now. Exercise RED FLAG is not "simulated" beyond "not actually being shot at".

More to the point, VFMA-121 just deployed on the USS WASP.


The avionics look to be the secret sauce, and the concept most likely to maintain relevance when the airframe shows up at Davis-Monthan, otherwise, it looks like the love child of fifty years of defense buzz words.


This seems so pointless:
Without the cooperation of investors, all Americans will get out of this is higher prices, retaliatory tariffs will be passed along, with a mark up.


Well, is the F-35 like the F-4, or the F-111? I'm thinking more like the F-111, crippled by having too many masters to satisfy.


Oh, my late ex.


And for right now, the most appropriate song I know of is Billy Bragg's current "The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters"


Ok, folks, you read it here first: I just realized an hour or two ago, why Trumpolini's decided on trade war: he guesses that he won't be obeyed if he wants to fire nukes, and sort-of knows (like anything he "knows") that trade wars helped shove the Great Depression over the cliff, and he can do this by fiat... and knowing that he's going to jail, has decided to take the rest of the world into economic collapse, a la Sampson.


It looks to be like being a massive success. It's going to both extract large amounts of money from, and increase the direct control over the military of, the USA's vassal, oops, partner countries.

What's the betting that there is at least one back door in the software allowing the USA to disable an F-35 on request?


For host, the BitCoin stuff is derailing anyhow -

MT Gox Trustee Sold Half a Billion Dollars Worth of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash Trustnodes Mar 7th 2018

Paradise Papers Reveal Bitfinex’s Devasini and Potter Established Tether Already Back in 2014 BitCoin News Nov 23rd 2017

So, a tl;dr of the entire saga is: Paradise Papers - heavily suggests Tether is crooked as - court who is involved with a massive exchange 'hack' / scandal orders enough coins to be sold to cover all the claimants - which deheated the bubble in Dec - but underlying issue is that Tether is now running on Faith.

Everyone is about to get hosed (Tether = most of the entire ecosystem's USD backing, apparently) and the SN wallet will be a useless testimony to techbro hubris.

The part where the Libertarian Peruvian Paradise didn't get built is just icing, really.


In other news (no links because obviously), all on the same 24 cycle:

USA releases statements / actions (decided in Feb) that it considers NK used VX in assassination.
Cold War Era Spy & daughter get attacked by similar agent.
Crown Prince arrives to be courted over massive IPO deal.
UK Government continues to fluff Brexit / ignore Yemen.
World Markets basically shrug and ignore most of the US-EU trade war hype.

I mean, coincidence and chance are one thing, but...


A back door would fit the authoritarian mindset, wouldn't it? I wonder if it can be isolated enough, given how many supposedly secure things, weren't. A BSOD on final approach sounds like a very bad day, hope the ejection seat isn't software dependent.


My experience with ejection seat design is almost 50 years old now, and current ones will certainly have SOME electronics. But Martin-Baker's approach (then) was to keep them as simple as possible, because they were used only when the shit HAD hit the fan!


You left out the rather important fact that the USA is trying to get Europe to reject Russian gas in favour of USA fracking-derived gas.

The remarks by Annie Machon in the following page is interesting, but it seems to have just (in the past hour) vanished off the BBC's primary links.


Timely news (rumour?) from today:

Details on NSA tracking state-level hackers are in the Shadow Brokers release

Buried lede (at least for me): all of this started in 2007 when the Chinese stole the plans for the F35


USA is trying to get Europe to reject Russian gas in favour of USA fracking-derived gas.
What I don't understand is why Gazprom is playing harsh with the Ukraine - does anyone have an explanation for that?

There are also a few positive moves related to the Korean peninsula.

"Entropy Debt" - I like this term. (inc the overloading)


Article says they are tell-all publishing.


New here (hi, kids!) and just a knee-jerk thought, but it's be innaresting to read about Bitcoin, in some sense, figuring out what it is.

Example: William Gibson is Nakamoto. He does not know this, but is beginning to suspect.

Other example: Bitcon is itself "Nakamoto," which sort of woke up when a simple fiancial program hit a certain level of complexity and interactivity, a la Heinlein's Mike the Computer. Difference is, Nakky isn't really grown up, and only en route to sentience. The various flaikinesses and strangeness and foulups is it, flailng around the playpen.


What's the betting that there is at least one back door in the software allowing the USA to disable an F-35 on request?

That would be a great idea -- until the back door was hacked and all the American F-35s fell out of the sky one day...


The A-10 can't carry missiles like Brimstone and that's the current/next-gen ground-attack missile of choice these days. Brimstone II has twice the range of the Maverick, can be reprogrammed in flight by forward observers like the F-35, it has image-processing and a number of other advanced sensor and targetting systems (the promo video for Brimstone shows a simulated attack on a guy on a motorcycle...) as well as dealing with seaborne threats. It's not dakka or brrt though, it just kills targets from beyond visual range and lets the plot go home unscathed afterwards.


The back door(s) in the F-35 software aren't there for the USAF. Enterprising programmers at Lockheed-Martin have been installing crypto-currency mining software. A senior exec found out and is currently deciding whether to A. hide it in exchange for a percentage or B. announce this as a new feature for customers: make more money by flying F-35!


Which only means its a bad idea, not that it hasn't been done (or at least attempted).


Yes, pretty much, conservatives feel that the rabble is not perfectible, thus they owe them nothing and wish no one else attempt to help them either, apparently for religious reasons.

"Conservatives" argue against the perfectibility of man, while progressives & liberals argue for the improvability of man. Mankind will never be perfect, but we could be better.


Oh, yes. Ukraine has 'borrowed' gas destined for western countries, and had to be forced into paying for it. It has also played fast and loose with payments. Gazprom hasn't exactly been angelic, but Nordstream II was constructed precisely because of the problems caused by Ukraine.


What's the betting that there is at least one back door in the software allowing the USA to disable an F-35 on request?

I doubt it - the risks far outweigh the benefit, especially as you can just hold back the spare parts and disable a whole fleet.

The integrated avionics toolchain apparently caused the Israelis some concern; they demanded an independent system, AIUI...


Any modern aircraft performing CAS will stand off several kilometres out of range (in the F-35,s case as much as fifty kilometres) of the benighted natives and their pointed sticks and unleash all sorts of long-range laser-guided image-seeking networked tactical hell on them and then they'll fly home unharmed to rest, refit, refuel, rearm and do it again.

And "blue on blue" casualties will be immense, but it won't matter to the Airedales because it's only the grunts who are going to suffer.


This seems so pointless:
Without the cooperation of investors, all Americans will get out of this is higher prices, retaliatory tariffs will be passed along, with a mark up.

What makes you think any of this is intended to benefit "all Americans"?


Ask me where the state of the art is at, in money Laundering these days, over a pint in Harrogate.

Naturally, my answer will be nothing more than ill-informed speculation and trading-floor gossip.

Interesting gossip, nonetheless; and the world has moved on a bit, post 'Panama Papers'.


What I don't understand is why Gazprom is playing harsh with the Ukraine - does anyone have an explanation for that?

I'd guess that Putin still hasn't accepted the breakup of the Soviet Union and is seeking to punish the breakaway former member states with an eye of reestablishing Moscow's rule over them.

“What's the betting that there is at least one back door in the software allowing the USA to disable an F-35 on request?”

That would be a great idea -- until the back door was hacked and all the American F-35s fell out of the sky one day...

Just because it's a really stupid idea doesn't mean they wouldn't do it.


Gazprom hasn't exactly been angelic
This is the part that's odd, fueling arguments that Gazprom is an unreliable supplier that may apply (international) political pressure on behalf of the Russian government. As opposed to just absorbing the losses and building alternative pipelines.

Just an aside; I do not understand why my fellow humans are so timid driving in the snow. This is the cream of the human-crop; only people willing to drive in the snow are driving, exactly one car (pickup truck) in the ditch in 80(~ - +/- 30 for privacy) kilometers, and still people are driving at 1/2 speed on the highways, 1/4 the manageable kinetic energy. (Half-serious here. Mom of a friend when I was growing up did ice-racing. There, people test their limits.)


And "blue on blue" casualties will be immense,

Why? It's not a naked Mk1 eyeball-visual pilot flying a plane close to the ground dodging incoming cannonfire in bad light and rough air and accidentally walking a burst of 30mm dakka through the blue lines, it's a missile that's been given a specific target to hit at a specific location or given the visual details (i.e. camo-painted Hilux truck with heavy machine gun in the back) to target.

Brimstone's been deployed in Afghanistan and Syria to some effect. The US has restarted its copycat JAGM development program after living with the dated Hellfire and Maverick ground-to-air missiles, in part due to the performance of Brimstone and the greater-ranged Brimstone II which can fly to target from 50km out faster than the sluggish A-10 can arrive on the scene from the same distance.


Wasn't that how Libor worked? Friendly banter down at the pub mixed with *nudge nudge wink wink* stuff? I mean: can't you at least find an obscure 1970's Art Deco reference hidden within a sly pun or something? Something mystical to hint at the nature of the beast?

Or are we all scared now of Ms May, Pr0n records and MI5 running black ops?

Btw Panama -- then Paradise -- next is ?

but it's be innaresting to read about Bitcoin, in some sense, figuring out what it is.

It's far more interesting watching the co-ordination of things-in-themselves:

SEC issues judgement
PR release from Japanese Court (... read the docs, it's literally the tokyo district court 2014 (fu))
Major BitCoin Indexes get "hacked" (again, again, again) and go down
London gets a mention via Always Efficient LLP on Radio 4, ffs1[1].

I mean: Niles, if you're writing the World's Reality on this level, why need a pint? It's obviously a hit, and something **obviously** being telegraphed before teh spoilers on the 5th.

Please, someone tell me if I'm taking crazy pills here: is this all considered really hidden or non-obvious or "not a power display by certain brokers"?

I mean, if it is, whooooo. Boy you're in trouble.

[1] UK Company Linked to the Theft of 650,000 Bitcoin from Mt Gox CoinJournal Mar 7th 2018

You left out the rather important fact that the USA is trying to get Europe to reject Russian gas in favour of USA fracking-derived gas.

My thoughts on the US claims that they accurately determined that the DPRK as using VX in said incident will no doubt echo the thoughts I have when certain ex-Soviet Lake-side projects are labelled as the source for this.

But: people are getting hurt, so.


And "blue on blue" casualties will be immense,


Because they have form?

The dirty little secret of the Gulf War is that "friendly fire" accounted for 24 percent of the U.S. dead. (Not to mention allies, who were understandably nervous.)

Sept. 4, 2006 -- Pte. Mark Graham was killed when two NATO planes accidentally strafed Canadian troops in Panjwaii district in Afghanistan.
April 18, 2002 -- Sgt. Marc Leger, Cpl. Ainsworth Dyer, Pte. Richard Green and Pte. Nathan Smith were killed in Afghanistan after being bombed by a U.S. F-16 fighter.

By February 2005 the British seemed to have become resigned to being shot at by their allies as an occupational hazard.

Lots more incidents listed in various places. Not WWI levels of "immense", but not nothing either.


We will, however, probably hiss "do a grep" and point somewhat obliquely to a hidden tell / joke in material from over 6 months ago just to annoy people.

Conspiracy gets hard when you can Mind-Read.

>Unless you can also do [redacted]


And "blue on blue" casualties will be immense, but it won't matter to the Airedales because it's only the grunts who are going to suffer

Oooooh, bitter. But history suggests otherwise.

The RAF doesn't have an A-10; and yet it provides CAS to the British Army using Brimstone and Paveway (amongst other weapons). It has managed to do so without "immense blue on blue casualties". There are some extremely dedicated types there, who take the CAS / BAI missions rather seriously.

A better example for you might be to point out the risks taken by Pedro callsigns of the USAF (and the MERT of the RAF)...

That said, I reserve my distrust for Biggles and the rest of the nylon-wearing two-winged blue-suited master race, their inability to land a helicopter closer than 1000m from their given drop-off point, or to fly said helicopters within anywhere near Happy Hour or a 10% risk of rainspots on the paintwork over their third diversionary airfield...


point somewhat obliquely to a hidden tell / joke
More than somewhat; anyway, just because, I did a grep for gazprom/vx/nerve agents and did not spot a hidden tell. Well, maybe the Red Wedding ref but that was not hidden. (Ended up following a few fun previously un-followed refs and links.)

Did anyone link this yet? Includes some speculations about risks.
Adversarial Examples that Fool both Human and Computer Vision
However, it is still an open question whether humans are prone to similar mistakes. Here, we create the first adversarial examples designed to fool humans,
We find that adversarial examples that strongly transfer across computer vision models influence the classifications made by time-limited human observers.

AND (in a "Risks" section)
It might then be possible to generate adversarial perturbations which enhance or reduce human impressions of trustworthiness, and those perturbed images might be used in news reports or political advertising.
More speculative risks involve the possibility of crafting sensory stimuli that hack the brain in a more diverse set of ways, and with larger effect (Stephenson, 1992).
A worrying possibility is that supernormal stimuli designed to influence human behavior or emotions, rather than merely the perceived class label of an image, might also transfer from machines to humans.

Bold mine. Yes, that's a reference to "Stephenson, N. Snow Crash. Bantam Books, 1992"


"You're saying Musk==Satoshi?"

Now that I'm fortified with an evening's perusal of the David Deutsch opus 'Fabric of Reality', I can state with confidence that yes, he is. Fortunately his only interaction with our part of the multiverse would be standing close enough to a double slit experiment to screw it up. So I have to finish the book and see why the evil twin couldn't communicate with his harmless counterpart in our universe by using Morse code, to pass information through such an experimental apparatus.


I got a laugh out of the European response, it was like, oh you want to do something like that, here's how you do it oh unworthy adversary- they threatened added tariffs on bourbon exports (Mitch McConnel's state of Kentucky), Harley Davidsons (Paul Ryan's state of Wisconsin) and Levi jeans (presumably Nancy Pelosi's turf for 'balance'). Sure enough next day Republican congressmen were all singing out of the same "targeted focus" songbook. I can't wait for the first cartoon showing Trump in Levis on a Harley chugging right out of a bourbon bottle.


A number of news organizations are reporting that Sergei Skirpal and his daughter Yulia were deliberately attacked with a nerve agent in Salisbury. Apparently one of the police officers who came to their aid on Sunday is also in hospital in "serious condition" (earlier reports said "critical condition" and "in a coma").

Two others are reported to have been treated and released.

The government is also taking another look at the deaths of 14 other Putin critics/opponents in the UK, not counting Alexander Litvinenko.

The New Yorker has an in depth piece about Christopher Steele "The Man Behind The Trump Dossier" in the March 12 issue. One interesting bit of information is Steele was in charge of M.I.6's investigation of Litvinenkos murder.

Meanwhile, back at Trump Tower ...


Nile is someone I know IRL.

Lay off. Now.


Too late, there was already one at 'The Independent' yesterday (including a wonderful 'I started a trade war and all I got were these lousy tariffs' t-shirt)


Putin, ex-KGB wants the old Tsarist ( with hints of Soviet ) empire back & he really doesn't care what other people or countries think [ VERY like Trump in that respect ]
See also unusual nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury, including passers-by .....


Good luck & much beer too y'all in Harrogate, btw.
I can't make it ( As is usual these days, unfortunately. )


As well as Charlie's comment @ 432:
Please, someone tell me if I'm taking crazy pills here
Yes, you are - you have reverted.
PLEASE - stop it?


And clearly, the fact that the A-10 hasn't been adapted to carry Brimstone is, uniquely amongst NATO types with an AGM capability, because it is technically impossible to do so rather than because there is a lack of political will in the USAF to do so.


I guess that means it's time for my great-uncle's Italian campaign story (the only one he'd ever tell):-

When British aircraft appeared over the front lines, the Germans ducked. When German aircraft appeared, the Allies ducked. When the USAAF appeared, everyone ducked!


You really are hooked on the Kool Aid, aren't you? You should look more carefully at a few more independent news sources. It's just like the claims that Iran was supplying the Wahhabist terrorists in Iraq - even the (British) general on the ground said that it was bollocks, until he was told to stop contradicting the official story.


I've heard something similar from an ex-military friend who served overseas. From what I remember, he believed that US forces didn't treat 'own goals' against allied forces with the same seriousness they treated those against their own forces, and civilians were below allies in that regard.


Regarding the "Russian Empire" quote, there is at least a sensationalist claim by a former Putin Aide (Andrej Illarionov), and I'll agree that the "bring back the Grand Duchy of Finland" end of the spectrum is probably limited to the swivel-eyed loons of Russian Nationalism who are no different from UK nutters who hark on about the Empire. "Bring back the USSR" may be more commonplace.

To be fair to Greg, though, invading and keeping Crimea and then sending troops into the Donbass aren't exactly "non-expansionist".

Regarding Salisbury, the Russians have form - they assassinated Litvinenko in London; supplied the tools to the Bulgarians to allow them to assassinate Markov; and have an... unfortunate? rate of fatal accidents to domestic opposition politicians and investigative journalists.

So, when a former Russian intelligence officer (convicted in Russia as a traitor) has an assassination attempt made against him and his daughter, by means that indicate State resources, it's not unreasonable to suspect Russian involvement; however, as the Home Secretary, Metropolitan Police, and others have pointed out, they will continue to investigate, and will only attribute the attack if the evidence supports it.

Interestingly, no tweets by The Donald, and no leaks from the USA; presumably information-sharing is being done more carefully in the wake of the Manchester bombing.


The last A-10 upgrade programme spent several billion, to support an old and limited aircraft. There's only so much cash, and so many people (to maintain, to train, and to fly). The USAF is trying to get their people and their budget off the legacy aircraft, and on to the F-35.

The biggest savings come when you retire a whole fleet - you can get rid of entire parts and training pipelines. It's why the RAF retired the Harrier, rather than slicing both Harrier and Tornado numbers; STOL aside, the Tornado could do all of the Harrier roles, but not vice versa.

One unfortunate fact for those who claim that the USAF hates the A-10, and it's all dastardly internal political plot by the fighter pilots to get rid of attack platforms, is that the head of the USAF when this was being decided (General Welsh) is a former A-10 pilot...


Putin has definte form, unfortunately. Both internationally & as regards, erm, "personal matters".
Which tends to make people a tad suspicious.


I await your video link to footage of Panavia aircraft performing carrier operations. You're the one who said the Tornado "can do anything a Harrier can".


Apparently it is just one of those things that happens to traitors from time to time.


Boeing has a half-billion dollar contract to re-wing some A-10s to keep a few of them flying for a few more years -- all existing airframes are at least 34 years old and absent jacking up the manufacturer's logo and installing a new aircraft underneath it they're getting crapped out. They were never designed to last in the first place, flying hard missions with expendable pilots over MANPAD-filled Germany.

Brimstone and the American equivalent, the JAGM (assuming it actually goes somewhere his time) needs a lot of sparkly bits in the launch platform to tell it what to do, where to go and who to hit, satellite uplinks, that sort of thing. The A-10 doesn't have those sparkly bits, any more than a bayonet would since it has about the same functionality (point it at the enemy and scream CHAAAARGE!). The F-35 does have the requisite sparkly bits as does the Typhoon and a lot of other planes that don't dakka like an A-10.

As for the carrier ops mentioned above, the sad fact was that the 'carriers' we had to fly Harriers off were getting scrapped with the QE carriers meant to replace them designed as a package to fly the F-35B. The Harrier was actually a poor Naval aircraft (low payload and fuel off the deck, short range, slow, poor manoeuverability, hard to land in the beginning), it was only better than nothing. What it did do was show how to carry out short rollout/vertical vectored-thrust landings with modern flight control systems as designed into the F-35B.


You clearly haven't understood the reference I gave you; for a more expanded form, try:

Yes, Russia (and it predates Putin by ages) has a record of assassinating 'traitors' on foreign soil (and so do the USA and UK), but (a) NOT ones who were swapped and (b) NOT in such a cavalier fashion.

The USA's deniable forces, on the other hand, have a record of false flag operations, illegal actions in allied countries, and not caring much about civilian casualties.

But, equally importantly, consider the 'cui bono' test. Who benefits from this, especially just at present? Exactly WHY would Putin want to piss off the EU when he is desperately trying the opposite? But one can easily see why the USA's agents would want to get the EU pissed off with Russia.


I agree whole heartedly with you sub-points (a) & (b) which is, perhaps, the whole thing that is suprising people ... there is (was) a "code" for these things & now someone appears to have ditched the rule-book, which tends to be a tad upsetting.

SOME OF "the USA's agents" please!
The Orange shitgibbon, not so much ....

and now he's on the run, pursued by angry neo-Nazis who want to steal his wallet, kill the Jew, and reclaim bit-coin for the Alt-Reich.

Dayenu[1], but tieing in "There will be feasting and dancing
in Jerusalem next year" from "This Year" would be out of the question?

[1] Things you remember from NOFX lyrics, namely "The Brews", err. Oi gewalt...


I fully agree with your first paragraph. I don't know who it was, but it's a significant escalation, whatever.

The ones I am referring to are sociopaths, not idiots - there's NO WAY they would bring Mr Mouth into the loop for something like this!