Archive for the Cyberactivities Category

One World Currency? (January 8, 2018)

Posted in Banks and Banking System, Cryptocurrency, Currency, Cyberactivities, Dollar - World's Reserve Currency, Magazine Reference, Money, Petrodollar, Special Drawing Rights (SDR), Universal Monetary Unit, World's Reserve Currency on January 8, 2018 by

. . .

K          “Thirty years ago tomorrow, The Economist magazine uploaded an article titled ‘Get Ready for the Phoenix’ with a cover proclaiming ‘Get ready for a world currency’ and featuring a rising Phoenix.”

J          “Get ready.  The Phoenix, the Bancor, the S.D.R., the Universal Monetary Unit, the Bobcoin, the Something Else is likely to replace the PetroDollar in the near future.  Stay tuned.” 

. . .

K          “On a simple level, ‘cryptocurrencies’, etc. are digital and gold, etc. is analog.  Blockchain technology underlying ‘cryptocurrencies’ is likely to be supplanted by a fast, fair, sustainable, scalable, guaranteed Byzantine fault tolerant consensus digital technology using gossip protocols and virtual votes such as Hashgraph.  And Hashgraph is likely to be supplanted by even more advanced and sophisticated technologies.” 

J          “That’s what everyone is saying.  Get ready.  Stay tuned.”

. . .

[See a related and more recent article “One world, one money” in The Economist magazine dated September 24, 1998.  First published as a five-part series punctuated with reprints of paintings by Gustave Courbet, “Bitcoin Doesn’t Exist – The Full Story” written by “Dr. D” for “The Automatic Earth” project/site provides some perspective on the phenomenon known as ‘cryptocurrencies’.  The comments to the series and the comments on the sites that reprint the series provide some robust ideas and opinions.  Much is happening quickly.]

[See the e-commentary titled “‘Bitcoin’, ‘Ethereum’ . . . ‘Blockchain Technology’  Say What? (July 3, 2017)”, “The Mandibles, FRNs, SDRs, IMF, G20, WTD! (September 5, 2016)” and “USA + FRN/PD — > IMF + SDR — > NDB + UMU? The “Universal Monetary Unit” . . . Coming To a Planet Near You (January 2, 2017)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Want to improve your love life?  Change your handle to “Blockchain”

. . .

The Economist, January 9, 1988, Vol. 306, pages 9-10; Cover:  “Get ready for a world currency”; Title of the article:  “Get Ready for the Phoenix”

THIRTY years from now, Americans, Japanese, Europeans, and people in many other rich countries, and some relatively poor ones will probably be paying for their shopping with the same currency.  Prices will be quoted not in dollars, yen or D-marks but in, let’s say, the phoenix.  The phoenix will be favoured by companies and shoppers because it will be more convenient than today’s national currencies, which by then will seem a quaint cause of much disruption to economic life in the last twentieth century.

. . .

At the beginning of 1988 this appears an outlandish prediction.  Proposals for eventual monetary union proliferated five and ten years ago, but they hardly envisaged the setbacks of 1987.  The governments of the big economies tried to move an inch or two towards a more managed system of exchange rates – a logical preliminary, it might seem, to radical monetary reform.  For lack of co-operation in their underlying economic policies they bungled it horribly, and provoked the rise in interest rates that brought on the stock market crash of October.  These events have chastened exchange-rate reformers.  The market crash taught them that the pretence of policy co-operation can be worse than nothing, and that until real co-operation is feasible (i.e., until governments surrender some economic sovereignty) further attempts to peg currencies will flounder.

. . .

The new world economy

The biggest change in the world economy since the early 1970’s is that flows of money have replaced trade in goods as the force that drives exchange rates.  As a result of the relentless integration of the world’s financial markets, differences in national economic policies can disturb interest rates (or expectations of future interest rates) only slightly, yet still call forth huge transfers of financial assets from one country to another.  These transfers swamp the flow of trade revenues in their effect on the demand and supply for different currencies, and hence in their effect on exchange rates.  As telecommunications technology continues to advance, these transactions will be cheaper and faster still.  With unco-ordinated economic policies, currencies can get only more volatile.

. . .

In all these ways national economic boundaries are slowly dissolving.  As the trend continues, the appeal of a currency union across at least the main industrial countries will seem irresistible to everybody except foreign-exchange traders and governments.  In the phoenix zone, economic adjustment to shifts in relative prices would happen smoothly and automatically, rather as it does today between different regions within large economies (a brief on pages 74-75 explains how.)  The absence of all currency risk would spur trade, investment and employment.

. . .

The phoenix zone would impose tight constraints on national governments.  There would be no such thing, for instance, as a national monetary policy.  The world phoenix supply would be fixed by a new central bank, descended perhaps from the IMF.  The world inflation rate – and hence, within narrow margins, each national inflation rate – would be in its charge.  Each country could use taxes and public spending to offset temporary falls in demand, but it would have to borrow rather than print money to finance its budget deficit.  With no recourse to the inflation tax, governments and their creditors would be forced to judge their borrowing and lending plans more carefully than they do today.  This means a big loss of economic sovereignty, but the trends that make the phoenix so appealing are taking that sovereignty away in any case.  Even in a world of more-or-less floating exchange rates, individual governments have seen their policy independence checked by an unfriendly outside world.

. . .

As the next century approaches, the natural forces that are pushing the world towards economic integration will offer governments a broad choice.  They can go with the flow, or they can build barricades.  Preparing the way for the phoenix will mean fewer pretended agreements on policy and more real ones.  It will mean allowing and then actively promoting the private-sector use of an international money alongside existing national monies.  That would let people vote with their wallets for the eventual move to full currency union.  The phoenix would probably start as a cocktail of national currencies, just as the Special Drawing Right is today.  In time, though, its value against national currencies would cease to matter, because people would choose it for its convenience and the stability of its purchasing power.

. . .

The alternative – to preserve policymaking autonomy – would involve a new proliferation of truly draconian controls on trade and capital flows.  This course offers governments a splendid time.  They could manage exchange-rate movements, deploy monetary and fiscal policy without inhibition, and tackle the resulting bursts of inflation with prices and incomes polices.  It is a growth-crippling prospect.  Pencil in the phoenix for around 2018, and welcome it when it comes.

Should You “Friend” The Tech Beasts And Behemoths? (October 23, 2017)

Posted in Amazon, Apple, Cyberactivities, Facebook, Google, Internet, Microsoft, Technology on October 23, 2017 by

. . .

J          “They don’t befriend me.”

K          “They don’t be a friend of me either.”

. . .

J          “In a land where nothing matters and anything goes and no one cares and no one knows, it is not a surprise that the technological monsters are devouring the populace with little comment or resistance by the people.”

. . .

[See “Tech Giants, Once Seen as Saviors, Are Now Viewed as Threats” in “The New York Times” by David Streitfeld dated October 12, 2017 and “Silicon Valley Is Not Your Friend” in the “Sunday Review” of “The New York Times” by Noam Cohen dated October 13, 2017.]

[October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM).   See “High-Frequency Trading = Cybercrime (June 8, 2015).”  The high frequency traders are committing cybercrimes every day.  Consult with them on how to commit and to combat cybercrime.]

Boycott Facebook (August 2, 2010)

Less Government Regulation Series:  Google (November 30, 2009)

‘Legs Network’ Is Big Brother (October 27, 2014)

Net Neutrality (April 20, 2015)

The Great Google Wall (June 27, 2016)

Restraining Google/Alphabet And Damming Amazon (July 17, 2017)

Excellence In Journalism?  Time For A True Trophy (September 24, 2012)

Brave 1984 Farm:  The Best Of All Possible Worlds (March 19, 2012)

A ‘Journalist’ Declares War On Journalists . . . And Journalism (November 28, 2016)

Bumper stickers of the week:

Big Brothers abound

“Legs Network” is Big Brother

Facebook is Big Brother

Google is Big Brother

Twitter is Big Brother

Amazon is Big Brother

ebay is Big Brother

Zillow is Big Brother

_____ is Big Brother

Little Brothers are bound

A “Journalist” Declares War On Journalists . . . And Journalism (November 28, 2016)

Posted in Blog, Cyberactivities, Digital, Facebook, Google, Internet, Journalism, Newspapers, Press/Media, Truth, War and Wall Street Party, Writing on November 28, 2016 by

. . .

K          “The article may be the single most outrageous and egregious defamatory screed in the history of American journalism.”

J          “And it is irresponsible, inaccurate, unfounded, unfair and wrong.”

. . .

J          “The corporate media are now at war with independent commentators.  It is all about money and power.  The corporate players see a growing challenge to their hegemonic control of opinion and the profits that flow from purveying and controlling opinion.” 

K          “He indicted 200 sites on the basis of a website that is dubious at best.  I doubt he even uploaded a dozen of the sites. Review a few of them.  Charles Hugh Smith over at ‘Of Two Minds’ ventures trenchant commentary with supporting graphs and tables and light asides about life in Hawaii.  Chris Hedges and the folks at ‘Truthdig’ provide more substance and depth than ‘Newsweek’ and ‘Time’ in their prime and actually ferret out the Truth.  Yves Smith and the ‘Naked Capitalism’ team offer thoughtful and thought-provoking essays and commentary and have supplanted the ‘Wall Street Journal’ as America’s leading financial news source.”

J          “And interject cute pictures of puppies and other critters.  However, the ‘Tyler Durden’ chap at ‘Zero Hedge’ is the edgy and enigmatic bad boy who must be sampled cum grano salis.  The motley assemblage occasionally strays near the truth, yet there is a dark and disturbing undertone.  The right-leaning websites are also under assault.”

K          “The title of the ‘Ron Paul Institute For Peace and Prosperity’ directly challenges the one political party system in America – the ‘War and Wall Street Party’ system.  Wall Street is precluding and preventing Americans from achieving prosperity.”

J          “Both Paul Craig Roberts and David Stockman held positions in Republican administrations and now challenge the neo-liberal economic policy and neo-conservative foreign orthodoxy strangling the Republic.” 

K          “The author of the article goes for the throat and challenges each author’s patriotism.”  

. . .

K          “Ben Norton and Glenn Greenwald cogently and succinctly characterize the assault in their observation that the ‘Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes A McCarthyite Blacklist From A New, Hidden And Very Shady Group.’  The paper I delivered has so deteriorated over the decades.”

J          “Yet something funky and disturbing is going on out there.  We are in a new era of ‘antisocial media’ concocted by admixing Facebook and Google into a vile and evil brew dispensed anonymously.  A journalist getting it fundamentally wrong does not aid in getting it right.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

So many words, so little Truth

Facebook + Google = Trouble

Mass Media Breeds Mass Deception

Blogging Bloggingly About Blogs:  A Thing In Search Of A Name (October 31, 2016)

Posted in Blog, Cyberactivities, Journalism, Newspapers, Press/Media, Writing on October 31, 2016 by

. . .

L          “Anything that flashes on the handy dandy device is assigned the moniker by default.”

M         “Some things called ‘blogs’ that inhabit the thing called the ‘blogosphere’ have become nuanced enough to require another name.”

. . .

L          “‘Blog’ like ‘smog’ is a portmanteau created from ‘web’ and ‘log’ and characterizes most personal doodlings presented on the w. w. web.  A log simply collects basic information such as the ‘miles per gallon’ of one’s De Soto or the ‘average temperatures in June’ for the last ten years in De Soto County.”

M         “The thing styled a ‘blog’ is also threatening for some in the traditional media.  ‘Things have expanded so much,’ Dennis Ryerson, the editor of ‘The Indianapolis Star’, said on June 17, 2010 or thereabouts, I believe.  ‘Forty years ago, newspapers ran opinion pieces by a lot of columnists, most of whom were in Washington.  They had a good following and were widely respected.  But now anyone with a cheap computer can become a columnist or a pundit.  The definition has changed.  More people are in the game right now.’  However, the universe of products on the screen is much more promising than he laments.”

L          “He is right that a person with a modicum of talent may attract a viewer who will click on the site for fifteen seconds, if the site continues to confirm the viewer’s worldview.  On the other hand, so many voices that are silenced by the overriding economic concerns of a newspaper or magazine are provided a venue.”

. . .

M         “The typical blog is raw information sans analysis.  What happens when there is the pretense of analysis?  And what if the pretense is realized?” 

L          “Calling it a ‘log’ or a ‘blog’ or ‘smog’ is no longer correct or helpful or insightful.  So what is it?”

M         “A contest.  On the world wide web.  For a new word or phrase.  That’s what we need.  There is enough talent to come up with a workable word or phrase.  The effort will also generate interest.”

. . .

L          “How about ‘blogotrapezoid’?”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “The Great Google Wall (June 27, 2016)” and other e-commentary on the Internet, etc.] 

Bumper stickers of the week:

Have a contented Halloween

Today the lint was different than yesterday and at the same time it was the same.

High-Frequency Trading = Cybercrime (June 8, 2015)

Posted in Crime/Punishment, Cyberactivities, Law on June 8, 2015 by

. . .

7          “Imagine the surprise a part-time summer intern for the federal government will receive upon learning that his or her personal data was purloined decades later by someone or something unknown.”

. . .

9          “High-Frequency Trading (HFT) is Cybercrime.  Period.  And the government does absolutely nothing about it.”

7          “Because it is done by the Owners, it is allowed.  If it were done by the Chinese or by the Russians or by the Iranians, bombs would fly.”

9          “High-Frequency Trading (HFT) is Cybercrime.  Period.”

7          “And the government does absolutely nothing about it.”

. . .

7          “There may be a few individuals within the government who know what is going on but are throttled from doing anything about it by those in power.”

9          “High-Frequency Trading (HFT) is Cybercrime.  Period.”

. . .


Bumper sticker of the week:

High-Frequency Trading (HFT) is Cybercrime.  Period.

Monitoring The Masses:  The Card And The Chip (January 12, 2015)

Posted in Banks and Banking System, Boycott Series, Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Crime/Punishment, Cyberactivities, First Amendment, Freedom / Liberty, Gold, Guns, Plastic, Pogo Plight, Police, Privacy, Silver, Technology, Terrorism on January 12, 2015 by

. . .

X          “Failure to present The Card, even when there is no cause or provocation, will result in immediate incarceration and summary disposition.  If The Card is not physically maintained within a fathom of The Chip, The Chip will transmit a warning signal to Headquarters and trigger an unwelcome visit.”

Z          “I hear you.  Coming to a country near you.  Everyone is now familiar with a credit, a debit or an EBT card, so the transition will be unnoticed and unchallenged.  All movement, travel, purchases and sales will be monitored at all times by The Chip implanted at birth without permission.  Cash will be non-existent and free movement only a memory.  A few rebels may barter surreptitiously, yet bartering will be more than a mere failure to report income and will also result in immediate summary disposition.  Possession of any precious metals such as Fe, Pb, Au or Ag will be strictly prohibited and swiftly prosecuted.”  

X          “Plastic cards have encouraged excessive over-consumption to date, yet they could also be used to ration scarce resources in the future.  Market the idea to the public with unrelenting fear.  ‘We’ need to adopt the system to protect us from The Terrorists.” 

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Today’s science fiction is tomorrow’s science fact.

Today’s science fiction is tomorrow’s political and economic fact.

Are your papers in order?  Is your plastic in order?

When the big boys make a run on the bank and demand a repatriation of their gold, should the little guys make a run on the bank and demand a return of their fiat dollars?

Nous sommes Charlie?  Is the concern freedom of expression for all or only for some?

Boycott TurboTax:  See Internet

Profile In Cowardice Award (May 12, 2014)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Cyberactivities, Judges, On [Traits/Characteristics], Press/Media, Privacy, Society on May 12, 2014 by

. . .

K          “Brooksley Born and Sheila Bair courageously challenged the kleptocracy in America.  The Committee did not delay too long waiting to gauge their hipness or political correctness.  For good measure, they also awarded themselves the award in 2009.  Yet the award for 2014 is devoid of . . . courage.”

J          “And integrity and vision.  The Committee went craven this year and should receive a special Profile in Cravenness Award.  There is not a scintilla of doubt that Edward Snowden should have won hands down for standing up courageously this past year.”

K          “The Profile in Courage Award suffers from the same myopia as the awards for most Rhodes, some Pulitzers and the Nobel in E-con-omics.  The pool is constricted and confined at the outset to a small number recipients who can be counted on not to do or say anything really imaginative, creative or, with an award ostensibly celebrating courage, . . . courageous.”

J          “Failing to acknowledge true talent is a tremendous lost opportunity and only heightens cynicism.  Society is giving the wrong signals.  Only those connected need apply.”

K          “Those in power candidly admitted that Snowden did not go to the right schools or belong to the right clubs.  Those who make the decisions did not aspire to play squash or go yachting with him.”

. . .

J          “Those who criticize him for departing the United States fail to understand how much courage it took to take a stand in the face of the venal and vindictive federal criminal justice system in America.”

K          “What if the United States gave him asylum from the United States in the United States?  Strength in response to courage.  That will never happen in a nation debilitated by fear and motivated by hatred.”

J          “No matter how things stay the same, they stay the same.”

. . .

[See the article on the impact of political ideology on First Amendment decisions at and the commentary at The Supreme Court On Drugs (June 25, 2007) (“The Court’s new First Amendment test is two-fold: 1) who is making the expression and 2) what is being expressed. That is not what the Founding Fathers intended.”)]

[See the commentary on courage and truth at On Courage and Truth (March 17, 2008).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Pardon Edward Snowden

Free James Risen

Award James Hansen

Pusillanimity is bad form