Archive for the Cyberactivities Category

The Medium Mandates The Message.  Analog v. Digital: Monopolization & Monetization. Oh, And Happy World Press Freedom Day! (May 7, 2018)

Posted in Antitrust, Awards / Incentives, Blog, Cyberactivities, Journalism, Monopoly, Newspapers, Press/Media, Pulitzer, Pushitzer, Technology, Truth on May 7, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Analog affirms the status quo, digital negates it.  Challenges it, really, with a goodly number of exceptions.”

J          “Yet digital is moving toward and merging with the analog business model which is all about business.  Analog is already monopolized.  Digital is aggressively monetizing.”

K          “The medium mandates the message.”

. . .

K          “Some of the digital messengers are not as beholden to the powers that be as the analog members.  Digital messengers are more likely to connect two disparate and distant points, to realize that two plus zero is not three, and to accept that two or more persons can work together to reach an end, usually to the public’s detriment.”

J          “A few stray digital messengers are acting as the town criers.  The best that a commentator of conviction can hope for is to be a prophet with honor and not to be convicted for writing that challenges the established disorder.”

K          “But no one is listening.”

J          “Makes you want to cry for your town.”

. . .

K          “Six corporations monopolize the popular media.  Most of the digital sites are in the monetization phase and may be forced to modify or mute the original message to survive.”

J          “Yet you cannot thrive if you do not survive.  Decades ago, the editor noted to a friend on the first day of his summer newspaper internship that the most important mission of the newspaper is to make payroll.  No payroll, no paper.  He was not disappointed by the stark insight.”   

K          “Making payroll is painful.  One of the sites challenging inequality has something like seven levels of membership and another sells t-shirts and decoder rings.”

J          “No can thrive if no can survive.” 

. . .

K          “Digital is regressing to the mean, digital is regressing to analog.”

J          “No can thrive if no can survive.”

. . .

[With a nod to Marshall McLuhan.]

[See the e-commentary at “First Annual Pushitzer Prize In Commentary For 2016 (April 18, 2016)”, “Boycott (Advertisers On) AM (Anger Mongering) Radio (March 5, 2011)”, “World Trade Center Building 7 And The AIA (May 18, 2015)”, “A ‘Journalist’ Declares War On Journalists . . . And Journalism (November 28, 2016)”, “Dispatches From The War On Journalism: The New ‘Nixon’s Enemies List’ (December 5, 2016)”, “Blogging Bloggingly About Blogs:  A Thing In Search Of A Name (November 1, 2016)”, “Debasing The Dialogue (April 14, 2014)” and “On Courage and Truth (March 17, 2008)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”  Eric Hoffer

“Only the small secrets need to be protected.  The big ones are kept secret by public incredulity.”  Marshall McLuhan

May 3 – World Press Freedom Day

The China-Russia Affair: Advancing The Petro-Yuan; Dictating The Future (March 26, 2018)

Posted in AIIB, China, CIPS, Cryptocurrency, Currency, Cyberactivities, Gold, Guns, INE, International Finance, International Monetary Fund, Money, Russia, SDR - Special Drawing Rights, Second Amendment, Silver, Special Drawing Rights (SDR), Sports, SWIFT, World's Reserve Currency on March 26, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “In the past, the United States played and promoted with some skill the tension and animosity between China and Russia.  The United States has behaved so abysmally and monstrously that even the Chinese and the Russians are flirting with each other.”

J          “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.  Yet nations do not have enemies or friends, only interests.  They have allied to advance their common interests in confronting a common enemy.”

K          “When the United States drives the Chinese and Russians to embrace and play well together, the U.S. is in trouble.”

J          “The U.S. has proudly and defiantly positioned itself to be the world’s worst enemy.”

. . .

J          “The National Security Strategy document signed by President Trumpi on December 18 unwisely exacerbates the U.S. and China-Russia divide and further alienates the U.S. from the world.” 

K          “China is launching its crude oil futures contract today at the Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE).  China and Russia have been swiftly designing and perfecting a system described as the China Interbank Payment System (CIPS) to send and receive information about and to reconcile financial transactions.  The system will circumvent and ultimately undermine the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) controlled by the U.S.”

J          “They are also establishing the Petro-Yuan to replace the Petro-Dollar to facilitate transactions facilitated by the CIPS and to make investments funded by the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).  That allows the Chinese and Russians, at the time of their choosing, to dump U.S. Treasuries and equities and buy up and demand the physical delivery of all gold and silver.  The Big Jolt will shift the geopolitical tectonic plates in a short time.”

K          “The U.S. will respond by dropping every bomb in its arsenal all at once everywhere and assassinating any leaders who challenge its hegemony.”

. . .

K          “The Chinese are building the One Belt One Road Initiative and uniting countries and continents, but the U.S. has a hard time tightening its economic belt and fixing one road.”

. . .

K          “The U.S. could do a whole lot more to slow or stop the wholesale theft of intellectual property by China.”

J          “His company was uneasy about filling the order from China for just a single unit.  Three years later, they discovered that an entire plant is producing dozens of them daily.”

K          “Now they do not even need to reverse engineer a product.  Just hack the computer and download the plans.”

J          “When Chinese technology was used to commandeer an American drone, I knew the situation was bleak.”

. . .

J          “A few weeks ago, someone on a lunch break called into a radio call-in show and questioned the genius of the U.S. strategy.”

K          “At some point, everyone will be calling in and asking why the prices at Walmart are suddenly what they were at Nordstroms the previous month.”

. . .

J          “The rest of the world may accept or be forced to accept a gold-backed currency for some time.  However, after securing control, the Sino-Russian Alliance will be free to impose a fiat cryptocurrency using something much more sophisticated than the rudimentary blockchain technology and perhaps a refined version of the Hashgraph technology.”

K          “But will the U.S. have enough bombs to drop on the rest of the world?”

. . .

K          “The Chinese and the Russians were playing chess and the U.S. was playing checkers; now the Sino-Russian Alliance is playing weiqi and Trumpi is playing tiddlywinks.”

J          “Trumpi is playing with himself and playing with our futures.  And they are playing doubles while the U.S. is playing singles.” 

. . .

[See “China plans to break petrodollar stranglehold” in “Asia Times” by Pepe Escobar dated December 21, 2017 and “The World Will Not Mourn The Decline of U.S. Hegemony” in “Truthdig” by Paul Street dated February 20, 2018.]

[See the e-commentary titled “World’s Reserve Currency War I = Cold War 2.0 = WW III (?) (September 8, 2014)”, “AIIB: China: 1; U.S.A. 0? (April 6, 2015)”, “The Mandibles, FRNs, SDRs, IMF, G20, WTD! (September 5, 2016)”, “USA + FRN/PD — > IMF + SDR — > NDB + UMU? The “Universal Monetary Unit” . . . Coming To a Planet Near You (January 2, 2017)” and “One World Currency? (January 8, 2018)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Panda < Eagle > Bruin; Panda + Bruin > Eagle  

CIPS > SWIFT; AIIB > World Bank; INE > Brent + WTI; Petro-Yuan > Petro-Dollar:  [ergo] -> Panda + Bruin > Eagle.  Game, Set, Match.  Fin.

Currency Wars -> Trade Wars -> War Wars

America First -> American Last

Some signs at the “March For Our Lives” March on March 24:

Orange lies matter

Owner for reform

The scariest part of school should be a pop quiz

More 4.0 Less 5.56

We call BS

Hold handguns

When I grow up, I want to be alive

If I am killed by a gun, don’t bury me, just dump my body on the Capitol steps

Bullets are not school supplies

Enough / Bastante

My life is worth more than your guns

No more silence  End gun violence

Arm me with books not bullets

Need test to drive  Why not to shoot?

Protect kids not guns

Moms demand attention

Am I next?

Gun owner for gun control

No Rational Argument

21st century technology, 18th century laws

Too old to create change, step aside and we’ll do it

Never again

Some tweet  We march

NRA  Modern Day Mafia

Mental health not personal wealth

Respect our existence or expect our resistance

Thoughts Prayers Action

My students are more important than your guns

Enough is Enough

Mothers Against the NRA

#NeverAgain

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 e-commentary.org

. . .

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 e-commentary.org

. . .

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 e-commentary.org

. . .

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 e-commentary.org

. . .

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 e-commentary.org

. . .

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.”

. . .

[See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-frequency_trading.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

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