By Kevin Leland
Blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger for recording the history of transactions. It fosters a new generation of transactional applications that establish trust, accountability and transparency.
This is one of the best definitions I’ve found regarding blockchain technology. In this presentation, I want to build off this definition, and drill down each term and phrase forming a deeper understanding of this innovation.
Why is this new technology called “Blockchain?”
Let’s Jump ahead in the definition to the word “recording.” Now think of each transaction recorded in the blockchain as a link in a chain of time. But also hold in your mind the traditional way of recording transactions. To understand the difference between the traditional way of keeping a ledger compared to the new, Blockchain way, imagine each transaction recorded in the traditional way as a standing domino, in a line of time. The difference: With Blockchain, each new transaction is permanently and non reversibly connected to the previous transaction in Blockchain’s ledger. This is very different from the traditional ledger where each new transaction is placed in time, in front of or under the previous one, but completely disconnected, and therefore entirely interchangeable, reversible and also fragile. The collected transactions in Blockchain create an indestructible chain with each link representing a transaction entry, in time, linked to the previous and successive transactions. Whereas, the traditional ledger allows for erasing and replacing these transactions at will, like slipping dominoes in and out of the line. I guess the “block” part of Blockchain is because we imagine it as a chain stuffed in a box as opposed to stretched out between two points, or coiled on a spool. But the important thing is that it firmly and permanently holds each transaction in its place in time.
What is the benefit of Blockchain’s immutability?
Let’s Continue with the link / domino analogy, focusing on the next word in the definition: Shared. A traditional ledger created with standing dominoes must be centralized. Those who have trusted, password access to share it, build it, change it, audit it, and verify its accuracy must have it set up on a huge table, securely locked in a room, as they carefully walk around it and tinker with it. If it should accidentally get knocked down, they must restore it from their “backup” ledger, losing some of the most recent transactions. Also, It would be impossible to pick up and move this table, by armoured vehicle, to another part of town in order to share it with some other group that can add to, audit or verify the ledger for accuracy. Outside auditors would have to swipe their keycard, and come to the table of dominoes.
Maybe “an image” of the table of dominos could be sent out for examination. But remotely examining the ledger by its image, or even the ledger itself doesn’t really assure accuracy because those trusted to keep the ledger could have slipped some dominoes in and out of the line before the image was taken or before the the auditor arrived. Also, by the time the remote auditor receives the “snapshot” image, and begins her examination, the ledger has already changed, maybe not due to malicious tampering, but because of all the new entries and transactions occurring since the time the snapshot was taken.
So there are two benefits to Blockchain’s immutability. (1) The shared blockchain ledger can be, and is passed around to every single person or entity that has a transaction recorded on it, or needs to audit it for accuracy. ~Total transparency and decentralization! (2) If an embezzler wanted to cook the books, with blockchain, it’s impossible. This is why it is called a “trustless system.” The behind-the-scenes technology and calculus, implicit in the construction of Blockchain make it trustworthy. You can trust a robot to do exactly what you programed it to do. And the beauty and power of this innovation is that if a bad robot is programmed to cheat the ledger, it will not be successful because it can never “catch up” to the good robot that builds the ledger. It’s mathematically impossible.
I think IBM’s phrase “transactional applications that establish trust, accountability and transparency” is very misleading and ass-end first. This part of the definition should read “transparency, accountability and trust establish the blockchain.” I’m also suspicious of how IBM called “Blockchain” a “transactional application.” This is why throughout this article, I’m capitalizing the “B” in Blockchain and making it a proper noun. It is extremely important to note that this amazing innovation that came with the creation of Bitcoin was given to the world, by an anonymous creator, to change the world for the better by eliminating the central control of all currency by greedy, powerful and corrupt banking systems…For free!
So of course now, giant corporations, like IBM, are racing to reverse engineer this technology, put their own, unique and purposeless spins on it so they can legally protect their stolen (but really given to them) intellectual property to fit their own capitalistic business model to harness its power to fuck over humanity. Much like they did in the 20th century when they built, maintained and operated the machines that orchestrated Germany’s famous genocide. Of course they first had to “establish trust” with Hitler’s war machine and prove that their punch card / tattoo numbering system was the perfect IBM Cognitive Solution to organize and manage the Final Solution.
Blockchain technology also has beneficial implications for insurance companies. Coupled to IoT (Internet of Things) technologies like Verizon’s Hum, insurance companies will be able to feed their actuaries much more accurate data, and will be able to assign risk much more precisely and turn risk pools into risk bathtubs, as they can assess the driving habits (good or bad) of individual drivers. So, can we expect auto insurance premiums to go down in near future? No, silly consumer! We can expect insurance company profits to go up. But on a less cynical and more positive note, we can expect crash injuries and fatalities to go down because of a monetary incentive to drive safely. So here we have technology, through Blockchain, greatly improving the human condition and making the world a better, safer more equitable place.
Is there a disadvantage to Blockchain’s immutability?
That is debateable, or better yet, it is one of those rare questions that can be answered with a definitive “yes” and also a definitive “no.” Bill Gates voiced his concern about Blockchain’s immutability after his meeting with President Elect Donald Trump.
Let’s approach this question with a real life example, given by a self-disclosing, provocative true story, that applies to almost any other business contract transaction. As a contractor in Rhode Island, I dealt with many crooked people in business and in political power. My business model was this: (1) get the work, (2) do the work, (3) collect, distribute and account for the money my crew and I earned. Each of the three elements of this business model required an equal amount of time and effort. Annoyingly, the “collecting the money” part too often not only required too much time, it required threats of non deadly violence and the damaging of property and faces.
If I needed some windows, I would go to Home Cheapo and buy them with cash, a check, or charge them. Either way, the materials didn’t sit in the back of my truck until after the Corporation received payment from me, in full. Next, I would take those windows to my customer’s job and install them. This is what always sucked about the construction business. As Home Cheapo’s customer, I couldn’t take possession of the windows until after I paid for them in full. Although, if I bought an extra, normally I could return it for a refund, and possibly not even pay a restocking fee. Yet, my customer took possession of my windows, along with my labor in fetching and installing them, without making full payment. And sometimes, in order to “get the work” I was forced to agree to do the job without even a partial payment upfront, and needed to wait until sometime after satisfactory completion of the project to get paid.
So now the windows are installed, properly. Although another thing that sucks about the construction business is that “properly” is very subjective, and there is no authority, i.e.; judge / jury / inspector with window installation knowledge to fairly determine if the windows were in fact installed entirely correctly should the customer dispute that fact in order to justify not paying me for my materials and my labor that I fronted. Furthermore, if I wanted to say “fine, the time and money it would cost to take this dispute to Judge Judy is greater than what I’m owed, so shove the money you owe me up your ass and I’ll take my windows back and try to sell and install them elsewhere,” I can’t. It is illegal for me to uninstall my windows, to the advantage of the crooked customer. I can not reverse the transaction as easily as Home Cheapo can, because it would take as much labor to uninstall the windows as it did to install them. Plus, the odds of those windows fitting in the rough openings of another house are slim. So, they lost the greater percentage of their value even if I took them back. I’m screwed in every direction.
So, here is where righteous, minor violence and threats of violence come into play. I can say “Write me a fucking check, now, or you’re going for a gurney ride.” In this true story example, the customer, who in this case was a contractor himself (I subcontracted for him in this deal) knew my reputation in Rhode Island contractor circles, of foregoing the grueling, cost-ineffective legal process and instead employing the more fun and financially efficient method of using my fists to collect the money I earned with my back, and he quickly wrote me a check before I punched him out, as I had done previously to a mutual acquaintance of ours, who made the mistake of waiting until after I beat him up to pay me.
I took his check to the bank immediately, to find he had stopped payment on it before I got there.
So, the moral of the story is: Had he given me payment in Bitcoin, from his smartphone to mine, stopping or “reversing” that payment in the blockchain would have been impossible. Therefore, Blockchain immutability would be greatly in my favor. I would not have needed to go back and throw my hammer through a window, and continue with the shakedown process until I finally convinced him to pay me with good funds. However, putting all my violent self-righteousness aside in this story, and hypothetically saying I installed all the windows upside down and inside out, Blockchain’s immutability would be greatly in my favor in a very unjust way. Hence Bill Gates’ concern.
Yet I would argue that the onus to take the dispute to court should be on the contractor of the homeowner who is enjoying the fact that the installed windows are keeping the weather outside of her home, even if installed incorrectly, until the three-way dispute is settled. The person who provided the material and labor to complete the job, even if the overall quality of the job is in question, should not have to be the plaintiff in this case. Looking at it this way, to say that Blockchain transactions can not be reversed is only true in the technical sense. If the payer proves the transaction was unfair, the payee can be forced by Judge Judy to refund all or a portion of the payment. He could even use Bitcoin to do it immediately.
What about Cryptocurrency’s volatility?
You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet! Although it is relatively stable, and it’s volatility in the current, second half of it’s lifespan seems to be subsiding, indicating an early maturity, I believe it will fall victim to the same bubble phenomenon that has been plaguing various markets in recent decades. I explain this in more detail further on in this post.
However, an interesting legal question is raised that I would appreciate an answer to: In the scenario I just laid out, if that subcontractor paid me in Bitcoin, say 10 Bitcoins, that at the time of the transaction were worth $8,922.20 U.S. Dollars, and I lost my court case, and was ordered to refund a portion the proceeds, say, 50%, yet at the time of the judgement, bitcoin’s value in cash doubled, how would it be settled? Would I have to pay the plaintiff 5 bitcoins? Or 2.5 Bitcoins? Or $4,461.10 (dollars)? Or $8,922.20?
What about Blockchain’s transparency?
We live in a world where just about every country’s constitution and law books were composed before the invention of the video camera. The contention between privacy and transparency is heating to a nuclear degree. Births, deaths, court proceedings, marriages, and so on have always been an unchallenged matter of public record. However, if you are caught peeping through a window, watching the honeymooners do their thang, you will be charged with a crime. What about if you are a witness to this event, and whip out your smart phone and record the peeping Tom, without his consent, as he peeps through the window? In several states in the U.S., you are technically breaking the law by invading the pervert’s privacy. And in every state, according to the fourth amendment, that video may not be admissible as evidence against the peeping Tom, because it wasn’t obtained under a warrant.
So because I’m aspiring to become an expert on Blockchain technology now, and maybe study law at a later time, I’ll refrain from influencing an opinion either way, though I have my own very strong opinion ~that is very anarchist leaning, and wouldn’t require much change to the way things are now, until face recognition technology, which could also be “supercharged” with Blockchain power comes into play.
Either way, transparency and anonymity is a big deal with Blockchain from the viewpoint of business, especially when it comes to business competition. Everyone and then some, can see the company ledger! Mike can see the payroll and realize that he is getting paid 20% less than Michelle for doing the same accounting job. It may not be as easy as it sounds, but it will be a piece of cake for “business analysts” a.k.a. “corporate spies.” And, you better believe they are salivating over it and will be the first to exploit it. Then a whole viscous and counter-productive cycle will develop. You know, the one where you create a devastating computer virus, stuff it in your resume, then take it to a company like Norton and they pay you big bucks to eradicate it.
With fintech, cryptocurrency, and most specifically Bitcoin, there is complete transparency, yet also complete privacy. How can this be? Because transactions are done with numbers that are not necessarily associated with any names…yet. If I go to my local CVS to buy a box of extra small or extra large condoms, not only am I on camera from the time I walk into the store to the time I check out, I also swipe my discount card (that I signed up for) so they know exactly how many condoms I go through in a year, and what size I buy. Then before they swipe my payment card, they check for my signature on the back, and if it is not signed, they will ask to see my driver’s license or other ID so they can verify that I am not using someone else’s money to make my purchase. Wasn’t it someone else’s before I acquired it? If the cashier has a quick eye, she can also tell if I live in a nice part of town or not, and if I have a motorcycle in addition to, or to compensate for, my big or small penis.
So “follow the money” isn’t just a great counter-terrorism, terrorist-tracking strategy for governments, it’s also a good tactic for drugstore cashiers to screen potential suitors, and for corporations to know what condoms to stock. So if cryptocurrency stays anonymous and private, it would be nice for those times when you are not trying to make a good or bad impression on the girl behind the counter, or for when instead of buying condoms you want to purchase cocaine. Of course a ballcap, sunglasses and cash can render the same result. Though you can’t buy cocaine online with cash or credit cards. But you can with Cryptocurrency.
Now there are a few hoops to jump through ~like accepting Bitcoin into a different digital wallet each time, or hiding your IP address using TOR~ to keep your privacy when using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, I’ve just began learning this stuff, so I can’t elaborate. But, one thing I understand is this: The encryption methods used for privacy are like DNA before it’s discovery. A murderer who left no fingerprints at the crime scene in 1979, but threw his toothpick next to the body, in 2013 when they could examine DNA from the toothpick, he’s busted with evidence that is even more positively identifying than fingerprints. So the permanent transactions you make on Blockchain at this time may be under the cover of darkness, but sometime in the future someone could very possibly shine a light on them. And because of Blockchain permanency, it will always be there. This could extend statutes of limitations for financial and other crimes.
In order to summarize this transparency, privacy, permanency section I’d like to reflect the general attitude of the folks that are considering these issues. It seems quite apathetic, but in a good way. The general consensus is that embezzlement, money laundering, black markets, extortion, terrorism, crime and sin will exist in some form until the Lord returns. Maranatha! Blockchain is neither a vaccine to prevent or a steroid to promote any of it in any major way. Of course it’s transparency and permanency and accountability now act as a deterrent to embezzlement and book cooking. But its untraceability, anonymity, and its infinitesimal mass to value ratio benefit drug dealers and other criminals more than would $100,000.00 bills with George Bush’s picture on them. But developers aren’t really concerned.
This new generation of techies that are creating and developing this exciting innovation seem to me to be very down to earth. Very nuts and bolts. Very succinct. Very smart. Very democratic. But not sanctimonious. Not academic. Not conspiracy minded. Not corrupt. They seem focused on the task at hand and the immediate, required solutions to immediate problems, instead of looking too far down the road in order to predict and prevent problems that have not even presented themselves yet. I drew this opinion from a couple sources, and mostly from the ongoing debate over whether or not to increase the block size. I hope my perceptions are accurate.
How does Blockchain and cryptocurrency fit into eschatology?
I would like to ask any secular minded readers who I may have made a good impression on by this point in my lengthy article, to please skip this section.
You will think I’m a right-wing-nut-whack-job no matter how much I exclaim that I am a die-hard centrist who supported Bernie Sanders to the point I wrote in his name on my ballot cast in Vermont but who now supports Donald Trump because he was democratically elected even if it wasn’t by my vote and believes Trump’s administration will support the conservative issues I care about and yet be effective in promoting progressive issues I care about as well and thinks Trump (unlike Sanders and crooked Clinton) knows what is going on with Blockchain and I predict that this is going to be YUGE (as my buddy Bernie would say) over the next four years even yuger than I was predicting in 2015 when I was telling everyone to buy Bitcoin when it was at $330 and copper scrap at $2.50 a pound to hedge a crash in cash currency caused by a run to Bitcoin. Plus, by skipping this part, you missed the longest run-on sentence I think I’ve ever written.
So this is for my fellow believers, who understood the “Maranatha!” I wrote a few paragraphs back without having to Google it, and therefore probably see the possible connection between Blockchain and the number of the beast. Not the number of the name, but the number one must take to buy, sell or trade…This is it!
Change, like decentralizing the entire world’s money and accounting and taxation systems in one fell swoop, does not seem possible without war. I’m scared. However, I’m hopeful that like the war I served in (The Cold War) it will be without tremendous blood shed. But none the less, economic war is coming, and in fact it is already here. The first, silent shots were fired by Satoshi Nakamoto.
Satoshi Nakamoto is the name used by the unknown person or persons who designed bitcoin and created its original reference implementation, Bitcoin Core. As a part of the implementation, they also devised the first blockchain database.
Bitcoin and Blockchain has not even been mentioned in mainstream media. I’m glad of that. As I learned as a mortgage loan officer for Countrywide, a.k.a. Satan, we humans in the age of unlimited communications through smart phone, cable and social media, are extremely susceptible to mass hysteria. This hysteria causes rapidly inflating bubbles that burst overnight instead of deflating over months or years. The mass communications that cause the mass hysteria that cause the inflating and bursting bubbles, cause the traditional, Greenspan ideology “that free markets are stable markets” ~to keel over. Just like a boat that starts to list a bit to port, then everyone at the same time runs to the starboard side, capsizing it.
A person doesn’t assume a mortgage to buy a house when it is the right time for that individual (or couple) to stop renting and start buying. They buy because three of their co-workers and 21 of their 342 friends on Facebook just bought a house, and posted the news. They don’t care if it is the right interest rate, the right loan to value ratio, the right debt to income ratio, or even the right price. Where competition and supply and demand is supposed to drive prices down to their lowest acceptable point, and stabilize them, mass hysteria drives prices up past the point of ridiculousness. Then, lower interest rates, teaser rates and commission kickbacks toward closing costs mask the real costs to the buyer. Of course commision compensated loan officers, real estate agents, appraisers, title insurance companies and closing attorneys all benefit from the hysteria. Home sellers only benefit if unlike any other time in housing market history, they sell at the peak of the market, and then rent a luxury apartment with the proceeds, then repurchase the same house they sold three years prior at a foreclosure auction for a third of what they sold it for. But who has that kind of foresight? I surely didn’t! Read: I’ll take the blame for the housing market crash. I wrote that piece in 2008.
So I’m predicting that when it finally reaches social, “critical mass” soon after it finally makes the evening news, everyone is going to run to cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin, the original, as the price skyrockets from three digits to four and possibly five or more. Note, that as dictated by the immutable Blockchain, unlike a stock, Bitcoin can’t split. However, this time, instead of the currency market being compared to a boat that capsized as everyone on the boat rushed to one side, the paper currency market will be more like a “ghost ship” that drifts quietly out to sea after everyone abandoned it for a utopian tropical island of decentralized cryptocurrency with nuggets of silver and gold sprinkled all over the sandy beaches. Well, everyone except perhaps a few stodgy old federal reserve bankers who can’t bring themselves to let go of their green paper printed with the faces of dead men surrounded by meaningless numbers.
But this best case scenario assumes that the all-knowing eye at the top of the pyramid is blind to what the under-employed, homeless schmuck who is writing this article can foresee. If governments and the Federal Reserve Bank see this coming, and they can’t prevent it, or they don’t want to prevent it, then they may try to control it.
If gold markets really are selling more gold than they have in their vaults, and a run on the vaults exposes this alleged, and very possible, giant ponzi scheme when the mass hysteria hits, and everyone, all at once wants to take physical possession of their precious metals and trade it, and their cash for Bitcoin, then many wealthy people in high places are going to be really pissed off and caught with their pants around their ankles. Multi-Billionaires, like our President elect will be forced to make the cash to crypto-currency trade lickety split. Before the cash bubble bursts. DotCom Bubble: 1998. Real Estate Bubble: 2008. Cash Bubble: 2018…How elegant in it’s equal spacing of time.
So back to eschatology and the apocalypse of St. John, and the Bible-thumping craziness that I warned my secular readers about. His prophecies in the Book of Revelation, especially concerning the rider of the black horse with scales in hand, who he predicted would cause free men and women of our time to work full days for a slave’s wage ~have absolutely come to be! Ask myself, or any cashier at fucking Walmart to show you their EBT card that allows them a ration equivalent to a small measure of wheat or barley worth about $6 in exchange for a day’s labor. Social security tax, gas, car insurance, vehicle maintenance, or other transportation to and from work, shoes, clothes, unsuitable shelter and medicine eats up at least all of the pay, leaving nothing to escape the Master’s plantation, even temporarily, let alone afford a ticket to a Florida theme park. Fuck you corporate America you greedy, slave-driving mother fuckers. $60,000 per year, per capita GDP (including children, half of which live in poverty) and you have the balls to call $15,000 per year a wage? Fuck you Walmart heirs, you full-fledged members of the lucky sperm club.
At least I don’t express myself like the typical holy-roller, eh?
I tell my kids it isn’t a sin to steal from Walmart, and it’s only a crime if you get caught. Then, it’s only a slap on the wrist because I think many in government and law enforcement know who the real criminals are. There was a time not so long ago when “white slavery” was in the law books. Famous Rhode Island mobster Raymond Patriarca Sr. was charged with it. Obviously the racist connotations suck, but the sentiment is on point. Slavery in all its forms among oppressed individuals of all races is more prevalent today than it was when it was legal to keep black people in chains, as well as their children.
Go Fight for 15!
To all under-employed, under-paid workers in the US and elsewhere: Take my word for it, the only thing worse than being poor and unemployed is being poor and employed.
“You have to start somewhere” you say. The problem is… You stay there. Insufficient wages are a poverty trap. You will struggle endlessly to keep the job – vehicle – residence triangle together for any length of time. You will always be without one or two of the three. You will never build credit. You will never get a mortgage and never buy a house.
Could someone make a picture of the rider of the apocalyptic black horse with the scales wearing a blue Walmart apron for this article?
Now this new technology given to us, the masses, by someone(s) for free, I believe is definitely a good, worldwide medicine. It is an antibiotic that will kill the bacteria that causes widespread poverty and gross income inequality, even within the borders of the richest nations in the world. That medicine will circulate outside America’s borders to our neighbors, like the proud, hopeful but extremely poor nation of Haiti, and others. The human condition will improve for people outside the borders of rich nations who are poor for the same reasons the neglected and marginalized and oppressed people within their borders are poor: greed, arrogance, entitlement, apathy and outright and legal bullying, all organized and centrally controlled.
And the bad news for Fight for 15 is a prime example from Haiti’s history. Even after the slaves rose up, went to war against their oppressors, and kicked the living shit out of them, sending them back to France, the oppressors later returned with a naval siege, and threats of more bloodshed, and extorted the Haitian people for their gold. So sadly when it comes to greedy bullies, with the law of their land on their side, along with limitless financial backing and a high tech war machine, even when you win, you lose.
The predictions in St. John’s writings speak of a calm before the storm. There will be a real, but temporary peace before the shit hits the fan like it has never hit it before in any time in human history. I think it will take a true, and very powerful Antichrist to disturb this serendipitous and equitable peace brought about by Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention. And the Antichrist will have to use the same tool that forged the peace as a weapon to destroy it. In order to do that, all he needs to do is to control it, by centralizing it and forcing everyone to attach their identities to their financial transactions before they are allowed to make them, and woe to those who refuse to take their number, which as self fulfilling prophesy will cause to happen, will probably begin or end with 666, just to piss off us Bible-thumping holy-rollers, as we are forced to choose between selling out our Bible believing, Christian ideology in order to participate in the economic system of the new world order, or be marked for total exclusion from the world’s economy, much like most of the poor citizens of Haiti are today. Maybe the crooked Clinton’s will come to our rescue with some cheap rice grown in Arkansas.
So my advice to the believers in the literal translation of the vision of John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, is this: Don’t be afraid of Blockchain technology and refuse to participate for fear of what it may, and probably will become in the future. Get in early, use the gains to buy security, store supplies, give to charity, and spread the Gospel, for the harvest is great and the workers are few, and a worker deserves his wage. Then, when the time comes to take the number of the beast, or else be oppressed, ostracized and excluded, tell the legions of the Antichrist to go fuck themselves, hideout, and await the Lord’s return. Maranatha!
A message to Islamic, jihadist extremists and members of ISIS:
Isa bin Maryam, عيسى بن مريم, does NOT need your help to make His enemies his footstool. You will suffer for all eternity if you do not stop murdering, in the name of our God, the God of Abraham. You murder innocents who are beloved by Maryam and their own, natural mothers, with a mother’s love. We are our brother’s keeper. Our brains, ingenuity and our fortitude are meant to be used to improve the human condition, to the glory of our Creator. What good are they splattered all over the dirt and rubble? Stop shedding your own blood in senseless battles that you can not win. There is no honor in that kind of misplaced courage. There is never any glory in suicide, unless causing your own death saves another’s life. No one can win. Only Satan wins these senseless battles, and he delights in your hostile aggression that is not instrumental in changing any political condition, but giving the ruling class of this world a few less people to be served by. Stop constantly raising your hand to your brother and making war with him as prophesied by the angel who came to the aid of your unjustly banished ancestors, Hagar and Ishmael. That injustice occurred because of the lack of faith, jealousy, and cruelty of Sarah, and the human weakness of Abraham. It was not the fault of any of your fellow human beings who inhabit this planet with you all these millennia later, even if some treat others with the same, unjust, unkind spirit. Please, let’s all enjoy a time of peace, no matter how temporary. عيسى بن مريم will come again in glory to save us from the tyranny of the wicked, as he promised every human being, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and unbelievers alike. But know that it will be in his time, when he is ready. Maranatha! Our Creator is an awesome God who loves us all!
MIT disobedience award, Blockchain nominees
I want to comment on this award, which I believe is brilliant, and is another very fine example of smart folks, using their brains to improve the human condition as opposed to increasing their own net worth to a number that is beyond ridiculous. Is there really a difference in your life if you are worth $1,000,000,000.00 or if you are worth $10,000,000,000.00? No. Anywhere in that range, you need to buy bonds that pay a negative interest rate to hoard your cash. It would cost you more money to hire lawyers and accountants to break your liquid assets into $100,000.00 increments and deposit them into various certificates of deposit at different banks in the US that will insure it up to that amount, than what you would receive in interest, after short term capital gains tax. It kinda makes one feel bad for billionaires. It took a lot of dedication to their individual, vast, wealth-accumulation cause to hoard such a gigantic nest egg, and here they have to pay more money to store that giant nest egg in a vault, than what they receive in interest on it. It must break their selfish little hearts to watch their hard earned, billion dollar nest egg shrink at a rate of 1% to 2% a year.
If only they had as much compassion for the little Haitian girl who gets one meal a day at school, and she has to walk there in shoes that are four sizes too big for her feet.
However I have two points of contention with this disobedience award, first, the “non-violent” requirement. Let me explain in reference to some of the things I said in my article. Yes, I admit, my own disobedience has often taken the form of violence, malicious damage, and intimidation directed at people who in my mind (and in the minds of many others who would never publicly admit it) deserve it. Now, when it comes to homicide, there is a big difference between killing a human being, and murdering a human being. If a man ties me to a post, and whips my back until I pass out from pain and loss of blood ~all because I didn’t pick enough cotton for him that day~ then a week later when everyone else at the plantation is gone, and I sneak into his room and slit his throat so he can’t report me missing and I’ll get a three day head start to the underground railroad and freedom, I did not murder that man. I killed him. Big difference. That is why I ask priests when I first meet them if they think Osama Bin Laden was killed or murdered. I find it hard to trust a spiritual or philosophical mentor who doesn’t have a good handle on the ethics of double effect, especially when it comes to deadly violence.
So, likewise, I firmly believe that when it comes to violence, there is a big difference between deadly violence, major violence and minor violence. God forbid that I would ever murder someone! I have preset “rules of engagement.” I’ve been ripped off many times, with no legal recourse, for amounts in the five figure range. Amounts of money I earned with honest labor and ethical business practices, like paying my employees a living wage. I would never end a person’s life over such an offence. But I would definitely strangle them them until they turn blue, throw them on the ground, sit on top of them and punch them in the face until they lose consciousness, if the amount they stole was half a years pay at a living wage. In the case of the window guy I talked about, the range of between a week’s pay, or a month’s pay, they are getting punched in the face once or twice. A black eye to walk around with for a few days, so they have to hear “how’s the other guy look?” And think, fine. It makes them think about what they did wrong. The black eye causes them to be penitent. It is for their own good. For my own good too, because it prevents me from labeling myself a victim, even if I don’t get my money.
I won’t talk about real life examples (and there are several) one of them is is well known, where my rules of engagement would call for killing a person. I have never killed anyone. I truly hope I can say that from my grave. But for the purposes of this award, I wish they would delineate between deadly violence, major violence, and minor violence. I wish they would allow minor violence. It seems like a double standard to offer an award for disobedience, yet to win it you must be obedient to their overly strict rules. I’m all for a less authoritarian, more anarchist society. But with either type, or a perfect balance of the two, corporal punishment with violence and humiliation is unfortunately necessary, and needs to be divvied out responsibly and with mercy and with a complete absence of malice.
Baby fuckers should not be locked up in jail, then released, then supervised, counseled, given government benefits, etc. They should be strangled until they turn blue, thrown to the ground and beaten unconscious and threatened with the same, to a greater degree, if they ever offend again.
In 1998 I served on a grand jury. One of the cases involved a middle school principal named John Card. I heard every gruesome detail about how he used his authority over a young boy, with threats and intimidation, to repeatedly rape him over a period of seven years, until he had groomed him into his own personal, young prostitute and for a pack of cigarettes and $20 he could pick him up in a church parking lot, get a blow job, and drop him off. We found “true bill” because there was also a lot of corroborating evidence, like the gurney in the nurse’s office, where the boy claimed many of the sexual assaults took place, that was covered in the Principal’s DNA.
Fast forward ten years. The RI housing market crash caused me to lose my business, my houses, my vehicles, and my cheating, embezzling, murdering wife…no great loss with the wife. For the first time in my life I was unemployed. My friend worked at Ocean State Job Lot, and made about $10.00 per hour. I was in the mindset back then that reasoned that something is better nothing, so I decided I would apply. I changed my mind when I found out the manager who would be interviewing me was… John Card.
I wonder if John is still married? I wonder if his own children respect and interact with him? I wonder if he owns a house? I wonder what kind of car he drives? I wonder where this chronic case of relative deprivation I’m suffering from is going to take me? I know the answer to that last question: To the feet of my Savior. On my way I’m going to leave a trail of tears and fears…which ain’t gonna be mine.
I’ve learned a lot recently regarding the group “Anonymous.” I am duly impressed. I plan to “join” and am in the process of learning all I can about how to hide in plain sight, and use the Interweb without leaving footprints. Not because I’m hiding from the law, although I’m also learning all I can about the fourth amendment and am having a major change of heart about thinking Edward Snowden was a traitor..but to those who believe he is, I’m saying that “my jury is still out on it.” I have a lot more to learn before my opinion is qualified. I judge, but I try to never jump to judgements. Through my study of what real anons do with their righteous disobedience, I’ve learned about “doxing.”
So, although I did not do it anonymously, I guess I just “doxed” John Card. This is the beginning of an appropriate punishment for this babyfucker. It is hard to believe that if you search the Rhode Island sex offender registry, his name does not appear. He must have made enough money during his 20 year suspended sentence to pay a lawyer enough to prove to the rest of society that he is rehabilitated, and not a threat to any child. Or maybe in the fantasies of secular thought, if something bad happened over twenty years ago, it didn’t happen at all. God forgives sins. I guess humanity just forgets them. If you google “John Card molester” only one story from 1999 comes up above the fold, and it’s about how Jolin, the poor, school superintendent, had to deal with all these babyfucking teachers. See below.
Punishment needs to be effective and as least violent and as least humiliating as possible. But good luck trying to administer punishment without a cost of time, money and resources that would probably be better placed properly rewarding good behavior, or ethical disobedience. Even better luck hiring a punisher. Who would want that job? Wanting a job like that should disqualify you from it. It would make you a sadist. However, my psychology studies have taught me that there exists a thing called “sadism as a non-disordered personality trait.” But, like most ideas, theories and terms in psychology, the “non-disordered” part of that label is being debated.
This “disobedience award” wants to change this problem: We are too often mislabeling behavior. Worse, we are rewarding bad, selfish, socially damaging behavior instead of punishing it. And we are punishing good, altruist, socially edifying behavior that bucks the system. Disobedience is a perfect example. Not all disobedience is bad behavior. It employs double effect. For mature members of civilization to be able to do that properly and effectively, punishment is necessary, even violent punishment.
As a Christian, I get tired of hearing how the new Testament (specifically St. Paul) tells us to be obedient to authority. I’m not contradicting this amazing apostle of my Lord. But his words must be taken in context. In that same letter, he says “slaves obey your masters.” That letter was to believers, including enslaved believers, at a time and in a place when slavery was part of culture, and what many don’t understand, is that in that culture, 2000 years ago, it wasn’t what it was in more recent western culture. Slaves were often refugees who wandered into a village, and as a matter of survival, attached themselves to a family as a permanent servant, and often loved and were loved by those they served. Many survived and thrived, even taking higher places in society than the free. Read the ancient story of Joseph.
The other problem I have with the disobedience award is that it should not be one prize of $250,000.00. It should be 250 prizes of $1,000.00. The reasons are obvious, so I won’t go on anymore. I’ve said way more than enough at this point.
If you read all of this, thank you. I apologize for this bout of hypergraphia. I’ve only experienced it once or twice before, but it never lasted two days. I just wanted to write a 2,000 word article about Blockchain technology, and it turned into a rambling, ranting, stream-of-consciousness manifesto. It came out of a time of social deprivation, loneliness and solitude…But not depression. I experienced a true miracle, that I wish I could pass on to others, that makes it so I am not susceptible to depression even when life gives me plenty of reason to be depressed. I pray for the suicidal. You are not alone in your misery. Hang on. Choose life. Live. You will see an angel of God. You will be helped. The dark thoughts you think are yours are being inserted by a demon. Don’t listen.
The greatest trick the devil ever played was making people believe he doesn’t exist
I could use some like-minded friends that are not full-of-shit grid-zombies. Thank God for the Interweb, the only place where a mind as weird as mine could actually find several similar ones. I’m not always so heavy hearted. It’s just that when I sing, I like to sing the blues. It doesn’t mean I don’t play or laugh or dance. If you read all of this without rolling your eyes once, you must think like me. I feel bad for you! Lol A hero of mine, Christopher McCandless said “happiness is only real when it’s shared.” I’m looking to share some happiness along with some survival ideas. Hit me up!