2012-10-03

Beware the Bull about Bitcoin



There is a lot of sloppy thinking going around these day concerning digital currency.

Any unethical or amoral use of any unit of exchange says absolutely nothing about the unit itself and everything about the user and the person reporting on that use. Cash, silver, gold, diamonds & digital currencies are all units of value that can be used to purchase things.

The fact that you can buy drugs, porn and assassinations with most currencies is utterly beside the monetary point. No real currency was designed for such a single purpose. Even Canadian Tire 'money' can get you a discount on thousands of different products. A trusted currency can be used to buy everything from socks, to computers, to mining shares. It is only intended to flow through efficient networks of exchange, secured by the trust of the parties.

Reliable money also maintains its value through an economic crisis, offering an indirect critique of weaker alternatives and even of our whole banking system, but no currency, in and of itself, expresses a moral position, or advocates more ethical behaviour.

The best monetary agreements strive for the following characteristics: (1). Transactions can be anonymous (2). Sending money is instantaneous and free (3). Users can memorize and keep secret the information needed to access their money, or store it on paper in a vault (4). No change or transaction in that currency can shut down the entire global economy.

This all seems reasonable and works very well providing each of us is free to choose and use whichever currency we trust most.

That is why it is going to become crucial over the next few years that we all realize that only weak currencies, weak governments, or weak banks feel threatened by any currency more trusted than their own.

So, next time you hear Chuck Schummer, Joe Lieberman, Hillary Clinton, or any purported defender of national security or morality argue that digital currencies such as Bitcoin, or the Canadian Mint's proposed new MintChip, are dangerous or need to be outlawed, know beyond a shadow of doubt they are only trying to prop up their own cash, or vested interests in a mistrusted or collapsing currency.

(Adapted from a blog post by 'Daniel' at: http://moneydick.com)

2012-06-29

WAKE UP RIM!


I'm fascinated by the traction the latest RIM rumour received until they denied it. That they were about to split into separate handset and 'software' businesses.
 
BBM-MBB
My immediate reaction was "Yes! Spin BB Messenger off into a cross-platform, OS-independent global IM service because nothing comes close yet."
 
So be schizophrenic! Why deny it?

I realize they would want to delay further deterioration in their smart phone business, but it's idiotic not to plan for such a possibility.
 
As if to compound the idiocy, they block BBM from the Play Book as a stand-alone app over Wi-Fi?
 
Duh!
 
For gosh sakes, RIM, take the plunge now or risk a terrific Canadian success story dying altogether.

And if further incentive were needed, Billy Gates has bought Skype!

Hello?

What do you suppose spinning Skype IM off from the phone service might be? Yep, the aforementioned cross-platform, OS-independent global IM service.

Sheez RIM, Wake Up!

2012-04-08

The Nunavut Primaries

Nunavut aspires to consensus government rather than partisan politics. We prefer to avoid jargon flinging fiascoes like Ottawa's Question Period and the American GOP primaries.

But pre-election primary processes are remorseless and soon emerge in other areas of life where they beg the role of careless jargon.

In the Human Resources section of a Government department recently, a staffing consultant referred to a fellow Inuk employee as 'prejudiced' in their hiring decisions.

That is such a loaded word at this stage of Nunavut's development that it should never be used lightly, but rather be reserved for occasions when its immense power is justified.

We have lost so many useful words and powerful expressions through careless use. Many of us have even grown wary of the word 'antisemitism' because it is now used so carelessly.

Yet other diasporic peoples around the world often resent Euro-America's reflex and institutionalized fixation on the word when it is used outside its Euro-centric context. It can seem ... well, almost routine to people immersed in continuing generic patterns xenophobia typical of all the world's diasporic regions.

Excluded from the political and military elites of an adoptive country, what is a bright young 'Paki' to do in Africa, or a 'Chink' in Polynesia, or a 'Kike' in Europe except excel in those domains left open to them: academia, the arts, science and business.

While Euro-American antisemitism has centered mostly on banking, credit and trade, successful Jews often revel in the most exquisite refinements of music, art, literature and science in each of their host countries. Over centuries, some of these national achievements have risen to transnational significance as part of the global human legacy and Jews, like most diasporic peoples are disproportionately represented. Too often, they can be disproportionately resented as well.

Why does the Euro-American empire so easily dismiss the Indo-Pakistani diaspora in Idi Amin's Uganda, in Trinida or Guyana? What about third and fourth generation Chinese living in the Philippines? How about the attitude of local academics to the rise to prominence of Japanese scholars at the University of Hawaii in the 1980s? How about the ratio of Asian admissions to McGill or Harvard compared to their proportion in the overall North American population?

I suggest we pause for a moment before suspecting every evaluation of Nunavut's Inuit Employment objectives as prejudicial or racist. I have a dear friend who says, "Look out for jargon, it usually indicates a repository of power!" Mere clich├ęs only wilt to benign insignificance, but deep-structure jargon, the insidious and routine failure to explicitly disclose the realities to which the jargon refers have been co-opted to the service of power. Whether we call it a 'lobby' or a vested interest, they deliberately marry semantic subterfuge to political correctness in order to censor public discourse and disguise social upheaval.

The unexpected result of such jargon is postponement, anxious pretense and a political deafness that deepens the resentment it purports to divert.

The evidence spews each day from the mind-numbing likes of John Baird, Ralph Goodale, John Boehner and Mitt Romney. Semanticists and comedians must sorely miss Canada's breathless former Queen of Rant, Ruby Dhalla.

Let not Nunavut fill the gap.

.