(Source: amandaonwriting, via therawness)
Khan Academy: Bitcoin Overview -
An introduction to the mechanics of bitcoins and an overview of how transactions take place.
David Graeber: There's no need for all this economic sadomasochism -
The intellectual justification for austerity lies in ruins. It turns out that Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff, who originally framed the argument that too high a “debt-to-GDP ratio” will always, necessarily, lead to economic contraction – and who had aggressively promoted it during Rogoff’s tenure as chief economist for the IMF –, had based their entire argument on a spreadsheet error. The premise behind the cuts turns out to be faulty. There is now no definite proof that high levels of debt necessarily lead to recession.
- anarchist economist David Graeber for The Guardian
Moore’s Law and the Origin of Life -
As life has evolved, its complexity has increased exponentially, just like Moore’s law. Now geneticists have extrapolated this trend backwards and found that by this measure, life is older than the Earth itself.
Dan Kominsky: I Tried Hacking Bitcoin And I Failed -
BitCoin is actually an exploit against network complexity. Not financial networks, or computer networks, or social networks. Networks themselves.
To be quite specific: BitCoin is a rejection of the regulation of monetary flows.
The cost of regulating any network actually goes up exponentially with the number of nodes that must be monitored (you need a hierarchy of systems to perform ‘guard labor’ to make sure systems are behaving within declared parameters).
But the cost of adding yourself to the BitCoin network is not exponential.
- Dan Kominsky for Business Insider
Bloomberg: Bitcoin Really Is an Existential Threat to the Modern Liberal State -
So far, Bitcoin is not a big deal. Its total value in circulation was $1.4 billion as of this week. That’s equivalent to the currency stock of a small nation — somewhere between Iceland and Uruguay — and just one-thousandth of the total value of U.S. dollars in circulation. The volume of transactions in Bitcoin is growing only slowly, relative to the massive increase in demand for the currency: This discrepancy is strong evidence that Bitcoin’s rise is a speculative bubble.
Nonetheless, Bitcoin raises some interesting questions. One is whether it might undermine the modern state — which, for many of its libertarian-anarchist advocates, is the whole idea.
- Evan Soltas for Bloomberg
Stuxnet Likely Constituted Illegal Act of Force, Study Says -
According to a recent publication from a team of international law practitioners and scholars, who were invited by NATO to create a manual on the law governing cyber warfare, Stuxnet was an act of force; and the use of such force against Iran is likely illegal, as the U.S. was not acting in self-defense at the time the malware was deployed.
Reuters: U.S. plans to let spy agencies scour Americans' finances -
The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country, according to a Treasury Department document seen by Reuters.
Glenn Greenwald: The persecution of Barrett Brown - and how to fight it -
The journalist and Anonymous activist is targeted as part of a broad effort to deter and punish internet freedom activism
What happens when you're the target of a National Security Letter -
NSLs were still alive and kicking up until a week of so ago, when the EFF’s successful ruling was announced. The EFF has let me know that the ruling only stands for 90 days and that there is a possibility the ruling will be rescinded after that upon appeal. So, we are not safe yet. I was in contact with the EFF this month regarding the issue. They referred me to some lawyers, but basically, the advice to me in general has been is that no digital information is protected from snooping unless it is stored in your home and encrypted. But even then, I am told that silent “black bag” jobs (tampering your home electronic devices) are a possibility if you are labeled a threat to national security.
-Kristian Erik Hermansen