All of trifith's Comments + Replies

9niplav1y
Let the record show that 6 years later, the price of bitcoin has increased 250-fold over the price at the time at which this article was written.
Voiceofra is banned

LOL. Would you like to apply this generally, e.g. as in "The principle of Rule of Law is a bad idea because it's an invitation to gaming the laws. Much better to have a tyrant...err... benevolent philosopher-king decide matters because it's harder to game him".

I favor more of a polycentric legal system. Call on someone agreeable to all parties to solve disputes when they happen on a mostly case-by-case basis with some generally agreed guidelines.

1Lumifer7y
The mono- or polycentricity of the legal system doesn't have much to do with the Rule of Law, aka how hard the rules are. If the rules are soft and are bent on a regular basis, it doesn't matter how many people are doing the bending.
Voiceofra is banned

Downvotes on posts/comments older than X time affect the downvoters karma the same way as they do the downvoted.

Downvotes made after X time from the original posting affect karma at a rate of y%

Downvotes from users with karma below X don't affect the downvoted's karma score

All of these are made on the assumption that malicious downvoters are engaged in a E-Peen measuring contest using Karma as the measuring tool.

Why bitcoin?

Only if the miners are all behaving rationally. Sunk Cost fallacy is a thing in far more people that it is not.

Plus the investment in the mining equipment market will make for more efficient mining equipment, which would be needed for the new difficulty. We'd have a second mining equipment bubble.

Why bitcoin?

State actors would need to aquire mining hardware in order to make a 51% attack. Several million dollars worth of it. Trying to do so would have obvious effects on the small bitcoin mining equipment market, and unless the government turned all their machines on at once, they would spend the time they ramp up to a 51% attack actually strengthening the network, and causing other miners to also buy more equipment to keep up with the new difficulty.

This is certainly a possibility, if someone in the government recognizes the potential threat bitcoin offers to ... (read more)

2Douglas_Knight7y
No, that's backwards.
Why bitcoin?

Bitcoiner here, so bear that in mind

A 51% attack is hard. It's come close to happening once with a mining pool called GHash.io. The community quickly responded, and as of right now, the largest pool has about 17% of the network hashing power, and GHash.io has about 4%. The current state of network power distribution can be viewed at https://blockchain.info/pools , as well as other blockchain watching services. It is in any particular miners interest to be in the largest pool possible, but counter to any miners purpose to be in any pool with the possibility... (read more)

0V_V7y
According to the site you linked, the four largest pools control over 50% of hashing power. Would it be unrealistic for them to collude? How do you know that it has not already happened? Also there is 19% of hashing power which is listed as "unknown". Presumably this should be from miners who are not part of any pool, but how can you exclude collusion? That sounds like a tragedy of commons scenario, which isn't promising. Also, publicly distinct pools could collude in secret. I presume that whoever pulls it might make perhaps hundred million dollars by double-spending before the attack is discovered and Bitcoin value plummets to zero. And if you are a bitcoiner who is convinced that somebody is going to do that sooner or later, then you have an incentive to be the first to do it. More generally, one of the common criticism of Bitcoin is that the infrastructure is currently supported by "stupid money", since mining has a lower RoI than other forms of investment. In fact, there is some speculation that the RoI may be actually negative when considering hardware costs, and current miners are just trying to partially recoup the costs of the hardware they wrongly purchased when Bitcoin was at ~$ 1,000. This doesn't bode well for the long-term sustainability of the infrastructure.
2Grant7y
It looks like other blockchain technologies (altcoins) have been the victim of 51% attacks, so I'm going to read up on their repercussions. I wonder if they were carried out by bitcoiners who don't like competition [http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/22286/can-the-bitcoin-network-hashrate-be-used-for-a-51-attack-on-other-coins] ? It occurs to me that little can probably be done to stop attacks on distributed systems by large actors with non-monetary goals. If people are willing to throw a lot of resources into destroying a fledgling technology, they will probably succeed. I do have an idea for a distributed public ledger in which attacks are possible but always negative-sum. I have little experience with cryptography so its probably rubbish. If it looks to not be terrible I will probably post it here for comment.
0Grant7y
Thanks, I did not know about https://blockchain.info/pools [https://blockchain.info/pools]. On the 51% attacks, I was specifically thinking of state actors. However, mightn't any eventuality which leads to a lot of Bitcoiners who aren't enthusiasts or have ulterior motives (Bond villains?) be an issue? The current state of the BC community is probably mostly BC enthusiasts, i.e. people who aren't just in it for the money. You're right that "wasted" was a poor term; "inefficient" would be better.
Why you should consider buying Bitcoin right now (Jan 2015) if you have high risk tolerance

This is, IIRC the long aftermath of the 3rd major bubble. One in June 2011 (to ~$30), one in April 2013 (To ~$220) and one in November 2013 (To ~$1100).

Personally, I'm not expecting a major recovery until the protocol hits the next halving of the mining rate, which is July of 2016 on the current mining timetable. In the mean time, I'm dollar cost averaging my investment in Bitcoin, and stacking up whatever I can get.

3Liron7y
What's the point of dollar cost averaging? Why not just pick a % of your asset allocation that you want in Bitcoin and rebalance from 0% up to that ASAP? I see this as a special case of the virtue of rebalancing as often as possible.
0Ander7y
Agreed, and I've also been dollar cost averaging it. From the 400s on down. The risk is that the previous bubble was the last one and it never recovers. The upside is that the previous bubble was another in the string of booms that must occur in something that is growing exponentially from 0.
Fighting Mosquitos

No, I am not.

I personally rate the probability of catastrophic negative effects of this action as significantly lower than the probability of any negative effects, and the probability of no negative effects.

I am also speaking from a position of ignorance, and I don't like making decisions from ignorance.

I don't know what the ill effects would be, but the benefit is clear. If more cheap information is readily available, I want it (and some has been provided). If some amount of expensive evidence would increase my estimate of catastrophic effects, and that evidence can be clearly defined and gathered, I want it. If only vague, hard to measure risks remain, I say do it.

Fighting Mosquitos

I'm a little cautious about deliberately eliminating a species, even a harmful to humans one. The environment is a complex system, and sticking our monkey hands in and pulling leavers can backfire in unpredicted ways.

What other environmental effects do the mosquitoes have? Do they control some other pest species? Are they food for something larger? Does the additional infection vector of mosquito bites significantly improve the general immune system functions of humans or other species bitten by these mosquitoes?

6[anonymous]8y
Case in point: the Four Pests Campaign [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Pests_Campaign].
7[anonymous]8y
Are you more than one million human deaths per year of cautious?

Eradicating any organism would have serious consequences for ecosystems — wouldn’t it? Not when it comes to mosquitoes, finds Janet Fang.

— "A world without mosquitoes"

(Louie links that in his post, but it's only one link out of 14, so I am rescuing it.)

3solipsist8y
Humans and domesticated animals make up roughly 98% of the terrestrial vertebrate biomass [http://i.imgur.com/mYv0jJp.png]. I were looking for to effectively minimize humans ecological impact, mosquitos would not be where I would begin.

This type of objection, more than the financial cost, would be the main obstacle to overcome.

8Gunnar_Zarncke8y
I'm also very cautious about manipulating our complex environment without really understanding what is going on. But in this case, after careful reading of the post (where it is explicitly mentioned to keep healthy mosquitoe populations in the lab until sure) and Wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sterile_insect_technique] I tend to agree that this would reduce human suffering without noticable environmental impact. Apparently there even have been studies to the effect: I still upvote your post because you do name a few points that are all not addressed by the article. And there could be more which are plausibly problematic.

There are 3,500 different kinds of mosquitos and only 100 of them bite humans. To the extent that mosquitos are food for something larger the mosquitos species that don't bite humans can do the job.

I'm not aware of research showing improved immune systems because of mosquito bites.

Hal Finney has just died.

Hal Finney has not died, he has entered long term cryopreservation . Death is permanent, Hal still could get better.

Yup. Given the timing, I think his was a great take on the Ice Bucket Challenge.

The odds aren't good, but here's hoping.

1) The rationale is that silver is significantly harder to create, while paper notes are easy. If the paper notes must be redeemable for silver, it is some level of control on the creation of paper notes, in that a rational economic actor is unlikely to create significantly more notes than they can redeem. Austrian Business Cycle Theory places the blame for the business cycles firmly on the creation of unbacked paper currencies and the resulting inflation. Most people calling for sliver (or gold for that matter) backing of the US dollar subscribe to ABCT, and believe that such backing would reduce or eliminate the damage done by business cycles.

0Torello8y
Thanks, I think I follow this explanation to some degree. Here is what I still don't get: What is special about the silver? Instead of limiting the money supply by linking it to silver, why not just choose an arbitrary number of dollars and say, "that's the limit?" It seems to me that the quantity of silver is limited and arbitrary, so I still don't understand what the advantage would be for using silver backing.
Don't rely on the system to guarantee you life satisfaction

For Germans, I personally would advise homeschooling anyway as a supplement to the formal schooling. There are vast educational resources available online for both parents and students, and the fact that formal schooling is going on is no barrier to making use of those resources. Don't let your schooling interfere with your education.

There are vast educational resources available online for both parents and students, and the fact that formal schooling is going on is no barrier to making use of those resources.

Actually, it is, because your children spend a lot of time at school and you'd have to teach them in their "free time".

A proposed inefficiency in the Bitcoin markets

I have posted this to /r/bitcoin, so as to allow the market to learn of this proposed inefficiency, and thus remove it, should it in fact exist.

0ArisKatsaris8y
Which thread in /r/Bitcoin?
5Eugine_Nier9y
Hey, that wasn't nice. I assume Liron was partially trying to find advise and/or co-investors for making money off this himself.
LessWrong Study Hall will be password-protected

Your link to the study hall is broken. The study hall can be found here.

2Vladimir_Nesov9y
Fixed.