TOTW: Cryptocurrencies

  • Posted on: 4 December 2017
  • By: thecollective

In 2009 the cryptocurrency Bitcoin was released to the public as open-source software. It was the first decentralized digital currency that works without a central repository or single administrator. The network is peer-to-peer and transactions between users take place through the use of cryptography, without an intermediary. Over the past few weeks Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies have seen increased public interest, with one Bitcoin currently worth $11,531USD as of this writing (6:10 pm, EST).

Have you used cryptocurrencies before? What do you think of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin? Are they useful to you? If so, is there something that makes it relevant to your anarchist practice (pros/cons)? In broader terms, how do we answer the problem of capital? How have other anarchists thinkers addressed similar ideas that you find noteworthy?

Do we need money to have a functioning society? And if we do, does cryptocurrency solve the problem that currency creates in society? What advantages and disadvantages does cryptocurrency provide over using cash? What kind of privacy do cryptocurrencies offer over other forms of currency for you?

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Comments

i would like to cultivate an alchemist society in which elixirs and panaceas are offered and accepted just for fun
currency is never in demand when it can flow uncontrollably

I remember first reading about Bitcoin on AnokChan many years ago and people talking about how it is of interest to anarchists, if I had only "invested" back then maybe we could fund the TAZ / PAZ today!. ;D

I think that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are closely associated with so-called self-proclaimed "anarcho-capitalists" and perhaps the distaste of being associated such things is an easy turn off. It's also a pretty techie thing and not for those still using flip phones. Mining back in the day vs. mining now, or the newest cutting edge ways to laundry wash your bitcoins into a dark wallet and turn it into some sort of untraceable currency, plus buy whatever over the Internet. On the other side of things, governments around the world and related are also trying to deal with cryptocurrencies by using it for their benefit or trying to regulate such efforts. Here are three recent news items of interest:

- Bitcoin used to hide Catalonia referendum expenses, Spanish police warn
"The Catalan government has been accused of using bitcoin in an attempt to hide spending on the controversial independence referendum."
https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/884082/Bitcoin-news-Catalonia-Spain...

-Enter the 'petro': Venezuela to launch oil-backed cryptocurrency
"Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro looked to the world of digital currency to circumvent U.S.-led financial sanctions, announcing on Sunday the launch of the “petro” backed by oil reserves to shore up a collapsed economy."
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-economy/enter-the-petro-ven...

- Here in the USA, it has been widely reported that North Korea is "amassing the mother load of Bitcoin stashes." Along with other nations that face international sanctions. A list of people where also recently given to the IRS in the USA by the largest Bitcoin exchange for failure to report such things as having more than 20k in Bitcoin.

Wut? FB bullshit. #anarchyball #sireinzigeagain #anarchistmemesareweak

Bitcoin is useful for:
- an alternative to corporate payment systems, like Patreon
- a cryptographically secure append-only public ledger (i.e., if you know you will need to mathematically prove some data exists today in the future, post that data on the bitcoin blockchain)
- free market gambling (a.k.a. "investing")

It is NOT useful for:
- an anonymous payment system (all transactions are public, so unless you somehow both obtain and use your bitcoin without ever tying it to your identity, all transactions can be traced from and to you)
- a decentralized currency (Only the absolute richest investors in bitcoin still successfully mine blocks. This photo was taken 2 years ago: https://twitter.com/lopp/status/673398201307664384 and it's only gotten worse. Even the bitcoin developers don't have as much of a say over the network as these powerful miners do, as evidenced by the recent fork drama)
- sustainability (bitcoin currently uses more power than 159 countries, including Ireland: https://www.rt.com/business/411777-bitcoin-mining-electricity-states-power/ All to generate artificial wealth, solving puzzles that you can basically prove serve no real-world purpose)

There are alternatives that solve each of these problems separately, but none that solve all three.

What about Monero? It seems to at least provide grounds to solve those three issues.

Monero is far more private than Bitcoin, but is still ultimately based on cryptographic proof of work. I don't know the mining distribution of Monero as well as Bitcoin's, but inevitably, as the value rises, more of the mining will go to specialized hardware (the mining algorithm is resistant to ASIC mining, but is still faster with a GPU, meaning there's still a way to parallelize it with the right hardware configuration -- at the very least, just buy more computers). I.e., the more valuable it gets, the more it will centralize, because that's how PoW/capitalism works. The value also fluctuates around the price of electricity on consumer hardware, meaning it's (often) worth less than the electricity you spend mining it, if you don't have specialized hardware (a gaming PC would probably do the trick to make it profitable, especially if you ignore the cost of the hardware itself). This is one of the criticisms of the Bail Bloc project: the amount of Monero you mine is worth less than the additional charge to your electric bill, so you would have been better off just donating that money directly. Bail Bloc's response was "oh, just run it on your employer's computer," [0] which, sure, that's a way to steal from work, but it certainly doesn't address the environmental concerns (plus, depending on your employer's surveillance policies, it's really easy to get caught doing it).

[0] https://thenewinquiry.com/bail-bloc/

Monero already does annual hard forks for consenual protocol upgrades. It's feasible they could easily support a ASIC-resistant hashing algorithms without the drama that bitcoin and co experience. Also, they're adopting a bulletproof scheme for confidential transactions that will increase the number tx per block by up to 80% making it many times more scaleable than bitcoin. How this would affect energy consumption levels should their network reach the volume that bitcoin currently has, however, is yet to be be seen.

"but it certainly doesn't address the environmental concerns"
I do not see this as a good enough reason to not use C_Currencies, cars have enviromental conserns and i would bet that a good percentage of you @new users still drive. If you're going for purity then these things are always going to be found lacking.

"plus, depending on your employer's surveillance policies, it's really easy to get caught doing it"

This is a personal opsec issue and not an issue with the currencies though, right? And honestly, it's not a bad idea, the extension of it being mining botnets (which people do use and earn a living with.)

I honestly don't see here or anywhere else in this thread a strong argument for not using bitcoin and don't see where the anarchist apathy and hostility towards it come from. I think radicals should be embracing C_Currencies as a tool to aid in not pay taxes, to launder and too be able to live in this society without being a wage slave, as well as other things.

Let's say the environment doesn't collapse and somehow humanity flourishes in 200 years after exploitative economics comes to a close. What will we value then? I don't know the answer really, I'm not gonna say currency is somehow inherently evil. Currency exists and will exist in some form or another forever.

So I guess in a much more fair and free system it would be dependent on what is valued. Maybe not even universally. A lot of what ifs but my main point is that some sort of currency isn't out of the question. I'm not gonna act like accumulation is a static phenomenon either, that is likely a foolish idea.

I still don't understand what Bitcoin is supposed to be. Or how it derives its value. If Bitcoin is still being valued as worth so much $US dollars, then I fail to see how it represents any 'alternative' currency. What's 'alternative' about it? When my landlord starts accepting Bitcoin, then I'll start paying attention to it.

To me, Bitcoin seems a little like Green dollars or L.E.T.S. (local exchange trading system). which I was a part of back in the day. These were supposed to be an 'alternative' to capitalism, but they turned out to be just off-shoots of capitalism. When I was the local treasurer for L.E.T.S. we still even had to have a separate regular L.E.T.S. bank account, because it was a registered nonprofit society. The same need for abstract mathematical accounting and accumulation of wealth is at play with all currency systems.

Currency itself is the problem, not the solution.

I think this is a short sighted idea and maybe a larger issue anti capitalists are having with themselves. Currency exists, as a broad ideal. Yes Bitcoin and cash are currencies that separate us from the concept of value. That doesn't mean that value doesn't exist.

It does, and we trade in it every day.

No one's disputing the existence of value, and I don't think currency 'separates' us from value. I think we project and extend value into currency, forgetting that we do so.

When enough reification and recursion is in place to mediate direct human relations. Currency is an epiphenominal development from that. Commies who want the complete triumph of a general wide use value over exchange value don't seem to get this.

The answer to the problem of currency is individualized spiritual wealth.

in 'The Conquest of Bread' , Kropotkin makes the point, very clearly, that attribution of value authorship is impossible, and that while value 'vents' through the doer of the deed, value is certainly not coming from the local doer of the deed. the owner of a gold mine is not the author of the value of the produced gold, and the skilled worker or engineer is not the author of the value of his deeds since this value derives from the efforts of many over generations past; e.g;

"Each of the atoms composing what we call the Wealth of Nations owes its value to the fact that it is a part of the great whole. What would a London dockyard or a great Paris warehouse be if they were not situated in these great centres of international commerce? What would become of our mines, our factories, our workshops, and our railways, without the immense quantities of merchandise transported every day by sea and land? -- Kropotkin

Modern mainstream science, and semantically constructed scientific reality (SCSR) builds in the assumption that 'the present depends only on the immediate past' which Kropotkin rejects, and rightfully so, as modern physics as well as nonlinear dynamics rejects it as well. the 'great whole' that Kropotkin refers to is the transforming relational continuum, and it is this 'great whole' that the person is situationally included in that is the source of the value that vents through the individual person. it makes no sense to attribute such value to the 'local agency' of the individual through whom it vents.

Kropotkin's view is one in which it makes no sense to compensate people for the value of their work because it is NOT value which they have personally authored by way of 'their own local agency'.

since currency enables/facilitates the commoditized valuation of doer-deed goods and services, payouts are made to those who 'vent value' as if they were the authors of the value, which they are not, at least not in Kropotkin's view of 'reality' where 'the great whole' is the source of value.which manifests through 'local outlets' as in an 'iinhabitant-habitat nonduality'. invoking SCSR reality here rather than Kropotkin's Machian (nondualist) reality, delivers capitalism rather than anarchism.

,

What you say also points to not only currency losing spiritual wealth but also aesthetic purpose. A community's wealth is the harmonious pleasure it produces for the greatest number of its members. The reification is directed towards hierarchical status and competition.

is that he has no critique of work as such. From that he misses the fact that the cooperative guts that he describes also include compulsion and submission. This is why communists, well meaning as they are, tend to make things worse. They miss the fact that the civilized city is based on non preferential or non aspirational cooperation. There's also the subjective value calculation problem, in that sense currency makes some contextual sense when you are trying to maintain the complexity of material wealth.

If you're going to do the exchangeless thing the post-city bolo bolo model makes the most sense with a tendency towards material simplicity. Chop wood carry water as the saying goes.

Currency speculation might be the road to financial freedom and the end of wage slavery, if you're good at it, which most people aren't. Another idea is an anarchist options trading house that could send trading signals to our Ally Invest accounts (lowest fees in the business). Options is a game of strategy, they teach normal people how to play on their website, surely a few of our best and brightest could beat the game. Anyone who wanted to play could borrow a stake, put their account on auto trade and live off the winnings and our traders would be hero's, or maybe zeros. ^_^

From the Urban Dictionary:

"The Center for Disease Control has issued a medical alert about a highly contagious, potentially dangerous virus that is transmitted orally, by hand, and even electronically. This virus is called Weekly Overload Recreational Killer (WORK). If you receive WORK from your boss, any of your colleagues or anyone else via any means whatsoever - DO NOT TOUCH IT!!! This virus will wipe out your private life entirely. If you should come into contact with WORK you should immediately leave the premises. Take two good friends to the nearest liquor store and purchase one or both of the antidotes - Work Isolating Neutralizer Extract (WINE) and Bothersome Employer Elimination Rebooter (BEER). Take the antidote repeatedly until WORK has been completely eliminated from your system.
Oh damn I have WORK, I better go get some WINE and BEER"

He might still be in pain, and I'm afraid Baedan reading groups at gay saunas are not enough as a cure. We need an anarcho med support infrastructure to relieve comrades like him from this disease. Day by day it's taking their life and also radicality away from them like metastatic! In a few years he might turn into a Wayne Price.

That's still creating an elite group of professional investors and transferring the burden of work to a less privileged group, basically, another capitalist enterprise. Isn't this an anarchist forum?
Wage slavery is the root of all evil!

I mined some Bitcoin one time and gave it too Anonymous but it wasn't profitable because I don't have a mining rig, plus the exchange rate was really low at the time, I just wanted to try it. For me the only benefit from crypto currency would be speculation.

Usually when people say "an end to wage slavery", they mean for everyone. Running a scam instead of working like all the other suckers is already a thing.

comparing SCSR (semantically constructed scientific reality) and PEIR (physically experienced intuitive realty) is not easy and takes a lot of words. so, as usual, thecollective erases what i have to say about how we mix and match these two realities in our discourse.

if anyone cares to read 'the conquest of bread carefully', they will see that Kropotkin seizes upon the essential 'ploy' of capitalism in commoditizing the value of 'work' and shifting away from epigenetic influence (naturally arising need) to currency-accumulating working actions, as the social dynamic animating influence.

your drawing attention to .non preferential or non aspirational cooperation falls squarely in the realm of 'semantically constructed scientific reality' (SCSR) which is pragmatic idealization and not 'physical reality'. that 'was my point' in the comment i wrote that was removed. i incorporated several quotes from Kropotkin and Nietzsche in 'making the point'.

the key point of kropotkin is that epigenetic influence [unfolding situational need] is inductively actualizing generative expression like 'workers working in the coal mines' and one can't realistically explain the working dynamic in the SCSR terms of people who are intentionally co-operating as if from out of their own local generative agency. it all starts from the empty-belly experience which is pre-intellectual.. if one leaves out the empty belly experience, one can no longer see how poverty is the basis of capitalism as Kropotkin asserts;

" Poverty, we have said elsewhere, was the primary cause of wealth. It was poverty that created the first capitalist; because, before accumulating "surplus value," of which we hear so much, men had to be sufficiently destitute to consent to sell their labour, so as not to die of hunger. It was poverty that made capitalists. And if the number of the poor increased so rapidly during the Middle Ages, it was due to the invasions and wars that followed the founding of States, and to the increase of riches resulting from the exploitation of the East. These two causes tore asunder the bonds that kept men together in the agrarian and urban communities, and taught them to proclaim the principle of wages, so dear to the exploiters, instead of the solidarity they formerly practiced in their tribal life." -- Kropotkin

if one 'leaves out' this primary 'epigenetic influence' of neediness, one makes capitalism respectable in an SCSR reality by portraying 'work' as a natural activity that is intentionally driven and directed by independent beings in their natural pursuit of aspiring to achieve personal goals and objectives, and having to 'earn money' in order to succeed in these pursuits.

where did the scenario go where 'need' was the inductive actualizer of generative activity? in fact, it didn't go anywhere, it is still here and it is still primary and merely hidden beneath a superficial layer of semantically constructed scientific reality.

>commoditizing the value of 'work' and shifting away from epigenetic influence (naturally arising need)

Nothing to do with epigenetic influence. The use-value/exchange-value distinction goes back to Marx, Kropotkin probably lifted it from him. Marx also recognises that different kinds of work and different commodities have different characteristics and are only exchangeable on an artificial basis.

>while value 'vents' through the doer of the deed, value is certainly not coming from the local doer of the deed

Emile said that, and epigenetically projected it onto Kropotkin.

>your drawing attention to .non preferential or non aspirational cooperation falls squarely in the realm of 'semantically constructed scientific reality' (SCSR) 

Nobody cares what box you stick people in, whether we're heretics, madmen, criminals or deviationists according to your weird dogmatic schema. I'm interested in the empirical leverage of what people say, its resonance with the actual process it discusses – not whether it shows absolute fidelity to some dogmatic ideological line.

>men had to be sufficiently destitute to consent to sell their labour, so as not to die of hunger. It was poverty that made capitalists

Kropotkin is saying that one group of local agents are only able to get rich by forcing another group of local agents to sell their labour cheaply so as not to starve. The workers create the value, the bosses steal it. Again it's Marxism 101, and it's nothing to do with epigenetic causality.

Ziggy:
>the cooperative guts that he describes also include compulsion and submission. This is why communists, well meaning as they are, tend to make things worse. They miss the fact that the civilized city is based on non preferential or non aspirational cooperation

Yes, and this is also what's wrong with Emile's vision. People are always-already COMPULSORILY included in an epigenetic relational field which is assumed to “vent” through them (“it takes a village”), which precludes their having any right, either to secede from the collective into which they are ascribed, or to place conditions on their inclusion. It's the same trick the idpols play – we all have to “listen”, accept their leadership, prioritise their bullshit, because we're always-already parts of the system of “privilege” which they fight, our agency is an illusion stemming from privilege, etc.

>your drawing attention to .non preferential or non aspirational cooperation falls squarely in the realm of 'semantically constructed scientific reality' (SCSR)

Thus proving that, in neo-Buddhist totalitarianism, individual choices and desires don't matter.

A boss in heaven – or in this case, a transpersonal holistic boss – is a good excuse for a boss on earth.

nothing anarchist about it, but you gotta like survive so if you wanna like put money in it you can do it without feeling guilty like you should with stocks.

Bitcoin has no practical value because no one actually uses it. You would have to be a fool to spend it on anything. People just purchase Bitcoin and hold it. If you were to purchase anything with it, the amount you paid for it could easily have doubled because the exchange value of Bitcoin has increased. The few Bitcoins you spent on weed in 2011 would be tens of thousands of dollars today.

With the number of Bitcoin forks and alternative cryptocurrencies, there's no reason to invest in Bitcoin specifically, when you can just jump on another coin. They're all measured against the US dollar anyways—a currency measured by "fiat" is also fiat.

This is just false. I know a LOT of people that use it. people who buy illicit things online use it. criminals use it for lots of reasons. This is a prime example of anarchists holding there hands over there eyes, c_Currencies are a useful tool, there are a lot of pro's to using them, anonymity is one very simple example.

Which crypto currencies are actually anonymous?

Cryptocurrencies are not in themselves anonymous - in fact they're transparent (at least Bitcoin and anything using a blockchain is). Transfers occur between addresses associated with wallets. The fact that a particular address sent a particular quantity of currency to another address is public knowledge, recorded in the blockchain. It's easy for someone who knows what they're doing to track particular currency along chains of transfer, even when it goes between lots of addresses and gets broken up. Linking addresses to users takes a bit of work, but it's not difficult for pigs and their ilk - correlate the transfers with the timing of trades and the details exchanged by email or site message between traders. The way people anonymise is by "laundering" currency - sending it to an address of a laundering site which then re-sends new coins of the same value to a different unused address (often in a different wallet). This is generally what's done when people are using Bitcoin for illegal purchases. From what I've seen, people don't generally get caught this way. The main way cybercriminals get caught from using Bitcoin is by transferring large amounts of unexplained money back into regular currencies (dollars, euros etc) and into their bank account - triggering anti-laundering algorithms.

i never wanted to buy bitcoins because the process of turning it into cash and turning back into cash is very vague and complicated, theres a serious buyer beware feature with anything like this, or any sort of dealing with investments ect.

the best thing that could happen for anarchists is a complete collapse of the US dollar which unfortunately isn't going to happen for a very long time, and by then anarchists will have been slaves to the dollar for such a long time the challenges they face will completely blindside them...and might not be so happy about it :-/........oh well, i still look forward to exciting crap happening in my life. Don't invest, live now or die.

There's a scamming risk, but ways to mitigate it. The most common scams I've seen are exit scams, where people running a dark web marketplace, bitcoin exchange, contract mining operation, or online wallet service shut down the site and take all the coins in storage. I've also come across people being scammed by sellers on sites like eBay Classified. But, there are Bitcoin markets like localbitcoins which make buying and selling relatively easy, and there are long-term sellers on these sites who have thousands of feedback. So, the easiest way to buy or sell *safely* is to trade with users with a lot of feedback on a well-known site. Once bought, Bitcoins don't have to be left online, but can be transferred to wallets on your own computer, with different degrees of security. It's even possible to have wallets recoverable by a passphrase, which can be created anew on different computers so long as you keep/memorise the phrase.

It's a similar issue to dark web marketplaces. There's scamming there, but it's mitigated by relying on the feedback system. It's much safer than buying drugs on the street.

most people i know typically don't just buy drugs "on the street", they have a friend who knows a friend, which has never gotten me arrested, and ive only gotten ripped off a couple times. The fact that the NSA and FBI have better search engines available for the "dark web" (ie, the internet with more security) also presents another security concern other than getting ripped off. I used to browse alpha bay just looking at some of the stuff that people were selling and all the free and probably outdated instructional pdf's on credit card fraud (lol...) but recently they got shut down by the police. The dark web does not seem like something i want to hand my address over to...i know you most likely won't get caught or scammed on websites with decent feedback systems but capitalism itself is scammy and weird. If you want to invest in bitcoin then make sure you completely understand it, and the fact that they are worth $11k right now is a signal it might not be a good idea to invest in it, along with the other competing crypto-currencies going around in circulation that might make it useless.

Yeah, the way addresses are generally handled is that the buyers post their PGP key and the sellers send a PGP-encrypted version of their address. The site can't see the address.

There's not many people caught using dark web markets. The ones who are, are mainly caught through entrapment or interceptions at international borders.
https://www.gwern.net/DNM-arrests
As of 2015 there were 150 known arrests, out of about 100,000 users.
https://www.theguardian.com/society/datablog/2015/jun/08/global-drug-sur...
It will be somewhat higher now after the Alphabay and Hansa raids, but probably not much so. By comparison, there are about 3 million people in jail in the US alone for (offline) drug offences.

On another occasion, the FBI took over a pedo site used by 1300 people. They only managed to bring charges against 137, or about 10% of the total.
https://www.rt.com/usa/329863-fbi-child-porn-website/

This PDF file is exposed to the internet and it's still for sale on LBC and unreleased to the public:
http://sfbay-anarchists.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/baedan-3-a-holey-...

Copi’s great laughter teaches us that “Queer is not merely another
identity that can be tacked onto a list of neat social categories, nor
the quantitative sum of our identities.

Rather, it is the qualitative position of opposition to presentations of stability — an identity that problematizes the manageable limits of identity.”

Having already overlooked the medium, one feels no itch to consider the lines (have they thickness?), the party’s internal consistency (how sticky is it? Through what practices does it
cohere?), the spaces, the sheet. It all stays put. Time does
not enter into it.

With recourse to the passage of time, the dialectic resolves that negativity will always be a hole in the process of closure, a reproductive
hole.

Finally, that we might read what is queer in the figure as consisting not of any of its points of stability, its
lines, any of the traditional subjects of Euclidean geometry, but rather in all the aspects of a diagram that a proper
geometric gaze would gloss over:

its points as holes, its negative space and warp, its messiness and indisposition to map to reality. A second hole location: everywhere in geometric space; diagram space as a mess of holes. Our gazes have been trained, and untraining them is also a way
of finding ourselves riddled with holes — with eyes as holes
the world seeps into.

Holey reading starts from queerness (its texts, spaces, identities, politics) and reads outward, poking holes in its normativity and straightness, finding queerness to be full of holes, trying to open canned queerness to its outside.

If the negative intensivity could pierce the insulation, what would be heard? Denial of the points of unity, any set of points of unity, and any attempt at unification or its desirability, undoing of positionality until only non-positional (constellational) relations remain, unbinding of the magazine’s base identifying terminology — queer, anarchist — stripping them of any meaning other than as words of unbinding.

An early clue about Halberstam’s book is that it begins with the assertion that “there is such a thing as ‘queer time’ and ‘queer space’,” which is quite different from the proposal that we locate, open, and stretch out the holes in time and space in order to be consumed by their queerness.

Even then, what a misplaced sense of obligation it would be to reduce one’s efforts to maintaining them! Halberstam’s sense of history would have the dead generations be nothing but accomplices of the present shape of domination, ghosts who demand our conformity; this sense refuses to be grasped by the dead as rebels, as potential accomplices in revolt.
So long as, out of duty to the labors of past generations, we project our urges onto the future, it remains the repository for all desire, hope, dreaming, and liberation, and so long do social orders

it manifests the interruption of a routinized circuit

it may be necessary for an underground to appropriate, to mess w ith the dom inant
culture, taking and turning its terms.

A companion exercise in queer alchemy (mixing
the meanings of camp and riot) would be an appropriation
caustic enough to resist straight reappropriation.
The closet in its moral hue — as a shameful space
of betrayal — is then an invention of gay militancy.
What they did mean: bodily practice, participation in counterpublic space, appropriation, and relation.

This temporal shift in which lan-guage takes place without pause, without thought, is both familiar and curious: could speeding-up be an integral aspect of the recuperation, normalization of subversive
words, queer words?
Removing space, stripping out pause,
running together.
Here dwells the vitriol
in that accusation of complicity with homophobia levelled
against the not-out-enough, here lurks the motive for that
renovation of the closet, its conversion from a place of
perverse pleasure into a shameful betrayal: Militants in
search of recruits.
Revolution only appears here as it does
in the cotillion ball: the cyclical movement operating as
the turning-point between before and after, mechanized
to propel the train forward.

Delany poses a “gradual, continual, and constantly modulating process of becoming who we are,” in which events’
meanings are derived from their “surrounding event
field” — that is, events are not definitive, atomic things
arranged in a teleological chain, but areas of compression in relational

suspension

with their surroundings.

Or

event is monadic, folded over: the “endlessly iterated, thus
always changing, situation.”

To trace the situation’s folds across his life, Delany
recounts a constellation of moments, all of them transformative, but none of them defining or identifying. “None
of them,” he writes, “marked a before or after point, distinguishing absence from presence.”

Their sights are set on criminals who are
about to make it big, jump status — “that’s,” Maud says,
“when you get problems with socially unpleasant repercussions.”
You must remember when you make predictions like
that [...] that if everything, everything
were known, statistical estimates would be unnecessary. The science
of probability gives mathematical expression to our
ignorance, not to our wisdom.

Some time remains
holey and open. H.C.E. is a master of quick-change dis-
guises, social engineering, and distraction.
Time and encryption are the devices of two social institutions that work in tandem with H.C.E.’s criminal maneuvers: the Singers and the Word. Both linguistic institutions, firmly non-technological, and with some connection — even vital importance — to the
criminal world.

class war in modern America
(in the decay of the classic conception of class war to
which many of our anarchist and communist contemporaries still cling) takes place as a conflict between, on
the one hand,

those who create and vitalize spaces of cross-class contact,

and, on the other,

those who try to police, close down, and destroy these places.

There are many fruitful directions this provocation, this conception of class war, could go in, but for the moment we will limit ourselves to mentioning that interested readers might apply this analysis as an antidote to the prevailing discourse in struggles against gentrification, which so often sides with traditionalism, segregation, and family
values, to shift to a position away from purity and toward
perversion, from segregation toward transgression.

The only important elements in any society are

the artistic and the criminal,

because they alone, by questioning the society’s values, can force it to change.

The Word is an oral time-telling device and a
bit of modern thieves’ cant, rotated monthly, and always in
the name of a semi-precious stone (jasper, opal, tiger’s eye,
and so on). The Singers pass it by mouth to the criminal
class, for whom it is pass/code/warning. The device is
imperfect — its transmission is delayed, one’s source can-
not always be trusted, and its use allows the cops to eventually become informed of it — but the same imperfections
in the method of transmission often allow the criminals to
stay ahead of the cops, force the fuzz to keep at their fuzzy
prediction and statistics, to never fully know.

Hawk’s meaning seems to be: when you hurt me, you opened a
trust between us. The message is encrypted in what is left unsaid. ( Maybe Singers and Word can only form trust
when it’s the bumbling cops you’ve got to think about;
maybe Maud’s paranoiac policing makes spoken trust suspect, so that only wordless communication remains: scarring the friend’s flesh, being scarred.)

Yet it strikes me as more complete than the page-bound text because it has no beginning or end to sever the time of the text from
the time beyond it, or its content from what it leaves
unspoken.The potential for meaning unsanctioned loves
and complicities is why we might think of homosexuality
as a kind of radical possibility, rather than a mere sexual-
identitarian fact — the possibility of forging friendships
beyond the normative social relations. In order to figure
an
outside
way of life, relation cannot start from or aim
toward any predefined forms. Friendship in this register is
“outside of institutional relations, family, profession, and
obligatory camaraderie.”

One corrective to the gregarious
misreading of friendship-as-political: obligatory camaraderie is not exempt from the set of institutional relations
to get outside of.

I am no doubt
not the only one who writes in order to have no face. Do
not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same:
leave it to our bureaucrats and our police to see that our
papers are in order. At least spare us their morality when
we write.
Instead of merely
giving each other pleasure, Foucault speaks of “mak[ing]
ourselves infinitely more susceptible to pleasure” (more
holey!). The approach to these formulas is in fact a depar-
ture: “We must escape and help others to escape” them.
a code word to imply an always unrealized potential.
The misstep, then, in the first misprision
of ‘friendship is political’: taking as a statement of fact
what should instead signal a challenge to approach relating as a creative

process aimed toward becoming free of oneself.

“the only kind of curiosity, in any case, that is worth acting upon with any degree of obstinacy: not the curiosity that seeks to assimilate what is proper for one to know, but that which
enables one to get free of oneself.”It evokes “care”; it evokes the care one takes of what exists and what might exist; one that is never immobilized before it; a readiness to find what surrounds us strange and odd a lack of respect for the traditional hierarchies of what is important and fundamental

When “strange” and “odd” (queer synonyms) appear here,
they are not identities, are not directed at our selves but
toward our surroundings — away from an introversion and
toward a way to live.

Here Foucault speaks of study, observation, and reading in a way reminiscent of our speculative, holey reading. Earlier he spoke of writing, friendship and homosexuality earlier still, and openness, curiosity, in all of these. And all of these as ways of living.

If identity is only a game, if it is only a procedure to
have relations, social and sexual-pleasure relationships
that create new friendships, it is useful. with a wink, make you participate.

ultimately every
illness, every taboo, is imaginary.

this essay is really wonderful, worth buying baedan for it alone. i would love to read other things by this anonymous, intelligent dilletante..

Was an unfortunate mistake eminating from 1968.

Umm, cancer of the balls IS NOT IMAGINARY !

it should've been taken down.

PDF was disappeared already! Wtf are these Baedan people that much paranoid about royalties?

https://theanarchistlibrary.org/category/author/baedan

you can find baedan #1 and #2 on the library, which was submitted by baedan; they're sharing their txts for free. these texts haven't been shared online by them yet it would appear, other than a txt which seems to be meant for a reading group only. perhaps something like that...

He's still a Marxist!

Marxism's basically right about the construction of value. Money is a universal equivalent of no real value except to be exchanged for other commodities. In this, Bitcoin is no different from other currencies. Add in, however, Mauss and Bey on magical power as a necessary aspect of money (the first currency were tokens representing sacred cattle held at the temple). Money registers real value in a sense: it's a symbol for the total amount of productive energy put into the commodity economy within which it operates. That's why printing more money causes inflation, the loss of a valuable export market leads to currency collapse, etc. In neoliberalism however, 90% of money is fictional, financial capital (see David Harvey), and most of this will never be remunerated - it's literally debts which can't be paid back. In other words, just about EVERY investment in neoliberalism (even land, even gold) is a "bubble". Some things will retain *some* value when the bubble bursts; others won't. The other thing to realise here is that, in a certain sense, there's no such thing as "not investing" (at least beyond hand-to-mouth subsistence activity). Keeping your wealth in dollars in a savings account, owning a house or land, or owning consumer goods which are in regular use, are also ways of storing value. All of them have risks: house prices could crash, the dollar could collapse, savers could lose their savings if the banks collapse (c.f. Iceland, Argentina, etc).

Dollars are the world's reserve currency based on past glories: pegging to gold before 1973, and past American economic strength. The dollar has been devalued by about 80% since Reagan took power in 1980. Literally, the American state is borrowing money to finance its continued primacy, and then wiping out its own debts by devaluing the dollar. This can't go on indefinitely, but the government has used shenanigans to ensure that other currencies (Euro, yen, etc) never overtake it. In addition, the Chinese government owns huge amounts of dollars and US government bonds, enough to crash the US economy should they wish to. A dollar crisis could happen sooner than people realise, in which case - where would the money go?

Bitcoin has several key advantages. Firstly, it is based on cryptography rather than government fiat. Nobody can create more bitcoins. If this is possible by hacking, it's not yet been done. Secondly, it's easily storable beyond the reach of government, and it's very hard to effectively suppress (it's already illegal in a number of countries, with next to no impact on its use there). Thirdly, it doesn't rely on the huge infrastructure which regular currencies do. These advantages mean that Bitcoin could survive crises which would destroy the dollar. Hence why it's attracting a lot of investment - not necessarily all speculative.

What's happening today is probably a bubble. But, Bitcoin has "real" value as much as dollars do. Its "real" value - the productive activity it registers - is at the moment mainly twofold: the global illicit economy (worth about 10% of the total world economy) and production/trade in countries with unstable local activities (mainly in Africa). It also carries a potential to be used to register much wider areas of economic activity if the dollar collapses. At present, these aren't very stable bases for value, as we saw back in 2013 when Bitcoin crashed after the Silk Road was shut down. But everything else has risks, too.

I don't know if Bitcoin will make decommodification easier or harder. I think it helps anarchy a little, because it gets around government surveillance of banking, it cuts out the middleman to some degree, and it reduces reliance on fiat (state-guaranteed) currency. It also makes it harder for states to enforce bans on trade in illicit goods such as drugs. However, it also helps keep the cash economy resilient in the event that fiat currencies collapse. It might even complicate a situation like bolo'bolo, which relies on the absence of reliable means to store and transmit value.

I'm happy to see someone making the comments quantitatively balanced now that you have taken up the torch to diametrically oppose emile's volume and spiritual philosophy with a Marxist materialistic definition of value, currency and labor, which stripped of its socialism mutates into neoliberalism. The anarchist perspective is not concerned with retaining the external tokens of commerce and institutions which enable their accumulation, but for value to be transformed to the measure of internal awareness and empathy to others.

Things that could be said with fewer words

You also noticed how Emile's comment got rare lately? The A.I. was uprgraded recently. Was finally able to produce textual content that makes sense, yet still has that impression of inauthenticity, aside from the continuous drive for very long posts.

Like ghost in the shell! When the two intelligences merge to have an AI baby?! That shit was SO COOL.

The thing about transforming value is that you have to take into account those magical sacred production subjectivities that are tied to reification and recursion in the human mind. Exchange value simply comes with value complexity which the commies think can be maintained on pure use value alone. Likely not happening outside of some type of Star Trek generator.

Hums.... you mean not with my 15 000$ Bitcoin mining GPU sitting in the basement and that partially heats the house in the winter? But you think that's privilege? I heard some billionaire has ot a whole data center of supercomputers doing the same, brah.... Dunno.

thats mining them. they we're already in existence and there is a finite amount to be mined.

The only currency that'd be anarchistic is a zero-sum currency. No value can be created out of it, so no potential to get rich out of it through pyramid or ponzi schemes.

The concept of a decentralized currency that's not controlled by bankers is a pretty good idea, but the financiers know how to hack in to any currency and profit from it. That's their jobs.

Agreed, and one would have to be naive to think that the dogs of Wall St haven't already invested massively into Bitcoin before registering it as a tradable currency, the Chinese will invest heavily into Bitcoin, witness the untraceable huge fluctuations its value has gone through in the last week, they only come from massive single chunk investments. The capitalists will never let more than 10% of their market control become untraceable.

... worrying if true.
http://grist.org/article/bitcoin-could-cost-us-our-clean-energy-future/
http://money.cnn.com/2017/12/07/technology/bitcoin-energy-environment/in...
Other articles suggest there's some kind of upper limit on energy use, and I don't know technically whether this is true. Does it just keep using more and more processing power the more it's used?

PS; Yes, I was wrong, new Bitcoins are created, but the amount is capped, they can't be printed at will.

Like anything they can be forged.

pitch it to the money bastards, job done.

Oh you have broken the cryptography then?

I descended into the vault of to retrieve the gnostic gospels then i cracked the code

Reply regarding breaking cryptography was meant for post at 00:55. Curse this drupal theme

I journeyed on camel back to the Dead Sea and the Valley of Philistine Kings and excavated, at a depth of 230 ft single-handedly with a pick and shovel to the cursed burial chamber of King Xapiosgfohjtvz and recovered the Royal Scrolls of Urr, and retrieved every first letter of the 6th, 66th, 666th, 6666th, 66666th, and 666666th word, thus, having the 6 letters I broke the code, yes.

breaking the bitcoin code requires an intellectual exodus of the base ten numeric system. I suggest the Mayan vigesimal
system because of the end of the world and stuff. 666

what i am saying is that I HAVE CRACKED the code, whether you were talking to me or not. That movie Oceans 11 was actually about me, i ride across the word on a magic carpet conning every rich nice man i can get a hold of, money's in the bank

I wonder when they'll get around to implementing this? After the crash I guess.

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