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Topics - psztorc

General / Forum Locked for New Users
August 17, 2016, 02:33:34 PM
Forum-use has greatly declined, relative to communication by Telegram, e-mail, GitHub, and Slack.

Instead, new users are encouraged to get themselves invited to:

Or find me on Telegram, email, Github.
Off Topic / Jefferson Quote
July 08, 2016, 05:42:17 AM
"Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government."
-Thomas Jefferson

(re: futarchy?)
Advanced / Novel Bearer Assets
April 27, 2016, 05:22:02 PM
Over two years ago, Dr. Shiller at Yale wrote a mostly-wrong NYTimes piece about Bitcoin.

( It is 'mostly-wrong' because the central premise "it doesn't really solve any sensible economic problem" doesn't square with the empirical evidence. )

However, he does bring up some "quirky" ideas, for potential Event Derivative assets:


* ...since 1967 in Chile, an inflation-indexed unit of account called the unidad de fomento (U.F.), meaning unit of development, has been widely used. ...  In this way, it is natural and easy to set inflation-indexed prices, and Chile is much more effectively inflation-indexed than other countries are.

... Consider rents. Increases may seem unfair to tenants, yet they may be needed to offset inflation. In Chile, a landlord can easily set the monthly rent for the tenant in U.F.s and then never have to change it, reducing the potential for errors, delays and misunderstandings. The name "U.F." reframes people's thinking so that keeping real economic values stable is natural and easy.

* would just check off a box indicating whether your payment was in dollars or pesos or euros — or baskets. If you check "baskets," the computer would calculate the amount of local currency the recipient would need to buy that basket at that time, and it would transmit it, too.

* A third improvement would be to move beyond just one new unit of account to a whole system of them, so that we could have baskets for different purposes. There should be senior baskets representing items consumed by older people in one day in a given country, as well as subsistence baskets representing the consumption of the poor. There should also be a day-wage unit of account representing a day's work by an average unskilled wage earner.

And there could be a "trills" unit — a concept that Mark Kamstra of York University and I have been advocating — that represents one trillionth of a country's most recently estimated annual G.D.P. There should also be a unit that grows or retreats with per-capita daily consumption. This could be used for pension and Social Security payments as a form of intergenerational risk-sharing: The idea is that payments to older people would rise and fall with overall consumption. With many kinds of baskets, it will be easier to set prices and make contracts that are sensible for the long term.

The great irony is that all of these are possible with Hivemind, which is itself only possible because of Bitcoin. "it doesn't really solve any sensible economic problem", indeed!
I put this here:

It has many advantages...instant trades (instant settlement), very very low transaction fees, no miner censorship of trades, no miner front-running.

Check it out!
General / New Theme
February 05, 2016, 02:18:41 AM
I felt that this theme had the Black / Orange flavor we really needed.

But, it you'd like to change it back, you can do so in your forum settings!
General / Forum Problems
October 30, 2015, 11:03:16 PM
Hello everyone,

I did a few (seemingly-simple) things at once:
1] Updated the forum to its latest version.
2] Added a new theme ("Thing").
3] Tried to have two domains share one IP (a common practice).

However, clearly I made some mistake, or there is some bug in the newest SMF software, or some buggy interaction, because (as many of you have emailed me to say) strange things have starting to happen.

So, I've reset a bunch of those things, and I encourage you (if you've visited the forum before) to clear your browser's data. Now, is the 'official' URL again, and simply (independently) points to the same IP.

So everything should (?) be back and we can slowly walk forward.
General / Epicenter Bitcoin
September 21, 2015, 05:54:56 PM
Myself on Epicenter Bitcoin  8)

I have to say I was very shocked at Hearn's point of seems obviously "the wrong way to look at it". (Maybe it's me).
General / Interview - Mark Edge from Free Talk Live
July 17, 2015, 02:04:17 AM
Corresponded with Mark Edge today...he wanted to one one of his fast podcasts interviews on the spot.

I haven't listened to it yet, I definitely rambled a little. Still, short and to the point.
Advanced / The Blocksize Debate
July 14, 2015, 07:43:46 PM
My thoughts on prediction markets, and decentralized Bitcoin governance:

(Please try to keep comments in one place [ie, over there]).
Basics / More Interesting Fairlay Markets
June 29, 2015, 11:05:14 PM

Markets are still young, of course...spread the word!
General / Secret's Out
June 23, 2015, 03:54:54 PM
It was nice to stay under the radar but look's like the attention is going to start rolling in.
Off Topic / Elon Musk on complicated ideas
June 23, 2015, 03:52:33 PM

I really enjoyed hearing this. Truthcoin is very frequently explained as "SVD". Which is really one of the least important, most modular and replaceable pieces of Truthcoin. Nowhere near the most important.

Here's my list of some of the other pieces which just happened to "luckily" fall together:

2] The second coin-type, which allowed people to "buy into" something, and allowed the protocol to take something away from lazy-laborers or malicious-laborers (making cheap talk expensive, making laziness expensive). It's function as equity counters the previously-uncounterable "exit scam" incentive.
3] The boiling-down of our definition of "true" to a definition that is actually useful (what most of a group of people will believe in the future, adjusting for inconsistency).
4] The concept that three things were conceptually (and literally) the same number: reputation-coins/equity in the laboring corporation, influence in the laboring corporation, and weights in the weighted-covariance of the Vote Matrix.
5] The insight from mechanism design that certain groups of features (incentive compatibility, revenue neutrality, individual rationality) are -mathematically- mutually exclusive, and one must break, and that the fact that real world investors payed trading/brokerage/SEC fees implied that RN was the one feature to force to break, and it should be broken in Truthcoin the same way it is broken in the real world: by overcharging traders by a consistent multiple.
6] That fact "the Decision/Market Author always has complete control over the clarity of the question" implied that the Authors would have to be cut into the mechanism's revenues. To offset this influx of cash, Authors would need to -upfront- discharge (pay) a fixed amount of cash.
7] Some basics of finance, for example that the system would be completely unhindered by "slow" check-ins (ie, by the fact that a DJIA market would operate perfectly, even if it "only" checked-in with reality a "mere" four times a year [or less]). This implied that "Decisions" could indeed all be resolved at the same time...implying larger, rarer, "vote matrices" (a matrix which, finally, could be reinterpreted as a dataset on which to use SVD / multivariate methods).
8] That the reporting system, which ordinarily would not scale at all (everyone reports on everything?!), could in fact be intelligently managed (fee-limited quantity of Decision-slots, Branching with a "harmless fork" of the VTC) to scale in something approaching viral biology.
Basics / Ethereum Hypocrisy
June 16, 2015, 03:16:25 PM
Today, a perfect example of why, despite my extreme skepticism of the decentralization movement, I felt that Truthcoin did guard enough value (both [1] literally, as InTrade was a pseudo-bank / value-custodian, and [2] abstractly as info-sources have propaganda-value) to be worth putting on a blockchain. Ethereum users, frustrated by literally years of broken promises, have decided to get a second opinion on Ethereum's release date, and have turned to prediction market service Fairlay.

Only to have the resulting information derided in the most ludicrous way:

Obvious ad is obvious, but at least you're honest with your username, /u/sockpupet , with a whole 3 post to your name.

Downvoted for now but in the future we're going to have rules similar Consider the next couple weeks a 'socialization' period :)

From Stephan Tual, sporting the official ETHDEV flair and everything.

We could stop and laugh at this gentlemen's cluelessness for several paragraphs, but what I find most interesting is that, immediately most of the other subreddit members correctly identify this comment as ridiculous. As is so often the case, those in charge just can't believe that someone-who-isn't-them could have more reliable information, but other stakeholders can easily believe that. Even the wise and the well-meaning (perhaps, especially) fall victim to cognitive dissonance..."no need to ask the PMs for help, after all I am an honest man (unlike those other people)".

This is why PMs must be immortal: Even Ethereum, the tech-idealist capital of the year 2014, obviously hasn't introduced internal prediction markets to help them forecast important project management details like release dates. Now we see that, even when lightly imposed on them from afar, PMs are actively resisted by moderators of the subreddit (a competing info source) to the point of censorship!
Basics / Ethereum Release Date
June 13, 2015, 04:30:37 PM
Release Dates are great for markets...the information is valueable, but the incentive for individuals to say what they really believe is low. Worse still, humans are themselves terrible at estimating the time to complete one big project (vs a series of sub-projects that add up to that project). Often times, the specific knowledge of insiders must be combined with the de-biasing techniques of explicit outsiders.

Following their success with Bitshares, team Fairlay is now turning their attention to Ethereum.

The current odds imply:
* ~ 34 % of finishing between now and July 1. ( ~ June 24th )
* ~ 75 % of finishing between now and August 1.  ( ~ July 19th )

The markets appear to have comparable depth, so simply averaging those reports would produce an overall forecast of ~July 5th.

Pretty cool, right!?

I hope to see more markets for the official transition to Homestead, Metropolis, and Serenity. the meantime, guessing can be fun, so let's try it.

Ethereum was announced in late 2013, and at that point I distinctly remember the expected release date being "Q4 2014".
As Q4 2014 drew closer, the release was changed to "Winter 2014", presumably extending it as late as March 2015.
In March 2015, the Hexayurt Guy blogged about how what would previously be known as "testing" would now be known as a "release", and what was originally known as Ethereum 2.0 would now be known as "Serenity".
In March 2015, the "two week" announcement for Frontier was given.

So "Ethereum" went from Q4 2014 to Q4 2015 (so far). Covering a year while being pushed back a year.
Also, "Ethereum Frontier" went from March 20th to July 5th. Covering 3 months while being pushed back 5 months.

It might look like the Ethereum team is especially terrible at forecasting. I'll bet they aren't...forecasting is just universally difficult.

Anyways, seeing as the macro-forecasts seem to be off by a factor of two (1 year [ 0% Dec 2013 to 100% Dec 2014 ] becoming 2 years [ 0% Dec 2013 to 100% Dec 2015] ), and the more-valid sub-project forecast was worse, I'm willing to guess that that, assuming Ethereum was ((12+3)/24)ths done in March 2015 when the new forecasts were made, the "remaining 9 months" would also need to be doubled to 18. 18 months from March 2015 would be September 2016.

( It is very unlikely that the Ethereum team has enough money to make it the 15 months separating now from Sept 2016. )

From there, assuming all the major bugs and philosophical refinements were worked out in the pre-release testing, it might be able to prove its conceptual stability by running for a year without hard forking. Then, in September 2017, Ethereum will finally have achieved the reliability of a January 2010 Bitcoin. (Yes, Jan 2010 as in over 5 years ago...less than 12 months before the Jan 2010 date, on Feb 17th 2009, newly elected Barack Obama signed the $787 billion dollar stimulus plan to combat the Great Recession...THAT long ago was when Bitcoin had already run for a full year without a hard fork...Bitcoin was released when Bush was still president).

So it seems, using only past performance as a guide (always dangerous) and using no theoretical developer-model whatsoever (always prudent), Ethereum will be nothing but an experiment until September 2017.

If you think you can do better, you might post here or you could pester Fairlay to set up the appropriate markets. "Before Jan 1, 2017, Ethereum to have run for 1 year without a hard fork." would be a neat one (if a little long term).

""" We tried to convey how small we were. We're just testing an app idea, we explained. Most of the users are our friends and coworkers, we said. ... I wish I could say that we put up a scrappy fight, persevered, came out ahead. But team members left. Many of our mentors, friends, and associates also received government subpoenas. Their counsel advised them to halt all communication with us. We had never felt so alone. I spent most of the month in the bathroom crying. I wonder if Lloyd Blankfein had months like that. """

Every time another PM experiment fails, a part of my soul dies.  Yet, a part of my brain pats itself on the back for inventing Truthcoin.
Off Topic / BitMesh
February 28, 2015, 02:57:58 AM
We all own two-way hardware: computers and phones that send and receive data. These devices could relay data if there was a way of coordinating the supplies/demands of relay-resources (in particular, solving the free rider problem -- as was brilliantly good-enough-solved by Bittorrent, and somewhat solved in TOR -- ).

Bitcoin, with cheap, private, micropayment channels, is the perfect solution to this coordination problem. From there, we're just a few market-heuristics (phones automatically [1] estimating their ability to provide a 'useful relay' and [2] auctioning off these relays) away from a complete solution.

If Bitcoin could do this, it alone would enable a cheap, but more importantly, private/censorship-proof internet. Anyone who wanted to use this network would need (a small quantity of) Bitcoin.

So I have long believed that this 'global data transfer market' is the true "killer app" for Bitcoin, which would give it undeniable intrinsic value and force it to inevitably take over the planet.

Someone claims to be working on that solution: Of course, they haven't actually submitted anything (as far as I can tell).

I certainly hope that someone works out these details soon.
Outside Work / YCombinator Post
February 28, 2015, 01:00:49 AM

As is typical of the Augur team, the comments resulted in the expression of the fundamental weakness inherent to having two brands.

The Truthcoin brand concerns the reputation system and SVD anti-cartel consensus, the Augur brand concerns value-added to Truthcoin. However, Augur attempts to discuss only the value-added, leading inevitably to accusations that no one at Augur has considered the fundamentals. Only then will Augur re-focus the emphasis on Truthcoin.

It is hard to know what advise to give here...that Augur should only write *about* what I have already written, that Augur shouldn't write anything (except software), that Augur should only write for a Truthcoin audience, that Augur should withhold all of their writing until their software is complete (which they probably can't do, as they intend to crowdsale). To preface all writing with ( "This article assumes the reader is already familiar with the Truthcoin proposal here" ), seems more reasonable.
General / Why No One Uses The Forum (Yet)
February 27, 2015, 11:25:46 PM
( In my opinion... )

Forums have network-effects, of course, dead forums will stay dead...why start a post if no one will read or comment on it?

If that were the only issue, however, then no forum would ever get off the ground. In reality, forums can have "fundamental health" or "seed activity", as users agree to meet and talk there to learn about and discuss a project and coordinate around it.

With Truthcoin, as of Feb 2015, everyone involved is being very secretive about what they're up to. Most chat is private (particularly in Slack groups), and (although I prefer use of the forum) I can't resist answering questions via email. Everyone knows to ask me, (or to ask someone else they already know), so there's really no reason to hang out here (yet).

My expectation is that, after the first version is created, there will not only be more interest (actual, specific, changes to discuss and a need for a place to discuss them) but also less secrecy and private chat.

So, although does get just under 100 hits per day (according to my interpretation of Google Analytics, and almost all of which seem to be referrals from or Vitalik's Blog Posts), I wouldn't use the forum at the moment. Instead, just register your favorite username (so you can brag about having it "before it was cool"), and then follow me on Twitter, and just wait another couple of weeks.