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The “virtual lifestyle”

Is compromised all to Hell and gone, fraught with risks and hazards we know not of, but dismiss or ignore at our direst peril.

The planet seems to have some teleological drive to save itself, a kind of immune system. Notice: in all the ongoing debates about the wonders and dangers of A-I, and Bitcoin, and suffocating surveillance, nobody ever talks about the sketchy condition of the electric grid that all these worrisome phenomena utterly rely on. In our chatter over Peak Oil, there’s little awareness of oil production’s utter dependence on steady capital flows. In all the guff about centralized control emitted by Klaus Schwab and his World Economic Forum, there’s no mention of the centrifugal forces driving human affairs to re-localization, dis-aggregation of large states, and down-scaling of many activities. In our zeal to become Gods, we miss a lot.

Imagine: Bitcoin shoots up to a million dollars. You’re a zillionaire! Uh Oh…somewhere outside Zaneseville, Ohio, a squirrel takes a final chaw through some old insulation on a wire coming out of a transformer. His head blows up in a blue arc flash, and in a few seconds all the electricity goes out from Chicago to Boston. It turns out that seventeen substations in ten states have blown relays, transformers, and switchgear. Some of those components were forty years old and are now manufactured twelve thousand miles away in a country that doesn’t like us anymore. The replacement parts get held up in a Chinese port. The power doesn’t come back on for weeks. Nobody who lives in the eastern USA can get to his Bitcoin wallet, which is just a virtual entity made of computer code residing in a digital “cloud,” i.e., nowhere real.

Of course, in an event that bad, a lot of other things would fail — really just about everything that comprises modern life — but for sure you could kiss your Bitcoin goodbye, perhaps forever, because by the time the juice comes back on (if it even does), nobody will ever again want to invest their wealth in digital “money” they can’t access, and Bitcoin will go back to whence it came: zero.

Likewise, the financial system we depend on is a gigantic apparatus grown extremely janky from over-elaboration and hyper-complexity — to the degree that all kinds of things denoted as having “moneyness” are simply hallucinations of the markets that trade them. How many quadrillions of dollars do “derivative” financial instruments represent on the landscape of “money” these days? Most of these things amount to little more than bets that some number — an interest rate, a currency, a revenue flow — will change either up or down. That is, they are figments.

Bitcoin has gone “hockey stick” the past month, meaning on a chart the move up looks nearly vertical. Do you know why it’s going up? I’ll tell you: it’s going up…because it’s going up. People and groups of people (wealth funds, banks) see the up-trend and deduce that Bitcoin is going “to the moon.” Meanwhile, they view the tea leaves of the currency scene and see a lot of brown, crumbly debris where there used to be “capital.” The money itself is losing its “moneyness” all over the place. The most vulnerable module of the system now is the bond market.

Many sentient beings viewing the scene warn us that the bond market is liable to blow, and with it most of the other modules in the current MMT-driven system. That will be the magic moment when a big theory gets disproven rather vividly and injuriously. The price of everything will vaporize in a mushroom cloud of malinvestment and when the dust settles — which might take a long time — everything will be priced differently, including many things to zero.

This is the kind of world we’re in now, and all this is why I don’t worry quite so much about the machinations of the various blobs that have self-assembled to defend their particular special interests while doing harm to many of us: the military-industrial blob, the censorship blob, the fake news blob, the intel blob, the corporate monopoly blob, the medical blob, the central banking blob. The systems we depend on to make all things blobish function are looking pretty ill, like they’re not going be working a whole lot longer.

Unlikely though it may seem, the tale has a happy ending (of sorts), which you’ll want to click on over to read.

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7 thoughts on “The “virtual lifestyle”

  1. I’m not really seeing the happy ending after reading the whole thing.

    The blobs won’t disappear. They’ll just morph into Warlords commanding thug armies After The Collapse.

    Was Mad Max a happy ending?

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  2. Bitcoin started out as control fraud and continues to be so – and it doesn’t take a grid failure to put “exchanges” out of business:
    “Quadriga did not have offices or a bank account of its own; in the court filing, Robertson said, “Gerry ran the business through his laptop, mostly at our home, but also wherever he happened to be.”

    “I do not have any documents or records” for the business, Robertson added, saying that she had searched the couple’s home in Fall River, Nova Scotia, and other locations but had found nothing.

    The laptop that Cotten used to move funds between cold wallets and hot wallets is encrypted and locked — leaving the exchange paralyzed after Cotten’s death, Robertson said.

    “I do not know the password or recovery key,” she added. “Despite repeated and diligent searches, I have not been able to find them written down anywhere.”

    Robertson said she and Quadriga have hired a security expert to try to break the encryption on Cotten’s laptop and an encrypted USB key. But she added that so far, the expert has had only limited success.

    Saying “there should be in excess of $180 million [Canadian] of coins in cold storage” — or $137 million — Robertson wrote that the company is still trying to access the wallets, in addition to looking into the possibility that Cotten had used other exchanges to secure some of the funds.

    That has left Quadriga customers wondering when — and whether — they’ll see their money. Discussion boards on Reddit are peppered with skeptical comments about the company’s efforts to work out its issues, and some users say they have upwards of $80,000 or $100,000 that has been locked away from them.

    “This is a tough lesson learned. I would probably avoid [cryptocurrency] in the future,” Quadriga user Elvis Cavalic of Calgary, Alberta, told the CBC news agency. After not being able to withdraw $15,000 [Canadian], he said, “They’ve left us completely in the dark. I’m kind of preparing for the worst.” https://www.npr.org/2019/02/04/691296170/cryptocurrency-exchange-says-it-cant-access-millions-after-founder-s-unexpected

    This is just one of many stories like this out there. People are crazy, they trust anonymous, untraceable people with huge sums of money, and when the anonymous, untraceable people decide to pull the plug and scamper away with the millions of dollars foolishly entrusted to them (or die), there’s no recourse available. Bitcoin started out as the original scam – it’s obvious from the original white paper – and there have been plenty of copy cats ever since, because there are so many fools lining up to be separated from their money.

    1. The crypto was created by a human in the first place.

      There is no way they don’t have the ability to create more. Which is the basic idea behind crypto. Like Gold, it cannot be created out of thin air. But it CAN be, because it was.

      The BIG scam though is the original issuance. Whomever “issued” the imaginary “coins” that don’t exist except for the fact some person created a program to say they created something, the “Issuer” got hard dollars for them and has now exited the system.

      THAT is why more crypto is constantly being created. The Scam is the original issuance.

      Oh, and creating a new “Bitcoin” and calling it another name is exactly the same as conjuring more gold out of thin air.

      It’s all Alchemy.

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  3. btw, Kunstler is wrong here: “Nobody who lives in the eastern USA can get to his Bitcoin wallet, which is just a virtual entity made of computer code residing in a digital “cloud,” i.e., nowhere real.”

    The “cloud” does have physical existence, the strings of 0s and 1s – binary code – exist on someone’s physical server, at a known address. They’re probably backed up a bunch of times, too, especially if it’s important data – including in paper form or microfilm, in a bank vault. I had a file printed out onto microfilm nearly 49 years ago and it’s the same as when it was made…

    1. Are the results of every transaction also in microfilm in a bank vault somewhere? Do you know where that server is? Can you get to it easily? You assume it exists. Does it? Have you physically gone and verified that?

      Is it still a High Trust world?

      Listen, Madeoff With The Money had meticulous records too. John Malmovich still lost his life savings (eggs in basket, bad ideas, etc)

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