Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from September, 2018

Glimmer of (Gray) Hope

Three club owners have a meeting with the local press in the Norwegian town of Fredrikstad, airing their brewing troubles to an eager journalist. The year is 2009 and two things have collided with each other that changed the behavior of their clientele: The aftershock of the 2008 economic crisis and a change in local alcohol serving hours.



When nightclub-goers still have the need to keep the party going but have less money in their pockets and the clubs can’t stay open as long as they used to, there’s a unique pocket in the market for someone that can offer alternatives. Someone who doesn’t care about state-mandated opening hours and deal in smuggled booze: The illegal nightclubs.

That was the topic of discussion the three club-owners had with the press,[1] those pesky competitors not playing by the rules. It’s almost impossible to compete when you are handcuffed to regulations and everything you sell has an automatic 25% extra costs attached to it straight out of the gate (and that …

3D Printing for Libertarians: A Beginner's Guide

Although this article is meant specifically for members of the liberty movement, it should be helpful to anyone interested in learning the basics of 3D printing.

3D printing is an excellent example of a vertical counter-economic strategy (outlined here, by Per Bylund). By decentralizing the manufacturing process, 3D printers hold the promise of turning every basement into a Walmart - or better yet, a gun shop. The fact is, empowering individual and community control over the manufacturing process, necessarily means the state has less control, and that is the goal of counter-economics and the liberty movement in general. Karl Hess wrote in the agorist classic, Community Technology, “The most powerful point to be made for community technology efforts is that when people take any part of their lives back into their own hands, for their own purposes, the cause of local liberty is advanced…”



Getting started with 3D printing can be intimidating and may even seem overwhelming at times. I’ve be…

Blockchain Trends

I recently had the chance to sit down with Tom McLaughlin, CEO of Blockstake, a NYC-based mining company, to discuss master nodes, proof of stake vs. proof of work networks, and other trends in the blockchain. 


Sal: Thanks for taking the time to chat


Tom McLaughlin: Thanks for having me Sal. It’s great to be here. I love this whole notion of disrupting legacy markets, whether it’s governmental oversight boards, or companies like Goldman Sachs & Wall St. Putting that to the side for a second, I’m the CEO of Blockstake, we’re a blockchain mining company based out of New York. We mine cryptocurrencies that run on a proof of stake consensus mechanism. Another term that’s thrown around with that as well, is masternode. We’re talking about the next generation blockchain that runs on a process that is a little bit more fair to everyone in the network.


Sal: What’s the difference between a proof of stake network and a proof of work network?


Tom: What a blockchain does, is allow a lot of d…

The Feather Thief

If you follow my snapchat you may remember me posting about The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson. The book tells the story of a 22-year old American college student, Edwin Rist, who developed a talent for the lost art of tying exotic fishing flies at a young age. The most prized and appreciated fishing flies call for the feathers of rare, exotic birds. Unfortunately for the small community of fly-tyers, the import of exotic feathers has been banned by the illiterates infesting Congress since the signing of the CITES Treaty (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species) in 1975.
Prior to this, as Johnson details, trade in exotic plumage was driven by the fashion trends of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th century. The inclusion of feathers in women’s attire was a status symbol, and the more exotic the bird, the higher status it indicated. Marie Antoinette, a fashion icon of the late 18th century, famously bore a diamond encrusted egret. Soon, it was all the rage and women…

Against the Partyarchy

Political parties don’t have members, they have victims.

These are typically good people, who so desperately crave liberty that they're duped into joining an organization whose goal is to become the very antithesis of liberty, the state. Like the mother of a sick child being sold snake oil, these poor saps are filled with false hope and good intentions. Perhaps party membership allows the public to rationalize their chains. Maybe “Big L” libertarians pay their dues, swear to vote libertarian faithfully, and are thus satisfied that they’ve done everything within their power to fight the Leviathan.

These otherwise good Americans fall prey to an old military strategy: induce your enemy into expending their resources and energy into unproductive ends. Surely, the state would have preferred Satoshi Nakamoto to be working phone banks at the LP rather than authoring the white paper. Likewise, they would have preferred Cody Wilson to be canvassing neighborhoods for a local candidate, rath…