What better day to point this out than the 110th anniversary of George Orwell’s birth? Artists and social commenter Front404 used Orwell’s birthday to bring attention to this fact by putting party hats on every security camera they could find.
Take a few minutes to examine the areas near your home and see how many security cameras you can see that are filming public areas. Still think no one will see you picking that booger?
What are you doing to prepare for the coming war between man and the brotherhood of machines?
Just a fair warning: unless you have had significant exposure to the ’80s this video may cause confusion, and you may develop symptoms including nausea, lack of focus, and a sudden interest in black-and-white checkered clothing.
tl;dr Bitcoin works, at least for fast transactions
Time will tell whether the gold bugs or the skeptics are right, but what’s being overlooked is that it doesn’t matter whether Bitcoin makes it as a store of value or a unit of account for it to work as a medium of exchange. Even if the Bitcoin market remains volatile and never pans out as a good store of value or unit of account, one can imagine users converting their dollars or euros to bitcoins for just long enough to make a transaction; perhaps just minutes. And as long as it works as a medium of exchange, it is the true digital cash that was missing from the cypherpunks’ predictions.
With a little bit of effort, today you can purchase bitcoins anonymously with physical cash. You could then do all sorts of things the government doesn’t want you to do. You could buy illegal drugs on the notorious Silk Road, an encrypted website that has been operating with impunity for the past two years facilitating annual sales estimated at almost $15 million. You could gamble at various casinos or prediction markets, buy contraband Cuban cigars, or even give money to WikiLeaks. Dissidents in Iran or China can use Bitcoin to buy premium blogging services from WordPress, which now accepts payment in the currency. Perhaps more importantly, Bitcoin makes the cypherpunks predictions of markets for stolen secret information and even assassinations feasible.
Last month, the Treasury Department issued guidance on how it plans to regulate Bitcoin exchanges. This is good news for the currency since it implies the government is looking to regulate its use rather than prohibit it. Confronted with Bitcoin’s potential, it’s not reasonable to expect that Treasury’s money laundering cops would simply let it be. So it’s a sensible approach for them to take because Bitcoin, much like BitTorrent, can be used for both licit and illicit purposes and would in any event be difficult to shut down.
OK, so this guy’s five tips really boil down to “have important stuff and keep it safe.” Having plenty of important stuff is important for dealing with serious stuff. Gotcha.
But as a survivor of an economic crisis and witness to others of late he makes one strong point: have cash money. Make it rain.
Hyperinflation is one possible result of economic meltdown, but it’s not necessarily the result, and even after it starts, having a supply of cash on-hand is a good idea. Cash, even in an economic disaster, has value for a time.
If you don’t have twenty minutes to listen to the guy ramble, the types important stuff to have in case of serious stuff are pretty straight-forward and can be classified as a couple of things:
Have safe stuff: high ground, shelter, layered security, and safes for your important stuff,
Have important stuff: money, money alternatives, water, food, ammo, etc.
That’s pretty much it. His suggested money alternatives are get an offshore bank account and get some precious metal currency. There are still limits to gold and silver, but if you have that, cash, and stuff to barter with, well, you won’t die.
Also, be wary of any Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. After the collapse, they go evil.
Bruce Schneier’s a security specialist with his own Internet meme. And while most people believe that technology elevates, improves things, Schneier holds that technology magnifies, makes things bigger, good and…