Archive for the ‘bitcoin’ Category

Monitoring the Chinese News Feed

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

I've been monitoring, on and off, the Chinese Bitcoin news feed1 I found a few weeks ago.  Thus far it appears mostly to consist of news originating in the West.  I suppose it is interesting to see what is of note to a Chinese audience, but this is disappointing none the less.

The only story originating in China on the front page today concerns some sort of scam being busted by provincial police in An Hui, with notes about the scammers attempting to flee to the Philippines.

  1. If you can call it that.  The Bitcoin specific feed appears only to be available on my iPad, and of course doesn't support Atom/RSS.  It's at, for reference, if you happen to have an iPad or iPhone. []

Surveying the Chinese Bitcoin Scene

Saturday, August 31st, 2019

I'm attempting to survey the Chinese Bitcoin scene.  I really don't even know where to start.  There are various "news" type sites that claim to convey news about what's happening in "crypto" in China/Asia in English, such as these:

They are utter garbage1.  For an example of a news site that is not garbage, see

Another category is Chinese language news sites, such as  Riddled with shitcoinery, obviously.

Then there are forum type sites.  There is for example the chinese language version of the mostly defunct Bitcointalk forum.  This is interesting in that it is dedicated mostly to Bitcoin.  It is not so interesting in that there's not much going on, going by the number and timestamps of posts.  It is even less interesting in that according to this site, at least, it is not reachable from within China.  I don't recall how I found it, but there is also this Chinese crypto forum, which does appear to be visible inside China.  From the name alone, it is obvious that this site is ridden through and through with shitcoinery.

Now although these sites are all garbage, maybe there's something good in there.  Maybe there's a post here or there by someone who has a clue.  But how would I know, not being fluent in Chinese?  I have made some inroads towards solving this problem.  At the moment I have a rather tenuous2 connection with a translator inside China.  I was able to have her do translation of a sample from this piece about China's purported new state sponsored crypto scam, and her work seems to be better than Google Translate, at least.

I don't want to say where I'm going next with this because I have no idea.  At this point I do think I have made some progress, though.

  1. Garbage in the sense that their content is not guided by any discernible principles, and therefore ethics []
  2. I found her via a Chinese masseuse who I'm having an affair with but who I'd like to dump, which is complicated []

Apolitical Technology

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

The Impossibility of Apolitcal Technology

A friend (with whom I’ve had some great email threads and IRC chats) is woke to the corruption of social media and discusses it here. While I agree with his accusations of politics, I disagree that any of the services can ever exist apolitically. I assert that any technology that assumes a value judgement is political. Steming from this definition is that any technology which either algorithmically or through operator intervention judges the rightness or wrongness of its product is political. Twitter clearly falls into this category, as well as the small printing presses of colonial America, or the large presses of 200 years later.

Some would say that it is possible to create apolitical software. How can, for example a compiler be in any way even remotely political? How can the considerations around its construction be anything but technical? Here is an example. Gcc is the compiler used to build most linux binaries. Years ago, a “technical” decision was made by a core gcc developer named Drepper to break static linking. This means that no useful binaries can ever execute on Linux without dynamically linking to certain libraries making the proposition of distributing signed binaries futile, making the proposition of secure software futile, making the proposition of Bitcoin futile, making the proposition of sound money futile, making the proposition of free trade futile. Whether or not Drepper is aware of the political implications of the of his technical decision is irrelevant to the fact of their existance. Nevertheless, there is a belief by technologists “educated” at ITT and the public equivilants that software can exist outside of politics. As a result the US has a legal system that runs on Word, a financial system that runs on Excel, and a voting system that runs on Windows.

And so I argue not for companies like Twitter and Facespace to renounce politics (that would be impossible) but for their opponents on the right stop using collectivist, totalitarian technology and start making moral decisions about the software they make and use.