28 Feb

MtGox and the future of Bitcoin

The recent collapse of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange MtGox has been a tremendous loss for the Bitcoin community. The company acknowledged the losses of approximately 744,000 BTC, worth several hundreds of millions of dollars and approximately 6% of all the Bitcoins currently in existence. If stolen, the theft amounts to the second biggest financial theft in history, second only to the Bernie Madoff investment scandal.

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17 Feb

Certainty and ignorance

Statue of John Knox

Although I write about and am engaged with politics these days, I haven’t always held much in the way of political opinions.  The impetus for beginning an interest in it came from one conversation too many in which I was left silent with no opinion to give.  As it seemed to me – and which I now know to be naïve – the people whose opinions I heard tended to carry their views with a certainty and conviction I rarely had about anything.  Not knowing the details of political circumstances, I concluded these people were better informed than I was, so I generally felt no reason to interject or disagree with them.

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24 Jun

Nationalism and prejudice

Nationalism

Speck of Sand

Above our nations’ selfish thoughts
There hangs a ceiling black and bright
A hundred million sparkling spots
Nature’s gifted humbling sight

Lost in blindness goes its grace
Its twinkling beauty left unseen
Through blood and tears we hide our face
And daily make our hands unclean

Only some can hear its voice
To stop the silent howls of hurt
And realise that we have a choice
In drawing lines with sticks in dirt

All this strife for wanted land
From humans’ greed and goodness’ lack
All to claim a speck of sand
Adrift amidst the ocean black

When a person studies history, they do so with a careful attention given to themes. The past teaches us about the present and about ourselves; it can show us to what degree our behaviour exists as a product of our culture and to what degree it exists independent of it. Through a thematic lens there is much to be discovered, but one theme in particular I am interested in is that of nationalism, and prejudice.

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21 Dec

Social apathy

Social apathy

Social apathy seems to have stricken developed countries. I don’t see it fit for me to criticise what others should be interested in, but if there’s something that, as a society, we should all collectively be interested in, it’s how our society is governed. This is a subject that ought to appeal to all people – from the selfless who care for those around them, to the selfish who care for themselves. From the two opposite ends of the spectrum, both Russell and Rand were interested in government, and so should all of us be. If we aren’t, we actively hand the reins to those who are, who will always use that power for the securement of their own interests – including preventing us from taking those reins back.

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