Thursday, March 24, 2016

Proposed Talks in San Diego

I have proposed to give two talks to Mensa in San Diego this Summer.  Following are the details.  Feel free to contact me if any of this stuff interests you.  I think that interest in these things is growing because 1) they are important, and 2) interest in them is not yet high enough.

1. Anonymity: The Dangers and Benefits of Keeping Secrets

Modern technology makes it possible to have relationships with people through thin media like texting, emailing, telephone calls, and interactions through the Internet. These media allow individuals to misrepresent themselves. This, however, is not a modern problem. Trust has been getting violated since human beings learned to communicate, and this presentation explores the growing awareness of it.

The "Delphi Technique" will be described, as well as common political illusions and demagoguery as well as the problems that can be created by these things. We will discuss the solutions available to those participating in the growing awareness of them and invite questions for further pondering in an open dialog.

The Mensa AG Proposal process will be used as an example of a system that relies on some trust, but takes great risk in breaking that trust if it chooses to do so. As a microcosm of the larger society in which it exists, we will explore how the increasing density of peer-to-peer communications helpfully magnifies that risk, not just for Mensa, but for all systems exploiting the human tendency to trust.

2. Why is Bitcoin Still Around?

In 2009, something called a "bitcoin" appeared and someone got ten thousand of them for buying a pizza. At that point, the market capitalization of bitcoin was about the value of a large pizza. It has since died and risen again about 100 times and now has a market capitalization around six billion dollars.

Following are more questions than there will be time to answer, but audience participation always helps with that problem: What is bitcoin? How does one use bitcoin? How does a bitcoin get created? Who invented bitcoin? Are bitcoins anonymous? Who controls how bitcoin works? Isn't bitcoin a work in progress? What is a block? Does the block size matter? How is cryptography used in bitcoin? What is an elliptic curve? What's a "vanity address"? What backs bitcoin? How can I buy or sell bitcoin? What happened with MtGOX? Does bitcoin make it harder to rule people? Does it make it harder to maintain order? Isn't bitcoin mostly used by people doing bad things? How does it threaten the existing financial system? Will inflation eventually destroy all the value in bitcoin?

After a short introduction, this presentation will be open for questions, and everything is on the table at that point. The questions presented above may not be addressed, so be prepared to ask any in which you are interested.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Notes on the Anti-Gov Movement GuideBook

Here is a magnet link (for the file-sharing software BitTorrent) for the "Anti-Gov Movement Guidebook," a pdf created in 1999 through a grant from the State Justice Institute which awards grants to "foster innovative, efficient solutions to common issues faced by all courts." The rule of man over man has some bad effects. I believe one of the worst effects it has is retarding the development of conscience in every individual.  Since common law courts enable individuals to speak truth to power, I feel it is important to publish my notes on this document.

The document suggests that the roots of "[t]he 'common law court movement,' as it has somewhat clumsily come to be called, [which] now exists in some form in every state in the country" can be traced to people who were both violent and racist.  I myself trace it (in myself) to the Magna Carta and Lysander Spooner as presented at Bill Thornton's site and The Voluntatryist.  So I think the authors of this document poisoned the well a little bit there.

The authors present "Posse ideology" as the basis of the movement toward common law courts and provide three tenets for it (apparently ignoring modern refinements). They suggest that the most important one is comprised of "justifications derived from the revelation of 'hidden history.'"  I can attest to that, although the authors' examples of "hidden history," don't match mine.

My interest in common law courts stems from Richard Grove's Project Constellation and, indeed, all the episodes of the Peace Revolution Podcast to which I have listened.  On a deeper philosophical level, Peter E. Hendrickson's work on the legitimacy of the Internal Revenue Code shows respect for the right of any group to demand compensation for giving others the privilege of using its own resources.  The U.S. Federal Government itself is an institution that provides privileges and exercises its right to collect some kind of payback. Hendrickson's work shows that this debt is improperly imposed even on those who receive no such privileges, and that the implementation of Title 26 therefore amounts to constructive fraud.  The behavior of the courts, for example the attempt by Victoria Roberts, Robert Metcalfe, Nancy G. Edmunds, and other federal employees to suborn perjury from Hendrickson's wife to cover it up, demonstrates the insidious nature of this constructive fraud, as well as its purity as a fraud.

Contrast that with the authors' examples of "hidden history": the "missing 13th amendment" or William P. Gale's recognition of the abandonment (rather than lawful repeal) of the Articles of Confederation.  Of course, this guidebook was written before Richard Grove's team of technologists was murdered in the attacks on the Word Trade Center, but apparently the Posse Comitatus group was onto something.

After introducing and bashing Posse Comitatus for a while, the document moves on to implicate the idea of "common law" in the violent racism attributed to the roots of the movement toward common law courts.  The Posse Comitatus group is still used by the authors for more bashing in case the reader sees value in the common law.  Aside from this, however, the document seems to explain the justification and value of common law quite well, even admitting that "The subversion of the legitimate common law was a long process, with many steps."

The authors rely heavily on the word "theorist," most likely to suggest that what is offered, provided, supposed, believed, or even proven or demonstrated by a "theorist" is false.  This assumption was brainwashed into the masses by the CIA through the media after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in order to dim the growing amount of light on a project that was to remain dark. In this guidebook about the movement toward common law courts, the word is leveraged using the term "common law theorist."

I am on page 14 of the 180 page document.  Like the project I started on the Bitcoin Javascript code from pointbiz, this one may or may not be continued.  I think both will have future posts, but I'm going to bed for now.  You have several links to follow if this post interests you :-).