The state of crypto

After the big rise of cryptocurrency prices peaking in January, now it’s dropping back, same old story, but with so many new people on the scene, it seems that the initial mission and purpose of cryptocurrencies were lost under the heaps of cut paper with portraits of dead presidents. To bring stability and any kind of future for crypto, lines should be drawn. Let me explain my point.

You see, banks and other traditional finance institutions may say whatever they want, but the real truth is that crypto is their enemy and they don’t like it. Ultimately, if you can imagine a world economy operating in crypto, where the banks will be in such system, what will be their role in a world operating entirely in what essentially is “private money”? And the answer is that they won’t have a role, banks will be left in the old financial system. Same with many other institutions, taxation mechanics bound to them and so on. It all has to change and change dramatically.

However, what do we see now? Well the banks sure play their cards right, while saying “it’s for the client” they bash crypto and the current crypto crowd seems to lose their minds from any such news. Oh, another bank said they’ll ban crypto? Sell sell sell, price drop, wipe another 50-100b from market cap. Like seriously? What do you care?

Today’s cryptocurrency scene tries to play nice with traditional financial system, which it’s actually set to destroy with it’s own mere existence. This is such nonsense. The sooner people will understand this – the better. Cryptocurrency exchanges are to blame too, because they try so hard to get into the traditional financial system, they really try to be a part of it, while the cryptocurrency system doesn’t need that.

Crypto has to be at least parallel to the traditional financial system, not build into it, cuz it will never be accepted there. It’s worse than a new boy in class, it’s a new boy in an alien race. And I’m sure Satoshi didn’t want that either.

Like with many good things that people already destroyed with their greed, we already may be past the point of no return, which is really sad. Instead of seeing it as a replacement of the traditional financial system, people went on to make some quick bucks on trading this “new instrument” within that system. Duh, they even made things like Tether, which is partly the reason of current collapse of prices. People act on really irrelevant news like some banks saying “we ban crypto” well, crypto never liked you anyway and it doesn’t need you, why should it care.

Realistically, there should be a transition period, when the fiat system will give the reins to crypto, but it all comes down to “value transition” into crypto. It has to be clearly stated that other than that, the cryptocurrency system will not have ties to traditional financial system and once in there you operate in crypto to crypto, you can’t care less what some banks with vaults filled with cut paper have to say cuz you don’t need them anymore.

And as side note, for all paper-lovers, what makes you so sure that it has any value? Read up on the fiat money system, it’s fun.

Neural Nets – how long till A.I.?

I see news on neural networks almost every day now, they do all kinds of stuff – from market predictions to editing pictures in your phone (see Prisma or w/e that latest fancy app is called).

However, most people and particularly journalists that write articles about them, don’t really understand what a Neural Net (NN) is, some even think that it may lead to the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Well let me tell you about it: AI is much like UFO – there are people that want to believe in it, but no one ever saw one in real life. Fake photos, dots on the lens, halo effects and so on, not a single UFO ever landed to say hello. Same goes for NNs, they have same relation to A.I. as a hammerhead shark to a hammer: it may look like one… at a certain angle, from a distance, if you’re on drugs – you get the idea. Pseudo-intellectual chat bots in the past and NN euphoria now. Calm down people, nothing’s happening here.

If you go read on how NNs really work, you’ll find out that there’s no magic involved, it really is just a fancy math equation. Sophisticated math equation. Can you imagine an equation having self conscience? Will of it’s own? That would be ridiculous, but somehow that’s what people think, most of them being as far from math in their lives as flying eagle’s ass from the ground, I might add.

That said, NNs are very useful in solving lots of problems, take image recognition for example, computer vision is making great progress right now. But A.I. won’t happen any time soon. Stuff that looks like it – maybe, but not something that can have a self conscience. Imitation or the real thing – that’s a huge difference.

Fun with Johanna

While Johanna’s hero week is still going, I’d like to share a short vid of her “tanking”, while she still feels kind of squishy in big teamfights (personal opinion), you can have some really funny moments like these:

TBH I waited for her and really wanted to kind of roll her as my new main character, since I was absolutely in love with crusader class in Diablo III, but as for now I’ll probably still stick to my old choices.

USA Freedom Act of 2015

Once again, USA sets a great example for other countries to follow. The so-called “Freedom Act” just recently passed Senate and became a public law as of 06/02/2015. It’s great news for all U.S. citizens because from now on it’s going to take a court order for any agency to dig in your personal data, just like it used to be before the “Patriot Act” of 2001. For more details see here.

This change shows what a healthy democracy is capable of, when something outlives its purpose, the system removes it and reverts back to the normal order of things, rather than keeping the abomination alive by stitching it up with more and more patches, slowly moving in totalitarianism general direction.

One can argue that the real cause of this change is the Edward Snowden scandal, but there’s more to it really. Conspiracy theories aside, I want to be positive about this change. Just recently, UN also voiced its position on anonymity and encryption and they actually would like to see them as a part of basic human rights. These are interesting times we live in.

So they did it

Got a short letter today from CCP, inviting me back to EVE Online. Struck with nostalgia, I read it through and noticed this line: “PERMANENT SHIP SKINS“. Whaaa..?

So I guess in 2011 we fought for nothing. It’s already here. The very essence of the “greed is good” made it into the game. While I didn’t play EVE for a few years already, I still feel for it and worry about it’s future. A brief look at the forums and other media showed that everything’s fine. People seem to accept the change, at least I didn’t find a new “threadnaught” that we had back then. Just see for yourself, those were the days –

On a second thought – why not? First of all, skins are still only cosmetic, it’s not like they add something in terms of real gameplay and besides, everyone’s doing it now, so what seemed immoral and bad in 2011 is now perfectly normal, even Blizzard made a game which makes half of it’s profit (if not more) on skins alone (talking about HotS). From 2015’s point of view all that monocle drama that we had in EVE seems meaningless and stupid to most people. The sad part is that it won’t stop here, it never did. I think we’ll see more and more ingame sales mechanics and those will eventually become pay2win. There’s no other way.

Unless it’s a boss in Diablo, there’s nothing good about Greed.

Wrongfully accused: my Conficker ban story

Recently, I have started to notice an increase in unnatural behaviour on many sites that I visit. More than once I’ve even been blocked with a Captcha, that I had to enter prior to being granted further access. The last drop was a full ban on Google when trying to do any search query. So, here’s a story how I dealt with the problem, along with some thoughts on failing security techniques. Continue reading Wrongfully accused: my Conficker ban story