Russia want completely ban Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

Reed Black reed at
Sun Aug 3 22:06:16 PDT 2014

On Sun, Aug 3, 2014 at 3:43 PM, Troy Benjegerdes <hozer at> wrote:

> On Sun, Aug 03, 2014 at 10:02:44AM -0700, Reed Black wrote:
> > I may be responding to a troll posting, but it's a fun one, so...
> >
> I should probably not read Thomas Piketty's Capital and then post on the
> internet in the same week timespan. But it's been quite an amusing
> digression.

It's basically Das Kapital, with charts and new predictions and suggested
remedies. Nearly a hundred mentions of Marx, and the same blindness about
what happens to capital that's accumulated, but reinvested as all major
accumulations are.

One need only look at any ten years interval where the wealth gap expanded,
and then examine the quantity and quality of goods affordable by the
poorest in that time. It gives question to his predictions and his radical
plans for 80% tax rates and the like. Trying to pull up the wage earners by
pulling down the wage payers hasn't worked yet.

But it does have an interesting parallel to the below...

> > War is peace, freedom is slavery, and Carl Marx was right about from
> each
> > > according to his ability, to each according to his need. This is proven
> > > by the market penetration of the GPLv2 linux kernel. Capitalists need
> high
> > > quality softare, and they cannot afford the capital to own something
> that
> > > actually works.
> > >
> >
> > GPL has little to nothing to do with Marx.
> >
> > GPL relies entirely on private ownership of intellectual property for its
> > enforcement. Private property is GPL's very foundation. And nobody is
> > compelled to use GPL licensed software, or to agree to a GPL license.
> Those
> > who do enter into an agreement aren't even required to redistribute their
> > changes unless they redistribute the derivative product. There's no
> > compulsory communal property here, no Marx.
> >
> > Observe that generally, one can set up GPL and various other forms of
> > voluntary communal contracts under capitalism. But that doesn't make
> > capitalism communist/Marxist. It does make capitalism the more flexible
> > system. One in which the GPL linux kernel is indeed doing well, along
> with
> > countless privately owned projects.
> Marx was worried about endless accumulation of capital by industrialists. I
> find it rather hilariously amusing that for Marx's commons to work, it has
> to
> be in the capitalist framework of intellectual property ownership.
> The brilliance of the GPL(v2) is the 'compulsory communal' aspect only
> kicks
> in when you sell something. No sale, no compulsion to share with your
> customers.
> It will be interesting to see how the AGPLv3 plays out long-term. I see a
> lot
> of code getting released under that license, and I expect at some point it
> will start eating the market share of closed-source cloud 'service'
> providers,
> because no capital owner can afford to pay engineers when the competition
> is
> doing the work for free.

A car maker is at a competitive disadvantage if it wastes time trying to
perfect sheet metal screws and socket wrenches. The other car makers use
commodity parts for anything that isn't a unique selling point and
differentiate by building the last, non-standard parts.

Most businesses and other competitive constructive ventures are like this.

Expect open source software to eat into the platform of just about every
vertical, but expect that to happen with proprietary software developers'
full cooperation. At some point, printer drivers stop being a value added
differentiator and capitalists see the best returns in integrating and
building on top of CUPS. Font engines become uninteresting and FreeType
makes sense. Filesystems, network protocols, web development frameworks,
etc... It's why they'll cooperate to help open source projects develop best
of breed implementations from the bottom up, but stop where proprietary
projects still differentiate themselves in interesting ways. When it gets
close to the consumer, we'll always have gaps the size of the space between
an xtank and a Diablo III.

I'd expect open source projects to subsume more and more things covered by
proprietary software and services today, but I'd also expect closed source
software and walled gardens to continue to be the points of competitive
innovation. By the time there are open source solutions commoditizing
today's cloud services, tomorrow's cloud services will be doing appealing
new things the public thinks it can't live without. That's not a blind
prediction, but an extrapolation of what's already happened. Free WebDAV
implementations are here, but now the public wants built in media
transcoding for mobile, syncing, and other features as part of their web
filesystems. Virtualization systems exist with virtually zero overhead, but
now CTOs expect automatic scaling, monitoring and security as push-button
add ons. Most every well-established cloud service one can name has a
lightweight open source alternative that looks like that cloud service only
a few years ago.

In a way, capitalists need to keep ceding to the commons to control their
costs as they build atop the old in order to afford to stay relevant, or
they need to seek other revenue channels while nearly giving the actual
service away to all comers. It's a bizarre but wonderful generative system.

> I guess Marx got trolled by Richard Stallman.

It's cute, but I never saw anything where Stallman himself seemed to
believe free software was socialist in nature. (Anyone have pointers on
that?) I know socialists/Marxists love to embrace it and him, but I suspect
the movement and Stallman could at best be called fellow travelers of
Marxism at best. There may be some common activities, but not goals or
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