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Spur of the Moment

Last night I was in the Las Vegas airport, waiting for boarding to start on my flight. I went there an hour early because I didn't have time to play poker, so I figured I could get on wifi and get some work done. I knocked out a couple small SETT bugs, and then remembered about getgoing.com, the YC-backed discount flight site. The way it works is you pick two deeply discounted flights that you'd be willing to take, put in your credit card, and getgoing picks one for you. You don't know where you're going until after you've paid. When I first got invited to the site I mucked around with it and found some really great fares to both Beijing and Shanghai.

Maybe I should go to China, I thought. Twenty minutes later my flight to Shanghai was booked.

I like making impulsive decisions like this. My past is filled with them, and none that I can think of have ended in regret. Actually, if I were asked what I thought my biggest strength is, I would probably say that it is making good decisions very quickly.

I wasn't always good at making quick decisions. Twelve years ago I had the opportunity to fly on the Concorde for $1000. It was usually over $10,000 round trip. I really wanted to do it, so I called a few friends to see if anyone else was interested. There was some hemming and hawing, but no one was ready to commit. Well, I thought, I'll wait until tomorrow and buy a ticket then if I still want to go. The next day came and the deal was gone. Now the Concorde is decommissioned and I'll never have the chance to ride it. Strange is it sounds, this is probably one of the bigger regrets in my life. I really wish I got to ride the Concorde before it folded.

Bitcoin: What people aren't understanding

On Ideas in the Making

Bitcoin has arguably one of the innovations that has led to the highest amount of skepticism in a while. The systems, technology, and rules the bitcoin system has have never been unified in such a way ever before, and possibly have never been possible, or at least as feasible, as ever before in history due to limitations in memory, computation, cryptological effectiveness and internet speed. It is important to remember there are two parts to bitcoin the underlying protocol and what is applicable to said protocol. The underlying protocol, which can be understood to be a decentralized consensus network that uses cryptology to authroize transactions, make it unfeasible to compromise the system and allow one with the cryptologic code to have de facto ownship/authority over what is allocated to that key. To summarize what people aren't understanding is that: The bitcoin protocol makes it possible for people to exchange ownership and also have de facto ownership without conceding anything in between. Furthermore, bitcoin is objective or neutral, in that the bitcoin protocol can't cherry pick which transactions to let through and which ones not to, Everything gets processed the same. No one can sieze your funds, counterfiet you funds, forge ownership, or control your funds. This all assuming you are using bitcoins how they are meant to be used and protecting your private keys accordingly, which is another debate, but the fact that such an arrangement is even feasible is something that immediately makes bitcoin groundbreaking. other things to keep in mind

1. He who has the private keys, has the funds. No questions asked. You can't forge funds or delete funds, you can only lose access too funds. All the private keys thrown away aren't exactly deleted, its just noone has access to them. If you were to miraculously guess the private key to the wallets that have been discarded, you would have control over those funds. Unlike cash which can be counterfeited or destroyed.

2. Net neutrality as mentioned above. No single transaction is cherry picked or stopped, all transactions flow as normal whether they be thousands of bitcoins or a handful of satoshis.

3. You and conclusively verify an addresses fund without have access to the funds. this is groundbreaking. You don't have to trust in a third party to audit, or the trustworthiness of the person. It is literally impossible to game or scam the system, and if you manage to (i.e. break the cryptology) ether the funds become worthless, or the network agrees on a new cryptology to use.

essentially bitcoin makes it possible for people to exchange ownership of funds ( or anything once new things get built on top of the bitcoin network) in a conclusive manner without needing anyone else to clear the funds. A huge amount of society's efforts on the economic front have come from deciding who is credit worthy and who isn't, who is trustworthy, protecting assets and liabilties against fraud and cooking the books, and of course accounting for the risks, costs, and labor associated with moving, reconciling and clearing transactions. on top of all that, the consumer as of late has been the one to pay the price. as having gold or massive amounts of dollars is cumbersome, risky, and a cost in an of itself which can require massive amounts of correction, proviing ownership and such, bitcoins quite frankly just work. they cut the middle man and give power no to the people, as some revolutionaries say, but to no one and everybody at the same time. It is like a market-version of democracy, instead of a representative version. no one concedes their decision making, but rather in aggregate decide which paths to take, and since everyone benefits by having nobody have complete control, everyone decides that nobody should have control.

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