False Idols category archive
Paul Krugman skewers the central myth of cryptocurrency. A couple of snippets (emphasis added):
After all, the 2008 white paper that started the cryptocurrency movement, published under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, was titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” That is, the whole idea was that electronic tokens whose validity was established with techniques borrowed from cryptography would make it possible for people to bypass financial institutions. If you wanted to transfer funds to someone else, you could simply send them a number — a key — with no need to trust Citigroup or Santander to record the transaction.
(Snip ahead to now)
. . . .cryptocurrencies are largely purchased through exchanges such as Coinbase and, yes, FTX, which take your money and hold crypto tokens in your name.
These exchanges are — wait for it — financial institutions, whose ability to attract investors depends on — wait for it again — those investors’ trust. In other words, the crypto ecosystem has basically evolved into exactly what it was supposed to replace: a system of financial intermediaries whose ability to operate depends on their perceived trustworthiness.
The “Oath Keepers” going on trial Monday for their participation in the January 6 Capitol riot plan to
blame Trump attribute their conduct to their obedience to the wishes of Donald Trump.
I suppose it’s too much to hope that they will subpoena Trump to testify on their behalf.
*Where have we heard that defense before?
Noz has a notion, elegant in its simplicity, for calling out the orginalists’ duplicity.
Because it’s crystal clear that they are originalists of convenience. Originalism will go out the window if it doesn’t fit with what they want to do.
Hal MacDonald, writing at Psychology Today Blogs, explores why persons refuse to accept proven facts. He opens his article with a conversation he overheard at the barbershop:
“COVID’s not a virus at all,” the man said with impressive conviction. “It’s actually a protein synthesized from snake venom. The government’s adding it to the drinking water of certain target populations to cull the herd.”
When the man to whom he was speaking politely but skeptically asked where he had stumbled upon that particular explanation, the proponent of the venom theory of COVID was completely unfazed. “It’s a scientific fact,” he said. “A well-known chiropractor has done a ton of research on the subject.”
Follow the link for his thoughts about why some persons are susceptible to such claptrap and what can be done about it.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Anthony Silard discusses the deletorious effects of “social” media. He note three negative effects; follow the link for a detailed discussion of each.
- As it erodes empathy, social media has become dangerous to a healthy society.
- The empathy levels of American college students have dropped 40 percent, which some researchers attribute to the rise of social media.
- We are now living with an unprecedented level of polarization.
This is Part Two of a two-part series. Read Part One.
Remember, “social” media isn’t.
One of the warning signs of disinformation just around the corner on the Disinformation Syperhighway is statements that begin with
. . . and again we are reminded that that phrase is not scripture, but, rather, Republican policy.
Two professors from the University of South Florida explain that (no surprises here) it’s bubblelicious.
Follow the link for their reasoning.
Jason S. Sexton is skeptical that Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter will have beneficent effects. He remarks that
. . . to suggest that this move of Musk owning Twitter provides any kind of transcendent hope, or rational object of belief is — in a term of the majority of the world’s religious believers from the great faith traditions — idolatry.
Follow the link for his reasoning.
I don’t know the word “Soviet” is appropriate. Methinks Vladimir Putin is looking farther into Russia’s past for his inspiration. But that’s just me.
Thom talks with Kelly Weill about why persons fall for conspiracy theories.