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Saturday, February 28, 2009

More Flagrant State Corruption

I already know "The State is evil!", but there still are some stories that make me wonder "Is the State more evil than I previously estimated?"

I liked this story, via Neutral Underground (site registration required). It's always nice to find interesting stories that the other blogs I read haven't mentioned. I decided this one was too interesting for a footnote in a Reader Mail post.

Judges are frequently biased against sui juris defendants. From the judge's point of view, many of the defendants' arguments probably really are frivolous. However, the judge also will ignore appeals that contradict their pro-State brainwashing. If the defendant in a possession of marijuana trial appeals saying "Possession of marijuana is not a crime!", then the judge will see that true argument as frivolous. I haven't read sui juris appeals, so I have no idea if they're frivolous or genuine.

For poor defendants using a public defender, their actual trial probably really was very biased against them. Why does it matter if a public defender does a brilliant job or an incompetent one? The public defender gets paid the same either way. (If you hire an attorney, you have the same problem. Suppose I am arrested for tax evasion. I decide to hire an attorney. My attorney expects to get paid whether I am acquitted or convicted. Given those incentives, why should my attorney care if I'm acquitted or convicted? Hourly billing encourages my attorney to drag out the trial for as long as possible.)

Back to the above story, the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals was rejecting *ALL* sui juris appeals without reading them at all! It was only uncovered when the clerk in charge of implementing the scam, Jerrold Peterson, committed suicide and revealed the details in his suicide note.

The clerk was instructed that, whenever a sui juris appeal was filed, he would create a generic "appeal rejected" statement. The judge then signed these rejections without bothering to read the appeal.

If the US Fifth Circuit Court does this, you can be sure other courts do this also. They just haven't been caught yet!

There's another point not emphasized in the article. The three judges who blindly rejected these appeals keep their jobs. Even caught being flagrantly corrupt, there are no negative consequences for State employees. State employees who commit misconduct are protected by sovereign immunity.

State bureaucrats have no obligation to treat their "customers" fairly, because of the State's absolutely unaccountable monopoly.

I liked this comment:

Anyway, there was a heavy burden of guilt to bear by employees who knew what was going on and did not take a stand. It eats your dignity. It eats your soul.

What goes on at the trial court level is bad enough. You would hope that injustices would be rectified at the appellate court level. Don't count on it not being more of the same.

Many State employees are aware that they are participating in one big scam, yet they remain silent. That makes it even worse! Desperate to protect their jobs, they go along with the scam. State employees are, by definition, paid an above-market wage for their labor, making them unable to risk their jobs.

I liked this comment.
One time, one of the clerks at the Third Circuit did take a stand. That person was fired by the Criminal Court director. The Criminal Court director copied the pages of the personnel manual and accused the fired clerk of everything listed in the manual. Threw the whole kitchen sink. The fired clerk was accused of sexual harassment, racial discrimination, violence, etc. Everything. Of course, there were no factual basis to support the accusations. That Criminal Court director was just enraged. As crazy as that may seem, the Third Circuit judges did nothing. There was nobody directly over the Criminal Court director. You would have to have all of the judges agree on doing something. Well, for political reasons, that is not going to happen. The fired clerk was a single parent that had to support a child. It was a complete ruination for the fired clerk. The fired clerk was not privileged enough to have the circumstances rectified. A tort suit against the Third Circuit is not practical in the legal environment. You would have to be weathy to fight it because you would have to pay an attorney at the very least $100 an hour for services. It is just another wrong that isn't economically feasible to rectify.

This situation turned the Third Circuit employees into scared rabbits -- being terrorized.

If you are frivolously arrested, and are representing yourself sui juris, be sure to mention this incident to the jury. It's important to make the jurors understand how the judge is biased against you.

Friday, February 27, 2009

HP 4315 Printer Review

I own an HP 4315 printer. Overall, I am mostly satisfied. In retrospect, I should have bought one of the higher-tier printers. The HP 4315 is a combination printer/scanner/photocopier/fax. I've only used the "printer" and "photocopier" features.

It has better resolution than the HP inkjet printer I bought in 1999. Moore's law applies to printers as well as computers.

The ink cartridges run out surprisingly fast. I haven't had that problem with other printers. I've started tracking how many pages I get per cartridge.

There's a feature where it displays how much ink is left in the cartridge. It's useless. Wait until print quality starts to deteriorate, rather than looking at that display.

There's a weird bug where it sometimes gets stuck in "Fax" mode and you're unable to print. Rebooting my PC and printer seems to fix it. Literally, I shut down my PC, turn off my power supply, and then restart. I have no idea if it's a Vista/driver bug or a printer bug. Unplugging just the printer doesn't fix the problem. Just rebooting my PC doesn't fix the problem. I have to power cycle both. It freaked me out the first time that bug occurred. Now, I know "**** this! I have to reboot!"

It has a photocopy/scanner feature. However, you have to spool the pages. If you want to photocopy something like an ID card, you can't do it on the printer. In retrospect, I should have bought one of the more expensive models, where the scanner had a tray like a photocopier.

Overall, it's a "good enough" printer, especially for the price I paid. In retrospect, I should have gotten one of the higher-end models that allows me to photocopy ID cards and not just paper. If you're shopping around for a printer, I still advise to buy HP, but get a better model than the HP 4315.

Why Don't Psychiatrists Troll My Blog?

I mention many non-mainstream ideas in my blog. I write about the Compound Interest Paradox, the Black-Scholes Formula, the Labor Theory of Value (the Free Market Labor Arbitrage Process), or how many mainstream libertarians/minarchists/anarchists are really pro-State trolls. For each of these subjects, one or more people has responded "You're an idiot FSK, who doesn't know what he's writing about."

When I write that the "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is nonsense, I have received *ZERO* hate mail. Quite a few people have said "You're 100% correct FSK. The mental health industry is a total fraud." That is a bizarre statistical outlier. For all my other non-mainstream ideas, I almost always receive at least some negative feedback.

One theory is that, for the effects of anti-psychotic drugs, I'm a primary source. Unless you also have direct personal experience with those harmful drugs, you aren't going to question my personal experiences. My experiences probably are reproducible via a proper scientific experiment, but I don't have the resources to conduct such an experiment. Why should I bother performing research confirming something I already know to be true?

Most drug approval studies are fake cargo cult science. They give the superficial appearance of being scientific, while having flaws. The researcher is biased, because he has an economic incentive if the drug is approved. The FDA is merely a rubberstamp for the pharmaceutical companies. I once read through an FDA approval study for Risperdal, one of the drugs I was forced to take. There were obvious flaws. The flaws I noticed were:

  1. The placebo test was not conducted properly. Patients who were previously taking a different anti-psychotic drug would react favorably to a switch to Risperdal, because the drug masks withdrawal symptoms. Patients switching from another drug to placebo would suffer withdrawal.
  2. In order to do a proper study, the anti-psychotic drug should be given to people not previously diagnosed with a mental illness. If the drug gives a mental illness to otherwise healthy people, then it should not be used to treat mental illness. (Most psychiatrists/murderers/idiots justify this by saying that the brain chemistry of sick people is different from that of healthy people. Therefore, a drug that hurts a healthy person can heal a "sick" person.)
  3. The FDA study was for 6-12 weeks. Most psychiatrists make their victims take the drug for years/decades or the rest of their life.
  4. The negative side effects I experienced were not among those that the researcher claimed to be looking for. Further, negative side effects were determined based on an interview with the researcher. Since the researcher has an interest in the drug being approved, the incentive is for the researcher to not notice negative side effects, or downplay the complaints of patients.

Some people who have been brainwashed as pro-State economists read my blog, and get offended when I question their brainwashing. Some people who are (L)libertarians read my blog, and get offended when I question their brainwashing.

I conclude that nobody who has been brainwashed as a pro-State psychiatrist or therapist is a regular reader of my blog. That is very interesting. According to Google Analytics, I already have a couple hundred regular readers, and psychiatrists/therapists make up more 1% of the population. If my readership were a random sample of the population, then a couple of my regular readers should be psychiatrists or therapists. They should get deeply offended when I say that their profession is a complete fraud, and leave the usual hate mail.

I conclude that psychiatrists and therapists have a particularly low level of awareness. They are not interested in the corrupt nature of the US economic and political system. Whenever I tried mentioning "Taxation is theft!" to one of my therapists, they made it clear they were not interested in discussing such issues. I could talk about specific problems with abusive people at work, but if I mention "The economic system is defective!", that's something they've been brainwashed to believe is false. The patient is defective, and there are no larger issues with society as a whole worth discussing.

Psychiatrists and therapists are the chief defenders of the State and the Matrix. If anyone starts questioning the scam, they will be directed to a psychiatrist or therapist. The psychiatrist will give the victim drugs that dull their senses. The therapist will convince the patient that all of the patient's problems are because he is a loser, and that there are no other issues with society as a whole. As part of your psychiatrist/therapist training, you're brainwashed to behave as a pro-State troll. The role of psychiatrists and therapists is to keep people in line. The people who see the Matrix and start questioning the State must be silenced!

In many ways, a psychiatrist or therapist is worse than a policeman. A policeman shows you his badge and gun, which creates a certain level of fairness when you're involuntarily interacting with them. A psychiatrist or therapist damages the victim while pretending to help them. The psychiatrist and therapist sincerely believe they're doing the right thing, which helps make the scam believable to the victims.

That's a very interesting statistical outlier. I mention many non-mainstream ideas, and receive negative comments for almost all of them. When I criticize the psychiatry/death industry, I have received zero negative feedback.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

StackOverflow Sucks!

I briefly conducted an experiment with participating in programmer-targeted website "StackOverflow". I have concluded that it sucks and I'm not wasting my time there anymore.

StackOverflow is a website that encourages people to ask "programming related" questions.

The problem is that the site's content Nazis take a very narrow definition of what questions are "programming related".

For example, I asked reasonable questions, and the site's content Nazis censored them. I asked "What do you recommend for purchasing hosting?" and "What's a good brand of external hard drive to buy?" Those are both questions that someone who works as a computer programmer would reasonably want to know. (In case you're wondering, I decided to use Linode for hosting, and my next external HD is probably going to be a Seagate. My current Western Digital 0.5TB external hard drive sucks! It makes weird noises, but hasn't died yet.)

However, the site's content Nazis deemed those questions inappropriate for the website.

When the content Nazis censor a question, then *ALL FURTHER DISCUSSION OF THAT QUESTION IS TERMINATED*. If someone else sees my question, but is sincerely interested, they are barred from answering.

What has my user experience been on StackOverflow? Quite a few questions I asked, that I thought were reasonable, were censored as "not programming related". If the site's content Nazis are stupid, then I exercise my right to say "**** you! I'm not visiting your lousy website anymore!"

This is an excellent illustration of how lousy engine design leads to abusive behavior by members of an online community.

Another defect of their website is their karma system. Certain powers, such as closing topics, are only offered to long-term users. If I feel my question was inappropriately closed, then I have no recourse. This leads to self-selecting behavior in the community. Any person who takes a broader definition of appropriate site content gets disgusted and leaves.

Any site that has a "karma" rating that is a unique global score is inherently defective. This rewards long-term users at the expense of newer users. It rewards people who do nothing but hang out on that site, over people who just came by for a quick visit. If you want a successful site, you have to target the casual user, and not merely diehard idiots.

Another annoying bit I noticed is that there's no way for me to delete my account on StackOverflow.

When I write my own forum engine, I will take into account the mistake that sites like Digg, Wikipedia, Slashdot, Reddit, Hacker News, and StackOverflow made. The more I see how much these other sites suck, the more I realize "I could write a decent forum engine!"

If I get 5-10 active seed users, then it should grow over time. In this manner, my blog is useful for promoting other potential online business. I'm bootstrapping via my AdSense revenue. If some of my regular readers give my forum engine a try (knowing it's beta initially), it could be successful.

That's one nice thing about the Internet. If a site's administrators are ****heads, then you can say "**** you! I'm leaving!" It's very easy for me to buy hosting and start my own online community. If government employees are being unreasonable, it's very hard/illegal to say "**** you! I'm starting a competing government!"

I'm also curious to see how high this post can rank in web searches for "StackOverflow". My "Ruby on Rails Sucks!" article is #1 in Google for that search phrase!

Reader Mail #82

This post was interesting. Someone had a problem where their WordPress blog was hacked. Posts were filled with spammy links, but *ONLY* if the page request was made by Google's search bot! He only found out by viewing Google Webmaster Tools.

David Z mentioned he had a problem with his blog being hacked and his PageRank getting trashed.

Have other people had problems with their WordPress blog being hacked? I'm slightly concerned, since I'm going to be moving to my own site in a few months.

This post on was wasting time responding to a pro-State troll.

I consider "Property is theft!" to be obviously stupid and not worth debating anymore. People get confused because "In the present, most/all property is stolen." If you borrow at a negative real interest rate, and use the profits to buy a large amount of property, then is your ownership claim legitimate?

Pro-State trolls also get confused with "Profit by State violence (directly or indirectly)." with "Perform actual useful work!" The profits of a lawyer/banker/accountant/CEO are pure theft. Their profits are backed directly or indirectly by State violence. Doctors earn an above-market salary, because State regulations restrict competition. In the present, most professions have a certain degree of parasitism, due to extensive State regulation of almost every industry.

This article, via Hacker News, was interesting. Someone created an online discussion forum. A lot of negative comments about two Yale law students were posted. The volume of these comments were so great that they were the top-ranking results in Google, if someone searched for their names.

Being law students, they sued the forum owner and whoever posted the comments.

I say "Lawyers are parasites!" If I criticize any specific lawyer, then I subject myself to the risk of a lawsuit. As another example, if I publicly named people who abused me at previous jobs, I might find myself the victim in a libel lawsuit.

Anybody who would refuse to hire someone based on trash in Google or believe random garbage in Google deserves what they get.

There is a correct free market defense to libel. I should be able to say "X did something dishonest!", and X should be free to say "FSK is wrong!". The risk of libel lawsuits makes me reluctant to say "X did something dishonest!" This prevents people from sharing information about abusive parasites. Libel laws sometimes prevent abusive behavior. Libel laws also silence legitimate criticism.

For example, if I wrote a detailed account of how the Rails Advocate screwed me over and singlehandedly wrecked a $20M business, using his real name, then he might have a hard time finding another job (at least by an employer with a clue). However, I might be sued for libel if I tried such a thing. Most laws are written by members of the parasite class. Libel laws are probably used to silence legitimate criticism more often than to silence malicious criticism. The correct response to malicious criticism is to publish a rebuttal (or ignore it).

An agorist trust network would not have this problem. Suppose X and Y are members of my agorist trading network. X and Y have a dispute. X is free to publish the details, and Y is free to publish the details, and let other people decide for themselves. If X sues Y for libel in a State court, then X, *BY DEFINITION*, gets kicked out of my agorist trading group.

It also is a serious problem if any website owner can be held responsible for content published by others. If I write a legitimately useful forum engine, it can be used both for good things and for bad things.

This book review of "How to Get Rich", via Hacker News, had one good bit.

“Teamwork is the glue that binds losers together”

Most "Be a good employee!" slogans really are "Be a good slave!" slogans.

Some people, when they say "Be a team player!", mean "Do your fair share of work!" More often, they mean "Don't complain when other people abuse you!" The phrase "Be a team player!" is used to justify bad behavior more often than good behavior.

This post on cites a story about someone in Thailand who was sentenced to three years in prison for insulting the king.

I saw the 2nd episode of "Important Things with Demetri Martin". It had two good jokes. The first was a bit at the beginning, where he had "Start your own government." as an introductory joke. I was disappointed that he didn't elaborate further reader. There also was the bit on how to kill rats via religion. It's interesting to see such bits. Those bits must have been written by someone other than Demetri Martin himself, because that isn't his style of comedy.

I liked this post on In some cities, people are starting to resist sheriffs who try to enforce mortgage foreclosures.

Due to a corrupt monetary system and the Compound Interest Paradox, a debt contract with a bank is not a valid contract. When a bank executive lends money, he does no real work. The bank lender merely prints and lends brand new money.

Is it feasible to violently resist the State? In this case, I suspect the answer is "no". Even if you successfully repel a sheriff who tries to foreclose for not paying a mortgage or not paying property taxes, he can always come back later with more troops.

I didn't understand this story on Hacker News. An online restaurant rating website publishes negative reviews about a restaurant. They then call the restaurant, offering to remove the negative reviews if they buy advertising.

My question is "What's the problem?" If a website is so obviously corrupt, then people will eventually stop using it.

I liked this article, via Hacker News, by Neil Gaiman, on why free speech is important.

In the EU and UK, you don't get strong defense of free speech like in the USA.

(It's worth noting that the UK, for example, has no such law, and that even the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that interference with free speech was "necessary in a democratic society" in order to guarantee the rights of others "to protection from gratuitous insults to their religious feelings.")

In the USA, mainstream media personalities typically *DO NOT* have free speech rights. If they exercise their "free speech" right too aggressively, then their corporate employer will fire them, smear their reputation, and they will never again get a job with a mainstream media outlet.

This article, via Hacker News, had a funny bit.

Needless to say, we find it very odd (if not funny) to hear every firm state how different they were in exactly the same way as everyone else.

That is amusing. I notice a parallel in job postings. Most use the same buzzwords without any understanding of what they actually mean.

Most job ads say "We want independent thinkers." Nobody says "We want barely qualified incompetents."

This article, via Hacker News, was amusing. It was about the new "boot animation" for Windows 7.

Can you imagine that Microsoft has a team of people working on the boot animation? Could you imagine getting a CS degree for 4 years, getting a job at Microsoft, and working on the boot animation?

This article was interesting. A website's HD crashed, losing all their data and all their customer's data.

When I get my own site, I plan to make backups on my local HD and on an external HD.

This article on RadGeek was interesting. A radio station in Portland did an interview with a "market anarchist". I didn't look at the details to see how well the interviewee explained market anarchism.

I liked this post, via Hacker News, on the Pirate Bay Trial. (There appear to be daily updates.) This comment was interesting.

sorry guys but this was lost from the outset.
the legal system (on this grand scale) is really only there to give the illusion of justice and fairness…the outcome is decided by who has the most cash and what impact any decision will have on the economy!There really is no hope for them….as sad as it is this is just the reality of it

The legal system provides an illusion of fairness, and not genuine fairness.

I am somewhat annoyed that the defense isn't saying "Intellectual property is not property!" and using a "jury nullification" defense. However, that practice probably isn't common in other countries.

I don't even know if the Pirate Bay trial is a jury trial or not.

This article, via Hacker News, was interesting. Someone conducted an experiment where they deliberately planted an abusive person on teams attempting a task. One abusive person can really wreck any team environment.

I disagree with "This is natural human behavior." Due to pro-State brainwashing, most people lack the skills to deal with abusive people.

For example, at some of my wage slave jobs, I found myself justifying the behavior of abusive people. My default reaction is usually "I'm doing something wrong!" instead of "This person is a jerk!"

This article, via Hacker News, was interesting. Child pornography laws are being used against teenagers who share naked pictures of themselves with their friends, via cellphone. It's amusing what usually incites the incident. A teacher confiscates the student's phone, sees the pictures, and then calls the police.

I have the free market attitude towards "age of consent" laws. If you're old enough to get pregnant or make someone pregnant, then you're an adult. If you're younger than that, then your parents have an obligation to keep track of what you're doing.

"Victimless crime" laws usually lead to silly outcomes. If you voluntarily take a picture of yourself and give it to someone, that's not a crime. If you coerce someone into taking such a picture, that is a crime. State enforcers are confusing the two cases. The real issue is "Parents are responsible for teaching their children to make good decisions." The State acts as a substitute for parents.

This article, via Hacker News, was missing the point. The article was saying "We should study correlation of race and IQ." There are a couple of obvious mistakes. First, the bias of the researcher could lead to biased results. Second, you can't tell the difference between variations due to culture and variations due to genetics. Third, most IQ tests are themselves biased.

This article, via Hacker News, had an interesting bit. The author said "don't ever write 'and/or'".

In the comments section, someone pointed out the deficiency. In common English, "or" typically means "XOR", whereas "and/or" means inclusive OR. For example, "Pay taxes or go to jail!" really means "Pay taxes XOR go to jail!"

This article, via Hacker News, refers to a frequently cited issue. Boxee is a product that allows you to play Internet videos on your TV. Under pressure from content providers, Hulu is requiring Boxee to not support its videos.

This article, via Hacker News, was interesting. "Fake Steve Jobs" published an article in Newsweek saying "It's impossible to make money from blogging." He got 0.5M pageviews one day, when his blog was mentioned in the NY Times. His AdSense earnings were only $100 for the day and $1000 for that month.

I liked the attitude of the author on the Hacker News article. You can make money blogging, if you're helping people solve a problem. My goal from blogging is to start actual agorist businesses. For now, I'm using AdSense to earn money to pay for hosting. AdSense definitely seems like a woefully inadequate way to profit from a blog.

As another example, if I attempt "Promote agorism via standup comedy!", then my blog helps promote my performances.

My blog is valuable to me, because I'm getting feedback on free market economics that is unavailable elsewhere. All my friends, relatives, and coworkers are complete pro-State trolls.

This post on Mark Cuban's blog linked to some interesting videos parodying the "" commercials.

I posted a link to my blog in the comments section referring to my article on the evils of the US financial industry, but Mark Cuban apparently censored the comment. What an ***hole! That shows the problem dealing with "mainstream media" personalities. Of course, it's Mark Cuban's blog and he's free to do as he pleases. I'm offended that he censored me.

I've tried mentioning my blog to mainstream media personalities a few times, when they write on economics and seem somewhat intelligent. They never respond.

This article, via Hacker News, was interesting. It was a list of "Things NY Times writers can't do."

If you look at a "best of web" aggregator sites, mainstream media articles make up a very low percentage.

I wish Hacker News had an "automatically filter out NY Times articles" feature or "only mention them if really good".

This article, via Hacker News, had an interesting point. In 2003, Major League Baseball did an anonymous test of a sample of players for steroids. A-Rod was one of the players tested. The test was supposed to be Anonymous. In accordance with the contract with the players' union, the data was supposed to be Anonymous and the samples immediately destroyed.

The data was not destroyed. The players' names were still on the testing samples. A subpoena forced the lab to disclose the results.

It sounds like A-Rod has a valid negligence claim against the lab and MLB. The test results were supposed to be Anonymous. They were supposed to be destroyed. I'm surprised that there's no talk of A-Rod suing over the negligence.

This article, via Hacker News, mentioned annoying big webforms.

My biggest webform pet peeve is, there's a large form, there's some required field, you miss it, and then you have to fill out the *ENTIRE* form again. The form sometimes deletes the data you entered if there's an error in one field.

Another webform pet peeve is that I can't just type "NY" in the "state" field. I have to type "N", then open the scrollbar to move from "Nebraska" to "New York".

This article on Yahoo Finance had an interesting statistic.

A ratio of gold against the S&P 500 index rose to its highest level since September 1990, and gold/oil ratio was at its loftiest since December 1998, according to Reuters data.

That's interesting. The price of oil, quoted in gold, is the same as in December 1998! I thought that the price of oil rises faster than gold, because oil gets used up but gold does not.

For those of you keeping score at home, gold has trounced the S&P 500 again so far in 2009. When I did my calculation, I included reinvested dividends in the S&P 500, which gives it a slight boost relative to gold. That article was citing the S&P 500 without reinvested dividends, which makes the S&P 500 seem lower than it should be.

This article on the Agitator was interesting. A State medical examiner was tampering with evidence on corpses. Is someone really that big of a pervert?

The second portion of the video, taken the following day, then shows a striking abrasion. That abrasion could only have been inflicted by someone in Hayne’s office. The video also shows that Hayne must have been lying when he testified at trial that he found bite marks on the Oliveaux’s cheek, then called West in to do an analysis. The first portion of the video, taken after Hayne’s initial exam, shows no such bite marks.

The more obvious thing the video shows is Michael West repeatedly jamming, scraping, and pushing a mold of Jimmie Duncan’s teeth into Haley Oliveaux’s body, actions experts to whom I’ve shown the video say amount to criminal evidence tampering. The excerpt posted at Reason is only 30 seconds long. But the full video spans 24 minutes, during which West uses the mold to desecrate Oliveaux’s body at least 50 times.

I can't believe that someone would actually do that! He got a mold of the defendant's teeth, and then used it to mutilate the corpse! Then, he claimed "See! The defendant bit the corpse!"

It might be OJ Simpson-style justice. The defendant may have been framed for a crime he actually committed. I don't know the details of the case. The medical examiner is still guilty of fraud. The medical examiner is protected by sovereign immunity. Even with flagrant evidence of misconduct, he's probably immune from personal liability.

Someone submitted "Real GDP is Decreasing, 1990-2007" to Reddit. That generated a traffic spike. It's almost time for me to make an updated version of that post with 2008 GDP data. Last year, the 2007 GDP data was released sometime in May.

Gold finished the year only up slightly, although there was a spike in the middle of the year. The "gold as GDP deflator" version will probably be nearly flat for 2008, but I haven't seen the official numbers yet. So far in 2009, gold's FRN-denominated price has risen substantially. Alternatively, there has been massive inflation so far in 2009. If you believe "Gold is money!", then "Gold is a fair inflation index!" is a matter of definition.

I normally don't bother promoting my blog on sites like Reddit and Digg, but I notice when other people give a citation.

I once conducted an experiment. One of my posts was cited on Digg, and I published a "Request for Diggs", generating only 1 more. I therefore concluded "regular FSK readers" and "active Digg users" has negligible intersection.

Sites like Digg and Reddit have a problem, when trying to target niche interests. If you assign each article a global score, that does not work for niche interests. For me, "Taxation is theft!" is obvious, but such an article probably won't get much traction on a site like Digg or Reddit. It would probably attract more downvotes than upvotes, leading to the article getting buried.

Google Analytics is always interesting. I'm the #3 search result in Google for "stanford bank fraud", which is a surprisingly small traffic slice. I'm the #7 search result in Google for "psychiatry sucks" (with quotation marks). I'm the #2 search result in Google for "federal reserve sucks" (I was #1 for awhile!).

barry b. has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #80":


Here's a blog post on global warming I found interesting

That didn't have my favorite anti-global-warming chart. It charted "rising global temperatures" and showed that the trend started before fossil fuel burning started.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that global warming is one big scam. Summarizing, the key points are:
  1. Is global warming caused by carbon dioxide pollution, or is it merely part of a longer cyclical trend in the planet's temperature.
  2. How much damage does burning 1 gallon of gasoline actually cause? Is it nonnegligible?
  3. Can the State solve this problem? Even if you can prove "Carbon dioxide emissions cause global warming." and "Global warming is damaging.", I disagree with "The solution is to give the State more power."
Global warming seems like a manufactured crisis, as an excuse to give the State more power. It's the usual "Problem! Reaction! Solution!" paradigm. For example, pro-State trolls say "We need a government, because otherwise greedy business owners would wreck the environment!" By sovereign immunity, the State protects people who pollute.

In this post on Azrael's Free Thought's, he said "FSK's post on GM was awesome!" It's amusing that I can get a bunch of "FSK is awesome!" and "FSK sucks!" comments for the exact same post.

DixieFlatline has left a new comment on your post "Yet Another GM Bailout":

Big Labour like the UAW are anti-competitive statist institutions. The union will not get thrown out. It is and always has been in cahoots with the managers.

Yes. My point was "The union contract could get thrown out in bankruptcy, and the union would be forced to renegotiate a contract that's less favorable for employees." For example, this happened in recent airline bankruptcies. Even though there was a union contract, the employees had to give concessions. The union continued to exist, but workers got the shaft.

I've made this point before. State regulation of unions neuter their effectiveness. Unions are effectively a branch of the State.

It's the shareholders and employees who get the raw end of the deal while the petty tyrants prosper.

The economic system is set up to benefit insiders at the expense of the average person. The average person would be much better off in a true free market system.

Anti-capitalist sentiment is flawed, because it's not the proletariat or the bourgeoisie who are necessarily bad, it is the parasites like George Bush, Nancy Pelosi, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, John McCain, Union leadership, Corporate leadership, some religious institutions etc.

Are you accusing me of being anti-capitalist now? I prefer to debate ideas, rather than labels. The economic and political system labeled "capitalism" is not as a free market system. I'm in favor of real free markets. I'm anti-capitalist to the extent that "capitalism, as usually implemented, is not a real free market system".

heuristic has left a new comment on your post "Yet Another GM Bailout":

Ah, bullshit. Other countries may have far fewer approval requirements and regulations and yet we don't see a profusion of automobile startups. Therefore that isn't the reason.

I don't know what planet you're living on. Outside the USA, it's *MUCH* harder to get a State permit to start a business. For example, in China, to get a business permit, you need to wait years and bribe Communist party members.

I'd say the reason is that it takes a much heavier investment in manufacturing plant and distribution network for big machines liek cars as compared to "weightless" stuff like software.

You are wrong. Small-scale manufacturing techniques are just as efficient as large factories, if not more so. They are not dominant due to State restriction of the market. Large corporations can lobby the State for favors, but small businesses cannot.

Of course, the only way to prove this is to conduct an experiment.

You whine too much, that the state is to blame for every limitation on you starting a business.

If you think I'm a loser who does nothing but whine, then what kind of loser are you for wasting time reading and commenting? You have nothing better to do but comment on blogs written by people with lousy ideas?

Let's be more specific. I want to buy gold and silver, paying a low bid/ask spread, without having my transaction reported to the State. I want a gold/silver warehouse receipt bank, where I can safely store my savings. Why does no such bank exist? It's due to State regulations. Other people have tried such businesses, such as the Liberty Dollar and E-Gold, only to be the victim of State violence.

The reason such a business doesn't exist is not "There's no demand for it". The reason is that people who start such businesses wind up the victim of State violence. When 99.9%+ of the people comply, then the bad guys can afford to spend lots of money tracking down freedom seekers.

fritz has left a new comment on your post "Yet Another GM Bailout":

If left alone to the free market. All this stuff would regulate its self. The business that were substandard and less than productive, would be driven out by more productive businesses. There would always be regular cycles of booms and busts, But they would be less severe.

When are most people going to wake up and see that capitalism is no free market. Just let these auto makers crash and burn, No one is buying new cars these days anyway. And maybe a true quality car company will arise from the ashes.

There will be no quality car manufacturers until there's an advanced agorist car manufacturing business.

One way to get started as an agorist car manufacturer is to buy old cars and overhaul them.

Please dont lock me up for saying this. But I have this feeling that all this bail out money is just a ploy from foreign banks.To suck the capital out of our country, and put us in line with a one world order. Have you noticed lately that nationalism is almost dead.

It's silly to make a distinction between "Insiders who control the US financial industry." and "Insiders who control foreign banks." It's like debating distinctions between Democrats and Republicans.

barry b. has left a new comment on your post "Yet Another GM Bailout":


On Ron Paul's number of votes in Republican Primary:

Second paragraph.

I see. A little more than 1M votes for Ron Paul in 2008. That's encouraging. That means that the potential market for agorism and my blog is at least 1M people.

Also, I think you are absolutely right about legislation being used as a means to eliminate competition. Thats exactly correct. For example, in Mississippi (or all states perhaps), it is legal to cut hair without a license. However, if you are going to be paid for cutting hair, then you are required by state law to attend 'cosmetology school' which costs money, and last about a year I think. WTF you say? Oh yeah, cutting hair for profit involves public safety issues like the spreading of lice... hmmm... also, this gives the state a reason to create a new bureacracy to patrol barber shops.

This law keeps a small start up individual from making money by cutting hair. Back in the 60's my grandfather cut hair for money. The local barber reported him to the State and he got a letter mentioning fines and jail time I believe.

This is an important point. If you need a State license to do X, and you do X without a license, then the person *MOST* likely to complain to the State is someone who has a license for X. I read a story about an unlicensed dentist. One of his patients told another dentist, and that dentist filed a complaint against him. This is a problem for agorist businessmen, when it's a State licensed industry. You have to be *VERY CAREFUL* who your customers are.

For example, if I create a gold/silver/FRN barter network, then a State licensed gold/silver dealer would be the one to file a complaint against me.

In Louisiana you have to have a license to open a floral shop. You see, by providing a needle for a crosage to be penned on... there is a possibility of someone getting poked with the needle and so this is a... wait for it... public health/safety issue. So you have to go to floral school in order to get a license to peddle these dangerous flower arrangements.

And guess who sits on the state board which accepts applications for the floral school... wait for it... established florists.

Pretty much every industry now requires a State license. In Texas, you need a Private Investigator (PI) license to do computer repair!

That's one frequent lament of software engineers. There's no State licensing requirements. That's one reason that software is a good career for someone talented.

Some mainstream media executives have tried lobbying for State licensing requirements for bloggers! Luckily, that never passed. In that sense, I'm fortunate to be in the USA. In China (or even the EU?), maybe writing a blog like this would be a crime.

Now if it's this goddamn hard to cut hair and sell flowers... then imagine how difficult it is to ANYTHING WHERE BIG MONEY IS CONCERNED.

Yes. If the State is that evil in "petty" situations like barbers and florists, then imagine how evil the State is when *REAL* money/wealth is at stake.

These laws are put into place by the lobbying of ESTABLISHED businesses/companies in order to ELIMINATE competition. It doesn't take a genius to figure this out.

Business folks love the free market? Not really. If they can use the power of the law to discriminate against the little guy they will, and they always do.

That is why the State encourages consolidation of industry. Big businesses can always profitably lobby for favors.

As another example, consider the problem in NYC (and other cities) of State licensing requirements for taxis. A NYC medallion license is worth $1M+. There is occasionally talk of allowing more medallions, but the current medallion owners can always profitably lobby to block the law. As a result, it's almost impossible to get a taxi except in downtown Manhattan.

One thing I've learned from blogging is "importance of a subject" is directly proportional to "amount of hate mail I receive".

tjc has left a new comment on your post "Relativity Fnord":

There is a general misunderstanding in the education system that you should learn ideas in the order that they were discovered.

That's a good point. For example, when studying history, should you study chronologically, or by topic? For example, studying "ways the banksters ****ed over America" is an interesting approach to history.

This leads to perfectly understandable phenomena to seem like magic to a lay person of the university system. These incomprehensible ideas are used as a filter to exclude anyone that doesn't think in the same manner as the instructor, while those that do are shown the shortcuts that make the symbology used understandable. It is a manner of control to powerful ideas.

Some people say that one of the main functions of the PhD process and academic career track is to weed out all the truly independent thinkers. When I dropped out of Math grad school, one former professor lamented "All the good people are the ones who drop out of the academic career track!"

One thing that was very frustrating studying Math in grad school was that the classes were cumulative. If you didn't understand lecture #3, you were usually SOL for understanding anything for the rest of the semester. I joked that I should only bother attending class the first week, and then give up until the start of next semester.

In this case specifically, don't try to understand special relativity before you understand general relativity. Special relativity is only a limited application of the idea that light is not instantaneous and that items are separated by the speed of information as well as time and distance. This results in independent frames of reference, not the other way around.

I don't understand general relativity, because I don't understand differentiable manifolds. I've studied some of the math that allegedly underlies general relativity, and it's *REALLY HARD*. It would take 5+ years to understand that much Math and another 5+ years to understand that much physics.

My main point is "How do you know there isn't some subtle flaw in relativity that hasn't been discovered yet?" Most physics research is now "big physics". I.e., build a $1B+ particle accelerator. Zero point energy technology (if it exists) is relatively low-tech and inexpensive.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Relativity Fnord":

Sometimes, I wonder why I bother fighting so hard for the little guy. Whats the point if they are too stupid to listen? Say that reminds me.

[Long comment deleted by FSK here. Check original post for details.]

I have no idea what point you're making. I saw the exact same comment published on several blogs (according to Google), but it was on-topic so I didn't delete it. The author of that comment sounds like he's a mainstream media personality. It probably was written by someone else and quoted by that commenter.

If you're complaining "People don't know the current system is hopelessly broken!", this is the wrong place to be making that complaint.

If you're going to write a big comment, my advice is to get your own blog and publish a link.

Kiba has left a new comment on your post "Relativity Fnord":

It is not some big elaborate lie. Humans are too stupid to cover it up.

Statists are too dumb to run a profitable business enterprise, so why do you expect them to mastermind such an elaborate scheme.

Maybe the alien overseers are the ones who quashed Zero Point Energy technology, realizing that humans must not be allowed to have it until they're more advanced?

Is it possible that mainstream physics is one elaborate lie? Consider another area of "science".

According to pro-State troll science, the "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is valid. Based on my personal experience, it's one big mistake/fraud.

Mainstream science is completely wrong in the area of psychiatry. It's a massive fraud that continues because many people profit from it. Given that, why is it unreasonable to believe "Maybe mainstream physics is one big fraud?" I'm not saying I'm absolutely certain. I'm just putting it out there as a possibility.

How many people know "The 'chemical imbalance' theory of mental illness is one big mistake/fraud!"? Similarly, how many people know "It might be possible to build a Zero Point Energy generator."?

There are a lot of people who profit quashing Zero Point Energy technology. Everyone currently employed as a mainstream physicist doesn't want to lose their gravy train by admitting they ****ed up. There is a *LOT* of money in the oil/energy industry, more than in the psychiatry industry. There is more financial incentive for the bad guys to cover up Zero Point Energy technology, than there is financial incentive for the bad guys to promote anti-psychotic drugs as medicine.

I'm not saying I'm absolutely certain of "It's possible to build a Zero Point Energy technology." Based on my fnord-reading ability, my conclusions are "It might be possible." If I had spare resources, I'd hire some agorist scientists to conduct research for me.

fritz has left a new comment on your post "Relativity Fnord":

Holy crap,,My eyes are burning. Anonymous needs a little zen,and maybe a hug.

The above Anonymous comment was posted on several blogs. I checked via Google. It was on-topic, so I didn't delete it as spam.

He is a prime example of the special + general theories of relativity. (Relative) to his comments I would (generaly) say he is (special) ED ..

The system is broken,and cannot be fixed. The sooner the collapse the better. Embrace the fall so we can move into free market society.

Anonymous comments are nothing more than a fnord its self. The fnord is...The current system can be fixed, we all just have to wake up,and encourage the 1% club to be part of the solution instead of the problem.
A lot of pro-State trolls have a harsh negative reaction when I say "A true free market system is better." I don't consider pro-State trolls as part of my target audience. Idiots are irrelevant. However, there is the problem that State enforcers could use violence to silence me or harass/kidnap/kill me for attempting practical agorism.

Nothing doing,embrace the collapse than practice agorism as a means of exchange.

Think about it,Even after the collapse people will still get up in the morning and do some job. Some one would make their coffee and breakfast and life will go on.
Free market and no government is our only hope...
Real free markets is the only solution. The problem is "How to get there starting from the current mess."

robert30062 has left a new comment on your post "Relativity Fnord":

I'm with you on anonymous Fritz. Gee whiz! haha. My paranoid side makes me wonder if this is not a "bad example" fnord. Meaning a guy who comes to our site and says some real things to impersonate an agorist but truly means to mislead through misdirection (Dr. Phil, are you kidding me?) and going on a rant. The repetition smells of pro-state trollery. This guy could just need a hug as you say Fritz but, looking at the sheer volume of the post leads me to believe that it's a 'bad information' bomb.

That big Anonymous comment was posted on several blogs. (Check for yourself via Google, if you're interested.) I seriously considered vetoing it as spam, but I decided to allow it.

If you're going to write a big comment, you're better off getting your own blog and publishing a link.

If that Anonymous commenter has something interesting to write about, he may try again.

I looked around on the AdSense forum. A lot of people are complaining "WTF? My eCPM rates have crashed!" Due to the recession/depression, advertising budgets have also been slashed.

Compared to January, I have more traffic, but a lower eCPM and lower earnings. I'm still earning the $20 I need to cover hosting costs.

Bo Anderson has left a new comment on your post "Your Strawman Corporation":

There is supposed to be a form you can fill out to separate yourself from your strawman, and THEN you can toss the DL and your documents. But you HAVE to make an Affidavit (Security Agreement) that states your Strawman is NOT you, and you are entitled to all the property under his name, and all the debts/monetary gain of him as well.

And I know (In the Republic of Texas this is a big thing) that you can send bills to your strawman corp. account and the treasury will pay for it. Thats another story, though.

I don't believe that. "There's some magic paperwork you can file with the State to recover your personal freedom." Real freedom isn't that easy. If it were possible, then everyone would do it. If it were possible, then the bad guys would quickly find a way to close the legal loophole.

Similarly, some people claim that there's magic paperwork you can file to get full allodial title to your property and an exemption from property taxes. I don't believe that. If it were true, then everybody would be doing it. If there were such a loophole, then the bad guys would rapidly close it.

Real freedom is achievable. Real freedom is more effort than "file magic paperwork with the State".

People who focus on these "Strawman corporation" arguments are missing the real point. Taxation is theft! The actual legal technicalities are irrelevant. You can't fight the bad guys using the legal system. The legal system was set up by the bad guys to benefit themselves!

Xavin has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #81":

It's important for women to have jobs so that they can escape from abusive relationships. If a husband/father is abusive and the woman cannot financially support herself, then she cannot realistically get away.

There are other free market ways to handle this.
  1. Marriage is a term contract and not a lifetime contract. Then, if your partner is abusive, you can get out.
  2. In the event of a divorce, the man agrees to pay a certain predetermined amount towards raising children and paying the woman's living expenses.
  3. Women have a responsibility to make sure they pick a partner who isn't a ****. Similarly, men have an obligation to pick a good partner. The man isn't always the abuser!
In the present, the State places artificially high transaction costs when you want to break up a marriage. Some rules are silly. Suppose I am married and my partner racks up $200k in debt. I am SOL. I am legally responsible for that debt, even if I get a divorce.

In other cases, the State forces a husband to pay child support costs. Under those conditions, there is less incentive for the woman to choose her partner wisely. She can always get a divorce and force the husband to pay support, or collect welfare.

Of course, this doesn't invalidate your point about the benefits of having a stay-at-home partner (of either gender).

That was my main point. Taking into account taxes and hidden costs, there isn't much benefit to having both parents work.

Ideally, I would like to have an agorist work-at-home business, so I could homeschool. If I give my child 5 minutes of personal attention per hour, that's more than he would get in a State brainwashing center.

Stated a different way, if women cannot get a job and live independently of men (husbands or fathers), then men have no incentive to treat women well. A wife having a career means that she can tell her husband to fuck off if he behaves badly.

In the present, there are artificial costs imposed on a woman who chooses to stay at home. Due to a non-free market, women who stay at home and reenter the workforce are discriminated against.

The best solution is to be an agorist. This way, you can have a part-time business while taking care of your children.

The idea of a career is an illusion. For example, my "career" as a wage slave software engineer has been a disappointment. I should try something else.

The more I think about it, the more I think "Sending your children to a State brainwashing center (school) is immoral!" If I properly educate my children about free market ideas, then they may not fit in well at school.

robert30062 has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #81":

I understand and agree with your point. However, there is a false opposite fnord in your response to what I said about the scam aspect of the "Women's Rights" movement. Of course it's a good thing for women to be able to work and earn money/freedom. But true "Women's Liberation" comes from choice! Women should be able to freely choose if they wish to work or not as opposed to being forced by economic necessity and/or social pressure. Also, if a woman chooses to work, then the gains should exceed the losses involved if she is a parent. Fsk addressed that part in detail. Thank you for posting though, if you're not a troll then you are in a good place here!

In the present, there is substantial economic pressure forcing women to work. The practical results of "Women in the wage slave world!" is that salaries have been cut, and services that used to be performed "for free (untaxed)" by stay-at-home moms are now performed in the wage slave economy and taxed.

A child care center or school is going to provide inferior care compared to the mother.

Another important point is "If you look at *ALL* direct and hidden taxes, it probably doesn't pay for both parents to work." The working mother pays a marginal taxation rate of 50% on her income. Plus, you pay for child care costs. You pay for all the things the working mother would otherwise do "for free".

Ideally, you should have an on-the-books or agorist business where you can work from home while watching your kid.

Another problem is State restriction of the market, which makes alternative schooling arrangements illegal or impractical.

Another problem is the State monopoly for enforcing marriage contracts.

fritz has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - Fetching Old Items on an RSS Feed?":

Good luck....I consider myself lucky just to figure out how to operate my new vista windows..But I'm sure that if anyone can pull it off its you..

I figured out:
  1. RSS is only supposed to have current information. There's no part of the official specification for grabbing older content.
  2. Google Reader has a cache of old posts, available via the unofficial Google Reader API. Google only has this information because they've been caching it.
  3. For a Blogger-hosted or WordPress-hosted blog, there are options to get older data in the RSS feed, via query parameters when fetching the feed.
  4. For other RSS engines, I'll try to figure out how to do it, or use the unofficial Google Reader API.
I'm getting really interested in the "Write my own RSS reader!" project.

By E-Mail someone asks:

What is the best type of gold to hold for investing? I am trying to figure out what is important. I was hoping you might be able to give me some insight. Please help me.

I don't value nusimatics. I would just buy the cheapest price per ounce.

I would go with gold rounds and bars. (

If you want purchases smaller than an ounce of gold, you might as well buy silver instead (

I would just buy generic rounds or bars, and not pay a premium for "collectible" coins. Your goal should be to pay as little more than spot as possible.

I haven't made any gold purchases for my personal account yet. It's on my "list of things to do". My parents forbid me from investing in gold and silver while I live with them, so I'm going to have to wait a year or two for that. I'm thinking of moving my IRA investments to GLD and SLV.

On my advice, my father bought some GLD. He "complained" that "My IRA is all invested in GLD now! It's gone up while everything else has crashed!" He also bought some "safe" banking stocks, based on my advice. My attitude now is "**** the stock market!"

Kiba has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #79": forum is now full of anarcho-capitalists like you.

You can come back now.

I'll probably come back someday. I checked by briefly, and there still seems to be a pro-State trolling problem.

I should write my own forum engine. actually was a decent venue for "Promote my blog!" Right now, I'm focusing more on "Write good posts!" than "Actively promote my blog!"

Via Google search, I noticed this thread on a theology forum where someone cited my blog. The person who cited my blog said "FSK complains about 'Taxation is theft!'" too much. I don't mention it that often. "Taxation is theft!" is a *VERY* important idea that is censored from mainstream media political/economic discussions.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

FSK Asks - Domain Name Registrar?

I'm leaning towards choosing Linode as my hosting vendor. Other sources bundle domain registration with hosting, but Linode does not.

Who do you recommend I choose as a domain registrar? They're pretty much all the same, aren't they? I just want a vendor who won't **** me over.

Web Hosting Search Summary

I've been looking into purchasing webhosting. I'm finally processing all the responses to my previous request for hosting recommendations.

One thing I'm obviously wary of is sites that offer "unlimited disk space" or "unlimited bandwidth". Such an offer is obviously false, and the true limits are usually buried in the fine print of the Terms of Service. I'd much rather see reasonable limits, than "unlimited" usage.

Another good way to evaluate a potential hosting vendor is "Does their website suck?" The more information the website has, the more likely the vendor to be useful.

Another point to emphasize is that I'm a computer programmer. I'm looking for more than just a plain vanilla hosted WordPress account. I want to write my own programs and put them on my site.

Before I asked here, I'd done my own homework, and was leaning toward I decided against using them. The problem is that I only get 1GB storage on the basic package ($10/month), and 2GB on the next tier ($25/month). My blog easily fits in that space. I backup my blog on my PC's HD, and it's only 2MB per month. However, if I write a forum engine or RSS reader, and get 100-200+ users, then I'll be hitting the limit. provided good customer service when I asked them questions. However, there was no option for me to purchase extra disk space. Further, I don't get SSH or root access on my server slice.

Someone mentioned Linode. That seems to be the most promising candidate so far. Linode gives me 12GB of disk space, which is much better than You can purchase additional HD space, but it's $2/GB/month, so I'd be better off moving up to the next tier plan. 12GB is 12x more than, for only 2x the price. I'm planning to have my own forum engine, which could potentially require a lot of space if I get lots of users.

I'm expecting that my site will be HD-bound, rather than bandwidth-bound or CPU-bound. I'm not serving videos, just plaintext, so my site should be fine bandwidth-wise. I'm not using much CPU, although my forum engine might have some calculations cached and batched, for the "match readers' interests" bit. If I allow user-generated content, that can use up a lot of disk space quickly, if I get a decent number of users.

I also realized that, if I want to write my own RSS reader, I have to cache all the data on my server. RSS feeds only contain the 20-30 latest posts. If you parse out the RSS feed on the fly, it takes too long. Plus, you have to cache older data.

One good way to check the reliability for a vendor is to ask them questions before making a purchase. When I was shopping around for a discount broker, I called E*Trade, but got an automated customer support number. I decided "If E*Trade isn't going to have a potential new customer speak to a representative, then I'm not going to bother buying from them."

Also, Linode had an active discussion forum where you can post questions.

Linode is completely unbundled service. I get a login, but no other support. I have to install and configure LAMP and WordPress myself. I can handle that. Whenever I've needed a Apache, mySQL, or PHP question answered, Google always gave me a good answer. (Contrast that to my experience with Rails, where getting a simple answer was hard.)

One nice bit about Linode is that there's no long-term service contract. I can buy monthly, and then terminate/move if they suck. You get a discount for making a 1 or 2 year commitment. I see no reason to do that, especially considering Moore's law. The hosting I can buy 1.5-2 years from now should be 2x as good as what's available now, for the same inflation-adjusted price. Linode also offers plenty of higher-tier packages, so I can grow my site without being forced to move.

I also looked into Slicehost. Like Linode, Slicehost also had a good forum and online help. Slicehost just got bought out by RackSpace, a larger corporation. That could be a bad sign. Customer service tends to deteriorate, when acquired by a large corporation. The offerings of Linode and Slicehost were pretty close. I'm learning towards Linode.

This thread on Hacker News had a comparison of Linode vs. Slicehost. It seems that both options are "good enough". There were some concerns about "Slicehost got bought out by RackSpace. RackSpace may **** things up." Neither Slicehost nor Linode have any offerings for less than $20/month.

There was one interesting bit on Linode. I found this thread via Google. In accordance with Moore's Law, Linode has been increasing the size of their packages as costs go down. That's a good sign.

Briefly googling, Linode had good feedback from customers, as did Slicehost. Both Linode and Slicehost also had a good customer support forum.

Both Linode and Slicehost cost $20/month. The good news is that it appears I'm making at least $20/month via AdSense, so I can afford it. It's hard to tell, because I've had a *STEEP* dropoff in AdSense revenue lately. I've had more traffic, but less revenue!

One thing I've learned is "Buying cheapest isn't always the best!" I'm willing to go with $20/month, rather than paying less and getting lousy customer service or a lousy product.

"Shared hosting" should be good enough for my site for now. I doubt I'd get enough traffic to justify getting a dedicated server (or it'll take awhile to get that much traffic). I'll worry about that problem when it happens.

Since I'm a computer programmer, I'm better off choosing the option that gives me full root access to my Linux slice. This way, I have maximum flexibility. For example, version 1.0 of my custom forum engine will be in PHP. If I get lots of users, and performance is an issue, I may redo some bits in C/C++.

Matt has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - Good Web Hosting?":

Several of my friends and I use Linode. The basic $20/month plan should be enough to serve your needs.

Linode looks like my #1 choice for now. $20/month is higher than "cheapo" competitors. I see the advantage of getting full root access on my Linux slice, especially if I want to write my own code. This way, I control the full configuration of PHP and Apache.

Have you looked at Slicehost? They appear to be nearly comparable to Linode.

DixieFlatline has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - Good Web Hosting?":

Oh geez. Get a Text Link Ads Account, and use that to make money directly into a PayPal account your parents will never know about.

I wound up deciding to use AdSense. (We had this debate already, but this comment was posted before I made my decision to put up AdSense.) The good news is that it looks like I'll make $20/month via AdSense. The bad news is that AdSense seems woefully inadequate as an advertising engine.
  • I'm only getting $0.002 to $0.003 per pageview in February. In other words, my page eCPM is only $2-$3.
  • I'm dependent on "users clicking on ads" to get paid. I suspect my regular readers are much less likely to click on an ad than a typical Internet user.
  • AdSense doesn't work on pages with dynamic content or user-generated content. If/when I write an RSS reader or forum/digg/reddit/wiki engine, I'll have to rely on other means of advertising.
I heard that online advertising rates are down 50%+ everywhere. The crash in my eCPM from January to February might be due to the recession/depression, rather than other factors.

I'll stick with AdSense until I get my own domain. I'm also looking into other ways to profit from my blog than advertising, such as starting actual agorist businesses. One "easy" agorist business to start is a gold/silver/FRN barter network.

AdSense is "good enough", but suboptimal. I'm on pace to go over $100 sometime in March, which means my first AdSense check will arrive in May. All I want from AdSense is "cover my hosting costs", which looks doable.


As far as configuring LAMP, you won't get root access for $10 a month unless you are willing to use a VPS without a control panel. You'd need to be very competent with *nix.

I can handle Linux administration. I decided to go with one of the higher-tier packages, since I do plan on writing my own code for my site.

For what you do, go to A Small Orange


You can get an account for $5 a month that will probably cover your needs now.

I decided to go with one of the more "industrial strength" packages. I should be a host that's "developer-friendly", since I plan on writing my own code.

A word of advice, don't spend money unless you have a revenue stream. Install TLA on your Blogger blog for now, You should be able to easily bring in enough to pay for $10 or $20 a month hosting within 4~8 weeks.

I'm making about $20/month so far with AdSense. It's hard to tell. My traffic is increasing, but my page eCPM is decreasing!

Another annoying bit is that, with AdSense, I don't get paid until my earnings reach $100, and then I have to wait another 1.5 months to get the check. Based on current trends, I'll go over $100 AdSense revenue in March, and I'll get my first AdSense check in May (and by then, I'll probably have earned another $100!). The good news is that, by waiting a few months, I'll have a good idea of what my AdSense revenue should be.

I can afford the $20/month expense for hosting. The only reason I haven't just done it is that my parents control my finances and veto any purchases I make. I got my parents to agree "FSK may use the proceeds of advertising to pay for his own domain and hosting!" Besides, waiting a few months gives me some time to experiment with LAMP/WAMP and start writing some code. I'd like to have my RSS reader and forum engine ready for beta testing when my site goes live.

As an unemployed loser, I have nothing better to do but work on my blog and work on writing some code to put on my site!

Hopefully, in a year or two I'll get my own apartment again. I'd probably need a wage slave job or a profitable web-based business to justify doing it.

What sort of page eCPM do you think I could get from text-link-ads? One nice thing about AdSense is that it gives me a baseline to compare.

barry b. has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - Good Web Hosting?":

Hey FSK,

Glad to see your coming around... I pay 5.95 a month and get plenty of extras from I'm sure there's plenty out there that offer the same. I use wordpress but it may not be any better than drupal or the others...

Linode seems better for me. Remember that I'm a software engineer, so I'm looking for more than a simple WordPress hosting.

I heard some people saying "Use Drupal to host your blog instead of WordPress." WordPress seems "good enough" (and way better than Blogger). Besides, I see lots of job advertisements asking for Drupal experience, posted by stupid people, which makes me think "Drupal must suck!" Writing a WordPress plugin seems easy enough. In WordPress, you can easily mix PHP code in with your layout, which is very nice and flexible.

This blogger shit sucks.. at least in my opinion. I hope you'll create a site which will lead America to complete and utter chaos.. at least that's what I'm hoping for. And you know what.. washington D.C. is doing the dirty work for us.. well them and the media. The media of course being nothing more than a full time propaganda machine. Along with our public schools.. etc, etc..
The more I research WordPress, the more I realize how lame Blogger is. The more I research writing my own PHP RSS reader, the more I realize how lame Google Reader is. It appears that all the hard work of "Write an RSS reader!" is "Write an XML parser!"

Actually, my goal is "Lead America to order!" A State is chaos; a real free market is order.

That's one thing that's always on my mind. "How much personal risk am I taking with practical agorism?" and "How to promote agorism and show a profit at the same time!?" It appears that "promote agorism" takes precedence over "practical agorism" for now. The good news is that "promote agorism" is 100% legal in the USA, due to strong "freedom of speech" protections. If I attempt practical agorism, I'm taking personal risk.

If I never attempt practical agorism, then I'm a hypocrite. A gold/silver/FRN barter network seems like a low-risk starting point. As mentioned elsewhere, if I operate a gold/silver/FRN barter network, the person *MOST* likely to complain to the State is someone with a State-licensed gold or silver business!

gilliganscorner has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - Good Web Hosting?":

It's Canadian. You get a discount as long as your dollsr is stronger than ours.

Nice Admin UI at: h--p://

Username/passwd: demo/admin

Have a look, let me know what you think.

I'm going to stick with US-based vendors. Most of my users are in the USA, and they'll have slightly faster page load times if my servers are in the USA.

Also, that vendor seemed to be in the "too good to be true" category. They can't possibly be seriously offering that much disk space and that much bandwidth.

John Petrie has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - Good Web Hosting?": and (Not; that's like is the FOSS blagging software that you upload to your new domain yourself. You probably know that.)

Perhaps my blagmate Kel could tell you more about the features you want since he is also a computer programmer. But one thing I remember him being excited about was that Hostmonster gives us the ability to do cron jobs, which wasn't offered by his previous host and other hosts we looked into. We pay like $6 or $7 a month for more space than we'll ever use.

I decided that I wanted to go with a higher tier of hosting than I want my own PHP programs, and not merely WordPress.

Any vendor that says "unlimited disk space" or "unlimited bandwidth" is obviously lying. Either their service sucks, because everyone is maxing it out, or there's some predetermined point where they cut you off.

I'm willing to go with the next higher tier of service like Linode.

Dirkson has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - Good Web Hosting?":

Hey! I'm root for the webserver of a small company, and we could likely get you an account for $25(us) a month or so. I can set you up with a shell account, a decent webpanel, and I'm very flexible about installing things for you. We're more expensive than a generic shared host, but you generally can't email the sysadmin and ask him to install X program on the server for you on one of those.

Drop me a line at jeffreystewart [atsign] if you're interested.

Also, that idea for adsense is a very good one - It's easy to set up, and while Google /is/ sort of semi-evil about it, they do generally pay you /most/ of what they owe you. An extra hundred (They only pay when your account hits $100us) in a private account every now and again isn't a bad return from a hobby.


I'm going with a US-based provider like Linode. Also, your offering wasn't as good as Linode for the same price.

My goal for AdSense is "earn enough to pay for hosting". I probably should branch out from blogging into other things, if I want a full-time source of income other than a wage slave job.

Josh has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - Good Web Hosting?":

You want a host?

I'll help you. I run a host that's starting at $55 a year. LAMP, cPanel, wordpress ..etc.

And no, I didn't just come here to advertise, I am a libertarian/agorist/Ron Paul supporter. And I love the way you defended Hunt brothers, and explained the best way to argue against taxation.

I'll answer any questions you have, even adjust my packages if necessary. My e-mail is on my site and I've done this for over 5 years.

If I have a problem with TOS violations from other vendors (or the State harasses me), then I may switch. Until then, I'm probably better off sticking with one of the more professional hosting vendors.

If you compare your webpage with that of Linode or Slicehost, they're obviously a more serious operation.

It's a nice offer, though.

Josh has left a new comment on your post "Is Selling Advertising on Your Blog Immoral?":

Hosting your own site does NOT cost $10 a month (while I would love to charge you that much).

Ads on your site is NOT immoral. Nothing on your own site is immoral as you are neither harming a person, nor do you owe any reader an ad-free space. As long as you don't engage in piracy, defamation...etc.

I can have you hosted for $55 a year domain name included. (feel free to talk me down if you insist)

E-mail me if you got any questions, I'm here to help.

I'm leaning towards Linode as my #1 choice, Slicehost as my #2 choice.

I'm willing to pay slightly more for higher quality.

LovinItAll has left a new comment on your post "Is Selling Advertising on Your Blog Immoral?":


Just found your blog and your writing is compelling and interesting to read. I have a dedicated server (not a vDed) with SingleHop, and you are more than welcome to host on my server for $0 (that's zero dollars, as in free). I have plenty of drive space, sync. 100mbps dedicated port, etc. You would have cPanel as your control panel.

If your interested, shoot me an email. Always happy to help people that are delivering messages people should ponder.

Best ~ RLR

I decided to go with paid hosting, probably from Linode. (I haven't bought it yet. I'm waiting for my first AdSense check to arrive.)

Seth from Bureaucrash also offered me free hosting on his site. I'm better off going with professional hosting (It's only $20/month anyway!). If I accept free hosting, and there's a problem, I'm SOL. If I buy hosting, and there's a problem, I can call them and say "WTF?", expecting a resolution since I'm paying for it.

The only serious problem I can think of via hosting is if they claim I'm violating their TOS, because I'm writing about free market economics. I haven't had a problem with AdSense or Blogger. It probably would only be an issue if some State enforcer complained about my site.

Summarizing my conclusions, I've decided to go with one of the higher-tier services. I'm leaning towards Linode as my #1 choice. Slicehost was a close #2 choice.

I want to put up my own code, and not just have my own WordPress blog, which rules out most of the less-expensive offerings. There's one thing I've learned, which is "You get what you pay for." and "Going with the cheapest option usually isn't best."

I can handle doing my own Linux administration. (I've never been root before! There's something erotic about logging into a UNIX/Linux environment as "root", after all those years as an ordinary user.) I wonder if I should put my site on my resume? I'll have "Linux administration experience", and most PHP jobs ask for a demo of a site you've worked on.

I appreciate the offers to donate hosting. I'm considering setting up a method for people to make donations directly. The problem with that is any transaction must be reported to the State and taxed. If you write me a check for $10 (or pay via PayPal), then the transaction is reported to the State and I must pay taxes on it.

For now, AdSense appears to be raising $20/month, which is enough to pay for Linode. The only reason I haven't already bought hosting is that my parents veto my spending habits. If my parents didn't control my finances, I would have just directly spent the $20 already. Anyway, I want to experiment with some LAMP/WAMP development first. I'd like to have some stuff to put on my new site than merely a WordPress blog.

Since I plan to do more than just a WordPress blog, it pays for me to go with a higher tier of service. Linode is the favorite, over all the suggestions I've seen.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Myth of Bank Nationalization

There's been a lot of talk lately about "OMFG!! The banking crisis is really bad! It might be necessary to nationalize insolvent banks!"

It's over 100 years too late to talk about nationalizing the banking system. When the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, that was the functional equivalent of nationalizing the banking system.

Even before 1913, the banking industry was heavily regulated. There are sounder banking methods than fractional reserve banking. "Austrian Economics"-style time deposit banking and warehouse receipt banking are both superior to fractional reserve banking. Even before 1913, those methods were regulated, making them illegal/impractical. State regulation of banking forced banks to operate using unsound fractional reserve principles.

During the Civil War (1861-1865), many laws were passed that effectively nationalized the banking system. These regulations benefited the owners of large banks and other insiders.

Under a gold standard, a fractional reserve bank is technically insolvent at any given instant. Suppose there are 10,000 ounces of demand deposits and 9,000 ounces of loans. The bank has 1000 ounces of reserves. If all customers simultaneously demand withdrawal, then the bank is insolvent.

State regulation required all banks to operate under corrupt fractional reserve principles. At any time, a large bank could force a smaller bank into bankruptcy, merely by publishing a rumor of their insolvency. Large banks frequently kept deposits at smaller banks. They could bankrupt a smaller bank at any time by withdrawing their deposit and then publishing a rumor of insolvency.

With fiat money, you don't have the same problem. Suppose everyone in the USA went to their bank and withdrew their money. What would happen? The Federal Reserve would merely print enough new Federal Reserve Notes to redeem all balances. The fiat monetary system would only be threatened if people started boycotting the Federal Reserve and using real money (gold or silver) instead. As long as you use Federal Reserve Notes as money, the State and financial industry may still steal from you via inflation. State regulations make it illegal/impractical to use gold and silver as money.

The Supreme Court legalized limited liability incorporation in the late nineteenth century. Without limited liability incorporation, there's a natural limit to abuse by fractional reserve bankers. The bank is technically insolvent, *BUT* owners and management are personally liable for any shortfall. Most bankers owned property other than the bank itself. They would be forced to sell their personal property to cover any losses by the bank. This placed a natural limit on dishonest behavior by bank management.

Once limited liability incorporation was legalized, bank management always has a free put option to declare bankruptcy and cheat depositors/creditors. Limited liability incorporation encourages dishonest behavior and aggressive accounting by nearly insolvent banks.

There were "severe banking crises" in the late 19th and early 20th, that were used to justify creating the Federal Reserve. These crises were facilitated by limited liability incorporation and State regulation of the banking industry.

Under a gold standard with no central bank, interest rates are determined by the free market. If someone borrows 10,000 ounces of gold, then interest rates will rise. If someone deposits 10,000 ounces of gold in a bank, then interest rates will fall. Interest rates should be nearly the same everywhere, because otherwise someone would borrow in one area, lend in another area, and physically ship gold. There usually wasn't free shipment of gold between countries. If there were free shipment of gold between countries, then interest rates should be nearly the same everywhere in the world. With an international gold standard, there are no excess unearned profits for currency speculators. With an international gold standard, a natural price arbitrage process guarantees "imports equals exports" over time. In the present, fiat money provides huge profits for speculators, with the cost paid by everyone else as inflation.

When someone borrows money, this is a price signal that interest rates should rise. When someone saves money, this is a price signal that interest rates should fall. There's a natural free market equilibrium. At the free market interest rate, capital is allocated most effectively.

A central bank is a price fixing cartel. Instead of letting the free market set interest rates, the central bank cartel fixes interest rates at a specific level. With an unlimited budget, the central bank may set interest rates at any arbitrary level. For example, the Fed Funds Rate is currently 0%-0.25%, while inflation is 20%-30% or more. The Federal Reserve has an unlimited budget. The cost of the Federal Reserve's open market operations are paid by everyone else as money supply inflation. The proceeds of inflation go to State insiders and financial industry insiders.

Negative real interest rates make it more attractive to finance a business via borrowing, rather than via reinvested profits. It's hard to grow a business via reinvested profits, because your savings are stolen by inflation.

In order to understand the evil of fiat debt-based money, you must understand the Compound Interest Paradox. Fiat debt-based money is more evil that mere constant uniform inflation. Due to the Compound Interest Paradox, banks *MUST* be bailed out out during a recession/depression. Otherwise the monetary system would collapse in hyperdeflation as banks stop issuing loans. Due to the Compound Interest Paradox, banks *MUST* keep issuing new loans to keep the scam going.

The central bank credit monopoly almost always sets interests rates far below the true inflation rate. If they didn't, then the monetary unit would collapse in hyperdeflation as no new loans are issued. This means that real interest rates are negative. However, only insiders may borrow at the State-subsidized rates. If an individual tries to start a business with reinvested savings, then they get ripped off by inflation; their profits are used to subsidize their larger corporate competitors. The central bank credit monopoly gives a handful of financial industry insiders tremendous power. They can ensure a business succeeds merely by loaning it more and more money. Negative real interest rates guarantee that these loans should be eventually repaid, as long as they keep being refinanced.

The central bank credit monopoly effectively nationalizes the ability to finance new businesses. That power is concentrated in a handful of financial industry insiders. If I want to borrow at the Fed Funds Rate, I cannot. I must go through the middleman of a bank, and I must pay a higher interest rate or I can borrow at all. Financial industry insiders may borrow at the Fed Funds Rate, buy tangible assets, and then profit from inflation over time.

It is silly to talk about "Nationalize the banking system!" or "The free market banking system failed in the recent housing bubble!" Free markets and central banks are opposite ideas. It is silly to talk about a "free market banking system" when you have a central bank.

The current economic problems were entirely caused by State regulation of the financial industry. As usual, via "Problem! Reaction! Solution!", the answer is to give the State more power.

The correct solution is never publicly discussed. All the taxes and regulations on money should be repealed. All the taxes and regulations that make it illegal/impractical to use gold and silver as money are immoral. Reform is not going to occur, because too many people profit off the current corrupt system. Complete economic collapse is more likely than reform. If you disapprove of corporate welfare and massive State bailouts of insiders, then agorism is your best protest option.

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