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Monday, March 16, 2009

Reader Mail #87

I liked this post by Kung-Fu Monkey. "It's a Wonderful Life" makes a lot more sense if George Bailey actually did commit suicide, and the ending of the movie is his version of heaven.



I liked this video, via Hacker News. It's Mitch Altman on "TV B Gone". "TV B Gone" is a universal remote control that turns off any TV. You use it in bars and restaurants and other places to turn off the TVs.

I liked the bit "TV says over and over again 'You are inadequate!' as a means to sell products. The cumulative effect over time is that everyone feels inadequate." The bad guys make everyone feel inadequate, so it's easier to control them.

There was an interesting bit on the Hacker News comment thread. (also mentioned in the video) His product was spectacularly successful. He told his credit card vendor "I expect $100k in annual sales." He got $300k in sales in a few weeks, and the vendor froze his account! Then, he couldn't get his money, and he couldn't fulfill his orders! It turns out that's legal! The bank's argument was "You sold more than you claimed in your business plan. Therefore, we're freezing your account because we're concerned you'll be unable to fulfill your orders."

It appears that "If you deal with a bank, you're likely to get screwed over!"

There was a bit about "Don't do business with people you don't like." More accurately, "Don't do business with an ***hole."



This article, via Hacker News, was interesting. If you're an expert Internet user, more of your brain is active while webbrowsing.



This article was interesting. It's about Nick Santelli's rant on CNBC. He said "The current housing crisis was caused by greedy individuals and speculators." rather than "The current financial system is corrupt."

Similarly, recall Jim Cramer's famous "They know nothing!" rant. Jim Cramer said "The Federal Reserve must lower interest rates *NOW*, or there will be a severe recession!" Jim Cramer did not say "Who needs a central bank? A central bank is an immoral price fixing cartel."

These moments of fake honesty probably are scripted in advance. Even if they weren't, the comedians are sufficiently brainwashed that they won't accidentally say "The financial system is one big scam!"



This article on Circuit City's bankruptcy was missing the point.

Suppose I were a TV manufacturer. I lend TVs to Circuit City for sale, getting paid only when the TV is sold.

In the meantime, Circuit City filed for bankruptcy. Circuit City still has my TV. I have to line up with the other creditors in bankruptcy court. I may have paid $200 manufacturing the TV, but I may recover only $50 in bankruptcy.



I liked this article on ESPN. The NBA is ****ed due to the recession. Teams have signed players to multiple-year guaranteed huge contracts, while revenue is crashing.

At the trading deadline, teams were willing to make *LOUSY* trades, just to reduce their payroll number.



This post was an interesting collection of people saying "Google AdSense ****ed me over!" There's a *LOT* of Google hostility out there.



This YouTube video, via jwz, about a turtle raping a shoe, was amusing and offensive at the same time. I feel bad for the turtle.



These two articles on the Craigslist blog are interesting. Craigslist is being sued by the Cook county sheriff, in a civil lawsuit. Bizarrely, the sheriff hired a private law firm rather than using the attorney general.

Craigslist is not a valid resource for potential agorists. If I write AgoristBay, and am successful, then there is a real risk of crackdown by State enforcers.

Obvious points of AgoristBay are:

- Don't keep records. For my blog and regular forum, I'll have my custom analytics. For AgoristBay, I should delete the server logs (but there's no guarantee my vendor isn't making duplicates).
- Don't make content available to everyone. If you publish an ad on AgoristBay, it'll only be displayed to "trusted" customers.
- Old content is automatically deleted.
- Provide convenient support for strong encryption.

For "low risk" stuff, like a gold/silver/FRN barter network, I'll probably just make it public. For "high risk" stuff like free market health care, it's necessary to have greater precautions.



I liked this article about the "Moral Event Horizon". In fiction, it's when a character does something so evil he can never be forgiven. For example, when Light Yagami kills the policemen who are investigating him, he crosses the "moral event horizon".

The State has crossed the "moral event horizon". It is no longer possible to reform government. Escalating State evil makes it easier to get rid of it.



This article had an interesting bit. Some gangs have a weird initiation ritual. You have to kill someone in order to gain membership. Allegedly, that weeds out undercover cops. (If the stakes are high enough, there probably are undercover cops who would go along with that.)

Agorists need other methods for weeding out undercover cops. "Referred by another agorist" is a good starting point. In the present, I have zero agorist trading partners, making it hard. Fortunately, the bad guys probably won't make "Infiltrate agorist economy!" a priority until it's too late for them to stop it.

I wonder if an undercover cop could fool me? I wonder if some of my regular commenters are undercover cops or disinformation agents? It'd be easier to tell in person.

I suspect "An undercover cop could not fool FSK in person." may be true, but I won't know until it's too late. You don't get to be an undercover cop unless you're thoroughly brainwashed as a pro-State troll. Anybody who understands my key points well enough to fool me would probably also agree with me.



If you get 2 experience points for killing a wolf, does that mean that the people who work in slaughterhouses are the world's toughest fighters?



I liked this post via MSN. Chicago's sheriff is refusing to conduct evictions.

Some of the foreclosed properties were rental properties. The tenant had not been notified of the foreclosure. The evictee gets no warning of the eviction. In that case, it is immoral to directly throw someone out on the street. You really should get a grace period.

The new owner should then become the lease holder. If the new owner wants to evict the tenant, he should be forced to wait until the lease expires.

This is the same sheriff that sued Craigslist.



I liked this article on "Where do you safely store your gold?"

Suppose you've cleverly hidden your gold. You're still at risk if people with guns (police or non-police) show up at your home and demand you tell them where you hid your gold.



barry b. has left a new comment on your post "The "Evasive Answer Accepted" Fnord":

I just watched than hansfield interview. I don't think he'll continue to get interviews with such prominent folks.
He's lined up a couple such interviews. My favorite one is with Harry Reid. My favorite bit is the way the interviewee sometimes seizes the videotape after the interview.

It's tough being an honest journalist. I doubt he'll get more such interviews, but you never know. PR agents sometimes slip up.
It's sort of like John Stossel. If he wants to interview you, then most likely your in trouble.
Who's John Stossel, and why should I care? (I asked Google, but found nothing interesting.)



robert30062 has left a new comment on your post "Employer as State":

Life will always involve a certain level of confusion and uncertainty; the world will always give you a liberal helping of negative energy from day to day. I realized that the best way to combat this is by developing patience and trying my best to be the starting point of new, positive energy and be an absorbing buffer for negative energy. I feel that morally this is the right thing to do but, the functional purposes should be obvious as well. You're a really smart guy FSK and I like you and your blog a lot, but you are very black and white sometimes and that, along with your arrogance, is destined to create only two types of reactions from people which are to completely support and agree with everything you do or hate you.

When President Bush says "Either you're with me, or you're against me!", he's a hero. If I say the same thing, it's immoral?

When blogging, I have zero patience for idiots. I deal with pro-State trolls enough with friends/relatives/coworkers. I certainly don't have to worry about "FSK won't be exposed to stupid ideas!" anytime soon.

I can already tell you've encountered this, even without reading your blog comments, by your paranoia about people saying "f**k you FSK! I'm leaving!".

I only mention it occasionally. You seem to be more obsessed about it than me.

I've noticed that the people who say "**** you FSK! I'm leaving!" are those who had very little interesting to say in the first place.

If you're concerned I may ridicule you for your comment, you're free to lurk or comment Anonymously. According to Google Analytics, only 2% or fewer of my regular readers leave comments. Why should I let them distort the content for everyone else?

Also, the volume of comments has been increasing recently. I don't mind if the stupidest commenters get disgusted. I'm trying to continue my policy of taking every comment seriously.

By definition, only the people who feel most strongly about an issue will bother commenting. This will be people who strongly agree with me or who strongly disagree with me.

The difference with me is that I refuse to exist as your supporter on either extreme of the black and white spectrum you unwittingly create for those around you. I honestly do feel the way I do about the observations I just made and hope you can see the well-intentioned, constructive nature of them, I still like and respect you a lot and would never say "f**k you FSK! I'm leaving!". It's morally and functionally superior to accept people as best you can and be patient, then it's up to you to take the next step and ensure that your convictions aren't compromised by doing so and who knows, maybe if you've become someone's friend they will be more inclined to take your points of view seriously. The French have a proverbial saying in the form of a rhetorical question: You know what they call a leader with no followers? Just a guy taking a walk.
You can't be a leader of a group of anarchists, at least not in the pro-State sense of leader.

You're free to do as you please. I'm not using violence to impose my will on you. If you find my blog has more interesting bits than offensive bits, then keep reading.

I have about 100-200 regular readers. My readership totals are increasing over time. That is evidence that my approach is not totally stupid. I only have one blog, so I have no idea if I'd do better or worse with another approach.

If you believe you can promote my ideas better than me, go ahead! How many regular readers does your blog have? (That isn't a totally valid comparison, because you haven't been blogging as long as me. I can look at my old Google Analytics statistics and tell you how many regular readers I had after 6 months. Right now, my "typical" daily readership would have made me say "Woo-hoo! Awesome!" a year ago.)

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Employer as State":

Bakunin:

This is what is said implicitly by every
capitalist, every industrialist, every business owner, every
employer who demands the labor power of the workers they
hire.

Look, my workers, I have some capital which by itself
cannot produce anything, because a dead thing cannot produce
anything. I have nothing productive without labor.

As it goes, I cannot benefit from consuming it
unproductively, since having consumed it, I would be left
with nothing. But thanks to the social and political
institutions which rule over us and are all in my favor, in
the existing economy my capital is supposed to be a producer
as well:

it earns me interest.

There is nothing wrong with capital holders earning interest, provided it is the true free market interest rate.

Suppose I save my accumulated labor and buy land. Then, it is reasonable for me to earn interest renting the land/house to others. If I mismanage my land, then I will earn superior returns selling it to others, instead of owning more land than I can manage myself.

The evil occurs when there are State subsidies for capital holders.

From whom this interest must be taken - and it must be
from someone, since in reality by itself it produces
absolutely nothing - this does not concern you. It is enough
for you to know that it renders interest. Alone this
interest is insufficient to cover my expenses. I am not an
ordinary man as you. I cannot be, nor do I want to be,
content with little. I want to live, to inhabit a beautiful
house, to eat and drink well, to ride in a carriage, to
maintain a good appearance, in short, to have all the good
things in life. I also want to give a good education to my
children, to make them into gentlemen, and send them away to
study, and afterwards, having become much more educated than
you, they can dominate you one day as I dominate you today.
And as education alone is not enough, I want to give them a
grand inheritance, so that divided between them they will be
left almost as rich as I. Consequently, besides all the good
things in life I want to give myself, I also want to
increase my capital. How will I achieve this goal? Armed
with this capital I propose to exploit you, and I propose
that you permit me to exploit you. You will work and I will
collect and appropriate and sell for my own behalf the
product of your labor, without giving you more than a
portion which is absolutely necessary to keep you from dying
of hunger today, so that at the end of tomorrow you will
still work for me in the same conditions; and when you have
been exhausted, I will throw you out, and replace you with
others. Know it well, I will pay you a salary as small, and
impose on you a working day as long, working conditions as
severe, as despotic, as harsh as possible; not from
wickedness - not from a motive of hatred towards you, nor an
intent to do you harm - but from the love of wealth and to
get rich quick; because the less I pay you and the more you
work, the more I will gain."
This is what is said implicitly
by every capitalist, every industrialist, every business
owner, every employer who demands the labor power of the
workers they hire.
In a true free market, there is nothing evil about hiring a worker at the fair free market wage. If the employer is inefficient, he will lose to competition. If the workers are underpaid, then they will start a new business that competes with their now-former employer.

The evil only persists when there is State restriction of the market.

The evil is not greed or profit-seeking. The evil is the State.

In a true free market, the greed of employers and greed of employees is in balance, leading to a fair outcome for both parties. When the State restricts the market, there is no force restricting the greed of insiders. Lobbying the State for favors becomes more profitable than working, leading to a downward spiral and decay.

In the example given in that post, I would have been writing financial software. It would be useless for me to write financial software on my own, without political connections. Even if I could write better financial software than him, I don't have the connections to sell it. "Connections are more important than ability" is a big symptom of a non-free market.

Working at a web startup, there's the same problem. I don't have the connections to convince a VC to give me $1M of venture capital. (Even if I did find a VC willing to invest in my web business, then the terms of financing would make me his employee.) Members of the parasite class are more likely to be able to convince a VC to give them money, leading to most web startups controlled by parasites. Even if the startup has a 2-person team, it typically will be a parasite paired with a productive worker, with the parasite emotionally dominating the productive worker.

I've decided that all my businesses will be 100% owned by me. I'll grow via reinvested salary/profits, rather than via raising capital.

citizen stefish has left a new comment on your post "Employer as State":

i think you did the correct thing in telling that bozo that you weren't going to work for free. you were likely on the verge of getting *ripped off*.

I'm pretty sure I did the right thing. If someone isn't going to treat you fairly from the beginning, then he never will. If you're going to be offered "contract-to-hire", you should still be given a fair salary during the trial period.

now of course there is going to be a "vulgar libertarian" (usually pro-state, even if only mildly) response to that. "you agreed to work for free for a month, and your boss said you were lousy, so he fired you. you agreed to the terms! he runs the place!" maybe he was being "honest" about how it works, maybe he was looking to abuse people. there's no way to read someone's mind and see what their true intentions are, but i wouldn't have even bothered thinking about it. his actual words were enough. the guy laid off his whole work force in a bad economy. he's looking to save money. what a great scam! i'd take a risk that that's what he was up to and not even bothered. and you're right, you'd probably make a pittance if you did get hired.

In order to have a valid contract, both sides must contribute something of tangible value. I would have been working for free, so it wouldn't have been a valid contract in any legal sense.

Since I was working for free, legally I probably could have kept a copy of any code I wrote and used it myself later.

For example, text-link-ads made me sign a clickthrough contract. They never sold a single link for me. Is that contract valid, if they've never paid me anything?

I don't have *ANY* contract with text-link-ads, because I never received a payment from them.

(That reminds me. I signed into my text-link-ads account and replaced my SSN with a fake #. Hopefully, they don't have a good database design and no longer have my real SSN. It's risky giving out my SSN. In the US credit market, someone who knows my SSN could fraudulently take out credit in my name, and it'd be a hassle for me.)

Sphairon has left a new comment on your post "Employer as State":

Intriguing post, FSK. However, I conclude from your writings about "Asperger's syndrome" and "high functioning autism" that you agree with the general notion about these conditions being sicknesses?

If not, sorry for misinterpreting you.
You are exactly wrong. I have said "high functioning autism" is "normal". Normal human behavior is falsely labeled as sick by people who are pro-State troll brainwashed.

If yes, I really think that's just an excuse for making introverted, thoughtful people feel bad about themselves. Have you heard of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator? It tries to categorize your personality according to social attitude, perceiving functions, judging functions and "lifestyle preferences". There are 16 possible categories. I scored Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judging (INTJ), a minority personality that seems to border on "high functioning autism" according to several descriptions. The most common types are extroverted, authority-oriented, but rather insecure personalities. This is considered "normal", I guess, because it's most common (up to 40% of the population at least).

But is it good? Myers-Briggs reaffirmed a previous suspicion of mine that pseudo-conditions like "Asperger's syndrome" are really just rare character traits that are by no means "bad" or "sick", but, quite to the contrary, turn out to be pretty helpful.
When I took the Myers-Briggs test, I was "INTJ" and was told approximately about 1% of the population had this type. It's the "good software engineer" or "Remnant" personality type.

I don't know where I fit on that scale anymore, now that I've cracked my pro-State brainwashing. The Myers-Briggs test presents you with a list of multiple choice questions. You don't have the option of picking a choice that isn't on the list.

Also, if you're given such a test, you can always game it by giving suitable answers.

I've also been given the "Wonderlic" test on some job interviews. Based on a small sample size, it's a giveaway that they employer is clueless.

The people who are most intelligent are also those who are made to feel most insecure by those around them. That's how the parasite class keeps the productive workers enslaved.

I have another explanation for "high functioning autism". An intelligent person notices that the emotional feedback they receive from others is messed up, and inconsistent with their verbal feedback. They then make the rational decision to ignore *ALL* emotional feedback.

I don't present "fake emotional feedback" like a skilled parasite. Honest emotional feedback makes me seem weak, in the eyes of a parasite. I'm getting better at identifying parasites and productive workers quickly. That should be a *VERY USEFUL* skill if I'm ever starting my own business (on-the-books or agorist). "Don't hire ***holes!" seems to be a huge chunk of having a successful business. The ability to filter out jerks should be *VERY VALUABLE* in the right context.

fritz has left a new comment on your post "Employer as State":

I like your story FSK. looking for a good or acceptable job is often an ordeal. And I think your approach can be commended. What I see here is that you are up front. What you are trying to relay is who you and what you have to offer.

And what you are doing is stopping you from winding up back in the fire. And stopping your self from dealing with a messed up employer.

Working for an ***hole is bad for several reason.
  1. There probably isn't going to be any career advancement.
  2. The pay is probably lousy.
  3. The parasite will make you feel uncomfortable, trying to emotionally manipulate you.
  4. You'll wind up getting fired anyway, when you stand up for yourself.
My attitude is "Life's too short to waste time working for an ***hole!" Unfortunately, that attitude also makes me more likely to be unemployed/unemployable. On most hiring committees, at least one of the interviewers has the parasitic personality type. A "no" vote from the parasite means I'm not hired.

I want you to feel good about telling an interviewer to f*** himself. before you are really done interviewing I want you to say it for real. Dam it feels good, just don't let your mother hear it.

The worst part is that my mother was *DEFENDING THE ***HOLE* who wanted me to work for free.

I think if you could work from home it would be awesome for you. You could be a private contractor and get paid for each project you complete. Try selling your skills to people who would hire you on a per project basis.

Working as a per-hour contractor is basically the same as working as an employee.

Enough of telling you what you should do. Good job of telling these people whats up. And good luck in the job hunt.

Some times you just have to suck it up and get a crappy job. Just remember what your objective is and focus on its achievement.

I'm looking towards maybe getting another wage slave job. Starting my own business looks more attractive and more likely. It's difficult, while stuck with my parents. I have to recover my personal freedom first, and for that I probably need a wage slave job.

I would like to see you make a living writing some web pages.

One nice thing about blogging is that it's almost the same effort, even if I get 2x as many readers. If I double my readership, then my ad revenue should also double.

I need about 100x-500x more regular readers before blogging is viable as a full-time job. So far, AbBrite seems like a resonable alternative to AdSense, but I won't know until I get my first check or two. They could be defaulting deadbeats just like Google!

Hopefully, AdBrite customer support will merely filter out invalid clicks, rather than banning my account, if there's a problem. I wouldn't be offended if AdBrite said "We determined 50% of your clicks are invalid. We're removing them." I would be offended by a ban. For example, I'm still earning a few cents per day on CPM ads, where I get paid clickthrough or not.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Employer as State":

Good call on not working for free.

That appears to be 100% correct.

I think you're being too dismissive about not taking tests. Yes, they can be stupid. But often quite innocent. Just because you worked for 10 years doesn't imply anything about your ability in this market. Plenty of parasites hide out in big companies can't program. Some people are just looking for ways of identifying the parasite before they suck the blood out of the company.
Most of those tests have one flaw or another.

If you're a competent programmer, you should be able to filter out the clueful people from the deadbeats pretty quickly.

If you're not willing to spend 5-15 minutes interviewing me, that's an indication you aren't serious.

I've spent several hours doing programming assignments several times, only to be rejected, even though IMHO I made an awesome program.

I'm not wasting my time on idiots anymore. Spending 3 hours blogging has a higher expected return than wasting 3 hours on a stupid programming test.

Also, I want to pretty good schools. The 4 years of college probably is a better indication than a technical test. If "got a CS degree from a top university" doesn't qualify me for at least a phone screening, plus the fact that I have 10 years of experience, then you aren't serious about hiring someone good.

It's insulting to take a technical test for basic programming questions.

The good jobs I've had never demanded a stupid technical test. Technical tests are anti-correlated with good employers. Refusing to take them is a way of avoiding wasting my time.

The third guy was touchy. But he didn't ask why you sent the email. You shouldn't have responded that way unless he had. When he said "Looks like you sent an email" you should have just said "Yes, I did." If you are resolved not to work with touchy people then IMO don't bother looking for work. Kids are taught to have pseudo-self esteem at public school and have none, and probably at least 90% of the culture is full of touchy people with no genuine self-esteem.

It's a "You had to be there." thing. The guy was a total ***hole, according to my analysis. The interview was going to be a flop no matter what I did, and that's the superficial reason he gave for rejecting me.

When a parasite abuses you, he doesn't say "I'm abusing you because I'm a jerk." He makes up some superficial reason that leaves the victim continually unsure of himself. The cumulative effect over time means that you're unsure of yourself. Most people, by default, "X is in a position of authority. Therefore, everything X does is right." In a slave economy, authority does not come from market forces. In a true free market, you have to prove genuine ability to get in a position where you're running a business.

ConvertedLefty has left a new comment on your post "Employer as State":

I can think of few things more anti-social than expecting another person to work for you without compensation.

I'm pretty sure I did the right thing.

It is annoying. The job market is *LOUSY* right now.



I just had a bizarre thought. My AdSense (and AdBrite) earnings are much higher than those of typical websites. I browsed through some of the sites in the AdBrite library. Most of the other sites were *LOUSY*. Either the content was lousy, or the site design was lousy.

I don't have a "Made for SEO/AdSense/AdBrite" site. I have a *REAL* site. Therefore, my earnings are greater than those of spam sites.

Because my site doesn't suck, I have a higher ad clickthrough rate than a typical spam site. This means my ad earnings are greater than a typical site. This causes my site to be a statistical outlier earnings-wise, and get marked as an abuser.

I have no idea if that's actually true. It just was a weird conjecture.

I wonder if having a non-spam counts against me. The vast majority of websites appear to be spam "made for SEO" sites. Compared to them, I should have much better statistics.



One nice thing about Blogger (compared with free WordPress hosting) is that you can serve 3rd-party ads and 3rd-party JavaScript. I'm surprised Google hasn't implemented an "only AdSense allowed" policy.

I'm eager to get my own domain.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - Domain Name Registrar?":

1and1.com is cheaper than godaddy and gives free private registration (something you may want FSK)

When looking for a domain name registrar, I've had as many suggestions as responses. I'm going to research this more.

I already figured out "Don't use GoDaddy."



Mantar has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #85":

Hey, I like your posts, but man, they *really* fill up the page over at the anarchoblogs.org aggregator. I just opened anarchoblogs and found I had to press PageDown 40+ times to see what the next blog was posting about. It felt a little bit excessive. :) So, ummm...

Some of the other blogs have something set so that it will only display the first two or three paragraphs, and then have a link to the specific blog to read more.

Maybe you could find out how they do that and enable it for your blog, too.
Oh boy. Another website sucks, and you're blaming me!

I *HATE* blogs that don't give full RSS feeds. My policy is very clear. I always give full RSS feeds. I refuse to read blogs that don't give full RSS feeds.

How about this? Why don't you complain to whoever owns the anarchoblogs site, and tell them to truncate articles longer than a certain amount?

All the anarchoblogs site does is that he imports the RSS feeds and combines them. He doesn't filter for the "best" posts. Here merely imports and combines the RSS feeds.

Instead of reading the anarchoblogs site, you could just load those feeds into an RSS reader.

Anarchoblogs is a neat idea for a site. Unless he does a "best of" collection, he isn't doing anything. I can accomplish the same thing via my RSS reader.



Kiba has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #86":

Ok, I didn't realize I was pushing an ads network. So I'll stop here.

It seemed like it.

Perusing briefly, the CPMs on "Project Wonderful" seemed to be pennies or less, especially for smaller sites.

Anyway, I need a PayPal account to participate in "Project Wonderful". I'll continue my AdSense experiment for now.

Via AdBrite, you can also bid for an ad specifically on my site. They also have an auction.

I do like the concept of "Project Wonderful". You pay per day on an auction basis, rather than per pageview or per click. Pay-per-click is abusable. Pay-per-view is semi-abusable. Pay-per-day is the fairest method.

Pay-per-day still seems suboptimal. Really, you should have several advertisers rotating. Suppose a typical reader on my blog visits 3 pages. It would be foolish for me to serve the same ad 3 times. In a network like AdBrite, they can serve different ads if someone views a bunch of pages during a visit. "Project Wonderful" doesn't have that benefit.

Some people say "The best way to make money advertising is to sell ads directly yourself!" I need 10x-100x+ more traffic before that's feasible.

AdBrite also allows geographic targeting. For example, someone can bid, but ONLY for readers in a certain geographic area. Someone bought a CPM banner for Qatar. The banner was arabic. For all I know, it said "Death to America!"

For example, "text-link-ads" has no auction. They determined a link from my blog is worth $20 per month. If someone is willing to pay $5/month, that's too bad.

Text-link-ads would be better if it had an auction system, like "Project Wonderful".

"Project Wonderful" had a much better searching algorithm than any other I've seen. AdBrite has a decent, but limited, search feature.

Browsing AdBrite and "Project Wonderful", it certainly seems like an advertiser's market, when it comes to purchasing ads. After I get my own domain, I may consider spending a couple of dollars advertising. You certainly seem to get a lot of bang for your buck. AdBrite sells CPM ads for a minimum of $0.05, and many sites haven't met the minimum bid.

Your experiment with adbrite pique my interest in doing a trial run with adbrite as well. If it really does generate better revenues, I'll start switching to it.

You don't have much traffic yet. The blog I looked at was only 10-20 readers per day. I'm surprised you're getting nonzero bids.

I also experimented with text link ads too since you also experimented/mentioned it. I also get nothing. I am more concerned about the TOS though. Can't seem to find the Term of Service anywhere.

You only get to see it when you sign up. It's not available elsewhere.

I pulled text-link-ads from my blog, in favor of another AdBrite widget. (I'm waiting a week or two before putting up a 2nd AdBrite widget. I want to see if earnings on the 2nd widget negatively impact earnings on the first one.)

DixieFlatline was strongly advocating for text-link-ads. I shouldn't let a vocal reader dissuade me.
Finally, I want to start my own agorist blog and make anarchist cartoons.
You'd like "Anarchy in Your Head". The next ideas on my agenda are "Promote agorism via standup comedy!" and "Maybe vlog".

If I decide to make a vlog, I probably should look for a YouTube alternative. I probably should have a YouTube channel anyway, because of the large potential audience. If I don't upload my videos to YouTube, someone else probably will.

I am thinking I am going to specialize in making anarchist currencies made of gold, copper, and silvers. Once my blog starts making money, I am going to use it to largely run an agorist mint.

I don't have any metallurgy skills. I figured I'd hire someone else for that purpose.

I'm interested in small-denomination silver coins (sub 1 ounce) or copper coins. That would be useful for making change. Until then, I'll use slave points or junk silver for transactions smaller than 1 ounce of silver.

Minting your own coins is premature optimization, when it comes to starting an agorist counter-economy. I'd just use coins purchased from a reputable on-the-books dealer like APMEX or kitco. (I haven't made any purchases myself yet.) I'm surprised that one of the Internet gold dealers isn't eager to purchase ads on my blog. That should be a good fit. When I get more readers, I may ask directly.

Any alternate monetary system should be based on real money (gold or silver). Whenever people propose other more complicated alternate monetary systems, I say "What's wrong with gold or silver?"

citizen stefish has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #86":

you're venturing into extreme paranoia. i told you i clicked on one damn ad because it interested me. then you said that that made everything fraudulent, and that i might have done it to get you banned. yea ok, i read a blog virtually every day for well over a year, and then i decide, "i am going to crash this!"

you placed ads on your site to generate revenue. i am a regular reader. i saw one that interested me. so i clicked on it. sorry!

are you just being an jerk? i rarely comment on anything because you treat a chunk of your regular posters like they're scum.
I was kidding. I thought you'd be able to tell.

I really have no idea if people are genuinely interested in the ads, or are doing it to support me, or did it abusively to get me kicked out of the AdSense network. It seemed suspicious when I got 20 clickthroughs in an hour.

My AdBrite clickthrough rate is about the same as I was getting on AdSense, a little less than 1%. It's hard to tell, due to high variance and only a couple of clickthroughs per day.

AdBrite's ads seem to be no more or less spammy than the AdSense ones. AdBrite gives me full details for every single ad served. AdSense didn't do that.

Some of the ads are CPM ads, where I get paid the same whether someone clicks on it or not. The CPM ads have a greater clickthrough rate than the CPC ads. I have no idea why any advertiser would buy a CPC ad instead of a CPM ad. CPC ads are subject to abuse. It's much harder to "game" CPM ads. On both AdSense and AdBrite, my earnings for CPC ads were a lot higher than for CPM ads. (CPC = cost-per-click; CPM = cost-per-impression. For a CPC ad, I only get paid if the reader clicks on the ad, typically $0.10 on AdBrite ($0.5-$1 on AdSense). For a CPM ad, I get paid for serving the ad, whether someone clicks on it or not (about $0.20 per thousand). When you consider that my ad clickthrough rate is 1%, CPM seems like an obviously better deal.)

On AdBrite, I get to see which ads were clicked (but not by who). Are people really interested in "Make money fast online!"? I'm surpised that the ads getting clicked are spammy ones.

There's some non-spammy stuff. Someone in Sweden clicked on an ad for a video capture tool.

I've considered going through and blocking the spammy ads. That's useless, because spammers keep moving to new sites.

There's only one regular poster on this blog - me. The rest are commenters. You're free to lurk or comment Anonymously, if you're afraid I'll ridicule you.

When I get my own domain, I'll set up a forum. There, my goal is to not have any site rules other than those enforced by the forum engine.

Blogging is different. I'm taking every comment seriously, but that also means I should avoid wasting time on idiots.

A discussion forum or wiki is *NOT* the same as a blog. On a forum, people would get disgusted if I "pulled rank" and moderated down posts I don't like. On a blog, I'm supposed to exercise editorial control.

Many other bloggers ignore comments or don't respond to them at all (which I consider to be a mistake).

My earnings for CPC ads are higher than for CPM ads. I don't know why anyone would buy a CPC ad instead of a CPM ad. As a publisher, I'd actually prefer CPM, because there's less accusations of abuse (both by advertiser and by publisher).

Anyway, just because I say "That comment was stupid!" doesn't automatically mean I'm right. You're free to lurk or post Anonymously.



barry b. has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #86":

Looks like everyone isn't happy with your thoughts today.

Sometimes, I wonder if "amount of hate mail received" is directly proportional to "quality of my writing".

Hey just wanted to say that I'm still kicking around this idea that all taxes are immoral and any recognition of government is therefore immoral. I find this subject very interesting and realize that it will take me more time to adequately verbalize a conclusion on the matter (if a conclusion is even possible).

That's like saying "I heard this radical new idea that 2+2=4, but I've always been conditioned to believe that 2+2=3. I'm having trouble adjusting my beliefs."

Cracking your pro-State troll brainwashing is very hard. It's a different (and better) mindset.

You could call your blog "Tax Prison" instead of "Debt Prison", and it'd be nearly the same.

If using force for anything other than defense is immoral, then isn't taxing someone (using force) immoral?

That's the whole point. Taxes must be ultimately backed by violence. Otherwise people would ignore them.

The vast majority pay the tax without resisting. Violence is only occasionally needed to collect the tax. When nearly everyone is brainwashed to act like a slave, then the bad guys can afford to spend lots of resources cracking down on people who want freedom.

Once you realize "Government is paid by taxation/theft!", then you realize that all forms of monopolistic government are immoral.

If someone has the ability to use violence to demand I give them stuff, then doesn't that mean I'm their slave? The same moral principal that justifies a 1% taxation rate also justifies a 99% taxation rate. If you add up all the direct and hidden taxes you pay, the total is quite high!

However, how can you hope to have a society without government, where personal libery rules, if you cannot produce the defense necessary to protect such a society, for the simple reason that in the absence of forced taxation, you cannot adequately build a defense to beat back an invading army of trolls who ARE taxed against their will?

I already wrote a post on Answers to Common Pro-State Troll Criticisms of Agorism. I haven't found any argument against real free markets that doesn't sound like gibberish, now that I understand the philosophy.

A free market can *ALWAYS* provide police protection more profitably than a State monopoly.

Is the USA really threatened by a foreign invasion? Suppose an invading army of 10,000 landed in Manhattan or any US city. Would they have any chance of success? There's more than 10,000 police currently employed in NYC, plus there would be reinforcements from neighboring cities.

I predict that an agorist counter-economy can successfully provide defense for its members, *EVEN WHILE OCCUPYING THE SAME TERRITORY AS A HOSTILE STATE*. Once that is accomplished, it should be trivial to repel an invading force.

People defending their homes will always outperform a mercenary invading army.

"The US invasion of Iraq was a smashing success! A group of poorly organized insurgents have no chance against the power of a huge State!" The US State couldn't manage occupying Iraq. Could you imagine invading an advanced and sophisticated agorist economy?

One reason it was relatively easy to invade Iraq is that Saddam Hussein outlawed gun ownership for most people. Imagine an invading army where most of the people own guns and know how to use them? Suppose that, if necessary, people bought rocket launchers and anti-aircraft missles.

If invading/occupying Iraq was hard, then invading a sophisticated agorist society would be practically impossible.

Also, the absence of government means the absence of law itself. How can you safeguard private property without an enforcement body that everyone is forced to recognize?

You're confusing "natural law" with "corrupt State law".

According to natural law, someone who breaks into your house or steals/mugs/kills you is committing a crime. Almost everyone agrees on that principle. Any credible private police force would back such claims.

You may argue "But what if my neighbor decides to smoke marijuana or use incandescent light bulbs!" The response is "What right do you have to ban your neighbor from smoking marijuana or using incandescent light bulbs."

According to natural law, it's only a crime if you injure someone else. Otherwise, you can do as you please.

Josh has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #86":

I know you keep saying you don't like to buy in bulk, and it IS a hassle to buy stuff in advance, just the transporting part alone :P

But if you're going to get a printing machine, you'll need space for that anyway, so it won't hurt to buy your blanks in bulk, depending on brand, you can easily get them down to $2 a piece or less (especially if they're light color fabrics).

And IF your cost of a t-shirt is 2+4+1=7, that's already more than what I'm paying today (and I've almost always ordered 3 dozen or less t-shirts at a time, in the high tax State of CA, and my stuff is always screen printed, mostly dark fabrics too).

But if you can get t-shirts made by a vendor or yourself for $5 or less, THAT'S when you'll be saving money or making on your investment(and I know you can, just keep looking & trying)

I haven't done any comparison shopping regarding custom T-Shirts yet.

My intuition tells me that I'll *ALWAYS* get a better price buying my own burning equipment. However, I haven't researched the full details. I'll probably get my first batch of shirts from a vendor, to test the market.

I'm not going to start my T-Shirt experiment for a year or two anyway. It's on my "list of agorist businesses I'm considering".

It would be a "promote agorism" and "promote blog" activity, more than something that's supposed to be directly hugely profitable.

You are definitely right, if a competitor to AdSense was thinking, they'd totally be destroying AdSense beginners (and they just might be!)

Any AdSense competitor could sensibly click-bomb any small AdSense publisher, to get them banned from AdSense.

Google is making a huge mistake banning AdSense publishers, instead of merely removing invalid clicks from their account.

Google also made a mistake promoting CPC advertising (pay-per-click) ahead of CPM advertising (pay-per-impression). Pay-per-click is much more intrinsically abusable than pay-per-impression.

Pay-per-click is a defective advertising model. If I write my "**** Google!" FireFox extension, and a lot of people install it, then pay-per-click would be completely invalidated as a business model.

So far, my AdBrite clickthrough rate has been comparable to my AdSense clickthrough rate.

I'm making more from CPC ads than CPM ads (both in AdSense and in AdBrite). I expected that the costs should be nearly identical. From my point of view, advertisers are idiots to choose CPC ads over CPM ads. I have no idea if my readers are clicking on ads more than a typical site.

About 1/4 of my AdBrite ads served are CPM ads.

Browsing AdBrite's listings, I can buy CPM ads on most sites for $0.05 per thousand pageviews. Some "name" websites are available for a CPM of $0.20-$1, which seems pretty good.

It certainly seems like an advertiser's market, when it comes to purchasing advertising.

On the other hand, if I found a site suitable for advertising my blog, I could probably accomplish the same result by posting comments there and actively contributing.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The "Evasive Answer Accepted" Fnord":

Another thing I've noticed is that reporters will seem quite confrontational and willing to ask difficult questions when confronting spokesmen for other countries that the u.s. government "has issues with".

It's like reporters feel they have to play the watch/attack dog role, but the only time they are actually free to play this part, is when ultimately doing the bidding of U.S. government. So they confront these world leaders and feign being attack dogs, but they're on the leash of the biggest bully of them all: uncle sam.

That's an interesting observation.

Suppose a reporter were granted an interview with Bernard Madoff. He wouldn't hold back; he'd ask really tough questions.

Suppose a reporter is interviewing a CEO. There will typically be only creampuff questions. If there is a tough question, the reporter won't press if an evasive answer is given.

Reporters have permission to ask tough questions when publicly interviewing someone who's a known bad guy. Otherwise, they have an obligation to not rock the boat.

4 comments:

Zargon said...

"I'm surprised that the ads getting clicked are spammy ones."

Perhaps someone created a **** spammy ads extension/tool. It wouldn't be much harder than a **** adsense extension or tool.

Kiba said...

I do have a lot of traffic, but rather it was located on a different site called http://libregamewiki.org.

Also, I am going to start that anarchist blog when I finally got my hand on Rothbard's Man Economy, and the State with Power and Market. Some time ago, Jeffery Trucker of Mises.org promised people a free book in exchange for live blogging about it. I happened to request that book.

About coins, I also don't have a metallugry skills but I am willing to learn how.

My operation will be small and will cost me money since I will be giving out coins as gift to fellow agorists. My coins won't be as good compared to on-the-book companies, but everybody have to start somewhere.

When the time are ripe, my skills improved and I'll have the economy of scale to compete in the agorist currency market. Hopefully, I have the first mover advantage as everybody else is scrambling to start their own coin mint.

Sphairon said...

Thanks for responding.

Personally, I think Myers-Briggs is fairly devoid of any obvious pro-state influences. The multiple choice aspect is unfortunate, but in order to have some way of categorization, you need a predetermined set of variables. Are there characters that do not fit at all into this system? I'm still not sure what "cracking your pro-state brainwashing" entails in its entirety, so it may or may not be possible.

I'm not surprised you scored INTJ, though. A number of people on the Mises boards got these results as well (according to some source, even Mises himself) and those who were receptive to my anti-state sentiments also had INT/FJ personalities. I do give a lot of credit to this method. It explains a number of strange social phenomena quite satisfactorily.

Your thoughts on auto-ignoring emotional feedback are interesting. My personal observations are that self-conscious, productive types attract abusive types. After being subjected to abusive behavior too often, they shut down any social activity completely to avoid further exploitation or turn into eccentrics to decrease attraction. A natural protection mechanism, so to speak.

Josh said...

Yes, you will get a better deal if you spent time shopping, whether or not you get your own equipment and use your own labor. If you have $2000 to invest, you can probably get t-shirts down to $1-2 for blanks (probably even less, try your luck).

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