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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Reader Mail #94

I liked this article, via Hacker News. The author claims to have written the software that prices mortgage bonds and subprime mortgage bonds.

The guy signed a 5 year noncompete clause and a 5 year employment contract. That's a stupid move. Naturally, the employer fired him after 5 years, and then he was out of the industry.

Allegedly, nearly every bank was selling subprime mortgage bonds. They all were using the same software!

Using the same software as everyone else is not risky. If you're wrong, then everyone else made the exact same mistake and there's a State bailout.

Using the same software as everyone else is risky, because there could be a mistake in the model! However, the risk is borne by the State/taxpayers, and not the idiots. This is one evil of "too big to fail". If you're "too big to fail", then you can afford to make stupid decisions, provided all your competitors are making the exact same mistake.

I liked this quote:

I quickly learned how fishy this world could be. A client I knew who specialized in auto loans invited me up to his desk to show me how to structure subprime debt. Eager to please, I promised I could enhance my software to model his deals in less than a month. But when I glanced at the takeout in the deal, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Normally, in a prime-mortgage deal, an investment bank makes only a tiny margin. But this deal had two whole percentage points of juice! Looking at the underlying loans, I was shocked.

The banksters who sold the mortgage bonds took *HUGE* commissions as a fee for the trade. When the scam unraveled, other people were left holding the bag of ****.

I no longer fit the profile of a financial industry programmer. I can see through the manipulations of parasites. For this reason, they will veto any decision to hire me.



I liked this post on Democracy Sucks. Some artists are realizing that intellectual property isn't good for them. If you copyright your work, and you sign with a record label, then the record label controls you. If the label decides to not promote your work, you are SOL.

If you're a small unknown artist, then you have no negotiating leverage with the label. In order to get published, you agree to restrictive terms.

Some artists have arrangements where the label owns the rights to their performing name, such as "Prince". If you have a dispute with your label, you may lose the right to perform under your own name.

If I perform standup comedy, I'm releasing my characters into the public domain ahead of time. Then, I don't have to worry about getting ****ed over if I have a dispute with someone, if I get a mainstream media contract.

Many artists are now taking a "**** the middleman!" approach and self-publishing directly to the Internet. If you're an independent unknown artist, this probably is a good idea. You may not get an 1M+ audience immediately, like you would if you appeared on MTV. However, you may get consistent 5%-10% monthly audience growth like I do with my blog.

It appears that good advice to an amateur artist is "Self publish. Aim for gradual audience growth over time." It's an evil fnord to believe "I'll be an instant overnight smash hit!" That's caused by the mainstream media distribution monopoly. Any artists they decide to promote become successful.

For me, I have no choice but to self-publish, because a mainstream media outlet will be eager to censor my content.

If I attempt "promote agorism via standup comedy", a good strategy is to give away content on the Internet for free, attracting people to see me perform live.



The above article on Democracy sucks quoted this article on mises.org.

As they explain, this racket began in the 17th century when government instituted the idea of ownership of ideas, precisely so that the government could crush ideas it didn't like. Only approved authors got the stamp of approval. Same with art. But then the authors and creators rose up and demand their rights in the 18th century, and the copyright idea was transferred from government to private parties, who were then in a position to crush competitors. In the 20th century, this changed again, when the right was transferred from individuals to corporations.

That's really interesting. Copyright law was originally developed as a censorship tool. Only State-approved works could be published at all.

If you sign the right to your work over to a corporation, then they now have censorship power over you. If they decide to not spend any effort promoting your work, you're SOL.

You also typically lose the right to cite your own work.



I liked this article, via Hacker News. Ants use a chemical smell to notice when another ant has died, and needs to be carried to the graveyard/recycle pile. A scientist isolated the chemical. He put it on an ant that was alive. The result was amusing.



This article, via Hacker News, was interesting. An "Atlas Shrugged" movie is coming out soon. Are all the "Going Galt?" evil fnords in the mainstream media merely marketing hype for the movie.



I had another weird observation. In high school, if you're a star athlete, a lot of resources are spent on your development. If you're a top Math student or Computer student, you're pretty much on your own.

A lot of effort is spent making sure that the top athletes are challenged. No such effort is spent on top academic students.



I went on an interview where the interviewer had the parasitic personality type. He said "I graduated from MIT! Bow down and worship me!" I went to a pretty good school myself, so that didn't intimidate me. Further, I'm very good at evaluating people on the parasitism/productive scale instead of anything else.

Only a parasite would say "I'm from MIT! Worship me!", and expect that to be sufficient proof of his awesomeness.

I noticed that several MIT graduates say "I'm from MIT! Worship me!" I wonder if having gone to a #1 school turns you into a parasite? Idiots evaluate you based on your degree, rather than what you actually know. I wonder if MIT consciously or subconsciously selects for people with that personality trait?

In retrospect, when I studied as an undergraduate, a substantial number of the Math professors had the productive personality type. In grad school, a substantial number of the Math professors had the parasitic personality type. There's a clumping factor over time. If you have a bunch of skilled productive personalities, they can keep out the parasites (or prevent them from taking over). If you have a parasite-dominated group, then skilled productive workers are pretty much flat-out banned.



I liked this article, via Hacker News, on how the job market for college graduates is lousy.

"It's scary thinking I could have spent $50,000 a year for the last four years and still go back to working at Wegmans, but it's a reality," she said. "I know I'm going to have to be more patient."

Is a college degree worth it? The cost of the college degree isn't just the $50k/year on tuition, room, and board. The cost is also the salary and experience you could have been gaining instead.

If you had $200k to waste, I'd advise you to work on starting a business, instead of going to college.

One flaw is student loan debt. The State will lend an 18 year old $200k to go to college. The State will not lend an 18 year old $200k to start a business.



I liked this story, via Hacker News. Someone took Paxil for a month and a half and it totally ****ed him up.

The "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is nonsense. Of course, anecdotal evidence is not proof.

The State-licensed "scientists" who perform drug research are dishonest. They are paid to produce certain conclusions, and they get them.



This article, via Hacker News, was amusing. Someone made up a fake company and submitted an obviously stupid drug study for approval. It was approved.

The State licenses some private corporations to approve drug studies. However, it's the same as the credit rating agencies' problem.

Credit rating agencies are paid by the bank whose debt is issued, leading to an obvious conflict of interest.

The drug approval study corporations are paid by the businesses whose research is being approved.



This post, via Hacker News, showed Math literacy. He plotted the size of the national debt over time on a log-scale. That's the proper way to do it.

It actually was mostly a straight line on a log-scale, but the slope did seem to be increasing recently.



This post, via Hacker News, was interesting. A group of people are making free K-12 educational books available.

"Homeschooling association" is one of my agorist business ideas.



This thread on mises.org had an amusing bit. Someone asked "But if there's no government, then won't large corporations take over and it'll be worse?"

Someone replied "That's the argument ad sci-fi fallacy. You're basing your argument on what happens in popular science fiction novels."

That's an interesting evil fnord. Many science fiction stories say "The government collapsed! The replacement was even worse!"



In this thread on mises.org, someone was asking about the CPI.

I wrote a post on the CPI.

There's a political incentive for the CPI to understate true inflation. For a better measure of inflation, look at M2, M3 (no longer published) or the price of gold.

The CPI is reweighted quarterly or annually. (I'm not sure.) The weights are chosen in a manner to bias inflation downward. Things that rapidly rose in price are given less weight. Things that rise in price slowly are given more weight.

The weights are selected retrospectively. In January 2008, the bureaucrats who calculate CPI don't say "These will be the weights for 2008!" In January 2009, they look back at price data for 2008, and *THEN* choose the weights.

I couldn't find any public disclosure of the weights when I looked.

Also, CPI is calculated via a geometric mean instead of an arithmetic mean. If you know Math, then you'll know that the geometric mean is less than the arithmetic mean.

For example, the arithmetic mean of {1, 3, 9} is (1+3+9) / 3 = 4.33. The geometric mean is (cube root(1*3*9)) = 3.

Money supply inflation does not lead to uniform price inflation. These tricks allow the CPI to understate true inflation.

For example, in one year, inflation might be high in California but low in New York. The next year, inflation might be high in New York but low in California. The geometric mean, plus reweighting, makes the CPI less than true inflation.

As another example, suppose chicken rises in price while the price of beef is flat in 2007. In 2008, the price of beef rises rapidly while the price of chicken is flat. In 2007, the weight of beef is increased. In 2008, the weight of chicken is increased.

The CPI is pure propaganda and should not be taken seriously.

(This bit deserves its own separate post.)

What are good substitutes for the CPI?

If you want a good alternate measure of inflation, consider the price of gold. These two webpages are a good source for historic gold prices.

Another measure is M2. The Federal Reserve publishes M2 statistics.

This page has "reconstructed M3". The Federal Reserve stopped publishing M3 a few years ago, so they could cover up how bad inflation actually is.

Who is the central bank for the Euro in the EU?

In the Eurpoean Union, the ECB (European Control Board) (or is it "Eurpoean Central Bank"?) is the central bank. It's the same as the Federal Reserve in the USA.



This article on msn was missing the point. It was lamenting "Unemployment is higher than the official statistics indicate!"

It's even worse than that. The unemployment rate doesn't consider underemployment or wasted employment.

Suppose I have a wage slave job, but I'm not being used to my full abilities. I count as employed, but a lot of my labor potential is squandered.

Some careers are pure waste. The financial industry is purely parasitic. They spend effort and make huge salaries, but do no real work.

Some careers are murder. A psychiatrist murders his patients, but earns a nice salary. Is it accurate to consider a psychiatrist as "employed"?

The official unemployment rate does not correctly calculate the total amount of wasted labor.



Someone pointed out "Entertainer is a good career if you want to be an agorist. You can arrange for your customers to pay you in cash." For example, if you're paid $200 cash for a performance, that's equivalent to $400 on-the-books income.



This comic on xkcd was cited on the Wikipedia entry for "Higgs boson".



I thought that blogs and independent journalists/artists don't meet Wikipedia's censorship standards? I guess that xkcd is popular enough to qualify.

Wikipedia doesn't have an entry on "The Compound Interest Paradox". Wikipedia doesn't have an entry on "The Debt Virus" or "Jacques S. Jaikaran" (the author of that book).

When I was an active Wikipedia user, I would have been offended by the omission. I'm not offended anymore, because I know that Wikipedia is not a good information source for controversial topics.



I really liked this comic on xkcd.



When someone with a parasitic personality says "I love you!", he always says it to manipulate his partner.

When someone with an abused productive personality says "I love you!", it's genuine.

That's very interesting. People with a parasitic personality experience genuine love from their partners. People with a productive personality experience a partner who controls their emotions abusively.

The person with the parasitic role can be male or female. In the comic, it's the male that plays the parasite role.

As a practical matter, you should evaluate your partner by their actions, and not by whether they say "I love you!" or not.



I also liked this comic on xkcd.



I never understood the phrase "No offense intended." For example, "No offense intended, but your breath stinks."

Sometimes, it's necessary to offend people. "Government is a massive criminal conspiracy. Offense intended!"



Did you ever notice how some song lyrics are stupid? "What would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me?" Yes, I would. If you're that bad of a singer, I'm not obligated to sit there and listen.

That sounds like something Demetri Martin would use as a joke.

I always thought that Demetri Martin was kind of stupid. I heard that he was accused of being "too cerebral" and asked to tone down his act. Someone with a parasitic personality probably told him that. If Demetri Martin is "too cerebral", then what would people say when I perform?

I should do my own thing and not cater to idiots/jerks.



This comic on xkcd illustrates a point I've discussed here already.



The AIG bonuses are only a tiny fraction of the total money stolen. That still doesn't make it morally acceptable.

Was the AIG bonus scandal genuine? Or, was it a fnord designed to distract people from the larger theft?

"AIG's executives paid themselves $165M in bonuses after receiving bailout money!" is obviously immoral, even to an idiot. "AIG received a bunch of money to pay for speculative credit default swap insurance contracts!" is much more complicated. Understanding the latter issue comes dangerously close to understanding the fundamentally corrupt nature of the US monetary system.



This article, via Hacker News, was interesting. The FBI searched and seized a datacenter. All of their customers lost their data and access to their business.

If it turns out that the FBI's seizure was inappropriate, that's just too bad. The FBI does not have an obligation to reimburse the business for the time and money wasted, and the cost of angry customers.



This article, via Hacker News, was interesting. It said that there was a 45% year-over-year drop in ads.

That's a misleading statistic. A lot of ads on job sites are fake ads placed by headhunters to collect resumes. There could be a 90% drop in genuine ads but only a 20% drop in fake ads posted by headhunters.

On craigslist, I notice the same fake ads over and over again. I recognize them after awhile. The total volume of ads has dropped, and "% fake" has increased. The real drop cannot be solely measured by the drop in ad volume.



This article, via Hacker News, was interesting. You're better off spending money building a good website, than spending it on marketing.



Via Google Analytics, I noticed this thread on thezeitgeistmovement.com. A frustrated economics student was trying to mention the truth to his professor. Naturally, the professor reacted with hostility.

This is a real problem. The professor was a brainwashed pro-State troll. The other students in the class, picking up the professor's mental energy, also reacted with extreme hostility.

It's very frustrating to be the only voice of truth in a room full of pro-State trolls. For this reason, I actively discourage idiots from posting comments.

The subject was the Federal Reserve. Edward Flaherty seems to be the catchall source for people who want to pro-State troll in favor of the Federal Reserve. Someone cited my "Edward Flaherty is a Troll" post.

There were several people arguing "The Federal Reserve, as currently implemented, is 100% legal/Constitutional." That's missing the point. The legal argument in favor or against the Federal Reserve is irrelevant. The moral argument is the important argument.

The arguments against the Federal Reserve are:
  1. Via inflation, insiders steal from productive workers.
  2. The Compound Interest Paradox is a flaw in fiat debt-based money that is more severe than mere inflation.
  3. When banks lend money, they loan brand new money they just printed.
  4. Banks perform no productive service. Their income is pure looting and pillaging. The financial industry is purely parasitic.
  5. Insiders print new money. They then use this money to buy tangible assets. Financial industry insiders purchased control of all mainstream media corporations. Financial industry insiders spend a ton of money lobbying. They can always profitably lobby to block reform.
They also were making the "income tax is used to pay interest on the national debt" argument. That is partially true, but confuses the true issue. The real issue is that the income tax prevents people from boycotting the Federal Reserve and using other forms of money.

The IRS demands that all labor is subject to taxation. All economic activity is subject to taxation. Taxes can only be paid in Federal Reserve Notes. Therefore, boycotting the Federal Reserve is illegal. You must get permission from the Federal Reserve and financial industry and government whenever you work.

It's amusing how the arguments in favor of the Federal Reserve and income tax are incoherent gibberish. It's totally transparent now. People usually focus on legal technicalities, which is missing the true point. The real point is that the Federal Reserve and income tax are immoral.



This article on msn was amusing. Lawrence H. Summers is the chief economic adviser for Obama. He received millions of dollars from the banksters in the past few years.

I don't see why anyone would be surprised. Most State regulators are "captured regulators". They identify with the insiders in the industry regulated, rather than the general public.

There's a "revolving door", where people work for the government for a few years. Then, they take high-paying jobs in the regulated industry. For example, someone might work at the FDA for a couple of years and then get a high-paying job at a drug company. Arms manufacturers recruit former generals to act as salesmen.

If you have a business that's backed by State violence, of *COURSE* you're going to spend a lot of money lobbying for favors.

If you receive $1B+ in State subsides (directly or indirectly), then it makes perfect sends to spend millions of dollars a year on bribes/lobbying.

Reforming the State is impossible. Insiders can always profitably lobby to block reform. Even if there was a popular "The Federal Reserve is evil!" movement, it would be merely replaced with another regulation that's just as bad or worse. A complete collapse of the economic and political system is the only fair solution.



I liked this comic on xkcd.



This is a flaw in trial by jury. A jury of my peers would be "12 other people who know that government is a massive criminal conspiracy."

In the Pirate Bay trial, there isn't even a jury. It's a couple of judges voting on the decision. The ruling isn't due out for awhile.



I noticed another interesting thing. A lot of the other blogs I read *ALMOST NEVER* link externally.

Some weird SEO rituals say "Don't have external links!" I never saw the point of that.



I noticed that Kevin Carson has AdBrite on his blog now. I wonder if he's using it based on my recommendation?



I really liked this YouTube video, via Check Your Premises. It's John Taylor Gatto talking about "Mandatory public schools are evil."

There were a bunch of good bits.

If people were given the true free choice of public schools or free market schools, then the public schooling system would fall apart within a few years. Not mentioned by Gatto, this would also require the repeal of taxpayer-funded schools. In the present, taxes are a huge burden to would-be homeschoolers or alternative private schools. You're already paying taxes to support public schools, and people don't have resources leftover. Private schools are still regulated by the State, which limits the types of choices.

The public school system is designed to determine which people qualify for good jobs. Most/all good jobs require a State license. A middle manager in a large corporation has an indirect State license. A college degree from a good school isn't an absolute requirement, but it's a huge obstacle to overcome if you have no college degree.

I have a degree from a top school, but I'm still having a problem finding a wage slave job.

The public school system is specifically designed to discourage true learning.

Even if a teacher has good intentions and is a great teacher, there are limits to their effectiveness. The system has a fundamental flaw that cannot be addressed by an individual teacher. Most teachers are unaware of the scam, which is itself an evil fnord. Any teacher that deviates is then identified and fired.

A diligent public school teacher is superificially good, but really evil. A public school teacher thinks that he/she is a brilliant educator. In reality, they're brainwashing their students. Even subjects like Math are abusively taught, becuase the structure of a school discourages all but the top students from learning Math. The teacher sincerely believes they're doing a good thing, which is required to make the Matrix believable.

Is the current corrupt schooling system a deliberate conspiracy? Did it evolve via a series of coincidences and bad decisions? Either way, it's irrelevant and needs to be eliminated.

Notice that some pro-State brainwashing is necessary to institute a system of mandatory public schooling in the first place. Otherwise, the parents would scream "This is wrong!"

Students are trained to spy on each other. If I have a non-conforming idea, then other people are obligated to rat me out to the authorities. Approximately half the population has the parasitic personality type. This makes it hard to introduce non-conforming ideas. People are conditioned to aggressively defend their pro-State brainwashing. Even productive workers will diligently defend their pro-State brainwashing.

By the age of 18 (or even 10!), a child has spend more waking hours with State bureaucrats than with his parents. Also, parents are exhausted from their wage slave job, leaving little time leftover for their child.

There was one key point that Gatto missed. Public schools are funded via taxation/theft/violence. Anything funded by violence is usually evil.

Gatto didn't emphasize enough "Mandatory public schools are paid via taxation/theft!"

It's interesting to read stuff by people like Gatto. They see a slice of the evil of the Matrix, but they don't see the full nature of the scam. I'm good at piecing together the bits of truth found elsewhere.

In the comments, someone said "Women in the workforce! Women should be free!" is an evil fnord. The real motive is to separate children from their parents. A State bureaucrate will never care for a child as well as the mother. This is the Principal-Agent problem.

Interestingly, since I cracked my pro-State brainwashing, I no longer believe "OMFG!! I'm unqualified to raise kids!!" I trust my instincts enough now. Most parent-insecurity is really "I must pro-State brainwash my kids!" insecurity.

A Math teacher seems superficially good. However, the curriculum is designed to quash interest in Math in all but the most talented students. Unless you go to a Math/Science magnet school like I did, there are almost no opportunities for exposure to interesting Math topics.

This comment was disturbing:

I used the word deliberately and intentionally!

In Germany, a girl was forcefully taken to a psych ward and her parents threatened with jail, just because they chose to homeschool. The state's response?: "The almighty state has a duty to prevent "parallel cultures" from developing". In other words, the state has to indoctrinate it's kids. Free citizens aren't supposed to think that way.

How can you call it "socialization" when it actually produces anti-social behaviors on a massive scale?!

Some other countries are far worse than the USA! In the USA, homeschooling is difficult/impractical, but not illegal! (yet!)



It appears that the Yankees got ripped off on their huge contract for A-Rod. He's injured, and he may not play as well as he used to, even after he returns to the lineup.



I liked this post on Check Your Premises. There's a new law regulating toy manufacturing. As usual, the regulation will drive small manufacturers out of business.

Francois Trembaly missed the obvious solution. Work as an agorist toymaker!



This post on dailypaul.com was missing the point. The President has the power to shut down the Internet, in time of national emergency.

Suppose the President actually invoked this power. There would be *MASSIVE* unrest.

Too many legitimate businesses use the Internet. The bad guys can't block the Internet without also blocking lots of useful work by the cattle.

Twitter is used to get live updates from Shaq and other celebrities. Twitter can also be used to share the truth. You can't block the truth without also blocking Shaq.

I read an interesting bit elsewhere. Some celebrities say that they like Twitter, because it lets them directly connect with fans. Some celebrities are taking charge of their own image, rather than letting PR agents manage it. I heard that LeBron James did this and was successful. At the time, he was decried as an idiot for firing his agent.



This post on dailypaul.com was interesting. The US military has a desperate need for warm bodies, and their budget is tight. They are cutting corners on training troops. Someone lamented that the new troops are really inferior to those trained a couple of years ago.

My reaction is the opposite of the poster. If the quality and training of State violent enforcers is decreasing, my response is "Good!"



This post on dailypaul.com was interesting. Someone wrote their Congressman, explaining his concerns about the Federal Reserve. He received a stock reply saying "The Federal Reserve is awesome!" Essentially, the response was "**** you! I don't care what you have to say."

The letter was probably read/responded by a staffer, and not the Congressman himself.

Anybody concerned about the evils of the Federal Reserve and income tax is wasting time writing their Congressman. You don't get selected to be a Congressman unless you're thoroughly brainwashed as a pro-State troll. The banksters spend a massive amount of money lobbying. They can always profitably block reform.



This YouTube video has an analysis of the financial crisis that was the usual pro-State trolling. I didn't watch the whole thing. There was an interesting bit at the beginning. The guest interviewed allegedly coined the work "banksters". This was in reference to the S&L scandal in the 80s and the "Keating 5".

I'm surprised that John McCain's role in the 80s S&L scandal wasn't hyped in the 2008 election. That issue got almost no mainstream media citations.



By E-Mail, someone asked me to look at this YouTube video. It's about recycling gold, silver, and copper from old computers.

For some parts of the computer, most notably the CPU, gold is the best metal to use.

This destroys the "gold has no industrial uses" argument. Copper is more commonly used, because it is cheaper. In some applications, the expense of gold is worth it.

I never realized that gold was an important component of all computers.

You shouldn't attempt to recycle gold from old computers unless you're an expert. You must use dangerous chemicals to extract and refine the gold.

I wonder if, someday, landfills will be the best places to mine!



I watched Sunday's episode of "The Celebrity Apprentice". The project manager had a stupid idea. Joan Rivers kept insistently saying "This is a stupid idea!" The project manager accused Joan Rivers of insubordination.

That team lost. The project manager was smart enough to not invite Joan Rivers in with him to Donald Trump for the firing ceremony.

This is a common misconception in business. If you're a good project leader, you want your subordinates to disagree if your idea is stupid. A parasitic project leader values power more than effectiveness. Even if you have the productive personality type, you can get caught in the trap of following the model set by parasitic people.

"The Apprentice" is a bad model for business. In a real business, you get to choose your subordinates. On "The Apprentice", your subordinates are explicitly your competition. In most wage slave jobs, the boss really does take the attitude "A talented subordinate is competition!"

On the actual task, "create a viral video", I would have created 5-10 videos and picked the best one to submit. One thing I've learned from blogging is "Volume leads to quality." The more content you have, the more likely there is to be something popular.



On the Communism Channel on Monday, the comedians were saying "Gold closed lower than it was on January 1. Hooray for the State! Gold investors are idiots!"

They didn't mention that gold has still outperformed the S&P 500 so far in 2009.

They almost never mention that gold outperformed the S&P 500 by a substantial margin over the past 10 years.

I was arguing with some relatives over "Gold is a good investment." It's pathetic how they recited the usual pro-State counter-arguments. It's obvious they were thinking "I logically refuted FSK!" It was frustrating. I tried explaining economics correctly, but was shouted down by more persistent relatives. I realized "Why bother?" It still was frustrating.

That's the most frustrating part about debating idiots. They think "I logically refuted FSK!", but their arguments really are incoherent gibberish. It's painfully obvious to me now when I see the Matrix in action.



Someone made a reddit submission for "Financial Industry Bailouts and the Compound Interest Paradox". It generated almost no traffic.

That illustrates why I don't normally waste time promoting my blog on sites like Reddit. It's too easy for a good submission to get lost in a morass of noise.

I did log in to upvote it. I doubt that mattered.

Some paid disinformation agents intentionally flood sites like Reddit with noise. This causes an unwanted good submission to drop off the first page, where almost nobody will read it. If you have a clique of 100+ user IDs who mutually vote up each others' stories, then your mischief can go virtually undected.



This craigslist ad was interesting. They're looking for people who were victims of "click fraud" while using Google AdWords, for a class action lawsuit. AdWords is the opposite side of AdSense. AdWords is what you buy to advertise on blogs. AdSense is what you use if you're publishing a blog.

I sent them my anecdote about having a bad experience with AdSense. They didn't respond.



barry b. has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #92":

FSK,

You must be busy. I was referring to a video you referenced recently in one of your articles. This guy, who reminds me of 'Borat' interviews nancy pelosi about her double standards on minimum wage since they sometimes don't pay Congression Pages minumum wage. Does that conjure up the memory? I went back and tried to find it but couldn't

I forgot to answer this one last time.

I don't recall that. I did a brief YouTube search and couldn't find it.

I do remember reading an article about "Borat" doing an interview with Ron Paul. Ron Paul didn't realize that it was a comedian doing an interview. Surprisingly, none of Ron Paul's handlers knew he was a comedian. Allegedly, Ron Paul was made to look like an idiot.



I put in some time posting on mises.org again lately.

In this thread, someone was promoting real estate as an investment.

Real estate should underperform gold and silver for several reasons.

The biggest reason is property taxes. Property taxes are a drag on the return from a real estate investment. If there's 10% inflation, your property taxes will probably also rise by 10%.

When you buy real estate, you don't actually own it. You merely have a perpetual transferable lease.

Another problem is zoning laws. A few blocks away, someone is buddies with the zoning board and builds a big apartment building. That decreases the value of my house.

Another problem is tax breaks for new construction. New construction frequently is exempt from property taxes for a certain number of years. To compensate, other properties pay higher taxes.

Another problem is that housing wears out. You have to spend money on repairs.

Another problem is rent control laws. Even if your rental property isn't subject to rent control, the regulation could be changed later.

One advantage of real estate is that, in times of hyperinflation, your mortgage gets wiped out. You can repay the loan with devalued money. "Maximize your leverage!" is a risky strategy, because you'll get wiped out during the next deflationary recession/depression. If you aren't "too big to fail" and you aren't an insider, leverage will cause you to lose everything during the next bust.

I do agree with the conventional wisdom. "Owning" is superior to renting if you plan to stay for 7+ years.

(This bit deserves its own separate post.)



In this thread on mises.org, an idiot was arguing "Taxes are valid. You're paying the government for services rendered."

Taxation is not a voluntary exchange.

How do I tell the State, "You're fired! I'm hiring police and justice and defense from someone else!"

This is illegal/impractical. Therefore, taxation is not voluntary and I'm really the personal property of the tax collector.

I don't own my labor, because I must pay tax on it.

I don't own my land, because I must pay property taxes.

Doesn't that make me a slave? If I don't own my labor and I don't own land, what else could I be but a slave?

(This bit deserves its own separate post.)



In this thread on mises.org, someone was confused by the comedians on the Communism Channel. The comedians were arguing "Printing new fiat money is not inflationary, because more goods and services will also be produced."

Anybody who says "Printing more fiat paper money is not inflationary!" is a complete idiot and should not be taken seriously.

I don't take anyone on the Communism Channel (CNBC) seriously. It's just an elaborate comedy sketch.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Communist Manifesto's Successful Implementatio...":

RE: #4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

This was first carried out through the establishment of what FDR referred to as "concentration camps". Thousands of Japanese-Americans were suddenly classified as threats to national security, about half of these were children (born in America children!).

Thousands of German-Americans and Italian-Americans were also rounded up and imprisoned in these "camps".

- All of their properties were confiscated.

It also happens in the present. If you don't pay taxes/tribute, then the bad guys will steal your property.

During the Reagan/Bush administration, the Federal government issued an apology for its actions and paid a small settlement to the (few) surviving victims.

BTW: The so called "internment camps" became an issue after it was reveled that Reagan, Bush and Oliver North had been building new improved concentration camps all across America.

Despite the apologies, contracts for building these camps are still being granted to Kellogg, Brown and Root (a subsidiary of Halliburton)

These prison camps, with a total capacity to detain millions, are allegedly intended for illegal immigrants and "terrorists".

I keep hearing stories about "death camps" being built across the USA.

A major city is *ALREADY* a death camp. If supplies of food and water are cut off, and the roads blocked, then most of the people inside will die.

It's silly to move people to death camps. It's much more productive to loot the cattle. If you give people an illusion of freedom, they'll be more productive.

On the other hand, the bad guys probably are paranoid enough to order building secret death camps. They probably couldn't be widely used without massive problems. Already, there are plenty of laws that can be used to frivolously arrest people.

It's much better to arrest dissenters one at a time, and label them as "criminals", rather than doing a mass purge.

If there really were a well-coordinated massive evil conspiracy, then why haven't I been assassinated by now? Parasites will always cooperate, when the goal is to loot productive workers. Parasites cooperating provides the illusion of a massive evil conspiracy.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Interesting Quote":

He provided the source: Woodrow Wilson's book "The New Freedom" (1913)

Here are a couple more related quotes. In 1913, Edward Mandell House, Founder of the Council on Foreign Relations, allegedly said the following to Woodrow Wilson:

“Very soon, every American will be required to register their biological property in a national system designed to keep track of the people and that will operate under the ancient system of pledging. By such methodology, we can compel people to submit to our agenda, which will effect our security as a chargeback for our fiat paper currency. Every American will be forced to register or suffer being unable to work and earn a living. They will be our chattel, and we will hold the security interest over them forever, by operation of the law merchant under the scheme of secured transactions. Americans, by unknowingly or unwittingly delivering the bills of lading to us will be rendered bankrupt and insolvent, forever to remain economic slaves through taxation, secured by their pledges. They will be stripped of their rights and given a commercial value designed to make us a profit and they will be none the wiser, for not one man in a million could ever figure our plans and, if by accident one or two should figure it out, we have in our arsenal plausible deniability. After all, this is the only logical way to fund government, by floating liens and debt to the registrants in the form of benefits and privileges. This will inevitably reap to us huge profits beyond our wildest expectations and leave every American a contributor to this fraud which we will call “Social Insurance.” Without realizing it, every American will insure us for any loss we may incur and in this manner, every American will unknowingly be our servant, however begrudgingly. The people will become helpless and without any hope for their redemption and, we will employ the high office of the President of our dummy corporation to foment this plot against America.”

chattel = slaves, servants.

Registration of biological property; birth registration / certificate.

In his 2002 book “Memoirs” CFR Director David Rockefeller (JR) wrote the following:

"For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure
- one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it."

Inordinate: not within proper limits; excessive; unrestrained in conduct.
Cabal: another word for "conspiracy."

My favorite Woodrow Wilson quote is the one where he admits that signing the Federal Reserve Act was a big ****up. Other sources say that was misattributed.

It's irrelevant whether it's a deliberate conspiracy, or the result of a series of bad decisions. Either way, the current system is corrupt and must be eliminated.

Members of the parasite class really are that evil. On the other hand, parasites tend to also be stupid.

If there were a massive super-efficient evil conspiracy, then I should have been assassinated as I first started blogging. Pretty soon, I'll have spread the truth to enough people that "Assassinate FSK!" won't prevent the truth from spreading to everyone.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Do Aliens Exist?":

Re this statement: - Exactly how is it "statistically unlikely" that alien life doesn't exist? As far as I know we have no way of computing the likelihood.

Well, lets see. Our own galaxy has 200-400 billion stars and we know of at least 150 billion OTHER galaxies with the same amount of stars. As we know it, life requires a star. If you calculate 200 billion stars * 150 billion other galaxies, you come up with a rough estimate on the number of stars (on the low end) of 30,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000. That's an AWFUL large amount of stars. As a matter of fact, thats more stars than we have grains of sand on the earth.

If earth just happened to be in the right place at the right time at the right distance from the star with the right organic molecules to begin forming life, you think we're 1 out of 30 sextillion? pretty tough concept to grasp. As we know it, everything that has occured once will occur again in 30 sextillion. Just to put it into perspective, if you take 30 sextillion and factor in your statistical probability of winning the lottery of 1:22.9 million, you would win the lottery 1,310,043,668,122,270 times.

You won't know the true odds of "Do Aliens Exist?" until:
  1. You meet aliens in person. *OR*
  2. You've explored a sufficient number of planets.
Suppose that only 1 planet in every 100 galaxies can support intelligent life. That's plausible. By definition, we live on a planet that supports intelligent life. By conditional probability, you can't draw any conclusions from one datapoint.

Suppose that 100 planets per galaxy can support intelligent life. Then, we'll discover that after we sufficiently explore our galaxy.

Based on the fnords I see, "Benevolent aliens are secretly helping me!" appears to be believable. There's no smoking gun. It's a plausible explanation that's consistent with my observations.

Also remember that technology progresses exponentially. The technology available 1000 years from now will seem incredible compared to what's available now. A race that's 1000 years more advanced that humans probably is so advanced that they wouldn't bother to contact us directly until we're more advanced.



s_baar has left a new comment on your post ""Public Private Partnership" Fnord":

Do you know how often the banks take advantage of the discount rate? I hear mixed things about this, a lot or a little, but it seems pretty pivotal to your point.

The Discount Rate and Fed Funds Rate are different.

For example, suppose bank executives make a swap agreement with the Federal Reserve. Assets are moved from the bank's balance sheet to the Federal Reserve's balance sheet. The rate is usually the Discount Rate.

The Discount Rate is usually 0.5%-1% more than the Fed Funds Rate.

The Fed Funds Rate is the rate that banks charge each other for surplus reserves.

A bank with surplus reserves lends them to other banks. A bank with insufficient reserves borrows from other banks. Almost every day, the Federal Reserve creates new money via its "open market operations".

Superficially, banks are borrowing from depositors. In reality, all banks are borrowing from the Federal Reserve. Suppose the Federal Reserve "monetizes the debt", creating $10B. That $10B is immediately lent out to borrowers. Then, that $10B shows up as a deposit in someone's account. (Actually, it's $9B, because there's a 10:1 reserve ratio requirement. $1B remains on the bank's balance sheet. Notice that the 10:1 reserve ratio requirement means that 10% of all money must be on the balance sheet of a bank.)

Banks appear to be borrowing from depositors. That is merely an illusion. When the Federal Reserve creates new money, it immediately winds up in a depositor's account and not the bank's account.

All money in circulation was created via Federal Reserve open market operation. The only exception is the money that existed in 1913 as physical gold. This was then exchanged for Federal Reserve Points.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Another Parasite Control Trick":

What skill do you have that produces the highest value?

The biggest value in a wage slave context has been computer programming. That seems to be drying up because:
  1. The economy is lousy right now.
  2. In computer programming, your experience loses its market value every few years. All my experience is in languages that are no longer commonly used. You can argue "Learn X FSK and you'll always have plenty of work!" I had that same attitude when I invested time becoming an expert C++/Windows financial systems programmer. All jobs now require C# or C++/Linux, and my experience isn't valued. I disagree with "FSK's experience is useless!", but my experience certainly has a very low market value. Even if skill X is in high demand now, learning it is no guarantee of future labor. It takes a couple of years for me to get credibility as an "expert", and by then the industry may have moved on to other things.
  3. As I gain awareness of parasites, any parasite on a hiring committee will always veto the decision to hire me.
  4. Most employers prefer someone inexperienced they can exploit, rather than someone experienced. The fact that I am more likely to advocate for my own interests, makes me a less desirable employee.
  5. Working in a corporate context is working as a slave.
  6. In a wage slave environment, it usually makes no difference if you have brilliant software or it barely runs. As a highly skilled computer programmer, I'm never going to be fully valued or used in a wage slave context.
In terms of real value, my blogging and agorism-related activity seems to have the greatest real value. In a slave economy, real value doesn't necessarily translate to money.

I don't know much about blogging, and while I think your blog is good, I don't think its something that seems like it would be profitable, or a situation where you're going to enjoy doing it.

I enjoy blogging. Blogging has been beneficial to me, because I've been writing down my ideas. Even if I had zero readers, writing down my ideas is valuable. I get some useful feedback from readers.

I would continue blogging, even if I never expected to profit from it. Blogging has helped me refine and polish my ideas. Seeing the truth doesn't lead to immediate profit. It actually might be making it harder for me to get another wage slave job; I'd be better off as a brainwashed pro-State troll. I prefer to know the truth than not know the truth. It's scary to see how bad things actually are. Seeing the truth should benefit me, eventually.

For now, my blogging income goal is "Earn enough to move off Blogger and pay for a Linode." That requires $20/month. I'm not on pace to make that in April. I need 100x-1000x more regular readers for blogging to be viable as a business. I estimate that the size of the Remnant is 1M+ in the USA. I certainly haven't maximized my potential audience.

Regrettably, my traffic so far in April is lower compared to March! That's a disappointment. One week isn't a statistically significant time frame.

Attracting new regular readers is a slow process, because I don't have a mainstream media outlet promoting my blog. I'm getting some traffic from Google, and some traffic when other people share links to my blog.

I'm looking to expand from blogging to other things. There's no need to rush. I'm focusing on "promote agorism" and "promote the truth" now.

My other business ideas are:
  1. Put software on my site other than just a blog. "Plentyoffish" is an example of a profitable one-man web-based business. I don't need to make $1M+. I just need to earn as much as I would otherwise make as a wage slave software engineer.
  2. Start a vlog.
  3. Attempt "promote agorism via standup comedy".
  4. Sell agorist-themed T-Shirts.
  5. Attempt to start an agorist counter-economy.
  6. Sell agorist-style drug-free mental health treatment.

That's the other question-- what do you enjoy most? Is there any intersection between the high value skills you have and what you enjoy?

In wage slave context, writing software has been my most valuable skill. My highest value real skill is seeing the evil of the State and the Matrix.

Whatever that intersection is, that's probably the industry you should go into.

I'm most seriously considering standup comedy. That's probably a several year investment. I'm going to wait at least a few more months before making a move in that direction.

In the meantime, I'm still seeking a regular wage slave job. I'm also pursuing other possibilities.

I'm currently in a "figure out strategy" stage. If I never implement my strategy, then I'm a hypocrite! It's morally acceptable for me to wait another year or two, because I'm hopelessly surrounded by pro-State trolls. Plus, I'm still discovering more bits of the truth, and my awareness is still increasing. I'm way more alert compared to two weeks ago.

I do need a partner, in the sense of another non-brainwashed person with whom I can share ideas and strategies. However, I don't need a partner in the startup partner productive/parasite sense. The easiest way to cure someone of their pro-State brainwashing is to start seriously dating them. As my partner mirrors my mental state, they'll learn to think clearly. Hopefully, it won't be as traumatic for her, because she wouldn't be alone. I suspect many women somehow realize this, and are simultaneosly attracted to and incredibly scared of me.

Then, given that industry, find a way where an individual can create a business. Since one person can't do it all, see if you can get a partner. But if that looks like a recipe for disaster, see if you can find a solution where you can outsource the things outside your areas of skill.

BZZT! Wrong! "You need a partner" is productive/parasite thinking. A productive worker always needs a parasite as his partner. I no longer fit into that mold.

I do need a partner, in the sense of someone to share ideas with and to give me encouragement. In-person encouragement is a lot better than virutal blogging encouragement.

I've decided that all businesses I start will be 100% owned by me. I may hire employees, but I'm going to keep 100% ownership of my business.

If I start a business with someone else as a 50-50 split, that leads to problems. What if we disagree? What if my partner is less productive than me?

I'm not going to hire employees (on-the-books or agorist-style) until I have the cashflow to justify it.

Its kind of amazing what you can outsource these days-- from web applications hosting, to billing, to artwork, etc.

Outsourcing webhosting is definitely a good idea. I already chose Linode.

For writing software, it doesn't pay for me to hire others until later. For now, 100% written by me is the way to go.

I don't really need artwork. For an agorist-style business, billing is a non-issue. I'd only accept payment in physical gold/silver of physical slave points. For AdBrite, they merely send me a check.

Find something where you can create a bit of value-- value worth paying for-- for not a lot of money out of pocket. Make sure it works. Something that solves a problem, and then market it.

I'm not planning to put my content behind a paywall. At this point, spreading the truth is more important.

When I get my own site, I may accept donations and offer perks to donators.

You'll learn a huge amount by this, even if its a failure.

Then you can do better next time, or you can extend your first effort by adding more value.

Its not easy, but its rewarding, and it lets you do things right.

This last bit is a good advice. You should have several low-risk projects going simultaneously. If you have several projects, then one of them may be successful.

As a wage slave, it's infeasible to have several different income sources cooking simulatneously.

I have several plans. I'm not ready to start implementing them yet.

In the past few weeks, I've been feeling more alert, but not panicky. Hopefully, this time I'll be able to stay in the "higher alertness" state without being involuntarily hospitalized and drugged.

"FSK needs a partner" is bad advice. It's better to keep 100% ownership. I won't involve someone else until I have the cashflow to justify it. If I write my own code and open-source it, I'll accept contributions from others, but I'll plan on not receiving any.

I do need a partner in the sense of "Someone who isn't a pro-State troll to share ideas with." Certain things can only be done in person. I'm noticing *MUCH* better reactions from women lately. I should be on the right track. Surprisingly, "FSK is an unemployed loser who lives with his parents!" isn't a big obstacle when you have a sane mental state.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post ""Public Private Partnership" Fnord":

Another thing, quasi-private "NGOs" performing nanny-state and other functions essentially get deputized and given powers and immunities normally reserved for government agencies. An incestuous relationship, even absent overt or occult malfeasance.

The most evil of these "quasi-governmental entities" is the Federal Reserve. As another example, Con Edison has a State-licensed electricity monopoly. Con Ed is a privately owned corporation. Con Ed's profits are 100% backed by State violence. Competing electricity vendors are explicitly forbidden.

All corporations should be considered a branch of the State. Corporations and most industries are heavily regulated.



Db0 (http://dbzer0.com/) has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #93":

You're right that the Free Market represents Communism, but that is only because the Free Market is impossible to have along with Capitalism who is designed to restrict markets.

Capitalism and free markets are nearly opposite ideas.

A central bank credit monopoly is the opposite of a free market. A State with taxation power is the opposite of a free market. People have no choice but to purchase police/justice/defense from the State, and all sorts of other unneeded "services" are bundled with the State.

Is there private property in your idealized Communist society? There should be. Otherwise, there's a State that can force people to give up their labor.

Of course not, and the abolition of a private property does not require a state. Simply that people refuse to acknowledge such claims. On the contrary, the enforcement of private property requires either a state of the law of the jungle.

I consider it proven that "Private property is legitimate." If you believe "Property is theft!", then you're an idiot.

It is possible to enforce private property claims in a true free market. Defending property from invasion is cheaper than mounting an invasion.

In a true free market, someone wouldn't own more land than they personally needed. If someone tried to buy a monopoly of land, all they would really accomplish is driving up the price of land. It wouldn't be profitable. Monopolies only make economic sense when supported by a government.

You mention Karl Marx's points towards the progression to Communism but you display a very superficial understanding of what Marx was about. A cursory glance at the Communist Manifesto will not give you an idea as this is a propagandistic piece with as much detail at the declaration of independence. If you read the rest of it and/or the rest of his writings you will notice that he means something different than you expect when he says "state". Those 10 pieces were furthermore just one suggestion, not a dogma set in stone. Marx was not a prophet.

Karl Marx is dead, so I can't ask him. I predict that if he were alive, and someone explained agorism to him, he'd like it. That's an impossible experiment to perform.

The overall agenda for the New World order appears to be:
  1. The State seizes control of the means of production. This happened in 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve and income tax. Things went steadily downhill from there.
  2. People gain awareness of the truth.
  3. The State collapses and a true free market emerges.
Whether this was Karl Marx' plan or not is irrelevant, because he's dead.

My point is "Karl Marx is evil!" is pro-State propaganda taught in schools. His actual works are not read or discussed in schools. If people read "10 planks of the Communist Manifesto" in school, they'd realize that most/all of them were implemented.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Compound Interest Paradox Revisited - Examples...":

The example is correct as posted because of the fractional reserve system.

$1 million in cash on the banks balance sheet can be used to extend credits equaling $10 million. This is not usually a problem because the borrowers will not hold all of their borrowed money in cash at all times. They will pay sometimes with cash, others with check or wire transfer.

This Anonymous commenter is referring to a previous comment on that post.

If Blogger created proper trackbacks, there'd be a citation when I mention the post in "Reader Mail". I'm not going to add the trackbacks manually.

I haven't seen any logical refutation of my arguments regarding the Compound Interest Paradox. A lot of pro-State trolls say "I logically refuted FSK!", but their arguments are incoherent gibberish.



David Z has left a new comment on your post "Are College Athletes Exploited?":

FSK, here's a bit of FYI in response to "For example, it isn't a violation of NCAA rules for me to give money to a basketball player attending Purdue. I have no affiliation with Purdue, and therefore the NCAA rules don't apply to me."

Nope, but the rules apply to the players. Most NCAA athletes, especially scholarship athletes, are barred from even having a part-time job. They are also not allowed to capitalize on their status as an athlete. The latter is pretty much grey area, but is generally interpreted to mean, "If you're a college athlete, and someone gives you money, it's probably because you're a college athlete, and therefore a violation of NCAA rules.
My point is that it's not a crime for me to give money to a Purdue basketball player.

The player could get in trouble. If the payments are done under-the-table, then how would anyone ever know? Coaches intentionally ignore such things, so they can claim plausible deniability later.

The fact that someone would give money to a college athlete to influence them is evidence that they are underpaid/exploited. For example, a star NBA player probably wouldn't risk taking bribes from a gambler, because his NBA career is valuable.



Greg has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #93":

1. As far as home ownership goes, I prefer owning for many reasons. The prices are NOT high in many "Middle America" type places. And the wages are not that much lower in proportion. A couple working at McDonalds could easily buy a decent house in my area. Not that you'd want to work at McDonald's, just that it's possible. I am self-employed and work virtually. Therefore I can live wherever I want. I understand not everyone wants to live where things are cheap, but only wage slaves really have to worry about living "where the jobs are." I'd rather make $30,000 where houses are $100,000 than make six figures where houses are seven. While property taxes and zoning codes prevent one from truly owning their own property, I can do a lot more with my house than a renter. I plant what I want to plant. I can rip up my yard and build a playground. I can paint what I want, remodel,etc.

For personal reasons, moving to an area with a lower cost of living is not an option right now.

I agree with "conventional wisdom" on this one. If you plan to stay 7+ years, owning is better than renting. If you probably will move in less than 7 years, then renting is preferable.

My other point is that, due to property taxes, you don't get full allodial title to your land. Even if you "own" land, you're merely leasing it from the State via property taxes.

2. What is "alleged" about the Kochs funding all the libertarian think tanks? This is common knowledge.

My point really was "The Kochs maliciously funded the libertarian think tanks. The (L)libertarian movement is an evil fnord that distracts people from more effective means of resistance, such as agorism."

The Libertarian movement started at around the same time as agorism was being developed. Was the Libertarian party a deliberate move designed to trick people away from agorism?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I didn't say you needed a partner, and if you'll look at it again, you quoted me saying not to get one if it would be a disaster. I didn't say anything about the ownership split.

I did say that having a partner is good for bouncing ideas off of, and getting feedback.

Some good partners that might work are people with a different background or skillset who are friends. Call them an advisory board if you need to stroke their egos, but they don't need to be paid. I've had good success with this.

I've started several businesses. I'm a software developer. All of my businesses have been %100 owned by me, except for the last one. This last one was much better because I do have a partner. (My partner is an agorist as well.) Its nice to have someone to collaborate with and keep us focused on the right things... but in the past I've used friends who I met with periodically as an advisory board, and the advantage of having a business partner over and advisory board is that that the advisors you can see maybe once a week but a partner is always there.

A bad partner is worse than no partner, though, of course.

You're very wrong when you say that expertise in C++/Windows is irrelevant because some employer might want something else.

There's a fnord in software hiring that you have to have experience with some particular technology in order to be able to do a job-- I once was told by a recruiter that because my Java software talked to an Oracle database that was version 8 of oracle that I wasn't qualified for a job writing Java software that talked to version 9 of Oracle. She actually said "They're looking for Oracle 9 experience."

This is the equivilent of telling a truck driver that he can't be hired to drive a delivery pickup-truck because his previous job had him driving a toyota and the new job would have him driving a ford.

These people are clueless, and this is typical of HR.

DON'T let them infect your thinking.

Programming is programming. I've been doing it for nearly 30 years, and what I learned in Basic and Fortran back in the day is relevant in C++ today.

Language is irrelevant to a programmer. Platform is irrelevant to a programmer. Even industry is irrelevant to a programmer. (I've worked in the financial industry, I've worked in games, they both require different math but its not relevant.)

Web applications are not the only software that has market value. There' are packaged programs (Sucks on windows, though I have a friend who wrote a single piece of window software and makes a decent living on it)... on the Mac there are a lot of solo people who are making a decent living with an application or two. Where the real action is, though, is the iPhone. Apple provides the distribution under reasonable terms and the market is going like crazy. There's a bit of a gold rush mentality right now, but I expect after that shakes out it will be the best place to put software.

This is what me and my partner are doing.

Find the area where you can offer the best value. That is going to be programming. (its not going to be standup comedy-- you can't package and sell a standup routine, really.)

A software platform for homeschoolers to use is a great idea. Develop some privacy software for libertarian nuts like us, though that one is a difficult one from a business model perspective.

Whatever, find what's unique about you, find a market that could really use a software solution that you can provide them, and make it.

I wasn't saying you should stop blogging, but that this blog is not likely to be a viable business. I wouldn't recommend duplicating the plentyoffish effort, or otherwise making a web based application, unless you do something like 37signals-- provide something people value and will pay for. Generally its harder to sell access to a web app than it is to sell packaged software.

The software business is the best one ever discovered-- because it costs you nothing for each individual sale... and really there isn't a lot of competition-- most programmers are worker bees who want a stable job and have little initiative.

This means that even if there is competition in the area you want to go into, it is probably pretty poor. (and if its good, then look to see if there's a mac equivalent-- if there isn't you can make more money with a Mac app in a given market than with a windows app, for a variety of reasons, its a better platform for an indie developer.... and your users will love you because you're the only game in town.)

On the windows side of the isle, these kinds of one man shops are called "micro-ISVs" there's a lot of resources out there, and a so-so book on the subject.

You really can be a software company by yourself.

Kevin Carson said...

I did check out Adbrite on your recommendation, as a matter of fact. It's not making me much money, though.

Db0 said...

I consider it proven that "Private property is legitimate." If you believe "Property is theft!", then you're an idiot.

Whatever you consider proven is irrelevant. Calling others idiots because you can't argue your position sayd more about you than everyone else.

It is possible to enforce private property claims in a true free market. Defending property from invasion is cheaper than mounting an invasion.


Bollocks! Please explain how it would be less costly to defend your factory from takeover by its workers. How about if you have 10 factories.


If someone tried to buy a monopoly of land, all they would really accomplish is driving up the price of land. It wouldn't be profitable.


Of course it would. Furthermore one does not need a monopoly of land in order to try and get it as rent is always profitable. Not to mention that most of the time land is sold because one is in a difficult situation, which makes the price drop.

A truly free market is not compatible with private property for the acculumation of it restricts the markets.

Wilbert said...

LONG TIME LURKER, first time commenter. Your post struck a chord in me today as I have struggled with fnord that going to college is the best way to go. I elected to be trained in skilled labor, a plumber.

I have done well for myself, and am able to practice some agorism when it comes to my side jobs.

It's a shame that the Fed will lend 200K for school, but not for a business. It's almost like the Fed would rather you be dependent, than make your own way. But hey, that's good for business right?

I have chosen to be in skilled labor, and of my 6 friends who have degrees, I am "better off" than 4 of them.

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