Dorion Mode

November 1, 2021

The Bitcoin address as a sign of intelligence

Filed under: Bitcoin — Robinson Dorion @ 00:15

As Bitcoin continues its unyielding march toward global domination, disrupting all forms of socialism down to the Wormatiense roots, more and more of the burdensome exigences of the two cent class just wants to join the party. Being what they are, they either don't want to actually change and adapt themselves in response to the evolutionary pressure Bitcoin is imposing or they're simply too poor to do so. They really only want the fiat gainz of the booty Bitcoin reaps in the war of attrition it's waging. Furthermore, they want to pretend that not only will the gainz make them rich, but that transactions shall be free or at least cheap enough to support their misrepresentations of reality. They prefer to hallucinate Bitcoin is some better form of democracy, that no matter how small their majority is, what matters is head count rather than money.

Today, I'm finding these ill-conceived notions manifest most obviously when it comes to the question of what is a valid Bitcoin address. For the uninitiated, Bitcoin addresses are called Pay to Public Key Hash (P2PKH) and start with a 1. One type of fake Bitcoin address to date is called Pay to Script Hash (P2SH). P2SH started as just multi-signature and then had Segregated Witness (Segwit, aka Jim Crow) functionality bolted on, these addresses start with a 3. The other type of fake Bitcoin address is called Bech32, which are only used for segtwit and start with a bc1. Before we delve into the details, let's detour a bit into my own learning process so you can see how and why I've come to this position.

People failing to grok Bitcoin is by no means something that's new. After all, it's a convergence of many complex fields, from money to politics to computers to cryptography and more. Change is costly and mediocre people, being resource optimizing organisms just as normal people, surely would prefer to get paid for changing as little as possible about themselves, if only it were feasible. Indeed, Bitcoin being a better PayPal/Our Democracy were prevalent well before I started learning about it in 2012 and going in full time in 2014. Admittedly, I held these notions too for a while, though I didn't realize it at first. I met the Coinapult bros in 2013, listened to several of the "Let's Talk Bitcoin" podcasts from that era, followed links from /r/Bitcoin believing I was researching, etc. While Coinapult was trying to do market making and arbitrage on play exchanges and payment processing for merchants and that's where the money was in their model1, the prime focus of 2014 was not improving the trading nor getting more merchants really, but instead, spurred by a combination of Wall Street investors wanting to see users over profits and the socialist, being an engineer tendencies of the "CEO" Ira Miller, the management formed some cheap slogan about lowering barriers to entry to improve access and yada yada yada about crushing payment obstacles, i.e. the opposite of strategic superiority. This manifested in the majority of the company's payroll being malinvested into the development of a webwallet and falsely claiming Bitcoins could be sent by email and SMS. The other branch of the malinvestment was in office space2. Nevertheless, being an energetic, but n00b 24 year old, I poured myself into the job and drank the Kool-Aid for a while, until about December 2014.

I don't remember exactly when, but the fundamental cause of me starting to puke up that Kool-Aid and realize my notions were ill-conceived was the blocksize war. Bitcoin, while nevertheless the biggest thing going on in computing at the time3, was a lot smaller then and the socialist media coverage Sybil attack was a lot weaker or at least a lot less verbose. Thus, signals from the font slipped through and I had the smarts to investigate, reading first lots4 from Trilema, Contravex, Loper-OS, the Forum logs5, Qntra and later Ossasepia, The Whet, etc. Mircea Popescu was the first and most informed to oppose Gavin Andresen's bid to hardfork the Bitcoin protocol6. While the technical issues were interesting, they were very much over my head at first until I started spending more time talking with Jacob Welsh and feeding off his explanations to support my own reading. What I understood better, or at least had better sense for, were the political tensions.

Before I dive into the political, I'll note that the technical tensions come down to the security of the blockchain, one measurement of which is Bitcoin node count. Nailing down a number is a harder task than the casual observer might expect. A primary factor in the difficulty is the fact that pretty much all modern hardware has been backdoored. While you may have heard a lot of noise in recent years about the dangers of running Huawai network hardware, the fact is, Intel has been backdooring its chips since about 2008 with the Management Engine. This means for the network to maintain security and actual decentralization, it's imperative that older hardware can keep up with the data processing requirements and the verification of cryptographic signatures is not cheap compared to other tasks one might make a computer do. This is a major issue scalability sheep overlook and a likely reason influence agents push the myth that blockchains can safely scale on extant hardware. If everyone's on newer hardware, you increase the odds 3 letter agencies have a backdoor to the network. Read that again. By January 2015, I recall having dinner with Ashe and telling him I was coming around to the idea of the importance of adapting the world as it is to Bitcoin rather than adapting Bitcoin to the extant world. That, if I had to choose between the two, I would rather live in a world were I was too broke to send Bitcoin transactions, but where Bitcoin was strong and secure than experience the short-term gratification of being able to send Bitcoin whenever I pleased on a chain that is weakened and in the long-term easier for its enemies to subvert. The other option is to want to be able to spend Bitcoin such that you make yourself rich enough to have a miner include your transactions in a block. That was a fundamental realization for me and certainly instructed by Bitcoin's Declaration of Sovereignty.

On the political side, the aspect that stood out to me the most was how hard Gavin Andresen was pushing the change for the sake of "mass adoption", i.e. the perceived interests of extant no coiners, with little to no regard for the security of the blockchain, i.e. the needs and interests of the extant owners and miners and their ability to maintain full nodes. He was pushing a risky change to a perceived future problem and meanwhile ignoring legitimate questions from informed and powerful stakeholders7. The two conversations best demonstrating Gavin's pigheadedness are one with davout and another in the forum, the latter of which Gavin seemingly and conveniently for him avoided MP's presence and which included pointed comments such as :

ben_vulpes in any event, gavinandresen, there'll be no more forks from you. you blew it back in the day, and you lost the initiative on this one months ago.

What did this mean, how did he blow it back in the day ?8 Well, thankfully, Mr. Popescu9 took the time to write it out, start with these, Bitcoind : not quite ready for prime time ; In re Bitcoin Devs are idiots ; And Gavin moves on to the dark side. The Bitcoin project is officially hijacked ; Bitcoin was written by the retarded, part II ; The sins of the group of posers behind the so called "Bitcoin Foundation". Once you've groked those, move on to the meta considerations, e.g. USGavin, the lolcow. Fast forward to April 2015, the scam bitcoin foundation runs out of coin to pay half to Gavin and half to USG and what does he do ? Gavin goes to MIT to be handled by an adviser to Hussein Bahamas, need one say more to understand which side he was on ? Fast forward to 2017 after a whole lot of dicking around, BitCHcoin Cash hardforked from Bitcoin and was promptly sunk in the market, just like MP said it would be. As far as I see, the Power Rangers absolutely would've hardforked Bitcoin if they thought they could have gotten away with it, case in point :

asciilifeform: $up luke-jr
deedbot: luke-jr voiced for 30 minutes.
asciilifeform: what brings you here luke-jr ?
luke-jr: so we're discussing whether we can get consensus for a hardfork with the community here
luke-jr: is there any possibility of that, or is it just impossible?
asciilifeform: luke-jr: what's in your hardfork ?
luke-jr: asciilifeform: not sure yet; ideally, only things that everyone thinks are acceptable (including people here)
asciilifeform: well nobody can answer this mega-question until the concretes are given, neh ?
luke-jr: (unreasonable people demand we support 2 MB old transactions)
asciilifeform: normally folks going hard-forking have some specific idea of why...
luke-jr: asciilifeform: to show the industry that a hardfork and consensus is a possible thing
mircea_popescu: luke-jr do your reading.10
mircea_popescu: also, please don't refer to tmsr as "a community". it is not "a community", it is your liege.
shinohai makes popcorn
luke-jr: asciilifeform: things I'd like to see in it would be merged mining, additional inputs to the generation transaction, and maybe fix block withholding
mircea_popescu: $down luke-jr

The blocksize war exposed me both the the hierarchy within Bitcoin and attacks against it I had not considered. It caused me to humble myself and do a lot less talking and a lot more reading. Through that reading, one comes to realize that the blocksize was not the first attack on Bitcoin, which brings us to Bitcoin addresses. While the fake Bitcoin ala BitCHcoin Cash was brought to it's knees immediately11, why haven't fake addresses been exposed in the market for what they are ? Unlike BitCHcoin Cash, which was implemented as a hardfork, P2SH and Segtwit were implemented as softforks. For the unaware, a hardfork loosens the protocol rules and requires all nodes to modify their code while a softfork tightens the rules and only requires a high enough percentage of the hashing power to accept the tighter rule set. Due to how these addresses and transaction types were implemented, nodes that only enforce the protocol rules as Satoshi left them12 see and treat these transactions as "anyone can spend". The explanation from the JWRD log :

dorion: -- jfw, no rush, but when you get a chance, would you mind teasing out the details a bit, i.e. how p2sh has always and necessarily been anyone can spend ? I see reading BIP 16 there is an attack explained, which seems to be narrowly classified as a 1 confirmation attack. narrow in the sense
sourcerer: 2021-04-27 21:50:09 (#jwrd) jfw: addresses beginning with "3" have always worked on the basis of "anyone can spend", this being required for transactions spending them to make it into the actual Bitcoin network at all. I'd conjecture that a notion that "multisig" is somehow safer comes about because the "ANYONECANSPEND" term itself apparently
dorion: that it doesn't consider the majority of the hashing power unwinding the softfork and collecting the booty.
jfw: well I did at the time but perhaps it got lost amid the parallel thread? ,
sourcerer: 2021-04-28 19:00:01 (#jwrd) jfw: 3-addresses, also known as "pay to script hash" or p2sh, were introduced by Gavin in 2012, in the linked BIP16 and related; in his own words : "Old implementations will validate that the {serialize script}'s hash value matches when they validate blocks created by software that fully support this BIP, but will do no other validation."
sourcerer: 2021-04-28 19:10:25 (#jwrd) jfw: so to expand a bit re 3-addresses, all a non-gavinist node requires to accept a transaction spending away the coins in them, is any string that hashes to that address (after some other minor encoding transformations) - which is kindly provided by the "owner" of the coins when they broadcast their own unconfirmed transaction.
jfw: this can be seen in the transaction template: OP_HASH160 [20-byte-hash-value] OP_EQUAL
jfw: this is the so-called "script" of bitcoin, basically like pushing buttons on a calculator and seeing if it comes up true or false to decide whether the transaction is valid.
jfw: the "buttons" however include stack operations and signature verification rather than just arithmetic.
jfw: but it evaluates left-to-right, after concatenating the "signature" script in the spending input with the "pubkey" script in the output being spent. So the complete script will look like:
jfw: ...signatures... [serialized script] OP_HASH160 [20-byte-hash-value] OP_EQUAL
jfw: the [] there mean an implicit PUSH of a byte string.
jfw: so when you get to the OP_HASH160, first the sigs and serialized (quoted) script have been pushed onto the stack. OP_HASH160 pops the first thing off the top, i.e. the quoted script, and hashes it.
jfw: pushing the result back onto the stack.
jfw: then the 20-byte (160-bit) target hash is pushed, and OP_EQUAL compares the top two things on the stack.
jfw: if they're equal, the script has returned true. no checking of signatures has been done.
jfw: the bip16 fork was that the core workings of the script machinery were twisted such that it will then additionally look inside that serialized script for further conditions (I haven't studied exactly how).
jfw: dorion: so from the technical perspective, it's an ugly and totally pointless hack. the stated purpose at the time was to push multisig harder by lubing it up to make it fit easier into existing software and/or human protocols. then there's the political angle - might want to check the early threads leading to the TRB project though that could be a long dig.
dorion: jfw, thanks for laying it out. yeah, I had primarily focused on the political angle so far, but wanted to round it out with a better understanding of the technical.
jfw: I'm recalling something about 0.5.3 being the red line in the sand, unless I'm mixing my deserts.
dorion: right, that was the furthest back they found they could go without breaking compatibility at the time (2014).

While multi-sig softfork wasn't directly described as anyone can spend by the Power Rangers, segtwit was from the beginning, as quoted in the forum log :

asciilifeform: << how the fuck is the 'segregated' nonsense ~not~ a hardfork ?
assbot: Logged on 16-12-2015 23:08:47; BingoBoingo: Ghost talk
punkman: someone figured out it can be a "softfork", just don't send witness part to old nodez!
BingoBoingo: asciilifeform: "softfork" uses "anyone can spend" non-sense
BingoBoingo: asciilifeform: "soft" literally in the sense old nodes verify blocks and absolutely not a thing else.
punkman: and that someone was Luke-Jr
punkman: just ftr
punkman: "This seemed like a hard problem. I personally dismissed this as a solution for a long time as something non-viable, until Luke-Jr discovered that it's possible to do this as a soft-fork. What we're going to do is inputs, we just deprecate the signature field inside of inputs. It's going to be an empty string from now on. Obviously, an empty signature is not going to be able to spend an
punkman: actual output that requires a signature. Instead, the outputs do not push these scripts that we required to be satisfied, they would be encapsulated, it would be pushed as a piece of data. This allows us to, this effectively to every node, and every node not using this system, it's an ANYONECANSPEND. It's just an output that pushes data on the stack, the output doesn't do anything else.
punkman: It's ANYONECANSPEND. In a soft-fork, we can add a new rule that restricts what's valid. We can add a rule like, whenever we see, we could say it's a new type of script that is able to instead of updating its inputs from the signature field, it takes it from the witness instead. The witness becomes a third part of the transaction in addition to the inputs and outputs of a transaction. For
punkman: now it would only contain a signature."
asciilifeform: if 'ANYONECANSPEND', what exactly prevents an uncastrated node from... spending it ?
punkman: asciilifeform: it will only look like one
trinque: lets drown this motherfucker in complexity then carve our names into the corpse. I'm told this is what glory is.

The quote punkman references above is from Peter Wuille during a presentation in Hong Kong (full text), the one that got him a reward put on his head for attempting to import state into Bitcoin.

They don't describe what the transaction is doing.

The attempt to import meaning and state into Bitcoin is the true attack vector here, and particularly pernicious.

Have a read or re-read of the MPEx tech stuff and Integration is bad for Bitcoin entry points on for why importing state into Bitcoin is an attack.

So, we've established incontrovertibly that the lever exists to drain both multisig and segtwit addresses ; all that it'll take is for miners to unwind the USG inspired rules and revert to the protocol as Satoshi left it and as those who have done their reading continue to maintain and enforce. This is sure to be a bloody unwinding, especially considering many fiat companies posing as Bitcoin companies, e.g. exchanges, use faux addresses, despite a history of tears. You may wish to hold the belief that it wouldn't be in the miner's interest to take coins from 3 and bc1 addresses because it'd result in Bitcoin being branded a scam by outsiders and that even the majority of people claiming to own Bitcoin wouldn't like it. It'd crush all that news you've falsely identified as "positive"/"bullish" of El Salvador Mali using Bitcoin if the fraud were exposed that they're actually not using Bitcoin, but the Segtwit powered Lightning Netwerk on "their" Apple/Alphabet13 tvphones as they queue in the fast food line. People are free to hold whatever beliefs they manage to swallow and/or conceive, but just because they're free to hold them, doesn't mean they're immune from having their beliefs smashed and dashed against the reality of the immutable machine and its actual owners.

As far as miner incentives, it's important to recognize that miners are looters and they will defect from Bitcoin at some point in the future and turn their gear toward starting a new Bitcoin as part of the natural phase transition. If there is loot to be had on the current chain because poor, lazy, idiots were too "busy" spinning in their Dunning-Kruger ways to sort out who is who and what is what, it seems to me like a rational step would be to loot that pile first and butcher the idiots who shouldn't have touched Bitcoin with their unwashed hands to begin with prior to starting a new Bitcoin. Furthermore, just because some group of miners were socially engineered into tightening the rules at some point in the past doesn't mean that those same people will be around in the future or even that they won't change their ways. In any case, miners will follow whichever chain is most profitable. When the multisig and segtwit forks are unwound, those holding with addresses starting with 1 will have coins on both chains while those using addresses starting with 3 or bc1 will only have coins on the chain with weaker key security. The profitability and future of any chain is determined ultimately by who has the money. As the block reward continues to diminish and as value grows in addresses with weaker security, incentives increase for miners to retreat to the more secure rules and in doing so collect a tax on idiocy. Whether you believe miners shouldn't or wouldn't doesn't factor into the equation, the world runs on can and must after all.

As far as fiat exchanges go, indeed a large swath have built their castles made of sand on top of technology pushed by USG agents and will be proper fucked, which will likely be very confusing for the "average person". The pantsuit press is sure to claim Bitcoin was hacked or broken14 or a scam and you might even think such an unwinding would be "bad for Bitcoin", but guess what, MP was writing back in 2012 the fiat exchanges are part of the Obsequious party and of only temporary relevance and in March 2014 the price signal is unreliable and Bitcoin may be headed for the mystical phase completely detached from relation to fiat currency15.

So wut do ? Well, there's really no amount of research you can do to give you a definitive answer, at some point, you're going to have to trust. While Bitcoin is a system designed to operate peer to peer, without the need for trusted third parties, there is nevertheless trust in the system16 ; this trust most notably manifests when in comes to the code that you're running to handle your money. This tension is a reason why V was created :

V-genesis allows an agent to reconstruct a complete Bitcoin tree, verify its correctness, and manage his investment of trust at all junctures so that he is never required to implicitly trust either an unknown code author, or a code snippet of unknown provenance.

There remains after today no alternative manner to deploy Bitcoin software, or indeed any software that is not a toy intended to be used by children playing, outside of this paradigm. May the switchover be bloody and painful in all the right places.

So then, when it comes to "your" Bitcoin, whose words are you going to trust ?

Are you gong to trust the fungible tools of the failing USG Empire ala Gavin, Luke-Jr, Greg Maxwell, et cetera ? Those who believed in Bitcoin so much they were giving it away at 5 BTC a pop ; they who tried shaping free speech in the nascent forum17 ; propped up scams like Butterfly Labs and Mt. Gox ; tried blacklisting Satoshi Dice addresses in the Gentoo distribution of bitcoind (archived) ; introduced a coin inflation bug into their code18 and impredictability into the currency ?

Or the man making money on Lehman calls in 2008 ; the one who killed several early scams ; who had his PR educate tardstalk for years ; who nipped an early rally in the bud, before Bitcoin was ready ; who warned of and sank Mt. Gox ; who tore the face off the "code is law" pretense ; who pointed out the sad state of Bitcoin code... really we're only up to twenty sixteen and skipped several other wins he scored for BTC beyond and in between, e.g. enforcing Bitcoin as a sovereign. Really, go read Trilema's Bitcoin category or start with Diana Coman's review of it at least and then realize evergreen and useful gems such as the Airgapping guide aren't even under the Bitcoin category.

A caveat you might wish raise is, 2021 marks the year Mircea Popescu died, and thus, Bitcoin is severed from his embodied power and influence. It's true his death is the greatest loss for Bitcoin and the free world generally ; his words and coin, being as vast and profound as they are, were still the effect and indeed smaller than the man who was the cause, the prime mover. It's a loss than can't be quantified, for how do you quantify the irreplaceable ? You might wish to believe he was a central point of failure, though I'd counter with references to him being a central point of sense, an authority. That being said, for all the intense verbosity Mircea Popescu manifested, it very well could be that he was the more talkative of the Organization's harvesters and those with weight in Bitcoin who've not made their names known will just show. So, the price signal became unreliable, then S.MPOE went private, then the WoT went not-public and the oracle turned his attention to the private sphere with TMSR's closure and now Trilema, while it remains up, will no longer be updated. Just as he "somehow" foretold, Bitcoin, the change the consumers are revolting against, has become much more vague and intangible.

To tie this off, what can you practically do to strengthen your grip strength and thus grasp on the Bitcoin you claim to hold ? 1) only use addresses that start with 1 ; 2) use a strong source of entropy for key generation and transaction signing ; 3) implement an airgapped set up ; 4) learn to manage your investment of trust in the code you're running ; 5) run node(s) that do not enforce the Power Ranger's attacks and instead maintain the protocol as Satoshi left it ; 6) drop whatever "Bitcoin sources" you've been consuming and read Trilema as the points sink in again and again, 7) ask yourself if you're smart, stupid or a barn animal and 8) if you want a guide to help you speed up the process of strengthening your grip, come talk to us at JWRD.

  1. Though, poor risk management and failure to heed the signals flowing from the font, despite sitting at the table where it was decided, did lead to quite the painful Goxxxing. []
  2. I estimate the amount of budget burned on air conditioning alone in 2014 was easily greater than 21 BTC, because yes, despite growing up in and being acclimated to frigid fucking cold winters, I was wearing a sweater a good chunk of the time seated in Panama's hot humidity. []
  3. A lead that has only grown in the interim. []
  4. Even 6 years later, I don't reckon I've read any of them in there entirety, though I've read several of the articles several times. []
  5. Which, at the time, were published at, which has since been taken down and Trilema serves as the canonical log. []
  6. If you read far enough about the risks of the blocksize increase, you're bound to find discussions about perhaps an even greater risk to chain security, coinbase fragmentation. Here's a 2015 convo and here's a 2019 article. []
  7. Back before the plan/panic/scamdemic induced shortages, fragility of the computer supply chain was well understood, an example of which was the 2011 flooding in Southeast Asia inducing shortages of Hard Drive Disks. I know read this in the logs, but didn't manage to track down the link. Here's a link from the news. []
  8. As I aim to show in this article, if you've not studied in detail the history of Bitcoin and you don't know the who's who, you really haven't done anything to understand it at all. []
  9. And his PR, Hannah Wiggins. []
  10. The tippy tip of the iceberg on the reading that comes to my mind is The necessary prerequisite for any change to the Bitcoin protocol. []
  11. I sold most of mine at 20 bitcents. []
  12. E.g. JWRD's vtree of bitcoind, which uses many patches originally published by the now defunct Bitcoin Foundation. []
  13. Seriously, mobile phones might be the worst place to expose a private key, apart from posting directly to your myspace/facegram/instabook/whataverse platform account. These devices are meant to share information with the outside world and are designed from hardware, software and user experience perspective such that the manufacturer can modify the code on the machine at will, i.e. exercise ownership over it. What, you think the lies Sillycon Valley companies spew to support their political preferences are limited to presidential elections ? You think socialist driven and printing press supported tech companies are not opposed to the politics of Bitcoin ? Get real. Anyone that doesn't have or isn't willing to acquire an actual computer they can dedicate to Bitcoin is not a good fit for Bitcoin. There are of course other considerations, but if all the someone you're talking to has is a tvphone, move on. []
  14. You recall when Mt. Gox falsely claimed they were a victim of transaction maleability ? []
  15. Don't overlook that footnote v in the S.MPOE results, "This specifically includes any name you've heard so far. Excepting me, nobody with any weight that is actually involved in Bitcoin has to date made their name known.". Do you think that's actually changed in the interim, or did the strong hands only get stronger ? []
  16. As there is trust at the very root of finance. []
  17. And then of course retcon history years later. []
  18. And of course when it was discovered they recommended "upgrading". There wasn't a, "we fucked up bad yet again, perhaps we should shit down and shut up or maybe even take a long walk off a short bridge. No, instead it was, "you should now 'upgrade' and take all our other shit code, i.e. the TV raft 'solution'". []

October 7, 2021

Sober October

Filed under: Ego — Robinson Dorion @ 20:28

In mid-September I decided I'll abstain from alcohol for the month of October. I wouldn't say I have a problem with alcohol ; over the past decade I've gone weeks without it and though more recently I've been a handful of drinks a week drinker, I pretty much always keep it limited to a couple and stay sober enough to drive. Since about my last quarter of being 20 years old, I recall being drunk no more than a couple special occasions a year. This stint is driven more by curiosity about how much better I might feel alcohol free1. I've read recently that even if you don't feel hungover, it can take days for your body to recover from even a couple boozy beverages. Then, in my case, if I'm drinking a couple of drinks every couple of days in social settings, I'm not recovering. So I've not had a drink since mid-September, though I've continued to go out a few times a week. A prime advantage of Panama being situated in the tropics is pretty much every place you go will serve juice2 hecho en casa3.

Thinking back, I don't think I've been a month without booze since June 20084, when I had my first beer following my final high school sporting event sitting on the back porch with my Father. I'm quite thankful for both sports and my Father for helping my stay sober in my high school years. You see, when I was in grade school and various high schoolers had to miss games for getting caught using one party drug or another, my Father would always point it out to me and ask me how I'd like it if I had to miss a game and let down the team because of it. From the time I was a Freshman, various upper class men took me under their wing and brought me to parties. My Sophomore year, I was on the varsity team for each of my sports, American football, basketball and baseball and pretty much exclusively hanging out with the Senior class which was in full blown party mode by winter and spring5. I went to pretty much every party from Sophomore year on and after the first couple peer pressure encounters, everyone accepted I'd be there sober6. While there was always the threat and sometimes reality that cops would bust a party, give everyone blowing non-zero numbers drinking tickets, which'd force athletes to miss games, they never actually showed up to any of the parties I was at. So, in theory, I could've skated by ticketless. Nevertheless, I think this sobriety helped me substantially both in terms of protecting my developing brain from intoxicating binges and, perhaps more importantly, showing me the value of saying no to peer pressure7, which allowed me to see how weak it actually is and how I could be fine following my conscience.

Once I made the decision on alcohol for October, I decided to go all the way and stay away from the other drugs I consume from daily to occasionally, i.e. coffee, tobacco and marijuana. I've been drinking a cup or two --and sometimes more-- of coffee pretty much daily since 20 year old me tried it for the first time while studying in Spain. That'll be the harder one to kick, but let's see how it goes. Jacob seems to have kicked it just fine. So instead of Panamanian coffee to start the day, I'm substituting in herbal tea. Kombucha has some caffeine, I make it with half green tea and half black tea. That being said, the caffeine diminishes the longer the brew.

The smokeables are much easier as while I've puffed a couple times when offered in social settings in recent weeks, they are by no means habits by now. I have gone through phases, which looking back, may have been somewhat beneficial. For example, once the high school sports governor was lifted8, I would only drink and with my low tolerance combined with drinking games, that meant to drunkenness pretty much every time. However, once I realized one couldn't practically overdose on the wacky weed and started to look into the history of it being banned and the propaganda around it, I decided to try it. What I found was, I could take a couple puffs have a couple drinks, get a nice buzz, stay social and thus it really helped me take the emphasis off alcohol and I pretty much quit the binge drinking to drunkenness as underage parties in Gringolandia so often devolve to. I also happened to have some of life changing for the better ideas after a puff. For example, I was sitting on the front porch at my college house on Charlotte Street, listening to Schiff Radio following a gravity bong rip when it occurred to me that I could call into Peter's show the next time he was on and I'd have that conversation to support my case to my parents for dropping out of communist university. Maybe I'd have had that idea sober and I'm sure I've had some bad ideas and wasted time spinning9 after inhaling combusted plant matter, as Jacob refers to smoking. That being said, today I don't see it as harmless as I once did. In particular, I've learned that it suppresses Random Eye Movement (REM) sleep which is where dreams happen and emotions are regulated. Given your feelings are out to get out to begin with, the herb hurts more than helps.

As far as tobacco, I've lightly smoked for a couple stretches. A few cigs a day during hunting season for strategic wind checks, reaping the benefits of nicotine's powerful nootropic effects and usually a few more if there has been a kill. If there has been a kill, there's greater chance more booze will be consumed and tobacco's good for balancing booze for which purpose I've employed it from time to time outside hunting season. At times I've used tobacco to balance the bud in a Ken Spliffey Jr. if it's rolled or in a mole if it's bonged, the latter obviously being much more intense. I've only seen it Raiders in Rutland rip moles, probably both a function of that place and my limited travels.

I'm not sure why I've gone into so much detail here, not sure how much it's to my advantage, but I suppose purges are messy in nature and sweeping puke under the rug doesn't make the mess less messy. So, the idea for this month is to limit the exogenous inputs to only the necessary and sharpen my straight edge while focusing more on the endogenous drivers of culture in coping with the great tension. Perhaps I'll have a sip in November, perhaps I'll carry the sobriety into the new year and beyond. I'm pretty sure I'll have a drink again at some point ; no one lives forever and I'll be game to embrace a little liquid chaos again when the time is right. For now, I'll leave the liquor to chill in my freezer and wine to hang on my rack and take this sobriety process one day at a time and see how I can use it to my advantage. Sanatate ! Salud ! A ta sante ! Cheers !

  1. I suppose I'll not be completely alcohol free because I'll continue consuming my home brewed kombucha daily, which by now is on a two week fermentation period. I've not measured or estimated the alcohol content of this tea. Store bought kombucha is typically less than 0.5% alcohol by volume because greater than 1.2% in certain jurisdictions requires registration with the nanny state. I'll pay closer attention to temperature, experiment with less sugar and longer fermentation time to limit the alcohol content and increase the lactic and acetic acid I'm consuming the kombucha for. []
  2. Not drink, nigga. Juice. []
  3. So far they've offered 2-5 fruits, e.g. pinya, fresa, papaya, maracuya, naranja, etc. I tend to go for half of one, half of another and add some hierba buena if they have it. []
  4. Thinking a bit more, I stayed alcohol free for about 4 months while caddying in Long Island during summer and autumn of 2011, though I was going through a Dr. Dre Next Episode phase with the bud. []
  5. Football season pretty much everyone stayed clean apart from dipping tobacco, which was quite prevalent. The football program had earned more prestige as we were going for a three-peat, on top of 5 titles in 6 years and 7 out of 10. We were upset at home in the semi-finals, but we did win the next year making it 7 out of 11. Keep in mind, Vermont is a small pond with just over half a million people. There were only 7 teams in our top division in 2006. On top of that, for some brain damaged reason, only one high school in the most populous county had a team in the top division, Essex. In 2005, MSJ won the top division with less than 200 boys in their school, though we did beat them on their home field in the regular season. ;p Anyways, independent of being a small state, no one wanted to risk being the class that didn't win because of booze.

    The only time I broke training rules was to puff black and milds with Bijan Rizzaghi and Jason Foster on the back steps of the party to celebrate the football title in 2006. It was a Saturday night and basketball season started on Monday. []

  6. Though at times I might get high fructose corn syrup high on Price Chopper Orange Soda. Not exactly sure when USia became too poor for real sugar and started sweetening everything with corn poison, but when I realized the issues there in 2010 or so, the corn sweetener was seemingly everywhere. []
  7. Peer pressure can be good if you're in a sane environment and your peers help you overcome irrational retardation. From my view, USian drinking laws are criminal and I was opting out of the game where they could take something important from me based on their stupid rules. When they no longer had the thing to take away from me, I broke their laws and started drinking with my family and then publicly, as the gods intended. []
  8. I played a couple years D3 college baseball, but by then the threat of missing games or getting kicked off the team had dulled and I wasn't going to let it keep me from "fun". []
  9. Trilema is down as I write this, so I'll replace with the canonical log when it comes back online, as I'm sure it will be in due time. []

September 15, 2021

How many bezzles in a bezzle ?

Filed under: Oeconomica — Robinson Dorion @ 21:05

The title of this article is informed by the Trilema article which disambiguates USD The bezzle USD and the tide USD which notes the etymology of the bezzle is from "The Great Crash 1929" by J. K. Galbraith. As I explained in Simple Steps Part 3, from February 2012-January 2014 I worked for what they called Euro Pacific Bank1, but being a virtual fiat bank, the thing was actually a small leaf a long branch of the fee simple bezzle that traces its roots to socialism.

Talk as he might about sound money and freedom, this entity shell owned funded and marketed by Peter Schiff simply did and does2 the bidding of the state and nothing more that matters. It's an abuse of language to claim he owned the thing, even if all or the majority of share certificates3 bore his name4. For he did not possess the sole power to destroy whatever good might've been be present.

To cut to the chase, this bezzle didn't own anything, it didn't custody anything, any assets it claimed to possess were owed to it by some other entity up the tree. To this day, they claim (archived) their margins are not derived from lending, or proprietary trading, but how did it actually work ? Could clients deposit and withdraw cash5 ? No. Could clients deposit and withdraw physical gold and silver ? No6. Could clients receive shares directly registered in their name for such companies that support direct registration7 ? No. If you're thinking this is starting to smell like the infamous Cheese Shop Cleese entered and eventually had to leave a doughnut hole in the head of its keeper, you get the whiff, or lack thereof as it were.

So, if it didn't have any assets or client assets in its possession and also didn't do any lending, how can it work ? It can't, it's a contradiction. The shell exists with accounts at bigger banks or government owned entities, but I repeat myself. It was lending on an overnight basis all the funds it owed to clients to the entities with which it held accounts. The bigger entities in possession of the funds could do what they will with them, i.e. lend, and Euro Pacific was essentially an unsecured creditor thereof and in turn, the clients were unsecured creditors of Euro Pacific.

Since, much like the cheese shop isn't contaminated with cheese, Euro Pacific was not contaminated with tide USD or physical paper issued by any other state8, all these virtual bezzle bucks were "held" in an account in the name of Euro Pacific with one or many Correspondent Bezzles. This is all digital money on a ledger hosted on the server nominally in the custody of said correspondent bezzle9. A bezzle becomes a correspondent when they have what's called a direct relationship or account with the central bezzle. It's not enough to have a "Banking License" framed on the wall to operate as a bezzle bank, even if they've colored inside all the lines. What you need is either to be a correspondent or have an account with a correspondent, or else you can't send and receive wires. And if you're not taking cash and you can't receive wires, the term for what the business is is proper fucked.

This centralized structure inherently had pressure points the bankrupt people's republics of demoncratic10 socialisms push when smaller jurisdictions with nominally strong privacy laws functioned as an escape valve of the bezzle. It's why, with FATCA and CRS, smaller jurisdictions changed "their" laws at the threat of being painted with the gray and black water colors, or being put on the lists as they call it, and bezzle bucks left for the Delewares and Wyomings because while USG might make non-USG governments share all the dataz, it doesn't participate in exchange, it's a one way flow to the ultimate winding up.

The first correspondent account Euro Pacific had was CommerzBank, Germany's second largest bezzle behind Duetsch11. Despite Euro Pacific doing its darnedest to anticipate and comply with every whim of Commerz, sometime in 2014 it's account was closed. Not because anything Euro Pacific did, "dindu nothin", but because Commerz closed all its accounts in the Caribbean region because by that time they already had more compliance drones than bankers and they were brushing up on a threshold in the USD volume that would've required them to hire even more compliance drones. Euro Pacific had set up a correspondent account with the National Bank of Canada prior to losing the Commerz account, but it scraped by for a while without a way to send or receive USD. I was long gone by then, but this lack of ownership was a major reason I left. I concluded I was selling clients on a false sense of security, wrapped in the legal fiction. The principle remains the same for the securities and precious metals accounts, but while were here, let's detail those too.

Euro Pacific's security trading platform was Saxo Bank with Euro Pacific paint, called a "white label". Essentially, Euro Pacific had an omnibus account at this Danish bezzle and clients had sub-accounts accounting for the issues they were owed. The shares were custodied via the Depository Trust Corporation (DTC) and registered in, "the street name of the dealer", that is, in the name of Saxo because while Euro Pacific had various licenses to market securities, it wasn't big enough to have the securities registered in their name. Street name registration grew as a) governments forced non-professional investors into stocks and bonds via "deferred taxation schemes", e.g. 401k, b) the purchasing power of money eroded via the bezzle's unyielding inflation campaign and c) said inflationary policies created asset bubbles and market volatility leading to short term speculation by professional and non-professional traders squeezing out investment. Thus, to scale to the mass mob, it's cheaper from a bookkeeping perspective12 for stock brokers to put their name on the label of the share certificate, whether it be physical or digital, and pass the ownership rights to the client. That is, any dividends or interest disbursed were credited to the client's account and the client was permitted to cast any voting rights the shares carried. Apparently these rights have continued to endure to the present, but it's unclear how long that shall last. What investors interested in direct registration of shares are after is a way to retain their ownership and rights as shareholders independent of the solvency of the broker they bought the shares from. Euro Pacific didn't accommodate such clients.

The gold scheme at Euro Pacific was a fast food offering for those who "just wants to" feel like they have gold offshore, which upon examination was the shiniest and loudest of the leper's bells I originally chose to ignore. Goldbugs had been pounding the table about the importance of possession since before I was born, "if you don't hold it, you don't own it and if you don't hold it at least make sure it's allocated," is a paraphrasing the mantra. In Euro Pacific's case, they offered unallocated gold storage via the Government of Western Australia owned Perth Mint and with chewing gum and hair pins tacked on the whiz-bang technology of a prepaid debit card13. Despite Peter Schiff making his name for correctly pointing out various ratings agencies were marking junk mortgage backed securities AAA doubleplus good prior to the chickens coming home to roost in 2008, he parlayed his credit into peddling Pert Mint Certificates and later gold backed debit cards owned and operated by the thieves write large down under with the rationalization they have a good credit rating from the same ratings agencies. Now, in my time working for Euro Pacific I didn't hear of the rabid dog biting anyone. On the other hand, I never found an independent verification said mint was above the board and not running a fractional reserve. That being said, reports of how the Aussie's are handling the wuflu panicdemic certainly do not bode well for either their future economic prospects nor current or future protections of private property rights.

How many bezzles is that ? More than a handful, but more importantly once you find yourself in a bezzle, what matters isn't how many there are, but how you're going to extract yourself.

So then, in January 2014, after just under two years, I left the bezzle for Bitcoin. I, for one, don't characterize this as leaving banking, even if I've not been employed by any licensed bank since. It's simply that my reasoning lead me to conclude state controlled banking is a cancer on the human race and Bitcoin is an independent monetary system that, while experimental, at least has a chance to rid the world of socialism. Thus, I've ignored any draw from the Bloomberg terminal and focused my attention instead on the learning the Linux terminal and the cultural and technological means of enforcing ownership of the computing environment in which Bitcoin exists. Furthermore, I don't hold any grudges to actual bankers or financial professionals generally. Facilitating relationships between debtors and creditors is and always will be needed perhaps more than any other profession. While the "Fed put" has pretty much killed hedge funds, the best tool I know of to short central banks and the idiocracy they engender is Bitcoin.

  1. referred to as Euro Pacific here following []
  2. While I'm pretty sure the thing "works" today as it did when I worked for it, I'll use the past tense throughout because I don't actually know how it "works" today and don't really care to find out either. It's dead in the water as far as I'm concerned, even if all the blood has yet to leak out of it or the maggots have yet to consume all the flesh. []
  3. They started as St. Vincent and the Grenadines shares, now I understand they're Puerto Rican shares, what's the over-under on when they'll be Miami shares ? Heh. []
  4. and Social Security number, amirite ? Even if his late father did pen The Greatest Con, I'd not be surprised in the least if he's registered. For having a key in the WoT, he did not. []
  5. The etymology of cash is :

    "1590s, "money box;" also "money in hand, coin," from French caisse "money box" (16c.), from Provencal caissa or Italian cassa, from Latin capsa "box"; originally the money box, but by 18c. the secondary sense of the money in it became sole meaning.

    In my book, when I hear someone say, "I have cash in the bank," it signals to me that they've bought into the socialist propaganda. No, you don't have cash in the bank. You may have given your cash to the department of the state self-styled as a bank and expect to get the same amount out on demand, i.e. they owe you cash ; but no, you don't have it and it's not likely they do either considering they've likely lent out 80 to 90 cents for every dollar you gave them. []

  6. They could at least take delivery of physical metals, but these were always sourced on demand from a dealer in the US with the actual goods. []
  7. Yes, certain clients/prospects asked for this. []
  8. Except perhaps the printed license framed and installed on the wall and AML forms, or course. []
  9. I say nominally here because it's more likely than not said server is running the Windows virus on top of an Intel chip with the Management Engine. Therefore, it's not likely accurate to say said banks own those machines in the proper usage of ownership linked above. []
  10. Not misspelled. []
  11. Which they've unsuccessfully tried to merge over the years as part of the ongoing goal, as James A. Donald put it, "being to wind up the network into a single too big to fail entity". Note : the Trilema article quoting it is well worth the read as well. []
  12. "Plus, people who want shares registered in their own name are probably misogynist, racists, climate denying, antivax, antiscience, terrorist thought criminals anyways, so maybe we should freeze accounts for anyone who asks until they prove to us that they're not ?" said no one in particular, but simulating their rationale for keks. []
  13. I.e. you had to sell the gold via your online account and then transfer the bezzle bucks on the card if you wanted to spend it. []

June 26, 2021

Late June Road Show

Filed under: Ego — Robinson Dorion @ 01:13

I'm headed away from my green mountain base for about a week to handle some business.

If you need to encrypt to me before I return, I'll have my road key. Saludos.

GPG fingerprint : 97F6 7F26 3AA4 0F88 AAD5 5E07 F42D 90E5 D4A5 56E4



May 30, 2021

Romanian 1, Practice 10

Filed under: Philologia — Robinson Dorion @ 01:56

I practiced exercise 10 this morning. It's a ~30 minute session of listening and speaking building on the previous practices. I learned how to issue the listen command and the word for water. There was an intro to actions in the future with : going to + infinitive. Furthermore, that my spelling of take (lua) in the second person plural was incorrect in prior exercises --I kept the present, first person singular ! And then there was mult, as in much, which was suffisant pour aujourd'hui ;)

Asculta din nou.1

Voi bea niste apa.2

As dori sa cumpar ceva.3

Ce ati dori sa cumparati ?4

Voi manca.5


Spuneti-mi ati dori sa lauti pranzul cu mine acum ?6

Cund voiesti manca ? La trei ? La patru ? La cinci ?7

Nu intelegeti, doresc sa iau pranzul. Acum, nu mult mai tarziu. Da sau nu ?8

Da, dar nu acum.9

La revedere.10

  1. Escuche otra vez.
    Ecoute encore.
    Listen again. []
  2. Voy a beber algun agua.
    Je vais boire du l'eau.
    I will drink some water. []
  3. Me gustaria comprar algo.
    Je voudrais acheter quequel chose.
    I'd like to buy something. []
  4. Que le gustaria comprar ?
    Que voulez-vous acheter ?
    Que quieres comprar ? []
  5. Voy a comer.
    Je vais manger.
    I will eat. []
  6. Digame, le gustaria almorzar conmigo ahora ?
    Dit moi, voudriez-vous dejeuner avec moi maintenant ?
    Tell me, you don't want to lunch with me now ? []
  7. Cuando vas a comer ? A las tres ? A las cuatro ? A las cinco ?
    Quand vas-tu manger ? A trois ? A quatre ? A cinq ?
    When will you eat ? At three ? At four ? At five ? []
  8. No entiende, quiero almorzar. Ahora, no mucho mas tarde. Si o no ?
    Vous ne comprenez pas, Je veux dejeuner. Maintenant, pas beaucoup plus tard. Oui ou non ?
    You don't understand, I want to lunch. Now, not much later. Yes or no ? []
  9. Si, pero no ahora.
    Oui, mais pas maintenant.
    Yes, but not now. []
  10. Adios.
    Au revoir.
    Goodbye. []

May 27, 2021

Romanian 1, Practice 9

Filed under: Philologia — Robinson Dorion @ 15:10

I practiced exercise 9 this morning. It's a ~30 minute session of listening and speaking building on the previous practices. This one was rather annoying, practice pestering a lady... But I plowed through it and made the most of it. Anyways, via the lesson I learned some numbers via time teling and spuneti-mi and reinforced the -ul ending to denote a specific.

Spuneti-mi, stiti unde este strada Eminescu ?1

As dori sa si cumpar ceva.2

Da, dar unde ?3

As dori sa cumpar niste vin.4

As dori sa beau ceva cu dumneavoastra, dar nu aici si nu acolo la hotel.5

Unde este la restaurantul la Tiganci ?6

La Hotelul Palatului.7

La ce ora ? La unu ? La doua ? La opt ? La noua ?8

Mai tarziu, la opt ?9

Nu ati dori sa iau pranzul ?10

Nu Domnule, nu doresc sa beau cu dumneavostra.11

Nu la unu, si nu la doua, si nu la opt, si nu la noua.12

Foarte bine, acum inteleg. Dar, as dori sa mancati cu mine.13

Domnule, nu intelegeti.14

Cu nu inteleg ?15

Nu intelegeti Romanste, Domnule.16

Suge-mi pula.17

  1. Digame, sabe donde esta Calle Eminescu ?
    Dit moi, savez vous ou est la Rue Eminescu ?
    Tell me, do you know where Eminescu Street is ? []
  2. Me gustaria compar algo tambien.
    Je voudrais acheter quequel chose aussi.
    I'd like to buy something too. []
  3. Si, pero donde ?
    Oui, mais ou ?
    Yes, but where ? []
  4. Me gustaria comprar algun vino.
    Je voudrais acheter du vin.
    I'd like to buy some wine. []
  5. Me gustaria beber algo contigo, pero no aqui y no alli al hotel.
    Je voudrais boire quequel chose avec vous, mais pas ici et pas la a l'hotel.
    I'd like to drink something with you, but not here and not there at the hotel. []
  6. Donde esta el restaurante el Gitano ?
    Ou est la restaurant le Gitan ?
    Where is the restaurant the Gypsy. []
  7. Al Hotel Palacio.
    Au Palace Hotel.
    At the Palace Hotel. []
  8. A que hora ? A la une ? A las dos ? A las ocho ? A las nueve ?
    A quelle heure ? A une heure ? A deux heures ? A huit heures ? A neuve heures ?
    At what hour/time ? At one ? At two ? At eight ? At nine ? []
  9. Mas tarde, a los ocho ?
    Plus tarde, a huit heures.
    Later, at 8 o'clock. []
  10. No le gustaria almorzar ?
    Vous ne voudriez pas dejeuner ?
    You don't want to lunch ? []
  11. No Senyor, no quiero beber contigo.
    No Monsieur, je ne veux pas boire avec vous.
    No Sir, I don't want to drink with you. []
  12. No a la una, y no a las dos, y no a las ocho, y no a las nueve.
    Pas a une, pas a deux, pas a huit, pas a neuve ?
    Not at one, not at two, not at eight, not at nine. []
  13. Muy bien, ahora entiendo. Pero, le gustaria comer conmigo.
    Tres bien, je comprends maintenant. Mais, voudriez vous manger avec moi.
    Very well, I understand now. But, you'd like to eat with me. []
  14. Senyor, no entiende usted.
    Monsieur, vous ne comprenez pas.
    Sir, you don't understand. []
  15. Que no entiendo ?
    Que je ne comprends pas ?
    What don't I understand ? []
  16. No entiende rumana, Senyor.
    Vous ne comprenez pas roumaine, Monsieur.
    You don't understand Romanian, Sir. []
  17. Chupa mi polla.
    Suce ma bite.
    Suck my cock. []

May 26, 2021

Romanian 1, Practice 8

Filed under: Philologia — Robinson Dorion @ 15:38

I practiced exercise 8 this morning. It's a ~30 minute session of listening and speaking building on the previous practices.

Ce ati dori sa faceti ?1

As dori sa iau pranzul.2

Cu cine ?3

Cu dumneavoastra.45

Bine, cu mine.6

Ati dori sa beti ceva acum ? Ce ati sa beti ? Ati dori niste bere sau niste vin ?7

No multsumesc, nu doresc bere. As dori sa beau niste vin, va rog. Si as dori sa iau pranzul.8

Si eu, as dori sa iau pranzul la mine, dar mai tarziu.9

Nu la dumnavoastra, la restaurant sau la hotel pe Strada Eminescu.10

Bine, la hotel cu mine.11

Doriti sa iau pranzul ?12

Ce doriti sa faceti ?13

As dori sa cumpar ceva, sau nu acum.14

Ce ati dori sa cumparati ?15

Nu stiu, as dori sa fac ceva.16

Doriti sa cumparati ceva ?17

As dori sa fac ceva cu dumneavoastra.18

Ce doriti sa faceti cu mine ?19

Doresc20 sa te aud gemand.21

  1. Que le gustaria hacer ?
    Qu'est-ce que voudriez vous faire ?
    What would you like to do ? []
  2. Me gustaria almorzar.
    Je voudrais dejeuner.
    I'd like to lunch. []
  3. Con quien ?
    Avec qui ?
    With who ? []
  4. Contigo.
    Avec vous.
    With you. []
  5. I noticed in some prior practices I'd been dropping the e, fixed. []
  6. Bueno, conmigo.
    Bien, avec moi.
    Good, with me. []
  7. Le gustaria beber algo ahora ? Que beberias ? Le gustaria alguna cerveza o algun vino ?
    Voudriez vous boire qeuquel chose maintenant ? Que boiriez-vous ? Voudriez-vous de la biere ou du vin ?
    Would you like to drink something now ? What would you drink ? Would you like some beer or some wine ? []
  8. No gracias, no quiero cerveza. Me gustaria beber algun vino, por favor. Y me gustaria almorzar.
    No merci, je ne veux pas de la biere. Je voudrais boire du vin, s'il vous plait. Et je voudrais dejeuner.
    No thank you, I don't want beer. I'd like to drink wine, please. And I'd like to lunch. []
  9. Yo tambien, me gustaria almorzar en mi casa, pero mas tarde.
    Moi aussi, je voudrais dejeuner chez moi, mais plus tard.
    Me too, I'd like to lunch at my place, but later. []
  10. No en su casa, en un restaurante o un hotel en Calle Eminescu.
    Pas chez vous, dans un restaurant ou un hotel a Calle Eminescu.
    Not your place, at a restaurant or hotel on Eminescu Street. []
  11. Bueno, en el hotel conmigo.
    Bien, dans le hotel avec moi.
    Good, at the hotel with me. []
  12. Quiere almorzar ?
    Voulez-vous dejeuner ?
    Do you want to lunch ? []
  13. Que quiere hacer ?
    Qu'est-ce que vous voulez faire ?
    What do you want to do ? []
  14. Me gustaria comprar algo, pero ahora no.
    Je voudrais acheter quequel chose, mais pas maintenant.
    I'd like to buy something, but not now. []
  15. Que le gustaria comprar ?
    Qu'est-ce que vous voudriez acheter ?
    What would you like to buy ? []
  16. No se, me gustaria hacer algo.
    Je ne sait pas, je voudrais faire quequel chose.
    I don't know, I'l like to do something. []
  17. Quiere comprar algo ?
    Voulez-vous acheter quequel chose ?
    Do you want to buy something ? []
  18. Me gustaria hacer algo contigo.
    Je voudrais faire quequel chose avec vous.
    I'd like to do something with you. []
  19. Que quiere hacer conmigo ?
    Qu'est-ce que vous voulez faire avec moi ?
    What do you want to do with me ? []
  20. Looks like doresc is more deseo, souhaite, I desire. []
  21. Quiero oirte gemir.
    Je veux t'entendre gemir.
    I want to hear you moan. []

May 25, 2021

Romanian 1, Practice 7

Filed under: Philologia — Robinson Dorion @ 16:19

I practiced exercise 7 this morning. It's a ~30 minute session of listening and speaking building on the previous practices. Since there's such reptition in the exercises, this isn't exactly a fluid conversation, so adjust your expectations accordingly.

Ce mai faceti ?1

Unde ati dori sa mancati ?2

La mine, nu-i asa ?3

Cred ca nu, nu la dumneavoastra. Dar as dori sa mananc ceva.4

Si eu, cand ?5

As dori sa mananc acum.6

As dori sa beau ceva.7

Cund ati dori sa beti ceva ?8

Mai tarziu.9

Unde ati dori sa mancati, aici ?10

Nu aici, la restaurant.11

Ce restaurant ? La restaurantul12 La Maria ?13

Da, bine.14

Stiti unde este restaurantul la Maria ?15

Este pe Bulevard Plopilor.16

Ce ati dori sa mancati ? Stiti ?17

Nu stiu.18

Bine, as dori sa beau ceva.19

Ce ati dori sa beti ?20

Niste bere. As dori sa beau niste bere la restaurant.21

As dori sa beau niste vin. Doua vinuri22 va rog, Domnisoara.23

Bine, doua vinuri Domnule.24

  1. Como te vas ?
    Comment allez-vous ?
    How goes ? []
  2. Donde le gustaria comer ?
    Ou voudriez-vous manger ?
    Where would you like to eat ? []
  3. Mi casa, no es asi ?
    Chez moi, n'est pas ?
    My place, isn't it so ? []
  4. Creo que no, no en su casa. Pero, me gustaria comer algo.
    Je crois que non, pas chez vous. Mais, je voudrais manger quelque chose.
    I think not, not your place. But, I would like to eat something. []
  5. Yo tambien, cuando ?
    Moi aussi, quand ?
    Me too, when ? []
  6. Me gustaria comer ahora.
    Je voudrais manger maintenant.
    I'd like to eat now. []
  7. Le gustaria tomar algo ?
    Voudriez-vous boire quequel chose ?
    Would you like to drink something ? []
  8. Cuando le gustaria tomar algo ?
    Quand voudriez-vous boire quequel chose ?
    When would you like to drink something ? []
  9. Mas tarde.
    Plus tard.
    Later. []
  10. Donde le gustaria comer, aqui ?
    Ou voudriez-vous manger, ici ?
    Where do you want to eat, here ? []
  11. No aqui, un restaurante.
    Pas ici, un restaurant.
    Not here, a restaurant. []
  12. -ul refers to a specific. []
  13. Que restaurante ? La restaurante la casa de Maria ?
    Quel restaurant ? Au restaurant Chez Maria ?
    What restaurant ? At the restaurant Maria's place ? []
  14. Si, bueno.
    Oui, bien.
    Yes, good. []
  15. Sabes donde esta la restaurante la casa de Maria ?
    Savez vous ou est-ce le restaurant Chez Maria?
    Do you know where the restaurant Maria's place is ? []
  16. Esta en Bulevar Plopilor.
    C'est sur le Boulevard Plopilor.
    It's on Plopilor Boulevard. []
  17. Que le gustaria comer ? Sabe ?
    Quel voudriez-vous manger ? Savez vous ?
    What would you like to eat ? Do you know ? []
  18. No se.
    Je ne sais pas.
    I don't know. []
  19. Bueno, me gustaria tomar algo.
    Bien, je voudrais boire quequel chose.
    Well, I'd like to drink something. []
  20. Que le gustaria tomar ?
    Quel vodriez-vous boire ?
    What'd you like to drink ? []
  21. Alguna cerveza. Me gustaria tomar alguna cerveza en la restaurante.
    De le biere. Je voudrais boire de la biere san le restaurant.
    Some beer. I'd like some beer at the restaurant. []
  22. The exercises prompted the ordering of doua beri, but personally I do my best to stay away from the swill. If I'm gonna drink, it's wine, liqueurs or liquor. []
  23. Me gustaria tomar algun vino. Dos vinos por favor, Senyorita.
    Je voudrais boire du vin. Deux vins s'il vous plait, Mademoiselle.
    I'd like to drink some wine. Two wines please, Miss. []
  24. Bueno, dos vinos Senyor.
    Bien, deux vins Monsoir.
    Good, two wines Sir. []

May 22, 2021

Simple Steps Part 3: Smiling, Dialing and Closing

Filed under: Ego — Robinson Dorion @ 02:55

Still warm is the blood that courses through my veins, so how about I dust off skeleton of The Fables Outlines and trace the steps I took along the path of my life.

The first question Peter Schiff asked me when I sat in his Westport, CT office to interview for the commission only "Investment Consultant/Private Banker" job for Euro Pacific Bank in late January 2012 was, "So, you ever sold anything before ?". I stumbled a bit, but if I recall correctly, I managed to tell him about the car detailing business I had started in high school and volleyed the conversation back to him. He told me about his first sales job going door to door selling cable TV. I later learned from Mark Anderson, the President of EPB and the guy who Peter started Euro Pacific Capital with, that Mark had found a young Peter cold calling the L.A. phone directory from his bedroom. Mark, a few years older than Peter, had a book of business of corporate execs that he focused on selling niche municipal bonds to1. That flow keep the lights on and Peter did the hunting for the new clients, always fishing for whales, breaking the ice with lines like, "You got any money ?" "When you gonna have it ?". The ~90 minute sitdown mainly consisted of him talking, telling me about the bank, how there were hot leads, but I'd have to work really hard. I listened, threw in comments now and then and kept eye contact, didn't ask too many questions2, but tried making it clear that I was ready put in the work and earn. He asked me if it was okay with my parents that I was dropping out of school. I made it clear that it ultimately didn't matter and that my call in to his radio show ~9 months prior asking his advice about dropping out of school had helped in my conversations with them on the matter. He told me about taking time off to work during his stint at Cal Berkley.

About 45 to 60 minutes in, his second interview arrived and for whatever reason, I was permitted to stay. This guy, Julian Something-or-Other, had a radio voice to write home about and a list of questions in his little notebook. He was probably in his late 20s, early 30s, married, and had worked at another wire shop3. Observing him, I thought I might be outcompeted, but it turns out being ready to go first paid off. James, Ashe and I were first to start work in the 2012 crop of hirees4 and when we were doing our stint in Barmalos that March, Julian came down to scout it out. Island food, both in Barmalos and St. Vincent was scarce and relatively expensive. Neither James nor Ashe cooked much, so we'd end up going to a fish shack at the end of our road north of Holetown. That's where we met up with Julian and were left mouth wateringly shocked when he sent a plate with half eaten fish back. It wasn't shocking that he never ended up joining EPB in the 2 years I worked there though.

Our set up was rough, some might say tougher rough than the U.S. Open5. If memory serves, we had Bria softphones on 2012 island Internet calling a lead pool on which the sun never set6. It's probably overly dramatic to say the original website looked like it was put together by n00bs to MS paint, but not too far off the mark78. The CRM was an unmodified Zoho web thingamigig9, the online banking site was a NexoreOne LAMP stack that Adrian spent months working with the Panama based company to beat and massage into shape for our needs. The brokerage platform was a whitelabel of Saxo Bank. At first, I think it was Winblows only and the client had to download and install a binary, as those things go in Winblows word. It took months of Adrian pounding the table to get a browser based version10. In the first couple months, as a less than year old bank, EPB didn't have a correspondent banking account and was piggybacking off the Bank of St. Vincent, which means that getting a wire in was even more of a pain in the dick because on top of navigating the correspondent labrynth you had to deal with the island bank and their slow clocks. This brings us to another point of who has ever heard of St. Vincent anyways ? "You want me to send my money where ? What're you Nigerian ?" The unspun sales spin was, "Looky, SVG is a poor jurisdiction so the robbers calling themselves the state are going to go after the islands with beaucoup doubloons11 prior to this one." There was a point early on where Ashe was raising complaints over chat to Mark about the poor tools at our disposal. Mark's reply was something along the lines of "poor worker complains about his tools", to which Ashe asked if Mark "really wanted to question his work ethic" and it escalated to a call on which Mark was ready to fire him right there, but fortunately for me, Ashe kept his cool and diffused it and we kept moving forward on the trail we were blazing together. Realistically, if Ashe left early on, it's unlikely I'd have managed to stay afloat and then wouldn't have ended up in Panama, etc. And Ashe and I were the ones that talked Adrian into staying in summer 2012 and he ended up putting the bank on his back and staying the longest. I don't know how deep Peter's pockets are (aparently he's got bags of junk silver all over the place), but that thing coulda easily been dead in the water in 2012/2013. The cherry on top12, go look at that candle on the XAUUSD chart on February 29th, 201213 or picture this in your mind's eye : open at $1784, high of $1790, low of $1688, closed at $1696, a pretnear14 5% drop on the day. I'm too lazy/indifferent presently to look up how many standard deviations that is from the mean, but it's for SURE a tail event in the gold market and guess what, it never got above $1790 again until, drum roll please... July 2020. And don't even get me started on the gold miners. Anyways, we obviously didn't know about the cherry at the time and meanwhile kept smiling and dialing through the thicket and managed to survive15.

There were essentially two sources of leads : 1) the inherited lead pool of Peter Schiff subscribers, whether it be newsletter or research reports or radio show16 or video blog or the few that managed to trickle in on the website ; and 2) Referring Agents that ranged from law firms and registered corporate agent companies --primarily in offshore tax neutral jurisdictions-- to investment newsletter writers and so on, i.e. people and companies with clients of their own that we'd sharing commissions with should they refer us clients, hence the name.

At first, I was all in on the lead pool. Thousands of names, scores of countries across pretty much every time zone and I tried to touch as many with my voice and the logic I was aiming to transmit with it. Consult a timezone map for a week or three until it's tatoo'd in your brain ; jump outta bed at 04:00 UTC -4 and it's just about to be happy hour in Hong Kong and Perth, Australia at UTC +8. By the time you're ready to collapse at hour 20 or 21 UTC -4, it's noon in Christchurch, New Zealand for chrissake, so take one last shot at squeezing selling a Kiwi. Sunday's were the only days we didn't call dawn to dusk (apart from the daily p90x rip with Uncle Tony) and we'd go the the beach and have Goldfinger take us the grocery store. To me, as a 22 year old with massive trust in ol' Peter and also the faith that his "100% reserve" model held water, everyone needed the bank, so if I explained it well enough, they'd obviously open right up and send their moneyz for EPB to protect and for me to make the commissions. If they didn't it was all a numbers game, so keep smiling and keep dialing. After a couple months of this, I scratched together some sales, but was not yielding the results I wanted or expected. I realized I didn't know how to sell, so started researching different approaches. The text that reasonated the most were reading some blog posts by "Shameless" Seamus Brown and Ashe and I ultimately went halvsies on one of his courses, which turned out to be transcripts and recording of a series of conference calls. Anyways, the biggest takeaways were : 1) As a salesmen, you manage the sales process ; 2) The client isn't doing you a favor by buying as long as you're actually bringing value to the table, so approach the conversation as a trade, don't just give away value "explaining", "selling ain't telling" ; 3) the biggest time sink is clients that'll never buy17, so the first responsibility of the salesman is to identify ideal clients and qualify the leads he has into prospects he wants to pursue and deadbeats he can strike off and move on from ; 4) the salesman controls the conversation and identifies his prospects through the questions he asks. So think of the problem you solve, who you solve it best for and questions to sort the whos from the whats and guide the conversation to the consummation of the deal.

Ashe later dubbed the lead pool the Peter Schiff nostalgia file. Recall, Peter got a lot of notoriety leading up to and after bubble burst in 2008 because he was publically pounding the table on TV, giving speeches to mortgage bankers in 2006 how the bubble was already leaking and how he was shorting it, in his book Crash Proof, published in 2007 and The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets from 2010, etc. about the fundamental imbalances caused by the FED fixing interest rates too low, i.e. the problem of too much money, that would ultimately lead to massive price corrections that'd likely result in a big bunch of bankruptcies and massive depression ~or~ more inflation in a self-defeating attempt to pretend "everything's okay, go back to your regular scheduled programming, 'no one' was smart enough to see this coming, but 'we' have it under control", that'd eventually lead to a Mugabe style currency collapse. His hedge on this was and STILL is gold and companies in Europe and the Pacific that'd benefit from the decoupling of the fat, unwieldy caboose of the global economy that is the gringo consumer and his/her/their/zher/bler/fusupersizemeandferfree USD that Keynesian scum like Paul Krugman falsely represent as the "engine of the global economy"18. Peter's problem with capitalizing on this international exposure through Euro Pacific Capital --and the reason he started the bank in the first place-- was all the unpaid police work thought crime investigations fiat financial institutions who want to use the Unified Standard Dubaloos/Universally Simplified Dosidoes are forced to do made it unprofitable for him to serve foreign clients from the US. So someone subscribes to a newsletter in 2007 and fast forward to 2012 and they have me calling them up (from a number you can't call back) asking you how you're doing and ready to tell you about how the bank is all set to take your investment please and thank you. Of course it wasn't all like that, some people kept up with Peter and recognized right away and there were multiple one call closes19 ; nevertheless nostalgia file is the name it retains.

Ashe focused first on registered agents, in part because in the first couple months we were sitting across the table from one another and I was relentlessly talking at high volumes through the weak Bria softphone line which'd jam up his speaking channel and the registered agents, being a business, were more approachable via email, which was also a style of communication he was more practiced with from his software support days. He had some success with this and also emailing the lead pool too20. I started working on my RA game after a while and eventually worked up a decent flow from both the lead pool and RAs. Back in those days banks were pretending to be private, but were slower than molasses on a Vermont winter night and some young, motivated white dudes who'd get an account open in 24 hours and be your personal banker was a competitive edge in that bureaucratic swamp. In spite of the flow, I wasn't getting rich, in part because although we were commission only, we didn't get paid on a multitude of activities we were expected to support and the bank meanwhile cashflowed, e.g. bank wires and debit cards21.

I kept at it and probably would've kept going for a while longer had I not walked up to a baby face, glasses wearing fellow sitting with a cute chick and hanging a Bitcoin sticker on his laptop in New York Bagel Cafe on a Sunday morning in July 2013 in the El Cangrejo neighborhood of Panama City to introduce myself and share that I'm game with sound money too22 who turned out to be Erik Voorhees. Meeting him and the Coinapult crew accelerated my path to learning more about Bitcoin23 and helped me contrast this parallel, math based system deployed over the Internet to the not even really written on paper promises of fiat system shitshow run by and through the rogue states that print the virtual monopoly money and control all the transactions making you prove your innonce if you're sending money from one of your accounts to another, nuckin futs. By Q3 2013 I had trouble making calls because I thought I was selling clients a false sense of security and if I was honest to the ones smart enough to ask the smart questions24, they'd be unlikely to become my client at the bank. So in a sense, I couldn't turn my frown upside down and still look myself in the mirror when it came to the bank bezzle25, so by January 2014 I issued EPB my own pink slip and joined Coinapult. As simple as it was to drop out of school and then jump to an island and live with strangers to join EPB in 2012, it was just as simple to leave the bezzle with the knowledge I'd gained by going for it.

Now have some pics and follow through commentary, if it pleases you.

First morning in Panama at the Continental Hotel on Via Espanya.



Above, Campo Allegre in the foreground with Punta Pacifica and Oceania (Coinapult's office to be) in the background. Below, looking north up Via Espanya with El Cangrejo on the left and Obarrio on the right.



Above, veraneras and ladies hats in the forground, PTY skyline in the background with the early stages of Cinta Costera tres peaking through the fence posts. Below, La Puente de las Americas --the artificially reforged earth elements connecting North and South America since the gringos installed that 7th wonder of the world-- and the Pacific parking lot with what looks like some petrol vessels biding their time to traverse the busiest tunnel in the hemisphere.






Two above is Ashe's work station at La Fuente, which on the one hand was a bit better than the Vincentian dresser he used for a bread machine, but on the other hand he had that pastey wall to stare down all day. One above is me smiling and dialing. Below, a trophy tucan that visited my view.




Above, Ashe on New York Bagel Cafe in Plaza de Einstein in El Cangrejo. Below, me. These pics were taken a few years apart, but perhaps at the same table. Anyways, it was the main cafe in our neighborhood and we'd go there 4-5 days a week.



Above, Vultures26. Below, what a typical dinner plate looked like at our Del Caribe residence on Via Veneto cca 2013.



Above, a meet up I organized at Tantalo. If I recall correctly, it was just about the day Silk Road got pinched. Below, the baby face in glasses and a partay.




Above and below, I went back to the farm for Thanksgiving and Christmas, Ashe went 'LaBitConf' in BA. Apparently there were a couple soon to be ghosts there.



S.DICE swag was sneaking out in those days, but talks of the real conference never emerged in substance, talk about toxic, indeed. I didn't know it was toxic and one can get intoxicated from alcohol in the end, but use it as social lubricant if he's not very adept at talking sober. Anyways, at the time, I was making the best decision with the information I'd marked important and my priorities as I'd ordered them. Granted, I coulda, woulda, shoulda asked and done better holy due diligence, but that dun account for shit, but shame.



Above, skyline again from las terrazas de las Bovedas. Below, golden hour sky line from Isla Flamenco accessed via Amador causeway. Headed to meet some EPB prospects from Japan, who were VERified friends and some of the Coinapult crew ; Ver owned a piece of Coinapult too. In less than a year, Erik went from, "there can only be one", to shapeshifting alts, but I suppose for his sake he's extracting the BTC outta those spreads. What more is being extracted outta that SSL based API is an exercise for the reader.




My last day at EPB was conducted at the Coinapult office in Oceania, it must've been Friday, January 17th or 24th, probably the former. We'd often go in to work there and then go out after. On this day, I did a lot of reflecting, went through my entire list of clients. I called Adrian Murray and Vincent Le to tell them directly my plans. Ashe knew of course, but they were the other two that started in 2012 and managed to stick around. I tried to talk to Mark, but he was busy. I was busy too. Erik and Ira Miller, had bought a banking license in Dominica and were in talks with Ashe to run it. I was set to start at Coinapult building out their customer support department27, but it was unclear how long I'd be there because Ashe said from the beginning that if they went forward with him running it, he'd make me and Adrian28 his first hires. We discussed over happy hour and steaks at Los Anyos Locos on Calle 74, San Francisco.


Then we went to the driving range on Via Israel for a "drinking and driving" special with several others from Coinapult. It's certainly a convenient range --being located between two of the busiest streets, Via Israel and Calle 50-- and pretty cool too as your targets are sky scrapers like, "El Tornillo". The special was something like a bottle of Abuelo and all the balls you can hit for $30. The swing below is clearly prior to my Jesse Larson golf lessons. He'd probably say my posture could strengthen and I'd have to agree.




Then we made a fire and crushed pipas frias before hitting Veneto Casino, or as Ashe liked to call it, the onion patch, cause that's where the working girls with the fake and natural butts did their own smiling and dialing and closing prior it being condemned in 2018 or so.. I don't exactly recall.


I woke up the next day pretty hung over and managed to get on a call with Mark probably around noon to tell him my decision. It was a pretty quick convo. I spent the next couple days in bed, sick for the first time in a while. I think I was filled to the brim with emotional tension. I still have a lot of love for Peter Schiff and what I learned about the world through listening and reading him and ultimately working for his start up bank. At the time, EPB was the best opportunity I knew of in the world and I went all in. It introduced me to a life long friend/older brother I never had, got me outside the zone, showed me how bezzle banks move their scrip unSWIFTly and how corporate structuring and jurisdictional arbitrage mattered back before the fiat international law was eviscerated and Bitcoin and GPG contracts swooped in at the nick of time to restore capitalism.



Stay weird and true Panama -- y nos vemos prontito !


  1. The SEC gave Mark a hard time in the 90s. None of his customers ever filed a complaint, but bureaucrats wanted a piece of his action. The way he told it to me, he'd find muni bonds in upscale places (at least as upscale as they can get in USian backwaters) like Beverly Hills that paid a big coupon because a) Greenspan had interest rates above 6% at the time --still too low, pero imaginate hombre-- and b) the market was opaque, so he did his digging to find them and his clients were happy because of the relatively high rate of risk adjusted return. The SEC threatened and threatened and threatened him with the accusation he charged too much and so he should settle with them, but he never signed the papers so it went to court and he won with the argument that essentially, "If the yield was not competitive, the client wouldn't buy.". Despite winning, all that drama caused him to leave Euro Pacific Capital prior to it really taking off and meanwhile he set up a brokerage business in Anguilla. []
  2. It wasn't a question in my mind of if I was going to go do this thing, but if I'd get the chance. Recall, I'd been working on working for EuroPac for close to a year. We sat with the branch manager of the Westport office to (not recalling his name and he's on their website any longer) and he tried to neg us with, "Well, if you go to the tropics, gotta be careful to not get lazy." I don't think I said this to him, but upon reflection my thought was, "Sir, I'd go live in a tattered tent in tropics of Thailand for this job." []
  3. Slang for TBTF bank/brokerage []
  4. A couple bottom rung Euro Pacific Capital guys had tried their hand in 2011, but didn't stick around long enough for us to meet them. []
  5. Apologies to the non-golfing readers. While at amateur golf venues one can typically get a decent lie and pretty much always find his ball in the lawn length grass that line the carpet cut fairways, U.S. open venues are notorious for disappearing balls that enter their thicket. []
  6. After a few months of enough of us bitching, we ended up with Skype which had much improved call quality, but we lost the ability to give a number that'd identify us and on which calls could be returned !! "I can't give ya my number, but send me an email and I'll call ya right back..." How you like them apples ? []
  7. If anyone has a screenshot, plox to share ! []
  8. Eventually, Adrian Murray made some snazzy PDFs he was kind enough to share with the sales team and he eventually got pissed off enough to make on his own time and dime what has served as their website since about May 2013. []
  9. Eventually Ashe and Adrian got the keys to customize it to our use case and needs. []
  10. Not sure Saxo offered it the whole time and Mark drug his feet or what, comments are open for clarification ! []
  11. Yeah, I know I'm using a French adjective for a Spanish coin. Problem ? Did you know the ~6.8g doubloon is ~double the weight of a ~3.5g Venetian ducat ? Did you also know that ~ before the grams, i.e. an approximation, is a reason Bitcoin is superior to gold ? That is, Bitcoin's fungibility is perfect, while precious metals can be clipped or the scales can be tipped in a much cheaper manner when answering the question, "How much ?" []
  12. Though I suppose this is the bottom of the paragraph, *shrug*. []
  13. We flew from JFK to Barmalos March 1st. I vividly remember sitting in my hotel room listening to Peter hand wave at it. []
  14. Vermont woodchuck slang for effect, they mean to say pretty near, alright bud ? []
  15. At least until I gtfo of there and joined the "hackers" doing Bitcoin. []
  16. Prior to joining the bank and until about April 2012 James, Ashe and I were avid Peter Schiff Radio listeners. That's where he announced the job openings and received our resumes to begin with. We pretty much quit that we he wouldn't stop talking about George Zimmerman shooting Trayvon Martin to end the fist pummeling and pavement pounding the latter was delivering the former's head. Yeah, Huessein Bahamas was fanning the race war flames and Peter was probably scared, but if the radio show was going to help our job, we needed to hear his view on the market, not how it was clearly self defense and also, OMG I can't believe the GOP is stealing the nomination from Ron Paul !!! Amurica is a country of laws and all that jazz. He also lost some points when he debated Stefan Molyneux --a self-identified anarchocapitalist we'd all been listening for a while by then as well-- with Peter defending the existence of the state, whereas stefbot maintained the market and private enterprise would sort out the various problems the state allegedly solves and at a cheaper price too ! []
  17. Some people just like talking to salesmen, I'm looking at you Patel. []
  18. As fucking if an economy is a train, anyways. []
  19. This was unsolictied, but the quickest money was a couple dudes that we later learned were working together, one of whom was Indian, but Mark kept calling Robert Horry (aka Big Shot Rob to anyone who knows about 1990s-2000s basketball history), who kept buying sleeves of ounces of physical gold. It turns out the had stolen the money from a trust or something. We thought we were going to be fired, but it turns out we were taking good notes the entire time and the cops didn't put us at fault and never talked to Ashe or myself and meanwhile Loyal Bank in St. Vincent was in much deeper shit cause they didn't really write anything down. []
  20. He closed the biggest account at the bank, something like $1M, exclusively over email. Never spoke with the fellow. Turns out the client's primary language was Spanish so preferred to write in English anyways, but nevertheless. []
  21. After I left, they started getting cut in... until Ashe started really raking and then Mark took it away... what the fucking FUCK. []
  22. It's clear to me now such an approach is uncivilized, but it worked in that case. []
  23. I'd definitely heard of it in 2012 and even had a client arbitraging the Mt. Gox-Bitstamp spread using EPB as the conduit. The correspondent bank raised flags about this JP-SVG-SK action, but fortunately buddy had told us he was using the account to trade currencies and thus he and we didn't get slapped by ze Germans at Commerzbank, EPB's fresh correspondent account following the Bank of St. Vincent stint. And of course, when Cyprus went tits up in April 2013 we thought Gold would rally, but it was Bitcoin that was going parabolic. []
  24. "So who are your correspondents ? Ok, German. Hm. Didn't you just say the Euro is having problems ? If your accounts are in Germany anyways, why don't I just go to them directly instead of going to you ? I can even get deposit insurance from them and you told me aren't going to give me any." "Myeah, point taken, Sir." []
  25. Ashe and I didn't have that term of art in our vocabulary then, but we were saying things like, "The bank is a racket." "Working for the bank is depressing." []
  26. Some of us, we're hardly ever here
    The rest of us, we're born to disappear
    How do I stop myself from being just a number?
    How will I hold my head to keep from goin' under?

    Down to the wire
    I wanted water, but I'll walk through the fire
    If this is what it takes to take me even higher
    Then I'll come through
    Like I do when the world keeps testing me, testing me, testing me

    How did they find me here?
    What do they want from me?
    All of these vultures feds hiding right outside my door (at least for the next couple weeks)
    I hear them whispering
    They're tryin' to ride it out
    They've never gone this long without a kill before

    Down to the wire
    I wanted water, but I'll walk through the fire
    If this is what it takes to take me even higher
    Then I'll come through
    Like I do when the world keeps testing me, testing me, testing me

    Wheels up
    I got to leave this evening
    I can't seem to shake these vultures off of my trail
    Power is made by power being taken
    So I keep on running to protect my situation

    Down to the wire
    I wanted water, but I'll walk through the fire
    If this is what it takes to take me even higher
    Then I'll come through
    Like I do when the world keeps testing me, testing me, now

    Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
    Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
    Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
    Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
    Whatcha gonna do about it?
    Whatcha gonna do about it?
    Whatcha gonna do 'bout it?
    Don't give up, give up
    Don't give up, give up, give up
    Don't you give up
    Don't give up, give up, give up []

  27. With Ashe's 8+ years in software support, he advised this would be a good role for me as I'd allow me to learn through building out processes and documentation. []
  28. I betchya if Adrian reads this it'll be the first time he learns about it, cause that bank never did get very far past the filing cabinet. []

May 18, 2021

Bitcoin and Beverages at Baxter's, Part II

Filed under: JWRD — Robinson Dorion @ 21:40

Last November 11th, JWRD hosted an educational social hour and fundraiser for Rutland Country Club, aka RCC, aka Rutgusta. Baxter's is of course the restaurant in the clubhouse. The flier that was circulated is available here1. We sold 25 $502 tickets and 20 people3 managed to brave life and attend despite a local wuflu uptick from the floor4. With Jacob visiting on business early June, we're running it back for part two Tuesday, June 8th at 18:00 EDT.

Note: The time, date and price is firm. This article will be updated as sponsors sign on the line that is dotted, so to speak.

Part two will touch on much of the same material as part one, as the only thing that has really changed in the meantime is Bitcoin has continued its unyielding march towards global domination and fiats have continued, as expected, to deteriorate. This one will leverage RCC's spiffy event tent that fresh green mountain air and the sun's high position in our summer sky to be able to accommodate a wider swath of the community cool, curious people will again be held in the backroom of Baxter's (see comment). I'd like to see triple digits this time, why the hell not ? Furthermore, attendees will have a chance at prizes, but don't hold your breath if you're shooting for second prize steak knives. There is no second prize -- Bitcoin is for keeps.

Cutting5 to the meat of the matter :

What are the reasons Bitcoin has emerged to become the strongest asset protection instrument in existence and meanwhile the best performing asset of the decade ? What may the following charts indicate about the past, present and future ?




Format :

  • A welcome drink to grease the gears and settle down.
  • A 60 minute6 presentation covering the following topics :
    • Overview of the key structural changes of the past few decades to international banking and law which have substantially diminished the value of traditional asset protection instruments such as trusts and private foundations.
    • What is Bitcoin? There is an abundance of hype and speculation, but a scarcity of understanding on the matter. An intro to the building blocks.
    • What are the reasons Bitcoin continues to grow in power and importance.
  • 10-15 minutes of questions and answers.
  • A social hour following with appetizers included.
  • All attendees can choose to shoot for an ace7 on the 3rd hole or sink a 60 foot putt on the 9th green8.

Logistics :

  • Time and Date: Tuesday, June 8th, 2021 at 6 p.m.
  • Price: $509, includes a drink and appetizers. All proceeds are donations to the Rutland Country Club.
  • Limited Capacity10: RSVP by Showing up at the Baxter's bar at RCC with your payment, putting your name on the list and at least locking eyes with Cal so he knows, 2) commenting on this article, 3) emailing, replacing the nonsense11 spam trap with "office") and stating your payment preference: Bitcoin, Cash, Check, ACH, Paypal.
  • Payment must be received to confirm RSVP.

Gold Sponsor12 :

Silver Sponsor :

All Proceeds are Gracious Donations to RCC :

Lucky-Skill Shot Sponsor : Brix Bistro


P.S. I'll be headed back to the isthmus of Panama before the end of June, so this is effectively a farewell party. How can ya not come now ? Hm ?


P.P.S. Have a sneak peak :

"What have we here laddie ? Mysterious scibblings ? A secret code ? No ! Poems no less. Poems everybody ! The lad here reckons himself a poet. 'Money gets back. I'm all right Jack. Keep your hands of my stack. New car, caviar, four star day dream, think I'll buy me a football team.'"

Don't be another brick in the wall, come get educated on what they don't teach in school.

Here we'll keep a running list of the attendees13, to a) help me keep everyone straight, b) make it easy for Cal to know the confirmed count of plates of appetizers to make and c) honor the attendees and supporters and show the orderbook :

  1. Nick Maniery : paid via PJ Abatiell scholarship, confirmed he'll be there ;
  2. Nick Baker : bought 2 tickets last time, didn't manage to make it, confirmed they'll be there this time ;
  3. Nick Baker : bought 2 tickets last time, didn't manage to make it, confirmed they'll be there this time ;
  4. Ron Cioffi : bought a ticket last time, didn't manage to make it, has to check his social calendar to see if he can make this one ;
  5. Chuck Shomo : paid ;
  6. Joe Candon : paid ;
  7. Mark Candon : paid ;
  8. Matthew Serafin : paid via Michael & Rhona Dorion scholarship ;
  9. Michael and Rhona Dorion : paid for 2 tickets to be awarded as a scholarship ;
  10. Nick Ojala : paid ;
  11. Luke Steinke : paid ;
  12. Nate Foster : paid ;
  13. Steve Wilk : heard order for 2 tickets, not yet paid ;
  14. Steve Wilk : heard order for 2 tickets, not yet paid ;
  15. John Casella Sr. : will come if he's in town, will sponsor ;
  16. Collin Fingon : heard order for a ticket, sponsorship for hole in one and long bomb putt contest confirmed ;
  17. Eric Allen : heard order for a ticket, wants it charged to his account, but accounting hasn't yet sorted that out ;
  18. Dr. Peter Hogenkamp : heard order for a ticket, not yet paid ;
  19. Nick Ouellette : heard order for a ticket, not yet paid, will pay at the door ;
  20. Drew Drake : heard order for a ticket, not yet paid ;
  21. John Beerwoth : said he'd pay his financial advisors' ticket and his own if either are in town ;
  22. Steve Waite : heard order for a ticket, not yet paid, will pay at the door.
  1. Worth noting that flier generated zero "lay down" sales, all sales were closed through calls or face time (not that derpy crapple app, traditional face time like you used to do before you got tangled up on that ergonomic mess of a spying fondleslate you "can't not live without these days" and may in fact be reading from right now). []
  2. Fiat interfaces reported an open price on 2020/11/11 of $15`290.91/BTC, i.e. 6281 satoshi/usd (0.00006281 BTC/usd), meaning tickets were roughly 31`4054 satoshi (0.00314054 BTC). Although BTC was the stated payment preference, no one managed to get a transaction included in a block. Fiat cash was king preferred. The market value of those tickets in BTC terms is left as an exercise for the reader. []
  3. Of which, one (known around these parts as "whitehorn") became a client and we were also paid by a local group that meets regularly to learn about finance together to present the material ; perhaps more residuals from that one to come, we'll see. []
  4. This here green mountain state had some of the lowest documented positive test rates. I'll leave commentary on cycle threshold shenanigans for another time, but you've probably read all about it already, n'est pas ? []
  5. A cut is preferred to a slice, amirite ? For the uninitiated, golf slang about shot shape that is. []
  6. The alert reader will note part one was estimated to be 25-30 minute. In practice, this went closer to an hour, but ask anyone that went, were they not entertained educated ? There were even reports of nightmares ! Plus, Cal, Briz and the rest of the RCC staff expertly served those tasty caloric reinforcements just in the nick time. []
  7. Hole in one in golf slang. []
  8. JWRD client and RCC member Collin Fingon is sponsoring this through one of his companies or another, details to be firmed up ! []
  9. Arguably we should be charging more, but we're being nice :). []
  10. You'll catch us outside, but don't wait around to buy. []
  11. Dragon call Tobes ? []
  12. Last time we asked for $500, which goes straight to the club. If you want to sponsor and have your logo featured below, follow the steps above or reach me some other way if you know how. []
  13. Each list item counts for one ticket meaning the end number is the total ticket count, e.g. Nick bought 2 total tickets, not 2x2=4. If anyone has an issue with your name being here, tell me and I'll truncate a keccak hash of your name to symbolize you. []
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