Dorion Mode

January 21, 2020

Hawai'i Cruisin

Filed under: Uncategorized — Robinson Dorion @ 13:39

About 18 months ago, during the previous family reunion of my maternal side at a beach house on Long Island, there were talks about a Hawai'i cruise to bring in 2020. I didn't know much about Hawai'i and figured it was overrated since gringos generally barely travel 1. As the date approached I had pretty low expectations and wasn't really looking forward to going all the way out there, but the maternal side has experienced a bit of diaspora 2 and I find spending time with family one of the best opportunities to learn about myself and where I came from. By the time the week was through, I needed it to be through because I was enjoying myself so much I barely slept 3.

Which brings me to the point that pains me to state, but must be stated : I didn't take any pictures until about January the 2nd, day 8 of 11 on the trip, at which point I took a fuckton4. I hopped on a red eye to Las Vegas where I spent the day awaiting my next red eye back to Panama. In the final stretch of my sleepless daze, I left my camera somewhere between the rental car drop off and my gate and didn't realize it till I woke up during the descent into PTY. The real blow is I leveraged up on dumb risk by not taking the 5 mins it'd have taken to backup the pics onto my laptop. The pictures presented below were gathered from friends, family and a cheap fondleslate5. The stupidity's mine to own and kill 6, so let's get to lookin' at some views of the Rainbow State.


Boom ! Above and below, bows on Waikiki Beach, Oahu the morning of December 27th.



Waikiki was swamp reclaimed by the Americans 7, above is the canal they cut where they frequently have rowing races which lies less than 10 blocks from the sand.

After boarding our vessel, The Pride of America (archived) by Norwegian Cruise Lines, the afternoon of Saturday the 28th, we departed the port of Honolulu, Oahu and cruised the sea for the night to wake up in Maui.


Above and below, Maui morning. Below after I'd been up early with the old man to hit the gym. The early morning gym routine lasted till about the morning of new year's eve.


We stayed in port at Maui from the morning of the 29th to the afternoon of the 30th. There were all sorts of excursions available and plenty in partnership with the cruise line. I didn't get off the boat at Maui. I did okay keeping up reading logs and blogs - trinque, bvt and spyked were en fuego - but as I explained :

dorion: << upon reflection, I went into the hawaii trip with pretty low expectations and not much of a plan, figured I'd spend a lot of time doing normal tasks. when I got there I started enjoying myself and then wanted to make the most of that and didn't properly adjust.

So let's delve a bit on what I enjoyed.

First off, a cruise ship is a feat of engineering guided by management to behold. This vessel is 13 decks, ~280 meters long, carrying 80k tonnage, ~2.1k+ passengers, ~900+ crew.

Second off, typically in communities 8 of 3k people everyone speaks the same language, there are more animals than people in the area and usually there are no traffic lights - y'know, rural. On this ship I don't know how many languages total were being spoken, but easily over a dozen. There are 16 dinning options, 6-7 bars, 2 pools, 5 jacuzzis, gym/spa, arcade, card room, library, theater, art gallery. With time limited to a week and people going on dry land everyday, you're not going to speak with or meet everyone even if you wanted to, y'known urban.

Third off, I enjoyed the dining very much. The first night our party of 23 ate at the Liberty Restaurant and every other night we ate at Skyline. The menus were great and this thing was all you can eat, all you can drink. I had trout, prime rib, paella, duck, salmon, assorted salads and soups, Manhattans, vino, steaks, cakes, pies, sherbet, espresso double shots with Baileys, you get the idea. Wanna try something and don't end up liking it ? Fine, order something else, it's priced into what was already paid.

Fourth off, the crew was great. At dinner, we had the same set of servers every night. The bartenders not only were remembering your name by the second day, but what you were going to order. I reckon it's a mixture of the aloha spirit, the weather, the management and being the only American flagged cruise ship going, which means it is complaint with all state 9 and federal laws 10. They typically go five months on, two months off. Live in barracks and eat mystery meals below deck 3 while being responsible for ship duties apart from their main gig, but save plenty. Whatever explains it, these people were happy to serve you and I was happy to be served by them.

Fifth off, being on a volcanic chain of tropical islands brought me back to my 22nd year when I was prospecting from Prospect Point on St. Vincent 11. Here, have a shot from a beach on Maui's northern coast to get the picture.


Sixth off, and really the most important, the family time was priceless. Below is the crew of 23 on New Year's Eve.


NYE was a blast and also where I really started to test my endurance. We arrived at the Hilo side of the big island the morning of the 30th. I didn't get off the ship. From what my parents tell me I didn't miss much, but a friend I met on the ship got hooked up with some BM boys and had nice cookout where they were gifted more grass for the time they had to make fire with it. Like everything, what you're able to make of a situation depends in large part on who you know. We pulled out of Hilo during the golden hour for NYE at sea.

By the 29th or 30th I'd been doing laps around the ship meeting as many people as I could, by the time New Years rolled, I had plenty to see. Met some peeps at the smoking deck 12 called Waikiki 13 on 13th deck aft around 22:30. I had a Manhattan 14 or two with family prior then switched to Amaretto on the rocks and a glass of water with every drink. They emptied the main pool and jacuzzis, the latter they filled with ice and champagne bottles, and had a band jamming through the calendar turning.

From there, moved to the "club" Mardi Gras till it closed, then back to Waikiki. Despite Sylvain from Quebec emptying his mini bar, I didn't drink more, but stayed up with him and the father son duo of Jim and Zak Danger telling stories. By 6, we had nautical twilight and breakfast was starting to be served so I went for OJ, eggs Benedict, bacon and yogurt and ate while the sun was rising over Kona on the leeward side of the big island. There is no port big enough on Kona for the ship and they were scheduled to dingy in to let people off since Kona is supposed to be the nicer side of the island. However, 1-2 meter drops in the sea caused the old sailor captain to call off the dingies and make a day at sea. I told my parents to stake claim to chairs by the pool as by 7 territory was becoming scarce. I went to sleep at around 7:30 and got back up around 11:30.

New Year's day at sea was really cool. When people have dry land access during the day, the ship tends to be empty. With no where to go, it was the opposite. From Kona in the southeast, our destination was Kauai to the northwest and our path weaved through the islands with plenty of scenery including whales and dolphins.

I reckon below is the northern coast of Molokai, where there were several visible waterfalls from the steep cliffs. I didn't verify if she was over 50 15, but she was cool.


The night of January 1st ought to have been low key, but then it wasn't. It started with my following through on a promise to play cards with my little cousin after dinner. I met her, my aunt and uncle at the Champagne Bar, which is close to the card room. My aunt was having a French75 16, a drink I'd never heard of before, which turns out is my maternal grandmother's 17 favorite drink and is now right up there with the Manhattan in becoming one of mine.

Drinks aside, the cuz was all business18 and we played a hand of heads up UNO, which I think I won, but it's still up for debate 19. After that, I teach them rummy, one of my favorite games. They're learning, taking their time since there's a decent amount of strategy given the simple rules, and they end up smoking me. For round two, they have 17 mins prior to a show starting they're planning to see, so we switch to speed rummy where when one's playing, everyone's egging them on to discard already. I got a good draw and my redemption as I scored +5 whoever was in second in cumulative.

With all that excitement and a new drink to explore, I went to the smoking deck to see what was up.


While Seth, pictured above, and Natasha at the champagne lounge - piano and player pictured below - naturally loved to make the French75, when I ordered it at the smoker's deck 20 I got glares and barkeeps asking for reminders on the recipe, but they all delivered and I'm not going to complain about having the French75 reputation and at the end of the day I think they liked it.


I stopped by my sister's room to get her to rally with me. While I was out seeing people, she was on vacation to relax and catch up with her close friends via phone/video/text, not talk to strangers. Doesn't mean she wasn't enjoying herself and actually got the cops called on her 3 or 4 times for noise complaints 21. For whatever reason she was in some old school Jay-Z mode so maybe the neighbors wouldn't have complained if she was bumping Bach ?


Anyways, I sold her on a 20 minute walk starting at the Champagne lounge - had to have her try a proper French75, ofc - then walking up with the smoking deck, see what's up and walk back to the room. I was running on fumes, had liquorburn22) anyways and was planning to get on dry land in Kauai in the a.m. So we get our drinks and head to the Heavenly Clouds. It's sprinkling as we walk up the stairs and a minute or two after we're there a proper tropical downpour proceeds. I don't recall how long we were stuck up there, but more than we bargained for. We were lucky to be back by midnight and my memory is a bit fuzzy now so I could've been up later.

I was pretty wrecked when I woke at 7 a.m.ish and was on the fence about even going on the planned trip to the Waimea Canyons then the beach with my parents at 8:30. I saw my Uncle Al was vaping some medicine on his balcony, so I went for a pep talk with him through which I realized how much I needed to get in the ocean. This is also where the Hawai'i hospitality started to really pay. They're so organized and smooth getting you off the ship and to the rental car place. Shuttles are running every ~2 minutes so you barely need to stop walking. We get to the car rental and I see the famous golden roosters for the first time. This is where I'd insert those pics, but you'll have to use your search engine of choice or imagination.

Kauai may be the most scenic Hawaiian island, it's where a good chunk of Jurassic Park was filmed and the scenery for sure nurtured my Jurassic heart. We stopped at a grocery store where I picked up Kauai Kombucha and Kimchi, Rice Crackers, 19th green mix and some local guava candy. We drove west down the coast until Route 552 where we turned north toward the Waimea Canyon look out. The more traveled road is 550 to the east, if you make this trip, drive up 552 and down 550. At the entrance of 552, there was a papaya farm, where I scooped 3 small papaya, a bunch of apple bananas 23 and 3 tangerines. The SCOBY, fruit and sweet, salty, carbs had me coming back to life.

So we get to the look out, park on the side of the road and walk a couple hundred meters up the road to the vista. As it turns out, the state bezzle charges $5 and only accepts plastic, not "legal tender". The plastic had been left in the car, but as we're regaining our bearings on what the next move is, some lady walks up to us and says, "I'm only going to be 5 mins, I'll give you my ticket when I come out." "Alright, cool." As it turns out, there was a stand with a solid salesman dealing fruit and baked goods. I scooped a bag of lychees, a box of starfruit and a sack of super delish banana spring rolls. Win. A couple people asked me what this furry looking red thing I was biting in to was and were glad to learn that's what the thing they were drinking in their martinis looks like off the tree. Anyways, lady delivered the ticket and the state got skimmed for being stupid. Of course we passed it on when we were leaving on the condition the recipients pay it forward.





You kind of get the picture from the above, but please go see it for yourself. It's for sure worth it.


The failure to back up most hurts here. The culture warrior above was really impressive. When I got up there, my parents started talking to him and asked him about hunting, given his pike. He said they hunt small black tail deer, about 100lbs, but the unique beast they go after are wild bulls called the Hawaiian moose. These aren't rodeo bulls raised by cowboys, these are wild from birth.

Then he gathered the ~250 people at the vista around and gave a presentation. He explained the peaks to the north of the canyon is a mountainous swamp that averages over 350 inches of rain annually, is one of the wettest locations on earth and has more endangered species than all of North America 24. Then he broke down the etymology of Hawai'i : wai 25 means fresh water, ha means breath and i means consciousness. Control of the fresh water meant power on the islands, the elites went upstream and the seat of the Hawaiian kingdom were those mountains. While they're hunting and exploring in the canyon, they regularly find artifacts from their ancestor's civilization. Hawai'i : breath, fresh water and consciousness. Pretty cool, eh ?

Then he broke down the etymology of aloha, which he said has hundreds of interpretations, but literally : alo means sharing the present and ha as above means breath so aloha is the recognition of sharing the gift of the present breath with another.

He then showed us his conch and explained how they were vital communication tools. First, he demonstrated a long monotonous call which signaled meal time to those in the canyons. Then he demonstrated an alternating call which signaled the danger of an invader on the horizon of the sea. Shells were placed at strategic locations in the canyons to facilitate the spread of the calls throughout the island. Leaving home without your shellphone could mean you miss out on the fun of battle and wind up on the losing end of the raping and pillaging.

He went on to explain that hula dancing was originally a war dance only performed by men. In more recent times, these Hawaiians learned it's much more effective to have pretty girls in skirts do the dancing and figure out how to trade rather than fight.

This is where it starts to get interesting. He smoothly changes gears and says that recently, according the state laying claim to the park, the presentation he delivered us was illegal. He pointed to his woven donation basket for the first time and said that due to him putting a basket on the ground and sharing information about his culture, the state claimed he was a vendor and required a license to perform.

So he challenged it, he said, "Your honor, the prosecutor must establish jurisdiction. Show me the law." The state delayed, and delayed, and delayed and delayed and buddy went to court five times and on the fifth time, the judge dismissed the case. So he said "Wait a minute, if he doesn't have it now, he never had it. It's not like his dingo ate the law." The culture warrior goes on to explain that this whole charade sparked his curiosity and based on his study, Hawai'i was never legally annexed by the gringos.

He qualified all this, saying, "Don't just believe a guy on top of a mountain wearing a grass skirt. Do your own research."

Now, I had recorded what he said and told him I'd transcribe and publish it here and gave him my card, told him he could leave comments answer questions, etc. Given the disaster my stupidity caused, the above isn't verbatim 26, but I preserved the spirit of what he said and hope it's clarified in the comments. I didn't do the research because I don't really care if Hawai'i is part of USia or not. While they may, for some time, have benefited from the current arrangement, it's not a secret to anyone with a wit how tenuous the USKorea and the currency it relies on is. Hawai'i is certainly not like any other state and as long as they let me back to enjoy their beautiful landscape, welcoming, accommodating and competent tourist culture and keep the hula girls dancing, I care not one whisker what flag they fly.


Continuing on. Above, canyon view from route 550; below, sincerely yours.



Above as below, ocean view with with wavy grass on 550 descending.


Emerging from the surf of kekaha beach.



In theory, I ought to have gone to sleep the night of the 2nd. However, the Kombucha, Kimchi, day in the sun and sand, and aloha spirit had me high. So I went to say hi to people. What started in the champagne lounge moved to the heavenly cloud and by the time we rally to Mardi Gras and I roll in to find it's motherfucking Latin night. I realized it's going to be a while before sleep and catch my 8th wind to represent Panama salsa. Long story short I danced a lot of salsa 27 and spoke a lot of Spanish with a group from Monterrey. They were savvy enough to get a bottle of wine and champagne at closing which I got sucked into draining with them. These Monterrey Mexicans talk a lot of shit, like the shit talkin' I'm used to being from New England, so we all kept it real and got along well. I got the invites to visit.

By 3 or 4 I'd had my fun with them and was in the mood for some gangster rap before calling it a night. I had brought my laptop out to DJ Latin beats in the champagne lounge after they kicked us out of Mardi Gras and headed up to the smoking deck. As I approached I heard it was loud up there and as I walk up the steps, Zak Danger was posted up by himself with Rick Ross Push It To The Limit 28 blasting. He sees me and says, "You want to hear some hacker shit ? Felix, from Montreal, has a Huawei phone with universal remote." He points to the TV and says, "He just changed the channel to some Japanese movie, changed the music to Rick Ross, said he was going to bed and bounced."

At that point we did the obvious thing and went to the Cadillac diner - open all night - ate diner food and crushed Arnold Palmers. Zak's from Cali, so on the walk there, I dug out a west cost hip hop gem from my middle school days, Gangster Nation by Westside Connection that Zak for sure wasn't expecting me to bring out given he'd pretty much only seen me wearing a suit and tie, including at that moment. Shrugs.


We had till 1pm in Kauai the next day. I didn't really sleep in, but as soon as I was up I was on a mission for Kombucha. There's a nice little beach next to the market by the port where I hung out for a while.

Upon departing port, we headed to the north coast of Kauai, the Hanalei coast, where dragons live by the sea and frolic in the autumn mist. As we were moving north, then west, there was rain on the coast, which some noobs thought would spoil the majestic views, but a barkeep informed me is better since there are more waterfalls after it clears.


Above, the double rainbow went all the way across the sky. Below, Kauai in the background, double rainbow in the mid ground and younger and older in the foreground.



So intense. The baddest motherfucking rainbow I've ever seen.


I reached for the pot of gold a the end of the rainbow during the golden hour and it paid off 29.



Hawai'i rum punch was the last drink served on the cruise. I only ordered it to order it, I had like 3 sips.


Last late night Cadillac diner meal.



Above is the Camaro I rented 30 Below, Felix and Emilie from Montreal. I paid for the car, they paid for the parking and the sushi. After we exchanged invites for Montreal, Killington and Panama.



Emilie said she's a sushi snob 31 and this Doraku is the best she's had. I don't know what else she's had, but it melted in the mouth.






We walked the beach after. And got a pineapple filled with juice, then back filled with kombucha.


Then we picked up something to smoke from Unco 32 and sat in the park and made a fire.


No children played with lighters in the making of this article.


Well positioned ladder trucks just in case negligent parents are letting their children play with lighters... Shhh !! The Fireman comin', whatchya gon do now ?


More kombucha. In Oahu I only found imports, nothing locally grown like in Kauai.



Standing on Waikiki wave breakers with Diamondhead Mountain in the background.











From another pier.



Kids just doing laps jumping off the pier, running up to jump off again.






The only filth on Waikiki was the predominately white trash, mentally retarded, homeless. I don't know if there's any plans to clean up the trash, but I was called a filthy whore by a toothless, shoeless... no she wasn't a whore, whores have money, something else. I think it must've been my posture that triggered her, despite being tired, my shoulders were back and I was breathing well. Aloha and all that.





Sidewalk waterfall and pedestrian street views. It tripped me out a bit how orderly the pedestrian flow is. First night I went to the chino for something. No cars in sight in any direction and people are waiting for the crosswalk light. In Panama, I walk through moving traffic as standard course. I was like, WHAT ARE THESE NERDS DOING WAITING. While I was still jay walking at the end, whatevs, the orderliness was quite pleasant. I will point out that my exposure to chaos did save a lady from crashing into me while driving. We were about even, her in the furthest left lane and me second from right on the four lane highway going into town, where we were simultaneously merging into the lane between us. She never saw me, and I saved her blind spot from a crash and a bad day. You're welcome lady.





Standard, well stocked ABC stores are on every other corner. Look for the local section for the goods. A package of soft cuttlefish caught my eye, which I picked up and nourished with. The clerks are all happy and are actually focused on doing their job well. Different country.








Kombucha, alkaline rain water, snacks, cigar and sunset.


Thanks for being you Hawai'i, until next time, aloha.

P.S. "There is no we, there is only V."


P.P.S. Ayo whaack, is this the beginner type wave you have in mind for lobbes ?


  1. 50% holding passports is generous []
  2. Originating in Franklin county Illinois - pre-War of Northern Aggression it gets a bit foggy and the Smith maiden name may have been assumed by a particular character - my people on this trip converged from Panama, Vermont, Long Island, Maryland, Florida, Illinois and New Mexico. []
  3. You know how elite military crews do "hell" week where they get sleep deprived and do a bunch of difficult tasks to separate the wheat from the chaff ? For me, a ~sleepless week in a tropical paradise aboard a floating city was something of a heaven week. []
  4. Way more than a shitload for those counting at home. []
  5. I originally brought it because I typically travel with my edgerouter, plug in downstream from modem and sit on ethernet with static IP. I didn't know how flaky the WiFi on the ship would be, nor if I had to debug my wpa_supplicant or dhcpcd configs. I plopped down the ~$350 for unlimited bandwidth over 2 devices and never had a problem with the lappy. []
  6. The general approach moving forward is to set aside these, "eat this exercise ball in one bite" articles and shift to the live blogging approach, which'll cause more frequent backups. []
  7. Not to be confused with United Statist. []
  8. Cruising this time of year means a lot of families, which means a fair share of old people, but plenty jovencitas. []
  9. The brain damaged 21yo drinking law the failed colonies has maintained so far aside, the bummer here is the last bar open, Mardi Gras, closed at 2am. The degeneratesavvy ordered bottles at last call. []
  10. The latter is at least what one of the barkeeps explained. He said he'd not work on another ship []
  11. At which point in the writing I'm pretty well irritated the bones of my Fabled Outlines lack meat to link to. []
  12. If you get caught smoking anywhere else, it's a big fine and they basically throw you overboard since fire is one of, if not the biggest, danger on the ship. Maybe they don't throw you overboard these days, but just go smoke with the smokers and have a chat. []
  13. If any NCL people read this, consider renaming the smoking deck to "Heavenly Clouds" or something along those lines. The ship is Pride of America after all and the late Bill Hicks is one of that country's greats. Know your audience, playing Hicks tapes from the 90s will keep asses in seats among that crowd today. []
  14. The go to drink my that has kept my paternal grandmother alive pushing 98. Two parts Canadian Whiskey, one part sweet vermouth and cherry juice in lieu of the traditional bitters. []
  15. Daughter, not pictured, was 17. []
  16. A New Orleans drink named after the 75mm cannon the French placed there during the war of 1812. 1.5oz gin, 0.75oz lemon juice, 0.75oz simple syrup, fill the remainder of the champagne flute with champagne of course. []
  17. Maybe I'm weird for drinking grandma drinks or maybe my grandma's are kinda cool ? I dunno nor care really, decide for yourself. []
  18. Her parents were at the table and she wouldn't deal them in ! []
  19. So get this : they had this new fangled deck where one of the wild cards is make your own rule and another wild card is switch all your cards with mine. So I draw the make your own rule wild card and I dunno wtf to do, so I solicit help and auntie suggests, "Gimme all your wild cards." "Sounds good." One of the wild cards I get is give me all your cards. I hold this one till UNO and play it last. Did I go out and win since I don't have any cards to trade with her ? Or did I lose since she's to give me her cards ? Can I exercise half the option and deny delivery ? Asking for a friend. []
  20. Where screwdrivers and BudLight (burp) is more the norm. []
  21. Maybe a record setter ? []
  22. Kinda like sunburn, 'cept from booze and on the inner skin of your digestive tract rather than your outer wrapper. Urbandictionary apparently doesn't know about it, but I didn't make it up. (Sincerely : I don't usually drink much at all and DD'd plenty of times while in VT. []
  23. The small sweet ones. []
  24. Not as if it's so easy to map, similar to the ocean floor. Seems to me it's basically direct cloud to river fountainhead. []
  25. I later learned mea means reddish, so Waimea means reddish water. []
  26. Dingo and gringo are artistic license I took. []
  27. The girls were pretty pretty, but pretty noob dancers, but it was fine because when you're a girl you just have to follow a man who knows how to lead. []
  28. Not the song I'd have thought to pick, but probably perfect. []
  29. I for sure had a lot of fun that night starting off telling people I found a coin on the ship that afternoon. I let them hold it, first time most had touched precious metal. When they asked where, showing them the picture and the technique I used to extract it. Laughs were had. []
  30. In Hawai'i there's more cars than people. They automagically upgraded me. []
  31. I said, you mean you have refined tastes ? []
  32. Local slang for anything on the BM. Unco asked if we were cops, and Felix clarified he's Canadian. []

December 19, 2019

Some Reasons Contributing to TMSR OS is +ev

Filed under: TMSR OS — Robinson Dorion @ 04:00

NOTE: It's been noted by a couple authorities this article is rather incomprehensible. With that being said, take heart that the comments provide some relief and a good example of the quality of feedback Diana Coman is prepared to provide should she accept you as a Young Hand of hers.

If you find yourself weighing whether or not it's in your interest to contribute to TMSR OS, consider some points :

Your interest is derived from who you are, i.e. your identity, signature, name, word and actions.

A strong individual identity is unique and expensive to replicate which generates signatures that are expensive to forge. Strong signatures are essential for sound contracts which are a central pillar of commerce. TMSR employs 1 RSA for identifying individuals in the WoT because it's the strongest known identity scheme from a practical 2 standpoint.

Having more effective tools available to employ for commerce increases your leverage and raises the probability for resourceful commerce.

The stronger your identity tools, the more incentive you have to use them to own and sign your work and the more incentive others have to provide you feedback to acknowledge the quality of your work and help you improve. The elite thinkers and capital allocators have the intellectual bearing to do in this world ; if you're one, you might as well own the bearing you do with a strong signature and a proper publishing platform.

By effectively contributing 3 to TMSR OS, you not only strengthen yourself as noted above, you also help strengthen the system's implicit clients 4.

On the money side of the ledger, you're well advised to factor in Gresham's Law into your expected value function and ask yourself if TMSR OS makes Bitcoin more or less peer to peer, more or less adamant :

mircea_popescu you familiar with gresham's law ?
herbijudlestoids yes
herbijudlestoids quite :)
mircea_popescu ok so. it doesn';t matter what people do or don't do. merely the preference to save strong currencies and to spend weak ones ensures the price differential. compared to anything else man made, bitcoin is adamantine.
herbijudlestoids i swear i mentioned something about global reserve asset earlier. preference to save is enforced by the marginal global saver
mircea_popescu so i mentioned something in 2011, what of it >D
herbijudlestoids what they save in is the store of value. you cant just call a currency the strong one for no reason. the use of a particular asset as a store of value by the marginal global saver(s) is what gives it that characteristic i.e. what are those entities converting their productive surplus into
mircea_popescu but i have an excellent statistical reasonv : that 10mn earliervi. no business in the history of business did anything like this. only currencies can, and only currencies do. basically in the 2010-2014 the entire world had a zimbabwe moment and didn't even know it (much like the actual peasants of zimbabwe, what do they know of finance).
jurov oh, they did notice ever fattening stacks of bills
mircea_popescu i guess. and obama is increasing the minimum wage, and more qe, and more bailouts, and so on and so forth.
herbijudlestoids im not really sure what any of the above has to do with greshams law lol
mircea_popescu it's a better model than the "marginal saver", in that it relies less on statistical artificery.vii other than the statistical reason (ie, bitcoin is the strong currency because of its history) there are actually legions of other reasons. bitcoin is fungible, unlike any other fiat (in that no court can order the de-fungibilisation of bitcoin). in any dispute of currency the more fungible wins, period.

Everyone knows weakness is strength in fiat land ; do you think the ~33% cut to the Federal Funds Rate in 2019 is a signal of more to come ? What'll that do you your purchasing power ? Why save with the weak, when you can hold the strong ?

Fine, fine, let's engage the point a little. Just the tip, okay ?

Here's one example. Do you understand what that means ? Do you see how the fact that you can make rounds of any size and call them coins therefore makes for a weaker currency than Bitcoin ?

Strength in the sense of stronger, fuller specification ; strength in the sense of stronger, fuller bindings on the future -- that's what strength is ; not the piddly nonsense you expect it to be, on the basis of all your experience clawing barefoot through the mood of your sad, limited past history. There can always be more of anything in nature -- but there will never be another number four. That is what real strength is.

And that's what we're aiming for here with this OS, a full specification because Bitcoin is an OS and Bitcoin is Sovereign.

There are more points and more details that could be expanded upon, but if "you" are operating on causes of this world of higher importance to you when compute expected value of an investment of your time than personal responsibility, strong individual identity, efficient and effective contracts and sound money 5, feel free to explain in the comments how those interests provide you leverage and ask how contributing to TMSR OS may further those causes.

  1. Understanding the practical strength of RSA for identity keys and signature has been a long term strategic project of TMSR, since before I was born. []
  2. Euclid's GCD is the latest hightech in factoring large prime numbers. []
  3. Contribution isn't limited to vpatches to software, there's a lot to be done and TMSR OS is a piece of something much greater. So follow the links I lay and the links in the links and if you don't know, you can ask me and someone in your WoT to help clarify. []
  4. E.g. more of the right people reading the Bitcoin code and staking their name on signing it and deploying TRB on TMSR OS means over time a smaller, clearer and more comprehensible codebase and a more robust Bitcoin. []
  5. Time and how you spend it falls in there as well and is there a better way to make use of your time than to interact with people carrying meaning ? []

December 16, 2019

TMSR OS Mission and Vision Statements Genesis

Filed under: TMSR OS — Robinson Dorion @ 22:12

The TMSR OS mission and vision statements genesis seeds the tree of consideration and expression on this branch of thought.


The mission of TMSR OS is to be a profitable implement for its implicit clients and operators to leverage in furthering capitalist economic interests and disrupting socialism.


By enumerating goodness 1 and owning any software worth the mention under V, TMSR OS allows the operator to manage his investment of trust and sets the basis of a framework for full process insurance of the complete computing stack, from hardware schematics to BIOS to bootloader to kernel to compiler to key management and graphics software -- ab ovo usque ad mala.

The success of TMSR OS is measured primarily by the success and growth of its clients. Bitcoin is the sound money, unpatchable 0day to the socialist monetary system, Gossipd is the uninterdictable, undecryptable communications layer of the forum, MP-WP is the preeminent publishing platform, Eulora is, "the masterclass in economy masquerading as a video game" and with TMSR-PGP the operator manages his identity keys, i.e. generates keys, encrypts and decrypts, creates and verifies signatures.

Sharpening the capitalist computing tools necessarily means making the use of fake central bank 2 money trademarks and the fast food technology sillycon valley has been serving to support their inflation fueled real estate and ipo bezzle investments for the -ev misallocations they are. Everyone who has thought for a few moments about it knows the political and technological collectivism is unsustainable and TMSR OS accelerates the slaying of the socialist beast and assertion of the individualist, honor-based hierarchy to which the elite are productively defecting.

May this guide the cultivation and bearing of nutritious fruit and to the victor go the spoils.

To be continued in the comments and pingbacks...

  1. As M. J. Ranum puts it :

    Why is "Enumerating Badness" a dumb idea? It's a dumb idea because sometime around 1992 the amount of Badness in the Internet began to vastly outweigh the amount of Goodness. For every harmless, legitimate, application, there are dozens or hundreds of pieces of malware, worm tests, exploits, or viral code. Examine a typical antivirus package and you'll see it knows about 75,000+ viruses that might infect your machine. Compare that to the legitimate 30 or so apps that I've installed on my machine, and you can see it's rather dumb to try to track 75,000 pieces of Badness when even a simpleton could track 30 pieces of Goodness. In fact, if I were to simply track the 30 pieces of Goodness on my machine, and allow nothing else to run, I would have simultaneously solved the following problems:

    • Spyware
    • Viruses
    • Remote Control Trojans
    • Exploits that involve executing pre-installed code that you don't use regularly

    Thanks to all the marketing hype around disclosing and announcing vulnerabilities, there are (according to some industry analysts) between 200 and 700 new pieces of Badness hitting the Internet every month. Not only is "Enumerating Badness" a dumb idea, it's gotten dumber during the few minutes of your time you've bequeathed me by reading this article.

    Now, your typical IT executive, when I discuss this concept with him or her, will stand up and say something like, "That sounds great, but our enterprise network is really complicated. Knowing about all the different apps that we rely on would be impossible! What you're saying sounds reasonable until you think about it and realize how absurd it is!" To which I respond, "How can you call yourself a 'Chief Technology Officer' if you have no idea what your technology is doing?" A CTO isn't going to know detail about every application on the network, but if you haven't got a vague idea what's going on it's impossible to do capacity planning, disaster planning, security planning, or virtually any of the things in a CTO's charter.

    Editorial Note :

    I went through the pain of making the quote a footnote because a) Ranum's blog doesn't have the MP-WP select tool to render correctly and the js select is unreliable across browsers, b) underscore how handy the tool is and c) I've learned a lot reading Ranum, you probably will too. []

  2. What percentage of Federal Reserve Notes do you reckon are digits on some server in a ~closet in Northern Jersey (no, not the Bailiwick of Jersey in the channel north of Normandy, the failed European colony south of the mouth of the Hudson River), hmm ? []

December 14, 2019

Contribution Guidelines for TMSR OS

Filed under: TMSR OS — Robinson Dorion @ 06:32

The implicit clients of TMSR OS are the implementation tools of economy, i.e. medium of exchange 1, punishment gazette 2 and public forum 3, along with "the masterclass in economy masquerading as a video game".

Being a collection of software, the entire system is controlled by V 4 , which has a manual genesis of it's own, to quote :

0x00] Software is the property of people running it, and part of the systems running it.
0x01] Identity is constructed, upon a fixed supportv, by others' view.

These absolutely true, universally valid and fundamentally correct principles mean in part that there is an expected value of every line of code that is deployed. Every line of code carries both risk and reward. A job of the operator is to evaluate his risk and reward exposure and the tools of contribution provide him leverage in that process.

All code in the system is a signed vpatch published by the authors on their blogs in articles which explain the modification. All vpatches and signatures are distributed on the code shelf of the author and the code shelves of any other signers of the vpatch who leave their seals. While there is no central code repository or central version control system or even a wesbite, the decentralized publishing and distribution system provides the operator of TMSR OS a basis to answer his guiding questions, "What is the cost/benefit of each vpatch ?" "What is the meaning, source and context of the text ?" This is the paradigm shift at the root of the redesign of computing, consider :

Used together with specialised scripts, 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.

Exciting times, wouldn't you say ? As the old Young Hands m.o. goes, "Work on what matters, so you matter too." So then, what are the guidelines for setting yourself up to contribute to this process ?

  1. Install an IRC client and register a nick with #freenode 5 ; Jacob Welsh (WoT: jfw) genesis'd his IRC client, yrc.
  2. Register your RSA key 6 with deedbot, see deedbot's help page for help.
  3. Install a V, Diana Coman's (WoT: diana_coman) starter pack is a good starting point.
  4. Maintain a blog 7 where you :
    1. Maintain a code shelf ,
    2. Publish your work plans and reviews 8,
    3. Publish articles for context 9 on your vpatches,
  5. Maintain an IRC connection to converse with people 10 for context to sort out who's who and what's what.

Take your time to learn, but come out of the shadows sooner rather than later, you don't really stand to gain from manaloning. Go ahead and start by asking questions here in the comments.

Sed fugit interea fugit irreparabile tempus, singula dum captos circumvectamur amore.

  1. Bitcoin []
  2. Web of Trust (WoT). []
  3. The logs and blogs. []
  4. Linking to Diana Coman's latest as it provides context and preserves the predecessors, which she links to. []
  5. #freenode is not ideal, in fact, it's a known issue. Nevertheless, it's where the Republic meets at present. I link the article pointing out the problem in case you, dear reader, reckon you have what it takes to solve it. []
  6. GnuPG 1.4.10 is recomended for now. []
  7. At minimum the blog software should support comments, pingbacks, server side select a la MP-WP, and no SSL or javascript or captchas of anykind if. Really, you should probably just install mp-wp. It'll give you more practice with V and if Mircea Popescu (WoT: mircea_popescu), says it, "provides those last edges of extra productivity and intellectual leverage that convert exceptional performance into mindblowing performance" for him, what's it going to do for you ? billymg (WoT: billymg) has a vtree and guide and Hannah Wiggins (WoT: hanbot), Aaron Rogier (WoT: BingoBoingo) and Eric Benevides (WoT: lobbes) have guides published. []
  8. You probably already know prospective reporting is core to working with people. The minimum standard is aligning with the ancient MPex standard of one month, but some people publish more frequently. The bottom line is, tell people what you want to do, what you think is important and do it well. If your words don't match your actions, write about what you're doing to fix it. A few example plans are Lucian Mogosanu (WoT: spyked) for December 2019 and Eric Benevides for December 2019, bvt (WoT: bvt) for July 2019 and Young Hands. []
  9. Articles publishing a vpatch, should have context about the vpatch, your blog should also have articles to provide context about you. []
  10. The forum is vast and deep, a few years ago the recommendation was to read the logs for '6 months'. Meanwhile the forum moved to #trilema and licensed castles while the log is available via trilema, ossasepia and ericbenevides. []

December 11, 2019

Heading TMSR OS

Filed under: TMSR OS — Robinson Dorion @ 06:15

With TMSR OS being the deliberate innovation and redesign of computing and me taking the call to head the project, it then follows I ought write out as soon as possible what I understand my responsibilities for ownership to be.

This is written as a starting point. As the work unfolds, I expect more responsibilities will become evident. The comments are open and welcome for feedback and corrections to accelerate my process of perceiving and prosecuting my responsbilities.

The first pillar to raise in is that I must be the coherent entry point of the project.

@Mircea Popescu

You're the coherent entry point, that's what you do, own it as such.

Thank you, Sir. The coherent entry point I must be then.

I re-read La Serenissima and Personal Sovereignty this morning and the identity being allodial property of the person point sunk in :

La Serenissima does not recognise nor will ever enforce any sort of claim of any entity that purports to impinge on the sovereignty of persons. No entity may claim rights to person's identity under this rule, and if they try to they're being the enemy and should be treated like the enemy. For all intents and purposes identity is allodial property of the person therein represented, and no convention may touch it.

And layering on the factor of the leverage of invested individuals the advantages amplify.

If project C has a decision making system formed out of 18 elements, which each obviously will require a separate pitch, as well as 39 groups formed out of the 18 elements in varying compositions, while project D has a decision making system formed out of one single person, we can say that D offers leverage and couldn't be bothered to mention C again.

The second pillar is tried and true management.

mircea_popescu: << nothing new or different, same old thing management always was. write a plan, get people to ~commit~ to parts, chase the commitments, reschedule as needed and so on.
ossabot: Logged on 2019-11-25 14:32:04 dorion_road: << my initial bias is to say, yes I want it. Before I take the claim though, I have to better understand what the responsibility of heading the project means.

How then do I interpret these into concrete tasks ?

1. Initial Tasks

  1. Write the plan.
    1. Implementing TMSR OS was an initial outline of the technical work to be done and with it came clarification on priorities and challenges.
    2. TODO Maintain a page on Dorion Mode for each of the 8 sub-components that provides context on the approach and tracks the status of the work done and to do.
    3. TODO articles to write below.
  2. Get people to commit to parts.
    1. bvt is on the kernel and taking December to test and report on Gales. The vpatches to the kernel bvt produced thus far may be sufficient for now. Integration of the kernel into the system is the highest priority in the short term 1.
    2. spyked is mapping the uefi-1/2 cleavage and aiming to test and report on Gales in December.
    3. ave1 is the tentative owner of the compiler and c library. I chased him Monday, December 9th and await his reply for a week or two. jfw has Bitcoin wallet work these next couple weeks, if ave1 hasn't committed by the time jfw's freed up, I plan to offer gcc and c library to jfw.
    4. lobbes is writing an article to explain his understanding of the gentoo ebuild system.
    5. Coreutils, Package management, install and process supervision and logging decisions will be informed by further testing and reporting on Gales and Cuntoo, lobbes' report and the discussion to ensue. Someone will have to take each of those.
    6. The Graphical Interface, is a big consideration for C library and the static/dynamic linking appraoch. jfw has a series of recipes for hand building the X11 stack on musl-dynamic, which could be a good starting point once the decision of how to package the build is approached.
  3. Establish the Initial Timeline for TMSR OS "genesis".
    1. In addition to the design decisions this includes every dependency of the Implicit Clients of TMSR OS to be V-ified.

2. Articles to Write 2

  1. Qualifications and best practices for contributing. Due to be published by Saturday, December 14th.
  2. Mission statement and long term vision.
  3. Reasons why it's +ev to contribute.
  4. Dependencies of the implicit clients of tmsr os.
  5. Re-state distribution. What does it imply for each person to maintain a code shelf ?
  6. Start on code shelf.

3. Regular Tasks

  1. Maintain my work plan and reviews 3

  2. Cultivate conversation in #trilema when it's my turn 4.
  3. Read/Comment on all related articles.
  4. Read/Comment on work plans.
  5. Maintain a unified timeline of deliverables.
  6. Talk to people about contributing technically and in general integrating it into their operations.
    1. Defining the work and understanding what known parties want to commit will determine how much outreach on the technical front will be needed to start.
    2. Integrating TMSR OS into the operations of JWRD will be a primarily mechanism of talking to people about becoming operators.
    3. The new Panamanian administration is making an effort to attract the computer industry, working the meat-WoT to explore opportunities there will be a Q1 2020 priority.
    4. A strategy for growing hands remote/digitally needs due consideration.

4. Long Term

  1. Implement for leveraging in the process of raising the quality 5 and quantity of republicans, giving more reason for the elite to defect 6.
  2. Stabilize development environment for Bitcoin, Eulora, Gossipd, etc.
  3. Leverage to develop a consulting business with lifetime support and/or full process insurance venture 7.
  1. I don't estimate this to be a big job, depending on what bvt wants to do, helping spyked to tackle the uefi problem or helping stabilize the compiler and c library would be good uses of time to my eye and, of course, there's other options. []
  2. I expect this list to grow as I get into the writting, and suggestions are more than welcome. []
  3. Maintain weekly work plans and reviews on Young Hands. Publish monthly TMSR OS plans and reviews on Dorion Mode with January 2020 being the first* monthly plan.

    * I claimed I'd publish a plan for December, but counsel from Diana Coman has caused me to simply keep weekly plans this month and start January with the monthly. []

  4. Hold initial conversations in #trilema because everyone reads every line anyway, and where Mircea Popescu makes himself available to guide correctness. A #tmsr-os channel is looks like a good idea for new comers once the "genesis" has been achieved. []
  5. How much time will be saved once an OS with sound priciples that works is in hand ? []
  6. In my mind this principally includes less time and energy mining salary on imperial salt farms []
  7. As Diana Coman aptly pointed out, it'll all come down to the people :

    There is for sure a lot of potential in there and moreover having the TMSR OS in the first place is simply a prerequisite for being able to do anything like code review&insurance (in 2012 when I first read that article on trilema, my thoughts were precisely - yeah, great idea, except it would take rebuilding the whole environment from ground up because nobody can sanely provide insurance in the swamps). But as everywhere otherwise (and as I'm quite sure you know already), the crucial part is getting in the right people to do this with, on all sides and as it grows.


November 29, 2019

Implementing TMSR OS

Filed under: TMSR OS — Robinson Dorion @ 17:44

The Most Serene Republic has decided to make an operating system. I've received the call to head the project and this article is my first attempt to clarify the needs and requirements for success.

As an implement of TMSR, the operating system serves as the point of integration between V -- the most important advancement in human thought and only sane manner of deploying software -- and all other software worth the mention. Given the sad state of computer hardware and software in these dark modern ages, the switchover guarantees to be bloody in all the correct places.

While the technical implications are profound and technical conversation is likely to dominate the first phases of development, eyes and efforts must be continually aimed at capitalizing on the capacity for TMSR OS to be a political implement to use in talking to the right people as the Republic continues to carve a sane living space for the elite to productively defect to.

The form of the core work follows the function of meeting the dependency requirements of the clients, implicitly : time and money 1, chat 2, publishing 3, "the masterclass in economy masquerading as a video game", and strong encryption. Or as the man himself put it, "the legitimate and for that reason possible-in-the-future uses for a computer definitively enumerated : you can publish with it, you can hack with it, and that's the fuck it with it already! You can't pantsuit with it, nor should you."

To address some management considerations prior diving into the technical topics :

  1. Continuing to hold the initial design and strategy conversations in #trilema is preferred, a #tmsr-os channel is the next step when the technical details deepen and as a landing beach for new blood.
  2. I see no reason to change the process of the author and signers of a v patch writing a blog article to provide context on the patch and their seals. A central website that aggregates and organizes the articles and patches as well as high level introductory literature can be added as an integrating layer.
  3. Weekly or biweekly planning and reporting articles to clarify status, maintain alignment and ensure reporting is central. As more ownership is taken and work specified, delivery timelines for the high level goals will solidify.
  4. trinque mentioned in the log he was working on a ticketing system ; mod6 also stood up a ticketing system (tbot) for TRB, but I'm unsure if it's still online. I think a ticketing system is smart, my present preference is to use mod6's if available, primarily because it was complete and would only require mod6 to genesis and someone to stand up.
  5. Much of my thinking so far has been focused on clarifying the technical requirements and who we have today to deliver on that front. As the technical requirements become properly specified, raising the quantity and quality of participants we become a higher priority.

So what are the primary domains of the technical work ?

  1. The Linux kernel
    1. Owner: bvt
    2. Status: Linux 4.9.95 was genesis'd and feeding the RNG with FG is implemented.
    3. Questions/Comments: Latest vpatch and write up coming over the weekend. Unclear at present what next priorities are. There was previous mention of rolling back to 4.4.
  2. The Compiler and C Library
    1. Owner: ave1 (tentative) 4
    2. Status: Work towards a GCC 4.9 genesis underway, unknown how far developed.
    3. Questions:
      1. I understand GCC 4.9 coming into Republican use as the last GCC prior to version 5 wreckage. Gales Linux uses 4.7.4 in part because it's the last GCC that doesn't require any C++ to compile. What are the cost/benefits of genesising 4.9 vs 4.7.4 ?
      2. C, C++ and Ada are the desired initial GCC front-ends.
      3. Static or Dynamic linking ? musl, glibc or other C library ? Is there a way to have the default be static linking, but provide a dynamic linking option for software that won't link statically, e.g. libGL ?
  3. Coreutils
    1. Owner: unowned at present
    2. Status: Cuntoo bootstraps from Gentoo stage3, Gales Linux bootstraps from Busybox.
    3. Questions: Busybox is spartan enough for one to approach understanding, though it leaves a lot to be desired. Gentoo stage3 is a more robust tarball of binaries from Gentoo that requires a Gentoo system to build and doesn't support cross-compile. What does a Busybox + Gnu Coreutils approach look like in comparison ?
  4. Package Management
    1. Owner: unowned 5 at present
    2. Status: Cuntoo uses Gentoo's portage/ebuild based on Python, Gales uses a custom, shell based build script system.
    3. Questions/Comment: The former is more mature and more complex; while the later has far fewer packages ported, it's much simpler. Porting the dependencies of the list of implicit TMSR OS clients is the first priority once the framework has been decided.
  5. Graphical Interface
    1. Owner: unowned
    2. Status: needs reporting
    3. Questions/Comments: X11 is not ported to /cuntoo/portage. I am under the impression that it could be emerge built, but would be under the more traditional /usr/portage. Gales doesn't have a X11 port, though jfw has a recipe to built the X11 stack by hand.
  6. The Install Process
    1. Owner: unowned at present
    2. Status: livecd/usb, initramfs
    3. Questions/Comments: Process for creating and using install media for deployment.
  7. The Boot Process
    1. Owner: unowned at present
    2. Status: BIOS, bootloader, init
    3. Questions/Comments:
      1. Does Coreboot fall within the scope ? This seems it should be optional given limiting TMSR OS to Corebootable machines would be quite restrictive. With that being said, owning the BIOS for those who do want to take the step is a big win.
      2. Bootloader: LILO, grub.
      3. init: Gales Linux uses a 57 LoC init in combination with djb's daemontools.
  8. Process Supervision and Logging
    1. Owner: unowned at present
    2. Status: Gales uses djb's daemontools and multilog while Cuntoo imports Gentoo's OpenRC based init system.
    3. Questions: Gales uses daemontools and multilog to great effect, including leveraging daemontools to simplify the boot process.

There remain many wrinkles to iron out, but here is where I make the cut in this attempt to clarify my understanding of the way forward, solicit feedback from the commenters and encourage any bystanders to come out of the shadows.

  1. The Real Bitcoin []
  2. ircd as a predecessor to gossipd []
  3. MP-WP, see The Whet and billymg's v-tree []
  4. He shared the news of his genesis efforts in the log, yet to respond to my ping about his status. []
  5. lobbes is taking up Gentoo portage/ebuild reporting; spyked has published his notes on bootstrapping Cuntoo; it's unclear at present if either wants to own this domain. []

November 16, 2019

JWRD Computing: The why, how, what and way forward.

Filed under: JWRD — Robinson Dorion @ 03:52

The JWRD1 Computing why, how, what and way forward, i.e. business plan.

This venture exists to support clients in pursuit of enforcing personal sovereignty through strengthening their digital security. We provide qualified individuals a relatively sane, customizable computing environment and set of key management tools. With a clean learning environment and one-on-one consultation we guide the individual in strengthening himself. On the one hand, as Ayn Rand 2 put it, "Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men." On the other hand, as computers become more central to human life, and Bitcoin continues to disrupt socialism on all levels, sane computer operation becomes an ever increasing responsibility of the thinking man.

While in the short-term, the r-selected, fast food 3 computing paradigm has spread like the virus it is, the K-selected, home cooking computing paradigm has been the only tenable method of sane computer operation since 2015 and will remain the case moving forward. The tools and training we provide clients accelerate their transition from their current, unsustainable, fast food diet to the healthier, more sustainable, home cooking technology lifestyle.

The layers of transition are:

  • On the Hardware level, we transition clients from chip sets that are backdoored by design -- e.g. Intel ME, AMD PSP -- to Corebootable machines.
  • Operating System usage moves from proprietary systems -- e.g. MSFT Windows, AAPL MacOSX/iOS, GOOG Android, Canonical Ubuntu, IBM RedHat -- to compilable from source systems -- e.g. Gales Linux 4, OpenBSD.
  • Software Platform usage transitions from third party provisioned accounts -- e.g. Google Mail, WhatsApp, iMessage, Twitter, AWS -- to protocols where the operator may deploy the software on systems he owns -- e.g. qmail for email, IRC for chat, MP-WP for publishing.
  • Code Access shifts from closed source or third party compiled binaries to open source deployments managed with V.
  • System Changes move from being forced upon the user by unaccountable corporations to the operator's choice and responsibility to implement.
  • We shift clients' Modality of Operation from the visual, mousey, point and click control, emotionally stimulating usage to the verbal, command line environment where logic comes to the forefront.
  • The Locus of Complexity is transitioned from a complex system for simple users to simple systems for complex operators.
  • On the Key Management front, the fast food model of weak passwords over insecure protocols falls away as operators come to understand secure key management.
  • From there, Asset Custody moving from insecure online account via leveraged and leaky socialist licensed financial institutions to operator owned digital cash becomes that much more of a no-brainer.
  • When considered in the context of Sound Money, moving from digital, centrally issued, non-fungible scrip of unverifiable supply to a digital, transparent, perfectly fungible cash that's undebaseably scarce becomes that much easier when the skills and awareness home cooked 5 computing engenders are sharpened.

The Bottom Line result is clients owning their hardware infrastructure ; lowering the cost to understand the software they use by enumerating goodness, minimizing complexity, verifying sources and compiling everything ; becoming stronger operators through education and practice of sensible skills such that they build the capacity to establish private communications and ownership of money and transactions.

Training through the Active Learning Methodology

We work one-on-one or in small groups with clients and assign reading and exercises between sessions. Clients build their skills and confidence by practicing commands and operations with instructor guidance. Sessions are broken into a warm up 6, presentation to introduce the new topic, controlled practice and critical thinking. Complex abstractions are broken into simple parts using whiteboard, pen and paper and knowledge is converted into action. Proficiency reports are delivered following each section with plans of action for specific areas of improvement.

The Learning Curve

  1. Laptops delivered with Gales Linux and Coreboot preinstalled.
  2. Unix 001 to build awareness of environment and confidence in command line operation.
  3. Apply and strengthen Unix 001 skills with System Administration tasks.
  4. Follow recipes and understand how the system is built, from Operating System (Gales Linux) to BIOS (Coreboot) to Router.
  5. Introduction to V usage, which allows the agent to consider a given text's meaning, source, and context.
  6. Apply V in deployments of Bitcoin software.
  7. Send and Receive Bitcoin payments while verifying the Bitcoin blockchain.
  8. GnuPG usage to encrypt, decrypt, sign and verify messages.
  9. Data Diode operation for administering an offline system.

Ideal Client Profile

  • $10M or greater in net worth.
  • Uses or has used legal asset protection instruments.
  • Values privacy, individualism, capitalism.
  • Not stupid, but not afraid. Mind for risk reduction. Strategic. Quantitative skills.
  • Values substance over form. Form follows function. Economy is Art.
  • Life long learner. Patience and humility to learn.
  • Trust oriented, values long term relationship development.

Training Packages

All packages and pricing include the following hardware and software:
Computer Hardware: 2 Corebootable laptops, Router, Data Diode, TRNG ; package valued at $2,500.
Software7: Bitcoin, GnuPG, Gales Linux, Gales Scheme, Gales Bitcoin Wallet, yrc IRC client.

Study Heavy Study Heavy Class Heavy Class Heavy
Number of Sessions: 25 sessions 8 25 sessions 50 Sessions 50 sessions
Study/Session Ratio: 3:1 3:1 1:1 1:1
Session Time: 25 x 90 min = 37.5 hrs 37.5 hrs 50 x 90 min = 75 hrs 75 hrs
Study Time: 112.5 hrs 112.5 hrs 75 hrs 75 hrs
Time Commitment: 150 hrs 150 hrs 150 hrs 150 hrs
Payment Options 9: 2 x $6,250 1 x $10,000 2 x $10,000 1 x $18,000
Cost: $12,500 $10,000 $20,000 $18,000

Success to Date

We started with 3 pilot clients September this year. Each took the study heavy option. Two are in a group pacing at two sessions a week and the other is once a week. None had substantial command line experience and after 20 sessions with the twice weekly group they've : grasped command line usage and system administration in a text only environment, compiled the entire system from source following the Gales build recipe, installed and configured the system, installed and configured the router we provisioned, generated test GPG keys, transferred data between online and offline machines via Data Diode, V pressed TRB and have their node syncing.

With FUCKGOATS usage and Coreboot build and BIOS flashing remaining, this proof of concept gives us confidence our program can turn potential into relatively robust resourcefulness in 25 sessions. With the knowledge, skills and reference notes they acquired, they have a high probability of reproducing the hardware and software environment provisioned independently. If not completely, we've saved them substantial time and they're much more informed as to what are the important questions to ask.

2020 Projections

I have a soft commitment from a financial adviser from my meat-WoT that he'll be starting in February 2020 and expects to refer 9-10 of his clients over the year. He may start in a group of 3 in February ; we're meeting face to face Nov 25th to game plan further.

We also have soft commitments locally, one of which preferred simply to not be our initial client 10. Despite lingering in the online shadows hindering our local relationship development to a degree, we have developed enough relationships locally such that 5-10 clients over next year is not a stretch. With that being said, January and February will likely tell us a lot about what the year holds in store. The more clients we close and on board earlier, the more likely we have referrals in the 2nd and 3rd quarters.

Taking the more conservative 5 referrals from the north and 5 local clients all at the $10k upfront payment option, that's $100k revenue. With Jacob primarily instructing and me selling, we've agreed to 30% going to the instructor, 30% going to sales and 40% to the company to replenish hardware stocks and retain capital for future expansion. When we're referred business 11 the referral fee is paid from the 30% sales commission. At present, we've decided it's not advantageous to operate from an office and have been delivering sessions at either the office or home of the client. The $2,500 value we place on the hardware builds in a mark up on the cost of the parts and refurbishing when required.

Up until now, our marketing has mainly consisted of meeting and talking to people in person. We plan to work referrals as much as we can, but a broader strategy for lead acquisition needs to be planned and implemented.

Operating Considerations

With the curriculum now developed, we estimate 30 minutes of preparation per 90 minute session for the instructor to deliver quality to study heavy clients. Thus, 37.5 hrs + 12.5 hrs = 50 hrs of instructor time. At 20 clients all doing individual sessions, that's 1000 hours or 20 hours a week on a 50 week year. Practice rarely works out as clean as the numbers and this doesn't consider commute time, which will be dependent on the location of the sessions, but this shows at optimistic demand levels our capacity to deliver under this two man operation is far from being maxed out.

To support remote clients, we're most likely to carry out the initial 2-4 sessions 12 in person to kick things off and will need to build out infrastructure and processes to deliver sessions when being face to face isn't feasible. Using a tmux shared session on a server combined with a phone or video call is looking like the best way to implement remote delivery at present, but we still need to test it to work out whatever kinks there are.


While we think the service we're delivering is important, we don't want to necessarily be personally drilling ls and cd into the heads of beginners long term. We expect to reach a threshold of developing sufficiently resourceful clients such that new, more interesting and profitable opportunities emerge. That is, this initial phase will create a new market and bootstrap other ventures 13. What that threshold is 14 and what those opportunities may be will in large part depend on who the clients are. At the same time, we don't necessarily want to completely abandon a quality service we've poured substantial time and effort into. Thus, managing to build processes and people such that we can delegate the delivery of the basic training and administration and steer this business at a higher level will be an ongoing focus.

  1. Jacob Welsh & Robinson Dorion. []
  2. from The Soul of an Individualist essay from For the New Intellectual []

  3. dorion: I think the problem is they're aiming for the masses rather than elite. think bitcoin can/will/is for liberating poor. so they push fast-food technology.
    spyked: lulz @ "fast-food technology". I'm wondering how this translates to software in technical terms. is it just the inflation of code, or what?
    diana_coman: spyked: fast-food tech seems to me very aptly put, really; think of it: shiny and BIG, cheap and available in 1001 varieties of the same thing, "attractive" if you don't look much/haven't seen much else, shitty content and abismal quality that will screw you up in the end; what's there not to fit, really.
    diana_coman: spyked: + there is that important part "you don't have to do it yourself!!"
    diana_coman: make it out of whatever shit you find, pre-packaged solutions tech or food-wise.
    spyked: diana_coman, I can quite see the "one size fits all"/"pre-packaged silver bullet" angle. I'm only mildly curious what this says about the code itself, e.g. I looked at the google-android code at one point and it was grossly overengineered. and I suppose that's also the case with code that's otherwise proven to be working under extreme conditions, such as the linux kernel.
    spyked: imho useful to make the distinction between "complexity for fast consumption" and "complexity that gives a huge productivity boost"
    ossabot: (trilema) 2018-06-05 mircea_popescu: "thetarpit blog scaffolding is a few kLoC of CL, but lacks *any* editor-side interface" << understand something : i publish more than anyone, and by anyone we don't mean solo operators, we mean whole fucking outfits. there's a reason for this. the fact that trilema is comfortable to me provides those last edges of extra productivity and intellectual leverage that convert exceptional performance into mindblowing performance. t
    diana_coman: possibly; at the other extreme, the copy/paste/autogen horrors are anything *other* than overengineering, lol.
    diana_coman: spyked: heh, yes, the two types of complexity mirroring the two types of simplicity
    ossabot: (trilema) 2019-10-31 diana_coman: there's all sorts of simple and not all of it boring; that there though would be the boring-simple, more like the simple remains of a cut-out than the simple path to the core of an intricacy.
    diana_coman: but fast-food is not really about no-complexity at all, quite on the contrary it would seem to me that it's precisely a lot of complexity just of the wrong kind (it's industrial for a reason, after all)
    dorion: << and building off diana_coman's comment, I see at least a couple angles. the first is who the technology is designed for. it seems since the '80s there has been a major push, primarily by aapl and msft, for computers for the masses, i.e. lowest common denominator, 'over 1 billion served'.
    ossabot: Logged on 2019-11-01 06:32:40 spyked: <-- lulz @ "fast-food technology". I'm wondering how this translates to software in technical terms. is it just the inflation of code, or what?
    dorion: this aim lead to 'point and click' (visual/spacial) rather than command prompt (verbal) usage modality. 'it should be so easy grandma can use it,' etc. further, the incorrect labeling of learned behaviour as 'intuitive', which really means luser ought never have to think, read manual or even error messages.
    ossabot: (trilema) 2016-09-14 asciilifeform: 'the only intuitive notation is the tit' or how did it go.
    dorion: To compensate for low quality user, all sorts of complexity needs to be built in, which is one part of the code inflation. another secondary part, described by naggum iirc (but don't have link handy) is demand for ever more 'programmers'. excess demand lowers quality on the creation side combined with sillycon valley, 'move fast and break things' so we can 'scale' (nevermind profitably) and sell
    dorion: to the suckers on the public markets.
    diana_coman: 'point and click' aka click-and-cluck
    ossabot: Logged on 2019-08-29 19:13:57 diana_coman: shrysr: different yes but not better; it's usually touch-screens that they throw at kids from nursery, yes; + "learning to program by click-and-cluck"
    diana_coman: and all of it coming from the core cause of too much money distributed to idiots; it makes for perverse incentives and the inevitable result of products made for them.
    dorion: lol at click-and-cluck
    dorion: more technically, "I'll import entire library rather than re-implement the one function I 'need'". and then the 'library' imports libraries.
    ossabot: (trilema) 2018-08-21 mircea_popescu: Mocky he has a point, "library" is oreilly-ism. before the free/open source struggle for power, it was rather a teaching tool.
    dorion: which leaves us in dark modern ages where can't buy professional computer -- everything is 'sysco' -- as well documented in , the logs, etc. []
  4. For the time being, we're going to market with the system we have and know. As Cuntoo/TMSR OS become further developed and better known to us, we'll decide at that juncture how we ought to change. []
  5. We give them a tour of the kitchen, show what it looks like to follow recipes, cut vegetables, marinate the meat, which knobs of the stove to turn and give them enough warning in a controlled environment so they don't set a grease fire and burn down the house. []
  6. Evaluate and reinforce retention of knowledge from prior sessions []
  7. The latter four are originally developed by Jacob Welsh. []
  8. Training Sessions are either once or twice per week. []
  9. Bitcoin, cash, check and ACH accepted in that order of preference. []
  10. "I like what you're doing, I see value in it for me and friends to refer come to mind. However, I don't want to pay you to develop your service, I want something developed and tested." []
  11. Our preference is for referral agents to first be clients so they know what they're referring. []
  12. For example, I'll likely spend a week in Vermont first week of February, then client(s) will travel with me to Panama the second week. []
  13. E.g. With 25 clients who run their own nodes, manage GPG and IRC and whose trust we've earned, one thought has been to use our centrality in the network to broker trades between them. []
  14. Could be 10, 25, 100 depending on the whos and what we do with them. []

November 14, 2019

Life on the Isthmus, 83 months in.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Robinson Dorion @ 09:22

November 2019 marks my 83rd month living in Panama City of the isthmian Republic of Panama. I arrived a month prior to my 23rd birthday which means I'm about 100 days away from turning 30. As such, the majority of my adult life and over 20% of my life in total has been spent here, unavoidably making a marked impact on who I am 1. Why I immigrated here and why I intend to stay for the foreseeable future will be covered in this article. This isn't about why you should come or stay away -- it's an overview of my subjective experience -- judge for yourself and drop me a comment if there's anything you'd like clarified or an important aspect you reckon I've overlooked.

First the context for why I chose Panama in the first place.

When I arrived in January 2013 I was on a mission working the best opportunity I was aware of. Where I was living was only important in the scope of how it would help support the prosecution of that mission. Worn out by the island nonsense, Panama's prospects were relatively bright: a competitive offshore banking industry, six month tourist visa for gringos, and centrally located in the geography of the western hemisphere.

My colleague Ashe and I took a six month lease on the first apartment we looked at and set up shop. We continued our hunker of grinding on our work and didn't get out much the first six months. The bank prevented us from dealing directly with clients in our country of residence 2 as the brokers were never required to obtain any sort of securities license.

After another year working the bank, I upgraded my mission upon correcting my evaluation to recognize the centralized nature of so-called offshore banking and learning enough about Bitcoin and Coinapult to take a job with the later in February 2014. Coinapult's office was across town, which caused me to hire a driver who picked me up everyday at 5am so I could avoid the traffic 3. After 8 months of that commute, I moved within walking distance. By March 2015, Coinapult folded, but unlike all the other gringos who worked the company, I stayed. So, why ?

While, Panama has made others of note and assuredly more refined tastes than your author ill, I've learned to like it.

Tú sabes, Panamá: corvina, patacones, ron Abuelo con agua de pipa, comida mala, tiempo peor, La India jodiendo Dormida, Panamá 4.

The first difficulty that'll hit you when you step from plane to jetway will be a wall of humidity. Panama City has two season: less sunny and more humid 5 and more sunny and slightly less humid 6. The temperature stays between ~23-33 degrees C and humidity between 80 and 90%. During rainy season mornings are typically bright, cool and pleasant, evenings clear with an afternoon storm ~5 days a week. The thunder and lightning can be quite impressive, with thunder seemingly setting off car alarms and chains of lightning that span the sky. Summer can pass months without rain 7 and the high skies bring more breeze to provide relief. While visitors are prone to shock from the heat and humidity, I've acclimated to not pay it much mind 8. So you bring an umbrella when you hit the street May-November, deal with breaking a light sweat when you walk across town midday 9 by throwing your suit coat over your shoulder 10 and hit the A/C to knock out the humidity a few times a day 11. While the city is hot and humid enough the cooler mountainous areas like El Valle de Anton 12 and Cerro Azul 13 are accessible enough 14.

The local food culture is quite rudimentary and so-called restaurants tend to pay waiters as opposed to servers 15. The relatively strong dollar against other fiats makes Panama relatively expensive in the region with restaurant prices comparable or more expensive to North American and Europe. The relatively weak dollar in dollar terms 16 combined with Panama's cooling economy generally means the streets are much quieter and restaurants much emptier 17 than they were a decade or two back -- so I'm told.

Why is the economy continuing to cool you ask ? Like most things, it's multi-faceted. The high-level summary of my understanding is gaining control of the canal combined with Greenspan/Bernanke/Yellen artificially low interest rates fueled a ~2 decade real estate boom that's run out of legs. Meanwhile, the competitive advantage Panama earned from a well advised legal asset protection regime has been eviscerated by outside pressure from the virtual fiat banking system. Trade volume in the Colon Free Trade Zone trade has fallen by 1/3 measured in nominal dollars since 2012. These cooling pressures have been offset somewhat by the canal expansion project, incentives for multinational corporations to headquarter here and relatively friendly immigration laws.

The Panama Canal Authority gained full control of that 7th wonder of the world after USG control phased out from 1977-1999 and much of the Canal Zone has become privatized 18. The 10 year expansion project 19 was finished in 2016. While in 2018, the canal transits were down 20) ~3.5% from 2010 21, cargo tonnage was up 24.5% 22 and tolls were up nominally 74% 23 It doesn't go without saying that virtual measuring stick misnamed dollars had its M1 diluted from ~$1.6T to ~$3.6T (125% (!!!)) over the same period because those counting at home already knew that. I dare you to price those revenues in the numeraire you ought to be using, the BTC, which experienced even greater inflation that the fed's thingamajig. The bottom line is, over the past decade they've moved more tonnage for less purchasing power.

For another data point on the logistics side, the Colon Free Trade Zone at the Caribbean entrance of the Canal has seen trade volume drop from $30B in 2012 - $19B by 2016 24 and was $20.5B in 2018 25. I'm embarrassingly not intimate with the causes here, but word on the street is trade has fallen off as the Venezuelan socialist shitfest continues to deteriorate combined with the Chinese and US establishing more direct trade routes with Colombia 26.

To paint a picture of the real estate bubble, up until 1996, there were 2 buildings taller than 30 stories 27. Today, there are 38 taller than 40 stories, 13 of which are greater than 60 stories. This looks cool in pictures, but the facts on the ground are the skyline frames a mostly hollow interior. I didn't find vacancy statistics published, but it's not unheard of for office and apartment buildings to remain 50% unoccupied and hotels are fortunate to have 30% occupancy 28. From my perch, this bubble has been fueled by the primary cause of all bubbles: artificially low interest rates 29, and is primarily being popped because former influxes of foreign capital that were attracted by Panama's formerly competitive legal self-defense mechanisms have since peaced out with those mechanism being eviscerated and secondarily because they've already overbuilt.

Before we get into the opportunities this may present, let's explore the problem further. In terms of the capital flight, back before Bitcoin started eating the world 30, tax neutral banking was a thing and Panama had a multifaceted legal framework that proved to be competitive for those who execute plans for self-defense. Sociedad Anonimas with Bearer Shares, the Panamanian Private Interest Foundation, zero capital gains tax, territorial taxation, no central bank or legal tender laws attracted substantial foreign capital for a country with a population of 3 million. The 2008 bubble that had to burst was a crisis not wasted by Hussein Bahamas and fellow bureaucrats of western demonocracies. Sure, it wasn't the first bankruptcy they've declared and won't be the last and like the others, they attacked individual privacy and continued to pressure the financial institutions they license to divulge more information. FATCA was passed by the failed European colonies in 2010 and yurop followed through with CRS 31 in 2014 ; with access to the virtual corresponding banks who remit the monopolized virtual fiats 32 as the sword of Damocles held to the neck of the smaller virtual banks in the smaller fiat jurisdictions. Despite reluctantly falling in line as the socialist continued their invasion 33, the Isthmian Republic continues to have an on-again off-again relationship with various gray and black lists. The tradition seemingly to be on-again as an inauguration gift to each incoming administration, with 2019 34 being no different. As everyone expected, substantial has capital walked away to take better deals and 'all of a sudden' more lawyers were seeing less fees for corporations and foundations and introductions to banks for new accounts.

So what does a bursting bubble look like ? Deals can be found today, though you've got to hunt for them. In my experience, for whatever reason, many owner's would rather leave a rental vacant for months, sometimes years, at a price that may have been filled in the market 3 years ago but is quite a ways away from today's market reality than have the apartment filled and cash flowing. Older buildings tend to have higher quality construction than the boom time shiny (!) high rises. Also, you're more likely to find a longer term owner who owns it outright rather than has it mortgaged. $4-6/square meter monthly payment deals 35 are available at present on the rental market 36. I've lived near the city center my entire time, namely in El Cangrejo 37, Punta Pacifica 38, Paitilla 39, San Francisco 40, Coco del Mar 41 and Obarrio 42. In my scale of values, Marbella is the other neighborhood I'd consider living. It's west of Obarrio and spans from Calle 50 to Avenida Balboa on the water. Other neighborhoods I'll note here that are rather towns on their own are Costa del Este 43, Casco Viejo 44 and El Dorado 45.

On the brighter side, Panama has maintained a more competitive stance attracting immigration of companies and people who run those companies or otherwise. A wise decision that's mitigated the logistics, real estate and financial contractions has been the Multinational Headquarter law first implemented in 2007, which provides substantial tax 46 and labor 47 law incentives to qualifying companies. Over 150 such companies 48 have obtained the license and many of which operate their Latin American headquarters under it. In a country with ~3 million and a city with ~1.5 million, ~12k residency visas for employees of multinationals and ~21k friendly nations visas 49 have been issued since 2012.

Since finding Bitcoin, I've not looked hard for employment with more traditional companies. On the one hand, there are less opportunities in the market, but on the other hand quality skill and work ethic do tend to be scarce. The future will tell how good of a decision that has been, but for better and worse that's my advantage/problem. What I can tell you is once you have a residency, work permits or operations license for your corporation are a few hundred bucks and some forms.

In terms of the general picture here moving forward, the Torrijos 50 political line was re-elected in this year with Laurentino Cortizo becoming the newest president. They were last in power 2004-2009 and there are high hopes of a turn around and return of the boom in the streets. As I understand, their agenda priorities include bringing transparency to the spending of the public purse 51, making labor laws more agreeable to management, and emphasizing tourism 52 and technology as emerging economic drivers to fill the hole in the chest of the golden goose the socialists' attack on licensed capital has made.

What they mean by technology isn't exactly clear to me. As far as I've seen, they're complete infected by the cultural cancer of tvphones. Cuckerburg and Bahamas were down here in 2015 shortly after Facegram acquired Whatbook for $20B or whatever it was. As far as I understand, since then, all the data used by usg.fb apps and twatter are 'phree' to the end luser, which has made whatsapps' use in particular ubiquitous 53, primarily as an asynchronous walkie talkie 54. I tend to think they mean fast food technology. While I've received numerous complements when I flash my Nokia feature phone 55 I can tell by looking at their faces that to not have whatsapp would be like shooting their family, friends and dog. On the other hand, ~no one has known the meaning of my GPG fingerprint on my business card. There are even several OTC brokers 56 here that trade several BTC at a time over whatsapp.

I'm currently of the position that sane computing is desirable politically, but to date, those with a chance to matter have allowed themselves to be DDOSed from learning what sane technology is. To a degree, this is understandable. The good 'ol days of competing globally on the strong privacy and asset protection front are sorely missed 57 ; the back office management of the information was largely paper based while the front office was largely face to face 58. My understanding is computers weren't necessarily central to the business. What is keeping me here on this isthmus is the opportunity I see to be useful in working with select individuals to better understand their computing environment to help them bridge the gap from the current socialism to sound money, sane computing and personal sovereignty through digital security.

  1. While I've spent more time in my childhood environment of Vermont's green mountains, I didn't choose to be born there. I've chosen to live here. You see the difference ? []
  2. Commission splitting agreements weren't prohibited, but also weren't encouraged. I believe I had some, but it never made up any substantial part of my book. Looking back, capitalizing on this to a greater extent would've been smart, but what can you do except learn ? []
  3. 'El tranque' in local parlance. On the one hand, it's a big fat tragedy of the commons problem with too many free roads and cheap financing for vehicles. On the other hand, observing the traffic tells you a lot about Panama itself. Traffic laws aren't strictly enforced and open space is filled to keep it fuckin' moving. Ever had a taxi drive 300 meters on the wrong side of a side street to bypass a 100 car line up ? Yeah, he'll pull over onto the sidewalk should oncoming traffic pressure him to, only to continue when it has passed. How many minutes did he save you ? He'll be more than pleased with a $1 tip on the standard $2 fare (never metered), believe me. []
  4. You've seen Snatch, yes ? []
  5. From May-November with October bringing the most rain. []
  6. From December-April []
  7. Can be a problem towards the end of summer if the hydro power reservoirs are low. []
  8. Perhaps this is an effect of growing up in America's northeast as an athlete where I'd shovel the driveway and shoot hoops past my hands being numb (makes it easier when you're in the gym), where baseball games could be snowed out midseason (or played through a light snow shower) and you're excited to buckle on the your chinstrap and shoulder pads during football's double sessions in the middle of August's hot, humid 15 hour days. That is, what you're doing is more important than what the weather is and if it sucks -- embrace the suck, winning will be that much better. []
  9. Walking mornings and evenings doesn't cause my skin to leak and I walk pretty much daily. For sure it's more of a driving than walking culture, but ~everyone apart from gringo tourists wears pants (and usually sleeves too) year round whether they're walking or not. []
  10. Wherever your destination is will likely be cold with locals pumping A/C like it's their job, so do guard against being cold inside. []
  11. I sleep fine with a ceiling fan and only occasionally run the A/C at night. []
  12. ~140 km drive from the city to the west. []
  13. ~41km drive to the east. []
  14. For that matter, San José, Medellín, Bógota and David in Panama's westernmost province of Chiriquí are all 1-2 hr flights away. []
  15. Cause they wait more so than serve, geddit ? On the one hand, this may annoy you, on the other, they're not going to be bugging you and won't care if you sit and talk for an hour after your meal prior to asking for the bill. They're not going to ask you, you've got to ask for it. A 10% tip is standard. []
  16. With all the Venezuelan style in principle inflation these past decades, the dollar hasn't bought a nickel for some time and how many bucks to buy a buckskin these days is an exercise for the reader. []
  17. The supply of cafes, restaurants and bars has at least tripled over the past decade I'd say. []
  18. The zone was an unincorporated US territory until 1979 and USG formerly headquartered SoComm here, cutting the country in two geographically. []
  19. So get this: instead of reusing the original design of the original canal which chains the ships to locomotives to guide them through the locks, in the expanded locks they use... tugbots. 15 of the 700 (~2% !!) transits of the expanded locks experienced damages the first 6 months. With the bigger ships there is less room for error, yet they chose the design with less stability. []
  20. Source: Georgia Tech University, Panama via The Panama Canal Authority. ( []
  21. 14,230 in 2010 to 13,795 in 2018 []
  22. ~204M vs ~255M tons 2010-2018. []
  23. ~$1.5B vs ~$2.6B 2010-2018. []
  24. Source: Georgia Tech University, Panama via National Institute of Statistics and Census of Panama (INEC) (archived). []
  25. Source: Georgia Tech University, Panama via National Institute of Statistics and Census of Panama (INEC) (archived). []
  26. Dem COPs have been getting ragdolled these past years too. []
  27. Sourced via Wikipedia. []
  28. The oversupply of hotel rooms lead to a law prohibiting short-term rentals. Short-term rentals of course can be found. []
  29. In the 90s the Effective Fed Funds Rate was above 5% most of the time and only briefly touched below the 3 handle by a whisker in December '93; compared to these last decades where 5% was only breached those few fateful months in autumn 2007. []
  30. There's a Trilema quote about Bitcoin being an eater of world, but I wasn't able to track it down. If you recall it, please link me ! []
  31. They signed onto this "Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement" with 97 other countries which means they all automagically give the information they have on you to whatever other country claims you. []
  32. I don't have to tell you it's some one and zeros on some server plugged somewhere 'in teh cloud', you know all about that I'm sure. Tell me again how US-no-longer-dollars or GB-no-longer-pounds are fundamentally different than WoW Gold ? I know, I know, only weirdos and children have WoW Gold, whereas ... []
  33. The so-called Panama Papers (The leaky law firm was global and the majority of corps in the dump were BVI.) scandal (It certainly is scandalous to allow your client db and emails to leak from a derpy wordpress.), the stick up of Waked and the multi-decade attack on a fundamental characteristic -- fungibility -- of what competes to become the market's most marketable good were big raids in 2016. []
  34. Word on the street is the 2014 gray listing lead to the loss of upwards of 70 (seven zero) virtual fiat correspondent accounts. How you like 'dem apples ? []
  35. Encuentra24 and OLX are the primary online entry points locals use. Craigslist is essentially dead here apart from gringos not knowing the better places to look. I've also walked through the neighborhoods I'm interested in and asked the guards about vacancies in the buildings that appeal. []
  36. I've not considered buying here, would rather save the BTC, you know ? []
  37. Central, older, commercial, residential, very walkable. []
  38. Coastal, central but a bit isolated, more expensive. I only lived there to walk to the Coinapult office. []
  39. Coastal, residential, more central than Punta Pacifica. This is the primary Jewish neighborhood with 2 temples. It's a great walking neighbor on it's own and is adjacent to La Cinta Costera park which stretches the coast ~3km to Casco Viejo. []
  40. East Central, easy to walk, mix of commercial, restaurants and residential. Parque Omar forms San Francisco's northern hat. []
  41. Coastal sliver east of San Francisco. Very residential. []
  42. The most central neighborhood it lies between Via España and Calle 50, two primary tranque arteries. It's a blend of commercial and residential. The metro follows Via España so there tends to be a lot of foot traffic. []
  43. A relatively newer development between the city center and airport, best accessible via ~5km toll road. Many multinationals are headquartered here. []
  44. The primary nightlife and tourist destination west of the city center. []
  45. 5km North of the city center, this is Panama's China Town. While Chinese are ~everywhere in the world, they have a long history here, first as imported labor for the Canal. Every neighborhood (And every town in the interior I've visited for that matter) has multiple bodega's referred to as Chinos. []
  46. Not only in terms of corporate, but also executive compensation. []
  47. One of the more onerous labor laws is 9 of 10 employees are supposed to be Panamanian. There are traditional ways around this such as an employee contracting through a company he owns or having a consulting agreement that's less binding than an employment contract. []
  48. Archived version of original pdf. []
  49. Implemented in 2012, citizen of 50 countries are eligible. I obtained this visa in 2014 by a) forming a corporation, b) depositing $5k in a local bank (which can be immediately withdrawn), and c) submitting various documents along with the application including a police background check from your country of origin. It was really a piece of cake and provides me lifetime permanent residency status with the option to apply for naturalization after 5 years. []
  50. You know, the guy that managed to negotiate control of the canal with that Georgian nobody cares to remember. []
  51. Former President Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) was extradited from Miami on corruption charges after fleeing shortly after his term was over. []
  52. Primarily focusing wellness - e.g. medical tourism, adventure, ecology - e.g. vegan hunting stuff like bird watching, and digital nomads. []
  53. I wonder how much dirt on public officials, etc. has been collected and sent north for sillycon valley and co analysis.. []
  54. Who wants to type with thumbs when they can talk ? Who needs to read when they can watch the tv movie ? "People who don't want to end up being fuckin' waffle waitresses, that's who !" []
  55. Complete with flashlight, thank you very much! []
  56. The OTC market has some depth. Some volume is settled via internal bank transfers, but cash is king here. []
  57. And the imposed change deeply resented. []
  58. Even today I understand this to be so in some cases. []

October 28, 2019

Simple Steps: The Fabled Outlines

Filed under: Ego — Robinson Dorion @ 05:56

Following what seemed to be a strong start of mapping my past to the present, I found I had bit off more than I could chew in the time I had allotted imagined to do the chewing. I was assigned to type my hand written article outlines into one post, so that's1 what you find here, laid bare2.

Part of my assumption causing the, "5 articles in total by Sunday," claim was the first flowed relatively well, the following ought flow better, and after all, I'm writing my story not something I have to research. Then I found myself wanting to explain in more detail, take more negative space into consideration and add pictures, i.e. do it better. So then the break pumping started and here we are.

To make it explicit, it may appear fingers are being pointed and blame cast at others. I am 100% responsible for the people I chose to include3 in my life and my intent here is sanity which means to describe what is/was. Names have been named because it's not like any of it was a secret anyways. I'm not claiming perfect memory from events half a decade ago and comments are open for corrections.

I hope it's obvious, but before delving into the content here, a note on the list structure: There are 4 articles outlined, numbered 2-4 in the respective headers, each with its own set of nested lists. Picking an example off the top, point is, "Sit on volcanic island, call globe, sun never sits on lead pool, learn to take good notes."

2. January 2012-January 2014: Diving into EPB, shifting from Schiff Radio to Freedomain Radio, Barmalos -> SVG -> PTY, XA{U,G} -> BTC

  1. Preparing to make the jump.
    1. interview
    2. contract
    3. moving with "strangers", James Guzman and Ashe Whitener, and discovering the joy of having people to talk with and learn from about my interests.
  2. Settling in to the islands.
    1. Barmalos4
      1. overcoming island pace to find a house, scarcity of food on island.
      2. making calls all day everyday was the constant, the refuge that maintained sanity.
      3. tourist trap that confiscated passports
      4. evacuating to St. Vincent.
    2. St. Vincent
      1. Living at Racquet club was a racket.
      2. Ashe and I settle into "wind tunnel" for hunker, James departs for Acapulco.
      3. Sit on volcanic island, call globe, sun never sits on lead pool, learn to take good notes.
  3. Working the bank.
    1. Bank business processes, technology infrastructure woefully underdeveloped.
    2. "Gold backed debit card" more expensive than it was cracked up to be.
    3. How many banks in a bank - describe centralization of asset custody.
    4. Lead pool stale, "Peter Schiff's nostalgia file." "The leads are weak ? The fuckin' leads are weak ?"
    5. I was not well organized, didn't know how to run a computer. Ashe was guide.
    6. Breakthrough: Selling isn't telling, selling is managing the sales process.
    7. "Changing world: helping clients protect purchasing power, collapse immanent!"
    8. Developing business from referral sources.
      1. Competitive edge: streamlined account opening, Private Banker to call that's not an islander.
      2. Offshore Corporate Agents, newsletter writters, etc.
    9. 2012 Gold rally fades into what has turned out to be multi-year pull back.
  4. Freedomain Radio evicts Schiff Radio from mental real estate.
    1. Real Time Relationships, in practice.
    2. Shift to introspection/self knowledge, evaluating childhood, new words to describe weak foundations felt.
    3. The state is a function of the family. Change the society/state by applying values to personal relationships.
    4. Anarchocapitalism displaces minarchism.
    5. Arguments for embracing strong atheism.
  5. St. Vincent visa tightens from 3 to 1 month, stay illegally.
    1. Island paradise turns to island fever by year's end.
    2. Panama is selected, after considering western hemisphere only. Reasoning: offshore banking hub, 6 month tourist visa.
  6. Arrive to Panama, January 2013.
    1. bank was improving
    2. new website built by a broker for free, he5 needed it.
    3. improvement of products: trading platform improved, commission on debit card usage.
  7. Start Freedomain Radio Meet Up Group.
  8. BTC takes shine from gold/EPB during Cyprus bank run of 2013.
    1. client arbing Mt. Gox/Bitstamp spread.
  9. Meet evoorhees and Coinapult, July 2013.
    1. Develop relationship through the autumn.
    2. Ashe joins them at La Bitconf in Buenos Aires.
  10. Paradigm shift: EPB/XA{U,G} -> BTC
    1. AML/KYC pressure grows, unpaid gov't spy, client assumed guilty, has to prove innocence.
    2. Commerzbank fires all Caribbean banking clients due to too much USD volume causing greater regulatory requirements under FED.
      1. More compliance agents than bankers.
    3. Not actually private.
      1. CRM in the clouds, calls/chats on Skype, client email docs in the clear/upload to website.
      2. Get exposure to GPG through Coinapult.
    4. Not actually secure.
      1. Counterparties abound; exposed to leverage via counterparty risk.
      2. Flimsy legal layer of protection.
    5. Begin to understand an alternative.
      1. Conversation with Coinapult people.
      2. Negative space: while Romania mentioned, #bitcoin-assets, trilema never linked6.
      3. Let's talk Bitcoin, Reddit.
  11. Previous paradigm crushed in December with Erik and Peter debating.
    1. Peter counters Austrian theory claiming gold has intrinsic value, Erik demonstrates better grasp on Austrian theory, value is subjective, son.
    2. Peter seemingly falls victim to sales pitch of intrinsic value narrative helps people protect purchasing power, so justifiable, even if incorrect.
    3. Previous passion turns to guilt.
  12. January 2014:
    1. Erik and Ira bought a banking license, plan to hire Ashe to run, he'll hire me.
    2. Coinapult position opens up, I jump.

3. January 2014-March 2015: Launched for a ride with Coinapult, taking ownership of personal relationships.

Q1 2014
  1. Day Quitting Bank
    1. Meeting with Ira, Erik and Ashe to discuss bank, out on town with new Coinapult hires.
    2. In bed for 3 days, emotional reset, how much unprocessed emotion am I holding in body ?
  2. Describe Coinapult
    1. Market making/arbitraging fiat interfaces
    2. brokering/merchant processing
    3. email/sms interfaces
  3. Transformation and First projects:
    1. Move to Ubuntu from Windows.
    2. GPG via thunderbird plugin.
    3. send transactions regularly in support role.
    4. document on boarding experience by writing new employee handbook.
    5. responsible for choosing CRM, business requires open source, on premise.
  4. Storm clouds evident:
    1. Charlie Shrem7 picked up by USG.
    2. Goxxed, despite knowing better.
  5. FDR meet up pays: Meet JFW, talks about weak RNGs in first conversation.
Q2 2014
  1. LOCKS imagined to be killer app.
    1. Major focus on website development.
  2. Ticker drift bug causes need to rewrite orderbook.
    1. symptoms of move fast and break things abound.
  3. Move from sales to website copy writing, marketing, QA.
    1. experience power/appreciate technical ability.
    2. Become bridge between business dev and technical teams.
  4. Establish permanent Panamanian residence.
  5. Coinapult employees harassed at border, property confiscated.
  6. Start Talk Therapy : have a professional listen to you, ask questions you don't want to ask.
Q3 2014
  1. LOCKS/website flop.
  2. After 2+ years of attempts at real conversations with parents is met with continued hostility, I tell them off.
    1. They must change if they want to earn their way back into my life.
    2. Everyone in my life is my choice, but how strong is my evaluator ?
    3. "Are they implying what I'm inferring ?"
  3. Living alone for first time, personal responsibility stakes are raised.
  4. Coinapult lays off in-house counsel.
  5. Bridge loan/convertible note + employee option plan.
  6. Friendship with Ashe strengthens as we move apart.
    1. Bank business w/ Erik/Ira is abandoned.
    2. Ashe wants out of EPB, would've worked for Coinapult on incentives only, no salary. They don't hire him.
  7. The Bit Drop waste abandoned.
  8. SMS launch, I do much of testing and documentation.
Q4 2014
  1. Coinapult returns to trading/market making/arbitrage
  2. Pivot to aim at high volume brokerage rather than masses.
  3. Missed Thanksgiving family reunion, first Christmas without family, Co-workers and friends become surrogate family.
Q1 2015
  1. Office landlord tries to raise the rent 50%, liquidate office.
  2. By January know I need a break, 6 days/week since start, first in office last to leave most days. Make plans to unplug in February.
    1. By now, much of business communication depends on me being present, make moves to prepare for off time in late February.
  3. Unplug from Coinapult and Internet generally final week of February. Start handwritten journaling habit.
  4. January 2015 : Bitcoin blocksize war boiling.
    1. Find TMSR: #bitcon-assets,,,,,, etc.
    2. Difficult to understand, but understand it's important.
  5. March 2015 Coinapult denied Series A funding round from wall street investors.
  6. Too volatile to press on, clean wind down to ensure all customers made whole, final paycheck, talks of alternative investors.
  7. The following week 150 BTC spent away from company control.
Q2 2015
  1. Coinapult sold to group in Panama, customers made whole, unaware of situation of previous investors.
  2. Ira Miller and Guilherme Polo (Coinapult CTO) spin off Deginner and negotiate technical support and development contract for Coinapult; plan to rewrite brokerage, exchange and wallet software as opensource.
  3. I take job with them as support engineer.
  4. Coinapult shifts from ~12 employees to four with outsourced engineering.
  5. Integrates with Crypto Capital.

4. Poorly done salt mining with Deginner.

May 2015
  1. Ashe leaves Panama.
  2. I start spending more time with JFW ; he actually has capacity and curiosity to parse the log and help me process technical concepts, but he's less inclined to grapple with politics.
  3. Development of Deginner tools drags.
  4. Coinapult increasingly difficult to work with8.
  5. Deginner incubator model of $25k worth of cash and equity for software and consulting.
    1. DASH is only client landed, December 2015. I wasn't directly involved, in part because log/blog reading had me very skeptical.
August 2015
  1. I read Absolute OpenBSD9, install on laptop. First real Unix-like install.
  2. I reconnect with Justin Mabanta, fiat finance contact who later brought brokerage motivation.
  3. Find myself stuck in a petrified state of knowing Deginner work isn't worthy, from tmsr reading and discussions with Jacob.
  4. Lack of managerial oversight at "work" allows me to read more, try grappling with what's being said.
  5. Intimidated to interact due to witnessing countless idiots make a fool of themselves/waste time of people I value and fearing my past is sewage in the wine. Also, the two prior business leaps without sufficient due diligence had resulted in progress overall, but in quite the disorienting manner.
  6. Steal from saltmine was not my ethos/understood, which further damaged psyche/self-esteem.
  7. Prior projects, where passionate and 'nuke' driven -> had floor removed.
  8. tmsr quite the learning curve, took "6 months" to heart, much easier10 to spend time reading than engaging ; reading exposes more previously unknown complexity.
December 2015
  1. Deginner development projects never delivered.
  2. Coinapult transitions from Deginner poorly managing servers to bringing JFW on in part-time capacity based on my recomendation. Key management being key.
  3. After a couple months, JFW decides to walk away, our relationship strengthens through the process.
  4. By April 2016, Guilherme Polo left Deginner and Ira transitions to bounty-based model, renamed Git Guild.
  5. May 2016: Justin Mabanta expresses interest in starting a BTC/fiat brokerage with me.

5. Failed brokerage development leads to birth of JWRD Computing.

June 2016-June 2018
  1. Roles : Justin: bring clients and investors ; JFW: all matters technical ; Myself : act as bridge as well as business admin.
  2. Justin said while he could fund himself, preferred to bring in strategic investor, market to his book to start11
  3. I wrote the business plan, focus on HNW clients, stay away from retail, security is top priority, I bring in Jacob.
  4. Initial Plan was to terraform Ira's exchange/brokerage packages12 to our needs, only use what's useful, discard what's not, build what we otherwise need
  5. Justin demonstrated a resourceful network, e.g. introduced us to several of his contacts13 that he thought would invest, but nothing closed.
  6. Our project turned out to be a low priority for Justin as he continued fiat securities business and other venture deals, would be unresponsive for weeks and didn't commit to the technical training we offered him.
  7. Jacob and I understood technical development was taking a long time, Justin had other responsibilities/investments, and when we did talk, he continued to say he was interested and would come up with new potential paths.
  8. I continued networking locally throughout 2016-2018, by June 2018 unresponsiveness reached a breaking point and we began looking for other partners.
  9. In autumn 2016, reconnected with family based on questions I wanted answered and observing positive change from them.
  10. I registered for Chartered Financial Analyst exam during this time, didn't properly study.
June 2018-Present
  1. Based on the Panama networking I'd done and JFW's technical development14, we pivoted to explore opportunities locally.
  2. While we've brought on clients, a relationship development hang up has been lack of publishing/public presence.
  3. JFW has solid outline of essay describing design philosophy/goals of Gales Linux since July 2018, but yet to publish15.
  4. Guide clients in transitioning from fast food computing culture to home cooking computing. Learn command line, minimize complexity in system, compile everything from sauce.
  1. As I was typing, I couldn't help but expand/clarify some points as the thoughts arose. Perhaps I should have asked, but it seemed silly to not capture the improvements here. []
  2. Please pardon there's not proper sourcing and referencing. When I add meat to the bones below references there will be in all their glory ! []
  3. Enumerate goodness. []
  4. They want you to call it Barbados. []
  5. What we ? []
  6. Of course it was my responsibility to find via due diligence. []
  7. Coinapult and Bitinstant grew together, from same Manhattan office. Erik worked Bitinstant prior to Coinapult. []
  8. Ira recommended the most passive person, Gabe Sukenik, from Coinapult v1 to figurehead Coinapult v2 to the new owners. I reckon Ira imagined he'd steer from the outside. Gabe grew some teeth, but didn't know how to use from previous passivity, thus tension. []
  9. OpenBSD was still relatively well regarded in the forum at the time []
  10. In short term []
  11. By then he was running multi-family office, had numerous IPOs in Canadian markets, etc. []
  12. By mid 2017 Ira had abandoned his, I stopped communicating with him and Jacob said he'd take on the development. []
  13. The most serious was Jake Cormack, COO of Cantor Fitzgerald, HK and Justin's partner on several deals. Jake managed GPG key and IRC connection. []
  14. I first installed Gales Linux in autumn 2017 and synced TRB node []
  15. Autumn 2018 shifted to Gales Scheme development in lieu of publishing; January 2019 decided to do a review of system prior to publishing, review of completed June 2019. []

October 25, 2019

Taking my blogging lumps and asking for help.

Filed under: Ego — Robinson Dorion @ 17:42

I made the claim in the #ossasepia forum that it'd take me five articles to cover my intellectual and ideological development from 2010 to the present to be delivered by Sunday, October 27th. The periods I had privately outlined were:

  1. January 2010-January 2012: Extracting toxic university from my life as an intellectual awakening.
  2. January 2012-January 2014: Starting at the ground floor of a startup bank I thought was changing the world, while moving to foreign lands with a stranger who became a brother.
  3. January 2014-March 2015: After identifying Bitcoin as a parallel system without the inherent flaws of fiat financial system, taking a job with what turned out to be a fiat company pretending to Bitcoin, Coinapult (archived).
  4. March 2015-May 2016: Reading about Actual Bitcoin Corporations, and a whole lot else, while becoming rapidly disillusioned with my work with a another pretender, a software consulting spin-off from Coinapult, Deginner (archived).
  5. May 2016-October 2019: Investing in what I believe to be a strong technological arm, while keeping the political arm in a cast by embodying the coy failure modality to presently working to eviscerate the inner coyote.

I published the first article Sunday evening, which clocked in at just over 3k words, going by the mp-wp counter.

As Diana Coman noted: dorion: your text is quite dense and at times touching on several directions at once but at any rate, it seems useful to you especially if you never took the time before to look at it all in a more structured way.

It was useful for me and my thought had been, I'll work through getting these dense, multi-directional articles out, then recurse to drill into the density of the various topics as I develop the blog. Fast forward to 2.5k drafted words into article number two by Wednesday noon. While I managed to describe the trials and tribulations of settling into a foreign land and the weak asset custodial structure that lie at the foundation of Euro Pacific Bank, I wasn't even half way through my outline. Is this about to explode into a 5-6k word article ?

Two thoughts then came to mind, the first being, "is this compressed memoir path I chose a continuation of the coy avoidance of conversation?" ; that is, the stupid internal protection mechanism I've submitted to Young Hands to help kill. After all, in an article, the author is in control of the information flow, while in a conversation, questions can and will be raised midstream to disrupt the flow.

The second being, the point / focus of submitting to being a Young Hand is sustainable growth. Is 15 or even 10k blog quality words in a week remotely sustainable for the blogging n00b I am? While I'm satisfied1 with my first article, it was Dunning-Kruger stupidity to think I'm going to write quality articles in a dense multi-directional fashion at a sustainable pace given I've not scratched with regularity, let alone mastered, the simple article.

Where does this leave me then ? While I've not yet properly outlined the article list2 of chewable chunks to document my past 10 years3 and thus, have yet to make an estimated delivery time, I am committed to finishing the job at a sustainable pace. In terms of my Young Hands application, I infer this failure means I've lost whatever control I had of the process and it's now in Diana Coman's choice. I would gladly accept to provide her context about me through conversation as Jacob Welsh did, but that carries its own costs to her. In the meantime, this is me failing forward by attempting to act out the Page Boy's Pledge.

"So help me my own intelligence and cursed be my own stupidity that is holding me back."

  1. Given my noo0b level. []
  2. Since my priority presently is to make note of my failure. []
  3. Which must also pull in prior context. []
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