Category Archives: politics

a letter to my son

My Dearest Jackson,
This year, for your first birthday, I’ve given you a gift that I can only begin to describe to you. As you read this, the governments of men have succumbed to outside monetary influences. Things are changing rapidly. Freedom and unalienable rights have deteriorated into authoritarian regimes where banks that are “too big to jail” vie for political control. The money that I’ve lived with my entire life is in trouble. Planning for the future isn’t the same as it was a generation ago. Your Grandparents had it easy.

jackson-bitcoins

Somewhere, locked away in a forbidden kingdom; squirreled away in an envelope you will find a piece of paper with a lot of funny symbols on it, a bar code and some random text. This is no ordinary piece of paper, mind you, it is a offline bitcoin wallet containing the private key to 100 bitcoins. It is my hope that this gift might set you financially free one day to travel and enjoy your life as you see fit.

To explain bitcoin to you, as a child, might be difficult.  But…

In the simplest of terms, it is a system of currency and a digital storage of value like none other. Certainly nothing like I have witnessed in my lifetime. The properties and procedures of bitcoin can solve real world problems like voting and tokenization, but for now, we use it as money. Digital money that cannot be forged or reproduced by anyone…yet.

This means that you alone Jackson solely now hold 100 of the total 21,000,000 bitcoins scheduled to be distributed  by the year 2040, an equivalent percentage of 0.00047619047619% of all bitcoins that will ever be created. At the time of writing this letter to you, the approximate US Dollar value of this gift is about $4300, which is enough to buy you about 3 ounces of gold, or 430 pizza deliveries, or possibly even a used car. You may not understand the economics of holding a deflationary currency in valuation to an inflationary one now, but I imagine one day you will get the idea. Simply, this gift for you gets rarer with each passing day.

It is my sincerest wish to you, my son, that all of your wildest and most vivid dreams will come true. May you be the youngest member of the newest class of hyper-rich, world traveled philanthropic bit-kiddies to rule the galaxy. As soon as you are ready to take the next step, so am I. 

Dream in color and dance any time you want.

Your Da-Da

temperance

“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future”

John F. Kennedy

In June of 1963, John F. Kennedy gave what some consider to be his most moving speech at the commencement ceremonies of American University.

This was after the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 that brought the entire world to the brink of nuclear war.

[youtube:http://youtu.be/AG2PwhT0TDc%5D

“Today the expenditure of billions of dollars every year on weapons acquired for the purpose of making sure we never need them is essential to the keeping of peace. But surely the acquisition of such idle stockpiles—which can only destroy and never create—is not the only, much less the most efficient, means of assuring peace. I speak of peace, therefore, as the necessary, rational end of rational men. I realize the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war, and frequently the words of the pursuers fall on deaf ears. But we have no more urgent task.”

[youtube:http://youtu.be/oY3rktMNHTs%5D

“For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s futures. And we are all mortal.”

tragedy as entertainment

Tragedy, in all of its forms, exists for historians, journalists, actors and playwrights. Scholars and dramatists study these things and attempt to learn and possibly teach us more about the tragic and how to avoid the pitfalls of tragedy.  We soak up the tragic as a lesson and pass these things down from generation to generation if the tragedy merits. So that which truly is tragic, ultimately we learn from. Entertainment comes in many forms. Entertainment can be overpowering and oppressive; sometimes you cannot escape what entertains you:

en·ter·tain·ment

 noun \ˌen-tər-ˈtān-mənt\

Definition of ENTERTAINMENT
1)   the act of entertaining
2)  a archaic : maintenanceprovision
      b obsolete : employment
3) a : amusement or diversion provided especially by performers <hired a band to provide entertainment>
   b : something diverting or engaging: as (1) : a public performance (2) : a usually light comic or adventure novel

_____

So, What’s the point?

Not all entertainment is sunshine and rainbows; Sometimes it is a prison.

Someone may be entertaining you with death to keep you in paralysis.

Be careful with how you allow yourself to be entertained.

rainbows

The common man

I was reading this article:  The Myth of American Meritocracy and it made me think of Henry Wallace and the “common man”.

Who knows who Henry Wallace was? He has mostly been lost to an alternate history, a very real reality we live in now.  No one remembers him now because political back-dealings kept him from being nominated in the 1944 Democratic National Convention for Vice President. Wallace was a known Buddhist. He supported labour unions and civil rights. Party leaders wanted someone more subdued, someone tamer; someone like Harry Truman. FDR’s health was fading fast, the next Vice President would in all likelihood be the next President of the United States. Henry Wallace served as a member of this nation’s “inner circle” for 3 presidential terms.

Wallace said this publicly in the 40’s:

”George Carver, born into slavery, now a chemist at Tuskegee University specializing in botany, first introduced me to the mysteries of plant fertilization. I spent a good many years breeding corn, because this scientist deepened my appreciation of plants in a way I could never forget. Superior ability is not the exclusive possession of any one race or any one class, provided men are given the right opportunities.”

In 1942, Henry Wallace gave his most famous speech:

So you can see this man was a natural orator and a motivator – and now he has been lost to history. Truman was instated as the new president after only 88 days in office as Vice President; FDR had died. It is reported that Truman and FDR spoke only twice.

Here’s a recording of Truman’s inaugural speech:

VE Day:

America had to reap vengeance on Japan on the eastern front still. Truman decided to drop not one but two atomic weapons on an already hopelessly defeated Japanese people in 1945. The USSR already had built up over 1 million troops in Manchuria; preparing for an invasion that began days before the bombs were dropped. If you think the Japanese were more afraid of a new bomb that wipes out entire cities in the blink of any eye more-so than they were of an invading Soviet Red army, you are mistaken. The USSR fought and died more than any other country in that war.

Would the world be a different place if Henry Wallace had been re-elected Vice president in 1944?

By large, he was cherished both at home by Americans and abroad. His political party however… did not always cherish his quirks. There’s a lot more to the story of Henry Wallace, but history will largely forget him.

Meet the Obama campaign’s $250 million fundraising platform

The numbers

6 month life span
$250 million dollars, 4,276,463 donations
81,548,259 pageviews, 17,807,917 unique visitors
60% faster time to paint than previous platform
240 a/b tests, 49% increase in donation conversion rate
1,101 frontend deploys
4,000 lines of JavaScript
23% of traffic is mobile (including tablet)

The web stack

  • Static HTML pages generated by Jekyll
  • Served by Akamai CDN, origin hosted on Amazon S3
  • Version control with GitHub
  • Conversion optimization with Optimizely
  • LESS for CSS preprocessor, JavaScript compiled by CodeKit
  • Redundant, REST payment processor

    read more here

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