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Op-Ed

Be Very Careful Who You Follow on Twitter, or the PC Thought Police Will Come For You

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Angry mob

A few days ago Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, unveiled a visionary, awesome plan to colonize Mars, and then the solar system. No less. For a couple of days Musk’s space colonization plan was all over the social media. But now the trending news about Elon Musk are that… he doesn’t follow enough women on Twitter. Unbelievable.

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Motherboard started the attacks with a story titled “Elon Musk Follows Zero Women on Twitter.”

“Elon Musk hasn’t retweeted a woman in his last 100 tweets,” adds contributing editor Sarah Jeong. “The last time he retweeted a woman, it was in August. The woman he retweeted was his mom. But he doesn’t follow his mom, either.”

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Before you ask, yes, Motherboard knew about Musk’s space colonization plan. They shared their story with a tweet:

Guess how many women Elon Musk follows on Twitter? Hint: same number of people currently on Mars.

Elon Musk replied on Twitter:

@motherboard I use twitter for news orgs. My Insta has same women as men. What’s up with the phoney PC police axe-grinding?

Musk’s reply makes perfect sense, if you ask me. He follows whoever he wants on Twitter, just like I follow whoever I want on Twitter, and you follow whoever you want on Twitter. But perhaps we should start being more careful, or the Politically Correct (PC) thought police will come for us.

On Twitter there is no option of hiding the list of people you follow, but perhaps there should be. I don’t play in Musk’s league, and probably you don’t either, so the PC thought police can’t do us much harm (yet), but the PC thought cops can do a lot of harm to tech companies, as shown by the recent hate wave against Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey for supporting Donald Trump. I think everyone should be free to follow the people they like on Twitter, and to support the political candidates they like.

Tech Leaders, Bad Boys

Elon Musk

Elon Musk

Another article on The Guardian extends the condemnation of Musk to other tech leaders.

“[For] many of the tech industry’s moguls, the world reflected in their Twitter timelines is bizarrely similar to the bizarre societies they have created in their companies: very, very male,” writes technology reporter Julia Carrie Wong. “[It] isn’t surprising that a leader in an industry notoriously averse to hiring women also appears to be uninterested in the views of women as expressed on Twitter.”

Wong goes on with a meticulous count of the women followed on Twitter by other tech leaders including Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt, and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla. Wong concludes by paternally (sorry, maternally) recommending a list of women to follow to all these bad boys.

Political Correctness and Identity Politics Run Amok

ShameThis last episode of Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) intolerance, political correctness and identity politics run amok, reminds me of the BullShirtStorm.

The Rosetta mission of the European Space Agency (ESA), recently completed, has been one of the great space projects of the century. In 2014, the Rosetta team landed a spacecraft on a comet to perform scientific measurements and sent data and images back – a really impressive achievement. Sadly, most media coverage of the mission was centered on the pathetic BullShirtStorm caused by angry mobs of embittered feminists who didn’t like the shirt worn by mission scientist Matt Taylor at a press conference.

Isn’t it a good time to stop?

To the predictable accusations of misogyny, and of course racism and homophobia as well, I could reply that I am as gender-blind and color-blind as they come, and a very firm believer in everyone’s right to be left in peace. But, of course, the SJWs wouldn’t listen. However, what I need to point out is that the unthinking fundamentalism of the SJWs hurts the very social justice causes they pay lip service to.

Many reasonable and moderate people are “rebelling against the hegemonies of leftist dogma and political correctness,” noted Reason, “and ‘Trump!’ is, sadly, their rallying cry.”

This is why you get Trump.

Images from Wikimedia Commons, SpaceX, and Rochelle Hartman/Flickr.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Sardonicus13

    October 7, 2016 at 5:03 am

    Excellent article, sir! Each day brings an increasingly insane SJW lynch mob hell-bent on smearing anybody who doesn’t fit their impossible progressive ideal. I certainly hope you will continue to use your platform to call out these left wing fascists!

    • Giulio Prisco

      October 7, 2016 at 10:53 am

      Thanks!

      I disagree on calling the SJWs “left wing” though.

      The real left is something else, entirely different. Actually, opposite: think of the civil right movement of the 60s/80s and its emphasis on freedom of thought and speech. The SJWs are discrediting the left, therefore they should be condemned also from the left.

      • /()43 |_|K19

        October 7, 2016 at 12:01 pm

        It’s a cycle: as they ascend they speak radically of freedom. Once they get power they (a) pretend they’re still radical and not the new establishment while (b) using radical-sounding arguments to oppress and remove freedom. The ARE the same people sadly. Whether “the left” is the right name for them is something historians will decide in retrospect.

        • Giulio Prisco

          October 7, 2016 at 2:48 pm

          But history has already decided. “Left” has been used for decades to indicate the political movement of hard-working, working-class people with big hands, big biceps, and big hearts. The Left is for freedom, not against. Today’s SJWs are spoiled, lazy middle- (or upper-) class crybabies who have never done one day of hard work.

      • Sardonicus13

        October 7, 2016 at 6:34 pm

        I certainly agree that the SJWs have ultimately hijacked the mainstream Left, and I consider myself an “old-school Liberal” as well (in outlook and age!) However, I think it’s self-evident that these authoritarian gremlins were born in the far reaches of the Left as they tout the other wise laudable goals of modern Liberalism (e.g. egalitarianism), but taint them with extremist rhetoric (e.g. “all white men are oppressors”). That said, you’re absolutely right about the need to “clean our own house,” lest the Right-wing does it for us…

        • Giulio Prisco

          October 8, 2016 at 7:16 am

          Exactly! Clean our own house, lest the Right wing does it fir us. And that’s happening: in Europe, extreme right wing parties are rising everywhere.

  2. PapayaSF

    October 7, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    And it should be noted that Matt Taylor’s “sexist” shirt was designed by the woman who gave it to him.

    • Giulio Prisco

      October 8, 2016 at 7:14 am

      Yes. Another woman started a fundraiser to show support to Taylor with a gift. The fundraiser was successful, and Taylor gave the money to a science education charity.

  3. Scott Corwin

    October 9, 2016 at 3:06 am

    I love how The Guardian follows with a suggested list of women to follow. Ellen Pao was featured. Upon checking on a few others, they were nearly unanimous outlets for feminist propaganda. Sorry, but I don’the want misandrist hate speech flooding my feed.

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Op-Ed

Observations from a Post-Bubble(?) World

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If you have any kids, you’re by now familiar with the phenomenon of the Angry Birds. The game series and subsequent branded clothing and the like have created something literally insane: a $1 billion IPO valuation for something called Angry Birds. We’re not making this up.

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Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish maker of Angry Birds, is targeting an IPO that would give it a market value of €802 million ($956 million) to €896 million ($1.1 billion). […] Rovio said it would price shares between €10.25 ($12.20) and €11.50 ($12.30). […] Rovio has built an empire around its popular mobile game Angry Birds, including toys, clothes and an animated 3-D movie. […] The gaming app, which was released in 2009, allows players to sling virtual birds at enemy pigs to save their eggs.

Meanwhile, people are concerned that we’re in a bubble with cryptocurrencies and, more specifically, with initial coin offerings and the technologies coming out of them. Let’s be real: the two things are not the same. For better or worse, games and movies are proven ways to make money, while most of the technology we’re offered in the ICO space is speculative at best.

But, of the technologies that we’re offered, those that actually do succeed, well, some of the will re-shape society. And that’s what we’re betting on: the kind of money that is made then. But it’s clear that if we were in a bubble, it recently popped. The bloodshed may not even be over, there may be speculative pumps left before the whole market has some time to rebuild. All the same, it’s helpful to monitor what’s going on in the rest of the world to determine if we’re really overvaluing things.

Most firms in the ICO space differ from Rovio in two ways: they don’t have a working product or solid revenue to point at. As such, most of them aren’t trying to value themselves at nearly the same level. But if society can afford this amount to value a games company, then certainly we’re far from having too many fundamentally transformative companies come out of the cryptocurrency space.

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We’re either a long way from the bubble or somehow in a world where bubble economics don’t truly apply. Every token brings with it a stagnated exit from the cryptocurrency market, thereby inflating the amount of value that is actually invested in the crypto economy. The amount of demand to liquidate it actually is less important when the activity around ICOs is viewed through this lense: even when people, or the network as a whole, loses a bit of money, it gains in new participants, who later are likely to re-add the lost value.

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Bitcoin

Sunday Devotional: Keep Your #Hodl Hand Strong

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If you bought now, at the all-time highs of Bitcoin and you’re itchy about $5,000 or $10,000, perhaps taking a look at those who’ve been in your shoes before is in order. Or perhaps you don’t have much Bitcoin, but you’ve got a lot of Ethereum and tokens on its blockchain. Even better, perhaps you’re holding a number of one of the alleged Bitcoin long-term contenders, XMR or Dash.

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If you look historically at the people who’ve bought during other highs, the ones who got impatient are the ones who lost the most. The ones who quietly held through were rewarded the most richly.

We can take the example of a friend of the publication, who sold Bitcoin very near the ultimate bottom. Strictly speaking he could have had $50 million in Bitcoin assets today if he had instead decided to hold, but things certainly looked bleak for the currency in those days. He was not alone in selling the bottom, nor truly irrational when one considered all the angles. No one ever is. This is what you have to keep in mind: people who were buying at that time were paying the most anyone was willing to pay, and people who were selling were accepting far less than they had seen others sell coins for. But some people were just off the market in those waters. These people played a successful strategy through a long, cold winter.

Some mining outfits are always dumping their coins, no matter the price. Bills have to be paid, after all. So while it may seem that Bitcoin is “stable” at its current prices, we’re just as likely to see turbulence and dips. Unless you’ve some more performative place to put your funds (such as one of the trade recommendations or ICOs reviewed here at Hacked), you’re still probably going to end up with a greater long-term profit by retaining the coins. Especially if you retain them in ways that ensure they truly belong to you, IE, off exchanges during times when you don’t anticipate actually trading them.

There’s nothing wrong with selling the highs and buying the lows, but long-term, some people have done equally as well by doing nothing at all. While this article is meant as a broad overview, one can imagine that some people had to take measures to deal with the old weak hand syndrome. After all, if everyone is panicking and letting you know the building is on fire, it only makes sense to try and escape with everyone else.

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But if you believe firmly in the longevity of your asset, sticking it out may become worth it. Increasingly, products will emerge that will allow people to maintain possession of their crypto assets but extract leverage via peer-to-peer and even institutional lending. Such a paradigm will enable the crypto class to enter the business world in unforeseen ways, perhaps in unforeseen numbers.

Buy and hold is a strategy that will work well for so-called “blue chip” cryptos, but it is not future-proof. Aside from security holes that can arise in cryptography from generation to generation, simple innovation can displace something like a cryptocurrency, and network effects can shift current. If one region of the world becomes less friendly, in a regulatory sense, to do business in, then perhaps cryptocurrency will move its volume to another.

Cryptocurrency is by definition censorship resistant, after all, because a design which does not enable its fungibility is essentially the opposite of the “digital cash” paradigm. When such problems arise, those who kept their hold hand strong will still be able to conduct business, and where things are most repressive, in a more catastrophic forecast, still be able to escape troubled waters.

featured image courtesy of Pixabay

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Bitcoin

Has The Bull Market Returned for Bitcoin?

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In a twist of sorts, instead of bitcoin’s first chain-split hardfork sending price down under, it has fueled it up to an all time high of $3,339.50, some $350 higher than its previous brief all-time high of $3,000 on June 11th.

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That was followed by a sell-off which nearly halved bitcoin’s price to what might be a bottom of around $1,800 on July 16th, with a sharp price increase soon after to $2,300, a segwit bull-run to $2,700, a Bitcoin Cash crash back to $2,300 and now the recent bull run to an all-time high.

Bitcoin’s Spring Summer

That’s not what was meant to happen according to the hardfork naysayers. There was meant to be doom and widespread confusion. Bitcoin was meant to be over, done, gone, if it chain-split. People were to lose money, poor newbies would run to mummy and on and on.

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What actually happened was what cooler heads predicted. The fork would unlock new value, giving everyone exactly what they want. Thus restoring confidence and optimism, leading to a price rise.

In this case, the price rise has been higher than many thought. That’s probably because bitcoin has become just a bit more interesting and cool. The currency has proved now you can’t control it. It has also proved its decentralized nature is inherent rather than a point of debate.

Rather than smoke filled rooms or closed door meetings, bitcoin has now shown its true governance in action. That of giving the free market exactly what it wants by forking, placing both currencies under its mercy.

That is something that has never happened before in this manner and shows the full power of bitcoin and any public blockchain based currency. You can’t choose your centrally issued fiat. With bitcoin, you get exactly what you want and no one can deny you such right.

If you want full blocks, empty blocks, or no blocks at all with IOTA, if you want smart contracts or simple multi-sig scrypt, Lightning Network or Raiden, Rootstock or the EON lot, you can have what you want in the great cryptocurrency amazon.

Where birds have flashy colors and some flowers even eat meat, where lions rule and snakes bite too, where elephants roam above them all yet get terrified by a little mouse.

The mix in this space isn’t too much different. The wall-street testosterone pumped jockey hangs around with glassy nerds, looked upon by flashy artists with the swindlers all around.

Cryptocurrencies’ current combined market cap.

No wonder we are seeing what looks like a sharp V recovery with the combined market cap of all digital currencies nearing its all-time high of around $116 billion. Currently standing at just under $113 billion.

That’s more than many household brands. Eth and Bitcoin Cash have not yet even had their all-time bull run. So some are wondering, billions were cool last century, can this space manage a trillion?

I’m not one for hype, but the millenial generation is now entering a stage where their lives and careers are starting to stabilize after the confused teenage years and rocky early 20s.

They are now getting a stable income, maybe even settling down, with real purchasing power – perhaps higher than any other generation. They experienced first hand how the Middle East wars robbed them from some of the teenage fun. How the bank collapse ruined for many of their friends the early out of university years.

So when they look at gold they may think it outdated. When they look at stocks they may think it too stiff upper lip, when they look at cryptocurrencies they may think it as fun.

Because they’re not just buying something, but becoming part of a movement. A movement that returns money to the people. A movement that brings back investing to the masses, taking it off from the restricted and secluded VC ivory towers.

A movement where we are in charge. We, the free market. Where we have liberty and choice by just a click to get the exact thing we like and if its not on offer we’ll just code it and wala – it is now.

The young, those currently in university or just about leaving, will follow them. The old, those in the 50s or 60s, will hear them, because they are right. As such, real power has or is about to shift to the millennial generation, the late 20s early 30 somethings.

A generation that has found a solution in digital currencies where they may argue about bitcoin or bitcoin cash or ethereum or whatever else, but they all know it’s all just fun, not much different than brothers fickles.

For while some might see hate, I see passionate love between the three main ones. Sure, there are some currencies that objectively deserve polemics, but bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, some of the tokens, deserve the highest respect.

Because all three are pioneers in a very new world we are building. All three have sound bases, good foundations, great aims and either could lead. More importantly, the three currencies are all focused on actually achieving something that goes beyond mere price.

That is, they employ no tricks, through marketing or otherwise. They are not a get rich project, here today, gone as you sleep. They are serious attempts towards providing a solution to the problems the millennial generation saw and experienced as they were coming of age.

Their competition, therefore, although it may appear ruthless, it is in fact friendly. Long may it live and long may liberty reign above all three and above us all for a very, very long time.

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