Viva Bitcoin!: Bankruptcies and Government Crackdowns Won't Stop Alt-Currencies

Note: This story originally appeared at The Daily Beast on February 27, 2014. Read it there now.

The shuttering on Tuesday of Mt. Gox, hasn’t just left customers of the Japanese-based bitcoin exchange panicked to the tune of about $300 million, it’s instigated the latest round of comparisons to tulip-bulb mania, sour anti-semitic rants from neo-Nazis, and “Is Bitcoin Finished?” stories.

So: Is bitcoin finished? The short answer is no. And while I explain why, think on this: If and when the end does come for bitcoin, an internet payment protocol that only cranked up in 2008, it won’t be because of cyberspace’s answer to bank robber Willie Sutton undermining belief in a virtual currency (ain’t they all virtual?), it will be because governments around the globe are trying their damnedest to choke off a payment system that allows people to cut out the middle man.

While it’s not yet fully clear why the long-troubled Mt. Gox shut down, we do know its closing didn’t crater the value of bitcoin. On Wednesday, bitcoin’s price bounced up 5.5 percent, closing at $564 after dropping to the low $400s on Tuesday. Think about it: The price rose 24 hours after an exchange that held as much as 6 percent of bitcoin in circulation closed its doors for unspecified reasons, reports circulated that Mt. Gox was missing 750,000 bitcoins from its stash, and news came out that the feds had subpoenaed Mt. Gox earlier this month.

The folks still holding bitcoin aren’t sad-sack suckers or starry-eyed cyberpunks. As my Reason colleague Brian Doherty has argued, bitcoin critics may see Tuesday as “doom” for the stuff, but bitcoin users see it simply as “a normal day...for a currency that dies every day.” Doherty notes that if you had been foolish enough to invest $1,000 bucks of make-believe U.S. money in bitcoin, it would be worth about four times that today, even after the Mt. Gox avalanche. “People still believe,” writes Doherty. “And that's important when it comes to either investment or currency.

Bitcoin—or something very much like it—will survive scares on its security and dependability for the same reason that email, online commerce, and networked computers survived all manner of hacks, rhetorical and legal attacks, and viral infections that once scared the bejeezus out of the lumpen media in the early 1990s (remember all those stories about how fully 110 percent of all internet traffic was devoted to a terrifying mix of kiddie porn, identity theft, and dehumanizing flame wars?).

Bitcoin serves a purpose that is at once expressive and purposeful. It’s expressive because it’s an incredible marvel of distributed, shared technology that delivers on some of the liberatory promises of the internet. Most importantly, it delivers on the dream of “disintermediation,” of cutting out the middleman and the associated costs of going through third-party agents for all sorts of transactions. Bitcoin is purposeful because it lets people do things they couldn’t otherwise do. Remember when Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal—all exemplary, groundbreaking technologies in their own ways—wouldn’t process payments to Wikileaks because of U.S. government pressure? Bitcoin allowed supporters to keep sending donations because there wasn’t a third party the feds could threaten or squeeze. As Buzzmachine’s Jeff Jarvis howled via Twitter: “Hey, Visa, Mastercard, Paypal: It's MY money. How DARE you tell me where I can and can't spend it?"

Something that allows individuals to spend money however they want isn’t going away anytime soon. Just like we did with computer viruses, hacks, and a host of other once-seemingly cataclysmic issues, bitcoin’s users will figure out all sorts of ways to deal with theft, scams, and worse. The fixes will never be perfect, the patches and updates will be ongoing, and an alternative system may well supplant bitcoin, but what else is new in digital culture, right? As Veronique de Rugy suggested last November, it’s worth thinking about bitcon as “the Napster of the payment industry.” The specific platform is far less important than the forces it unleashes.

Which isn’t to say that there are no serious existential threats to bitcoin and other alternative, non-state-backed currencies. Far from it. Theft, fraud, and wild value swings all blood the path to government regulation. After Mt. Gox registered as a money-services business in 2013, the U.S. Treasury Department has some jurisdiction over it. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) was already looking into Mt. Gox and the state of New York is pushing to license bitcoin dealers and shut down “the Wild West” days in cryptocurrency.The high-profile FBI case against the alleged proprietor of the “dark web” site Silk Road, where users could trade in all sorts black market and gray market goods and services, is already being used to demonize bitcoin in political and popular culture.

As Mercatus Center bitcoin expert Jerry Brito has written, government regulation can either be ham-fisted or light to the touch. “While governments can't kill Bitcoin,” he argues “it would be naive to think that they could not substantially slow down its development and raise the cost of using it.” Until now (and including relatively friendly Senate hearings last November), the feds have treated bitcoin more as a novelty than a problem. Even apart from Mt. Gox, as bitcoin’s value climbs over a few billion dollars, Washington will take it more seriously for sure. Given the track record of D.C. bureaucrats in regulating anything related to the economy—when they’re not being“captured” by special interests outright, they typically make incredibly counterproductive decisions—nobody should be optimistic that the Treasury Department (or Homeland Security, which is naturally squawking about the terroristic threat posed by bitcoin) will acquit itself well.

But here’s the thing: If the U.S.—not to mention any and all other governments around the globe—squeeze too hard, the hive mind that is constantly building, repairing, and revising bitcoin’s protocol will skip town one way or another. They—we—don’t want bitcoin per se. We want something like bitcoin that allows for greater freedom, reduced transaction costs, greater anonymity, and perfect accounting transparency. As long that need is there, it will be served.

Note: This story originally appeared at The Daily Beast on February 27, 2014. Read it there now.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    governments around the globe are trying their damnedest to choke off a payment system that allows people to cut out the middle man.

    They managed to stamp out illicit drugs in no time flat, why not this?!

  • iEagleHammer||

    Zero tolerance!!!

  • iEagleHammer||

    Racism!!!

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    Yeah! Why whould anybody tolerate zero?

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Wait a sec. Zero came from the Hindus via Arabia, right? Are you suggesting that Roman numerals were RACIST? Or are you suggesting that zero is islamic terrorism?

  • Almanian!||

    We must not allow the coin gap to stand! Remember the collapse of the savings and loan industry that one time!

  • Agammamon||

    Do governments not realize what a boon this can be to them?

    1. Require you to pay taxes in the government's preferred fiat currency.

    2. Peg the value of that fiat currency to some ridiculously low number.

    3. ?

    4. Profit.

  • Carnival||

    Shhh!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    What is the market value of Bitcoin?

    I have no idea what it is. This is a serious question.

  • Vampire||

    Individuals "value" bitcoin for various reasons. It is an alternative to the fiat dollar. The amount of bit coins is limited, it is difficult to mine for bit coins, etc.

    The market "price" in terms of fiat dollars is around $608.51 or so.

    There is a difference between value and price.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The market "price" in terms of fiat dollars is around $608.51 or so.

    Yes, I know that.

    Market "value" means the price TIMES the quantity outstanding.

    As an investor, the quantity outstanding is a slippery concept. So I don't trust any source on that topic.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Much less a virtual source.

    In fact, that will be the downfall of Bitcoin - its anonymity. ITS A FUCKING FREE FOR ALL! COME GET YER BITCOINS HERE!

  • Cytotoxic||

    ...what?

  • iEagleHammer||

    Racism!

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Please, shitstopper, enlighten us as to your meaning of that comment.

  • Sevo||

    Francisco d Anconia|3.2.14 @ 8:42PM|#
    "Please, shitstopper, enlighten us as to your meaning of that comment."

    Are you sure you want to read that?

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    Never play "Golden Rule" with a masochist?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Are you sure you want to read that?

    If it meant what I suspect it meant, it doesn't know the first thing about BTC.

  • SweatingGin||

    Can you trust the code for the quantity outstanding? 'Cause that's what determines it.

    Simple formula. Blocks average every 10 minutes. First x blocks make 50 new coins each. Next make 25 (you are here). In 2016, it halves again, and continues halving every four year(iirc), approaching but not reaching 21 million, in 2140.

    Right now, it's a bit over 12 million in existence. Blockchain.info has stats on the exact number. Some have been lost forever, so that's the upper bound.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Right now, it's a bit over 12 million in existence.

    OK, 12 million X $608.61 = market value.

    Not really a scary number at all until you get into relative value.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    As an investor, the quantity outstanding is a slippery concept. So I don't trust any source on that topic.

    Oh come on dude. You just demonstrated one of the features of Bitcoin: Anyone can know the quantity outstanding perfectly, in real-time:

    http://blockchain.info/charts/total-bitcoins

    x = 12,426,825 coins mined total when I checked.
    y = $575.66 if you average the three major exchanges.

    x * y = $7,153,626,079.50

    Have fun figuring that out with dollars (m1, m2, m3, zooropa, jello, squirrels).

    Understand how the thing works if you want to have an opinion. Damn baby.

  • ||

    They probably know how much jello there is in the world.

    Or at least they have a far better idea then they do dollars.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    OK, it is about $7 billion. I got that in the previous post above yours.

    Actually that is very modest for a truly alternate payment method.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Actually that is very modest for a truly alternate payment method.

    BTC has increased in value from zero to $7 billion (I'd probably say more like a billion in mainstream buying power) in four years. Whether you take the high or low value there, it is an impressive return.

    If BTC goes up by only a third the zeroes in the next four years as it has the past four, that's $7 trillion.

    Things happen fast in the digital age.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    What is the market value of Bitcoin?

    Whatever the market says it is.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Right now the total value of BTC is some 6 billion USD. LiteCoin comes to half a billion or so.

  • Westmiller||

    Correct, though the quantity will be "inflated" by about 35% over the next few years.
    Best resource for trading values (highly volatile) and volume is BitCoinCharts.com, with plenty of data.

    The weakness of BC isn't transaction integrity, but conversion availability. Most governments want all the tax revenue they can get, so they'll demand reports of all conversions into - and out of - dollars (or whatever is considered 'legal tender' by the particular nation).

  • ||

    The weakness of BC isn't transaction integrity, but conversion availability.

    Thank fucking Christ someone else realizes this!

    BTC is a cryptographic solution to problems that have little to nothing to do with cryptography.

    So, if BTC isn't fundamentally bringing about more liberty, what, exactly IS it doing that a beanie babies, precious metals, ammunition, or even beer doesn't do in spades?

  • Overt||

    Cryptography is just a means to an ends.

    The problem is: How do I trade something online that cannot be (easily) counterfeited?

    Beer, precious metals, ammo, etc all require you to ultimately reveal yourself by taking delivery (or arranging delivery) of the item. Bitcoin allows you to stay anonymous.

    This is enhancing to liberty. Without Bitcoin, the only virtual currency you have is Fiat money that is controlled by the Government. With Bitcoin you have a currency that is controlled by a specific mathematical formula that no one government can control*

    * = note that there are flaws in the Bitcoin that could allow a government willing to spend several billion dollars to crash the market.

  • Agammamon||

    Isn't it somewhere around $573/342GBP/416EUR to buy right now?

  • Almanian!||

    Larry Kudlow says it doesn't matter, cause Bitcoin's not real money anyway!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Because his cocaine dealer won't take it!

    *seriously, Kudlow is a cokehead, NTTIAWWT.

  • Agammamon||

    Ask him what he thinks of Pesos and Euros while were at it - I bet his coke dealer won't take those either.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    Now you done it.

    It has no central-bank regulation,

    QED. History demonstrates that money never existed prior to the introduction of central banks. Money is a political, not market, phenomenon.

    or even centralized issuance.

    Gold isn't money because it isn't issued by a political body.

    And because of its wild price fluctuations, bitcoin can never be a reliable payment system.

    The wild price fluctuations of gold in the QE era are evidence that gold could never be a reliable payment system. It has nothing to do with inflationary fiat currencies that have destabilized the world economy and made investors run to any potential store of value whose quantity is relatively stable.

    Like precious metals or BTC, whose values are self-evidently unstable: just look at their prices per unit in USD!

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    The silver in a pre-1964 dime is worth about $1.50 these days.
    The gold in a real-gold dollar is worth about 65 paper dollars.
    Current US coins aren't coins at all; they are tokens. Hell, the nickel and copper in a current nickel makes it the only coin worth anything like its face value.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    Some are buying nickels as a commodity hedge against inflation, which works if you don't want to invest lots of money on relatively small quantities of gold and if you trust that buyers will purchase nickels for something approaching their commodity value if/when bad things happen.

    I'll stick with BTC, but if you've got the time and the space to store thousands of pounds of nickels, more power to you.

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    Just discussing the current state of coinage during the more general discussion about money.

    I have commodity money in several forms, including .22LR, which is running around 15¢ per round right now. That averages 4 to 5 times what I paid for it.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Why not a Bitcoin to SNAP conversion app? Am I the only one thinking here?

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    Why not convert beefsteaks into rockslides?

  • Sevo||

    You could as easily convert shitpile's posts into reasonable comments.

  • ||

    come on guys shrike seems genuinely interested.

    Yes we all know he will eventually bite the hand that feeds.

    But if you are expecting it his toothless nips will not hurt in the end.

  • Sevo||

    Corning|3.2.14 @ 10:20PM|#
    "come on guys shrike seems genuinely interested."

    Could be, but why would that matter? Really tired of the misdirection and lies act. And then we get 'well, I really didn't mean it' bullshit.
    Fuck that asshole with old barn siding. And make sure there's tetanus bacteria involved.

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    Hey, watch it! Old barn siding is valuable. People pay good money for it to make frame moulding.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Britain has lifted its VAT from BTC transactions. Apparently they and the rest of the EU consider it money, in accordance with EU regulations or some such.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Sean Connery urges Scots to vote yessshhhhh on independence from UK this year

    In the article, published today in the Sun on Sunday, Sir Sean said that “a new sense of opportunity and hope for the future is now in sight”.

    He stated: “I fully respect the choice facing Scotland in September is a matter for the people who choose to work and live there - that's only right.

    ”But as a Scot with a lifelong love of Scotland and the arts, I believe the opportunity of independence is too good to miss. Simply put there is no more creative an act than creating a new nation.“

    Sir Sean, who is already well known as a supporter of independence, said: ”A Yes vote will capture the world's attention. There will be a renewed focus on our culture and politics, giving us an unparalleled opportunity to promote our heritage and creative excellence.“

    He argued that a Yes vote in the referendum could encourage more investment in the film industry, together with the ”international promotion of Scotland as an iconic location“.

    The actor went on to claim that a ”a bigger and more confident film and broadcast sector“ could help bring about ”an inflow of resources and new jobs and training“.

    Maybe Scotland will stop being full of junkies and welfare dregs if they gain independence.

  • Sevo||

    "Sir Sean, who is already well known as a supporter of independence, said: ”A Yes vote will capture the world's attention. There will be a renewed focus on our culture and politics, giving us an unparalleled opportunity to promote our heritage and creative excellence.“

    I'm sure the world is just waiting to pay big money for "heritage and creative excellence".
    Or maybe not.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "no more creative an act than creating a new nation"

    Come on, there's a nation to be built
    I feel like a man, just like when I wear a kilt
    Come together, all ye Scots, no matter what your bag is
    It sounds great, like bagpipes, and tastes great, like haggis

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Let's gather together if you want to rock
    And rise up like Nessie from her loch
    Put on your kilt, feel the wind on your crotch
    Open up a can of whoop-ass and find it's full of Scotch.

    -Robert Burns

  • Raven Nation||

    Bet these guys support independence too:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzQ1pNfbe3Q

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I read that whole thing in a Scottish accent.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Sir Sean

    Kneeler!

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    Kneeler everywhere!

  • ||

    Maybe Scotland will stop being full of junkies and welfare dregs if they gain independence.

    Trainspotting was written in the early 90s...

    what you said is like saying Seattle is filled with grunge punks.

  • RishJoMo||

    Yeah thats what they said about "E-Gold " too. Anyone remember E-Gold?

    www.Anon-VPN.com

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Beckerhead.com?

  • SweatingGin||

    Guesses at this point:

    1) Gox is under a gag order and can't access their coins (early legal problems may have been related to Silk Road investigation)

    2) lost access to the coins due to bad hardware/software/procedures/whatever

  • ||

    2) lost access to the coins due to bad hardware/software/procedures/whatever

    I am confused as to what this means.

    Are you saying they still have them...they still exist in BTC's public ledger but they simply lost the password to access them?

  • SweatingGin||

    It's possible, yes. Replace "password" with "private key". You've got a private key (it's just a number, albeit a very large one) that allows you to spend the coins. That key may be encrypted with a password, as well.

    Bitcoins are just cryptographically signed message sending value to an address. If no one has the keys to send the bitcoins on from that destination address (ie, it's never been created), those coins are basically gone, locked up forever. There's no getting them back.

    And you can try to generate the private key for that address, but the sun will most likely out of power before you do.

    So, it's entirely possible to lose/destroy bitcoins. One is as good as the other, really.

  • ||

    so it is 12 million bitcoins minus about 1.3 million that Gox misplaced the private keys to.

    Honestly if you had bitcoins but none in Gox it would seem Gox did you a favor.

    At least in terms of long term inflation/deflation.

  • SweatingGin||

    Yup. I thought it was more like 740k.

    I wouldn't count those coins out forever, though. It could be that they're in a safe deposit box he can't access, could be that he was playing with crazy time locks to keep them tied up temporarily, and rotating coins out.

    Lots of possibilities. It's hardly for sure that they've even lost the coins, just one of the more interesting speculations.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    The problem is something to consider. People will lose their keys, and of course the government, every time they get access to BTC, will 'throw away the key' in so much as liquidity is concerned. BTC will literally go away over time.

    Another problem with BTC is the blockchain. As liquidity (volume of transactions) rises, the blockchain gets more and more complex. It is ~12GB at this time, and growing quickly with (relatively) low volume. Run NASDAQ or Wal-Mart scale through BTC and the blockchain will explode.

    BTC is a blueprint of where the future of money is I think, but itself is not a viable currency system beyond a niche.

  • ||

    BTC will literally go away over time.

    I read somewhere they could move the decimal point.

    I would think that would take some sort of collective action on the part of exchanges and the board.

  • seguin||

    I read somewhere they could move the decimal point.

    I always screw up on some mundane detail like that.

  • SweatingGin||

    Another problem with BTC is the blockchain. As liquidity (volume of transactions) rises, the blockchain gets more and more complex. It is ~12GB at this time, and growing quickly with (relatively) low volume. Run NASDAQ or Wal-Mart scale through BTC and the blockchain will explode.

    18GB, I think. Increasing size is a concern if we get to a spot where the average user *can't* store the entire blockchain. That's a long ways off and there are ways of pruning it as well.

    For an exchange like NasDAQ, no reason for that to be on-blockchain (just like Gox isn't). You could do one big transaction at the end of the day to settle it up, for instance. No need to do lots of smaller ones.

    Right now it can do 7 transactions per second max -- that number does have to increase. Luckily, there are ways of increasing that, and smart people working on the problem. Things like sub-chains that periodically sync up to the main blockchain. Another possibility is trades in other crypto-currencies, with another network providing trustless trades between them. ie, made the transaction in WalCoin on their block chain, and when I go to convert it back to BTC, it's trustless/atomic -- my sending WalCoin to the buyer doesn't clear unless the buyer's payment to me clears, and vice-versa.

    Eventually more things will be done off blockchain (and it's already moving this way with the payment protocol.) That frees up a lot of capacity.

  • ||

    ^^This, IMO, is the death of BTC.

    WalCoin, ChaseCoin, DogeCoin, DepotCoin, etc. will replace it in niches much like individual credit lines made inroads with credit cards (except centralized credit existed and was more efficient).

    Once LiteCoin or another protocol surpasses BTC in some economic facet (faster transactions, chargebacks, greater anonymity/privacy, etc.) the niche currency will be preferred as switching 'base' currencies will be a matter of finding an exchange or bank to do the deed.

    But, again, this is something that sucks a lot of my faith out of the crypto-currency ideology. The fact that the currency has to constantly be handled, tuned, and refined means people with ideas of control have to be involved, just like with $$$.

  • SweatingGin||

    (continued, I got a little verbose there, and Reason said no.)

    The problem is something to consider. People will lose their keys, and of course the government, every time they get access to BTC, will 'throw away the key' in so much as liquidity is concerned. BTC will literally go away over time.

    They can currently be divided to 8 decimal places, and increasing that limit is easy/no-brainer software change (compared to, say, increasing
    the total number).

    BTC is a blueprint of where the future of money is I think, but itself is not a viable currency system beyond a niche.


    It's not as if it can't be modified and improved -- that's going on right now.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    You could do one big transaction at the end of the day to settle it up, for instance. No need to do lots of smaller ones.

    The double-ledger abuse such invites will invariably require chargebacks, making BTC another version of a checkbook.

    18GB, I think. Increasing size is a concern if we get to a spot where the average user *can't* store the entire blockchain.

    It was 12GB when I checked, like a month ago. Its 50% bigger already, running something like a millionth the transaction volume of, say, the Chinese Yuan. And its transaction number, not BTC volume, that grows the chain. That is a critical weak point in the scheme.

    With truly mainstream volume, everybody will need terabyte drives in a couple years...and a few years after that? The blockchain is growing faster than Moore's Law.

    It's not as if it can't be modified and improved -- that's going on right now.

    Tweaks, patches, etc. BTC is the MySpace of cryptocurrency, and I wonder what the Facebook is going to be - but like that analogy it will be a clean sheet API inspired by, not a modified form of, BTC.

  • RFID||

    It is possible to run a "slim" client so that the average user won't need the whole blockchain. The whole blockchain could be stored only by people or organizations who want to store it (mining pools, exchanges, etc). It is likely that data storage technology will outpace the bitcoin ledger in terms of growth anyway.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    If Murray Rothbard's birthday falls on a Sunday (as it did this year), does that mean you get to take Monday off?

    Happy birthday!

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc.....ay-murray/

  • angus||

    If no-one is forcing you to use it, it is not really money.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I can only assume everybody is on HBOGo right now. Except for Tulpa, who is crying in his mom's basement.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I take it you've already seen tonight's episode?

    I'm waiting till the wife wins WoW.

    You have fun at brunch?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I am also waiting for the wife. Not for much longer, though.

    Brunch was a lot of fun. I hope we can get more people next time. Tons of useful information and some good laughs.

  • Agammamon||

    Let me know more than a day ahead and I could probably make it - and if you don't want me to come I've just given you the info you need:)

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    The award for the longest drive went to Sloopy @ 2 hours. You could make it all the way from AZ?

  • Agammamon||

    Sure - its around 4 hours to get to Long Beach from here. Stay overnight in a hotel and head home the next day.

  • ||

    I'm waiting till the wife wins WoW.

    That might take awhile.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    That might take awhile.

    Yeah...no shit. She schedules going out around her raiding parties.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Ah, she's done. I'm going in.

  • Almanian!||

    Just got done watching "Big Trouble in Little China" on the Encore Action.

    Now - "Performance TV" with Kathy Fisher and Tommy Johnson, Jr, via the DVR.

    Is there another FAG awards show on or something?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I was watching that too but switched over to The Legend of Billie Jean on ENCRC.

    I miss the 80s. Helen Slater was hot.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    I was surprised to find via Wiki that Big Trouble was a flop when it came out. Just watched again last week on Netflix and I probably could rewatch it tonight. Outfuckingstanding!

    Also, agree with FdA below.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Or above.

  • SugarFree||

    What's up with the handle change, playa? Did you get banhammered after joking about Nick's [REDACTED]? Because I agree that it is distracting.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    It was suggested at brunch this morning that the handle could be misinterpreted. More specifically, everybody though I was trying to be a "Player".

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Also, Paul. punctuates like a boss, so I borrowed that from him.

  • SugarFree||

    That's what I thought, actually. But I accepted you on your own terms.

    Did you pass out all the paperwork I sent you?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    This joke might be over my head, but I hope to get it.

  • SugarFree||

    No, no... that's good. I shouldn't have mentioned it. ;-)

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I feel like you are trying to Tulpa me in 4 dimensions. I don't play that kind of chess; you win by default.

    Haven't you had enough victories tonight?

  • SugarFree||

    I'm not one to rest on my laurels.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    How did you get it to take the punctuation?

    I had to drop the apostrophe in d'Anconia because in the header it came out as d%#&(&^Anconia.

    Maybe they fixed the glitch?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    test

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Shit, it works. Musta fixed it.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    How do I know it's you now? Everybody is on edge because of the incident.

    I just got a Facebook message from Jesse warning me that I might be impersonating myself...

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    What incident? Did someone pull the one letter off trick? I saw someone talking about it earlier.

    It's me. I know your name.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Tulpa is outed, and then Sugarfree is asking me about my handle.

    I get the suspicion, and I'm just spreading it around...

  • SugarFree||

    Henceforth so let this be known as: The Incident

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Wow, that is bizarre. Was Tulpa also Bo? I could never tell any difference between their two voices.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Maybe it's just me but Bo seems to have a lot of time to run up the threads. More than I would have thought a law school student would have.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Can't we get rid of both just to be sure?

  • SIV||

    There is NO WAY there are two of them.

  • SugarFree||

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    It just did, IDK why. Try again, maybe.
    The % sign didn't work before, but now it does.

  • ||

    Already done. Need something else to watch.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    NO SPOILERS.

  • ||

    RED WEDDING
    He's already dead.
    Water kills the aliens.
    It's Earth in the future.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    The Snark was a Boojum, you see
    Everyone but Fortinbras gets killed
    She's a man
    The so-called "ghost" was actually Old Man Blodgett

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Norman dressed up as his mother

    The device is disarmed at the last minute and the villain dies

    The misunderstanding gets resolved and the two people who were meant for each other get together

    He avenges the death of his master by killing the renegade Shaolin monk

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Tiny Tim doesn't die, I mean, not as a kid

    The spoiled preppy kids get their comeuppance

    They make it to White Castle

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Long John Silver escapes with a portion of the treasure

    Edmond Dantes gets his revenge

    Roy Hobbs hits a home run strikes out at the end

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "Nobody's perfect"

    The thing that looks like Donald Sutherland emits an unearthly scream

    Freddy dies, but it is strongly suggested that he will be back in the next movie

    Ewoks save the day

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Ewoks save the day

    Haha, good one.

  • SIV||

    Yub! Yub!

  • ||

    Someone at the end of the 5th book dies...but the red queen is there so it probably going to turn into some bullshit resurrection.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    There really was a planet Earth and Starbuck was some kind of angel that liked Bob Dylan.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Alice wakes up

    Dorothy returns to Kansas

    The team full of lovable misfits and a coach who believe in them pulls off a surprise victory

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Maverick stays with his wingman.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Billie Jean is not his lover

    He really didn't shoot the deputy

    Annie is not okay

    It's still not known who wrote the book of love

  • ||

    Arctor is a cop but you find that out in like the first 10 pages so it really is not a spoiler.

  • ||

    the lovable red headed tom boy will be dead by the end of this upcoming season's 2nd episode....probably the first episode though.

  • ||

    He IS Keyser Söze.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Barbara is eaten by her brother's reanimated corpse

    A pitchfork-and-torch-wielding mob kills the monster

    The statue drags Don Giovanni to Hell

  • ||

    He was screwing his own daughter.

  • ||

    underwood pushes zoe into an on coming train.

    that one made me laugh for like 5 min.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Farmer Hoggett from 'Babe' is actually a crooked LAPD captain attempting to take over organized crime in LA.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Gimpy Kevin Spacey is Kaiser Soze.

  • ||

    Gimpy Kevin Spacey is Kaiser Soze.

    Ahem, look up.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Spock dies.

  • ||

    Spock really isn't dead

    it is the voyager probe

  • ||

    Spock really isn't dead

    Actually that isn't the spoiler.

    Spock mind melded with McCoy not Kirk

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Lincoln is assassinated, but the Thirteenth Amendment passes Congress

    Nixon resigns

    The king gives his speech

  • ||

    After the ship sinks he dies of hypothermia.

  • ||

    Bard shoots the dragon where the scale has been dented.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Achilles dies

    Oedipus puts his eyes out

    Dante makes it to Heaven

  • ||

    the eagles save the day

    and

    the eagles save the day

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Ernest gets out of jail and defeats the robber

    The Ring is destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom

    Pinocchio becomes a real boy

  • Agammamon||

    He's actually KAHNNNNNN!!!

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    The Doc is alive and living in the Old West

    William Wallace loses his head but Scotland wins its freedom

    Norman Bates IS mother

  • ||

    He was really fighting the aliens the whole time.

    In the sequel he feels bad about it and becomes the good secular man who teaches those religious doops that they are stupid and primitive. Don't fucking read the sequel.

  • ||

    He was blind the whole time.

  • ||

    The worms are the spice.

    Sting dies.

  • ||

    Dorcas is Severian's grandma which makes him his own grandpa.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    They die in a sled accident

    She jumps in front of a train

    She gets on a plane with her husband

  • SIV||

    The Earth is really green, full of owls, and Rachael will never age or die!

    (God I hated that one)

  • ||

    He kills the girl to feed and save his dog.

  • ||

    The lion comes back like Jesus only more kick ass.

  • Agammamon||

    He kills the girl to feed and save his dog.

    I remember that movie! Early Don Johnson.

  • SIV||

    That is the right way to do a happy ending.

  • ||

    The Earth is really green, full of owls, and Rachael will never age or die!

    (God I hated that one)

    Speaking of which:

    Jesus was a white alien dude and the other white alien dudes got pissed that he was crucified and decided to kill all the people on earth so they made biological weapons on some planet and put a bunch of hints through out history for the people to find and go there on christmas day but there was some sort of accident with the biological weapon and the old dude is actually not dead which pisses off Charlize who has sex with the black guy and the girl has an abortion and when they wake the white alien dude up he goes ballistic and the girl and the android head survive...and aliens

    FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Jefferson isn't fast enough.

  • ||

    Wormwood gets eaten by his uncle because of his failure.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    The government stores the Ark in a warehouse and forgets about it.

    Ripley and the cat are the sole survivors.

    Diplomatic immunity doesn't protect the evil drug lord.

  • ||

    There ARE cats in America, and the streets are NOT paved with cheese.

  • seguin||

    Two "An American Tail" references in a week?

    Are you trying to make me question my sexuality?

  • ||

    Are you trying to make me question my sexuality?

    I prefer to think of it as facilitating your personal journey of self-discovery.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    There are more unicorns.

  • ||

    All the nuns needed was the charisma of a Vegas showgirl to reverse the flagging interest in community participation.

    It also works for schools.

  • ||

    Her boobs win the case and cure aids or something.

  • Tejicano||

    When Harmonica was a teenager Frank forced him to support his brother - with a noose around his neck - standing on Harmonica's shoulders. Just before Harmonica buckled and fell, hanging his own brother, Frank pushes the Harmonica in his mouth.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    The dog either does or doesn't kill the boy, depending on whether we're talking about the novel or the movie.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    He's Luke's Father

    The signal isn't stopped

    The brain bug is scared

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    He builds it and they come.

    The Galifianakis character gets married.

    Milton gets the stolen money and goes to a tropical paradise.

  • ||

    Jesus had trouble coming to grips with his humanity/deity status and was given a choice.

    He chose to die.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Private Ryan lives

    Hitler survives the explosion

    The giant worm falls to its death

    He is the Kwisatz Haderach

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    The girl survives the Holocaust because her father had her convinced it was all a game.

    A Dutch girl doesn't think it's a game, so she dies.

    Most of the characters have sexual encounters, in one case with an apple pie.

  • ||

    He survives the zombies by hiding in the basement that he scoffed at using. Then gets shot in the head.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    The climactic battle sequence was all a dream, but it doesn't matter because she's married to a handsome vampire.

  • ||

    she's married to a "handsome" vampire

    The scare quotes are essential here.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    The planned dinosaur park is not approved by the expert the owner consulted.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    The Klan rescues the white girl and we see a vision of Jesus.

  • SIV||

    Donald Pleasence's chimp saves the babe and gets revenge with a straight razor.

  • ||

    The 300 die but they win at plateau.

    Many years later Alexander dies from a chicken bone or cholera or poison while on his way back home.

    Later Marco went farther and made it back, but gets put in prison.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    The good Terminator melts himself down so nobody can figure out his technology.

  • SIV||

    Warren Oates goes down like Davy Crockett leaving a pile of dead Mexicans.

    (That's a two-fer)

  • seguin||

    He was dead the entire time.

    He decides to sail around the world.

    The Corporation set them up.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    It was the PAX.

  • ||

    Jim was free the whole time and Tom is still a prick and Huck is still ineffectual but might head west.

  • SIV||

    We never left the Earth!

  • ||

    Wednesday's son wins but the world ends.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Morgan Freeman was the traitor.

    Col. Turner was the traitor.

    Kevin Costner was the traitor.

    MATT DAMON was the traitor.

  • ||

    The albino's sword kills pretty much everybody. his enemies his friends his family, pets even.

    But he soldiers on.

  • ||

    After discovering he is cured from leprosy and raping that girl he learns that raping her was not such a good idea.

  • ||

    Gilgan screws up the plan to get off the island.

    He calls T.C. so they can use the chopper.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Does Rust find an origami unicorn on his table?

  • ||

    Joel lies to Ellie

  • ||

    and metroid is a girl.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I knew it.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    +justin bailey

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Iron Chef. The ingredient is "Vegas High Roller Buffet". They had Waygu ribeye, Maine lobster, truffle, and quail egg. Even my kids stopped to watch...

  • ||

    I set up showtime anytime, I'm going to give Ray Donovan a shot.

    Mostly because Liev Schreiber.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    You should probably stop reading the thread here is you're worried about spoilers.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Not a single person who's won an Oscar for 'Gravity' has thanked Sir Isaac Newton.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Typical Hollywood.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    And Isaac was a bizarre crazy gay man who inhaled dangerous chemicals prodigiously, wore wigs and tights, and was quite a self-absorbed eccentric. You'd think he'd be a natural with the Hollywood crowd.

    Must be the Christianity thing.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Damn Mexicans, coming in our country and taking all our directing Oscars!

  • ||

    A German flight attendant of my acquaintance just had him on a flight last week and says he's a really nice dude.

    Still. JERBZ!

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Awkward moment when Blanchett thanks Woody Allen in her speech and the audience is unsure if they should clap or not.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Well I guess we finally got over that slavery thing.

  • ||

    It only took 12 years?

  • MJGreen||

    And the help of Brad Pitt and a Brit.

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    Brad Pitt kind of just showed up in that movie.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Apple stock down 6% so far this year. CEO Tim Cook's response? Tell investors who put profits ahead of global warming activism to sell the stock.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Fucking sock retard.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    At least I'm interesting.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    No you're not, you have been proven to be a lying asshole.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    So your name is really Francisco d'Anconia? What a coincidence.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    You are a pathetic piece of shit. You get your fucking jollies fucking with people. I'm astonished you have the fucking stones to show your face here after being proven to be a sleazy disingenuous cunt. I'd be too embarrassed to ever come back, but you apparently have no problem with being a lying cocksucker.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Tulpa (LOL-CP)

    CP = competent practitioner

  • Tejicano||

    As interesting as an accident in an outhouse - with pretty much the same content.

    Leave and do not return.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Lots of ordering around for a libertarian website.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Leave. Don't come back. You think this is going to blow over? It's not. You are as bad as Mary, and I will remind you whenever you forget.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Your opinion is noted. We'll talk about this tomorrow when you're prepared to be civilized.

  • ||

    Wait we are not allowed to sock puppet?

    I have not done it in a along while. But i did spoof joe back in the day. Though i made it pretty obvious it was not him.

    I am thinking there is more to the Tulpa hate then just his recent sock puppet.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Okay, we may discuss True Detective now.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    My only issue with tonight's show was I couldn't put faces to all the names. I should have rewatched the whole series before watching tonight.

    I'm going to rewatch all the episodes before the finale.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Yeah, I was confused too but I think I got the gist of it. Should be a helluva finale.

    Harrelson acted the shit out of this episode. Especially when he was watching that video tape at the beginning. But also how, in general, he's mellowed out with age.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    They've got a lot to tie up in one episode. It'll be interesting to see it come together.

  • ||

    I felt like the episode was good, but is still just spinning its wheels as a setup for the finale.

    I have a long standing dislike for Harrelson and this show is going a long way to ameliorating that.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Really? I've always liked him since 'Kingpin'. He's a very underrated actor even though I think he's been nominated twice for a Best Actor Oscar.

    And yeah, a penultimate episode usually has to go through the motions of setting things up, but the transition from the frame story to the present was very well handled, I thought.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Agree about Harrelson. I loved him in Cheers, but his movie roles have been shit. I think a lot of my dislike stemmed from not liking his characters, but he probably needed to take prick roles to break the Cheers typecast.

    Been really impressed with this role. And I'd say McConaughey has gotten past his Rom Com phase.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Counterpoint: White Men Can't Jump.
    If there's a better movie, I don't want to know about it.

  • ||

    his movie roles have been shit. I think a lot of my dislike stemmed from not liking his characters, but he probably needed to take prick roles to break the Cheers typecast.

    This. I basically started avoiding his movies because I so consistently disliked the characters he chose to play. When I mentioned I was watching TD my roommate was surprised purely because Harrelson is in it and she knows how I feel about him (and Nic Cage).

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Nic Cage is a sad fuck. I was at a certain hotel in the Bahamas that has a yacht mooring, and he sailed up the week that it was revealed that he was 10 mil in debt.
    He is like a Bieber or Lohan, but slightly more dignified.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Didn't know that. How can a man who makes as many movies as he has, be in debt?

    I like his stuff about 50% of the time.

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    NIC PIZZOLTTO: By episode 7, it’s clear if Cohle or Hart is guilty. I knew some of the audience would suspect Cohle strongly. I knew others would predict a more far-reaching, mind-bending game at work. I hope they are all surprised, but feel in hindsight that that the outcome was inevitable.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Gotta be up early. G'night kids.

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    "I had long ago decided that I should never open that book [the King In Yellow], and nothing on earth could have persuaded me to buy it. fearful lest curiosity might tempt me to open it, I had never even looked at it in bookstores."

  • Snark Plissken||

    Pizzolatto:

    “I’ve enjoyed reading people theorize about what’s going to happen because it’s a sign that you’re connecting,” Pizzolatto told me. “But I’m also sort of surprised by how far afield they’re getting. Like, why do you think we’re tricking you? It’s because you’ve been abused as an audience for more than 20 years. I cannot think of anything more insulting as an audience than to go through eight weeks, eight hours with these people, and then to be told it was a lie—that what you were seeing wasn’t really what was happening. The show’s not trying to outsmart you.”

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    watch episode 1 again.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Is that the one where Sean Bean dies?

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement