Bitcoin

Bitcoin Is a 'Fatherless' Technology. Great Attribute or Fatal Weakness?

Can Bitcoin grow and evolve without a founding figure?

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Wences Casares at the Consensus Conference in New York City, September 10, 2015.
Jim Epstein

One of Bitcoin's greatest attributes is that it's "fatherless," tech entrepreneur Wences Casares told EconTalk's Russ Roberts in a recent interview. Casares wasn't talking about the virtues of decentralization; plenty of decentralized technologies aren't fatherless. The father of Ethereum, for example, is Vitalik Buterin, who came up with the idea and serves as the Ethereum Foundation's chief scientist. Buterin doesn't control Ethereum because it's thoroughly decentralized, but he's the most influential figure in the community.

Bitcoin has no equivalent person, which is one reason it amassed such a large and devoted following over a short period. Here's how Casares put it to Russ Roberts:

[For example,] Wikileaks would have been more powerful, if it didn't have a father, because a lot of people associate Wikileaks with Julian Assange and some people may not like his hair and therefore they won't trust it…[I]t's like I'm trusting that person. It's a lot more powerful to have something that is fatherless.

Bitcoin is fatherless only because nobody knows the true identity of its father. After its pseudonymous creator, "Satoshi Nakamoto," faded from cyberspace in 2010, Bitcoin thrived thanks to a variety of influential figures with different visions of the technology.

Radical libertarians, drawn to Bitcoin because of its potential to undermine government power, were instrumental in keeping Bitcoin alive in its early years. The Argentinian-born Casares, who sees Bitcoin as a revolutionary tool for improving banking and finance, is perhaps Bitcoin's most influential evangelist, but he's explicitly not in this camp. "Undermining governments is not what attracts me to Bitcoin," he told Reason TV's Zach Weissmueller in a recent interview. The libertarians, cypherpunks, bankers, and Silicon Valley types can share claim to Bitcoin because there's no father figure to brand the technology.

Being fatherless is also a major liability.

Right around the time of Casares' appearance on EconTalk in July, a technical debate over Bitcoin's future was growing increasingly rancorous. If only a father figure could step in and help settle the matter.

The issue is that Bitcoin currently doesn't have enough built-in memory to keep growing for much longer. There are plenty of potential solutions, but Bitcoins core developers are bitterly divided over which is best. A worst-case scenario: Next year a new draft of the protocol will be adopted by some Bitcoin miners but rejected by others, causing a dispute over which is the real Bitcoin blockchain and whose coins hold value and whose don't. Since bitcoins are computer code with no intrinsic worth, their value is based entirely on consensus. If the community divides, it could bring Bitcoin crashing down.

If Satoshi Nakamoto were still around, he could get behind one of the many technical solutions to the scaling problem. Even if that didn't completely settle the matter and a split did occur, his imprimatur would help rally the community around one blockchain or another.

So is being 'fatherless' a great attribut or a fatal flaw?

For more on that question, watch Zach Weissmueller's recent interview with Casares:

NEXT: 'Je Suis Charlie' Now? Of Course

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  1. If Bitcoin divides, then the better one will win, or a competing currency will subsume bitcoin. It may not even be the one with the better technology–Betamax was better than VHS, but since VHS tapes outnumbered the Betamax tapes at Blockbuster, so VHS won.

    Given all the vendors that are already set up to accept bitcoin and bitcoin’s well-known brand name and acceptance among important people who wouldn’t know anything about any other digital currency otherwise, I’d bet on some flavor of bitcoin to win rather than a bitcoin competitor.

    But who knows?

    I’m suspicious of anything digital retaining its cryptography ability over time. Never mind inflation if the days your currency retains its crypto capabilities are numbered. That’s like holding an out of the money option. The closer it gets to its expiration date, the less valuable it is.

    I’ve always thought a private digital currency based on gold would be attractive. The startup costs would be high, but there are private banks in Switzerland and elsewhere that could handle that. And no one would care if you upgraded it cryptocapabilities. The value would ultimately derive from the gold.

    1. This is like being on the edge of the stage for another Spreadsheet War, Database War, Online Auction Site War!

    2. Betamax was better than VHS

      Err, not necessarily. This is one of the QWERTY keyboards prove market failure myths.

      Betamax lost to VHS mainly because you could record a longer piece of video on VHS. That’s not a small thing, and people decided they liked it better than the marginally higher resolution.

      since VHS tapes outnumbered the Betamax tapes at Blockbuster, so VHS won

      No, VHS outnumbered Betamax at Blockbuster because VHS won. Blockbuster didn’t pick the winner, it followed the herd.

      1. My parents picked Betamax and they were frugal cheap as hell. Wealthy but cheap. They wouldn’t buy another one in VHS!

        I remember when Blockbuster used to carry both for a while.

        There’d be like a green dot next to the titles that were in VHS and a red dot next to the ones that were in Beta.

        You’d have half the movies in Beta, and of the movies that were Beta, you’d have half the number in stock. I’m telling you, the lack of access to movies at Blockbuster is what killed Beta. The scarcity of Beta titles at Blockbuster may have been driven by the fewer number of people who bought Beta players rather than VHS, but it was the lack of titles at Blockbuster that strangled more sales.

        Meanwhile, Beta was better in important ways. The picture was clearer, the tapes didn’t wear out as quickly, and you could see the action better while you were fast forwarding or rewinding.

        1. “and you could see the action better while you were fast forwarding or rewinding.”

          That was especially important when you were recording football games so you could fast forward through the commercials.

          With most VHS machines, it was hit and miss on fast forward.

          1. /gets off Ken’s lawn

            1. Having been caught on the wrong side of some of these format wars can bring back some pretty strong emotions.

              It must have taken ’em five fucking years to bring Quake III Arena to Mac!

              http://www.barik.net/archive/2005/11/24/180336/

              What’s the point of having a freaking computer and a DSL connection in 2000 if you can’t play Q3A? Napster sure as hell didn’t make up for it.

          2. Depends on how many heads it has. Basic VHS had 2, I had a decent one with 4.

        2. Beta was better in important ways.

          But not in ways that were more important to more people, than the way(s) VHS was better than Beta.

          1. Marketing.

            They were marketing to people who had no idea what the differences were.

            The important advantage of VHS was that so many people bought it, that more movies were more available at Blockbuster to play it. Once they had that advantage, the other technical advantages of Beta didn’t matter.

            That’s the advantage I was talking about with Bitcoin.

            The 60 years old guys that run corporations and have come around to accepting Bitcoin are genuinely attached to that brand name, and those people have set up their software to handle that already. Bitcoin has a built in advantage that way–even against other currencies that are technically better in other ways.

            Someday, the ability to decrypt cryptocurrencies easily will probably make cryptocurrencies obsolete. Other electronic currencies that have intrinsic value (because they’re tied to gold or something) will probably supplant cryptocurrencies at that point–in part because their value won’t be derived just from wide acceptance and anonymity.

            Maybe these new currencies won’t be anonymous, but being anonymous has disadvantages, too. For instance, it can make your currency easier to steal.

            1. If I’m a bank in Switzerland or Singapore with a bunch of gold in a vault somewhere, I’m thinking about creating an electronic currency based on that. Yeah, the world piles into gold bars, gold coins, and gold stocks when things get scary anyway, but that value isn’t easily tradeable like a currency. An electronic currency based on gold could solve that problem.

              How’d you like to be able to put your money into both cash and gold at the same time?

              That’s what I’m trying to say.

            2. This account (which most people believe) of Betamax vs. VHS is incorrect. Liebowitz and Margolis (1995) debunks it extensively; the following summarizes the case:

              Beta, the story goes, was a better videotaping format but everyone bought VHS because it was more established. Consumers were concerned about compatibility, and so were reluctant to take a flyer on an unusual format, no matter what its advantages might be. The record shows, however, that Beta was actually first on the market. When Sony developed the Beta format, it chose to use a compact tape because it thought that portability of cassettes was important to consumers. For their VHS format, which used virtually identical technology (in part because the VHS and Beta creators worked closely together on previous generations of videorecorder technology), JVC-Matsushita chose a larger tape that offered longer playing time.

              Contrary to the popular myth, reviewers did not find Beta to have any advantages in terms of picture quality. Since the size of the cassette was primarily what differentiated the two machines, the major difference between the formats that seems to have mattered to consumers was the potential difference in playing time. VHS licensees capitalized on this difference, making it a highlight of their advertising campaign…

              1. Contrary to that report, being able to see what you were fast forwarding through was a distinct advantage.

                Meanwhile, whether organic produce is actually better for you is rather beside the point if consumers are buying it because they think it’s better for them.

                1. P.S. The reason VHS won out was because the selection of beta movies was limited at Blockbuster.

                  1. P.S. The reason VHS won out was because the selection of beta movies was limited at Blockbuster.

                    Why was the selection of Beta movies — a format which had a monopoly for two years — limited at Blockbuster, then?

                    1. ^ This. Blockbuster didn’t open its doors until the mid- to late- 80s. Beta vs. VHS was an early-80s thing. By ’85 it was a done deal – VHS had already won, but a lot of people still had Beta machines (like my family, who held out until you just *couldn’t* get Beta tapes anymore, which was somewhere around 1990.

                      Blockbuster never had the same selection for VHS as Beta because Beta was already on the way out by the time Blockbuster opened.

                    2. Much of it was marketing. Once they had an availability advantage for an important application, that advantage drove the competition out of the market (or drove the introduction of the DVD to the consumer market)

                    3. Much of it was marketing.

                      If by “marketing” you mean “marketed the fact that they had a feature consumers wanted” (long playing/recording times), sure.

                      RCA began selling VHS machines in the summer of 1977 (two years after Sony’s introduction of the Betamax), dubbing its machine “SelectaVision.” The advertising copy was simple: “Four hours. $1000. SelectaVision.” Zenith responded by lowering the price of its Beta machine to $996. But within months, VHS was outselling Beta in the United States. A Zenith [Sony’s Beta partner] marketing executive is quoted as saying: “The longer playing time turned out to be very important, and RCA’s product was better styled.”

                  2. You mean the Wherehouse. Blockbuster came later.

      2. “Betamax lost to VHS mainly because you could record a longer piece of video on VHS. That’s not a small thing, and people decided they liked it better than the marginally higher resolution.”

        ^ This. Soap operas and sitcoms. By the time there was any such thing as video rental stores, Beta was already doomed.

        1. Nobody has mentioned porn: Sony would not allow porn on Beta, so it was all on VHS. That was a big driver of VHS.

      3. This is one of the QWERTY keyboards prove market failure myths.

        I’m trying to understand this statement by itself.

        1. Not my best sentence. MY KINGDOM FOR AN EDIT BUTTON.

          Try this:

          This is one of those “market failure” myths, like the one about how QWERTY keyboards are super inferior to other designs, and thus the failure of the keyboard market to fragment and accommodate other designs proves market failure.

          1. Ah… ’cause the conspiracy around the dvorak keyboard being suppressed are largely marketing, by dvorak.

        2. There are other, more efficient keyboard layouts that Qwerty.

          We buy Qwerty because everyone teaches Qwerty.

          They teach Qwerty because everyone buys Qwerty.

          The advantage of having a bigger market for making Qwerty keyboards is bigger than the technical advantage of being able to type faster with fewer errors with another improved keyboard layout.

          1. My reading of the history of the dvorak (to only name one) was that it was in fact inferior to the QWERTY. That most of the data ‘proving’ the dvorak’s efficiency was produced by Dvorak.

            1. FWIW, Reason has an article on QWERTY and Dvorak by the authors of the VHS and Betamax work I cited above.

              Key point regarding the famous “Navy study” that Dvorak advocates cite:

              We discovered that the Navy’s top expert in the analysis of time and motion studies during World War II was none other than…drum roll please…Lieut. Com. August Dvorak. Earle Strong, a professor at Pennsylvania State University and a one-time chairman of the Office Machine Section of the American Standards Association, reports that the 1944 Navy experiment was conducted by Dvorak himself. Strong was heavily involved with these issues. He was the author of a key test of the typewriter keyboard commissioned by the General Services Administration.

              1. Whether any particular layout is better than qwerty and whether ther are better layouts in terms of speed and accuracy are two different questions.

                The important observation should be that using a lesser technology isn’t indicative of a market failure when the market is taking things like the availability of movies at blockbuster into account or the time and frustration it takes to learn a new keyboard.

                The markets don’t just take objective criteria into consideration. They also consider qualitative criteria–and that makes the choices of markets superior to the objective choices of technocrats. Government bureaucrats are incapable of making qualitative choices for individuals with any accuracy, and that is why they are inferior to markets.

                1. WHY DO YOU HATE QWERTY, KEN! QWERTY FTW!!!111!

                  1. So bigoted, really.

                    #LGBTQWERTY NTTAWWT

          2. Do they even teach typing any more?

            1. No, they just rub the keyboards up against the kids’ heads, and somehow that makes them all proficient with qwerty.

            2. I think these days, everyone types with their thumbs.

          3. Clearly, we use QWERTY because that’s the kind of keyboards they used at Blockbuster.

  2. Studies show that currencies that grow up without fathers have a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, suicide, poor educational performance, teen pregnancy, and criminality.

    1. A federal awareness program is needed for sure. Hillary will do it. Hillary cares.

  3. Anyone know why Reasonable appears to be broken?

    1. (see below for an explanation)

    2. It’s because reason.com is forcing https and Reasonable doesn’t support it.

      1. Bummer.

    3. Somebody forgot to pay the cable bill.

  4. Ahoy, there, ye bilge rats and landlubbers, guess what day it be?

    1. Is it talk like Sean Connery day?!

    2. YARR WE ALREADY STARTED A BIT EARLY YE SCURVY DOG

      1. I missed the pirate truth-er troll and did not understand its significance, but I am so glad you linked that.

        1. Arr, an eyepatch don’t make ye a pirate, otherwise I could put on a hairpiece and call meself Donald Trump.

          What kind of pirate be he with his Matrix references? Is that the scurvy dog’s idea of entertainment? Aye, give me a wench and a bottle of rum over Keanu Reeves and his metaphysics any day!

          If I were to take in a motion picture, ‘twould be a classic piece of cinema like My Dinner With Andre…harrr, I be jestin’, I mean Treasure Island or Smokey and the Bandit.

  5. Keep Austin Fascist

    Austin Police Arrests Man For Eating A Hamburger in His Own Parked Car

  6. [For example,] Wikileaks would have been more powerful, if it didn’t have a father, because a lot of people associate Wikileaks with Julian Assange and some people may not like his hair and therefore they won’t trust it?

    I think this is an interesting observation.

    Especially about Wikileaks. It took a tremendous amount of effort to see past the ‘mad scientist’ persona of Julian Assange and judge Wikileaks on its merits and content.

    But regardless of whether or not YOU liked or disliked Julian Assange, all it took was SOMEONE to not like him, and that someone only needed to be in power. The next thing you know, the whole thing is being distracted by dodgy rape claims.

  7. If only a father figure could step in and help settle the matter.

    Aren’t the Winklehiemervlossenschueller boys attempting to be just that father?

  8. Well, this is just depressing. Hopefully those who did like it liked it enough to change their vote to him. File this under “Republicans are Morons: Part 2102948390.”

    “While 33 percent of those polled felt that former HP CEO Carly Fiorina won the debate, only 2 percent felt that Paul won. Meanwhile, 21 percent said front-runner Donald Trump won the night.

    When asked who lost the debate, respondents overwhelmingly assigned Paul as the losing candidate with 32 percent believing he lost the night. With 17 percent, only Trump came relatively close when asked who lost.

    The worst numbers for Paul were post-debate favorability ratings. After the debate, 58 percent of those polled had a less favorable opinion of Paul. Only 15 percent had a more favorable opinion. Trump and Paul were the only two candidates to have voters view them more negatively than positively or unchanged after the debate. However, only 36 percent of those polled viewed Trump less favorable, while 33 percent viewed him more favorably.”

    http://truthinmedia.com/poll-r…..st-debate/

    1. only 2 percent felt that Paul won

      Did Paul even get 2 percent of the time to speak…?

    2. Ha Ha.

      So I ask again.

      Is Paul’s act or political Seppuku a harbinger of the libertarian moment?

      1. i think it remains an open question whether Paul’s campaign is being rejected on his “Policy” differentiation… or his “personality”

        So far the early stages of the GOP campaigns have been dominated by the latter. He most of all seems to be suffering (as noted) by the *lack of coverage*, which is a self-fulfilling prophesy – the less attention he’s given, the less attention people think he deserves.

        My instincts are anti-conspiratorial, in general = but i think in his case, its been a very conscious effort by the mainstream GOP to isolate and marginalize rand. He’s the only proper “Tea Party” candidate (in terms of the real, 2010-style Tea Party, and not its subsequent Glenn Beckified persona); everyone else (including Trump) is one version of an establishmentarian or another.

        That said, i wouldn’t write him off. I continue to think people seriously over-weight these mass-market “opinion polls”, when the real people who matter are going to be a small slice of ~20% of the voters in NH and IA. If/When Trump implodes and there’s a shakeup in the GOP ranks, I think Rand still has plenty of opportunity to frame himself as the actual ‘anti-establishment’ candidate.

        1. i think it remains an open question whether Paul’s campaign is being rejected on his “Policy” differentiation… or his “personality”

          The difference doesn’t actually matter.

          One of the delusions of libertarians is that masses will embrace their sacred ideology if only they are accurately exposed to it. Won’t Ever Happen.

          Rand made a fundamental error early on in backing McConnell’s reelection instead of working to defeat him in the primary. It was certainly the safer course, as Rand would have been on McConnell’s shit list if the latter strategy failed, as it likely would have.

          The problem is that his doing so tied him to the establishment in the minds of many people, when the thrust of popular sentiment has been ever increasingly anti-establishment. Big mistake.

          Then he doubled down by attacking the perceived ultimate anti-establishment candidate of Trump. Doing so has resulted in the collapse of support of several previous candidates, i’d say because it is perceived as a lame attempt to suck up to the establishment (not saying that is true, but that is how it is perceived). Which means that it is a really dumb strategy for lower tier candidate take.

          He should have not backed McConnell to retain his outsider cred. And then not attacked Trump, but attempted to co-opt his anti-establishment message.

          1. A smarter Trump could totally destroy Rand by publicly tying him to the hated McConnell, and he’s lucky that Trump didn’t got do that path, because he can retain some credibility in the Senate, and do some good there, whereas the aforementioned tactic would have ended his political career.

          2. “One of the delusions of libertarians is that masses will embrace their sacred ideology “

            I’ve never had this problem myself. I don’t have any illusions about the average level of popular interest in any coherent political philosophy.

            On the other hand, i DO think when it comes to a handful of specific policies, that the majority of people would support more-libertarian options when presented with them.

            Ending the drug war is one that has increasing traction. school choice is another. reduced american involvement in overseas conflicts is another.

            1. “Ending the drug war is one that has increasing traction. school choice is another. reduced american involvement in overseas conflicts is another.”

              Just an FYI two of those three Trump has tentatively supports. I have no idea how he feels about school choice.

              But nah libertarian republicans would never support him right?

            2. Ending the drug war is one that has increasing traction. school choice is another. reduced american involvement in overseas conflicts is another.

              I agree, but those will all be enacted by either team red or team blue, without people buying into the entirety of libertarian philosophy.

              Same sex marriage is an example of this happening. Libertarians supported it forty years ago – and everyone thought that they were nutty for doing so. It was enacted by Team blue – mostly through the courts, with some nasty anti-libertarian side effects.

              1. ” without people buying into the entirety of libertarian philosophy.’

                If you’ve spent any time around libertarians you will note that there is perpetual debate even within those groups about what exactly the “Entirety” is, and that no one actually ever seems to buy into all of it.

                (*you did say, “their sacred ideology” – which i guess means you don’t consider yourself libertarian… and are just an outside-expert?)

                You went from saying the public will never come around to libertarian ideas…. and when examples were provided, said, “Well those are just some libertarian ideas that other people (not libertarians) are proposing”

                I fail to see the important distinction you’re trying to make.

                The fact is that on a number of issues, the public is moving in a more-libertarian direction… at least as a reaction to over-extension of the state. Who proposed these policies is meaningless.

                1. The distinction is that some people around here think that ideological evangelism is the path to electoral victory. And that if Paul stays pure, or whatever, he’ll be more successful.

                  Instead, personal popularity is the path to electoral victory and acting like a crotchety preacher – which is how Rand has come across in the debates – is a losing strategy, even if people are likely to agree with many or your positions.

      2. For good or for ill Trump is the republican libertarian on the ticket.

        What is blinding everyone here (in reason staff and in the comments) is that conservotarains are not cosmotarains. They put more emphasis on being anti-establisment, weather the MSM establishment or the blue blood wing of the republicans, then cosmotarians do.

        To be honest I can sympathize with them. They, unlike cosmos (who are prepared to lose) have had a rough time. The IRS shut them down. The press has been hammering them as racists sexists for 7 years. Boner keeps being eternally squishy, Romney was pushed down their throats and then lost, and on and on and on. And this is despite the fact that they are the reason why republicans hold the house and the senate and the majority of state houses and senates and governorships.

        So yeah Trump is the libertarian moment. It is just a conservotarain moment and not a cosmotarain moment.

        1. “Trump is the republican libertarian on the ticket’

          uh huh. And GamerGate is a big winner too. You’re just an overflowing basket of brilliance.

          1. At first I thought “wow calling Gilmore an SJW really really got under his skin”

            Now I am thinking you are really really invested in this whole “I must frame Trump as a racist or the very fabric of civilization will shred” thing

            You aren’t a sock puppet of Suderman or Weigel are you?

            Anyway you obviously think you are the cat’s meow. So tell me oh oracle of the 2016 election where did all the libertarian republicans go? Who in this poll or any poll are they supporting?

            If it isn’t Trump they must have simply voted republicans into senates and houses across the county from 2010 to 2014 then vanished into the aether.

            Oh yeah and gamergate did win:

            http://www.breitbart.com/big-j…..in-review/

            1. ” “I must frame Trump as a racist or the very fabric of civilization will shred” ‘

              Clearly that’s why i was talking about Rand Paul, and haven’t said a fucking word about Trump.

              You’ve somehow got it in your head that “people making fun of you” are making fun of you because they Really Hate Trump.

              No, there’s a good deal of ‘making fun of you’ that has nothing to do with Trump at all.

              What is being mocked is your monomaniacal, delusional belief that you’re part of some coherent Anti-Establishment Movement….

              ….and that you think a collection of offhand remarks by people like Suderman or Walker constitute a coordinated attack on your mythical Anti-Establishment movement…

              ….which you moan perpetually about. Nonstop. Every. Single. Day.

              But, that aside…

              for the sake of lulz = regarding your above comment… please to name any single policy Donald Trump endorses which you think makes him the “republican libertarian”… as opposed to Paul. Show me why Trump should actually be appealing to libertarians, as opposed to just throwing out a bunch of “COSMO/CUCK” buzzwords.

              1. He’s come out strongly in favor of 2nd amendment rights, including reciprocal carry. Which is a stronger position that any other mainstream candidate has taken on the issue this cycle.

                And cosmotarians poo-poo that support as being either disingenuous or negated by other positions that he’s taken.

              2. “What is being mocked is your monomaniacal, delusional belief that you’re part of some coherent Anti-Establishment Movement….

                ….and that you think a collection of offhand remarks by people like Suderman or Walker constitute a coordinated attack on your mythical Anti-Establishment movement…

                ….which you moan perpetually about. Nonstop. Every. Single. Day.”

                BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

                Yeah you have no place in calling me crazy buddy.

        2. I kind of agree.
          It’s telling that the Cosmotarians opposition to Trump meshes perfectly with the opposition from the establishment of team red and team blue. Almost like their all in it together.

          Which is hardly surprising as he can shuffle the political deck in a way that we haven’t seen in my lifetime. The closest analogy would be Reagan democrats but it’s much larger with Trump than it was with democrats. Large sections of the dem base will vote for Trump and large swaths of the republican establishment would vote for any democrat over him.

          It seams to me that most of the non establishment opposition to Trump is cultural. Certain sub-cultures are just repelled by his style, irrespective of his position on issues.

          1. What it reminds me of was the rxn from many movement-establishment libertarians to Howard A. Stern’s run for governor of NY. I was the one principally responsible for courting Stern’s support for libertarians, starting in 1984. Nobody complained when I got Stern to endorse W. Gary Johnson, the LP nominee, for governor in 1990, because it’s OK for someone to get behind an “established” (boring) LPer. But you’d think all Hell had broken loose when Stern himself got the nomination in 1994.

            I don’t think Trump’s as libertarian as Stern, but ca. 1990 there was a lot of interest in Trump in LPNY, and indeed Stern said of Trump that if he ran the postal service, mailing a letter would cost half as much, & you could gamble w the stamps. But that was before Trump was so visibly on the evil side of an eminent domain case in Atlantic City.

        3. So yeah Trump is the libertarian moment. It is just a conservotarain moment and not a cosmotarain moment.

          Which libertarian policies does Trump endorse exactly? Last I checked, even the stuff he used to get right (war on drugs), he’s now disavowed.

          Trump looks more like a run-of-the-mill establishment republican, except he gets into fights with the median and establishment, is further left on economic policy, and is more bombastic about deportation.

          1. “except he gets into fights with the median and establishment”

            Yup.

            How is this confusing?

            I guess one could claim this is irrational and lazy on his supporters part….but then one reads any article about him in MSM or even here at Reason and all they hear is “Racist Sexist Monster!!!! Kill it with Fire AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!” and see that the other side is not acting very rational either.

            If you have been the target of that same irrational screaming mob (just like the conserotarians have) choosing the candidate that is making that mob freak out the most is a rational choice.

    3. I can only suspect that it’s because Paul started emphasizing his more libertarian positions, which is bound to make him less popular with Republicans. I’ve always felt that if he wanted to run as a libertarian, he should run as a Libertarian.

      When he was trying to run as a Republican he was alienating his (libertarian) base; now that he seems to be trying to run as a libertarian, he is alienating Republican primary voters, and comes off as wishy-washy to boot.

      If you’re trying to run on “outside the mainstream” opinions, you have to be committed to them. This is why Bernie is succeeding and Rand is failing even though Bernie’s platform is considerably more idiotic. Bernie, like Ron Paul, comes off as more committed to his beliefs than he is to becoming president.

      Rand does not – he comes off as willing to compromise his beliefs in order to obtain the office. This makes both libertarians and Republicans suspicious of him, and the field is too wide open right now to pay attention to someone like that.

      1. He’s made a number of unforced tactical errors.

        An anti-establishment candidate like Rand has to either run a perfect campaign or be independently wealthy (as in a billionaire) to succeed today.

        1. Hard to be Senator of 5 years (especially these past 5 years) and be an anti-establishment presidential candidate.

          1. He could have done that by working hard to defeat the sitting majority leader of his own party and state. Win or lose that fight he’d be a political outsider.

            1. yeah I wrote that reply before I saw your comments above about Mitch and Rand’s support of him.

    4. “While 33 percent of those polled felt that former HP CEO Carly Fiorina won the debate, only 2 percent felt that Paul won. Meanwhile, 21 percent said front-runner Donald Trump won the night.”

      33+21 = 54

      So at least 54% favoured the non-professional non-establishment candidates in the debate….

      My browser won’t display the polls…anyone know how well the neurosurgeon did?

  9. Can a leaderless mass win not despite its lack of leader but because of it?

    Yes

    #GamerGate

    1. Can Corning somehow manage to connect any topic, no matter how tangential, to Gamer Gate?

      Yes

      #NoOneCares

  10. OT from TP: Walker embraces The Libertarian Moment

    http://thinkprogress.org/polit…..er-police/

    “Every leader we have ? at the local level, the state level, all the way up to the president of the United States, for that matter anyone in the clergy and business and anywhere else ? needs to step up and say that is wrong,” he said. “The men and women who wear the badge are doing the right thing, every day. All the time. they protect us. We need to have their back. As president, I will have their back every single day.”

    1. The men and women who wear the badge are doing the right thing, every day. All the time.

      Welp, the last glimmerings I had for Walker just guttered out. Copsucking authoritarian ahole.

      1. I agree. He’s the biggest disappointment for me.

        Before this all started, I thought that he’d be the best candidate and president based on his record in Wisconsin.

  11. More OT from TP!: They’re not just after woodchippers

    http://thinkprogress.org/justi…..orsements/

    FBI agents with the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested 22-year-old Ali Saleh Thursday for “knowingly and willfully” providing resources and material support to the Islamic State for over a year, according to a complaint filed with the United States District Court Eastern District of New York.

    1. It would be interesting to know when he got his passport and why it wasn’t revoked.

  12. I agree. He’s the biggest disappointment for me too.

  13. This is awesome interview.. I really love the bitcoins and I hope to have the opportunity to do daily business with coins only.. http://binaryreserve.org/

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