Open Thread

Open Thread 2019 (#9)

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82 thoughts on “Open Thread 2019 (#9)

  1. Throughout history, women have been viewed as property and have been routinely sexually objectified by the male population. With the advent of social media, women have taken to Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, and so on and so forth to post nude, or near-nude, photos of themselves under the guise of female empowerment. People praise these women, claiming that it is their choice, and to speak negatively of their choice causes one to be labeled as “non-sex positive”. However, in a world of rape culture, where men still feel entitled to the female body, how is serving up low angle, bare butt photos on social media empowering women? Women who engage in these acts are doing nothing more than to continue the narrative that women are only good for one thing; sex. That our existence is only justified through the male gaze. Women of the world, if you really want to empower other women, put your clothes back on and pursue more worth while avenues.

    1. Don’t like the extremes that article is picturing. Women always knew about the power a firm, thin and young body has on men. Men are not and never have been attracted to a intelligent women – if she had not been attractive in the first place. So what they’re doing on social media is the same what they’ve always done: marketing.

      I have an affaire, she sends me once in a while nudes. Her intention is to get my attention to invite her. If I by the way ask for pictures she simply says “no I’m not fap material”.
      It’s different logic.

    2. @Daniel

      Of course women know about the power a firm, thin and young body has on men, but they tend to deny it. They take nude pictures of themselves and put them on Social Media and then say that it’s all about inner values. It’s totally fucked up logic. O_o

  2. I few days back I came across an article: How Many Bones Would You Break to Get Laid?
    Source:
    https://www.thecut.com/2019/05/incel-plastic-surgery.html

    Basically, it describes men who are members of an online community called “Incels” , short for ‘involuntary celibate’, who seek to improve their success with women through plastic surgery. Many of these incels were former pua followers who became disillusioned with the pua industry bullshit. My problem with the article is its inferences that these incels who opt for cosmetic surgery must all be mentally ill or complete losers on some level. Its as if its inconceivable to the author that women can be that judgmental about a man’s looks. I also thought the title was derogatory. I imagine if there were an article titled “How much would you spend on your tits to get laid” some women would complain.

    1. I actually posted this same article a few weeks ago.
      I don’t agree with your assertions, “all must be mentally ill” etc.
      That wasn’t implied or stated directly – and I was struck by the fact that a lot of these guys had perfectly decent looks (pre-surgery).
      As far as the title, the point is to get clicks and readers and given that these guys are card-carying members of an “Incel” group, I don’t find the title to be derogatory.
      I’d argue that some of these views expressed in the article (by the author) are similar to Aaron’s in Minimal Game – improve your looks and improve yourself overall and you’ll improve your attractiveness. That is one of my big complaints about the PUA industry. Rather than “learning daygame” or “learning pick up” guys would be far better off getting socially engaged, studying foreign languages, getting into a sport or working out, and improving their financial status. Instead, you’ve got self-proclaimed Incels burning up their braincells and time (their most precious resource) online and whining (and apparently, little else).

    2. @X.
      Yeah I see your point. It is rather counterproductive to spend time on a forum like that. The internet itself is such a huge time suck.

  3. This time I call for help. So here’s the story:

    Due to pure laziness and hating how I look in the mirror, I (it was years ago, I’m incel for 5 years now!) used my old photos, from the time when I was 19 yo on dating websites. It always worked fine, for 5 years.

    Even 5 years later, amount of chicks that said on dates “omg you look way worse than on photos, gtfo” were less than 5%. So as long as we talked for a month (yea I hate to meet quickly) , there was 95% chance this relationship will progress and they did.

    Then I felt ashamed to use such old photos, and removed them. Here’s what I did – to make sure I am not shooting myself in the foot, I used photos taken on days of successful dates – so it’s like a proof on that day I still looked “fuckable”. Immediately I started to have no success on dating apps. It’s like -90% of “hits”. WHY? “I am literaly the guy in the pic” What does it mean?

    1. Yah dude, doesn’t matter really. As an experiment I installed tinder couple of weeks back… and I put pics of me at my looks prime when I was 29 and had almost fitness cover model body, defined jawline (from low bodyfat)…

      I get no matches… zero… actually zero matches. Btw, at the time those pics were taken I got tons of porn-like sex based on looks. But those pics get me nothing on tinder.

      Now I do only swipe on sixes and above (even though i never even made a move on anything less than a seven in the real world)… i swipe yes even on sixes just to see if i’ll get matches… I don’t. I haven’t swiped on a five yet, so maybe that’s when the matches will start happening ROFLMAO.

      So AGAIN… on tinder, using my best pics from my prime I get zero matches from sixes in all all age ranges… 20 somethings, almost 30, and even the 30 somethings… But in real life I bang 19-22 year olds that I’d say are eights (using status)… and when the pics are taken I banged eights based on those looks (in the pics), but they produce zero matches on tinder…

      tl;dr = tinder isn’t real life.

    2. and when the pics are taken I banged eights based on those looks (in the pics), but they produce zero matches on tinder…

      Edit/Proofread: At the time those pics were taken, I had a bunch of porn-like sex where chicks were hitting on me in real life based on my looks. But when I put these pics on tinder (of the same me, who got laid a bunch using that look in real life), it produces zero matches on tinder.

    3. I think tinder has changed considerably, probably all those dating apps, to when they first popped up.

      I am not really bothered as to why am not getting as many hits than before. It is just a waste of time.

      I do experience what AlekNovy has, get little to nothing on apps, but more in real life, and this with girls far younger than me.

      Dont let an app determine your self worth or attractiveness. Go out and notice how girls react to you, if you want to know if girls are into you ( ala sleazy’s books)

      cani

    4. TINDER changed i mean i went from new accout to 30 matches in the first week, second time i made a new account i went 5 matches first week, third time i got zero. i think tinder is dead and it is not only me.
      from what i gathered there are too many paying users as a result women dont even see your profile.

  4. What I’ve just founded on Magnus Carlsen’s instagram channel. This is one of the most pitiful commercial I’ve ever seen.

    Please take a look, the video is up there and it’s called ‘MoveForEquality’
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BvRsZTLIJ1N/

    This guy has an extremely high IQ and I can’t even imagine how he would go for such stupid thing. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t do much besides playing chess.

  5. I would like to start to write more.
    How can I improve my writing skills?
    The basic rule says when we want to be better at X skill, then do more of X skill. But it’s not completely true, we should do more of X skill in the “proper way”, in another case we will develop bad habits.
    So maybe the best way would be to hire an tutor?

    1. You are right, you need to do perfect practice to improve, otherwise you ingrain bad habits.

      You need to have someone with the required skill to critique and give good feedback to help you improve.

      Maybe join a writing club, or hire someone to look over your writings.

      Cani

    2. No AlekNovy, I was a teacher though. So I know about learning and practice etc

      But for you I can be anything you want

      Cani

    3. Im pretty sure everyone knows about learning and practice.

      I am a professional writer myself and ghostwrite for a living. I managed a team of 30 writers at the peak of my writing business. I trained a total of about 100 writers.

      And I struggled how to answer this question in a blog comment because it’s really not an easy answer.

      It’s not about practice, as I could take a horrible writer and get them to a great level in 5-6 articles. How good? We charged $160 per article of this quality.

      You could do 5000 hours of writing but if no-one tells you the dozen or so pointers I tell people, you’re not gonna improve.

      Writing is not like basketball or tennis, it’s different. It’s more about knowing which things make a difference, rather than practicing them.

    4. AlekNovy

      “You could do 5000 hours of writing but if no-one tells you the dozen or so pointers I tell people, you’re not gonna improve.”

      This is what I said, you need someone of expertise, to examine your work and give feedback.

      “It’s more about knowing which things make a difference, rather than practicing them.”

      I agree with more knowledge in a specific field, will help you a lot in becoming better in thaat field. But to know this, you need to learn and remember, using good books and teachers.

      I am not disagreeing with you, how can i, you are my hero.

      Cani

    5. My point is more like this:

      In tennis, a coach can come and tell you a specific technique to use for your backhand, and then you need to spend 3000 hours practicing it before you’re using it on the court.

      Writing is more like… I come in and tell you “Make sure that whenever you mention something, and more than 2 sentences pass, mention it again”. You can apply it right away, in your next article. You won’t need 5000 hours of practice.

      The only thing practice does in writing is perhaps you don’t have to do these things in the proofreading stage. They become automatic and you do them in the first writing pass… But I don’t know any good writer who doesn’t do second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh pass at their own work anyway, so… It doesn’t matter. Practice is irrelevant to writing.

    6. Alek, what are your thoughts on Aaron’s writing style? Just the style, not the content. And what makes good writing when it comes to social commentary?

      I can’t believe that when I was in university I once thought academia-style writing was the standard to strive for. I had to trash so many of the books and journal articles I hoarded, as I just didn’t have the patience to put up with the long-windedness anymore.

    7. Funny you should say that. It’s like the very first thing I tell a writer… Trash everything you learned in academic writing. It’s the exact opposite of the kind of writing that makes us money.

      If you want a reader’s eyes to glaze over and not absorb any of the content, use academic writing. It’s almost as if it was invented to mistreat the reader.

    8. AlekNovy, is it possible to buy writing lessons from you?

      If so, then how can I contact you?

    9. Michał

      If I had the time I’d do it completely free. But as it stands now I can’t.

      I’m currently starting a new business (offline business, physical space, physical employees etc), and i’m at that “sleep 4 hours a day” stage.

      I hated that writing business with a passion. I hated myself for being stuck in it as my source of living. I gradually “let go” of my clients one by one, and then my writers as I transitioned out of it. I have mini traumas from doing it, i just want to get away from it psychologically.

    10. @Geert

      I’m not qualified to give an opionion on this. In every venture where I disliked the product, I had someone else do the sales.

      I’m doing sales all day atm myself (big reason for the 4 hours a day sleep thing), but it’s a product/service I truly care about, and genuinely believe is “the best in the world”.

      A salesman is someone who could sell ice to an eskimo. I’m good at selling discounted water to dehydrated people.

    11. @Geert: Presentation!

      Presentation is the most important factor in sales. The product information is not even that important {only for about 7%}. Most people buy stuff because they feel good about it. So it’s all about emotional manipulation.

    12. @Alek and others,

      It’s funny how often I come across people who built a profitable business they hate. Or they built a lucrative career they hate.

      Personally, I have the opposite problem. Because I don’t wanna get stuck in a bad, but lucrative situation, I am very hesitant to commit myself to starting a business and I’m hesitant to seek promotions at work (at least to management roles). As a consequence I may be taking too little risk. As a software engineer, I do all right though.

  6. https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/feminism/2019/06/i-d-propose-radical-alternative-punish-misogynistic-men-marriage-strike

    Feminist suggests women “punish” misogynistic men by refusing to get married. Funny, last time I checked it’s usually women that want to get married more than their partners. Maybe I should save this article to show to any future girlfriends who start pressuring me for commitment; “Babe, I support women too much to inflict marriage on one of them.”

  7. Aaron, you talked in one of your last posts about “your wife“ and i just saw “Sleazy‘s Girl“ is now “Sleazy‘s Wife“.
    ->Wanna make an article on that?

    1. “What do you want to know?“

      What significance has marriage for you? Do you think it’s still Contemporary? How do you think a marriage that lasts should be set up?

    2. I don’t think I’ll have the time for a lengthy article, so I’ll keep it brief:
      1) Marriage is for the sake of having children, at least if your goal is to have them do well in life.
      2) It has always been an artificial social construct.
      3) Marry in your thirties at the earliest, pick a much younger woman with a negligible partner count, ideally 0, and marry in a jurisdiction that protects the husband’s rights. On that metric, Germany is out, by the way, as it has ludicrous divorce laws.

    3. Aaron is right about everything except for the last point. That is total bs. You can look up statistics and you will see that divorce is more common with a greater age gap. It’s better to marry someone close to your age.

    4. Well, then you end up with a woman in her mid-30s, which would make for a pretty poor choice if you want to have kids. Thus, following your line of reasoning, you shouldn’t get married at all.

    5. You ate meat, I ate cheese and on average we both ate a cheeseburger. That’s statistics out of context.

      Maybe age gap is indeed significant risk factor for divorce, at least that’s what folk wisdom says but it is also possible that in large age gap population there are many people who already had a failed marriage and perhaps that is a confounding variable which increases divorce risk rather than age gap per se.

    6. What skepdick says. Most people who marry at 50 (for example) are on their marriage.

      So if a 50 year old marries a 25 year old, did the marriage fail because he married a 25 year old, is it because it’s his third-marriage?

      The leading predictor of divorce is the marriage serial number (marriage 5 is far more likely to end in divorce than marriage 3… etc).

    1. I wouldn’t trust anything coming from Anthony Johnson…..the guy literally married a prostitute and is currently going on a BPD tirade against Rollo while Rollo hasn’t said anything. There are some links on twitter that show that crew basically fucked Rollo over and used him to advance themselves and when they no longer needed him they cooked up a story to ex communicate him. Their security guy Ivan Throne doxed the event in question via Instagram along with Ed Latimore and George Bruno.

      Furthermore, the crew has a literal cuckold named Jack Murphy who lets other guys fuck his girlfriend and he wrote an article about it. Its accessible online. Hunter Drew another one of the crew had his wife cheat on him and he took her back.
      Elliot Hulse came out as a cross dresser and Mike Cernovich admitted to fucking trannies. These guys both admitted to this shit and have articles online about it.

      Be careful of who you follow in the so-called “manosphere”

  8. Here is a deformed looking 54 year old former child star standing at 4′ 10” with his 26 year old gold digging adult entertainment girl friend.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/extra.ie/2019/06/19/entertainment/celebrity/holly-willoughby-mason-reese-sarah-russi/amp

    It’s sad because he honestly believes they’re in love with each other. He boasts about having a much higher sex drive than she does in the article, but we all know she’s simultaenously boosting his ego and putting an end to the sex act as quickly as possible.

    1. I did a little more digging and found that the gold digger is an Instagram thot and cam girl.

  9. alek novy someone needs to release a compilation of alek novy posts, as a new product.
    “the hero writings”, but seriously at this point alek put so much content it is ridiculous, some sort of a compilation of all posts will be great.
    thoughts alek novy?

    1. My todo list has about 6789 tasks. One of them is rummaging through the blog comments on this and the old sleazy blog, editing the comments and compiling them into a ordered fashion into a PDF or something. At the rate my todo-list is growing instead of shrinking, I’d say it would be 2046 at the earliest.

    2. Yeah I noticed it too. Hell I prefer Alek opinions and writing to Aaron’s. Ine if the reasons would be a mistrust for people who are successful on every front, or so they say

  10. Anyone here would recommend some blogs/websites/books about personal finance?

    I feel I don’t know enough about this topic and would like to learned it on my own.

    Lately I’ve talked with a colleague of mine and he said it’s good time to invest in cryptocurrencies. He is 99% sure that not only he won’t lose any money, but most certainly make some good profit – up to 100% of what he invests. As always I am not very enthusiastic about people’s opinion and took it with a grain of salt.

    1. I’d second the advice to stay away from cryptos. Cryptos are a speculative bubble. Cryptos have no fundamental value. People are buying them because they’re going up in price, and they’re going up in price because people are buying them.

      It’s impossible to predict when this bubble will burst. There is a group of “investors” who are completely clueless and have been seduced by the promise of getting rich quick with no effort. Then there is a group of people who understand that it’s a bubble, but believe themselves to be able to get out at the top. Obviously the vast majority will not get out at the top, only the lucky few will. Many will lose everything refusing to sell all the way down. Such is psychology of most investors.

      There are also various “Wolves of Wall Street”, people with significant capital. These folks do the pump and dump operations where they run up the price of an asset to get a speculative mania going (when people see something going up in price rapidly they flock to that asset) and then dump their positions on the way up. Even these folks have been known to get burnt.

      Isaac Newton famously lost his entire lives saving chasing a stock bubble (The South Sea Bubble). His famous quote is: “I can calculate the movement of stars, but not the madness of men.”

      Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is a classic book if you’re interested in the subject of bubbles. Learn from history before you go investing your hard earned money.

      Cryptos = Casino.

    2. “Cryptos = Casino”

      I think what you are failing to grasp is that a commodity with a fixed supply, capable acting as a medium of exchange without a central validation unit is very attractive given the alternative of a government issued debt note with a flexible supply and dependent on a central-authority for transactions, running on a 40+ year old payment infrastructure.

      Calling cryptos a bubble is as fair as calling the internet a bubble. You are right, it’s a bubble. You are wrong if you think that all 2500+ crpytos will go to shit, just like you would’ve been wrong calling for all internet stocks to go to shit in 2001 just because of the dot-com-bubble.

    3. I don’t know anything about cryptos. (it’s the equivalent of syberian village to me). But what neutral explained makes sense, just from the perspective that I can tell apart arguments that are constructed logically, from those who aren’t. The comments above appear to be coming from the latter camp.

    4. @Neutralrandomthoughts

      I wish we could get rid of government issued fiat currency. I hate paying the inflation tax every year, and then on top of that pay phantom capital gains. Say inflation is 4% and your capital gains are 10%. Your real gains are 10%-4%=6%, but you pay capital gains tax on the full 10% of the gain. Furthermore as you get pay raises to keep up with inflation your nominal income rises, but the amount of goods you can buy stays the same, yet you get pushed into higher tax brackets (though they do readjust those sometimes). Basically, I hate that I have to study economics/investing etc., just to keep my savings from evaporating due to inflation. And I really wish cryptos could solve this.

      The government has a monopoly on money creation though. There are legal tender laws in place the mandate all debts be paid in USD or Rubles or whatever. There was a gold standard which severely limited money creation and kept inflation in check. Governments got rid of it and now issue money at will. The problem has never been a lack of medium of exchange that can function as money. Gold WAS money in the U.S. prior to 1933. But it was demonetized by presidential Executive Order 6102. So the problem is political.

      If a crypto ever succeeds in becoming money it will be a government issued crypto the supply of which will be controlled by the state (which of course defeats the purpose from our point of view).

      But all of this is moot when it comes to cryptos. People who grasp all this stuff about inflation and government money are a tiny minority. Let’s use bitcoin to standin for all cryptos. My friends, my coworkers, my neighbors are buying bitcoin for one reason: it’s going up in price and they hope to double, triple, quadruple their money. It’s a classic bubble dynamic based on the greater fool theory of investing (some greater fool will buy this asset from me in the future). But eventually all bubbles collapse and it’s impossible to predict when.

      As for the internet bubble, it’s true that not all companies went to zero, but so what? There were many businesses that never made a dime and basically lost money for several years. The stock prices of those rose to astronomical heights. Then there were profitable businesses for which you could estimate a reasonable value using some reasonable multiple of earnings, for example. But the stocks of those businesses rose to astronomical heights way above any reasonable estimate of value. If a stock declines 50% or 75% that’s a huge loss! It doesn’t have to go to zero for you to be hurting. Cisco declined by 86%!

      But at least in the internet bubble we were dealing with companies whose value we could roughly estimate. With 2500 cryptos, which one do we invest in? Which one is going to become the medium of exchange? Aside from all the technical economic challenges for a crypto to become the medium of exchange (which I’m not going to get into), there is the political problem. Do you really think governments will cede the monopoly on money creation?

      But again, only a minority of crypto “investors” are holding cryptos because they are looking forward to a future where their chosen crypto(s) is the new medium of exchange and the demand for it has risen tremendously for that reason. The great majority of crypto buyers are buying simply because the price is going up and they heard that you can’t lose with cryptos, it’s THE thing, etc etc.
      They are not planning to hold until their crypto becomes the new medium of exchange, they are hoping to resell it soon to the next guy and triple their money – and everyone has this same hope and conviction that they can’t lose. Classic bubble dynamic.

      Anyway that’s just my two cents on the subject. You could trying playing this dynamic, but it’s much closer to gambling than to investing IMO. I wouldn’t put more money into cryptos than I could afford to lose. Personally, I don’t gamble, so I have no money invested in cryptos.

    5. My comments on the “medium of exchange” aspect were purely from a fundamental perspective, actually Austrian economics perspective, dare I say, almost a philosophical one.

      I am not the fool to believe (unlike bitcoin maximalists) that governments and (central) banks will go away.
      What I do believe in though, is that governments and banks, as inefficient as they are, can ignore innovation only for so long. Paymement structures will have to be modernized at some point.
      Double digit trillion amounts of USD, being deployed in nostro/vostro accounts to somewhat mitigate counterparty risk in crossborder transactions due to 3-5business days settlement times, are not a reflection of what’s possible techologically nowadays.

      I’m not saying “crypto will become a medium of exchange”. For now I’m saying, that there will be digital assets, capable of being a bridge currency for international transfers. If you haven’t figured it out yet, my big bet is on XRP.

      If you say that gov will control supply of crypto, then you didn’t get the point. Supply in crypto is limited per definition.
      Libra by Facebook is not crypto. Why? The supply is not fixed. Otherwise how could it be stable? Libra is nothing but shares in a money-market-fund.
      Gold isn’t stable in price. It was never meant to be. Its purchasing power has remained stable though. An ounce of gold buys you the same amount of coca cola cans today as it did in the 1960s.

      To answer your question which crypto to invest in: The one with a use case.
      Take a simple business look:
      Bitcoin’s elevator pitch is: “Fuck banks, fuck governments”.
      Now, I’m quite the libertarian and I hate nothing more than the system we live in, which allows the horrendous expansion of the state, but I’m a realist, too. Banks and government won’t go away anytime soon.
      Contrast that with Ripple’s approach:
      “We want to use XRP as a digital asset in form of a bridge currency to make crossborder payments fast, secure and cheap.”
      How does that sound like? Which one do you pick?

      With 20/20 hindsight it’s clear why Amazon came out as a winner (after a 80%+ correction mind you) from the dot com bubble.
      In 15 years people will look back and ask why they bet on bitcoin and not on XRP.

      The fact that you cite bitcoin makes me want to “accuse” you of equating crypto to bitcoin. (“Let’s use bitcoin to standin for all cryptos”). And sure, it’s a sucker’s game, your co-workers are stupid.
      But equating cryptos with bitcoin shows that you haven’t gone down the rabit hole of how the double spend problem has been solved by each crypto and to what extent the consensus mechanisms are scaleable or not. A proof-of-work approach might have its advantages but isn’t nearly as scaleable as a byzantine fault tolerance approach.

      In short: The use case defines the value of a digital asset. Bitcoin is in a bubble and is priced the way it is because of its first-commer advantage. BTC has technological flaws and is doomed for failure.
      Limited supply mediums of exchange are valuable but for now it’s not about replacing fiat, but inovating the current infrastructure. Betting on utility is key.

      I think you have some reading and thinking to do. The one or other reference to the gold standard doesn’t hide your rather superficial understanding of what’s actually going on right now.

    6. I only picked bitcoin because it’s the first one that comes to mind for most people. Let’s just say I didn’t say that. I take it back. My entire point is that the prices of cryptos are not being driven by people with an investment thesis like yours or some other investment thesis. The vast majority of crypto buyers have no investment thesis other than it’s going up, I’m gonna buy, and then I’m gonna sell when it doubles/triple/quadruples.

      XRP has not been exempt from this dynamic. It went into a bubble at the end of 2017 along with other cryptos. Specifically in December 2017 the price shot up from ~$0.25 to over $3 and back down to ~$0.50 by April 2018.

      You’ve made a case for 1 out of 2500 cryptos: XRP. If I undestand correctly you believe it will eventually have to be chosen as the technical solution for existing problems with crossborder payments due to its technical properties. You believe you have the requisite knowledge and have done the requisite research and decided to invest. And presumably you have an idea when you will sell and how you’ll confirm/disconfirm your thesis in the coming years as events unfold.

      At best XRP is a high risk, high reward investment. Does that mean someone who knows next to nothing about the subject should follow suit? Let alone invest money they can’t afford to lose as many people are doing?

      Finally, I don’t appreciate your condescending attitude. Keep your assumptions about superficiality of my knowledge to yourself.

    7. i think a good summary will be , if you have no idea and cant find out or evaluate if you did find out

      STAY AWAY.
      only play things that you have a good ability in.

    8. @GMoney
      I see. Let me try to be a bit more precise and go through your two posts and pick up on things here and there.

      The discussion started with you saying that Cryptos = Casino.
      Calling some environment, a casino implies that the odds are stacked against you and that over a large enough sample size the player always loses. In your last post you literally call my evaluation of XRP an “investment thesis”. How can there be an investment thesis for a casino-like environment? Either you appreciate that this is an environment where an approach can be formulated that does actually have an edge, or it’s not. We cannot have it both ways. There is no investment thesis possible that allows me to profitably play roulette.

      Further you say:
      “My entire point is that the prices of cryptos are not being driven by people with an investment thesis like yours or some other investment thesis. The vast majority of crypto buyers have no investment thesis other than it’s going up, I’m gonna buy, and then I’m gonna sell when it doubles/triple/quadruples.”

      Even if it was like that, that most crypto buyers have no investment thesis, it doesn’t make the environment anymore casino-like than it makes any other market casino-like because of the lack of knowledge of the majority of the participants. My observations are that because buying crypto isn’t that easy actually and exchange accounts and wallets have to be set up, people do actually do quite some reading and know more about the infrastructure than the typical stock/bond buyer, who can’t really explain where his stocks in custody are and why the settlement took 2 business days after the transaction. If you think the crypto market is full of maniacs with unreal price ad timing expectations, then I’m absolutely with you.

      Further:
      “XRP has not been exempt from this dynamic. It went into a bubble at the end of 2017 along with other cryptos. Specifically in December 2017 the price shot up from ~$0.25 to over $3 and back down to ~$0.50 by April 2018.”

      Amazon, Microsoft and Google, the few winners of the post-dot-com-bubble tech evolution experienced the same price appreciation and subsequent decline as did other tech stocks in 2000/2001. There was little difference between the hyped stocks that had no business model at all and between the ones that actually have a valid use case for their products. Stocks within the same sector were very correlated. In early 2018, there was very little distinction between digital assets with a use case (no matter how close to actual adoption) and so-called shit coins. This whole dynamic was further strengthened by the fact, that very few fiat pairings existed and most digital assets were traded against btc.

      “At best XRP is a high risk, high reward investment. Does that mean someone who knows next to nothing about the subject should follow suit? Let alone invest money they can’t afford to lose as many people are doing?”

      At no point I have given particular investment advice. I’ve made a case against the dismissal of the asset class as a whole based on some rather questionable claims by a former commentator. Making a case for an asset class itself is a different thing than telling someone to buy a specific asset. We can make a case to invest in equities due to the expected overall price appreciation resulting from the underlying company gaining in value by adding value to customers itself through gains in productivity. One is a general case for something, the other is a specific call to action.

      Let’s get back to the broader discussion of monetary policy.
      You say:

      “The government has a monopoly on money creation though. There are legal tender laws in place the mandate all debts be paid in USD or Rubles or whatever. There was a gold standard which severely limited money creation and kept inflation in check. Governments got rid of it and now issue money at will. The problem has never been a lack of medium of exchange that can function as money. Gold WAS money in the U.S. prior to 1933. But it was demonetized by presidential Executive Order 6102. So the problem is political.”

      All you say is true. The comparison of gold vs. digital assets/cryptos is coming up quite often.
      Let’s take a walk down Libertarian-Utopia-lane aka “Ancapistan”.
      The main difference between gold and crypto from a government perspective is that it is fairly easy to outlaw gold, because the higher the value of your wealth held in gold, the more difficult it is to maneuver. Transporting several millions of say USD in the form of gold is much harder to do compared to remembering a secret key. Sure, it’s dependent on the internet to upkeep the network, but anybody who thinks all governments can undertake a concerted effort to shut down the web is not holding a very realistic position.
      Cryptos are already legal tender in certain places. You can pay your taxes in several Swiss cantons with crypto currency. Of course, the tipping point where things become uncontrollable is far from reached, but it is not to be underestimated what would happen if it were to be reached. Assuming that governments can forbid something that is anonymous as long as it stays within its own system (because it can, because there is enough adoption and acceptance) is just not realistic. A similar example of a tipping point reached, where there is no way back is gun ownership in the US. It is a good comparison, as the US does not have a federal gun registry like Germany or France has. And even these two countries have a very high unregistered-gun-ownership simply because e.g. in France you could buy semi-autos in the supermarket just by showing an ID up until the late 1980s. Believing that the US government will ever disarm people is just nuts. The dynamics are similar for non-government regulated mediums of exchange. If it’s not needed to exit the eco-system and go back to government issued fiat, then why would people do so?
      To your comments on investing in general:

      “As for the internet bubble, it’s true that not all companies went to zero, but so what? There were many businesses that never made a dime and basically lost money for several years. The stock prices of those rose to astronomical heights. Then there were profitable businesses for which you could estimate a reasonable value using some reasonable multiple of earnings, for example. But the stocks of those businesses rose to astronomical heights way above any reasonable estimate of value. If a stock declines 50% or 75% that’s a huge loss! It doesn’t have to go to zero for you to be hurting. Cisco declined by 86%!”

      I think the “winner takes it all” dynamic is just part of the discovery process in any somewhat capitalistic setup. Sure, easy monetary policy with rates around 1% are adding fuel.
      But, what is the problem with a stock declining 86%? Usually the advice goes against the bad risk-adjusted return profile resulting from holding such a position. All kinds of techniques are being then used to somewhat take out volatility and downside deviation, and it’s usually at the expense of returns. The problem is (assuming a low starting capital) that we cannot retire based on a good-looking risk-adjusted-return-metric we managed to achieve in our portfolios. We can only retire off of our real returns. So if the price for an overall return of let’s say 800% over a certain period is that we have to live with 80+% drawdowns here and there, then in my eyes, this is infinitely more attractive than having a maximum of 15% drawdown, but only 100% return over the same period. Also, if your stock declines by 75%, that’s not a huge loss. It’s a loss when you sell it at that point.

    9. @NeutralRandomThoughts

      My current doubts on cryptocurrency:
      What advantage does a cryptocurrency have to offer as medium of exchange over government created fiat currencies if they fluctuate so much? Isn’t that why people prefer to buy in dollars or yen as opposed to russian rubles or iranian rials? Also with new currencies being created why wouldn’t you be afraid a newly invented one would replace the one you just purchased?

      I could see a cryptocurrency really taking off if a government or organization managed it(like how internet addressed are managed by ICAAN).

    10. @Brian
      Limited Supply means that inflation through money creation is by far the greatest advantage. Since the creation of the Fed in 1913 the USD has lost 98% of its purchasing power.
      Also, for now, I don’t see government currencies being replaced by crypto, but rather being supported in terms of crossborder payments being made more efficient.
      The RUB is shit compared to the USD, because, say what you want, but USA is not the same cleptocracy as the US. It’s bad, but not that bad. Fiat currency purchasing power depend on the economy they represent.
      Oh fine, people can issue their cryptos. There used to be many coin producers befor gov had the minting monopol. Sk what? Some coins were more expensive than others. Let the market figure it out. That’s not a problem at all.

  11. Some guy made a Sonic the Hedgehog engine dubbed the Sonic Infinity Engine, presumably because fans were sick of countless mediocre 3D titles over the years. It still seems a bit buggy and unfinished but pretty promising.

    https://youtu.be/9ACawDA1T8c

    1. This looks surprisingly good. I’m not sure why Sega has been pumping out one crappy 3D Sonic game after another. It seems they thought that they would sell a fair amount of copies just based on name recognition, but the amount of times you can pull that off should be quite low.

    2. I watched the video a couple more times and the first stage featured reminds me of the mechanics within Sonic Unleashed. They made a fatal mistake having the werewolf aspect in that game. Completely trashed the experience. That and the boring sort of RPG elements. Maybe the fan interest will generate something positive in the future. I only sort of care because I played all the Genesis titles when I was a kid and loved them.

    3. I think nostalgia is a bit of a trap in gaming. While some franchises have successfully transitioned from 2D to 3D, the resulting games have been completely different. Just look at 2D vs 3D Zelda and Mario games, for instance. Likewise, the 3D Sonic games play nothing like the 2D ones. I really enjoyed Super Mario World and Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. However, the 3D iterations of those games never really caught my interest.

    4. I see what you mean. I’m a sucker for nostalgia, though. The Resident Evil 2 remake really satisfied that itch. I was also really fond of SNES Mario, but I thought Mario 64 was brilliant.

      As far as Sonic goes, I honestly think they should make a modern F-Zero/Mario Kart like racing game out of it. All I’m really craving is speed, quick response times and a very interactable level environment. Rings could fill a boost bar, enemies can hinder your progress or allow you to reach alternate routes through the lock on mechanic, different characters have certain defense/offense, Robotnic as a playable character in a flying machine etc. I seriously doubt Sega would ever do anything worthwhile like that, however. I’d like to know what they’re sitting over there doing all day anyways, besides making shit games.

      With all these independent programmer guys sitting around at home making these Sonic hacks, for example, you’d think companies like Sega would just hire them. Instead, they’re more likely to get sued in the future.

    5. I liked Mario 64 and I also enjoyed Mario Odyssey. However, they did not hook me like Super Mario World did. Then again, that could just be because I grew up with that SNES game. People who grew up with the NES Mario Bros. 3 seem to think that this was the pinnacle of the series.

      I am not sure what the Sonic Team at Sega is doing. What kept them from making a game like Sonic Mania? It took some indie developer to step in. It could well be that once a company hits a certain size and game development requires large teams, the effect of passionate individuals who want to see their vision realized either disappears or diminishes.

    6. Oh, btw, speaking of the nostalgia trap. It seems that Pokemon Sword and Shield really upset the majority of it’s fanbase recently. There’s a joke going around that it has 64 era graphics, and people who have been loyal and dedicated to the series and built up their Pokedex are pissed that they might not be able to load in their favorite Pokemon. It looks like the fans have been taken for granted and are getting a half baked product. But hey, it’s Pokemon. So people will buy it, right?

    7. I’m a bit ambivalent about that controversy. The problem is that part of the Pokemon formula, i.e. collect pokemon in the current title and import them into the next, has reached a breaking point. I’m not sure how many pokemon there are, but we’re probably close to 1,000 now. Some house-cleaning or even a reset makes sense. Also, it has yet to be seen how important that vocal minority is because the number of people who have complete pokedexes must be very small as we are talking about a necessary time investment of possibly a few thousand hours.

    8. The task of programming and balancing 800+ Pokemon does sound pretty monumental. Maybe once they’ve established the game for the new hardware and they can start recycling assets, they’ll have more time to dedicate to filling in the missing Pokemon. I have no idea.

      On a more positive note, I heard Nintendo gave a big middle finger to censorship even though Sony bent the knee. Nintendo will instead include an optional parental feature for the more risky games.

    9. I have only played one Pokemon game, and not to the end. Still, the obsession with those hundreds upon hundreds of Pokemon is a bit much. I can’t imagine more than a single-digit number of die-hard fans being able to memorize all of them. Let’s lower the bar and just stick to mere recall. I’d think that very few fans, if any, could tell if a certain creature was in any Pokemon game or not (that could be an interesting psychological experiment). Also, where does it end? It’s not realistic to want to have 2,000+ Pokemon in twenty years. It’s too much content.

  12. Just skimmed through this article written by a man based on a female sociologist hamstering perpective of why so many women cheat on their spouses. Of course, one assumption is based on the women not being able to open up and be honest with their husbands about their sexual fantasies. She concludes that many men become disgusted with their wives perversions and this negativity drives the women to cheat. In other words, the blame is shifted on the man.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.fatherly.com/love-money/what-drives-women-cheat-infidelity-affair/amp/

    1. This is a deeply disturbing article and another reason not to get married. In my limited experience with women, I have found married women to be more willing to cheat than women with boyfriends. I have been with 3 married women. In one case, the husband was a stay at home dad, his wife had zero guilt. In fact one early morning I fucked her and we went back to their place. and she had him cook us breakfast. I felt too guilty so I broke it off shortly after that. Gentlemen…please think carefully before you buy that ring. A ring covers a finger, but a circle never covers a hole.

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