A great technology solves a problem that we didn’t know we had. It makes us aware of deprivations we didn’t know existed until we discover the new thing. Once discovered, we can’t go back. People in the 1950s, for example, never missed the smart phone. They were pleased to have a phone at all. But […]
Real progress happens through real people, ideas, and innovations. Not by legislation argued and debated in Congress. Right now, one of the most influential technologies is changing the way people do business. And reinventing the future in the process.
A cushy job in Hawaii that pays six figures. A beautiful girlfriend/boyfriend. Job security and professional experience that gives you plenty of future opportunities. Would you throw that all away to do what you think is right? Last year, one government contractor did just that. And now you see the world the government tried to hide from you.
Every time Bitcoin crashes, it winds up at a price greater than it’s previous high. Yet the experts still call it a currency fad that will fade away. But a little over a year since it really took up, the digital currency is still going strong, and is once again seeing its price rise. But is there another reason why people are buying Bitcoins.
The government will do whatever it takes to make sure it has enough of your money to fund itself. On the surface you might think that means enduring a grueling audit. But the IRS and the government is more than willing to ignore your privacy in the cold relentless pursuit of the money they think they deserve. As they get bigger and bigger every year, the smaller and smaller your paycheck becomes as they leach off it.
The New York Times published an interminable article on health care recently. Plenty of facts — how scrupulous are these journalists! — but the article displayed absolutely no comprehension of the basics of cause and effect. I was left wondering about the whole point. The article details how the health care system rewards specialists to […]
A president stands disgraced. Congress is scattering. Bureaucrats are baffled. Pundits are reaching. Industry is scared. Politicians are scrambling to do something, anything, to make it better. One political party is in meltdown and the other loving every minute of it, hoping to ride the calamity to electoral gains. The so-called Patient Protection and Affordable […]
Before the housing market collapsed and the government pumped billions into the economy to save it, there was a programmer named Satoshi Nakamoto. And without much fanfare, he created an idea that’s in the process of changing the world. His idea was Bitcoin. Some background information is in order before I go any further. Think […]
Now, this is sheer entertainment. The Chicago branch of the Federal Reserve has addressed the great monetary question of our day. A researcher has taken a detailed look at the prospects for market-based crypto-currency, with a special focus on Bitcoin. It concludes that Bitcoin is not a viable replacement for the dollar. The report includes […]
It is such a kick to read the transcripts from the White House’s health care “war room” in the first days of release. What a meltdown, and you get to watch it all in real-time. I’m not trying to be cruel to the kindly despots who have wrecked so much of what worked in the […]
Obamacare certainly has made history. It has set the record for the fastest-failing Big Government program in world history. This isn’t only about a website flop; it is about the failure of government to accomplish the aims of Obamacare in general, and in a way that has profoundly touched millions of individual lives. “Train wreck” […]
You didn’t want to be the guy chosen to tell Stalin that the wheat crop failed or the production quotas on trucks and cars were not met. Why? Because despots always blame people, not systems. In the same way, you don’t want to be the guy chosen to tell Obama that his health care websites […]
I’ve just spent a harrowing weekend reflecting on Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, the pamphlet that came out in January 1776 and turned the public toward seeking independence from Britain. I say harrowing because the distance between the ideals found in this pamphlet and those of today’s America is so vast as to be nearly unrecognizable. […]
It was a wild ride last week in the world of the Deep Web, that section of the Internet that requires special tools to access. The feds took down the site called Silk Road and claim to have arrested its founder and administrator. The news streams were filled with lurid tales of derring-do in this […]
My community in the Deep South prides itself on friendship, community feeling, and an overall happy spirit. So it was a bit strange for all of this to be utterly smashed and obliterated in the course of a few calamitous weeks in which friend turned against friend, colleagues became antagonists and enemies, and families were […]
As much as I love technology, part of me hates being so dependent on a live wall plug wherever I go. You find yourself trapped in some setting without accessible wall plugs and your phone is dying. You charge from you laptop, but that is dying too. You take recourse to your tablet, but that […]
I was at the Canadian border, headed toward the freedom that exists a few feet beyond the last security check. I was gently waved down a side corridor. Ninety minutes later, I was let go, but not before something truly alarming happened. I’m pretty sure that the Canadian government captured a mirrored version of my […]
I dreamed I saw Bernard von NotHaus, alive as you or me. Said I, “But Bernard, you’ve been jailed two years.” “I never was,” said he. Bernard has been the called the Rosa Parks of the alternative money movement. More than 10 years ago, he had this idea that he would make his own money […]
Oh, how the media love a good strike. Look at these fast-food workers and peasants standing up to the owners of capital! They aren’t going to take the oppression anymore. The suits in the boardrooms had better shape up and stop hoarding all that money. They need to give it up to the men and […]
In the last several days, I’ve had three phone conversations with friends — completely normal people who have their wits about them — during which they have declined to say something for fear of government surveillance. They will be talking normally and suddenly catch themselves and divert the conversation. The topics we were discussing were […]
A cornered rat has a deadly bite, or so says the lore from the 19th century, when rat baiting was common sport. The same is true of a cornered empire today. Every hour that goes by presents the evidence. It’s getting absolutely dangerous out there for anyone who dares to stand up against the empire […]
On a Sunday afternoon swim, a 6-year-old boy was bugging me in a sweet sort of way. He rode up and down the handrail on the stairs in the shallow end of the pool where I was trying to sit in peace. He was laughing and talking, but I couldn’t understand a word through the […]
A frightening story this week in The New Yorker tells of a Texas couple that headed toward the Texas-Louisiana border to buy a used car. They were carrying all their savings in cash. They were stopped by the police. The police found cash and a tiny pipe, and arrested them both. Then the police made […]
Government can control many things, but it can’t control our minds and, therefore, our economic decisions. This has been a major source of frustration for the last two presidents. In 2001, President Bush demanded that Americans immediately go out and spend, racking up more debt in the hopes of inspiring economic recovery. President Obama has […]
Edward Snowden is in big trouble for revealing that our government is doing to its own citizens what the U.S. once accused Russia of doing to its citizens. In what is really a bizarre turn of events, Russia has become a safe haven for an American whistle-blower.
I’ve just completed a heavy schedule of talks at the Agora Financial Investment Symposium in Vancouver. All my talks centered on information economics, Web startups, and the productivity of the Internet and its meaning. As usual, I learned as much from the attendees as (I hope) they learned from my talks. The research I did […]
“What are you complaining about all the time?” people sometimes ask me. “I’m just about as free as I want to be.” Here’s the problem. How can we really know what we want if we’ve never had it before? The less free we are, the less we know what freedom feels like and how it […]
That Edward Snowden has put the whole political, corporate, and governing class in a bind. With his revelations that a heretofore obscure agency has long been collecting all data on our digital lives, Snowden very plainly blew up the whole perception that government is somehow of, by, and for the people. The picture he paints […]
Is there anything that we can do to stop the government’s data mining of our email, phone calls, and other digital habits? I moderated an entire panel on this subject during FreedomFest in Las Vegas last week. The room was packed from front to back, standing room only. Clearly, there is a great deal of […]
I was daydreaming over the weekend. The subject: notable intellectual epiphanies I’ve experienced in the course of my life. These are moments when someone reveals something to you that shakes you up. It runs contrary to everything you ever thought possible. You resist it at first, but can’t come up with a proof to the […]