Bitcoin is Video Game Money

One of the reasons I don’t invest time in money-generating side quests in video games is that the money isn’t real. Who cares if you have a million Gil, GP, ‘gold’, etc. but you drive a Hyundai Accent in real life?  (No offense intended —  I am so cheap I used to drive one by choice.) In one way, this is how the value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies look to me.

Their hyper valuations seem to be based on nothing more than the collective imagination of a bunch of game players hunched in front of their computer screens, having traded World of Warcraft quests for hashing programs. In addition, cryptocurrencies are mined using graphics cards, and this is quite literally where they become “video game money”.

Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball for the Super Nintendo (1994) represents the era of the ‘baseball card bubble’ and is a useful ‘metaphor’ for the case for cryptocurrencies as ‘video game money’.

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A Political Model of Conspiracy Theory Serving a ‘Russian Perspective’

Here’s a little model I whipped up based on my recent findings on post-9/11 conspiracism. I would encourage you to read Ilya Yablokov’s paper: Conspiracy Theories as a Russian Public Diplomacy Tool: The Case of Russia Today (RT) for a greater understanding of how conspiracy theory can be used as an information weapon. Remember, some conspiracy theories ARE state-created.

This model isn’t implying all conspiracies are wrong, bad, or ‘delusional’. Some are real. Certainly, I think being opposed to white power movements is net a ‘good’ thing. But I am asserting that those kinds of beliefs in opposition to populist anti-minority conspiracism may form the basis for mutual counter conspiracism and social conflict/discord which can be cultivated in Russia’s political interest (for example, what happened in Charlottesville).

Also, I propose that the basis for conspiracism seems to be opposition to something which is different or perceived as hostile to the group who theorizes a conspiracy exists. Thus, conspiracy theories may be almost defined by what they are against (‘anti-everything’) — rather than being ‘for’ anything.

Download it as a PDF hereModel of Russian Conspiracism

The Bitcoin-Russian Information Warfare Nexus

Frequently, consumers of Russian disinformation who are Libertarian seem fixated on the idea of gold and bitcoin as replacement for the US dollar as a global reserve currency. Ron Paul has specifically called out bitcoin as a great way to “destroy the dollar”. This has been a stated objective of Vladimir Putin since at least 2009. In this vein, the well-known ‘gray-market internet entrepreneur’ (and criminal) Kim Dotcom is an interesting case study which shows the nexus between internet-based Libertarian voices hyping bitcoin and Russian information warfare / disinformation. It would seem to be a reciprocally cooperative agreement. Continue reading “The Bitcoin-Russian Information Warfare Nexus”

Conjuring is Conspiracy (Theory)

James Randi in Moscow

When dealing with folks who describe themselves as magicians, you’ll often find that they describe themselves as “conjurers” as well. In the collective imagination, the word conjuring evokes spells, incantations, and the summoning of spirits.

Interestingly, the origin of the word conjure actually comes from the Latin coniurare or conjūrāre, which means the act of forming conspiracy. word origin: C13: from Old French conjurer to plot, from Latin conjūrāre to swear together, form a conspiracy, from jūrāre to swear

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Princes of Darkness: The Tale of Dracula and Ivan the Terrible

One of Russia’s first “belletristic texts” (and potentially its first novel) was The Tale of Dracula. This book had a tremendous impact on the leadership of Ivan the Terrible (Ivan IV); who cultivated a Russian national mythology which still persists. In understanding Russian revanchist strategy, this is important.

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Well, that was awkward Russia (JFK document release)

Most people who know about potential Russian involvement in the JFK assassination know that Lee Harvey Oswald was married to a Russian, spoke Russian, spent time in the Soviet Union, met with both Cuban and Russian intelligence shortly before the assassination, and may have even left messages for his wife which contained KGB code words.

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The Third Man – Early Anti-American Cold War Propaganda

The Orson-Welles starring, Alexander Korda produced, Carol Reed directed, and Graham Greene screenwritten film, ‘The Third Man’ (1949) is regarded as one of the best espionage films of all time. In short however, it is also likely in retrospect to be a piece of anti-American propaganda. (Suggestion: Listen to the nifty theme music below while you read the blog.)

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Mark Twain’s Connections to the Greatest Mississippi Riverboat Disasters of the 19th Century

Samuel Clemens’ (Mark Twain’s) brother Henry Clemens was killed by the explosion of the Steamboat Pennsylvania

Everyone loves Mark Twain (nee Samuel Clemens). He was even one of the first popular American authors to be popular in Russia of all places. While he was in fact one of the first Americans to meet the Czar of Russia, he was also later popular with the Bolsheviks who prized his revolutionary stances. He remains a popular literary figure there to this day.

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