Wednesday, January 19, 2022

A Major Stumbling Block to My Panarchy Token Idea ...

... is that open, fully automated exchanges for Ravencoin assets aren't ready for prime time yet.

Raven Trader is working on that, but their app is still in alpha and not yet (at least according to the Github notes) at the fully automated point yet. Their model is simply being a posting point for P2P asset exchanges open to any valid Ravencoin asset (the seller posts the offer half of an Atomic Swap code; a buyer posts the acceptance half; then the buyer approves for the transaction to complete, with automation of that final step being in the works).

I need an exchange that is

  1. Open. That is, there's not some owner or board who gets to decide which tokens get traded. Any technically valid Ravencoin asset can be listed for trades without gatekeepers.
  2. Automated. That is, I can put up offerings and when someone buys them, it happens instantly (or, rather, at speed of actual Ravencoin transaction times once the buyer commits), rather than when I happen by to manually approve it.
So far, Ravencoin seems to be the best bet for such a setup. I could be wrong, but most of the other automated vehicles I've looked at tend to trade on proprietary exchanges -- your token gets on there if the exchange owners decide there's enough interest.

NFL Picks: Last Week and This Week

I went 4 of 6 correct in last weekend's NFL wild card games -- I did not pick the 49ers to upset the Cowboys, and I did pick the Cardinals to upset the Rams.

For week 20, I've also picked one upset: I give the Cincinnati Bengals a 53% chance of beating the Tennessee Titans.

My other picks are all at 100%: The Packers will beat the 49ers, the Buccaneers will beat the Rams, and the Chiefs will beat the Bills.

At present, I've got a score of 271.7 points and am in the top 24% of players in FiveThirtyEight's NFL Forecasting Game. Throughout the game, I've ranked, IIRC, as highly as the top 1% and as far down as 28th percentile. Early on, I outperformed FiveThirtyEight's model, but as the season continued that model kicked my ass in a big way. It currently sits at 647.8 points, which puts it in the 91st percentile.

Update, ~5pm 01/19/22: On re-thinking, I'm picking another upset. Well, not really an upset, as you'll see. Instead of 100% on the Buccaneers to beat the Rams, I'm at 53% on the Rams to beat the Buccaneers.

Why I was inclined to to go 100% Bucs:

  1. I have a "never bet against Tom Brady unless he's playing against the Chiefs" rule that usually stands me in good stead; and
  2. I fucking hate the Rams (I moved to Florida from St. Louis, a town the Rams got over on big-time then tried to screw).
What changed my mind:

  1. The numbers.
The Rams and the Bucs have played each other 27 times.

Of those 27 games, the Rams have won 18.

Including four of the last five, two of the last three, and both of the last two.

Those last two games are the only two games with the Rams that the Bucs have ever played with Brady as quarterback. 

Granted, that last contest took place when several Tampa Bay players were out of action on the COVID-19 list (which was why I picked LA that time, too). But the history and the trend, especially Brady being 0 for 2 in that match-up, makes me think FiveThirtyEight's model is incorrect in giving the Bucs a 68% chance of winning. I'd rather Tampa Bay won, but I kind of expect the Rams to.

Friday, January 14, 2022

The Reason I Asked ...

... in a previous post, "what do y'all think of Ravencoin" is that it at least seems suitable for a project I have in mind, of the "building the new society in the shell of the old" variety.

It's in the Molinari, de Puydt, et al. vein.

How might people go about building a panarchy while Westphalian Model nation-states still exist and zealously assert their claims/prerogatives?

It seems to me that Ravencoin (or some similar instrument ) would be suitable for creation of a blockchain-based "Bureau of Political Membership" based on tokens for ...

  1. Registration of polities, security/defense agencies, and arbitration agencies with the blockchain serving as a public database;
  2. Registration of personal affiliation claims with, submission to arbitration by, etc. entities in (1)

... might be valuable and should certainly be doable.*

Whether it's doable by me is, of course, a different question. But I want to get some distance down the track of overall design first, and once I'm convinced I have the idea licked, perhaps find some volunteers who are more well-versed in the technology to actually build it. And if it doesn't work out, well, it might at least provide useful lessons for later, better attempts.

The first step, it seems to me, is determining whether a particular instrument (in this case Ravencoin) is the right one, and if not to look at others. The obvious alternative is the ERC-20 standard, but I already see problems with that (for one, apparently tokens with identical names can be created; apparently that's not the case with Ravencoin).

Now that I've elaborated, perhaps someone will weigh in.

*Obviously the idea of blockchains as databases of political affiliation assumes that the Westphalian Model nation-states won't e.g. nuke us all back to the age of stone tablets as their final, dying act. That's not a safe assumptions. On the other hand, if it happens, we'll have bigger problems and having wasted some time on the blockchain idea probably won't be the worst of our regrets.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

When I'm Sick ...

... I do my bare minimum of work (Rational Review News Digest, Garrison Center columns if I'm not feverish or otherwise feeling mentally fuzzy, and some administrative work at

In between I either nap or play some relatively familiar, semi-mindless video game of the type that doesn't tax me too much and that will run on a Raspberry Pi without trying to use Wine or whatever. The past few days that game is Warzone 2100, a fairly decent stand-in for Starcraft, if you're interested in "real-time strategy." Oh, and oddly, instead of going to bed early, I go to bed a little later but seem to sleep harder and better (probably due to whatever medications I'm taking for feeling crappy).

I'm feeling a bit better the last 24 hours or so, though, so I'll probably let the game go for a few weeks or months -- I'm actually further into it than I've ever been before and up against a hard place anyway.

Instead of doing an extra post, I'll just throw a question I've been thinking about out there for my readers who are cryptocurrency fans: What do you think about Ravencoin?

Monday, January 10, 2022

NFL Picks: Coming Down to the Wire

I lost 31.8 points in week 18 of the NFL season, with 10 of 16 games picked correctly (did anyone think the Lions would beat the Packers or the Jaguars would beat the Colts?), but I'm still performing better than 71% of players in FiveThirtyEight's NFL Forecasting Game with a running total of 171.9 points (FiveThirtyEight's model has definitely pulled itself up by the bootstraps after a poor start, racking up 503.8 points).

My picks for this week:

The Cincinnati Bengals will beat the Oakland Raiders (79% likely).

The Buffalo Bills will beat the New England Patriots (79% likely).

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will beat the Philadelphia Eagles (91% likely).

The Dallas Cowboys will beat the San Francisco 49ers (78% likely

The Kansas City Chiefs will beat the Pittsburgh Steelers (100%).

And, my one upset prediction (versus the FiveThirtyEight model's pick): The Arizona Cardinals will beat the Los Angeles Rams. But I only give that pick a 53% likelihood.

Saturday, January 08, 2022

Survey Says ...

... not COVID-19. One family member who had symptoms  (including fever) got tested on Thursday and got the results yesterday morning. Negative.

But last night, my temperature was 98.6  degrees (which is high for me). And this morning it's 99.0. 

So it's obviously still something.

There's good reason for my symptoms to be lagging other family members' -- they returned from a road trip last Sunday, and were presumably the ones exposed (I didn't go more than a hundred yards or so from the house while they were traveling and interacted at close quarters with a grand total of two people, one of whom is a shut-in).

They brought something back, and I'm still not sure it isn't COVID-19, since someone they were visiting became symptomatic and then tested positive shortly after they left.

Not that I particularly fear COVID-19. But at the moment, influenza and "the common cold" seem to be the zebras to COVID-19's horses, so I'm thinking in terms of probabilities.

The good news is that the previously feverish family member seems to be out of those woods without ever having experienced especially severe symptoms.

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Well, it was Going to Happen Sooner or Later

There's a non-trivial chance that I've got COVID-19.

Which is to say, I've definitely been exposed to people who have definitely been exposed to it -- family members returned from traveling on Sunday; three of four have since remarked that they're feeling a bit off, and one of the people they were visiting is now abed with a confirmed case. One of the travelers was already scheduled for a COVID test tomorrow in preparation for a medical procedure, so I guess we'll get an idea then whether it actually made it into the household, anyway.

I see no reason to get tested myself, at least at the moment. If I get sick enough to go to a doctor or hospital, they'll presumably do a test anyway. I doubt they'd accept the results of a home test as dispositive. And if I don't get sick enough to go to a doctor or a hospital, I don't really care what particular bug caused me to get mildly ill.

My symptoms, if they even are symptoms and not just hypochondria or e.g. the common cold, are mild so far. Cough, runny nose, scratchy throat, meh/fatigued feeling.

Of course I always have a cough since I'm a smoker, I cannot for the life of me remember if I thought my throat felt scratchy before the C-word came into play, I feel meh/fatigued more often than I'd like, and the runny nose could just be the common cold or something triggering allergies. No fever, at least yet.

I'm cutting my work load for the day, but  not eliminating it.

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Why Donald Trump Almost Certainly Won't Be Criminally Prosecuted ...

... at least for anything he did while in office.

Certain wolves are howling for that, of course.

But no sitting president's Attorney General is likely to go after the previous president for actions taken while in office.

Because if that ever happens to one president, it will happen to every president thereafter, including the one who unleashed it. Which means no president will want to be the one to unleash it.

As you may remember, Gerald Ford preemptively pardoned Richard Nixon. A president of the opposite party might not have done that, but also wouldn't have been eager to go after indictments, etc.

Sunday, January 02, 2022

I Am Now Even MORE Convinced ...

 ... that, as I've hypothesized before, the John Wick film franchise takes place in the Matrix universe.

Why? Well, for the TL;DR, see this piece by Dan Seddon at Digital Spy. Short version (Warning -- spoilerish material!):

"Tiffany's" (actually Trinity's) husband, Chad, in The Matrix Resurrections is played by ... Chad (Stahelski).

Who was also Keanu Reeve's stunt double in The Matrix and stunt coordinator for The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.

And who directed the John Wick films.

Chad is clearly a major figure in the Matrix universe, used by The Analyst to supervise/control Trinity after previously having been substantially responsible for Neo's actions. ...

And the John Wick universe is basically entirely his (although Morpheus shows up in it as a fly in the control ointment).

Presumably that universe was a side Matrix project (a "modal?"), dedicated to helping work out / excise some of Neo's violent and obstinate tendencies as he was re-made into Thomas Anderson, neurotic game desiger, after Revolutions and before Resurrections.

And Chad, in between assignments coordinating all the violent action in the first three Matrix stories and acting as Trinity's supervisor/controller in Resurrections, was given the Architect role in that side project while the Analyst worked on the new, improved Matrix.

Saturday, January 01, 2022

This is Not "Evidence" That Our Reality is a Simulation ...

... if for no other reason than that the very proposition isn't testable/provable (if we are, the programmers of the simulation could code against it being discoverable, or change stuff any time we got close to evidence, or even "roll back" the simulation in "time" for a different outcome).

But, and this is one of those "I was thinking about it when going to sleep and say, oh, wow" things:

What is DNA if not a rules set for procedural generation of characters?

Yes, it's fallacious to jump from perceiving what looks like design to believing there's a designer. Just because we came up with a concept for our own purposes, it doesn't follow that an analog to that concept having existed in nature for billions of years was also drummed up by some intelligence.

But I still find it interesting.

I'm Not Sure the Educrats Have Figured This Out Yet

For some people, homeschooling is a hard choice. For one thing, it may mean loss of income if one parent needs to give up an outside-the-home job or job opportunity.

When government schools started shutting down or going to "remote" sessions during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic, that made the decision easier for many parents -- especially if it came down to "I'd spend as much as I'd earn on daycare anyway, so what's the point of that job?"

Now a lot of schools are doing the hokey-pokey. We're back in-person, no, wait, someone said a new Greek letter, back to "remote," but maybe some time soon ...

Some parents already said "screw it, we're not sending our kid back to that mess."

Every time the educrats pull this bait-and-switch crap, more are going to do so. Fool them once, etc.

And every time the "bodies we get government funding for" count goes down, the educrats are going to whine and whine and whine.

Seeing as how I support full separation of school and state, well ... I always welcome opportunities to make myself sound sophisticated by using the word "schadenfreude."

Thanks For Asking! -- 01/01/22

New year, new AMA thread! Ask me anything (yes, anything) in the comment thread below this post and I'll answer in comments (or point to an answer from comments).

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