Solar Roadways on Indiegogo

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I am so excited about this right now. Here is Solar Roadway’s Indiegogo campaign.

They want to replace the nation’s road with solar panels, then wire all those solar panels up to a computer to make our roads smart. LED light patterns can be changed at will, the panels can detect wildlife on the roads, communicate with driverless cars, parking lots could power electric car charging stations, surrounding panels could send out a message when one of the panels need to be fixed, melt ice on the road, and have way more other possibilities. It would also, if it replaced all roads in the US, pretty much generate enough power for the whole nation.

Yes, a lot of energy jobs would be lost, but they would be redirected into constructing, programming, recycling, and maintaining these high tech roads, as well as further R&D into solar energy. In the future these roads may be upgraded to be able to absorb kinetic energy from wheels as well, if that ended up being a substantial well of power.

Their graphic design and branding is from the ’80s, but they do have a promising vision and product. Maybe another funder will step up and update their look so that more techy designy types will give them more money.

What Bollywood Has Taught Me

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THIS is new media advertising bloody well done. Bollywood star Madhuri Dixit stars in YouTube demi-celeb Superwoman video to promote her new upcoming movie. If I can find it with English subs somewhere, I’m watching it.

Getting women into tech isn’t the hard part, keeping us is

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A big part of my frustration with the whole situation was that any appeals to logos failed terrifically. When I cited studies, academic journals, books, or documentaries to back my statements up, the response was, “That study doesn’t mean anything, because of this anecdotal exception I have to the results. Anyway, it’s all biased because feminism tries to oppresses men.”

“Do you read any feminist blogs or columns?” I asked, aware that it was a common misconception.

“I try not to,” one responded.

This is an excerpt from a post inspired by a conversation I had with a few men in Bitcoin. I don’t hold it against them personally for whatever they think, because it’s a difference of very fundamental values. I like my values better, they allow for more freedom in personal identity and what can make me happy. But really, these are the same people who wonder why there aren’t more women in Bitcoin or tech, so here I am to helpfully answer the question.

Here is the original post on Medium.

Untangling Bitcoin from the deflationary spiral

Deflationary spiral
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A multi-part series addressing the myth of Bitcoin’s hoarding problem.

Wait a second, if Bitcoin’s theoretically deflationary economy is supposed to be so great, what about Greece? They’re doing terribly.

There’s a glaring flaw in virtually every explanation I’ve seen or gotten on the deflationary spiral. The beginning of a spiral, as I’m told by economists and other experts, starts with falling prices, or falling demand. But that’s not really where it starts.

Prices of goods in Greece are falling because demand is falling. But demand is not falling because prices of goods are falling. It’s falling because of unemployment rates. This is an important distinction to make, and it’s precisely why the “deflationary spiral” argument holds so little water. It doesn’t matter if my eggs cost a dollar less next week when I need to feed my children breakfast tomorrow. People don’t hoard money when they think prices will decrease, as I’ve covered in my previous post. People hoard when they know their income is going to decrease.

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University woes

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A quote from Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Today in my environmental communications class, one mature student thought that South Korea was communist, and that’s why their tyrannical recycling program works so well there. “I just don’t think it would fly in a democratic society like we have here in Canada, where we care more about individual rights,” she followed up.

Bit of background: South Korea has a very effective and thorough recycling program, where you can be tracked down and fined $100 for not sorting your rubbish properly. Also each set of bins are guarded by someone who has the authority to yell at you for putting compost in the landfill bin. And just in case my sarcasm isn’t getting through, I’m not against this.

I interjected and told her that South Korea was just as democratic as Canada, although what I really wanted to say also was, “So it’s universal suffrage and not population density or realistic enforceability that has the magical effect of making people not care about recycling. Got it.”

In any case, why is being fined for not sorting your trash right any different than being fined for speeding? Running out of landfill space is arguably just as dangerous to our health as crashing into someone at 80 km/h, only one kills us slower.

Later on, after a presentation with examples of greenwashing ads, including one by Enbridge, the same person said something to the effect of, “I don’t believe there’s value in labeling these ads as greenwashing because all ads are manipulative anyway. They’re all just trying to sell you something.”

This wouldn’t be out-of-place in a 100-level class, but it’s a 300-level class, and literally an hour ago we had just discussed Herbert Marcuse’s idea of one-dimensionality and how understandably it’s very difficult to break free from the dominant discourse in most daily settings because because it’s often confused with the natural state of things.

People like her are why still being in uni frustrates me sometimes.

OK, I should get back to blogging about Bitcoin.

When should you capitalize Bitcoin?

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Quick note for journalists, bloggers, editors doing stories about Bitcoin. You’ve probably noticed that Bitcoin is sometimes capitalized and sometimes not, and aren’t sure when to do which.

When talking about Bitcoin as a concept, movement, or generally as a currency on the whole, always capitalize. That means pluralizing it to “Bitcoins” is not a thing.

When talking about bitcoin in its usable and tradeable parts, never capitalize, just like writing about other currencies.

The same rule applies to Satoshi. Always capitalize when you’re referring to Bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, but never when referring to satoshis as the smallest unit of a bitcoin (1/100,000,000 the value).

Sentence examples:

  • The Co-op functions as a Bitcoin exchange
  • You can buy or sell bitcoins with a member of the Co-op
  • What if Satoshi Nakamoto was a woman?
  • Some stingy customer at the pub tipped me only one satoshi!

The bit on nomenclature is buried under a ton of other information on the Bitcoin wiki, and badly needed unearthing.

Bitcoin’s “Hoarding Problem” Part 1: The Irrational Consumer

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Bitcoin's "Hoarding Problem"

Now this is a hoarding problem.

A multi-part series addressing the myth of Bitcoin’s hoarding problem. 

Bitcoins are finite and mathematically engineered to only ever have 21 million released into circulation. In other words, it is a deflationary currency, meaning that the value of one bitcoin will only ever rise. Particularly because Bitcoin is in a speculative bubble right now, more are being hoarded than used by people who see it only as an investment asset.

A dear friend who is an MBA grad “has professional post-grad certification/diplomas” has an excellent, hypothetical situation which appears to slap down any and all deflationary currencies.

So let’s say you’re about to spend $4 on a cup of coffee. But you know for certain that the $4 you’re about to spend will be worth $6 tomorrow. On the other hand, if you had a secondary currency that the coffee shop accepted that would remain about the same, which currency would you use?

If there’s anything of actual value listening to a bunch of Freakonomics podcasts have taught me, it’s that consumers are actually extremely irrational, as backed by this Atlantic article, when it comes to making decisions about money, risk, and pretty much anything we need to make a choice about, contrary to the predictions of actual economists. We trust Advil more than generic ibuprofen even though it costs exponentially more. We have no qualms about commuting in a car, but fear shark attacks the one time a year we go to the beach even though we are 44,000 times more likely to get into a traffic accident. And we’ll buy $4 coffees from a cafe instead of making one for a quarter of the price at home. Price-rational, we are not.

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