Part I: Peter Diamandis
Recently, Edmonton Economic Development hosted a conference called “E-Town Festival,” ostensibly about Alberta’s capital and related trivialities. At $400 a pop, “E-Town Festival feeds the mind and heart of people who get excited by innovation, creativity and disrupting common thought.” This could only provide lulz so I took an opportunity to check out the keynote speaker, Peter Diamandis, on opening night.
After first finding out who this “billionaire” was from his rather derpy Twitter page, I arrived with the lowest of low expectations. Ninety minutes later, I left with a few new facts, such as IBM’s success with Watson in oncological diagnoses testing and the opening up of Watson’s API, and an otherwise stunned amazement that anyone could’ve accumulated so much wealth with so much swiss cheese in his head.i The number of logical contradictionsii wrapped in a shiny package of “optimism” was even more painful to see swallowed than it was to see proffered. His quest for naive interventionism and cult-like scientism knew no bounds. Diamandis’ pumped some crud so brainless that you wonder if he himself isn’t “lab modified” à la Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, etc. I mean, he didn’t sound entirely unlike that dead dude, what’s his name… Antonopoulos.iii
And though he missed several opportunities to do so during his presentation, at least Diamandis mentioned “Bitcoin” during the Q&A session, saying that he’s a big proponent. This was enough for me to approach him at the informal dinner afterwards to ask him about his activities in the Bitcoin space. He mentioned Xapoiv and that he was working on something sooper sekrit.v
pete_dushenski: Le tweet.
assbot: Enjoyed @PeterDiamandis’ talk last night. Can’t wait for him to join the Bitcoin fray, starting with bitcoin-assets
asciilifeform: ‘Passionate about innovation and creating a world of Abundance.’vi << lol!
pete_dushenski: YIL:vii Diamandis is an asteroid mining,viii SpaceXing,ix self-proclaimed “capitalist libertarian”x who is a big believer in Bitcoin and is going to be launching a Bitcoin something sometime soon.xi
asciilifeform: Chap should get on with drowning honourably aboard a seastead or stfu…
*: asciilifeform: intensely allergic to ‘silicon valley’ state religion.xii
There’s no denying Diamandis’ subscription to SV State Religion.
Part II: Other lab modified organisms
pete_dushenski: asciilifeform: Lol ya and he’s pro-GMO because “no one hurt yet”xiii
asciilifeform: Once you utter ‘pro-‘ or ‘anti-GMO’ you’re swallowed the stupid pill.
pete_dushenski: Also: “Wait until you see what the third world invents when they get internet access.”xiv
pete_dushenski: asciilifeform: How do you figure? re: GMO
assbot: Logged on 18-08-2014 16:08:14; asciilifeform: GMO foods << a term annoying as all hell. There are no ‘GMO foods’
pete_dushenski: Lab-modified-foods then?
asciilifeform: Focusing on the fact of modification, rather than specific purpose, is idiotic.
pete_dushenski: Naively engineered top-down slop? So is calling bitcoin crypto-currency.
asciilifeform: The only extant commercial mods are – to help the plant resist megatonnes of poisonous crud poured on top.
pete_dushenski: So is calling a crossover vehicle a truck. Also aridity.
asciilifeform: It’s precisely like calling bitcoin a ‘crypto-currency’, as if there were other similar apparatus worth mentioning, sitting on the shelf next to it.
pete_dushenski: Right. ok so let’s clean up the language and go with “LMO.”
asciilifeform: American propaganda schools have an interesting term of art, ‘Teaching the Controversy.’ Once you’ve been ‘taught the controversy’ – that is, convincing that there -even is- reasonable debate among informed people, on a particular subject – the lie becomes a kind of half-truth, automagically. Because suddenly, there is (or you think there is) a debate. with ‘sides.’ (At least two! of which the artist controls at least 1…) If controversy is manufactured from whole cloth, in empty space, then typically – both.
Done. GMO out. LMO in.
Since all life, as we know it, is “genetically modified,” let’s stop picking over words in a false dichotomy and call out the real villain, Monsanto, for what it is: a slime-drenched tentacle of the drowning, gasping, flailing-for-oxygen USG and a completely contemptible piece of shit.
Really, this LMO shit is worse even than Peter Diamandis.
___ ___ ___
- As if the Donald Sterling affair wasn’t enough to convince you that there’s something seriously the matter with the US and its billionaires. [↩]
- Diamandis started his lecture talking about how poor humans are at understanding exponential growth, then proceeded to draw a straight line predicting that a $1000 laptop in 2020 will crunch maxint petaflops or somesuch. Yet it’s no secret that Moore’s Law is running into a wall. And it’s frankly about goddam time. [↩]
- That they’re both Greek-Americans is surely a coincidence, neh? [↩]
- You, yes you! can invest in Xapo just like billionaire Peter Diamandis! “But Pete, how is that possibru? I’m just a lowly thousand/millionaire and I don’t have the necessary connections!” Sure you do: you can invest in Xapo though the D.XAPO offering on MPEx, which you can purchase through MPEx directly, or through WoT-approved broker CoinBr. Easy! Fun! Profit! [↩]
- One can only imagine that Diamandis is working on something to facilitate, in his words: “Phase 5: Finally will come the ‘Mass Global Consumer Adoption’ phase — this is where bitcoin becomes a major player in the global economy. When consumers feel it is easy, safe and secure to use bitcoin. It won’t be possible until after the “User Interface Moment” materializes, but I believe, as does Barry, that this is only 1-2 years out.”
- From Diamandis’ Twitter bio. [↩]
- The past tense of TIL: Today I Learned. [↩]
- Through a company called Planetary Resources, Diamandis and co. are aiming their 3D-printed satellites at hunking great non-Moon rocks orbiting Earth. They estimate that some of these asteroids contain precious metals worth upwards of, get this, $5.4 tn. That’s about the equivalent of all the gold that’s ever been mined on terra firma. Of course, an injection of that much supply of any precious metals completely undermines the former descriptor and leaves us with “metals” and their industrial uses. This doesn’t bode well for gold and silver, but as ever, Bitcoin users not affected. [↩]
- SpaceX, being an awards-based development model under the XPRIZE banner, is an interesting approach. I have to say that it’s more targeted, cost-effective, and more likely to bear fruit than Y Combinator’s American Idol approach. The next $10 mn award in this vein will be for a Star Trek-like “Tricorder” that hopes to develop a consumer-grade medical diagnosis instrument. Qualcomm has donated an additional $10 mn to this program but the prize is still only $10 mn. Why? Because $10 mn is needed for “administration.” This is the insult added to the injury of the grossly devalued size of the prize. The SpaceX prize was awarded in 2004 bezzle bucks. [↩]
- Alongside Branson, Brin, etc. [↩]
- And since he’s not in the WoT, it won’t matter in the slightest. [↩]
- You rarely hear of people referring to their distaste for a certain class of others in the physical terms of hypersensitivity reactions. Aside from Stan, one of the few other characters, fictional or otherwise, who comes to mind is Taleb’s Fat Tony, famous for his revulsion towards economists. Most people, I imagine, are too polite to frame their opinions so viscerally.
- This is the conflation of absence of evidence for evidence of absence. The canonical work on the matter of the precautionary principle and lab modified organisms is found in Nassim Taleb’s The Precautionary Principle: Fragility and Black Swans from Policy Actions (worth reading: PDF download ) [↩]
- As if the bright and capable ones hadn’t left long ago. [↩]