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2018-03-20 13:00 by Karl Denninger
in POTD , 73 references

These days it sure looks like it.  For Facesucker, that is smiley


Email for pricing and specifics; like all of her work this is an original, one-of-a-kind.

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2018-03-20 11:58 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 98 references
[Comments enabled]  

You really need to head over here and check it out.

Then bookmark her and give her some love on a daily basis.

So there is something that My father and I both found amusing. I’m sure he's already written an article about it and most of you that are reading this have read it. In case you are unaware of what’s going on let me just say that there is this guy on twitter who started tweeting on my page about how my father "hates Jews". It’s really ironic considering that he has dated a Jew and is good friends with her to this day. He then went on to say that I should look deeper into his article and how it states that "Jews are no allowed to live as people".....

Ya'll I can't even begin to state how much I wanted to dig into this guy and give him some education on who my Dad is and what he does.

Yes, my daughter is biased.  And?

The clownface who went after her (and me) on this was amusing as hell.  You can go back on my Twitter timeline and see my set of responses (five of them, no less, due to the limits on tweet character count) to him (at least I think it's a "him.")

Yes, I've posted a few articles in which I've taken positions on things Israel has done, and most have been critical of the nation's leadership and political positions in some way.  So what?  I take critical positions against US leaders all the time!

Being critical of what Israel has done does not make me "anti-Jew" any more than being critical of what Democrats, Republicans, Obama, Trump, Congress or some Sheriff does makes me "anti-American."  Commenting on demographics and politics does not make me anti-anything since demographics are math.  Arithmetic cannot be anti or pro-anything since arithmetic is a factual description of a thing, and things aren't animate and thus cannot be pro, anti, or act.

Further it is indeed a fact that I had a very lovely relationship with a lady who happens to be Jewish.  That had exactly nothing to do with why I liked her and why we got along, nor with why that relationship ended.  We are still very good friends and she's a fantastic individual.  How can you "hate Jews" and yet be very close to someone who is?  That makes no sense.

Since there are people who can't be bothered to read for content and who believe that one must support everything some political body does in order to "like" some group that has an attachment or shared characteristic with same let me make it clear once-again:

Israel cannot be both a "Jewish State" as a matter of law and claimed right and at the same time a representative republic.  A representative republic by definition cannot tie itself to a faith or race because there is no legitimate means to control the citizen's faith or their decision to have children!

Over time as a result the mix of faith of said citizens will shift since, I remind you, one's faith is a choice just as is one's political affiliation (e.g. party, etc.)  No nation-state that prejudices its laws to put a thumb on the scale, no matter how large or small, is a representative republic for it violates the very precept found in our Constitution originally and amplified in the 14th Amendment by doing so.  Yet without said thumb on the scale eventually the demographics shall shift and when they do so does the majority in the government -- at which point any such religious laws disappear.

It is thus a false statement for Israel to claim it is a representative republic and not only is but always shall be a Jewish state.  That is my objection to the characterization that Israel puts forth as do some of the supporters of same.

However, as a sovereign nation Israel has every right to conduct itself within its borders as it sees fit.  That includes putting a thumb on the scale, by the way, which they do with, among other things, their "right of return", the encouragement of ultra-Orthodox Jews through explicit subsidy to live in certain places and make lots of kids, most of whom will likely take the religious path of their parents and more.  All of this is a choice, and one that any sovereign nation has the right to make -- just as Saudi Arabia has the right to be a Muslim nation -- so long as the people there consent to same.

Nations themselves have no right to exist at all, in fact, except with consent of their citizens.  This is very principle embodied in the Declaration of Independence; that if and when the people no longer consent they have the right to throw off their previous political embodiment and replace it, including, if necessary, by force.

But so long as such consent exists then all nations have a right to exist in their present form and that includes the present Jewish state of Israel.

What no nation has a right do, however, including both Israel and Saudi Arabia, is demand that other nations support it whether through trade, arms, direct military assistance, information (strategic, commercial or otherwise) sharing or otherwise.  America has no such right either, by the way.  All nations have the right to request such ties and assistance but none have the right to demand it.

And finally, no nation or its government has the right to control criticism of it by anyone not subject to its legal code.  In addition any nation that attempts to prevent or punish criticism of its political environment or actions by those within or beyond those subject to its legal code as citizens or residents is properly-characterized as a nation that has no respect for fundamental human rights which, I remind you, include the right to Free Speech embodied in our First Amendment.

Attacking someone for holding forth the very principles on which not only America but Israel exist today is stupid beyond words -- or betrays a motive that is dark and sinister indeed.

You choose which it was.

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2018-03-20 10:31 by Karl Denninger
in Technology , 283 references
[Comments enabled]  

The usual nonsense from the various social media companies has started up once anew.

It's very important you understand how they steal data on you, the scope of that theft, and why it matters along with why you not only didn't consent you can't consent.

To understand this you must understand how the web works.

Let's say you go to and read some pages there.  That's this blog, by the way.

If you're new around here you will see a highlighted bar telling you that signing in will improve your experience.  This is because if you create a (free) account and sign in you can customize how the system displays things (the control panel's options are quite-extensive), you can ask it to notify you if topics you're interested in get new user comments and more.

If you sign in you would assume (and the TOS tells you) that the system will store a "cookie", which is just a numeric identifier, on your machine.  That's how it knows who you are when you click a new page, or when you come back to the page later.

But this is not limited to when you sign in.  Any site on the web can and most do send down other cookies.  This software, for example, sends done what is known as a "UUID", or "unique user ID".  It's simply a random, unique (and very long) numeric code that identifies your machine.  Why?  Because it's useful for the software to be able to do things like enforce rate-limiting (that is, to prevent spam-bots from overloading the system and doing other nasty things they would try to do), specifically.  It also allows the software to correlate accesses whether you're signed in or not, which helps security (e.g. if you lose your password the system has a decent idea if you really are who you're trying to get a validation email for!)

Why is this important?  Because any access to a page on the site for which the cookie is valid will have the cookie sent with the request, no matter what page you are accessing on the Internet, and in addition the exact URL you visited is also sent that generated the request.

What's important to understand is that the site you're reading does not generate that request -- your browser does.  Your browser gets a line that says "<script .....>", "<img ....>" or similar and it sends a request for that resource to the specified place.  In the request is the source page (where the request came from) and any cookies your browser has that are valid for the address to which the request is sent.

So let's assume you're Facesucker.  You make it "easy" for site owners to put "likes" and even use sign-on features from Facebook's authentication on your page.  Say, you're a newspaper.

Ok, so I go to www.mylocalnews.dirtbag/my-local-jackass-city-council.html.

As the page loads it requests the "like" buttons from Facebook for the articles, and in addition requests the sign-in box for comments.  Both of those generate a request to Facebook's computers and in that request is the exact URL I am reading -- that is, from where the request came.

Now here's the important part: If I have signed into Facebook at any time in the past from that device then the company has stored one or more cookies on my machine that uniquely identify me.  Since the request to Facebook's servers match the place where the cookie came from they now get the exact article I was reading and my identity even though I did not sign into Facebook to read the article.  I have given no consent to this, I cannot opt out of it and every single place on the Internet that has these buttons and/or sign-on boxes causes this to happen.

What's even worse is that I don't have to actually have signed into Facebook, ever, or even have an account in order for this to occur.  The first time that request goes to Facebook if there are no cookies sent Facebook can assign me one and check my browser's characteristics, including the IP address I'm coming from.  I now am "branded", in that the same cookie will be used to track me forever, and if I at any time in the future sign into Facebook or otherwise use any of their facilities I will then retroactively associate all of that browsing data with my person.

Now you know why Facebook allows (for "free") the user of the OAUTH sign-on facility and promotes "like" buttons all over the web.  It is not about increasing your social experience.

It is about snooping on everything you do online so they can sell and use that data without your knowledge or consent and in fact it is impossible for you to give prior consent because you have no idea the buttons are there before you visit the page!

You can defend against this by clearing all your cookies every time you use your computer, which will cause new cookies to be generated for each visit, but few if any people will.  Never mind that on a phone this happens too and there they can often determine at least coarse location without even having a "location" permission turned on (simply by what network and IP you're on.)  Note that many so-called "apps" are really not much more than a "front" for web accesses to special URLs that know how to parse what comes back and thus obey the exact same conventions regarding cookies.

could do this sort of thing here on the Ticker as my web servers get the same data theirs do on every request but I don't -- on purpose -- because I consider it an outrageous invasion of your privacy and rights.  A few years ago I removed the "Like" and similar buttons for Facebook from the Ticker for this very reason, after a fairly-careful study convinced me they were indeed abusing that data in exactly that fashion.  For right now Twitter's are still present but can be opted out of if you create a login here via the control panel options (that is, if you are signed in you can disable the script loads and thus Twitter's ability to "see" that you read the page.)

This sort of "data mining" needs to be prohibited as a matter of criminal law. Fines will do nothing as they are simply a cost of doing business.  Instead, any firm that does this since consent is impossible must have their corporate charter revoked and their entire board tossed in prison for gross and outrageous invasions of privacy and personal rights.

But -- doing that would shrink Facebook's data stream to a tiny fraction of what it is now and basically all of its market cap exists only because it can and does personally profile anyone that touches any resource that uses its "like" or sign-on functions and sells that.

This "business model" is nothing other than an outrageous invasion of privacy, it occurs without your consent, you'd never consent to it if you did understand it fully and exactly how-accurately they can measure everything about you and you get directly screwed by various firms as a result to the tune of hundreds or thousands of dollars a year.

My reason to believe the latter?  Their ARPU could not possibly exist unless you're getting hosed for at least 10x that amount, since most "advertising" does not in fact drive behavior and is worth zero.  The small percentage that actually results in a conversion (sale) thus must support the entire ARPU generated or their business instantly collapses.

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2018-03-20 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Stupidity , 121 references
[Comments enabled]  

Oh look at the utter and complete crap.

The cryptocurrency craze has spread to small businesses like Rancho Fresco Mexican Grill, a restaurant in Modesto, California, that began accepting bitcoin as payment about a year ago.

Bitcoin offers a specific benefit to the business and its bottom line: It spares Rancho Fresco from paying credit card fees that can total $3,000 each month, owner Ismael Covarrubias told FOX40 in Sacramento.

“It definitely helps because if someone pays in bitcoin, I don't have to pay anyone anything of that bitcoin. It goes directly to my business,” he said.

That's bull****.

The clearing cost for a Bitcoin transaction is much higher than that for credit cards.  If this clownface isn't seeing it it's because he's holding the Bitcoin and not turning into something he can spend.

There are always people who believe they can get something for nothing, but it's never true.  One of the "first principles" I pointed out in Leverage, very early in the book, was that the fundamental economic equation isn't supply:demand -- it's that nobody works for free.

This in turn leads to an axiom that is never violated as it is in the same class as the laws of thermodynamics -- indeed, I have often referred to the fact that economics and thermodynamics have very similar properties.


1. You can't win (that is, "over parity" output from an input is impossible)

2. You can't break even either (that is, some sort of loss is inevitable in all transactions.)

3. The more transfers you make and/or the more complexity you have in a process, the more #1 and #2 cost you (that is, nobody works for free and thus losses are additive.)

The most efficient loan, in terms of actual cost, is the simplest: You find someone with money and borrow it directly from said person.

Provided the market is efficient -- that is, you don't lie about the risk in the loan, there are many choices of lenders, etc -- this is always the cheapest option for you and the best deal for the lender since it has the fewest losses simply by the fact that only two people touch it -- the borrower and lender.

Every single additional person who touches the deal must inherently result in more loss.  A "securitized" loan cannot be cheaper for the borrower and a better deal for the buyers of said securitization unless someone is being robbed.  That is, unless someone lies about the risk and benefits somewhere the total return, when added up for all the participants in the securitization must be less than if one of the persons just loaned the borrower the money!

If that is not the case then someone was robbed.  It cannot happen by accident either, since once again nobody works for free and while individual accidents can happen across any statistically valid number of transactions the only way this occurs if if people are ripping other people off.

The same is true here.  For Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies there are thousands if not more people "involved"; the miners must confirm transactions, the blockchain has to be moved around, etc.  The transaction is inherently less efficient than a credit card because there are more people and more steps involved than with Visa, Master Card, Amex or Discover.

And by the way, without continual increases in the price of Bitcoin mining eventually becomes unprofitable.  When that happens the cost of clearing transactions becomes instantly exposed in full to the persons transacting since there is no longer any reason for a "miner" to absorb it (or worse, there is no reason to mine!)

You cannot get a free lunch and if you think you did someone ripped you off.  You may not know who stole from you yet and you may not have yet recognized the loss but it did occur.  It must because the basic laws of economics say it must, just as the laws of thermodynamics prohibit "free energy."

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2018-03-19 13:00 by Karl Denninger
in POTD , 84 references

Is that a black hole in the center?  Good question........


Email for pricing and more information - like all pieces presented in this sub-topic this is an original, one-of-a-kind.

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