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Saturday, December 31, 2022

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Pele, RIP

He was 82.

A Sad passing.
__________
 

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Year end update

My sister and family are gettin' hammered
   

Carole, my younger (& only) sibling, has lived in Marquette, MI for decades. Blizzards? Numbing cold?

Unfazed. 
 
I went there once for my birthday in February.

She sent me the coolest stuff for Christmas.


Quarter of the way through this book already. It jumped the line. Very cool. I mostly just read Kindle / eBooks any more. The eyes are getting pretty sketchy. Making the effort here, though.
__________
 

Thursday, December 22, 2022

A wild end to 2022

Everyone, be careful out there.
 
 
[Above, 6 pm, 12/22] I live in Baltimore. We've had dismal, cold rain all day, and tomorrow (Friday the 23rd) the forecast says we'll have a temperature drop across the day from the low 50's to 16F, with winds up to 55 mph or more. The expected low here on Christmas Eve is 9F. 
 
Ugh. Homeless people are gonna die, here and elsewhere in this vast storm path.
 
Please be safe.
 
FRIDAY UPDATE: Our rain has finally stopped, winds are beginning to howl, and the temperature is dropping like a rock—faster than an FTX token. We're reportedly gonna hit a midnight low of 9F.
____

END OF 2022 ERRATA
 
New reads...


 
I have too much going on at once on Kindle these days. "Escape From Model Land" came to me via a review in my Science Magazine. Stephanie Hare's book then caught my eye while Twitter-searching Erica Thompson. Then, my wife alerted me to a CBS Morning News piece featuring Amy E. Herman.
 
DRAGGING UP THE REAR
 
Working on finally finishing these. Almost done with "Driverless Finance."
 
 
 
NOTE: Finished "Driverless Finance."
 
OTHER NEWS
 
 
SBF made bail in NY today. $250M, 1% cash collateral. He will be on ankle-monitored "house arrest" at his Stanford Law faculty parents' digs in Palo Alto. Beats the hell outa of pre-trial incarceration in the Bahamas.
 
See my prior posts on this maudlin circus.
 
JANUARY 6TH REPORT IS OUT
 
845 pages of ass-whup. PDF

CALVIN

We had a baby grandson for what seems like about 3 days. He'll be 3 yrs on January 15th.


We ("Pop" & "Mee-mo") pick him up from pre-school daily. Took him to Starbucks the other day for hot chocolate. The kid is fabulous.

TAKING STOCK, LOOKING AHEAD

The Covid, flu, and RSV bugs continue to bedevil us. Global warming issues clamor for attention. Species extinctions seem to be accelerating. Refugee migrations are also ramping up. Pollution worsens. Armed combat? (Russia) Threats to democracies? Evident everywhere you turn. Civilian gun violence? Disinfo? Malign Tech? Need I elaborate? The list of overlapping concerns remains.
__________
 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

My "FINAL LEGAL NOTICE"

Final Legal Notice

To, Robert Gladd
Address: 8210 Creek Water Lane Las Vegas NV 89123
Email: **********@comcast.net
 
This is last chance for you, to hold this Case File you must submit a minimum payment of $300.00
 
You can email us on below address for any query or payment mode;
ge.debtcollectionagency@gmail.com
 
This Legal Proceeding will be issued on your Docket Number DL-20731642 with one of Cash Advance Inc. Company to let you know that after making calls on your phone number, we were unable to reach out to you. So, the account's department of Cash Advance has decided to mark this case as a Flat Refusal and press Legal Charges against you.
 
CASE NO:  FGTM-98524L2
Amount Outstanding: $1200.00
 
Do revert if you want to get rid of these legal consequences and make payment arrangements today or else, we will be proceeding legally against you and this notification will also be sent to your current employer. The opportunity to take care of this voluntarily is quickly coming to an end. I regret to advise that unless payment is received before the end of this week this invoice will be passed over to our legal authority.  This could seriously affect your credit rating, so I urge you to contact us immediately to make payment or arrange an alternative before this date.
  
We will be forced to go ahead legally against you and once it proceeds to the Court House, the creditor has entire rights to tell your employer and your references about this issue and the lawsuit will be the next step which will be amounting to $6700.00 and will be totally levied upon excluding your attorney charges. If you take care of this matter out of court, then we will release the clearance certificate from the court and make sure that no one will contact you in the future.
 

Please let us know of your intention by today itself so we can hold the case or else we will send the paperwork to your local county sheriff department, and you will be served by court summons at your doorstep.
 
You can reply us on below address for more information;
ge.debtcollectionagency@gmail.com  
_____________
 
One scarcely knows where to begin. Perhaps we could start with a Google search for "CASE NO:  FGTM-98524L2." 'eh? 

I get this kind of crap all the time. Y'all probably do as well, right? These (cringingly English-as-a-2nd/3rd/4th language) phishers are relentless. Moronically so.
 

I sold that Las Vegas house in Sept. 2013, and moved back to California. I'd retired in May 2013. Didn't have Comcast email until after we'd relocated to the Bay Area. 

Idiots. They don't want to meet Bad Bobby.
__________
 

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Congratulations, Argentina

All kidding aside, you gotta give these athletes their props. I have yet to see an obese futbol player. Moreover, this final has made a convert outa me.
__________
 

Friday, December 16, 2022

Day 295

of Putin's 3-day invasion and conquest of Ukraine
I watched this in its entirety last night on Netflix. Please do likewise.
When Putin invaded on Feb 24th, I was sure President Zelenskyy
would be exiled, captured, or killed right away. 295 days later, he survives.
I am glad to be wrong, every day that goes by.

One brave man, leading a fearless nation in their fight against barbarity.
__________
 

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Elon?

 Uhhh...OK?

 What in the hell is he up to?
 
 
I started using Twitter mainly to pimp this blog, back when I was in the #HealthIT space. It has worked well for me. Perhaps not much longer, though, in light of the SMH juvie, trollish provocateur antics of the new (highly leveraged) owner.


 
It was just reported that he has sold $3.6B of his Tesla stock (TSLA), which is now down -60% YTD.
 
In fairness, TSLA didn't even rise above $100 until mid-June 2020, so it's still more than 50% higher across the the period since then. The Y-axis low of $150 (rather than zero) in the upper graph visually amplifies the apparent relative decline. Nonetheless, he may well soon be flirting with a hostile takeover attempt (depending on how many buyers bought high).
 


SAM BANKRUPT-FRIED UPDATE
 


The unfolding thread
____
 
apropos of my December 8th post.
 
 
So, software (AI) can now write software?
Competitive programming problems represent a challenging task for even skilled programmers: Given a short natural language description of an algorithmic problem, contestants must quickly write a program that solves the task. On page 1092 of this issue, Li et al. (1) present the AlphaCode system, which represents a substantial step forward in the development of machine learning (ML) models that can synthesize computer programs to solve these types of challenging problems. But what is perhaps most surprising about the system is what AlphaCode does not do: AlphaCode contains no explicit built-in knowledge about the structure of computer code. Instead, AlphaCode relies on a purely “data-driven” approach to writing code, learning the structure of computer programs by simply observing lots of existing code...
Programming is a powerful and ubiquitous problem-solving tool. Systems that can assist programmers or even generate programs themselves could make programming more productive and accessible. Recent transformer-based neural network models show impressive code generation abilities yet still perform poorly on more complex tasks requiring problem-solving skills, such as competitive programming problems. Here, we introduce AlphaCode, a system for code generation that achieved an average ranking in the top 54.3% in simulated evaluations on recent programming competitions on the Codeforces platform. AlphaCode solves problems by generating millions of diverse programs using specially trained transformer-based networks and then filtering and clustering those programs to a maximum of just 10 submissions. This result marks the first time an artificial intelligence system has performed competitively in programming competitions.
All very interesting.

UPDATE

This author just testified at a Senate crypto hearing.


From her prescient Prologue 2031 "premortem." Just started reading. Stay tuned. 
 
Below, Professor Allen during her Senate testimony.
 

Click


BREAKING:
THE BAHAMAS (The Borowitz Report)—People around the world have been flabbergasted to learn that a man who created a business based on imaginary money might be a fraud.

In interviews spanning the globe, respondents expressed shock and disbelief that a firm offering customers wealth by turning their actual money into pretend money could be anything but legitimate.

“I’m still trying to wrap my head around this,” Johan, who is based in Sweden, said. “How could a business built on a foundation of nonexistent dollars somehow collapse?”

“I’m completely gobsmacked by the news,” Caitlyn, who lives in London, said. “Of all of the firms offering big returns on made-up money, this one seemed the most solid.”

Roger, who lives in Michigan, expressed concern about the broader implications of a company swimming in fictitious billions suddenly going bankrupt. “I just hope that one bad apple doesn’t wreck the entire fake-money industry,” he said.

COMING SOON
 
"From a famous actor and an experienced journalist, a wildly entertaining debunking of cryptocurrency, one of the greatest frauds in history and on course for a spectacular crash

At the height of the pandemic, TV star Ben McKenzie (The O.C., Gotham) was the perfect mark for cryptocurrency: a dad stuck at home with some cash in his pocket, worried about his family, armed with only the vague notion that people were making heaps of money on something he—despite a degree in economics—didn’t entirely understand. Lured in by the promise of taking power from banks, possibly improving democracy, and sure, a touch of FOMO, McKenzie dove deep into blockchain, Bitcoin, and the various other coins and exchanges on which they are traded.

But after scratching the surface, he had to ask, “Am I crazy, or is this all a total scam?” In Easy Money, McKenzie enlists the help of journalist Jacob Silverman for a caper and exposĂ© that points in shock to the climactic final days of cryptocurrency now upon us. Weaving together stories of average traders and victims, colorful crypto “visionaries,” Hollywood’s biggest true believers, anti-crypto whistleblowers, and government agents searching for solutions at the precipice of a major crash, Easy Money is an on-the-ground look at a perfect storm of 2008 Housing Bubble–level irresponsibility and criminal fraud potentially ten times more devastating than Bernie Madoff." [Amazon blurb]
OK, release date July 18, 2023? They need to get off the dime and ramp this up (yeah, easy for me to say). Michael Lewis looms in the wings (LOL).
 
Just kidding

 
5:10 well worth your time. Listen carefully.
__________ #cryptNOcurrency
 

Thursday, December 8, 2022

"Malign Technologies" update: AI Natural Language Generation (NLG)

Who might have copyright ownership claims to AI-generated human-readable text?


I posted this today on Facebook. From an interesting article in The Atlantic:
“The world of generative AI is progressing furiously. Last week, OpenAI released an advanced chatbot named ChatGPT that has spawned a new wave of marveling and hand-wringing, plus an upgrade to GPT-3 that allows for complex rhyming poetry; Google previewed new applications last month that will allow people to describe concepts in text and see them rendered as images; and the creative-AI firm Jasper received a $1.5 billion valuation in October…”
OK, question for all of my musician/songwriter friends. If you use the free updated GPT-3 to “write” song lyrics by proxy (i.e., you type in a theme—“Ooooh, baby, you’re gone, and my heart is broken, whah, whah, whah…”—and out pops a Lizzy McAlpine-worthy heartthrob lament), well, who “owns” the lyrics copyright? OpenAI? (But, wait! I thought they are “open source?”)

No one will give a shit unless and until the AI-spawned song becomes a lucrative chart success— after which every music biz IP lawyer in LA and Nashville will be aggressively elbowing each other aside in the sprint to the courthouse to file claims.

Count on it.
BTW: I am a long-time songwriter, of durably nil repute (or $$$). As my wife adroitly put it, I was Quixotically "working in the not-for-profit sector." I may have to screw around with GPT-3, just for grins.
  BobbyG, 1981, "The Once & Future Fool"
While living in Knoxville beginning in the late 1970's I was a member of the East TN Chapter of the Nashville Songwriters' Association. But, once belatedly in college at UTK, where I learned the statistical/economic principle of "expected value" (probability x payoff), it became clear that the average estimated prospective "value" of your lovingly-crafted song was in "basis points" (hundreths of a cent) at best.

I changed careers in 1986, and went first into environmental radiation laboratory science. The old joke: "How do you become a millionaire in the music business? Start out with at least two million dollars."

UPDATE
 
I opened an account at OpenAI to explore this tech.
 
 
It's certainly fast. But my initial use thus far is just Q&A.
____

Now, the topical focus of The Atlantic piece is "authenticity" of student prose writing in the academic environment.
Essay generation is neither theoretical nor futuristic at this point. In May, a student in New Zealand confessed to using AI to write their papers, justifying it as a tool like Grammarly or spell-check: “I have the knowledge, I have the lived experience, I’m a good student, I go to all the tutorials and I go to all the lectures and I read everything we have to read but I kind of felt I was being penalised because I don’t write eloquently and I didn’t feel that was right,” they told a student paper in Christchurch. They don’t feel like they’re cheating, because the student guidelines at their university state only that you’re not allowed to get somebody else to do your work for you. GPT-3 isn’t “somebody else”—it’s a program.
Yeah. But apropos of my opening scenario, one can quickly come up with a number of broader questions. When big money is at stake (e.g., my recent prior FTX posts), all manner of problems surface—NLG "plagiarism (?)" aside.

My priority interest in AI has principally been about stuff like this:

Click
NLU: Natural Language Understanding.

I asked OpenAI ChatGPT the following:
ME:
Can artificial intelligence analyze a prose argument?

ChatGPT:
Yes, artificial intelligence (AI) can be trained to analyze prose arguments to some extent. However, the extent to which AI can effectively analyze prose arguments will depend on various factors, such as the quality and amount of training data the AI has been given, the specific AI model being used, and the complexity and nuances of the argument being analyzed.
I'll have to see if I can provide it an "argument," and instruct it to analyze and evaluate it. Skeptical. but, we'll see.

See some of my prior riffs on "AI" topics more generally here.

UPDATES

More from The Atlantic piece.
A chasm has existed between humanists and technologists for a long time. In the 1950s, C. P. Snow gave his famous lecture, later the essay “The Two Cultures,” describing the humanistic and scientific communities as tribes losing contact with each other. “Literary intellectuals at one pole—at the other scientists,” Snow wrote. “Between the two a gulf of mutual incomprehension—sometimes (particularly among the young) hostility and dislike, but most of all lack of understanding. They have a curious distorted image of each other.” Snow’s argument was a plea for a kind of intellectual cosmopolitanism: Literary people were missing the essential insights of the laws of thermodynamics, and scientific people were ignoring the glories of Shakespeare and Dickens.

The rupture that Snow identified has only deepened. In the modern tech world, the value of a humanistic education shows up in evidence of its absence. Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of the crypto exchange FTX who recently lost his $16 billion fortune in a few days, is a famously proud illiterate. “I would never read a book,” he once told an interviewer. “I don’t want to say no book is ever worth reading, but I actually do believe something pretty close to that.”…
Ahhh... C.P. Snow. I've riffed on him before here.

Also, the best place to hide $16 billion from our liitle a-literate Genius pal Sam Bankman-Fried is apparently inside a book. 
 
"The Beast."
 
OK, THIS IS CUTE
 
Scott Singeisen, a “Professor of architecture” posts a Twitter thread in reaction to The Atlantic article:
Me:
Write a well argued response to Stephen Marche’s recent essay in @TheAtlantic that AI will make the college essay obsolete

ChatGPT:
Stephen Marche's essay in the Atlantic argues that AI will make the college essay obsolete. However, this claim is not well-supported and is ultimately not convincing.

First of all, it is important to note that the college essay serves a specific purpose in the admissions process. It allows admissions officers to get a sense of the applicant's personality, writing abilities, and potential fit for the institution. AI, on the other hand, is not capable of providing this type of insight. While AI may be able to analyze data and generate texts, it cannot replicate the human experience and provide the same level of depth and understanding that a college essay can.

Furthermore, the use of AI in the admissions process raises concerns about fairness and bias. AI systems are only as good as the data they are trained on, and if the training data is [sic] biased, the AI will also be biased. This could lead to admissions decisions that are unfair or that do not accurately reflect an applicant's abilities and potential.

Additionally, the use of AI in the admissions process could potentially widen the gap between students from different backgrounds. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds may not have access to the same resources and support as their more privileged peers, leading to a disadvantage in the admissions process.

In conclusion, while AI may have the potential to assist in the admissions process, it is not capable of replacing the college essay. The college essay serves a specific purpose in the admissions process and is an important tool for admissions officers to evaluate applicants. The use of AI also raises concerns about fairness and bias, and could potentially widen the gap between students from different backgrounds.
I'm gonna have to play with some of this stuff. 
 
I'm lucky. I never needed AI NLG "help" when it came to writing—prose or song lyrics. Likely has something to do with the 2-3 books a week (plus all of my periodicals) I've studied across my-now 55 years of "adult" life since turning 21. Ya think?

 Stephen Marche:

"[N]atural-language processing is going to force engineers and humanists together. They are going to need each other despite everything. Computer scientists will require basic, systematic education in general humanism: The philosophy of language, sociology, history, and ethics are not amusing questions of theoretical speculation anymore. They will be essential in determining the ethical and creative use of chatbots, to take only an obvious example…"

Yeah, And, don't forget the lawyers. Never overlook the lawyers, lest you come to rue the day.

MORE UPDATES
Click

Click
OK, WHAT ABOUT THIS CRAP?
 
 
Ugh... 

CODA
 
 
My latest login. The popularity of ChatGPT is melting their servers. 
 

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Elizabeth Holmes, Sam Bankman-Fried: Beauty and The Beast

 Theranos, FTX, and our long tradition of scams.

Some aggregated links to prior topical posts. "Beauty."  "The Beast."
 
MORE NEWS & COMMENT

 Hmmm... will SBF's father providing legal advice also conveniently serve as asserted "attorney-client privilege" cover?

FROM AN INTERESTING RECENT INTERVIEW WITH CORY DOCTOROW
In your next novel, “Red Team Blues,” you focus on Martin Hench, a sixty-seven-year-old forensic accountant, who is tasked with recovering a set of stolen signing keys that, with some technical finagling, can permit one to rewrite a blockchain’s distributed ledger, swiping assets from one side to the other, as it were. Do you think blockchain tech is less secure than enthusiasts portray it to be?

I think so. One of the things about pseudonymity is that it has a cumulative information-leakage problem. So, if you’re pseudonymous, and you make one transaction and then never do anything else, that transaction will likely be very hard to trace back to you, right? If you make one blockchain transaction, it’s unlikely to be identifiable as you. If you make two, suddenly you’re getting into a lot more possible re-identification material. And then, if you have a long life on the blockchain, where you do lots of things over years and years, and something happens that unmasks something a long time ago—say, someone is arrested and they disclose records of which people were associated with which wallets—now a bunch of your transactions are in the public domain, even if you weren’t doing anything illegal.

Did you have fun writing about crypto?

A little bit. Crypto is weird, because, much more so than other technologies, if you don’t like crypto, crypto people really want to convince you that you’re wrong. There are other technological choices that I’ve been involved with. Like, for example, I think that the iOS model of curated computing, where a company not only has its own app store but stops you from choosing a rival app store—I think that’s bullshit. And there are a lot of people who really like Apple, and yet very few of them insist that I come on their podcast to explain why I think they’re wrong. And I had to declare a moratorium on going on blockchain podcasts to explain why I thought people were wrong. There is, among blockchain enthusiasts, a kind of unwillingness to believe that, if someone disagrees with you, it’s because they understand you and, despite understanding you, still disagree.

Ethereum is a project based around decentralized applications, which run on a scattered network of computers and don’t have a single owner who controls them. That would seem to be in line with what you want for the Internet, in the sense of more interoperability and more security. Or am I wrong?

I think distributed apps are a great idea. I am skeptical of smart contracts, which are the building block of distributed apps. Smart contracts are hard to get right. And this is not a thing that you can fix. There’s this foundational idea in computer science called the halting problem, which says that, above a pretty minimal threshold, it’s impossible to know all the different ways that a program can behave. One of the ways that computer scientists try to address this risk is by keeping Undo buttons around in our code. We try not to make irreversible operations. We try to write a backup of the data before we save it again, so that, when you save it, if the program crashes, you have a backup of the last save state. We try to maintain an audit log and to unwind processes that go off the rails.

The code in your anti-lock braking system, though—once it fails, your brakes don’t work, and that’s it. You can’t unring that bell. Or the code that controls whether or not the coolant will be released into the nuclear reactor—if it fails to go off, and the reactor melts down, you can’t fix it. Those are still instances where we want automation, and we try to minimize how automated they are, and we try to surround them by other systems—we try to build, like, soft walls around them, because we understand that this should be the exception, and it should be treated as very dangerous, because computer programs are very unpredictable.

In blockchain land, including in smart-contract land, we throw all of that away. We take applications that in no way benefit from being irreversible and we make them irreversible. So, rather than having a bank that decides whether or not a transaction goes forward, you have this automated Proof of Work or Proof of Stake process, all these different computers, running in tandem, all checking each other’s work, and there’s no way to unwind it.

The title “Red Team Blues” plays on an idea from cybersecurity and war gaming, that red attacks and blue defends. The red-versus-blue concept comes up at different points in the narrative. Was it a structural cornerstone for the book from the beginning?

In some ways, it’s just me working out my own anxieties. I am firmly convinced of the attacker’s advantage—that the attacker needs to find one exploitable defect, and the defender needs to make no mistakes. And this means that, over the long term, attackers tend to have the advantage, and defenders need to become attackers in order to win. But, at the same time, it makes me despair for some of the things that I treasure. Like content moderation, for example.

I worry that, because of the attacker’s advantage, the people who want to break the rules are always going to be able to find ways around them, and that we’re never going to be able to make a set of rules that is comprehensive enough to forestall bad conduct. We see this all the time, right? Facebook comes up with a rule that says you can’t use racial slurs, and then racists figure out euphemisms for racial slurs. They figure out how to walk right up to the line of what’s a racial slur without being a racial slur, according to the rule book. And they can probe the defenses. They can try a bunch of different euphemisms in their alt accounts; they can see which ones get banned or blocked, and then they can pick one that they think is moderator-proof.

Meanwhile, if you’re just some normie who’s having racist invective thrown at you, you’re not doing these systematic probes—you’re just trying to live your life. And they’re sitting there trying to goad you into going over the line. And as soon as you go over the line they know chapter and verse. They know exactly what rule you’ve broken, and they complain to the mods and get you kicked off. And so you end up with committed professional trolls having the run of social media and their targets being the ones who get the brunt of bad moderation calls. Because dealing with moderation, like dealing with any system of civil justice, is a skilled, context-heavy profession. Basically, you have to be a lawyer. And, if you’re just a dude who’s trying to talk to your friends on social media, you always lose. So this book is me trying to work out what it means to be on the red team—or, rather, to be forced onto the blue team when you want to be on the red team, and how you can turn the tables…
Good stuff.

SUMMARY RECAP

UPDATE
 
Reported by Yahoo Finance:
The judge who presided over the criminal fraud trials of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes and her co-defendant and one-time boyfriend, Theranos COO and president Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, sentenced Balwani on Wednesday to nearly 13 years in prison plus three years of probation...
I'm OK with that. Given the length, it's not gonna be Club Fed. Looks like he'll serve not quite 11 years, net (federal system). I don't wish him any harm. You properly go to prison as punishment, not for punishment.

OK, BACK TO THE BEAST


Scary to realize that someone so inept and so full of shit could gain access to billions of dollars of others' actual money—which he then made disappear, either through negligence or nefarious intent.
__________ #cryptNOcurrency
 

Thursday, December 1, 2022

FTX: "Mistakes Were Made"

Ya THINK?
 
"SAM BANKMAN-FRIED: Thanks for having me. At the end of the day, I was C.E.O. of FTX, and that means whatever happened, why ever it happened — I had a duty. I had a duty to all of our stakeholders, to our customers, our creditors. I had a duty to our employees, to our investors and to the regulators of the world to do right by them and make sure the right things happened at the company. And clearly, I did not do a good job with that.

Clearly I made a lot of mistakes. There are things I would give anything to be able to do over again. I did not ever try to commit fraud on anyone. I was excited about the prospects of FTX a month ago. I saw it as a thriving, growing business. I was shocked by what happened this month. And reconstructing it, were there things I wish I had done differently…”
 
I read through the entire NY Times transcript of this interview. In the wake of this 1:13:57, I have now exceeded my Lifetime Permissible Dose of platitudinous lubricant Financial / CryptoBro JargonBabble and poignant passive-voice evasions (and, yeah, he starts out first-person, past tense, active voice, but, read/listen on). I'm now in need of neuro-chelation.
 
Yeah, Mistakes Were Made, son. Well...
 
"Experience is that which you get just AFTER you really needed it."
 
 
 
OK, is it too early to start drinking? Re-read the latter five sentences slowly, out loud. The utter incoherence of crypto, in 31 words (contractions count as 1 each). Y’see, you’re supposed to trust “the code,” not other people.

Ya with me there? Need I really elaborate?

"You talk about trust. Crypto ultimately is about trust. It’s about not having to trust others. It’s about a trust-free system. That’s why you’re supposed to trust it so much."

(more New Yorker)…Hastings, of Netflix, said that it was “legal cringiness” for S.B.F. to keep giving interviews: “His parents must be, like, ‘Oh, my God.’ ” (Bankman-Fried’s parents are both Stanford Law professors; he has said that “my lawyers” have advised him, futilely, to stay quiet.) “He has nothing to gain from this,” Joe Appelbaum said. “If he thinks he can keep bullshitting his way out of trouble at this point, he’s delusional.” Appelbaum is the president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. “I’m half a professional gambler, half a farmer,” he continued. “I’m pretty tech-forward, but most of the crypto stuff sounds pretty nuts to me…”
Indeed.

MORE 

Click above.
BELOW: FROM YAHOO FINANCE
With customers, investors and, potentially, law enforcement closing in, the fate of crypto wunderkind-turned-pariah Sam Bankman-Fried may rest on two key questions: What did he know about Alameda Research, and when did he know it?

Since the stunning, early November collapse of both Alameda, a secretive crypto hedge fund Bankman-Fried cofounded in 2017, and FTX, a crypto exchange he cofounded in 2019 and grew into one of the world’s largest, speculation has run rampant about how the two operations were intertwined and what chain of events drove both businesses into bankruptcy.

Bankman-Fried, in a series of high-profile media appearances this week, has begun offering his own working theory: Alameda took on far too much leverage to make risky investments on the FTX platform, and FTX failed to recognize and prevent it. A key claim: that Bankman-Fried himself didn’t really know what Alameda was up to…
Yeah, sure.

UPDATE
 
 
See related New Yorker article.
 
That pic cracks me up. Beginning in 2010, as an "extracurricular" part of my last job (electronic medical records systems consulting) prior to "retiring," I covered the "#HealthIT" sector as a "photojournalist" for about 8 years. Most of this stuff was in the Silicon Valley-ish Health IT startup space. I also covered national HIMSS, IHIASQ Health Care DivisionLean HC Summitsand NYeC conferences.
It commenced from a lark. I was living and working in Las Vegas for the Medicare QIO, and HIMSS had come to town for its annual conference. While surfing their website, I came upon their "apply for a Press Pass" link. I applied, citing my EHR work and blog. To my utter surprise, they granted it. I parlayed things from there.
Peyton Manning, Closing HIMSS16 Keynote Speaker. He was great.

So, yeah, I've seen a ton of ego and opaque high-tech BS along with a good bit of genuine, eventually profitable and beneficial innovation.
 

Gotta say, after my kids turned me on to "Silicon Valley HBO," I could hardly do it with a straight face any more.


MORE
 
Bitcoin miners, which already have up to $2.5 billion in loans outstanding, could find themselves in even hotter water as many have exposure to failed crypto exchange FTX and lenders such as BlockFi.

Miners’ balance sheets have been steadily deteriorating over the past few months as the price of bitcoin has slumped, killing their revenue. Meanwhile, energy prices have soared, increasing their costs. This has resulted in one of the biggest mining data center operators in the U.S., Compute North, to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September, while big players such as Core Scientific (CORZ), Argo Blockchain (ARBK) and Greenidge Generation (GREE) have said they are in a liquidity crunch. The stock prices of all three publicly traded miners have plunged more than 90% this year.

Now, some of the lenders working with these already struggling bitcoin miners are in deeper trouble after getting caught up in the FTX blowup – potentially causing another major hit for the mining industry…
Again, there are no "mines." There are no "coins." There are no "tokens." There are no "wallets." There are only enticing yet fatuous metaphors. (And, "Smart Contracts" are neither.) When the radioactive crypto dust settles, all that remain are, in the main, unenforceable obligor-obligee signatures (many of them not even "wet").

The Already Struggling Bitcoin Miner
YO, STANFORD


I won't hold my breath for any response.
 
FROM THE "MISTAKES CONTINUE TO BE MADE" CHANNEL
 

Cat 5 Cringeworthiness. Son, you are about to Go Through Some Things.
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URGENT OFF TOPIC
 
Click here.

Diego is a dear friend of my nephew Nathan, my sister Carole's youngest. I've not met Diego (yet),  As a permanently grieving father who lost both of his daughters to cancers, I ask that you contribute any amount. 
 
Jeff is the husband of my niece April, Nathan's brother. He put this GoFundMe site up.

Please help us help Diego.
__________ #cryptNOcurrency