Author Archives: Ponderer

Corruption & Inefficiency Under Fascism

Corruption and inefficiency are phenomena which we tend to associate with government. And yet, under a fascist system where many large business enjoy a cushy relationship with government, we should not be surprised to encounter the exact same phenomena in those ostensibly “private” companies Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Statism | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Straßen unter einem schwachen Staat

Wer das Leben unter einem schwachen Staat ausprobieren möchte, dem kann ich Paraguay wärmstens empfehlen. Der paraguayanische Staat interessiert sich fürs Absahnen (wie alle andere), aber grundsätzlich für fast nichts anderes. Der Staat macht sehr wenig, das absolute Minimum. Continue reading

Posted in Reflections, Statism | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Proper Names

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper names” Intriguing quote often attributed to Confucius, where “proper name” is the translation used for 正名. It brings to mind the convolutions of meaning we find in Newspeak, reminding … Continue reading

Posted in Language, Reflections | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Free choice means mixed results

If in a certain sector of society free choices are severely curtailed, then many people will tend to forget the fact that free choice comes at a price. In such a case, they may well react with shock when witnessing the consequences of bad choices. Why? For the simple and understandable reason that they have little experience with the upside offered by good ones. Continue reading

Posted in Observations, Status Quo | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Capital controls in Italy not worth reporting

On February 13th Il Sole reported that Italian banks had been required by the government to withhold 20% of all incoming wire transfers to personal accounts, the so-called “ritenuta fiscale”. The banks would get to keep the loot until July … Continue reading

Posted in Status Quo | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

On the Origins of Money and Bitcoin

Recent textual analysis done on the original bitcoin whitepaper leads down interesting paths. At a minimum, it is strong evidence that significant parts of the writing in the whitepaper entitled bitcoin.pdf came from Nick Szabo’s keyboard. Moreover, it seems clear that Szabo was one of the key thinkers contributing CPU-time to what eventually evolved into today’s cryptocurrencies. Continue reading

Posted in Economics, History | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Under-Appreciated Power of Media

Where does this so-called “wùmái” (雾霾) come from? Is the air any better or worse this year than last? It doesn’t seem too different to me, but in any case, the media won’t help you much to get an answer to that question. Continue reading

Posted in Health, Human Nature, Media | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment