Let’s Cut To The Chase, Is La Serenissima A Cult?

Gödel’s greatest contribution to the fields of metamathematics and logic was this: you can never say only true things without withholding some true statements.i As such, looking from within the murky and unapproachable waters of La Serenissima, what can we say about our little island that hasn’t yet been said? Well, how about this:

It’s like talking to a wall. There’s no use arguing with a cult. 

Having always prided myself in maintaining an independence well past the point of sociability, pankkake’s is a perspective worth exploring. Have I unwittingly joined my first cult? God knows he’s not the only one to make such accusations. So is there any merit to this “cult” labeling? And what defines a “cult” anyways?

My perspective on La Serenissima has been most significantly shaped over the last 10 months, during my potentially never-ending IRC Yeshiva: a journey of unexpected and really rather magnificent proportions. Not even a year ago, I was yet another Bitcoin enthusiast with a Twitter account, organizing local meet-ups, signing up merchants, and wondering how to grow my interest into something more substantive. All the while, I was keeping tabs on Trilema, not quite grokking Mircea Popescu’s sexually-oriented symbolism but sensing that I shouldn’t totally ignore the fishy smell, when I read a line he wrote that simply wouldn’t let go of me:ii

#bitcoin-assets: where Bitcoin policy is set. 

This was a weirdly powerful hook. It was sticky. At once, I wondered how it could it be that some seemingly random chatroom, rather than the will of Bitcoin enthusiasts everywhere, could determine Bitcoin’s policy, and also what kind of policy there was to set! Wasn’t Bitcoin just an open platform for permissionless innovation for anyone, anywhere, anytime? What could a bunch of crude dudes possibly have to say on the matter, much less influence? For months, these thoughts swirled around in my shoulder-mounted soup bowl, unsure what exactly to make of the idea.

Then, as always happens when one is freed from the banality of the familiar, I found myself with some spare time during a vacation in Mazatlán. Then, there, just like that, the pieces began falling into place. I actually sat down to read the #b-a logs and there I saw conversations unfolding before my very eyes that gave context to Trilema, that gave context to Bitcoin, and that were were so tearfully, blessedly, beautifully over my head that I couldn’t read anything else for weeks. As someone always hunting for an intellectual challenge, I’d never seen anything even remotely like #b-a. At once technical, philosophical, political, and outrageous, it was like a gift wrapped for someone else, and yet just for me.

Back home, and after a few months waist-deep in the logs and backlogs, I jumped in to talk.iii One thing led to another and, in an apparent blink, here I sit.

Today, I’m one of the 437 people in assbot’s L2, one of the 29 in assbot’s L1,iv I’ve started a blog that has since become the second-most influential blog in the space,v I’ve written thousands of lines on IRC, read 500x more that that, I’ve learned enough about Bitcoin business to see that I’m still not ready to start one myself,vi and I’ve consumed a considerable amount of kool-aid on topics ranging from socialism to digital security.vii

While I’m proud of this growth and these accomplishments,viii not to mention the external recognition,ix I’ve garnished in the past year, should I also be proud of the kool-aid? Isn’t kool-aid bad because cults and shit?x

So, of cults and kool-aid: What’s the deal?

Perhaps the most valid parallel between La Serenissima and “cults” as I understand them is that both are organisations, organisations with rules, leaders, and followers. The key distinguishing difference being: productivity.

The new Foundation, the new deeds system, a real Bitcoin news site, and more,xi apparently created ex nihilo from the fertile minds of La Serenissima, are all examples of this productivity. As such, rather than a “cult” per se, where strict obedience and blind adherence to a set of protocols is the order of the day, La Serenissima is more properly viewed as an institution that creates the collisions necessary for growth.xii #bitcoin-assets, like all proper and sustainable institutions, is a platform for business, culture, productivity, and pictures of titties. As such, at least to my eyes, it’s a bastion of civility if not subject to its own flavour of insanity. So let’s talk about this insanity.

Said insanity isn’t the typical religious type requiring fasting, praying, and fucking up one’s children, but rather a devout and self-referential anti-puritanism. La Serenissima’s anti-puritanism is developed from causes rather than towards explicit ideals, and it’s propelled by two incredibly powerful forces and an avowed belief in the righteousness therein. These forces being:

1) The prevailing power and wisdom of logic, and
2) The prevailing power and wisdom of Mircea Popescu.

The latter is undeniably the leading figure in La Serenissima and his command of the former is quite simply unsurpassed in my personal experience on this planet.xiii He’s one of the most masterful wielders of words I’ve come across, and in the hundreds of thousands of words of his that I’ve read, I can scarcely recall an example of his logic or reading of history being trumped.xiv This is what draws me in so.xv He’s a dominant force. And it’s rare that he slow plays his hand, preferring instead to use his commanding chip lead to either force smaller players into submission or else clean them off the table. As efforts to lure intellectual equals like Taleb and TLP have thus far failed,xvi MP’s intellectual, linguistic, and articulate dominance remains largely unmatched. So he remains atop the hill, Doge of this fair city, with logic as his crown.xvii

As such, it’s scarcely surprising that so many of those in La Serenissima clamour for his approval, implicitly if not explicitly. I know I’m certainly guilty of this. After all, he’s really the guiding hand of this whole shebang. It only makes sense that his blessing would be sought after, if not in fact sine qua non for success.

This is sort of the unwritten agreement, intentionally or not. Get in the WoT and get on Mircea’s good side or you have a snowball’s chance in hell of mattering in Bitcoin. Since mattering is exactly what those in La Serenissima desire, it’s little wonder that #bitcoin-assets has created such a strong immune system around itself to keep out the pretenders. You really are in or you really are out. And the only way to get in is to submit to the simple fact that you have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about.

Basically, if you don’t agree with MP on a subject of import, you will. ‘Tis only a matter of time. There’s little gray area here, which is sorta how the cold crown of logic works. Again, this is another strange aspect of La Serenissma that makes little to no sense from the outside. How can one fucking dude be right every fucking time? I don’t get it either but I’ve certainly learned not to have any pretenses of knowledge. No way in hell would I ever ask what the definition of a word means by guessing based on its “context.” I’d be shot on sight.

While this creates a degree of black-and-white thinking for the newbies, and therefore the majority, it also creates a far more focused and disciplined mind in those that survive their education and progress into adulthood. In time, and only in time, this adult brain can consider alternative perspectives. Until then, it’s assumed that the child brain is there to be trained, not asked its uninformed opinion. This approach may be as unfamiliar to the western reader as the smell of burning flesh but this type of education has no shortage of successful historical precedent, and therefore validity.

The lines between teacher and student are what naturally separate institutions into leaders and followers. La Serenissima is no different here. This makes sense too. Child brains are for following and adult brains are for leading, which isn’t to say that one can’t progress or revert to the other. It happens all the damn time. In the forward direction it’s called “individuation” and in the reverse it’s called “senility” and both are a part of pretty regular life. N.B. That these processes are also independent of age. You can be 40 yo and have a child brain. But what of it? Not everyone is cut out to be a leader any more than everyone is cut out to be 7′ tall, y’know?

It’s not all “O noes those poor manchildren” or anything. Being a follower really ain’t half bad for the simple reason that it’s less mentally demanding.xviii Less independence means less responsibility means less worries, mon! A follower, if adequately trusting of their leader, needn’t even verify a leader’s instructions.xix Independent on the task, however, obeying instructions liberates the follower from determining whether or not an action is necessary, providing some measure of relief, if not completely oblating guilt should the task fail to achieve its desired result despite the follower’s correct execution.

This is essentially the “kool-aid,” that which I drank, and largely still drink, with regards to digital security among others. I defer to the adult brains like Stan D. because my child brain hasn’t sufficiently developed for me to have my own opinions on the matter. With my background in fine arts, philosophy, economics, and microbiology, what could I possibly, independently!, bring to the table on matters of infosec? What am I gonna do, argue that iPads are totally legit storage devices for PGP keys? No, so I defer to the experts, quietly fiddling with the edges here and there, slowly accumulating experience until I have something of value to offer.xx

Taking something at face value is an efficient means to an end, but like everything efficient, is fragile. A leader’s instructions are necessarily more narrow than the space comprising all possible solutions to a given problem. This is a result of both the “need to know basis” and the “I don’t have all day to explain to you why using Windows is insane” effects. As such, unforeseen circumstances can throw wrenches in the followers’ gears that wouldn’t have slowed down the leader. This has the disadvantage of imperfect execution and the advantage of increased first-hand learning.

In many ways, with an understanding leader in charge, this is the ideal scenario: followers are given a bit of rope and will either hang themselves or learn how to make a snare trap so they can eat. On balance, over the past year, I’d have to say that my experience with La Serenissima has been the less hangy of these two alternatives. I’ve learned more about computing, finance, business, and marketing than I could’ve imagined and I owe everyone there a great deal of gratitude.

This isn’t to say, from some perspectives, that I haven’t tried to hang myself. I have. From the outside looking in at this institution-cum-“cult,” my regurgitation and therefore implicit condonation of rape and sexual slavery, whether I intended these terms in the literalxxi or simply as useful metaphors for dominationxxii, isn’t always clearly conveyed to the reader.xxiii As such, some hot water have I brought to boil with friends and family. Certainly nothing irresolvable, and no interventions have yet been attempted, but being a Reactionary isn’t always smooth sailing.

All of which is to say that while La Serenissima shares some qualities of a “cult”, it’s more properly viewed as a productive institution that’s at once a stronghold of logic, the home of MP, and a corrosive offering to the world.

Frankly, I love it. Whether you choose to take it or leave it is entirely up to you and comes down to whether you desire to make productive contributions to Bitcoin, and therefore the world, or whether you’re content to cheer from the sidelines.

And so it goes. And so it flows. That kool-aid. That cult.

La Serenissima.

___ ___ ___

  1. Gödel’s two most famous propositions are as follows: Proposition VI may be stated as “If the formal system P satisfies a certain condition of ‘consistency’, then there is at least one recursive class-sign r in P such that neither v Gen r nor Neg (v Gen r) is ‘provable within P, where v Gen r is the generalization of r with respect to its free variable v.” Proposition XI may be stated as “If the formal system P is ‘consistent, its ‘consistency’ is ‘unprovable’ within P.” via Über formal unentscheidbare Sätze der Principia Mathematica und verwandter Systeme I by Kurt Gödel, 1931, with introduction by R.B. Braithwaite, 1962.
  2. Though I can’t currently find the linkable source!
  3. Ah, I remember the pre-(+m) days well!
  4. Making me a Bitcoin Lord, by some reckoning.
  5. Trilema being the first, and this second, incidentally, being created at the request of the author of that first. Is it any wonder you see so many Trilema quotes on these pages?

    And if you don’t think Contravex is as influential as I claim, you didn’t see me roast the lead figure of the Bitcoin populare on a spit for all the world to see. This is where shit goes down. Way more people read these pages than you might guess, not least of all in Fuzhou!

  6. That’s the dream, ain’t it? And if Apocalyptic, who just cleanly closed down altcoin exchange X-BT, and mike_c, who just cleanly closed down perimutuel betting game War of Life, couldn’t hack it, fewer than we might imagine actually can. It’s a bit of a quagmire to legitimately persuade Bitcoin holders to part with their coins. Illegitimately convincing them is considerably easier, which has everything to do with target demographics.
  7. I didn’t begin life as an anti-socialist, but when you take shit to its logical conclusion, it’s kinda hard not to, y’know? Unlike Citizens of Fiat, Citizens of Bitcoin don’t proceed on feelings alone. Feelings end conversations whereas logic keeps them going no matter how much it hurts. No matter how much! It’s for the greater good.
  8. Whether you think me a Lord or not, or whether I think myself a Lord or not, I’m one of the freest and most well-read motherfuckers you’ve come across. For, on top of 1-2 hours a day of logs over the past year, I’ve also read 50+ books, just as I have for the past several consecutive years. And no Hunger Potter shit either. Real fucking books. Ones written before you were born. So if you think 2014 was an impressive year, I’m just getting started. I’m still young!
  9. External recognition from people one has not and may never meet is strange. The nearest thing I can compare it to in meatspace is when Nana receives a signed letter from the Queen, the Prime Minister, the Premier, her MLA, and her MP for her 100th birthday. These pieces of scrip mean exactly jack shit to the world at large but they very much mean something to her. This is a bit how it feels to be a “Bitcoin Lord.” I’ve recognized people of importance in the world and they’ve in turn recognized me.

    It’s hugely satisfying, quite the stroke of one’s ego, and not surprisingly addictive, though it means very little to anyone I’m likely to come across in my day-to-day. It’s very much like having an alter-ego, like being Superman in the telephone booth and only in the telephone booth.

  10. Because trolls!
  11. Including Pierre Rochard’s upcoming accounting software!
  12. “Institutions” being used in the way North and Thomas used the term in their 1973 paper Rise of the Western World, wherein they “made a distinction between what they argued were the proximate, and the fundamental determinants of economic growth. The thrust of their argument was that while it is clear that rich countries have greater levels of total factor productivity (TFP), more educated workers (human capital) and more machines, tools and factories (physical capital), to say this is not an explanation of the sources of differences in prosperity. Rather, it is just to re-describe what it means to be prosperous.”

    North and Thomas flowchart

    via Institutions, Human Capital and Development by Acemoglu et al., 2014. With productivity such as we’ve seen, doesn’t La Serenissima sound like a pretty fucking rich country to you?

  13. It’s little wonder he’s toyed with the idea of attending law school, if only for shits, giggles, and gals. He’s already fit to be Argentina’s judge, jury, and executioner.
  14. Not that it doesn’t happen! I never said it doesn’t happen!!1
  15. And undoubtedly what repels others with equal and opposing force, independence of mind, or of anything for that matter, being one of the western world’s shared values and myths. Lots of people hate Taleb for many of the same reasons. Too angry! Too much ego!!1 etc.
  16. Yet even these two are far more specialised than Mircea, who commands respect in more domains than I can reasonably enumerate.
  17. Logic makes for an insanely sane crown. It’s going to sting for all those emotionally-driven folks out there, sure, I’m just not sure I can see my way to a more sensical nor sensible arrangement. This is that very unfair perspective. Again. And again and afuckingain over and over until there’s nothing left.
  18. At least once you get over your own ego that tells you that you’re too smart, too mature, too good to listen to anyone but yourself (and the talking heads on TV).
  19. Now whether this is indeed the case is dependent on the task itself as well as the follower’s own ability and interest in verification.
  20. Just as you do with Bitcoin.
  21. Not particularly.
  22. This, much more so.
  23. Just like the Torah, Contravex isn’t always meant to be taken literally. The point of these pages is provocation. So ya, there’s a 95% chance you’re gonna hate me. What can I say… Read between the lines?

74 thoughts on “Let’s Cut To The Chase, Is La Serenissima A Cult?

  1. “How can one fucking dude be right every fucking time?”

    Except with self-imposed deadlines (hence the reference to bitbet). But, this makes me feel good for being late to parties. Is it still cool to be fashionably late like in the 90’s?

    “is to submit to the simple fact that you have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about”

    Lol, Socrates. Kinda like recovering addict, “I am alcoholic, I know I am sick.” Then you can begin recovery. In this case more: “I am idiot, I know I am dumb.”

    tl;dr; La Serenissima is Bitcoin’s Illuminati?

    • Pete D. says:

      Is it still cool to be fashionably late like in the 90’s?

      Really depends whose party.

      tl;dr; La Serenissima is Bitcoin’s Illuminati?

      Sorta. Just more public and less graphically inclined.

  2. […] La Serenissima lacks a bard, what is left to say other than it's time for YTCracker to get in the Bitcoin […]

  3. pankkake says:

    #bitcoin-assets is not a cult, but it is full of cults (that might qualify as “cargo cults”).

    Cults that are poorly informed. The systemd debate (by people who never wrote an init script in their lives), or the bitcoin version debate (as it turns out, even though it was abundantly repeated, those old versions aren’t used, and don’t even sync without exploding) are just examples. I am largely unaffected by both debates, I easily can chose between all of those (and am currently running the luke-jr antispam patch on my nodes).

    I’m not sure how to interpret http://trilema.com/2014/the-usg-wasted-another-hundred-million-dollars-it-previously-stole-from-average-hard-working-us-citizens-nobody-cares/ but this certainly sounds cultish. I don’t care if it is true or not, and I didn’t partake in this bet for many reasons. But this sounds like altering reality when it doesn’t fit your way, the socialist specialty. And it smells of bagholding; I wonder what would happen if BTC falls gain, will the price be “wrong”?

    I left because I realized challenging cults would be fruitless, so would arguing about why I left (amusingly, a circular argument that works). It just smells too much of circlejerks and (lately) bagholding. I cut my losses (mostly not-financial, though the last weeks I was staying only because I was waiting for someone to buy my way out of MPIF). And I should have kept my mouth shut.

    I also sold a significant part of my bitcoins (I planned to write about it on my blog, but real life issues make it unlikely). Bitcoin is way too full of idiots and evil people. Even though #bitcoin-assets stands out, it doesn’t mean it’s always right because others suck. Conversely, it’s not because fiat sucks that Bitcoin will crush it; fiat will just crush itself and there’s no clear winner yet.

    I also don’t see any opportunities arising. The “project” I had went nowhere, and when I see what happened with the others, I’m glad it died early (though it was actually MP who stopped responding first, go figure). And with the focus of the Bitcoin “community” on all the wrong things, it would probably never have worked anyway.

    • hanbot says:

      “I’m not sure how to interpret, but this sounds X.”

      You can’t reasonably make that latter observation, nor can you interpret, without understanding. Should you find yourself stuck with this requirement the sane approach is identify what, exactly, you don’t understand, and to ask questions accordingly.

      What makes you imagine you can skip this and have something to say about its source? Oh, it “smells” a certain way? What use is your nose if your ability to understand isn’t working, dude? You don’t “see” any opportunities arising? What are your eyes doing where your brain refuses to tread?

      I’m sure it’s quite possible you’ve got something to say, but you’ll have to get organized (and no, I’m sure it wouldn’t be easy. Perhaps a re-read of Mr. D.’s article above is in order if that seems like a bad thing.).

  4. pankkake says:

    As I said, fruitless. And I didn’t, nor plan to, read the article. Nor would any of you actually try to read my comment, you’ll just misinterpret it in any way you see fit.

  5. […] once or twice myself. And if I hadn’t, I would close up shop tomorrow and find myself a new cult. Blogging isn’t worth a fucking thing if it doesn’t reach a little farther, and a […]

  6. Tal says:

    MP is a smart guy who has built a profitable business, but I think you’re overestimating how impressive he is. It’s a bit like claiming the best player on your high school hockey team is the best player in the world.

    When MP wades into technical issues, he’s often wrong (pankkake referenced a few instances), but he doesn’t react well when this is pointed out to him, always refusing to admit his mistakes.

    His writings have obviously impressed you and make sense to you, but you admit that coming into this you didn’t really have the expertise to evaluate what you were “learning.”

    What other external indicators are there that your judgment about MP is correct? I see you always trying to recruit people you respect like Taleb to #b-a, but it doesn’t seem to be working well. In general, I don’t see any impressive people in #b-a (leaving aside the question of how impressive MP is). Why not?

    If the talk of how you guys are going to be “lords” in the future and that people should follow you has some merit and is not just a delusion, where are the other smart people who realize this is true? Where are the smart technical people who agree with MP about his specific argument about the Bitcoin block size?

    • Pete D. says:

      What other external indicators are there that your judgment about MP is correct?

      His track record, mostly.

      I see you always trying to recruit people you respect like Taleb to #b-a, but it doesn’t seem to be working well. In general, I don’t see any impressive people in #b-a (leaving aside the question of how impressive MP is). Why not?

      Taleb is Taleb. He’ll come when he’s good and ready. And if you’re not seeing any impressive people in #b-a, you’re clearly not looking very hard.

      If the talk of how you guys are going to be “lords” in the future and that people should follow you has some merit and is not just a delusion, where are the other smart people who realize this is true?

      To some degree, they’re all around you. Some are quiter, some are louder. Still, the night is young and there are many more smart people yet to join the WoT. All in good time, my good man. All in good time.

      Where are the smart technical people who agree with MP about his specific argument about the Bitcoin block size?

      In #bitcoin-assets. Where else?

  7. […] the introduction of the tithe³, everyone’s favourite cult drove another foundational piling into the lagoon today.i The tithe³ is hereby requestedii […]

  8. Tal says:

    Btw, your blog doesn’t let me reply directly to your reply to me.

    “if you’re not seeing any impressive people in #b-a, you’re clearly not looking very hard.”

    If you are actually trying to get people to come join you guys in #b-a you may want to give people a little more reason to check it out other than “just trust me, all us dudes in that channel are awesome.” When I look at the chat logs, I am not impressed. It’s possible I’m missing something, hence this line of questioning. If I learned that Elon Musk was a big fan of MP and hung out in the channel I might take you up on your suggestion to spend time reading through the old logs.

    The only person I see other than MP that has any recognizable achievements is Luke-Jr. I’d guess that Luke doesn’t buy into the “La Serenissima” stuff though.

    • Pete D. says:

      Btw, your blog doesn’t let me reply directly to your reply to me.

      It’s a new thing I’m trying in order to maintain a readable width for comments. Otherwise, with 5 layers of the damned things, you start having comments that read like qntra.net on a mobile device.

      When I look at the chat logs, I am not impressed.

      Gotta love this fatlogic: “I don’t see why a Rembrandt is worth $10 mn. He wasn’t a very impressive painter.” Any more than the kid in Africa knows who Elon Musk is and why he’s important without doing a bit of due fucking diligence, you can’t expect to see who’s important in #b-a without, y’know, doing the same. Whether you actually choose to yeshiva or not is quite up to you.

      While I’m happy to help bridge the gaps here, you make it harder for both of us when you default to such nonsense. While Elon Musk may have some impressive accomplishments to his credit, these are in no way obvious to everyone in the entire world. You certainly weren’t born with such understandings. Besides, Elon’s best attribute seems to be suckling on USG teats. Why’s that so impressive?

      Then there’s the matter of Elon’s accessibility and personal value to you. Whereas you can’t get a meeting with EM for love or money, you can have one with MP today. EM doesn’t care what skills or knowledge you have to offer. MP and La Serenissima very much do. This is the beauty of #bitcoin-assets, it’s a forum where, at least in theory, a newbie can walk in sans pretenses and have open conversations with the people leading the Reaction. If said newbie has something to offer, trust will be built and that something will be openly considered. That’s fairly unprecedented.

      As to the logs, no amount of “Elon Approved” stickers on the #b-a header will persuade everyone everywhere to read them. So even if you might find such considerations persuasive, it’s entirely up to Tal whether Tal spends the next 6 months reading logs for 2-3 hours per day or if Tal’d prefer to use that time and energy to become better at pottery. Glazes are tricky, after all. Besides, why not just tell yourself that Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and whoever else you admire reads the logs on the daily and get on with it? Why wait for the NYT article? Plus, wouldn’t it be cool if you actually beat BG, EM, and RB into the WoT? You could be lightyears ahead of them!

      The door to #b-a is open, and you’re the only one who can walk through it.

  9. Tal says:

    Elon was just a random example. Anyone who I respect would do just as well. The point is that this is not a good marketing strategy:

    Pete: “Come join the revolution! Spend 300 hours reading IRC logs and maybe you can be one of us!”

    Potential recruit: “What’s so good about your club?”

    Pete: “Everyone in it is really cool. We all matter a lot. See those other people outside of our club that appear to actually have power?? Well, that’s just an illusion! It’s really us dudes hanging out in this IRC channel who are the powerful ones. And in the future we’re going to be lords! Don’t you want to be a lord?!”

    Potential recruit: “What kind of people have already joined? What have your members done? How do I know this isn’t a delusional circlejerk?”

    Pete: “You’ll have to do your 300 hours of study before you find out. What are you waiting for?”

    • Pete D. says:

      Heh you make a point.

      Well, I’m going to quote myself now:

      I actually sat down to read the #b-a logs and there I saw conversations unfolding before my very eyes that gave context to Trilema, that gave context to Bitcoin, and that were were so tearfully, blessedly, beautifully over my head that I couldn’t read anything else for weeks. As someone always hunting for an intellectual challenge, I’d never seen anything even remotely like #b-a. At once technical, philosophical, political, and outrageous, it was like a gift wrapped for someone else, and yet just for me.

      Everything else just sorta flowed from that. I found a space with intellectual equals, if not superiors, and it’s posifuckingtively teeming with life.

      See those other people outside of our club that appear to actually have power??

      Ok, if Elon wasn’t a specific example, now would be a perfect time to be more specific. Who exactly appears to have actual power?

      What have your members done?

      I’ll bite:

      1. BitBet: premier betting service with 10,000s of BTC wagered over the last 2 years now.
      2. Qntra: the only Bitcoin news site that isn’t up to its gills in paid shills.
      3. Deeds: a notary service that publishes signed contracts and statements on the blockchain. Just like all those fucktarded Bitcoin 2.0 scams promised, except functional and sans scamcoin.
      4. MPEx: the only Bitcoin stock exchange that has its own accounting methodology, requires the publishing of monthly reports, hasn’t stolen customer funds, and has a transparent and accessible operator.
      5. Contravex: caller-out of many a scam, platform for enlightened debate, and an educator of would-be Bitcoiners on everything from paper wallets to PGP to reusing addresses to setting up a full node.
      6. MPOE-PR: years in the trenches educating bitcointalk.org forumites, warning them of scam after scam.
      7. Shirts and posters!

      And there’s more in the pipeline, including a better source code and an auditable TRNG for PGP keys.

      The point is that this is not a good marketing strategy

      Are you a marketer nao? If not, who the fuck are you to opine on such matters? Just because you’re not convinced that #b-a is anything more than a “delusional circlejerk,” doesn’t mean you’re in any way representative of anyone or anything. I need no help marketing.

      But hey, if you have some free marketing advice, other than “try different and harder and shit,” I’m all ears.

  10. Tal says:

    Thanks, the list is pretty helpful.

  11. […] the outside looking in at this institution-cum-“cult,” my regurgitation and therefore implicit condonation of rape and sexual slavery, whether I […]

  12. nubs says:

    Totally a cult, but who cares?

  13. […] the exodus from fiat to La Serenissima, where bright minds go to meet… and produce. […]

  14. […] lives in Newfoundland and is #b-a’s resident “shirt and posters” guy. He’s therefore quite qualified to speak on matters of the aesthetic and, more […]

  15. […] So make an offer, take it home, toss it in your man-cave next to Contra and Pacman, and let this big grey box serve as your constant reminder about the difference between “communities” and shepherds. […]

  16. […] Bitcoin policy is set and productive people convene to implement said policy. […]

  17. […] the extent that Putin wants to pretend like La Serenissima was never created, and to the extent that he wants to wants to unify and organise his people […]

  18. […] Times construction that survives only in the backwaters of Best Korea, where no Internet and no productive institutions remain. […]

  19. […] so, we’d learn absolutely fuck all if they just lay on their backs and spread their legs for La Serenissima. It’s better for everyone if they put up a bit of a fight. It’s more interesting and […]

  20. […] former is a tool of truth and morality, revelatory as it is of deeper meaning and open as it is to critical assessment. The latter is a tool of deception and slavery,ii subject as it is to emotional reception and open […]

  21. […] any regard, just for an example, La Serenissima is a nation, contemporary France isn’t. […]

  22. […] who spend days, weeks, months, and years screaming “this is what we believe!!1″ and La Serenissima, which says quite matter-of-factly and without further philosophising, “this is what we […]

  23. […] Yes, EUR/CAD is up to 1.433, but that’s about average over the last decade. And yes, CAD/CHF is at a 10-year low of 0.702, making Lindt chocolate and ritalin that much more expensive, but it’s probably a reasonable price to pay for the enjoyment of watching all these central bankers unwittingly push good men into the arms of La Serenissima. […]

  24. […] as its War on Drugs.” << Curious how you get here logically. danielpbarron: b-a isn’t a cult.. it’s a cartel! pete_dushenski: These brokers could have a physical shop with sekoority […]

  25. […] hacerlo es un paso crucial para dejar de ser el bitcoiner promedio. Saberlo no hace a uno ser alguien en bitcoin, pero al menos lo ubica algo más cerca de comprender cómo son las […]

  26. […] << “Cultures that do not cherish the young mother perish”, and we want this for La Serenissima? mircea_popescu:  There’s a subtle difference re “young mothers”. Serenissima is […]

  27. […] pete_dushenski: Depends entirely who it is making the declarative statements. Random derp =! Bitcoin. trinque: “Bitcoin is Bitcoin” has no tactical content. Of course bitcoin is bitcoin. And water is water. pete_dushenski: Bitcoin, TMSR~vii […]

  28. […] but they’re quite another in a digital world. Today, iconoclasts from around the world can and do band together, both happily and […]

  29. […] services belongs to the US’ newest mail-order catalogue serviceii and one of them belongs to La Serenissima. One of them fills their writers’ heads with dreams of unrealisable pensions, the other with […]

  30. […] can you guess where Bitcoin policy is set ? There’s only one right answer here. […]

  31. […] and the seemingly endless scores of fallacies that he rests his defenses on really have no place in La Serenissma, for they lack either wisdom or logic […]

  32. […] to judge their merit and value, first to ourselves and then by extension to society. This is why we’ve flocked to Bitcoin : it’s a truly unforeseen stroke of both genius and luck, the likes of which haven’t […]

  33. […] not sure either how the cult will cope either, but coalescing and preserving particularly fascinating conversations really […]

  34. […] This is an effect that is at once exacerbated and subtly undermined by technology. On the one hand, technology makes IRL multiculturalism even more challenging – primarily by facilitating travel like never before, expediting the transformation of the Americas into the Africa they’ve so long aimed to join – while on the other hand, technology offers more and more reprieves from the stresses of “THE OTHER”v while also enabling pseudonymous interactions that transcend race and creed. […]

  35. […] the distribution of bitcoins, which are really very highly concentratedviii : do you think we could’ve kept Bitcoin alive but by burying USGavin, USGarzik, et al. and their […]

  36. […] else see parallels between The Pacific Northwest as described in this ad and The Most Serene Republic as it stands today […]

  37. […] may recall pankkake as being he of “OMG YOU GUISE R A CULT” fame. […]

  38. […] little older and a little cultier, I’ve now given up on the fantasy of space colonisation. Despite a childhood filled with […]

  39. […] all, all work and no play make zealots dull boys. […]

  40. […] you hadn’t heard, it failed to gain traction with users in the face of intense opposition by The Most Serene Republic of Bitcoin, where Bitcoin policy is […]

  41. […] plainly see from the following excerptations – assuming you know anything at all about the cult – things that are more likely than Taleb showing up unannounced include a Warren Buffet who […]

  42. […] detail at the time, but as I was almost exclusively focused on establishing myself as a voice in TMSR~ – a pursuit that can probably be said to have failed at this point (though I still enjoy […]

  43. […] the private refuge of my personal journals. This is also when I earned my first entrance into the TMSR~ […]

  44. […] never come across the world’s foremost hub of finance, technology, history, and politics : The Most Serene Republic. Not that it could’ve ever existed in the first place. […]

  45. […] = Bitcoin Edmonton Meet-Ups. It was this “community” thing back when before I knew WTF TMSR~ was, back when I saw a future for Bitcoin but couldn’t quite see my way above the herds of […]

  46. […] want to see cult worship ? I’ll show you cult worship. […]

  47. […] is shameful and unflattering,vi not to mention debilitating and incompatible with a productive life as I understand […]

  48. […] on account of the innumerable and very enjoyable hours I’ve now spent in the service of TMSR – some with more obvious contribution than others – I can personally relate to a […]

  49. […] rigour or practicable theory to the enlightened mover. At least not in the face of less peacenik-y terrorist cults. But to each their […]

  50. […] question de nombre de dieux ideal, ou meme le nombre de petite amies ideal. Certaine personne dans La Republique pense que les vacances sont improprei et les autres que ses enfants n’ont pas de place sur […]

  51. […] in California mentioned today’s bitcoin price surge ~before~ gold price surge. A good day for The Republic, all the way around! [06:12:18] <mod6> […]

  52. glitchy says:

    given latest tmsr logs, less a cult and more a high school clique

    • Pete D. says:

      Lemme guess, you weren’t one of the popular kids, were you.

    • glitchy says:

      Wasn’t a comment about who’s in and who’s not. It was about the depth and quality of the discourse therein, the complete lack of self-criticism and self-awareness, and more importantly the charismatic prom queen and all the milquetoast wannabees that are only too happy to let themselves be mind-fucked by her in exchange for second-hand glitz particles. I hang out with a smart and interesting dude, however off-balance he may be, that surely makes me smart and interesting too. Ask kako and davout they’ve come to the exact same conclusion. One because it took the equivalent of him getting ghb’d and violently ass-raped to understand, the other because he’s smart enough to eventually have seen on his own things for what they are.

      Also, based on your ad-hominem response, looks like you took my comment as an attack. It wasn’t. It’s just, since you seem to be trying (and sorta failing) to take an objective look at the fairly standard social mechanisms that power tmsr, I’m just inviting you to explore the idea that there exists a quasi one-to-one map between their group dynamics and those of a high-school clique.

      You consider yourself a smart guy, then do yourself a favor mate, try to walk down that mental path for 10mn with an unbiased perspective and draw your own conclusions. Start with the fact that your very own writing style has become but a pale shadow of that of the prom queen to gauge how deep in you are.

    • Pete D. says:

      Prom queen or not, high school clique or not, the depth and quality of the discourse in #t is amongst the best I’ve seen. Quite frankly I find it to be beyond reproach, not in spite of it being largely unpalatable to random passerbys, but quite specifically because of it. As to my writing, it’s always been a pale shadow of someone’s style. First it was Jeremy Clarkson… Tomorrow, another’s. Writing’s like that. At least mine is.

      Anyways, a few questions for ‘glitchy’ since we’re playing this game : i) Where in #t do you see a lack of self-criticism ? ; ii) Where in #t do you see a lack of self-awareness ? ; and iii) Who are you again ? I’m genuinely curious on all three fronts.

  53. […] it’s that time of year again when we review the past twelve months and take stock of what The Most Serene Republic of Bitcoin has accomplished. Without further ado […]

  54. […] man anyways ? Either way, the burden is no longer that of the British, but that of the Republic. With apologies to Rudyard Kipling (1865 – […]

  55. […] soit bonheur, gloire et clarté ! Semons l’homme et qu’il soit peuple ! semons la République, Et qu’elle soit la Santé […]

  56. […] all but for many. Yes, it embodies a religious approach but all successful organisations do. From cults to corporations, there’s no avoiding the need for faith. […]

  57. […] it’s that time of year again when we review the past twelve months and take stock of what The Most Serene Republic of Bitcoin has accomplished. Without further ado […]

  58. […] order to be effective. These threats turn out to be sine qua non for the enduring functioning of productive institutions, and therefore any efforts to manage semi-independent, semi-rebellious individuals […]

  59. […] ideas) but almost no one attributes correctly because everyone associated even obliquely with TMSR is mean and uses bad words etc. So bravo, […]

  60. […] time in TMSR also wasn’t a terrible way to get my logical head on straight for six-to-twelve months, […]

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