Aaron and I were joined again by Ruben Somsen to explain Chaumian digital cash, blind signatures and the new Minimint system that Blockstream's recently announced to sponsor.

The initiative seeks to minimize legal headaches that discourage software developers from actively contributing to #Bitcoin.

@namcios covers the news:


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@waxwing @anita I found a new independent datapoint, albeit not well documented. The Turkish correspondent for NRC (Dutch newspaper) mentioned in their "Daily" podcast that he witnessed police doing price checks in his local Carrefour in Istanbul.

I apologize in advance of the board meeting. I have been called to the front lines for an appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience.

After a secret discussion in a smoky back room, the executive board decided we must sacrifice this week's meeting for the opportunity at hand.

Please direct any complaints to management

@stevenroose @waxwing @cjd Chomsky is not at the top of my reading list at the moment unfortunately 🙂

I do think that today, certainly compared to 1960, but even compared to 2000, it is several orders of magnitude more difficult for any government to cover something up. Even private business aren't terribly good at it. It takes one hack, one whistleblower, one employee leaving their iPhone at a bar, one pesky journalist, etc.

@stevenroose @waxwing this may be true, but it does not absolve someone from a serious burden of evidence when alleging a conspiracy. It's too easy to make up a random accusation of what "the government and MSM" is doing and rather than providing actual evidence, just hand wave an argument of how it's compatible with incentives. This becomes especially problematic when dealing with people who are already borderline paranoid.

@PaulTroon @waxwing in practice courts don't have the time or capacity to deal with individual cases, whether we want to or not.

The most they can do is set standards. And they can't set those standards globally. So in any case we're stuck with social media companies self-policing 99.999% of cases in mostly unaccountable and non-transparent ways.

@PaulTroon @waxwing I'm not a-priori opposed to courts ruling over speech issues. Especially in countries with a high bar for free speech, such as the US.

European legal standards on free speech are lower, and I'm following that with some interest.

For example someone would have to be deplatformed nearly completely for courts to intervene.

For people in the theocracy Poland, EU law gives them nett protection of speech, but the Dutch seem to be slightly worse off.

@waxwing so any erosion* of free speech we might be seeing on social media, is not part of some bigger government agenda for genocide or power grab. It's more a case of incompetence. Which also means it's not doomed to keep going in one direction.

* = I actually doubt the nett effect is suppressive, given how much extra communication is out there now

@waxwing we're OK-ish for now because the US government is not planning a genocide (unless you believe Q'anon).

And although corruption is rampant, it hasn't reached the point where politicians are willing able to start executing journalists en mass in order to escape prosecution (rhetoric from the former president notwithstanding, it's not comparable).

@waxwing China is not remotely comparable though.

It's not like the erosion of free speech there caused the rise of the CCP dictatorship and its various genocides. It's much more the other way around: they need to curtail speech in order to perform those activities.

This is why I'm very skeptical of slippery-slope arguments that extrapolate Twitter's monopolistic behavior straight to gulags.

Though I agree there is a serious issue with speech and social media that needs to be resolved

@waxwing the US media landscape is still diverse enough that she hasn't lost access to the population.

Even if that was the case, she's only a tiny fraction of the Republican Party, so the analogy would be more akin to a single Labour party member in 1980 being ignored by all media. Which quite possibly happened all the time.

@waxwing tangentially related fun fact: I just read a Dutch newspaper article pointing out how American main stream media, left and right, are seeing massive readership drops after Trump left office. Politics becoming boring is not in their financial interest, so if anything, their incentive was to keep Trump in power all along :-)

@waxwing I'm familiar with the situation around Parler and other Twitter competitors that were (nearly) deplatformed in earlier years. That is significantly more worrying in my opinion, but it's old news, so I didn't respond to that aspect.

It seems to me that Greenwald is grasping for straws in advocating an issue that continues to be relevant, but where nothing interesting has happened recently.

@waxwing but unlike Greenwald, Merkel is not alleging a Democrat-Corporate conspiracy.

Such a conspiracy may or may not exist, but you can't tell on the basis of this particular account removal. If anything, her status as senator has probably kept her account up longer than otherwise would have been the case.

@waxwing it seems Merkel roughly shares my current opinion on the Trump situation: deleting the account, rather than just specific tweets, was disproportionate, and it should be handled by the courts, not a social media company.

"Seibert said that, while Twitter was right to flag Trump’s inaccurate tweets about the 2020 U.S. election, banning his account altogether was a step too far. He added that governments, not private companies, should decide on any limitations to freedom of speech."

@waxwing plenty of lunatics get elected, why would that be impossible?

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