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Is Karatbit and Karatbars a scam?
On Tuesday 16th July, just a few weeks ago I was invited to attend a Karatbit, Karatbars/Karatbank presentation. The presentation was touting everything including a blockchain mobile phone. Someone had approached me over the weekend to investigate an investment, they had made with Karatbit/Karatbars. I attended the presentation with some research which, to be honest, was not that favourable to the company but nevertheless still went with an open mind. KaratBank, a Singapore-based financial organization, has propelled another digital currency that it claims is bound to real physical gold. Is this a progressive thought – or a trick? KaratBank, an organization located in Singapore, has quite recently declared the dispatch of KaratBank Coins (KBC), another digital currency it said is attached to gold. Be that as it may, not just the cost of gold, as different monetary forms — to real bits of gold: they're embedded in plastic cards or banknotes. In any event, that is the way it appears upon first sight. KaratBank is a sister company of KaratBars International, located in Germany. KaratBars really sells gold in exceptionally small quantities (like 0.1g to 1g bullions), inserted into plastic cards (Karatbars) or money like notes (CashGold). The notes are famously overpriced: back when 1 gram of gold was $40, the 1g CashGold note cost $65. As per KaratBank whitepaper, 10,000 KBC can be traded for 0.1g CashGold notes. The initial coin offering kicked off earlier this year and proceeded until March 21, with the ICO starting March 22 (1 KBC = $0.05), Coin Telegraph reports. Be that as it may, KaratBars International as an organization is emphatically connected with scams. A basic search for KaratBars on Google returns three connections with the word "scam" in them on the first page. KaratBars was prohibited in Canada in 2014 over an Autorité des marchés agents (AMF) with a Scam warning. The Canadian government found that KaratBars executes some kind of multi-layered marketing (MLM), or "pyramid" scheme organisation that urged individuals to get new recruits and profit from their sales, promising a return of $15,000 to $136,000 every month. In any case, Is KaratBank is a different story? All things considered, yes and no. Upon a more intensive look at the organization's whitepaper, one finds the following: "United States of America citizens, residents (tax or otherwise) or green card holders, as well as residents of Canada, the People's Republic of China or the Republic of Singapore, are not qualified to partake in the KaratBank ICO." As indicated by the Behind MLM site, the explanation behind this may lie in the way that those nations have actualized strict regulation on ICOs, and KaratBank does not have any desire to have anything to do with them. "ICOs are not unlawful in the US or Canada. In the US, however, ICOs are ordinarily viewed as securities and require registration with the [Securities and Exchange Commission]," the site reads. "Singapore hasn't prohibited ICOs however it is one of the nations KaratBars International works in through the shell companies KaratPay and KaratBars Singapore. Singapore regulators closing those organizations down would cripple KaratBars International. The board most likely figure it's best not to take any risks." To work lawfully in any purview, KaratBars International would need to register itself with the proper securities regulator in that jurisdiction, which the organization appears to need to abstain from, raising doubts. From one's point of view what is disheartening is that blockchain is a great new technology and companies like this seem to mix their existing business with cryptocurrencies. Knowing full well that the general public does not really understand cryptocurrencies, let alone blockchain or Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). As a blockchain consultant, one feels obligated to pose some questions anyone thinking of getting involved should be asking. At the presentation, I heard the presenters say “ Karatbars is giving its members the opportunity to buy gold in small quantities. They also encourage you to save in gold instead of paper money. This can easily be done by buying as little as 0.1 gram of gold or 1 gram - 2.5 gram or 5 grams.” They said members can keep their gold in Karatbars' vault or ask them to send it to you. Cash gold is the most popular form of buying gold as the gold is embedded in a banknote. 24kt gold 99.9% pure makes it easier for anyone to accumulate wealth. Karatbars is also involved in cryptocurrency and got their own coins, namely KBC and KCB coins. I'm going to get very deep into this, but the main thing to remember is that they say, “these coins are increasing in value and that it is backed by gold”. whereas and another Cryptocurrency is backed by nothing. As a self-proclaimed proponent of blockchain and a graduate of Digital Forensics, I feel obligated to say a few words about this presentation on Karatbit or at least as a conscious citizen of this global world of technology users. Blockchain is a magnificent emerging technology that can be harnessed to do so many things. But most importantly it is a technology that provides one single source of truth. If groups are using this single source of truth technology to spread untruths, someone concerned must come out to say something. Blockchain is a technology that can put everyone on an even playing field but it seems very few understand it. The individuals with even the fleeting basic understanding can influence the general public perception of cryptocurrencies. This leads me to ask a great quote from a book called Richest Man in Babylon …. “if you want advice on investing in expensive jewels, why would you go to a butcher?” The following is what the masses are being manipulated to attach their hopes and dreams. It is that “a further drop in the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has recently left investors nursing heavy losses. Many proponents are holding out for a new breakout “if their digital assets can go mainstream.” The most important part of that statement is “if their digital assets can go mainstream”. This made me ask some questions about Karatbit and this is what I came up with. Something is fishy!! Can someone clarify the following? Claim 1: Gold mine worth $900 million provides security. Can’t find any official source as proof. Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyKQIckXyIU Claim 2: Backed by a gold mine in Africa Can’t find any official source as proof. Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5Q3ZvR4b04 Claim 3: Audit report by MM Revisors for a gold mine in Madagascar Can’t find proof that MM Revisors exists. Not sure if this report was published by Karatbars Int (can’t find it on their official website), but this is being circulated by some investors as if it were. Reference: https://karatbars-me.webnode.es/\_files/200000070-01d6002d18/audit.pdf Claim 4: Karatcoin Bank is a fully licensed crypto bank and is situated in Miami Can’t find proof that they are registered as a licensed financial institute in Miami, Florida. Can’t find Karatcoin Bank as a registered corporation, but found Karat Coin Corp. Reference: http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/SearchResults?inquiryType=EntityName&searchNameOrder=KARATBANK&searchTerm=Karatbank Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXip2Fizz5U&t=152s Claim 5: Not a pyramid scheme Karatbit describes this as an affiliate program but clearly is a pyramid scheme at best, see links below; Canada: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/karatbars-quebec-activities-covered-by-prohibition-orders-514201571.html Namibia: https://economist.com.na/43874/extra/karatbars-international-is-a-scamsays-central-bank/ Netherlands: https://www.afm.nl/en/nieuws/2014/mei/waarschuwing-karatbars Claim 6: 100KBC = 1g of Gold at $40 per gram (1 KBC = $0.40) (guaranteed) Total supply = 12,000,000,000 KBC (can’t find figures of circulating, so using supply instead) Total gold needed to cover buy back of all coins: 12,000,000,000 / 100 = 120 000 000g = 120 tons (South Africa as a whole produced 139.9 tons of Gold in 2017). Total money needed to buy back all the coins: 120 000 000g x $40 = $4.8 Billion Can’t find proof that they have 120 tons of gold in storage (or backed up by the mines as claimed) or that they are at least worth $4.8 Billion to buy the gold? Taking a more conservative approach: According to icobench.com, they raised $100 000 000 with their ICO from 60% of the total supply. Let’s assume the 60% of 12,000,000,000 is in circulation. This equals to 7,200,000,000 KBC. Total gold needed for the buyback of 7,200,000,000 KBC: 7,200,000,000 / 100 = 72 000 000g = 72 tons Total money needed to buy back all coins: 72 000 000g x $40 = $2.88 Billion Loss for buying back the KBC that were sold during the ICO: $100,000,000 - $2,880,000,000 = - $2,780,000,000 A potential loss of $2,78 Billion!!! Or am I taking crazy pills? Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgeHjhlMfn0 Reference: https://icobench.com/ico/karatgold-coin Claim 7: This Forbes.com article gives credibility to the KBC coin This article was written by a Contributor. Reference: https://www.forbes.com/sites/joresablount/2019/05/31/10-blockchain-companies-to-watch-in-2019/#308b507e543f There is no traditional editing of contributors’ copy, at least not prior to publishing. If a story gets hot or makes the homepage, a producer will “check it more carefully,” DVorkin said. Reference: https://www.poynter.org/reporting-editing/2012/what-the-forbes-model-of-contributed-content-means-for-journalism/ “Blogging for Forbes requires being what is commonly referred to as a "self-starter." So far, nobody has said, "Um, you can't do that," or, "Oh, my God, no!" Reference: https://www.forbes.com/sites/susannahbreslin/2011/04/06/how-to-become-a-forbes-blogge#231bb9972862 “Warning over 'scammers paradise' as watchdog reveals victims lost £27m to bitcoin, cryptocurrency and forex frauds last year” • Some 1,850 cases were reported to Action Fraud, a 250% increase on 2017-18 • Victims lost an average of £14,600 - with fewer than 1 in 20 getting money back • Investors are often initially told they've made a profit • They are then encouraged to put in more money - at which point the fraudsters run off with their cash Potential victims have been warned over bogus online 'get rich quick' schemes as it emerged people lost more than £27million to cryptocurrency and foreign exchange scams last year. Fraudsters promise high returns to those who invest, according to Action Fraud and the Financial Conduct Authority. Victims lost an average of £14,600 in 2018-19 and stand little chance of getting their money back. Reports of cryptocurrency and forex investment scams increased by nearly 250 per cent in 2017-18, from 530 to nearly 1,850. The scams work by criminals promoting get-rich-quick online trading platforms through social media. Posts often use fake celebrity endorsements and images of luxury items like expensive watches and cars. Beat the scammers: These then link to professional-looking websites where consumers are persuaded to invest. Often investors are led to believe their first investment has successfully returned a profit, and are then enticed to invest more money or introduce friends in return for greater profits. But the returns stop, the customer account is closed, and the scammer disappears with no further contact. 'Anyone handing over their hard-earned cash should make sure they understand what they're getting into, they've checked it's a legitimate investment, and not rely on hype and excitement from friends or social media. 'Investing isn't a get-rich-quick scheme - and anything that uses fear of missing out or requires you to invest before thinking is best to be avoided.' Those considering an investment to check the following for tips on how to avoid investment fraud at www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart. Scammers can be very convincing so always do your own research into any firm you are considering investing with, to make sure that they are the real deal. 'It's vital that people carry out the necessary checks to ensure that an investment they're considering is legitimate. UK consumers are being increasingly targeted by crypto asset-related investment scams. Certain crypto assets, like Bitcoin and Ether (also known as cryptocurrencies), are not regulated in the UK. This means that buying, selling or transferring these crypto-assets falls outside FCA remit. The same is true for the operation of a cryptocurrency exchange. However, some types of crypto-asset products may be or may involve regulated investments depending on their nature and how they are structured. For example, firms that sell regulated investments with an underlying crypto asset element may need to be authorised by the FCA to do so. In recent months, the FCA claims it has received an increasing number of reports about crypto-asset investment scams. Some of them may involve regulated activities, others don’t, but all use similar tactics. How crypto-asset investment scams work Cryptoasset fraudsters tend to advertise on social media – often using the images of celebrities or well-known individuals to promote cryptocurrency investments. In this case, laughably they said KaratBit was endorsed by Barak Obama’s sister. Who is she and what does she know about cryptocurrencies and blockchain? The ads then link to professional-looking websites. Consumers are then persuaded to make investments with the firm using cryptocurrencies or traditional currencies. The firms operating the scams are usually based outside the UK but will claim to have a UK presence, often a prestigious City of London address. Scam firms can manipulate software to distort prices and investment returns. They may scam people into buying the non-existent crypto asset. They are also known to suddenly close consumers’ online accounts and refuse to transfer the funds to them or ask for more money before the funds can be transferred. Action Fraud has also issued a warning on cryptocurrency scams. How to protect yourself Be wary of adverts online and on social media promising high returns on investments in a crypto asset or crypto asset-related products. Most firms advertising and selling investments in crypto-assets are not authorised by the FCA. This means that if you invest in certain crypto assets you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong. The FCA doesn’t regulate crypto assets like Bitcoin or Ether which are vastly the most recognized cryptocurrencies, let alone KBC, they do regulate certain crypto-asset derivatives (such as futures contracts, CFDs and options), as well as those crypto assets I would consider securities. A firm must be authorised by FCA to advertise or sell these products in the UK – check FCA Register to make sure the firm is authorised. You can also check the FCA Warning List of firms to avoid. You should do further research on the product you are considering and the firm you are considering investing with. Check with Companies House to see if the firm is registered as a UK company and for directors' names. To see if others have posted any concerns, search online for the firm's name, directors' names and the product you are considering. If you’ve already decided you want to invest in gold, this might not be a bad company to side with. But if you’re just looking for an opportunity to earn a sustainable income and become financially independent, there are better options out there.
On January 3, 2009, Satoshi was busy from afternoon to dusk, creating, compiling and packaging the first open source code in a small server in Helsinki, Finland. After running SH A 256 operation, RIPEM D-160 operation, and writing version type, Base 58 coding, the first BLOCK of the BTC world was created at 18:15 on January 3, 2009. This day was called “Creation Day” by BTC believers, and this BLOCK is also called “Creation block." On this day, Bitcoin (hereinafter referred to as "BTC") was born. In the past five years, BTC has experienced a lot of things. First, it was accepted by programmers and password punks in the geek circle. In their view, BTC provided a new perspective, when the cryptographic algorithm holds the open source program as weapon running on the P2P network, this is a fantasy world like "The Matrix". They quickly accepted BTC and spread its ideas. Some programmers developed third-party applications based on source code, which is also the prototype of the current BTC industry chain. Overall, this is a very legendary start. This circle is also a pure, professional group in highly ideal color. There is no power to roll, no money to chase, no speculation, and everything is only related to technology and hobbies. So, that programmer who bought a $25 pizza with 10,000 BTC in 2010 was asked if he regretted it. He replied: Pizza is delicious. But then, all of this changed slowly. In July 2010, the Mt. Gox platform was established. People in the gray economic circle began to move toward the “Silk Road”; in November of the same year, the price of BTC reached 0.5 US dollars and the BTC economy reached 1 million, which attracted the attention of the profit-seekers; in April 2011, the well-known American financial magazine "Times" and "Forbes" published reports on BTC one by one. Humanistic technologists become interested; on December 6, 2012, the first officially recognized bitcoin exchange was born in France, and the visionary government began to think... Since 2013, as the market value has risen rapidly, the debate has become more and more fierce. Former US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said that BTC is a bubble with no intrinsic value. Nobel economist Krugman called BTC a historical retrogression. Whether it is in politics, economics, sociology, or even science, there are strong opposition voice. No matter how many people are hostile to Bitcoin, the answer given in the book Bitcoin is: I have no enemies - I am just an open source program, a cryptographic algorithm, a new technology, a P2P electronic payment system, a good idea... Although the liberals in the technical world will give me great ideals, the anarchists in geeks even regard me as a modern belief, I just want to solve practical problems through technology and make human feel convenient in actual interaction. In 2011, he began to contact BTC. Chang Jia, the author with genius mathematical thinking, who stepped into BTC world in 2011, said that for liberals, Bitcoin is Noah’s Ark, which can carry them to a free paradise; for the Silk Road, Bitcoin is snow job; for organizations like the Bitcoin Foundation, the Bitcoin community needs to actively engage with regulators to avoid potential policy reefs. The book "Bitcoin" is mainly about "I am solving problems, not making trouble": For the government, BTC is not an enemy. As long as the nation-state still exists, the legal currency will exist; as long as the government itself respects the marketization of the legal currency, then BTC can only become a supplement. For financial capital, large financial companies such as Visa, MasterCard, and Morgan can learn from the BTC's moveable value mechanism and parasitize on the BTC node. In a further step, they can introduce third-party agreements from banks, which can promote modern finance to a full Information height. For the economics community, many economists, especially Keynesianism, feel that BTC subverts traditional economic theory, natural deflationary attributes will only encourage speculation and ignore value, but in fact BTC will eventually belong to the essence value holders and the whole society. For the media, BTC not only provides free faith, but also provides an economic self-reliance. BTC and media are inherently natural alliances. For individuals, BTC is not an enemy. Money indiscriminate causes inflation to exploit people's wealth all the time. BTC offers the possibility of additional wealth preservation. At the very least, because BTC competes with fiats, the central bank will not be too unscrupulous. In the future, the BTC world should pay more attention to the time stamp service and integrate more information into the encryption protocol not just currency; design a BTC third-party protocol access mechanism to complement and intersect with more traditional industries; strengthen decentralized Dropbox and its other extensible services. The core idea of Bitcoin is not to misunderstand the emergence of BTC, which is just to make human life better, like the Internet. The Internet doesn’t have enemies, nor does BTC.
On January 3, 2009, Satoshi was busy from afternoon to dusk, creating, compiling and packaging the first open source code in a small server in Helsinki, Finland. After running SH A 256 operation, RIPEM D-160 operation, and writing version type, Base 58 coding, the first BLOCK of the BTC world was created at 18:15 on January 3, 2009. This day was called “Creation Day” by BTC believers, and this BLOCK is also called “Creation block." On this day, Bitcoin (hereinafter referred to as "BTC") was born. www.fmz.com www.fmz.com
In the past five years, BTC has experienced a lot of things. First, it was accepted by programmers and password punks in the geek circle. In their view, BTC provided a new perspective, when the cryptographic algorithm holds the open source program as weapon running on the P2P network, this is a fantasy world like "The Matrix". They quickly accepted BTC and spread its ideas. Some programmers developed third-party applications based on source code, which is also the prototype of the current BTC industry chain. Overall, this is a very legendary start. This circle is also a pure, professional group in highly ideal color. There is no power to roll, no money to chase, no speculation, and everything is only related to technology and hobbies. So, that programmer who bought a $25 pizza with 10,000 BTC in 2010 was asked if he regretted it. He replied: Pizza is delicious.
But then, all of this changed slowly. In July 2010, the Mt. Gox platform was established. People in the gray economic circle began to move toward the “Silk Road”; in November of the same year, the price of BTC reached 0.5 US dollars and the BTC economy reached 1 million, which attracted the attention of the profit-seekers; in April 2011, the well-known American financial magazine "Times" and "Forbes" published reports on BTC one by one. www.fmz.com
Humanistic technologists become interested; on December 6, 2012, the first officially recognized bitcoin exchange was born in France, and the visionary government began to think... Since 2013, as the market value has risen rapidly, the debate has become more and more fierce. Former US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said that BTC is a bubble with no intrinsic value. Nobel economist Krugman called BTC a historical retrogression. Whether it is in politics, economics, sociology, or even science, there are strong opposition voice.
No matter how many people are hostile to Bitcoin, the answer given in the book Bitcoin is: I have no enemies - I am just an open source program, a cryptographic algorithm, a new technology, a P2P electronic payment system, a good idea... Although the liberals in the technical world will give me great ideals, the anarchists in geeks even regard me as a modern belief, I just want to solve practical problems through technology and make human feel convenient in actual interaction. In 2011, he began to contact BTC. Chang Jia, the author with genius mathematical thinking, who stepped into BTC world in 2011, said that for liberals, Bitcoin is Noah’s Ark, which can carry them to a free paradise; for the Silk Road, Bitcoin is snow job; for organizations like the Bitcoin Foundation, the Bitcoin community needs to actively engage with regulators to avoid potential policy reefs. www.fmz.com
The book "Bitcoin" is mainly about "I am solving problems, not making trouble": For the government, BTC is not an enemy. As long as the nation-state still exists, the legal currency will exist; as long as the government itself respects the marketization of the legal currency, then BTC can only become a supplement. For financial capital, large financial companies such as Visa, MasterCard, and Morgan can learn from the BTC's moveable value mechanism and parasitize on the BTC node. In a further step, they can introduce third-party agreements from banks, which can promote modern finance to a full Information height. For the economics community, many economists, especially Keynesianism, feel that BTC subverts traditional economic theory, natural deflationary attributes will only encourage speculation and ignore value, but in fact BTC will eventually belong to the essence value holders and the whole society. For the media, BTC not only provides free faith, but also provides an economic self-reliance. BTC and media are inherently natural alliances. For individuals, BTC is not an enemy. Money indiscriminate causes inflation to exploit people's wealth all the time. BTC offers the possibility of additional wealth preservation. At the very least, because BTC competes with fiats, the central bank will not be too unscrupulous.
In the future, the BTC world should pay more attention to the time stamp service and integrate more information into the encryption protocol not just currency; design a BTC third-party protocol access mechanism to complement and intersect with more traditional industries; strengthen decentralized Dropbox and its other extensible services. The core idea of Bitcoin is not to misunderstand the emergence of BTC, which is just to make human life better, like the Internet. The Internet doesn’t have enemies, nor does BTC. www.fmz.com
Discuss Crypto While Promoting Peace – Have Lunch in Paradise with Roger Ver
Roger Ver, Paradise, Crypto, and Peace What was it like to be there at the relative beginnings of bitcoin? Why did you decide to invest in something like bitcoin businesses at a time when no one knew what it was? Do you really think bitcoin cash is the real bitcoin? With the right bid, a lucky reader might get some candid answers to these questions from one the original bitcoin pioneers, Roger Ver.Have Lunch in Paradise with Roger Ver, Discuss Crypto While Promoting Peace The meeting is organized by the online auction platform Charitystars, based out of Italy with offices in London and Los Angeles. It frequently taps celebrities in a given genre as a creative go-between nonprofit outfits and potential donors looking for value beyond warm and fuzzy feelings. The company has worked with hundreds of groups, helping rabid football fans meet Cristiano Ronaldo to offering a lunch with former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. “Our goal is to make giving fun and rewarding,” Charitystars explains. “Winners get the chance to live a dream, celebrities, brands and private donors support causes they are passionate about, and charities spend less time fundraising and more time creating positive change.” They claim to have had over 1,000 celebrities participate along with brands “such as Jessie J, Valentino Rossi, Andy Murray, James Blunt, Vivienne Westwood, Vanity Fair and Redbull,” in an effort to help support foundations from Save the Children to Special Olympics. They’ve raised close to 10 million dollars for charity. Have Lunch in Paradise with Roger Ver, Discuss Crypto While Promoting Peace Lots to Discuss Apart from his bitcoin street cred, Mr. Ver’s life has loads of interesting tidbits. He was raised in a relatively conservative religious environment, was a self-described computer geek at a young age, and read a fairly heavy economics tome by obscure Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, Socialism, while still in middle school. He famously ran for office openly criticizing government law enforcement agencies, which he believes in turn caused a life-changing moment, his federal incarceration and subsequent parole. That lead him to formally renounce his American citizenship. He eventually gained new citizenship through St. Kitts (where the auctioned lunch will happen), and splits his year between it and his home in Japan. Oh, yeah, he speaks fluent Japanese. If all that isn’t enough to talk about, he’s begun a project whereby a group of investors is “purchasing sovereignty from a government to create the world’s first Free Society.” Have Lunch in Paradise with Roger Ver, Discuss Crypto While Promoting Peace The ultimate beneficiary of the lunch will be Antiwar.com. The site was initially formed to counter Clinton administration-era foreign policy adventurism around the world. It has gone on since to oppose each successive administration’s military intervention by the United States, and routinely reports the stories other outlets will not. It is an online clearinghouse for skirmishes all over the world, and include updates and insights not found anywhere else on the web. The site also hosts podcasts and interviews along with guest columnists. It does all this without commercials and having to rely on the traditional media model which might taint or otherwise water-down its coverage. Bidders have until January 25th 2018, 9:30am PST to win the lunch, and early reports indicate heavy interest. Payment can be made in bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and ether. What would you talk about with Roger if you won? Let us know in the comments section below.
If you've paid attention and understand how to read between the lines, you might have noticed that our society has reached its peak. Generally speaking, things aren't going to get much better than they are today. In fact, most of the luxury we've grown accustomed to will disappear. You might get faster internet speeds, your telephone might learn some new tricks, but that's about all you can realistically expect to get. We should count our blessings in fact, if we survive through the coming decades without people dying of hunger in first world nations. In many third world nations, that prospect is already unavoidable. The UN has declared the worst humanitarian catastrophe since world war II, because numerous nations throughout Africa face unprecedented famines, brought on by political instability, eroding soils, expanding populations and a rapidly changing climate. You might have noticed that all these gleeful predictions that the whole world would soon cease to reproduce out of its own volition because girls are sent to school have so far ceased to apply to Africa. With every new revision of its population prospects, the United Nations target for 2100 creeps up. This is all due to Africans, who simply can't be made to agree that reproduction is a 20th century relic and the future lies in taking care of cats and dogs as you spend until your mid thirties finishing your Phd. When it comes to Europe, there are two possible courses. Europe could embark on an isolationist course, trying to fence off its borders and ensure that the people who managed to kickstart the industrial revolution manage to survive through its hangover as well. This would require a switch towards a continent dominated by far right parties that hardly have a clue in regards to the kind of climatic catastrophe we have to prepare for. The established European parties seem unlikely to drastically change course in regards to their political position on the growing migration waves that Erdogan and other dictators now happily use to slap freebies out of them like a giant piñata. They harbor the vision that every individual is a unique person with his own human rights that have to be enforced, ignoring the fact that we can only enforce the concept of human rights we came up with ourselves because we live in an era of abundance that is now drawing to an end. During the refugee wave of 2015, mayors in the Netherlands proclaimed that "nobody sleeps on the streets" in the Netherlands, as they hurried to find shelter for all the newcomers. Well, they're about to face much worse. If you think you can sustain a world where nobody will have to sleep on the streets, reality is about to hit you in the face like a brick wall. Even the United States has tent cities filled to the brim with regular middle class professionals who fell on bad luck. What I would like to know is what these European politicians who nearly annihilated our civilization in 2015 plan to do in the years ahead as the refugee crisis continues to expand. In 2015, we saw a fake dichotomy between "real refugees" and "economic migrants", the prior facing death in political violence, the latter seeking opportunities abroad. The idea was that the prior deserve a ticket to paradise, whereas the latter need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Well, in the years ahead, you'll notice these lines begin to blur further. The economic migrants we speak of, are the same type of people living in overpopulated nations where people are dying of hunger. Before the industrial revolution, Niger sustained around 3 million people. Today it hosts 18 million, by 2100 it's expected to house 210 million people. If we discover economic migrants fleeing our way, it will be because the local economy will consist of the exchange of mud cookies and bullets. Europe will eventually figure out that it will have to choose between becoming a giant battered women shelter for sub-Saharan Africa, or accepting that its traditional vision of human rights will have to be abandoned. If you wonder how I can be so sure of a catastrophe that lies ahead, consider that we house 7.5 billion people today on our planet and expect to have nearly 10 billion by 2050. Meanwhile, the capacity for feeding them is shrinking. In the past 40 years, we've lost a third of our arable land to soil erosion. Historically, this has brought multiple civilizations to their end. In the years ahead, the problem will get worse. In the Middle East, 550 million people are said to live inside “the margin of what is physically possible”. Guess where they'll be headed when the mercury smashes through said margin, which could happen in a few decades. Similarly, a billion people worldwide depend to some degree on the coral reefs for nutrition. I don't know if you've noticed how the coral reefs are doing lately, but they won't be here anymore in a few decades. The temperature rise over the past 250 years has been mostly helpful to our civilization and increased yields, but except perhaps for some very Northern latitudes, we're now moving beyond the optimal range for agriculture, at a speed that vastly exceeds the changes we've so far experienced. It would be catastrophic enough on its own if this were the only problem we faced, as these problems have historically brought down most civilizations. We face a different situation however, as we're also dependent for our way of life on non-renewable resources. Without oil, coal and natural gas, this party comes to an end. The fact that you can theoretically produce these resources on your own through photosynthesis doesn't get you very far when you're already struggling to feed everyone. What's necessary is that you look at these problems with some degree of realism. This will be beneficial to you yourself. You might tell yourself: "I'm better off not knowing about all of these doom scenarios." Well, that's where you would be wrong. To start with, if you have options, you'd try to move away from a city like Los Angeles and relocate instead to a city like Invercargill, New Zealand. Most of us don't have such options of course, we're stuck right where we live today. If you live in the type of place where the death of a criminal at the hands of the police is enough to start a riot, any place would be preferable to that in the years ahead, when the government will place its priorities on encouraging the survival of those who can contribute to society over those who make a living by massaging your guilt feelings. But what if you're poor? Even then, there are advantages to knowing that business as usual will not continue. Let's say you have a seventeen year old son who's planning to go to college to study something that's supposed to start paying off by the time he's in his late forties. Well, you might wish to make it clear to him that the world thirty years from now will hardly look like the world that economists and politicians plan for. If you're sacrificing earnings now, in exchange for earnings thirty years from now that will be taxed highly because the government will need the money to keep people from starving, how does this benefit you? You might wish to recommend learning a trade to your son instead. Similarly, if you're in your twenties today and face the prospect of retiring at the age of 72, as I do, what point is there realistically speaking to saving for retirement? Do you think I'm seriously going to save a dime so that I get to spend it by the time I'm 72? Do you think I seriously trust the money will still be there? I have a pleasant job, but I'm not putting anything away for my eventual retirement. I trust that today's generations will empty the retirement funds before I'll ever get to stake a claim to them. In addition, realistically speaking I may simply never live to be 72. Ask yourself how many years you have left until retirement and ask yourself how the world will look by then. There is hardly a difference between the poor and the middle class today, how do you expect it to look in the future? I'm well aware that generations that preceded me have had the same thoughts. Survivalists in the 90's must have thought the world would be in flames by now. Boomers who didn't bother saving for retirement because they figured Jesus would have returned by now are starting to sweat as they realize they didn't prepare for old age. The thing is however, that the failure of a prediction doesn't prohibit its predicted outcome from being correct. I can look at a 400 pound man and predict he'll have a heart attack in the next ten years. If it turns out ten years later I was wrong, that doesn't mean his risk of suffering a heart attack has dropped to zero. What you're going to notice sooner or later is that we have not just failed to live up to the scientific accomplishments hoped for by our ancestors, we're going to fail to sustain the accomplishments they made. Consider for example, our discovery of antibiotics. You'll notice soon enough that these antibiotics will cease to work. We're similarly reaching the point where many of the pesticides we depend on will cease to work. We have a very limited range of fungicides and we're starting to face the question of whether we want to sacrifice yields or lives. There will be real catastrophic collapses, of the type you see predicted by angry guys with blogs. I'm sure we will see places rendered uninhabitable by nuclear disasters, dams failing that kill tens of thousands of people in first world countries and render hundreds of thousands more homeless, I'm sure we'll see lasting power outages, or even dramatic civil wars between migrants and indigenous people. What happened in Japan was supposed to be impossible too, according to nuclear engineers. "If you were sitting on top of the plants' chimney when they were venting, you should probably give up smoking to return to your former life expectancy." Remember this old line by any chance? Those are the words of Josef Oehmen, an MIT scientist and they were parroted everywhere, until they were hurriedly scrubbed from the Internet. As is surprisingly often the case, the ALL CAPS rantings by basement-dwellers with tin-foil hats were closer to the truth than the soothing words of what we imagine to be credible experts. I could dig up similar soothing commentary here on Reddit if I wanted, but I trust that you yourself remember the time when the narrative had not yet switched to of course you shouldn't build these wonderful inventions of ours near fault lines. I expect that genetic engineering will have its own Fukushima moment eventually when it triggers the kind of irreversible damage to our ecosystem that was supposed to be impossible, which will be followed by similar science-loving intellectuals on Reddit who will insist that those responsible were simply doing it wrong. The dramatic unanimous insistence by anonymous commentators on the Internet who seem to have no dog in the fight that vaccines and genetic engineering are safe is perhaps the biggest reason there is to worry about their safety. In all likelihood however, places that suffer a dramatic collapse of the type seen in Syria or Fukushima will be in the minority. What the majority of you will live through is a slow grind, as the type of standard of living we can sustain begins to decline. Look at the Netherlands today and you will see prominent former politicians choose euthanasia with their wives, because their health is declining and they realize how terrible conditions in our modern nursing homes are. You can expect that euthanasia is going to be one of the new normals in our society, not because people suffer deeply, but because they realize we don't have the wealth available to us to guarantee them dignified lives when they become disabled. Another trend you'll notice is that there will be no real genuine incentive to work for a lot of you. If you're not part of the ruling class and don't have some job as a code-monkey, you will work primarily out of status concerns. In the Netherlands and many other European nations, being a single mother on welfare earns you roughly as much money as working most full-time jobs would. The main reason more people don't apply for welfare is the fact that they discourage people capable of working from receiving welfare benefits, in addition to the public humiliation commonly used to encourage people to find something to do. Unless you're part of the small elite, it won't matter much whether you spend your day in a cubicle or watching tel sell commercials instead. So how do you cope with this prospect? Well, if the middle class will be the same as the lower class, you could strife even harder to become part of the upper class that will prove to be the main target of the lynch mob. We all dream of having a mansion where we can live by ourselves without any neighbors, but those mansions are like an advertisement board encouraging criminals to break into your house and keep you hostage. If you don't plan on having your whole family carry guns with them continually, don't bother aiming for the stars. Aristocrats are beheaded, the poor starve in famines, but average people inherit the future. Wiser than hoping to become part of the 0.1% is to accept the prospect that lies ahead of us and trying to make the best of it. Again, if you live in the kind of city where people riot whenever a criminal is put out of his misery, your priority should lie with getting out of there. Find a community of people who look and behave similar to you and settle down there. This is bigger than just ethnicity, social class matters as well. If you work as a bearded hipster with your own microbrewery, go live around other overeducated special snowflakes. You don't want to stand out from the crowd and you don't want your neighbors to pretend not to notice when you're starving or chained to a chair by criminals. If you're part of an ethnic minority, you'll similarly want to live around others belonging to your community. If you notice the mentality is starting to look very grim, you'll want to work on getting out of the country. Three years before the Kristallnacht, Germany implemented laws defining who's a Jew and who Jews are allowed to marry. Hindsight is 20-20, but when you notice such tendencies emerge it's time to get out, as it's only downhill from that point on. This ties into another grim reality, which is that if you're a Syrian or a Nigerian it makes perfect rational sense to try to flee to Europe, as the third world will suffer a dramatic population contraction. Europeans however will do what makes perfect sense for them, which is to try to prohibit you from entering their continent. The simple process of group polarization will likely lead even those nationalist parties who today see themselves as moderate and rational to implement policies that would horrify us today. Humans in an era of abundance are much nicer to each other than they are in an era of scarcity. Perhaps equally useful advice is to plan for a lifestyle that is nomadic. The work I do allows me to live essentially anywhere. If I felt the need, I could theoretically move to Eastern Europe and keep the same income while cutting my cost of living by 50%. More likely, I would try to move to an impoverished rural region of my own country. I always have some Bitcoin I can hold onto as well, in case everything goes to hell in a hand basket. If you decided to get a mortgage, so that you could build up assets that will make you rich thirty of forty years from now, my opinion would be that your decision was not very wise. Besides the fact that real estate may very well be in a bubble, you have to understand that the government will tax anything it can tax. It can't tax off-shore bank accounts, so it will happily tax your property instead. Look at Detroit, a failed community that has the second highest property taxes in the United States, to understand what will happen. By virtue of the fact that you own property, you become a cow to milk. One important factor to consider is that a mortgage can have the effect of tying you to a piece of land. That's perhaps the worst problem you can be dealing with if your community faces social meltdown. If I have a mortgage that's higher than the value of the property I own and I need to pay a tax when I wish to buy a different house, how will I ever leave the place I'm stuck in? In Groningen here in the Netherlands, we have thousands of people who are stuck living in houses falling apart due to earthquakes. These people have mortgages and live in houses nobody wants to buy any longer, so they're stuck living in houses they fear could collapse any moment and unable to move elsewhere. As we continue pumping up gas, the earthquakes they suffer will merely get worse. These people would have been much better off renting a house instead. Situations like these will be very common in my country as the sea level rises. Consider this: Almere is a city roughly 5 meter beneath sea level. The soil is expected to sink by roughly another half meter by 2050, while the sea can be expected to rise by anywhere up to half a meter by then. If you plan on buying a house there, I've got a bridge to sell you with it. The ultimate form of nomadism is perhaps to buy a boat and to live on your boat. As babyboomers watch their pensions dry up, these boats might very well become quite affordable. A boat allows you to leave, regardless of where you live. Hurricane incoming? You leave. Some "youth" got shot after robbing a gas station? Time to set sail. The local dam is about to spil over? Time to leave. Some guy in a white coat on TV announces that there's "no reason to panic"? You leave immediately. This is the best option available to you that I can imagine. Of course in the real world, you don't control everything. There's a lot of random chance involved when it comes to your survival odds for the years ahead, although the odds are generally stacked against you if you live in Niger or Uganda and in your favor if you live in Denmark or New Zealand. It's not going to go wrong simultaneously everywhere. It should be clear that it already went wrong in Syria and Yemen. These places will soon be joined by large parts of Africa, which will trigger unprecedented waves of migrants. Places like Japan and New Zealand may very well get through the coming decades unscathed. For the rest of us, that's unlikely to be the case.
If you look around in the media today, at least in the Netherlands, you'll notice a lot of news suggesting that the economy is busy "recovering". It's always hard to trust the news, especially when elections are coming up, but whether these numbers are correct or not distracts from the larger more important point, which is that if an economy is still busy "recovering" at this point from the past recession, then all of history since world war II would suggest that this is probably as good as it's going to get and we should brace for the next downturn. One problem you'll run into when people have suffered from poverty for a sufficiently long time is that they adapt to it as a new normal. As a result, statistics become deceptive. Unemployment rates no longer mean what they used to mean, people might claim to be disabled without being disabled, etcetera. At that point, it starts making more sense to simply look around you and pay attention to what you see. Consider for example, the drastic exponential expansion in the Netherlands, of the low budget chain store Action. This is a company that succeeds with zero marketing. If people now buy clothing and other goods sold at dump prices in droves, it would suggest to me that they're not really as well off as we imagine them to be. In the meantime, like most of you around the Western world probably do, I can look around me and see that the luxury stores, where people used to buy highly marketed expensive products, are closing up shop. Alternatively, I have noticed that some of these luxury stores where my parents occasionally used to shop back when I was a child and we were living off my father's single salary, no longer market to Dutch people. They make their announcements in the store in Chinese and Russian, because tourists from those countries are apparently the people they're now aiming for. What I witness popping up like mushrooms out of the ground everywhere are "vintage" shops, that sell old clothing, oftentimes literally falling apart, as if they were unique luxury products. These shops try to rob deluded millennials of what little money they have. Similarly, we witness an explosion in the number of "second hands" shops, which sell products often of much higher quality than "vintage" shops do, but without the inflated prices, as the products are typically donated to them whenever an elderly lady passes away. My suggestion would be to buy up their furniture now, before this generation that's now in their nineties and had homes that still looked nice, with furniture that lasted them a lifetime as it wasn't mass produced in China, dies out. Another trend you'll notice around you is that unemployment rates appear to be going down, but this is mostly an illusion. The people who don't want to work, in their late fifties and sixties are forced to continue working, even if they have bodies that can no longer handle the workload. In the 90's it was common for people in my country to retire at an earlier age than age 65, especially women tended to quit working earlier. Arrangements like these were gradually phased out and are practically unheard of today. Instead, people in this age segment now end up fired, with no genuine chance of ever finding a new job elsewhere. So what you'll notice in the statistics is that the participation right might seem stable, concealing the fact that young people are stuck with temporary contracts, while the old are forced to cling onto whatever source of income they found. The situation is not very different in the United States. One thing I find worth looking at is the epidemic of drug overdoses taking place around the United States. Heroin is no new thing, nor are painkillers. In America, a nation supposedly busy recovering from the great recession, some states now see rates of overdosing among young people so high that they struggle to pay for the funeral costs. My suggestion on the other hand, would be as following: The United States is around where the Soviet Union was when it began to collapse. The symptoms would appear similar to me. The empire has become too expensive to maintain and as a result the US is withdrawing from its role in Europe, expecting NATO countries to prop up their own military spending. The country itself is unlikely to suddenly implode the way the Soviet Union did, as the Soviet Union was more of a decentralized phenomenon than the United States can be considered to be at this point. The Soviet Union had separate ethnic groups, living in separate political entities that together composed the Soviet Union, ethnic groups that often had a brief experience of independence during the Russian Civil war. At the end of the day, the differences between American states and the degree of autonomy these states have aren't large enough for such an implosion to take place overnight. Rather, what I expect to see happen is that what used to constitute the core backbone of the American population gradually begins to die out, the way it did in the 90's in Russia. An estimated 5.41% of the American population used opioids in 2014, higher than any other country in the world. If you look at the news reports, you will find occasional stories of drug dealers, who will anonymously claim to drop fentanyl into the heroin they're selling, so that people die of a drug overdose. This supposedly indicates to the addicts that this dealer must be selling "really good stuff", thus making him more attractive to the addicts. It seems to me these dealers are either insincere, or lack the cognitive capacity to figure out that the addicts are actively looking for an overdose that will put them out of their misery. If people won't tell you, you won't figure out the difference between an accidental opioid overdose and a suicide. What reversed the Russian death spiral was an economic upsurge around 2000 under a new leader, Vladimir Putin, who proved to be more competent than his predecessor. When it comes to Americans, it remains to be seen what might end the current death spiral. One advantage Americans have is that they're legalizing cannabis across the country. When cannabis is legal, more people have a legal alternative to deadly drugs available to them. This doesn't solve the underlying problem however, which is psychological: People don't want to live. Many addicts will affirm that opioids are easier to quit than nicotine. Studies in rats show the animals only grow addicted when they find themselves stuck in a situation where they don't want to be. Put them in a rat paradise and they won't touch the heroin laced water. The bigger problem you're dealing with is that the American societal model is no longer working. Everyone is supposed to have a job and drive back and forth to their job every day. Some people work on developing technologies that get rid of some jobs, which makes everyone wealthier by allowing people who occupied those jobs to spend their time producing something else. This is how it used to work, but the problem with that mentality should have become clear long ago. Instead, economists came up with the idea of the "luddite fallacy", the idea that technology could not possibly lead to sustained unemployment. Only now are economists coming around to the idea that the "luddite fallacy" is itself a fallacy, that you can't just expect to keep everyone busy by producing ever more stuff. If it takes 1% as many people to produce a car today as it did fifty years ago, we can't realistically expect to solve the problem by producing a hundred times as many cars. "Well then..." You say. "Surely we can just somehow solve the problem by taking money from rich people and handing it over to everyone else? We might, but there's no guarantee we'll solve the problem. Everyone agrees the world would be a better place without nuclear weapons. That doesn't mean we'll manage to get rid of nuclear weapons. Similarly, everyone agrees that Bitcoin it stuck with a block size problem, but it's proving to be extremely difficult to move away from a dysfunctional model towards one that actually works. We also agree we should address global carbon emissions, but so far we're not making much progress, are we? There is no country out there that has managed to institute a universal basic income. We don't know if it would work, I'm beginning to suspect that it won't. Our current societal model functions by having a basic income for people aged 65 and over. We have a similar income for people aged below 65. We call it welfare and we painstakingly try to keep people from using it through de facto social shaming tactics. We might make them pick up garbage on the street, or we might come up with some other method to make them feel as if they were intrinsically bad people. We're already witnessing problems with that model, as it's becoming difficult to afford. We can decide to tax people who happen to have money, but why would they want to participate, if they can simply move to another country? You might say that they should swallow a 70% income tax out of solidarity with the rest of us, but how do you guarantee to them that the 70% income tax doesn't eventually turn into an 80% tax? The wealthy have no reason to stay stuck in whatever jurisdiction they live in, especially in today's era. "Well then we'll seize their assets." That's a great way to chase away the remaining people you could tax. It's also going to prove rather tough to do. How exactly do you go about seizing the assets of someone who owns 2% of Facebook? Perhaps equally important is the fact that when you pay people for existing, everyone will want to live there. There are beggars on the streets of Sweden, who spend every day sitting there with a sign in public. Do you think they wouldn't move to Finland or Denmark or any other country, if that country plans to pay them simply for existing? We have so far solved this problem, by simply keeping everyone busy doing something. A great way to keep everyone busy is by constantly increasing the number of chronically ill people who need to be taken care of. Another great way to keep everyone busy is to constantly increase the amount of education needed to get a decent job. Finally, another great way to keep us busy is to constantly increase the number of bureaucratic hurdles we need to jump through. As an example, it used to be possible to jump onto a scooter in this country without a license, try doing that now and you're breaking the law. Try imagining our current society, if a high school degree still got you a good job, if we didn't have millions of people with diabetes, dementia, autism and other chronic ailments and if you didn't need to jump over legal hurdles to get anything done. We would already be dealing with an enormous unemployment crisis. We have generally maintained this dysfunctional model, where the government pays to keep society functioning inefficiently to ensure that everyone has a job, through growing debts. Those debts however, end up reaching hard limits to the heights they can reach, I'll spare you the details on that. The alternative, to raise taxes on the rich and thereby fund the busywork we do, has proven to be an unsustainable solution. France had 10,000 millionaires leave the country in 2015 in response to the record high taxes, creating a massive budget shortfall. Similarly, we're discovering diminishing returns to education. You can't keep saddling young people with enormous debts when you send them off to college, at some point they become unable to pay back those debts, or they might start under-reporting their income. That is not to mention that their college degrees serve merely as a new hurdle for them to jump over. The main reason young people need college degrees nowadays, is because all other young people applying for the same jobs have college degrees too. At the end of the day, the problem is very simple, in that the economic model we live in requires us to justify our existence. We justify our existence through our ability to sell our labor. We might teach young people factoids they'll never use, we might fool people into buying expensive products that fall apart within days, we might carry old people to the toilet who would rather be dead instead, or we might trade abstract financial products back and forth between each other. The things we do are degrading, useless and an insult to everything we could accomplish in our lives, but they nonetheless serve to justify our existence to society as a whole. They're also inevitably going to die out. What happens then, when these jobs die out? Well, if we can't change our societal operating system, what follows next would seem to be drug overdoses. People who have no busywork to justify their existence with, kill themselves, accidentally or on purpose. In earlier days, a situation like this would be met with theft and plunder, but money in our society is not something you store in a safe, it's a number in a digital ledger somewhere, tied to your identity. If you wonder why criminals today murder animals in zoos, it's because there's no real other place out there for them to steal valuable stuff. In a world where every store has a security camera and everyone carries a small camera with them, you can't really kidnap people anymore either. I think the drug epidemic is going to be one of the big black swans of the 21st century. When people have nothing they're supposed to be doing, they're going to sedate themselves. I can't set a foot out of my door, without stepping into a pile of nitrous oxide canisters, used by teenagers here to get high. My generation was more interested in cannabis, but today's young people appear to prefer dissociatives. That's a phenomenon worth thinking about. Cannabis enhances reality, it makes music more fun and it makes everything funny. Nitrous oxide, Ketamine and other dissociatives, those take your conscious mind away from the real world. You're no longer participating in this universe, you're somewhere else, in some kind of bizarre creation of your own nervous system. There is of course a philosophical error underlying this problem. Two hundred years ago we thought we could get rid of work to make society more efficient, but we failed to come up with something worthwhile to replace it with. Riding horses, harvesting grain, kneading dough, sailing boats, building houses and furniture, sewing clothing, that might be hard work, but this was what life was supposed to be about. We got rid of those jobs and replaced them with PHP programmers, customer service representatives and insurance salesmen, jobs that revolve around interacting with vague technological abstractions on a daily basis. Today those jobs are dying out too, so what we're left with now is a void we can't fill. Except with fentanyl.
1760 points: itsreaditpeople's comment in Freakonomics: You're twice as likely to go from low to high income in Canada than in the USA
1678 points: mwatwe01's comment in Trade school, not 4-year college, is a better bet to solve the US income gap, researchers say
1445 points: matty_a's comment in Trump Administration Rolls Back Protections for People in Default on Student Loans
1411 points: electrik_wizard's comment in The U.S. Has Forgotten How to Do Infrastructure: The nation once built things fast and cheaply. Now experts are puzzled why costs are higher and projects take longer than in other countries.
This is an essay about who I hate the most. To understand who I hate the most, imagine for a moment that you're a chimpanzee infant living in the rainforest in Africa. One day, a poacher kills your mom and kidnaps you. He hands you over to a white man, who then transports you to the United States. There you are experimented upon with strange injections, or perhaps you are slaughtered immediately, your organs used to grow vaccine material in. What would you think, as you drew your final breath? Would you think that you are making a vital contribution to ending preventable disease? Would you think that this man is "merely doing his job"? Would you think that he's simply ignorant, that he doesn't recognize your pain? Or would you perhaps, burst with hatred? Hatred is good. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Hatred is the destructive impulse, that brings balance to love, which is the creative impulse. A species that loves itself too much deteriorates, becoming an inferior form of itself that takes over everything like a cancer. Our culture teaches you to love, not hate, because by loving others, we create an efficiently working society that grows better. Hate however, is the purging element, that removes everything excessive that clutters our planet. White people are peculiar, in that they hide their greed behind promiscuous altruism. If a man develops a new antibiotic or grows his company by 10%, he says that he does it to help society. In reality, he is growing old. His penis is increasingly concealed behind growing layers of fat, his male breasts are beginning to sag. This drives his behavior more than you might think. If the aging man in our above example wants to have a chance of having sex with a young woman he genuinely finds attractive, what do you think his best option is? His best option is to enter a prestigious career tract and grow his power over others. Why did kings want to be kings? To help mankind? Or perhaps because they got to mate with just about any young woman they want? Even if they're not consciously aware why they seek status, the fact that men with higher status had more mating opportunities inevitably means that men will seek out status. If developing vaccines or being president turned you into a social pariah, a guy forced to live on the streets and have people laugh at him, do you think people would still enter these career tracts? I don't think so. I think that within white culture, power is not officially acknowledged, but rather, everyone claims to wish to serve a greater cause. In most non-Western cultures, power is not as taboo to discuss as it is in the West. It's acknowledged that some families have more power than others. It's also acknowledged that people seek to become rich, for their own benefit. People also don't believe in some vague notion of universal benefit. They recognize that the world is a zero-sum game, that for anyone to gain, someone else has to lose. Thus, in the inner cities in the United States, drug dealers kill other drug dealers. Fewer competitors means more customers dependent upon them. If drug dealers were white, they would set up reeducation tracts for unemployed drugdealers, put up advertisements to create more drug addicts, create focus groups to find out what drug addicts are really looking for, etcetera, anything that can prop up the idea that further expansion of the industry as a whole is possible. It's seemingly impossible to acknowledge for people in our society that life is a zero sum game, that we can't all benefit, that we are inevitably in competition with other groups, other families, other races, other species, you name it. As a result, it's also impossible for us to acknowledge that our work makes the world worse. Most people working in the defense, fast food, marketing and tobacco industries don't see themselves as cynical greedy people. They genuinely think that they're fulfilling an important societal need, although this is not what drives them, what drives them is the need for status, which, although they don't recognize it, is produced by their need for sex. Nothing however, is so destructive as the man who thinks that all can benefit from his work, the universal friend of mankind. Marquis the Condorcet was one of the first to spread this idea of universal growth, a global zero-sum game, whereby we would transform the whole world into a paradise. He had his way, mankind got what it wanted, but it came at the cost of every non-human organism. A criminal on the other hand is an ally of the biosphere, because a criminal preserves himself, at the cost of mankind as a whole. He seizes resources that could be used for further economic growth. An oil cartel that cooperates to keep oil prices high is illegal, but such higher oil prices ensure that we can feed fewer people, emit less CO2 and maintain a higher standard of living, because the members of the oil cartel will make more profit and thus pay higher dividends. In the medieval era we recognized this, hence we had guilds. Libertarians and other free-market fetishists will argue that lower prices would benefit us by reducing prices, but what really happens as a consequence is that we can grow more food and as a result sustain more people, until finally we reach an equilibrium again. It is societies where crime is endemic that manage to remain in balance with the biosphere, because humanity does not turn into a monolithic borg, unified in its will. Economists all agree that crime is a significant hamper to economic growth. There are various reasons for this. Resources are misallocated. The uncertain environment you live in makes long-term investment plans unattractive, as someone could steal your money. Nations that have a lot of criminals and scam-artists also become unattractive for outside forces to do business with, as can be seen in Nigeria. My anti-human ideal is best represented in the form of the criminal, who does not claim to have a universal allegiance to mankind, but rather acknowledges that he seeks to benefit above all else himself and his peer group. Endemic crime creates a society that can not cooperate at the level needed to create the enormous destruction we witness today. For this reason I also favor BItcoin, because it creates new opportunities to engage in criminal enterprise.
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