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Doug's Blog

Coding, fitness, economics, acting, linguistics, sci-fi, and Voluntaryism.

Obesity is an epidemic? Maybe that’s a good problem to have!

In my hometown, now mayor, then councilman, Robb Davis came out strong against obesity, proposing a soda tax to battle it since he’s “so concerned” about the health of Davisites. He wants to combat “fatty liver disease:”

http://iseedavis.com/soda-still-a-fight/

Fortunately, the soda tax was not put on the ballot, but the fight is “far from over.”

The concern for health comes from poor diet choices and the sedentary lifestyle most Americans lead. I read a lot online and see news reports decrying this “epidemic” and that “something must be done!” (to save people from themselves).

But how about we look at the problem from a different angle? We live in a society where the average person can engage in full time occupations which require no physical exertion, and which pay them enough to purchase the richest food imaginable. And for them to eat as much as they want of it! Compare this lifestyle to the lifestyles of their ancestors even 100 years ago. People barely got enough to eat back then. In the days of feudalism, the average peasant was starving, toiling from sun up to sun down, and turning over the majority of the hard-won fruits of their efforts to their landlord. That was the plight of the average person. Today, the plight of the average person is to live like kings of old.

This is what capitalism has brought us. As long as we have a relatively free market, our store shelves will be stocked with more food than our ancestors could possibly have imagined, of a staggering variety. Each time I set foot in a store like Safeway or Grocery Outlet, I am floored by the incredible variety and quality available to me. I thank my lucky stars I live here, instead of a place like Venezuela or North Korea. I’m so glad I didn’t grow up in a place like the Soviet Union, or Mao’s China. It is truly a blessing to be living in a market economy!

I guess I just have grown tired of the constant whining from socialists who decry capitalism because there are people who have more than others. So what? As long as I have a free market to work with, I can work to pull myself out of poverty. Upward mobility was something unheard of for peasants of old, yet it’s here for anyone who really wants it and is willing to work hard for it. And by working hard, I don’t mean just endless toiling–I mean confronting your lifestyle, learning frugality, saving, investing, and, well, changing your entire outlook on life. Practically anything is possible if you set your mind to it.

So the next time you hear screams about obesity, be thankful that it is a “problem!”

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Crypto-correction…

Crypto Correction: Bitcoin and Ether Dive as Market Sheds $13 Billion http://bit.ly/2sUpRgU via @CoinDesk

BTCJam is closing

I am devastated!

BTCjam Blog

BTCJam began with one mission: To provide people around the world with access to fair credit.

In the past four years we have serviced more than 20,600 loans in 122 countries, totaling more than 64,000 Bitcoin loaned. We have helped thousands of people around the world and are proud that we changed lives for the better.

We firmly believe that programmatic money and cryptocurrencies are here to stay and that there is still room for innovation in this space. That said, we have made the difficult decision to close BTCJam. The regulatory challenges around Bitcoin and the difficulties we faced in introducing Bitcoin technology to poor communities around the world are simply beyond our capacity.

No new loans can be made from today onward, and if you have any Bitcoin stored with us, you have until July 1, 2018 to withdraw it.

All borrowers with active loans can keep repaying…

View original post 176 more words

New Video Shows the Simple Recipe for Poor Nations to Become Rich Nations – in Spite of Bad Advice from International Bureaucracies

This comes under the category of “duh!” The evidence is overwhelming, according to this post.

International Liberty

The recipe for growth and prosperity isn’t very complicated.

Adam Smith provided a very simple formula back in the 1700s.

For folks who prefer a more quantitative approach, the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World uses dozens of variables to rank nations based on key indices such as rule of law, size of government, regulatory burden, trade openness, and stable money.

One of the heartening lessons from this research is that countries don’t need perfect policy. So long as there is simply “breathing room” for the private sector, growth is possible. Just look at China, for instance, where hundreds of millions of people have been lifted from destitution thanks to a modest bit of economic liberalization.

Indeed, it’s remarkable how good policy (if sustained over several decades) can generate very positive results.

That’s a main message in this new video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity.

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Voluntaryism in Simple Terms

It is impossible to argue against any of his points.

The Simple Voluntaryist

All Human Relationships Should Be Mutually Consensual 

Voluntaryism is simply the belief that all human relationships should be mutually consensual, or “voluntary”.

Voluntaryists reject the initiation of aggression in all its forms; violence, threats of violence, theft, coercion, fraud, bullying, rape, murder, etc.

Self-defense using physical force is not an initiation of aggression, but rather a reaction to it; therefore, it is morally acceptable to use force to defend your life, the lives of others, and justly acquired property.

Voluntaryists follow the Non-Aggression Principle, which is a moral principle that “prohibits the initiation of force by one person against another.”

This belief is hardly a controversial one. It is little more than basic, kindergarten ethics. Few of us believe that forcing someone to do something against their will is morally acceptable, unless they are initiating aggression against someone else.

When you force someone to have sex with you, it’s called rape

View original post 8,645 more words

linux.m2osw.com: “Boot into the command line console in Ubuntu 16.04”

My business partner, Alexis, posted a good blog for us old Linux fogies. I also used to start X from a console window. Ubuntu kind of cured me of that habit (I use lightdmexclusively). Anyway, here are his trials and tribulations trying to get Ubuntu 16.04 to behave. I’ve mirrored his text here so it’s mobile friendly:

As I just upgraded my 14.04 installation to 16.04, it booted right up to lightdm.

I had it properly setup to boot in a console before, but somehow it changed the behavior on me.

This is because the computer is now using systemd to boot.

Continue reading “linux.m2osw.com: “Boot into the command line console in Ubuntu 16.04””

The best way to back up all your photos and videos on Android

http://phandroid.com/2016/08/06/how-to-back-up-photos-video-android-phone/

More than $60m worth of bitcoin was stolen from one of the world’s largest digital currency exchanges yesterday, and nearly 24 hours later, the event is still shrouded in mystery.

What is clear, though, is that the impact is far-reaching.

The Bitfinex theft represents the largest loss of bitcoins by an exchange since Japan’s infamous Mt Gox lost 744,408 BTC in early 2014 (worth $350m), a breach that would ultimately cause it to cease operations.

via The Bitfinex Bitcoin Hack: What We Know (And Don’t Know) – CoinDesk

What if – just what if – the system is flawed this way. What would we expect to see? And what would the response be of the academics on the inside, when criticized from the “cranks” on the outside?

A Seed Of Doubt by Steve Patterson

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