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Intelligent Atheism

Why Richard Dawkins is Doing it Wrong

Richard Dawkins, popular author of books on topics of evolution, biology and religion, such as The God Delusion, is probably today’s best known promotor of atheism. Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss, a phycisist, travel the world promoting a ‘scientific worldview’ as filmmaker Werner Herzog calls it.

But rather than focusing on why (religious) dogma is wrong I believe the focus should be why science is right. I take this from a book by Ricardo Semler that mentions a truck salesman’s failing efforts to...

On Skill and Talent

When we reject people it is often because we failed to recognize their worth. The reason is that we confuse skill with talent. Many people who have a great skill in a certain area, for example a certain programming language, are frustrated to be reduce to just that skill. Higher-ups, people in management positions and even co-workers will mistake that specific skill with your whole personality.

Mentioning that you are good at programming Python suddenly...

Can Bitcoin Resist Being Hijacked by Corporate Interests?

Photo by peterras / CC BY-NC-SA

The Bitcoin software core is currently being managed by no more than a handful of volunteers. In comparison, Microsoft employs thousands of developers fulltime to build their flagship OS. Can Bitcoin’s core development resist being hijacked by corporate interests?

The years 2013...

Is Bitcoin Money?

Photo by zcopley / CC BY-SA

I recently attended two discussions of the Amsterdam Bitcoin community about the question whether Bitcoin is money. A commercial Bitcoin company set the community in motion after launching an effort to overturn a recent court ruling that Bitcoin was not money, the ‘Bitcoin is Geld’ initiative (...

Integrating Peer-2-Peer Identity Verification with Crypto Currencies

Photo by carrubbam / CC BY-NC-ND

Bitcoin is a pseudonymous cryptographic currency. Pseudonymous means users can perform transactions behind an alias, namely the public Bitcoin address. Because the Bitcoin blockchain keeps a record of all transactions ever made, anyone can trace the movement of coins from one alias to another. Bitcoin transaction thus remain relatively anonymous this way. But once your public address is linked to your real world identity, perhaps through a Facebook post or WhatsApp message...

The Crypto-Currency Protocol Wars

Bitcoin and the Internet of Value

Photo by chibcha / CC BY-NC-ND

What is the next stage in the evolution of the internet? The 1990s gave the world the internet of information: low-cost global access to near real-time information. But until recently it was impossible to create unique bits of content that could not be duplicated, digital scarcity. Without digital scarcity it was not possible to create a cryptographic currency, because of the problem of double-spending. If you could copy all digital information then you could simply copy digital...

Bitcoin for Self-Organization

The true meaning of the technology behind Bitcoin, the digital money for the internet age, is that it allows people to exchange information and verify its contents without said people having to trust each other, and doing so without a central authority. Bitcoin’s main application, the disruption of money and payments, is the first of many possible future applications. Think of decentralized identity, insurance, stock exchanges and even government.

The...

The Value of Human Dignity is Priceless

A butcher shop in Amsterdam around the corner from where I used to live has a small sign behind the counter. The sign reads:

Due to a shortage of personnel actual people work here. Be careful with them, they are very rare.

Every CEO in the whole world should put that sign on their desks right now. The problems we face in the world are never technical, but they are always...

Magento is Dead!

Merchants Want a Suite of Marketing Tools, not Refactored Code

Magento has been in decline since Varien sold to eBay. Magento Community Edition is dead. Magento Go is a failure surpassed by Shopify. Magento CE releases have dried up. 

So now what?

Magento 2.0 sounds promising. However, Magento 2.0 is lead by developers-only. No marketeers are involved to communicate merchant needs. I have tested Magento 2.0 dev60 and it is nothing...

The Moral Temperature

All Morals Come from Mutually Beneficial Behavior

Where do morals come from? For Christians, morals come from divine law, which implies that what is good or evil is the arbitrary decision of a central authority or “God”. In Confucianist spirituality, which offers no place for a central authority or “God”, morals stem from the social relationships between people - impossible, according to Western religion. But Confucianists are closest to the truth: human moral, what is right or wrong, comes from mutually beneficial behavior.

Two people who agree...