A Rehabilitation of Alice Miller

Alice Miller, the radical Polish-Swiss psychoanalyst who broke with the Freudian drive theory that blames the child, is often herself accused of blaming the parents instead. Miller is further accused of preaching the truth, of Deutungsmonismus—finding evidence for your beliefs everywhere you look—and of not living up to her own ideals, noting that her own son was beaten by his father under her own watchful eye. ...

In Defense of Black Pete

Is Black Pete a Symbol of “Racist Afrophobia”?

Princess Marianne of Orange-Nassau by Johan Philip Koelman (1846)

At first glance, the Black Pete tradition appears to be rooted in colonial slavery. Princess Marianne of Orange-Nassau (1810–1883), Princess of The Netherlands, was the daughter of King Willem I and aunt of King Willem III, nicknamed King Gorilla for his less civilized behavior. In August 1850 she traveled to Egypt for holidays and brought home with her a fifteen year old boy whom she had purchased from Arab merchants at the Cairo slave market. His arrival made the...

On the Meaning of the Chauvet Cave

The image atop my blog is taken from the Chauvet cave, France. The entrance to this remarkable cave collapsed over 20,000 years ago, preserving the very oldest paleolithic paintings made 32,000 years ago by Cro Magnon man, the early European Homo Sapiens.

In our time, the philosophy of man has diverged between East and West. East being concerned with life, here and now, and the meaning of life. Confucius famously said to one of his...

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...

Predicting the next Bitcoin Crash

...but by Christmas 2014 the Price Might Go over $1,600!

Bitcoin 2013 price prediction

Can Bitcoin crashes be predicted? Short answer: yes. Long answer: assuming that Bitcoin prices follow an exponential growth pattern we can apply statistical regression analysis to forecast data. Regression means to fit the data to the most accurate model. This allows to predict the chance of a crash by looking at how much Bitcoin’s prices differ from statistically expected values. Bitcoin’s current (November 2013) prices overshoot expected values by 100%. A price correction seems imminent.

I...