Innovation for Oppression

Herd Control or Crowd Defense?

The Commit/ event in Amsterdam hosted a demo market showcasing Big Data innovation. This so-called ‘public-private research community’ of mostly PhD students showing off their graduation projects gives a clear indication of the direction new data technology is pursuing.

But I could not stop noticing that some of these innovations are...

Bitcoin, the Future Gold Standard?

If there really existed a ‘lost city of gold’ then the abundance of gold would have no more value than mere concrete or red bricks. What makes gold valuable? Gold’s inherent value is based on three characteristics: scarcity, the difficulty to obtain new gold through increasingly expensive mining operations, and the high cost to forge gold in meaningful quantities. Just like Bitcoin.

However, successful ...

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 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.


First World Pecking Order

Why Immigrants to the West Often Feel Discriminated

Immigrants coming to the First World, the West, often feel discriminated. In their own view, they fell discriminated against on the basis of the color of their skin. A complaint often heard goes that Western societies look at what immigrants can’t do, rather than what they can do. 

The truth, however, may be diametrically different. Most Western societies—whether or not founded upon democratic principles of equality, rule of law and economic freedom—tend to be governed by steep social...