Essays

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Becoming Your True Self

Reflection on the Suicide of a Former High School Classmate

La Suicidé (1877-1881) / Édouard Manet

Recently, one of my former high school classmates committed suicide by leaping off his apartment balcony. The eerie thing about the internet is that his LinkedIn and Facebook profiles lived on. I had not been in touch for nearly fifteen years, but I was tempted to have a look.

The thing that worried me was his show of pride for supposedly having graduated high school — because I knew he had not. He had flunked the final year, had not been allowed to redo it and was forced to get a job. To keep up...

He Who Marches Out of Step Hears Another Drum

What I Learned From Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over A Cuckoo’s Nest

Freedom of Expression by Christian Mayrhofer | CC BY-NC-ND

Man is not born perfect. We have good and bad sides, but he who dares not show his bad side isn’t worth his good. Whoever suppresses the evil in him only lives half. But half a man is not a man. And therein lies the cause of modern diseases such as depression: society dictates we should oppress ourselves and be mindful of others, but self-oppression kills our spirit.

In the overpopulated world we live in, we submit ourselves to mandatory adjustment to fellow human beings, rather than finding the...

The Progressive Left’s Repressed Colonial Attitudes

Over drinks with a progressive colleague, I disagreed with his opinion that white people, Westerners, have a “moral obligation” to help the rest of the world, as if to make up for past wrongs (e.g. slavery, colonialism, nazism). Although I support tearing down international trade barriers and even dropping Third World debt to the West, and while I wish for Third World nations to achieve equal or exceeding levels of wealth, I reject the Western guilt complex that shames us into submission to the Faith of...

The End of US Dollar Hegemony

Towards a World Reserve Crypto Currency?

Source: Thoughtful Cynic

Statements that the Western world unjustly controls or consumes the majority of the world’s wealth overlook the production side of the argument. For example, with a population of 317 million -or about 4.5% of the total world population of 7 billion- the United States produce 22% of all world output, the world’s largest market share. It is not entirely unfair to own a large share of wealth if you produce it yourself.

But production requires access to or...

The Bubble Index

Where Bitcoin Will Go Next

According to the latest financial research stock bubbles are the result of endogenous factors, such as positive feedback loops or simply monkey see monkey do. We can apply this research to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency prices.

Mid November 2013 I was able to correctly predict Bitcoin’s imminent December crash using a Log-Periodic Power Law (LPPL) oscillations tool. I had asked T. Taylor of The Bubble Index ...

Lessons Learned from a Botched Bitcoin Startup

How eCash became eCrash

Late 2013 I founded a Bitcoin payments company, eCash BV, based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Admitting defeat, we dissolved the company early 2015. What went wrong, why and what did we learn? To counter survivorship bias, I wish to share and document lessons learned.

Bitcoin as a Payment ...

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 ...

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...