Lessons learned - Crypto and Divorce - In January I was a millionaire thanks to BTC, then my wife divorces me and now I have $30,000 AMA
Crossreferencing u/nanoissuperior He wrote earlier today: https://www.reddit.com/CryptoCurrency/comments/a3n6uw/in_january_i_was_a_millionaire_thanks_to_nano_now/ Title: In January I was a millionaire thanks to Nano, now I have $25,000 AMA I was replying to his post, but my reply ended up being a bit too large as a reply and steered off-topic, albeit an interesting one. So I decided to make it its own post, because there may be a good lessons to be learned and hoping some will come forward with good information to be shared. I hope it can help anyone on this sub avoid the costly mistakes that I made. Here it goes: FLAIR: LEGAL (not in the list) ---- u/nanoissuperior are you who I think you are? I won't give out any further identifying clues, but I happen to know someone in the exact same position that could have written that exact same headline. If you read the first paragraph, you'll know if you know me. The person I know bought Nano really early, based on a tip from a friend. I got in much later. By the time he told me it had already spiked to the $5 range, when I ended up buying. I then sold in the $20's so it was a good buy nonetheless. We were former colleagues at a large, large software company somewhere in the PNW, I left the company to venture out on my own and try to launch some projects I had in mind and relocated overseas for a few years. We lost contact with each other during my time away, but we connected again during the market runup and started exchanging coin information on a daily basis during the big bull run of late 2017. That was a crazy time.... the market trend was a few degrees short of vertical for pretty much all coins! Hey, guess what? Now that I think about it, I could have written that same headline myself! In January 2018 I was a Millionaire too! Not with Nano, but thanks to purchasing a good chunk of Bitcoin in 2011 at $1.20 each. I ended up a single digit millionaire with what I had left in Bitcoin around January of 2018. And, just like you, today, from all that wealth, I have about $30.000 left, with little to show for. Can we call that even? Although my disaster was not caused entirely by market fluctuation; Mine is a more complex story and I am going to mention it, because hopefully, it could serve as a lesson to be learned for any crypto holder out there, so they don't make the make mistake I made: Don't trust anyone. Always be skeptical and watch out for your own interests. Anyhow, here it goes: After 5 years overseas, I had enough and wanted to come back to the States. My wife stated her preference to stay abroad, but eventually, she conceded albeit reluctantly. We chose a small town in CO to settle, and landed in November of 2017. We had plans to settle down and considered purchasing a home with my/our new fortune, based on the market price during that period. At the same time, I was also hesitant about the inherent tax payments due caused by such large liquidation. I was trying to have to pay taxes as far away as possible. So, I decided to wait till New Year's Eve and started liquidating my crypto on January 1st, 2018 right after midnight. This way, I would have 16 months (till April, 2019) to pay any capital gains taxes, and I was confident at the time that the market would give me that for free, especially at the pace that it was going. I have been an early adopter and have since then acquired the high levels of verification and trading limits per week, with many exchanges, but for a large sum like this, I needed several separate transactions, over the course of several weeks, especially wanting to do it with a US-based exchange that was linked to a US bank accounts, to avoid overseas wire transfers, meaning more fees. (Yes, I did look at all OTC options, but for reasons not relevant to the story, I couldn't make it happen, so I had to use the traditional Exchange channels for asset liquidation). My wife and I, initially had some fundamental disagreements on the gross amount to be spent and the type of property we should be purchasing. I wanted a smaller place, with a denser, younger community, where there'd be kids our son's age for him to play. She insisted that we should go big; we had been traveling for so many years, and we had not been able to call any of our past residences our home. It was time to settle and nest; She convinced me that we should own a property of our own that we would be proud of living in for years. One that we could own outright and would not easily outgrow. We ended up splurging and purchased in cash two luxury cars for ourselves and set our sights on a large dream house in the city's Golf & Country Club, free and clear, for us and our two kids. I don't even play golf, nor do I even like it, but, if it makes her happy and it is within the safe margins of making it happen, I figured, why not? My concerns were largely financial and the numbers were adding up. It was a bit tight against my personal safe margins, but, at the same time, I was imagining to never have to make, or even have to think about, a car or home mortgage payment ever again! Bitcoin is on a roll and there is no sign of it stopping. Fine. Let's do it, before I change my mind. Now, I admit I was extremely lucky with choosing the time of when to sell the assets. I had no clue the market would take a dive in February, and so it seemed to many that I had timed the market perfectly, selling most of my coins in the first two weeks of January of 2018. Many called me a genius for selling at the very top, as if I had some sort of wisdom to know when it would drop; the truth is much less flattering; it was nothing but dumb luck, based on me wanting to pay taxes in 2018 and defer to 2019. Awesome, well done! Yeah? well, slow down, son, not so fast. So, I gather the 7-digit lumpsum in January 2018 and we write a check for the full amount at closing in February on the property of her dreams. A property that could easily be showcased on a luxury Real Estate magazine cover. Also, remember we had just moved back to the United States with just a few suitcases each from overseas. We had no furniture, kitchenware, curtains, TV's, bed sheets, winter clothing and so many other essential things that one usually purchases over time, but which we now had to purchase all at once. Not a problem, Bitcoin had dropped slightly but still well above $15k, I believe, at the time. And, earlier, in January, I had diligently taken this expense into account and effortlessly set aside a small fortune for equipping such a large house with everything we would ever need, brand new. It seemed we were protagonists of one of the Home Makeover Shows. Finally, after working day and night, prepping the house non-stop for days and when every piece of furniture had finally arrived, been unpacked and carried to its corresponding room, it seemed most of the essentials were in place and the hard work was done. I longed for pouring myself a Scotch and to finally sit down and enjoy the fruits of my labor. I head downstairs to the dedicated walk-in, cigar-humidor / wine / Scotch cellar in the basement and grab the better bottle of Whisky of the few bottles of Scotch that I had bought earlier in the week. On my way up, I remember feeling a sense of calm, combined with a glow of excitement and this undescribable profound inner peace, all at once. This was such a rare, natural, non-drug induced high that I had never experienced. It felt so good! This sense of accomplishment of achieving that one thing I had been chasing and longing for my entire life. I had expected I would be chasing this goal for the next 15-20 years, and yet, here it was. No, where I was, was even better than expected! A place where not even my parents, who still have to make their monthly mortgage payments. I had done it! With a smile from ear to ear, I take a deep breath of relief and while looking around the property, I think to myself: "It's perfect, everything is in place and I can finally call this our home. We are so lucky and we are going to live a great life. A life that few can only dream of. So many concerns will be lifted and become redundant. Everything will be better. I'll start a fire in one of our two fireplaces and I am going to begin enjoying my semi-retired life with the first sip of my drink. That will be the official start of our new life". I head over to the kitchen to get a glass and some ice cubes, while I struggle to find which one is the freezer among the many drawers in the kitchen. It was then when I notice a handwritten note placed front and center on the kitchen counter. It is from my wife and read: "There is no easy way to say this, so I am just going to say it..... I want to legally divorce [ ...]". It continued saying that she had taken our son, and had unequivocally decided to leave me. She had already filed the paperwork for divorce and that I should expect to be served in the morning. My bliss had lasted less than 5 minutes and in less than two seconds, it turned dark, somber and I saw it all crumbling down in front of me. Like a long-awaited rocket launch, years in preparation, which then unexpectedly explodes on the launch pad during the countdown. My stomach, heart and everything in my body just sank and melted into one ball of poison in my core. I felt like throwing up. I was completely blindsided; she had played the game all along, not giving me the slightest hint of what was being concocted in the background. She had already engaged with her lawyers weeks beforehand. Her mother was already in town from another state to help out with I don't know what. I had been gaslighted and was threatened by her that I needed to see a psychiatrist due to a change in my temper that I had supposedly developed - my temper was awesome: with BTC at that price? Everything was perfect! But I obeyed and went anyhow (this would later fit her story that she had to leave with the child because she feared for her safety due to my supposed temper for which I was under treatment, therefore, I must have this temper problem, see?). Also, the purchase of the overpriced home also seemed clearly premeditated: Price was the main driver of the decision making; not location, demographics, taxes, etc. It was the wrong neighborhood for us (people much older than us, retired, golfers and no kids the same age as our son to play with). Our house happened to also be the most expensive in the neighborhood. I can see it all so clearly now. See, your crypto coins on the blockchain, are not within the US court's jurisdiction (or, at least, it's quite debatable - a gray area - ask me for the seed and I can tell you that I may have the seed, or that I may not have the seed, I may have the wrong seed, I may have forgotten it, I may have lost it - you can't prove I did not forget, or lost it, etc). However, once it is in FIAT in a bank, or invested in a property, the courts can rule on the asset(s), freeze, disburse or order a sale of the property, etc. It's done all the time. Also, the coins were technically mine, and by definition private property (not to be divided during the divorce) as they were acquired before the marriage. I could not prove its origins (I bought many of them via direct messaging members on Bitcointalk.org and mining rather than exchanges, so no records, receipts or nothing to prove otherwise: the big exchanges like BitStamp and Coinbase didn't start operations till 2013, if I m not mistaken. Instead, I would talk to one of the forum members offering coins we'd agree on a price, I'd send a check to wherever the individual seller instructed me to (Russia, Bulgaria, Japan, UK. etc) and the coins would be deposited to whatever address I provided. Yes, it was quite crude at the time. However, once I converted my coins to cash and used that cash to buy a property for the benefit of the family, it became common property and thus she then had rights to a portion of it when divided between the two parties should a divorce occur - which ended up being almost 3/4 of all assets. I was robbed in broad daylight. By the one person, I trusted with my life. The one you should trust with your life. Your life partner. And while I was in complete denial, trying to bargain, I waited too long to obtain good legal representation. When I finally ended up getting a lawyer, I was quite distraught and I clearly did not do the proper research and this resulted in a less than stellar performance and detrimental to me at many key steps in the process. I had to switch legal representation right before mediation and I can't blame my new lawyer either, as (s)he did not have the required time to catch up on all the details, (s)he did his/her best, but I was ultimately strongarmed into conceding my soon-to-be-ex-wife to let her return to the house, in exchange to obtain 50% of my son's custody, with serious and strict clauses I had to abide by. So, I had to move out, find a hole in the wall in a student apartment, pay my rent and pay our kids pre-school, while she lives grandiose, without monthly payments in the country club, till the house sells, which will likely be in the spring of next year. Nice! Due to my delay, legal mishandling and somehow every other element in her favor, she inexplicably ended up with around 3/4 of the worth of all assets, free and clear, no taxes due. Mind you, she has never financially contributed, nor made a single $ during our entire marriage. She has never worked and had $0 in her pocket when we married. She didn't even have a checking account, well in her thirties. She is no dummy; she is street smart, knows how to manipulate people, get her way with flirting and charm, while I am more intellectual and book smart. and She beat me hands-down. She is walking away with a sum of, not quite 7 figures, but close. With what I am left with from the sale of the house, I am responsible to pay for all the capital gains taxes from the liquidation to the IRS, which are due in April 2019. I don't expect there to be more left over than the estimated $30k mentioned above. Hate the market all you want, I made peace with the market and am keeping busy at hating my ex for a while for putting me in the same situation. She tripped me 1 yard before the finish line and pushed me in the prickly bushes, to cross it by herself. Go figure. When I am done hating her, I'll get back to rebuilding my life again from scratch. I am not worried, I have done it before. Just pissed, I was so close and that I was so naive to not see it coming. Sorry, I am not meaning to hijack the thread, just wanted you to know that others may have lost more than just "free" money; money we didn't really have to work for. We were the lucky ones. It is what I keep telling myself to stop me from jumping off a bridge. PS - Woah: Sorry for the wall of text; I was just going to write the first paragraph and ended up venting about my current situation. I know, I should take this issue to /depressed, /exes or /whereisthenearestbridgeIcanjumpfrom. Hopefully, this can be a lesson to those holding crypto and some can learn what NOT to do. I learned the hard way and was left with nothing. Don't be a nice guy. Don't trust anyone with your crypto. Anyhow, I am sure either our vigilant subreddit bot, or one of the mods will remove my post for not adhering to rule, and if not, I am sure that you fine people will downvote me to hell. Go ahead. Take away from me the little Karma I left too! Thanks! I learned many lessons, but here are some key ones [IANAL - any crypto-educated AL opinion appreciated here, thanks] : - Understand the concept of private property - property you acquire before getting married. INAL - this depends on the state legislation, but it is hard to prove with crypto, especially if you obtained your crypto through foreign exchanges, outside of legal jurisdictions, the petitioner might not understand or willing to invest in obtaining subpoenas and requests to businesses operating overseas, as this may result costly. - Get a lawyer who understands, or is willing to understand crypto, its benefits of being somewhat unreachable and how that can work for you. Don't let them shortchange you with: "well, let's just convert the rest to cash, because that I understand" type of reasoning. - If you do go to mediation, the above applies as well. This arbitrator or mediator needs to be one that understands the intrinsic details of crypto - for example, during the ATH, I bought 6 digits worth in $USD of Stellar. I used the very first version of the software, supporting Stellar on my hardware device, and put it all in a cold storage wallet somewhere around January. I routinely checked on my coins on the blockchain and they are there. A few months later, I try to access my account and the device returns a different public address, which contains 0 funds. I am still trying to debug this issue with the manufacturer, but the fact is that I was accused of hiding these coins or negligence and was demanded that I paid half of what was lost. or not lost, out of my pocket for money that I didn't have access either. I tried to explain it in the simplest terms, there are risks involved with using first come software. There is no 1800 number, mo tech support. no CEO, no, you can't call the BBB and complain, etc and no one seemed to be able to understand, nor willing to either. It became a huge roadblock for which I had to concede, not cash, but a concession, I was not wanting to concede. The petitioner leaned on the fact that I was either wilfully cheating or stupid enough to lose the coins and managed to create enough doubt in my character and integrity and there was nothing rational I could explain that she, or anyone else in the room would understand. Perhaps mutually contracting a seasoned crypto expert that can offer a neutral view and give his/her opinion might be worth considering. Andreas, where were you when I needed you? :) - Other examples were some coins I had bought in 2012 and gifted to some of her family's kids. I was holding these, till they would turn 16 for them to pay themselves their college, or so I told them. These coins were demanded back by the petitioner. Ok, I suggested that I would send them, but with a CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY value with a block height of let's say,10 years from now, out of fear that she would spend the coins and the kids would never know (they are toddlers). No one understood what I was talking about, I was made out the crazy one, I gave up, sent her the coins, unlocked and, just as I expected, within 20 minutes of receiving them, she spent $1200 worth of it (for a flight, I think). If you are the only one speaking your language, no one is willing to listen or make an effort to understand you. - It appears my coins were private property, which means, that I acquired them before the marriage and in case of divorce, if I have not moved them or used them for the common good of the marriage, then they remain mine. However, I liquidated them and cash ended up in my checking account to be used to buy groceries, cars and eventually a house, and it is then that they became common property. Only once they landed in my checking account on which she is named on. It appears that had I taken proper legal precautions with documentation, or a company/trust, where that money would have gone, instead of my checking accounts, elsewhere, I would have still been able to be the legal proprietor of the resulting cash. I can't quite remember the details, but it as something that was explained to me afterward, and I honestly think I just tuned it out, because it made me sick to know I could have held on to my wealth. Perhaps a lawyer can chime in? Again, much of the lack of information and every misstep taken was because of dealing with people that are accustomed to traditional assets and will not deviate from it. Crypto is different and is treated differently. It is so important to know the strengths and weaknesses when going into litigation about something that people don't understand. - Some more I can think of, but this post is getting way out of hand in size. Feel free to comment/suggest your own and I'll add more to the comments. Credits to: u/nanoissuperior Thanks for your post, it inspired me to write this one. Anyone, any karma you feels needs to go his way, for providing the source of inspiration, please give to O-OP. TL;DR: Wife, having contributed $0 during entire marriage, waited until I cashed out all my crypto at the top of the bull market in January 2018, for a nice seven-figure amount, and then immediately divorced me for the money. Edit: added TL;DR
3 It explains our intuition that human beings, but not lower animals, have free will. Lower animals lack free will because they lack the second-order volitions which are constitutive of free will. (This item is unnecessary and probably not true; how do we know animals have no "second-order volitions"? Having no other language than "body", we can only surmise (guess) what their volitions are. Volitions come before actions, we cannot see them or interpret them in any way. Brain conditions might be interpreted with MRI scanning, but to put a subject in a scanning device is to prevent any other actions. Such measuring ruins the connection between mental state and volition being measured, except we can safely assume that every measurement of animals must default to the volition to escape the measuring device.)
That's the first-order, highlighted deviation from compatibility theory. Clarification of "second-order volition": a path from choice to action has an intermediate "middle-way" tunneling mode, contracting (taking on) a desire to make a choice, prior to making the choice. In order to prove freedom, one must establish the mental preference for an imagined outcome in order to prove that preference did come from within the person and was not forced by other external deciding factors (genetic factors are pre-determined). incompatibilism Note: the approach is wrong by the universal assumption, IOW that the intersection of determined and free is zero. It's a supremacy position, or superposition principle (LoL), the error is in over-simplification. The Logic Argument (p.5) is not representative of reality, which is more nuanced. Therefore, Frankfurt's thesis is good (denial of incompatibilism), but not due to the case presented (superposition). Take Frankfurt's case (p.4) of Black vs Jones4 to be analogy for State vs Individual. Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars (other sources exist, search for yourself) The (myusername) determinism/free-will duality hypothesis (denial of incompatibilism due to non-zero intersection):
Most choices, including the choice of desires, are determined by contingencies of which one is the natural desire of the actor to optimize his/her outcomes ("best wishes"). Is a person always compelled to have best wishes? What is best depends on a person's mental state, which is usually determined by external factors, but those can vary in cogency (impact on behavior). Consider the choice to commit suicide, certainly not a trivial choice. (The Chosen means of execution (puns intended) is somewhat more trivial, but again, partly determined by external conditions.)
Some choices, nearly all trivial, are free because no interfering contingencies are apparent during the choosing interlude. It may happen in hindsight, that a past choice is observed to be a mistake, usually because some contingency was overlooked or unknown during the choosing. This observation should be remembered so as to avoid repeating a future choice like that mistake. Choices always have risks, including the choice to do nothing. Different day, slightly different approach... parsing choice. 1 important choices that have many deep effects later, for instances a marriage partner, a new job, a new residence; 2 trivial choices which have minor effects, risks or physical involvement, for instances a choice of toothpaste at the market, to like or not a web-link or museum exhibit. According to (myusername)'s determined/free paradigm, type 1 choices are nearly all determined by pre-existing conditions (not free). Type 2 choice is the arena of freedom. I suppose a person's low risk-aversion parameter could expand the envelope of freedom, but that's a characteristic that develops during maturation, one's history of choices and ensuing responses. Successful responses lead to more freedom, failures to less. So even when freedom exists, it accumulates a history (habits) which become a determinant. Contracting the Social Construct Disorder (it's contagious) Take 1: How does an actor (person in question who comes to an internal state, or inner-construct) interact with a community or society? Must it be IRL, or can virtual interaction suffice to construct internal states? And more to my point, must the interaction be two-way (containing feedback), or simply via broadcast medium? (broadcast includes published books, articles, records, radio, TV or Internet A/V shows, etc.) Interaction with broadcast media can be summarized by: a choice, a degree of attention and focus (time spent on and attention given to item), a like/dislike or more complex reaction to item, having future behavior influenced by item, to continue a stream of behaviors (especially sequential item choices) as consequence of influence of item, to develop a complex of attitudes built upon stream of items (eg. just mentioned 'risk aversion parameter and habit). Before going on, I notice that broadcast media is like Sunshine, Rain, and Grace. It is made available by participation in a community, and falls without curse or blessing, it's all there for the choosing (or ignoring), depending on the contingencies. Mind control theory? (because mind is the inner source of volition... behavior, control the mind (easy), hence control the behaviors (difficult otherwise)) Mind control courtesy Tavistock Inst. Construction of Favor (or any knowledge) upon Familiarity What is Social Construction? (cntrlZ)
"For instance, trees are only differentiated from other plants by virtue of the fact that we have all learned to see them as "trees."
But we don't all know about trees to an equal degree. I know rather much about trees from my interaction with them: living among them, planting them, sawing them, moving them, burning them, etc., not from reading or talking about them. No doubt, there are many persons all over the world who have very little experience of trees, and cannot 'construct' treeness as well as me. Direct experience is more realistic and developed than social constructs. Favor and Familiarity are interwoven by choice I chose to live alone with trees and not alone with sea, or desert (for examples), because it was easier to go with trees. Was the choice free? I could have chosen city or suburb with even more ease than forest, so ease of choice was not the deciding factor, it was my preference of lonely forest over crowded urb that decided me. So maybe it wasn't really about trees, it was about independence or something else like that. When we choose, we may not understand the contingencies, but our decision (choice) may be due to habits or patterns that have developed in the maturity process. Habits are strong determinants, and they develop, according to Ian Plowman, 4 ways. The cntrlZ article makes the case for 'Strong Social Construction' based on that 'knowing' which is all about language, certainly a social construct.
Within the social construction of language is the game. Outside the social construction is reality, the real world. (a list of social constructs follows)
That makes it clear. Experiences (direct ones) without resort to language are NOT social constructs. That observation makes another distinction clear: gender may be a social construct, as it's a language issue, but sex is not a social construct, it is a direct experience issue that develops in the maturation process: birth, infant, child, puberty, sexy adolescent, sexy adult, old (unsexy) adult, death. Prior to puberty, sex is incipient in its development, but comes to life, (like a flower blooms) after a decade or so. Knowing about sex as a child is by observation from outside (thru the looking glass), after puberty, it's direct experience, and much later, it's a fading memory. Regarding Looking-glass self theory the notion of socially constructed identity (defining the self by differences/ affinities to others),
... the outcome of "taking the role of the other", the premise for which the self is actualized. Through interaction with others, we begin to develop an identity of our own as well as developing a capacity to empathize with others... Therefore, the concept of self-identity may be considered an example of a social construction.
... makes a spurious expansion of identity formation to include everyone (a unity), or nearly so. According to Reisman's Lonely Crowd, there is a triality of social nature, expounded by parsing people into tradition, inner, and other directed personalities. This theme was a scholar's response to the US trend toward consumerism and conformity to "norms", (local traditions, eg. "keeping up with the Joneses") mid-20th century. The social construct crowd would be Reisman's Other directed personality, which may truly be the majority, in USA certainly. However, the tradition-following and inner-directed personalities are a significant minority. Let's not ignore them (I'm in there.) What is “Mob Mentality?” Herd mentality | wkpd Are All Personality Descriptions Social Constructions? Sep.2019 | psytdy
... that objective reality does not directly reveal itself to us, is true beyond a doubt.
The preceding statement author, JA Johnson, is way off (and his article is full of falseness). Objective reality IS direct experience, no more revealing modality exists. Denial of this obvious fact (just lied about above) is a redefinition of the term (a social construct). Experience is beyond language, thus beyond 'description'. However the following is a true reveal about (((Yews))) (the like of whom Dr. Johnson seems):
It is true that when we describe someone with socially undesirable traits... we are constructing for them a social reputation that might decrease their chance of success in life. This is precisely one of the concerns of (((social constructivists, like Dr. Johnson))), that certain categorizations (eg. a separate race) reduce power and status.
Favor-Goodness-Beauty paradigm Favor is not favored in prior art, Truth takes Favor's place in the Transcendental Spectrum: Transcendentals 5pg.pdf We have already seen the idea in part 1 that Truth is a disputed transcendental in the social-constructionism academic universe. Academics use the "universal fallacy" that their favored item is part of an incompatible pair, which by logic excludes everything not in their favor. They want to ignore the nuances in order to push an ideology toward a supremacy of thinking, just like in a totalitarian state. Whereas the (myusername) principle of Truth, it has a dual nature, 1 relative to a society (democratic consensus); and 2 absolute to reality (math/science/technology). So 'Favor' is a better term because objective proof (no contest) is not required (except the meaning of objective that says 'objection!', meaning 'contest'). 'Favor' implies bias which is the subjective reaction that matches Goodness and Beauty better than 'Truth'. Apply Truth-Goodness-Beauty paradigm to social construction
because the aim of constructionists is to justify a collective "truth" of their own construction. A social construct is not absolute, it's anything a society wants it to be ("social proof"). That's a good description of tyranny... The Empowered Female Parasite 2014 (that's a surprising result, here is one not-surprising.) Social Proof: established by culture media (mind control, a monopoly 2012 (scroll down long graphic), of the Juice 2015), go back to part 1, macrosocial constructs. Does Appreciation of Beauty have any innate sources? (otherwise it's all a social construct) Neuroscience of Beauty; How does the brain appreciate art? 2011 | sciam (in brain) Onward (Dis)-Favor Readers... Investigation of (Dis-)Favor 3\3, House of Not-Friends Contracting the Social Construct Disorder Take 2 Living outside the 'Normitory" (away from Dreamland (everybody's asleep), to where Nessun Dorma (nobody sleeps)) It so happens that an ethnic group which originated in eastern Mediterranean Middle-East evolved to specialize in intelligence, commerce, morally corrupt enterprises, and crime. Essential to their success was eugenic traditions that applied artificial selection to just those same specialties, which makes this ethnic group a formidable enemy. They have developed a very strong sense of in-groupness, and a vested interest in social construct studies. A unified collective is a more effective competitor than an inchoate population of diverse individuals. This group has as ethnic traits: global dispersion (aka Diaspora), preference for urban environments (aka Cosmopolitan, or Globalist), covert inter-group rivalry (aka InfoWar), and deception (aka MOSSAD). This cosmopolitan group must operate covertly and deceptively, because those are effective tactics, and they are a small minority (2% of USA), therefore weak in the democratic sense. Immoral Social Constructs enforced by 5th column subversives
There is no universal morality. Morality is much like Beauty, in the mind of beholder (actor who holds to a specific moral code). Morality is a social construct, and varies between societies. (I think a fair definition of morality is a code of ethics which is community-specific.) For a society to sustain, it needs to be isolate from conflicting societies. If different societies, with different moralities must coexist, the natural tendency for actors in the same niche toward dominance will destroy or remake the subordinate societies, which reduces the conflicts. Status Hierarchies: Do We Need Them? blog 2012 | psytd
a need for 'virtue signaling'? It's natural, and likely unavoidable, evidence pride displays.
Friday, 1PM: I leave work early. I have to set up for the gun show early because the only time my mechanic has for the alignment rack for the next week and a half is friday afternoon and I am in need of an alignment to keep my Michelin Defender's in a nice predictable wear pattern. My loadout this weekend includes a whole bunch of the usual stuff, Colts, Sigs, HK's, Glock's a few Springfields and four Daniel Defense rifles and an FN SLP Mk 1. I haul over a few used guns that I just took on trade too, a Tavor 556 LH and a Mossberg 500 that I got for $100 off someone wanting to trade it towards a new Glock 23. Four trips with the hand truck gets everything in before the rain starts. I have reserved two tables but I have enough merchandise to cover three. The exhibitor tells me tables went up so two tables cost me $160 for the weekend and I consider it a small expense to view the express train to hell that is the gun culture. 45 minutes flies by as I set up my table just the way I want it and I get to Lenny's to get my alignment done. He's been doing an alignment for me no charge for the past 3 years after I told him NOT to buy an old Browning shotgun he fell in love with on gunbroker. He wanted to use it for upland hunting, sporting clays, skeet and anything moving through the air killing. It was an old gun that had FIXED barrel chokes - Full and Full. I told him RUN LIKE HELL. He said my advice saved him from a $1500 mistake and the least he can do is keep my car on the road no charge. He gets my car set up on his $80,000 hunter alignment rack and finds my toe in is way out of spec. He spends a few minutes banging around with a wrench and everything is all good. As he's doing that, since I know he won't take my money - I walk to the 7-11 across the street and grab him a tall boy of Rolling Rock. His week is so shitty that he shotguns it faster than Brett Kavanaugh circa 1982. Time to head home. I'm halfway there when the phone rings ring ring FC: Go for FC 1: Hey FC, it's Captain Bob. How's it going? FC: Good! I got your stuff fixed and ready to go on my desk. 1: I can be there in 15 minutes! FC: I'll turn around, see you in 15. Captain Bob is a four stripe left seat pilot for Delta on the triple. We love talking airplanes and guns. He's had me tune up an old 220 he wants to use at a class he's taking at FLETC later this year. Like a good pilot, he believes in a comprehensive pre flight inspection. And since his type rating says B777 and not P220, he wanted someone to make sure he's not taking a dud to class. All I did to it was give it a visual, clean and lube and although it probably didn't need it - it had a 20 year old recoil spring so I installed a new one just as a precaution. I get back to my desk and get his gun ready, cleared and slide locked back as he walks in the door. He just got home from running a 777LR to Johannesburg and back and is very pleased to see his old 220 ready to roll. I take my glasses off and point out he's got a little bit of slide peening in a few spots but just keep it lubricated and it's normal wear and tear since he does not shoot it much. He asks me if I have any 300 blackout ammo, I pull a case of 220gr OTM off the shelf. I tell him $450 on the ammo and the pistol inspection and recoil spring is on the house and he's having none of it. Hands me five crisp hundos and tells me to keep it. Just as I'm tucking the cash into my desk drawer, my door opens up and since I'm not wearing my glasses - I see a blurry silhouette of.....is that wonder woman? HUGE TITS on a small frame. I can't tell what's going on. FC: Hi! Lady: Hey FC, it's Lisa. I was just getting my wedding dress altered next door and wanted to say hi! FC: Oh hey! I'm not wearing my glasses so I have no idea what's happening! Lisa: See you tomorrow! FC: I'l be there! So anyways Bob, that was strange. I am normally not used to having my door flung open by halfway attractive women..... Bob: Neither am I! You should see some of the FA's on the J'burg route! We have a laugh. Some more airplane talk about the old 72's and I tell him about the time I greased it in the box on the A320. Turns out he flew A320's as well as boeings and we revel in the differences in both the airplanes. I really like the Airbus design and their workflow even though Boeing guys love to hate it. He's happy with his 220 and we pull chocks. I head home, throw a ribeye on the grill and go to bed early. I've got a busy day in the morning. Saturday morning I wake up at 7AM and look at my to do list. Shit shower and shave. The gun show closes at 5. Lisa's wedding is at 6. The venue is at the lake 39 minutes from the VFW hall. I have a plan. I will leave STRAIGHT to the venue from the gun show and I'll put on dress clothes below the belt. After all, how often do you look at another man's pants? I throw on an HK black NO COMPROMISE Polo shirt untucked with a black alligator belt and Canali navy slacks with my new Allen Edmonds boulevards in black. Socks by Brumell and boxers by Fruit of the Loom. I walk into the VFW hall with a non iron Lauren white spread collar shirt, Ted Baker tie and Canali jacket slung over my shoulder. Nobody notices the pitter patter sound of leather soles on the concrete as the show starts coming to life. It's 8:55. Lets get this show on the road. The loudspeaker crackles and lets everyone in the hall know the doors are about to open up and asks us to check all our guns for ammo and zip ties. I get my table ready and pull out my 4473's on clipboards and check my pens. FFL in frame is standing up on the table, everything is tagged and tied. There will be no discharge of firearms at my table as a result. 9AM: Show opens. It's dead. Deader than dead. Like, life support dead. Typically there is a line from the entryway of the hall and around the building to get into the show every time. This is not the show of years ago. This summer has been atrocious. I talked to the promoter and lots of vendors did not reserve tables for this and the next show. The numbers are way down. Some people start to trickle in but it's not a good sign. 9:30AM: A fellow walks up and asks me if I have a Sig 226 TACOPS with TB in stock. I don't but vendors do. He drove 2 hours to this show to try and find one since his local place did not have it. They're on contract with sig and refuses to order one from distribution to make him happy and Sig has no idea when they're going to make more out of New Hampshire. Well, thanks to Ron Cohen making 26 SKU's for every single pistol - that's what you get. 9:41AM: Fellow wearing an INFOWARS shirt molests way too much merchandise on my table than I'm comfortable with. I shoot a knowing eye roll to Noah over at the next table. He's a 27 year old jewish gold bullion dealer from Long Island that votes libertarian and laughs at all my jokes. He adjusts his RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT banner hanging off the edge of his table as I wait for Finger McBangerson here to go away so I can wipe down all my stuff. 10:23AM: Guy walks up to me and he says he's looking for a shotgun for competition. I point him towards the SLP at the end of the table. 10:24AM: Older fellow walks up to me and says he's looking for a gun for his wife as he lifts up a Colt Commander. I tell him that will definitely kill his wife. Guy looking at the SLP cracks up laughing. Older guy looks at me mortified. Then he gets the joke. Asks me about suitability of a steel framed colt commander for her. I say probably not a good first choice. Perhaps you should send her to an NRA basic pistol class. 10:39AM: Guy asks me what's the best I'll do on a Glock 17L. I tell him the tag is already priced more than fair. He asks if he can buy it with cash if he can get a discount. I'm like let me see. I ask him if he's got a state CWL. He says yes. I take off $20. He says it's a deal, hands me a stack of money, current CWL and a California drivers license. FC: Do you have residency in this state? 1: No, I'm here visiting for work FC: And you want me to sell you a gun with a California drivers license and no residency? 1: DUDE! KEEP IT DOWN! Do you have any idea what would happen if people found out I didn't live here? FC: YES I DO! They wouldn't be a party to you breaking the law! I hand him all his shit back and tell him to get on the next flight to Fresno. 12:01 PM: Lunchtime. I pick up my sammich from Jersey mikes and nobody fails to interrupt me to throw money at me. This is not a very good sign. 12:16 PM: I am scarfing down the last of my sandwich as Infowars shirt guy comes back around. We chat a bit about 1911's and he eventually tries to convince me that I need to buy the water filter that Alex Jones is selling to keep us from turning homosexual. I tell him now I'm not gay, but look at these shoes. I pull my left hock up and put a nice shiny new Allen Edmonds boulevard on the table. He seems to recoil in horror. As he walks away, I tell him he didn't even notice that I had them straight laced! They're fabulous! Nobody understands my humor. 12:33 PM: The vendor to the left of me is selling clothing offensive to the left. MAGA hats, anti snowflake shirts, ISIS hunting permit graphic tees, etc. I debate calling one of my guys and having "MAKE 45ACP GREAT AGAIN" hats made up. I call up r_shackleford and he thinks this is genius. We trade witty banter back and forth for a few minutes. 12:49 PM: The vendor in front of me is a gigantic pawn shop with 16 tables. There's a woman trying to sell them a rifle, and not succeeding at all. Sam looks over at me and points and says to her "you know, he buys guns too!" FUCK YOU SAM. FUCK YOU LONG. FUCK YOU HARD. The hambeast approaches and thrusts a rifle in my face. "WE BUILT IT CUSTOM" she says. "I NEED MONEY FOR CHEMO" she says. The barrel says 223 Wylde. The lower says Aero Precision. The price tag says $1500 OBO. I tell her she'd be lucky if she got HALF that in this economy. She complains that they really need the money and her two demon spawn that are traveling with her seem to be tired of her getting the same speech from every vendor in the hall. NO YOUR GODDAMN HOMEBUILT 223 WYLDE AR15 IS NOT WORTH $1500 It's not even worth $750 It's worth MAYBE the same price as a new PSA rifle - $350, $450 tops if you threw in the little girl. Editors note (start voice over here): Hi, I'm Matt Damon. Human trafficking is no laughing matter. For just a small donation of $50 or more, you can fight human trafficking. I prefer that you donate to Rapha House International, a charity dedicated to preventing sex trafficking and providing care and treatment to its victims. If you go to the post in the top of guns and donate, you can even stop shitposters like FirearmConcierge from posting stuff like this for the rest of the month if you donate enough money. This sort of support can only be made possible from viewers like you. Please, donate today. Stop the suffering. For the little girls. For reddit. For America. The lady looks at me like a truck stop rapist and inevitably proclaims that SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE'S GOT. Words fail me. I shake my head as she walks away with her demon spawn and I shoot a look back at sam and mouth very carefully YOU FUCKER back at him. Sam cracks up laughing. 1:12PM: I'm asked if that's a Dead Air Sandman on my table. I say yes. Guy asks to look at it and explains to his friend that it's a DAA Sandman and talks about the mounting system. FC: You know your stuff. 1: Yeah I just bought one. FC: I'm the only DAA dealer around here, you don't look familiar. Who'd you get it from? 1: Silencershop. Used the kiosk at a dealer in another city 1.5 hours away FC: Uh, I stock the sandman and would have made you a deal. Why'd you do go through them if you don't mind my asking? 1: Well it was a timesaver. FC: How's that? I mean that place I know is an hour and a half away without traffic, so you made a trip there to do your stuff - then back. That's 3 hours. Then another 3 hours after your stamps clear - so that's 6 hours in a car total. I can call the PD, make an appointment for you to roll your prints and you're done in 15 minutes. Photos at CVS are another 15 minutes. How is 6 hours a timesaver instead of 30 minutes? 1: Well I just knew that if I had to make more than one stop I'd never do it, so it was spend 6 hours in a car and get it done in one shot or spend 15 minutes doing fingerprints or photos and being too lazy to do the other one and never sending in the paperwork. So this was the better choice for me. FC: Uh. Okay? 1: Why don't you have a kiosk? FC: I'm not paying $9000 for something that's going to save you time and cost me money and then have to deal with being tech support and having a device in my place of business that compresses my own margins. We're down to making $50 on a can from making $350. This isn't a position I'm interested in taking. 1: Well, sucks to be you. I'm buying all my cans from silencershop now! FC: Enjoy your 6 hour drive. 1:30 PM: Man walks up with an old stainless combat commander colt. Series 70. No original box and sights. Looks well used. Thinks I’m crazy when I say I won’t give him $1000 on trade. 1:39 PM: Guy comes back. Guy wants me to put a can on his 1917 eddystone that is not threaded. He asks what he can get for $150 1:45 PM: Lady picks up a Trijicon RMR and asks to turn it on. I shove a battery in it and turn it on. 1: This is a laser sight right? FC: This is an RMR from Trijicon and RMR stands for Ruggedized Miniature Reflex sight - it uses a laser of sorts and projects it onto this lens here.... 1: THIS COSTS $500? AND IT DOES NOT EVEN PUT IT ON THE TARGET? FC: Well if you just look through the lens here you can see the red dot projected onto the glass..... 1: I CAN BUY A $30 LASER POINTER AND DUCT TAPE IT TO MY GUN AND I'D BE $470 CHEAPER AND IT WOULD PUT THE LASER ON THE BAD GUY! WHAT IS THIS GARBAGE YOU'RE TRYING TO SELL? She walks away. My mouth is agape. 2:15PM: Old guy walks up and points at a Glock 34 I have on the table. MY FRIEND BOUGHT A GLOCK IN 89 WITH NYPD AND SHOT HIMSELF HOLSTERING IT. I DONT TRUST THE DAMN THINGS and shuffles away without me having time for a rebuttal 2:21PM: Someone walks up asking me if I want to buy a used les Baer Comanche. I tell him I buy when I can make money. I look at it. It’s clean. He wants $1600. Street is about $1600, that's all the money. Street the gun sells for about $1799 NEW, which means I can buy it for less than $1600 new. I tell him this. He looks at me like Elizabeth Warren looks at Brett Kavanaugh and shuffles away. I shake my head as I notice a familiar face walk up. I can't place it. He looks at some guns. 2:25PM: I'm asked if I have a card from the familiar stranger. I reach down into my wallet and fish one out, I hand it to him and he smiles at me. It finally clicks. FC: Dr Livingstone, I presume. Doc: I haven't seen you in years, how have you been? (The doc is FC's old therapist. He can't say hi to me walking around due to HIPAA but if I open a dialogue, it's okay) FC: Eh, same old shit different day. I uh made some mistakes a few weeks ago and I thought of you. Doc: Oh really? How so. FC: Well uh. You remember that day when I told you to go back to the Office of the Bursar at UCLA and ask for a refund on your $125,000 post graduate education because it was nothing but academic detritus? Doc: Well, I hadn't thought about it for a few years but it sounds like something you would say. FC: It was right after you told me that I used 3 different quotes from 3 different academics in a span of less than 5 minutes to answer your question. You said that I intellectualize as a defense because I don't like getting close to people. I said you're full of shit. You asked me do I even know what intellectualize means? I said of course I know what it means, what do you think I'm some kind of idiot? Then you sat there grinning like a Cheshire cat at the thought of making me eat my own words. Doc: Haha. Now, that sounds familiar. I remember that. FC: Well I don't know how many patients are willing to say it but you were right and I was wrong. Doc: I don't get much pleasure in hearing that, but did you learn anything about yourself? FC: It took a few years to realize you may have been right all along but yeah. Doc: Then what does it matter who's right or wrong as long as you learned something? FC: Hmm. That's not bad. How's business? Doc: Full appointment book and not taking new patients. FC: I guess you could say it's........a little crazy? Doc: I missed your humor. Tell me about this Glock 45... I show him a few different guns and crack jokes about disgruntled patients. He says he'll think about arming himself what with crime and mentally unstable people being growth sectors in this post-trump apocalyptic nightmare. I tell him to be fore warned is to be fore armed. He seems reticent, but I can only lead the horse to water. I can't make him drink. 2:51PM: Fellow walks up. 1: I need a colt ladysmith. Do you have one? FC: the colt or the ladysmith? 1: The colt ladysmith FC: is it a colt or a smith? 1: smith FC: which model? 1: the ladysmith! FC: I know but I need to know what model. They put that on a bunch of different guns 1: it’s the one with writing on the side of the gun. It says. LADY SMITH on it. You know the one I realize the strongest case for repealing the second amendment is spending a day talking to people at the gun show. 3PM: Two hours left to go! The end is in sight! I haven't sold a single fucking gun yet! 3:02 PM: Man walks up. Hey do you have the new Sig 925? FC: You mean 365? 1: No the 925 FC: Sig does not make a 925 1: Yes they do, it's the new one. FC: The 365? 1: No! The 925! FC: Can you show me a picture? 1: It's the one on the magazine. FC: Most of sigs guns have magazines. 1: I mean the one in print. It's on the cover. FC: The cover of the periodical you mean? 1: Yeah! You know the new one! FC: Well if it's on the cover, it should be easy to find on google. Can you show me a picture? 1: There's nothing coming up on google for the Sig 925 FC: Maybe perhaps its because it's the sig 365? 1: I'm telling you it's not that. It's the new one they just came out with. It's the 925. FC: Care to make a wager? 1: No. FC: If you bring me a photo I can try to narrow it down. 1: I'll find the magazine at home and bring it in tomorrow. FC: Periodical. 1: Whatever. 3:11: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUFSB2plwzM 3:12: Numismatist neighbor Noah asks me a question Noah: Hey! What's a hi point? FC: A cry for help! (everyone laughs) Noah: No I mean price wise? FC: Like $100, they're garbage guns. Me and Noah start talking. I am moving more and more libertarian every day. He's the treasurer of his local LP chapter in Suffolk county. For a jewish kid from Riverhead, we sure have a lot in common. We get into an animated debate on the virtues of Kelo v New London in that it was a shitty position for the town of New London to take Susette Kelo's house for redevelopment under eminent domain. If they wanted to redevelop it, for the government to use eminent domain is a government run amok. As a libertarian, he hates government overreaching - as someone who also hates that sort of thing, we are in very vocal agreeance. The tshirt vendor is listening to us debate the merits of the case and how the SCOTUS created a TERRIBLE precedent regarding government using the takings clause and when we finish he asks us a question. TShirtGuy: How the fuck do you two know so much about a supreme court case? Noah: Well, when you went to college and you're an economics and pre law major.... FC: Let me make it simple. WE ARE NERDS! Everyone has a laugh. TShirtGuy: Speaking of funny, check this out! He holds up a shirt. It says in big print on the front: the the reason gun shows exist is so women can know what it’s like for when they drag men to the mall I chuckle. 3:13 PM: I get in an argument with the republican candidate for office of something or other on gun laws. He is stupid and he is going to lose. 3:23 PM: A nice lady walks up. She looks familiar. She looks at some guns and feels up a 226 and remarks how well she likes how it handles. FC: You're Bernice, aren't you? Bernice: Why yes I am! You do not look familiar. How do I know you? FC: You're still working at the courthouse right? Bernice: That's right! FC: Judge Snyder, right? Bernice: No! He moved up to the appellate circuit last month it's... FC: Judge Reinhold! That's right, one of his JA's called me to buy a gun last month. I forgot Christine told me, you're right. Bernice: Holy crap, you have an incredible memory. When was the last time you were in front of Judge Snyder? FC: Four years ago. I was the one that filed the motion citing the big lebowski. Bernice: OH MY GOD THAT WAS YOU? I remember that! FC: Yeah and I had to go dumpster diving to get my phone back. Shit, was that really 4 years ago? Fuck. We talk more about guns and stuff. She loves her old West German 226. I tell her that if she really wants to have some fun, she should ask Judge Snyder to tag along on his next range day. About two years ago, the judge called me up asking for some advice. He's Tet offensive era USMC and wanted a new toy to reach out and touch someone and was dead set on getting a new SR25. I talked him out of it because SR25's are stupid expensive. I knew of another dealer that had a T&E 20" SR25 that they were looking to unload cheap and I told him that with the amount of money he'd save going to the T&E gun versus the new one - the delta would more than cover a Nightforce NXS, rings and mounting and that would save him money and be a good performer. I'm friends with his daughter on facebook and they both looked like they had a lot of fun ringing the gong at the gun club. Bernice is impressed. Too bad she's not my type, we'd get along fantastically if I was 15 years older. 4 PM: 60 minutes left to this shit show. 4:04PM: The loudspeaker crackles. ATTENTION ATTENTION: BRETT KAVANAUGH HAS JUST BEEN CONFIRMED TO THE SUPREME COURT. The proletariat rejoices and hooting and hollering typically reserved for the LSU game breaks out in the hall. ALSO WILL THE RED JEEP PARKED IN THE FIRE LANE PLEASE MOVE - YOU ARE BLOCKING THE BBQ GUY FROM LEAVING. RED JEEP. MOVE OR YOU WILL BE TOWED. 4:11 PM: Guy walks up in civvies. 1: I wanna buy this but I’m not a state resident FC: well what’s your deal? Give me some more to work with. 1: I’m from Texas but I’m in the military FC: if you got your orders - PCS to any base in this state says you’re a state resident, but if you don't - I can't help you. I know a lot of guys don't travel around with their orders.... JUST AS I SAY THAT the guy pulls out a wad of hundreds out of his pocket and his PCS paperwork, signed, rubber stamped and billeted. THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. I give him the clipboard as I look at his paperwork. No blank spaces, approved change of station to Barksdale AFB, address reads base housing, everything is in order for the young airman. HOLY FUCKING SHIT. THIS IS AMAZING. Forms done correct on the first swing. I AM WAITING FOR THE OTHER SHOE TO DROP. I call in the transaction and they tell me that the national system is down. NO IDEA WHEN IT'S GOING TO BE BACK UP. I tell the USAF that the system is down and we can't do anything. He takes my card and hands me money and says just call him when it's ready to be picked up. Huh. Okay, he's cool with that. His girlfriend lives over here so he's back here every weekend. Done! I mark up the paperwork with some notes. 4:23 PM: One guy just walked up and told me that he had no idea HK made rifles. Apparently made a bunch of rifles a few years ago and stamped glocks name on them for Glock. Since Glock can't be found out to be making rifles. This captures the attention of another guy who asks me if my Glocks on the table have fluted firing pins. I tell him they do not make fluted firing pins. That makes no sense. He says yes they do make sense. They're fluted so they shoot underwater. 4:28 PM: Noah's table has someone in front of it debating buying some gold. As they delve into the discussion of gold and FIAT currency, I hear the following. 1: Bitcoin is a webpage. It’s like buying stock. Bitcoin issues shares and it dilutes so the price goes down. Noah: I don't think that's how it works. 1: You’re basically buying a part of a big webpage FC: This is like listening to someone try to explain that pi is exactly 3. Noah: What's wrong with you? FC: I am the Anthony Bourdain of the gun world. I eat, I drink and I yell at idiots. 4:45 PM It's getting close to show close, I need to get ready for the wedding. I grab my Lauren shirt that thankfully is non iron and just dressy enough to work and just casual enough to be worn without a tie if you need to and whip off my HK polo. I put on the shirt and tuck it in as I notice a lovely couple walk up out of the corner of my eye. Its Jim and Jane, Jane is a pharmacist that works at the hospital and Jim is a Gastroenterology resident at the hospital too. They buy lots of guns from me. I finish tucking in my shirt as we talk shop. Jim wants 6 cans, 3 handgun and 3 rifle and wants to know what his options are. I rattle off all the options I would look at and I write some down on a legal pad for Jane to show him on the computer when he gets home. We talk 762 vs 556, 45 vs 9mm and direct thread vs QD for about 10 minutes as I tie off my blue Ted Baker tie into a Pratt knot. The apex of the tie just touches my belt buckle. Length is right on the money, and I didn't even have a mirror. Jane approves of my knot and color selection. Go me. 4:55 PM: Fabulousness achieved, I call back in and find out national system is still down. FUCK. Well this is gonna have to wait till tomorrow. I shove Airman Cecil O'Malley's paperwork under the table and start stowing stuff since the show is about to close. 4:59 PM: Table is covered up and FC is walking out the door as the announcement crackles over the loudspeaker. THE SHOW IS CLOSED. PLEASE LEAVE THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR. 5:01 PM: On the way to the wedding! I stop at Target along the way because I've forgotten to get a card. I find one that says "It was meant to brie" on the front. It has some greeting card herpes, aka glitter on it but I have no time to be picky. As I'm in line to checkout I write something cheeky. "I always said love was cheesy and I camembert it sometimes.....Love, FC" The cashier scans it, I plug my amex into the card reader as I slip in a yard in there and seal up the envelope and slide it into my jacket pocket. The ride to the lake breaks every speed limit in two counties. 5:45PM: I arrive 15 minutes before the ceremony is about to begin and the parking staff puts me in the back lot. I hike over to the open bar and get a fresca. I'm supposed to behave myself, so FC quit drinking and is just chilling with a fresca as he scans the room. I know NOBODY at this wedding except the bride, groom and MAYBE the bride's massage therapist. Nope. I know nobody here. Awwwkward. I behave myself and sip on a fresca as the wedding starts. She gets married. She says yes. He says yes. FC is an ordained minister and can step up and marry someone in case there's an emergency but my services will not be needed at this wedding because things are going smoother than a cold filtered miller genuine draft. It's all good. The DJ announces the new couple and they walk down the aisle together as husband and wife for the first time. The music starts playing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNEgUPKxk7A ITS HEAVY D AND THE BOYZ! I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO GO TO A WEDDING WHERE THEY PLAY THE COUPLE OFF TO HEAVY D! I mention this to the people sitting next to me and they're like it's just like hitch! I'm like what? They go on to explain to me that it's a movie. Starring Will Smith. Huh. Didn't see that one. 5:45 PM: The open bar and the food is coming out. I look around and I definitely do not know ANYBODY HERE. I need to eat and go home. I grab a plate of cocktail shrimp and some lobster sliders and sit down at a picnic table away from the crowd. I don't even notice a busty brunette with cleavage showing also sitting at the table staring at her phone across from me until she says hi. 1: Hi. FC: Hi. (I scarf down a lobster slider. Munch munch) 1: So how do you know the lovely couple? FC: Well she was a friend of a friend and next thing you know I'm showing up to the Christmas party and the wedding. Then Seth is showing up and then they're getting married. You? 1: I work with Lisa, I'm a flight attendant. But I've been out of work for a few months. We had this thing at work. It's called a fume event. I happens when well uh how do I say? FC: Contaminated bleed air via the pneumatic air conditioning kit - or PACK - gets into the cabin, causing all sorts of respiratory irritation and all sorts of other things for the crew. You're on the 320, right? 1: The airbus? Yeah. Me and Lise are also on the.... FC: 321 and the 319. Yeah, I'm familiar with the technology. 1: You're a pilot. FC: Not exactly. I just know airplanes really well. 1: So you're an aerospace engineer. FC: I wouldn't go that far. Hahaha. That's stretching it. A lot. 1: Let me get this right. You're friends with Lisa and Seth, you know airplanes, you're the only one at this wedding actually wearing a suit...... FC: To be fair, it's Louisiana in October. We're lucky most of the folks here aren't wearing Mossy Oak and Realtree. 1: Hahahahahhah! You must live in Baton Rouge! FC: I do. 1: Me too! What part of the city? I live in (names neighborhood) FC: I'm over in (neighborhood next to her) 1: OH MY GOD! That's 10 minutes from my house! So anyways, you're smart, you're funny, where have you been all my life? I'm Ally. FC: I'm Will. 1: You wanna get dinner together? I literally do not know anyone else here and I was thinking about leaving before I met you. FC: Uh sure. Lemme just top this fresca off. 1: I'll join you. 6:15 We're told by the bartenders to grab a ceremonial wedding tervis tumbler with a patch commemorating the happy couple's nuptials hermetically sealed inside. They didn't want a bunch of red solo cups going to the dumpster so they decided to ball out. I walk up to the table where there's literally 200 tumblers in varying colors to choose from and I grab a random one as Ally grabs one too. We head to the bar, she fills her with vodka and sprite. I top off with ginger ale because I'm staying sober and I have to drive 45 minutes back to casa de FC in BTR. She asks me how I know so much about airplanes, I tell her it's been a lifelong obsession and I've done some ground school on the 320 and the 737 and I much prefer the 320. I ask her what's tough about her job and she tells me that most people don't know they only get paid when the doors close. I say yeah, block time is a real bitch sometimes. She looks at me like I'm crazy. I'm like what? She's like HOW DO YOU KNOW ABOUT BLOCK TIME? I told you, I know airplanes. We chat some more as the crowd gets drunker and drunker and more ridiculous on the dance floor. Someone requested Strokin' by Clarence Carter and the DJ ACTUALLY PLAYED IT. Goddamnit Lisa! HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF A DO NOT PLAY LIST? Wow. 7:10 PM We find some seats for dinner as the buffet opens up, I pile a bunch of chicken marsala and beef wellington on my plate and we head back to the table. She's only a few years older than me and cannot believe that I am single. She asks if I've tried tinder. I tell her the tinder story about me being stuffed into the back of a police car and it is met with raucous laughter. 1: So, do you dance? FC: I do a lot of things, but I don't dance. Baton Rouge is the city that rhythm forgot. 1: I don't really dance either. As a matter of fact, I'm perfectly content to people watch all night with you here by my side. Her hand ran down to touch mine. It had a ring on it. FC: What does your husband think about that? Next thing I know, Lisa and Seth have dropped by the table to say hello. They're taking pictures with everyone and we can't continue the conversation we were just having. Lisa dives in to hug Ally, Seth gives me a handshake, sips my drink and asks why there isn't any bourbon in that tumbler. FC: Gotta behave myself. Long drive back home. Ally: OH MY GOD LISA! Will is FANTASTIC! Where have you been keeping him? He's funny, he's amazing and he looks hot in a suit! If I wasn't married, he'd be the perfect guy! (We're cut off by Lisa, she looks at me sternly.) Lisa: WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? FC: What? Lisa: Yesterday! When I was getting my wedding dress fitted! You called me a half attractive woman..... FC: It's not a normal occurrence! Most of the women who open my door are total heifers! For real! Take the compliment! Lisa cracks up, and Seth who has had a few drinks laughs so hard that he damn near falls over. You can hear the cackle of his laugh carry across the lake. The best man props him back up and they all have a laugh. The wedding planner slides in and tells the bride that her cake has been outside of refrigeration for an hour and 15 minutes now and is structurally deficient. They need to cut it now before it collapses in upon itself like a black hole. Lisa grabs Ally, Seth grabs me and the rest of the table follows. We're now part of the wedding cake cutting crew. 7:15 PM: The entourage all takes their Instagram positions as Lisa cuts into her structurally deficient cake and Seth resists the urge to do anything cheeky and fun with frosting. It's cute, everyone toasts the newlyweds. 7:20 PM: I pull Lisa aside privately and I ask her - what the fuck is Ally's deal? "If I wasn't married he'd be the perfect guy?" WHO THE FUCK SAYS THAT? A married woman? At a wedding? To a guy she JUST MET? Lisa: Look, I have no idea how her marriage is going or what her deal is. But just because there's a goalie doesn't mean you can't score. FC: WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN? Lisa: It means that maybe, if she's throwing herself at you......you should catch her. I gotta go throw the bouquet. Brb. FC: ..... 7:25 Lisa goes to throw her bouquet and Ally has found me and is back at my side. 1: Where were we? I was just saying to Lisa that I was wondering where a guy like you has been all my life? You are awesome. FC: I am awesome, and you are married. 1: Yeah, I know. Come on, I really want you......I mean I really want you......to go photobooth with me. Come on, it'll be fun. She grabs my arm and drags me to the photobooth and she puts ridiculous hats and stuff on me. I'm like no, I've been looking ridiculous enough from birth. i'm good. She literally begs me with puppy dog eyes and does that thing where she shows cleavage. FC: Isn't this like against one of the ten commandments? Thou shalt not......photobooth with another man's wife? 1: Hmm. Yeah, I guess. You're really sweet though. If I was single, I'd be all over you right now. FC: Who says that? Really? 1: So, answer me this. You're not an engineer. You're not a pilot. What do you do? FC: Gun dealer. 1: So if I had something like an AR15 that needed some work, you'd be the guy to call? FC: Maybe, depending on what you needed - there's a lot of things where I'll just tell you flat out what you're trying to do is uneconomical and a bad idea. 1: Well, I'd really like it if you could check out some of my equipment sometime. FC, internal monologue: WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE FC, external monologue: Bring it by the gun show this weekend and I'll see what I can do. I crack an uneasy smile as she gets up to go use the bathroom. I decide it's time to get the fuck out of here. 8:11 Making my escape plan proves to be a little tougher than I expected. The parking at the venue at the lake is dark and unlit and I have to navigate my way back to my car in the dark using the light from my phone. I reach into my jacket and I realize that their card is still inside. Fuck. I gotta go back. I turn around and head back to the gift table and I use some ninja recon skills I picked up in catholic school to make sure Ally is nowhere nearby. The coast is clear. I walk up to the little birdcage they have for cards, drop mine in confidently and get ready to turn on my heel and leave. I start making my way back to the parking lot when Seth is just walking out of the bathroom next to the gift table. 1: Hey man, you heading home? FC: I am now, forgot to drop off your card. 1: Ally thought you left without saying goodbye to her, so she asked me for your number. I gave it to her. FC: Oh dear lord. 1: What? FC: Did you hear that woman? "If I was single, you'd be the perfect guy!" Those words are not in a vocabulary of any married woman I know. 1: Dude, you just gotta chill out and go with the flow man. It's not your marriage. If she wants a piece of you, cut her off a slice. FC: Are you serious? 1: When I met Lisa, she was still married to Freddie. Look at us now, 7 years later and we're happy. You want to be happy, don't you? FC: Yeah but.... 1: No but's! Go storm the castle! I gotta go, but I'll catch you at the afterparty tomorrow night! You going? FC: Yeah at your house right? 1: Yeah, what time the gun show wrap up? FC: 4, so I'll be out by 5. 1: I got steaks going on the grill at 3, I'll get save a nice one for you. You still a medium rare guy? FC: You know it! 1: I think Ally is gonna be there too, you two should get to know each other a little better. FC: That's what I'm afraid of! Seth goes back to his wedding, I hop in the car and drive home. It's almost 10PM as I approach the Jersey mikes by my house. I stop in to grab a sandwich for Sunday. Just as I walk up I hear one of the sandiwch makers swear she's going to slit the throat of the next person who orders a sandwich. Eep. I tell her I need a giant 9. She starts making me one. I ask her if she's trying to get out of here right at 10? She says yeah, she's trying to catch the end of the Yankees/Red Sox game. I tell her my old man was from Brighton and my mom was from Elmhurst, so there's no love lost there. We have a laugh. She caught the Yankees pummeling the A's in the wild card on Wednesday. I whip out my phone and check the score for her. Yankees are up 6-2. I tell her she should be able to catch the end of it at home or whatever sports bar she's going to. She tells me she's going to the outback steakhouse the next block over to watch it and they better have the game on when she rolls up in 15. I tell her I'll do her one better. I dated the bartender there (once, she friendzoned me) and I'll message her on facebook to have it on for you. It is at this moment, I am asked for the second time that evening - from a strange woman I've just met - where have I been all her life? I head home, throw my sandwich in the fridge and head to bed wondering WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE? Did FC like get game all of a sudden? Donald Trump is President. The Eagles won the super bowl. You can't make this shit up. I got one more day at the gun show too. Postscript: As I write this, it's Columbus day and the Indians, the Redskins and Braves all got their asses handed to them. We truly live in interesting times.
Vitalik Buterin: "Putin knows what blockchain is – this is the hype" [Article translation from Russian]
x-posting this to a couple of other crypto subs because I think this is a good article I think this is a pretty good article, so I decided to translate it from Russian for the crypto community. It may even save some of you from doing bad investments, and maybe see what direction you should look in, and maybe shed some light on the possible future of the crypto. I find that the crypto waters are murky today and Vitalik's thoughts make it clearer for me. Link to the source on Rusbase In 2017 the Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin made it to the top ten of the most influential young people according to the Fortune magazine. Some call him the crypto god, some – a crypto-anarchist, and some just idolize him. Any rumor on Vitalik affects the Ethereum exchange rate and costs or makes the Ethereum holders large amounts of money. Rusbase attended an open discussion with the rock star of blockchain and got to know what the 23-year-old genius thinks and what happens in the industry. On himself and Ethereum
How did I become interested in blockchain? There was a moment when I realized that this is a very interesting technology with strong mathematics and then I understood that there was a serious concept behind this, a transparency system. A community of several thousand people created their own financial system. This idea is very close to me. I like building something that no one has ever built before.
Creating Ethereum was not a question of money, it was a mission, an idea that you want to follow.
In 2011 I learned about bitcoin, and six months later I cofounded a bitcoin magazine [Bitcoin Magazine – Ed.], two years later I was in the university [University of Waterloo - Ed.] and I was spending 30 hours a week on bitcoin programming tasks. Then I dropped out, traveled around, and watched blockchain projects develop in different countries of the world. In Israel, USA, Europe.
The idea to create Ethereum was not an immediate one. At first, I pitched it in the project that I worked in. But I was told it'd take a year to complete it. Then I quit. I remember walking around San Francisco, thinking, and then I just wrote a white paper and sent it to my friends, and they shared it with their friends. And it all started. On mining
The role of mining will decrease over time. This trend is not promising.
Mining as a business... This happens when you have your own source of energy or a subsidized source of energy. Then this is profitable. But anyway it's better to move towards the blockchain application, not speculation.
If you want to invest money, invest it in R&D. On the blockchain prospects
The first and the biggest blockchain prospect of the blockchain development is the financial one. This is cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, and state registry. For example, now it takes you several weeks to sell a house, whereas it can take just 3 minutes.
Besides the financial area, I'd say the following areas are prospective: the Internet security; the logistics; anything that has to do with identity; a more expensive but also a safer information storage.
The advantage of the blockchain is that there is a lot of data in the network that you can use for different purposes. The simplest example is the smart contract that lets you decrease the need for other types of insurance. On ICOs
The problem with ICOs is that someone makes something useful for a very small amount of people. Everyone sees now that there is open source software where you can make money easily. The developers now have the option to keep working in the basement or buy a Lamborghini.
There are now so many projects where the token is absolutely useless and people just want to make a lot of money.
The ICO concept is too centralized. The problem is that people evaluate the idea and not the team behind it. The investors put their money in the idea and there is no guarantee that the team will actually manage to do it. I think one needs to keep an eye on this and keep investing only if it's successful. And a better way would be to invest in the idea and not a specific team as there should be several teams competing for the investments to implement the idea.
The moment will come when the market realizes that many of the tokens that exist today have no value.
Tokening must have a purpose. The majority of the ICOs today don't have any backing and will fail. On the cryptocurrency prospects
I think that the cryptocurrency will not replace money 100% but in 20 to 40 years there's going to be a lot of different cryptocurrencies that will be used together.
The number of cryptocurrencies is going to increase. There will be cryptocurrencies for different cities, big companies will issue their own cryptocurrencies, like that Burger King case I heard about.
In 50 years everyone will have a wallet with 15 different types of cryptocurrency and you will be able to use them to make payments. On the blockchain security
There is a paradox now. The purpose of the blockchain is security. But the blockchain is a new technology that has security issues.
Right now you can safely use blockchain where no one will take damage if the blockchain breaks. On Russia
Attracting the investments based on blockchain is a very interesting thing for Russia, especially when you consider the imposed sanctions.
The expertise of the IT professionals in Russia is high, but there's just not enough of them.
No other country has the same degree of the desire to implement the technology. In Russia any place you go – everyone discusses the blockchain, everyone is fascinated by it: from the higher officials to the small time entrepreneurs.
The blockchain in Russia needs smaller successful projects to prove itself. On the world
The blockchain is a part of the bigger trend. The world is becoming more and more digital. In 50 years people are going to have more friends abroad than in their own country.
Southeast Asia is very technological, but they don't have the same amount of interest as there's here [in Russia]. However, people there use QR-codes to sell oranges. A happy end
The cryptocurrencies are never going to be stable. However, the degree of volatility is going to decrease with the emergence of successful blockchain startups and with the increase in the volume of money in the cryptocurrencies. This will happen in a year or two.
The blockchain now is in Phase 3. Here's what this means:
Phase 1: Several hacker anarchists become interested in it.
Phase 2: Putin knows what blockchain is – this is the hype phase.
Phase 3: The road from the hype to the real results. People know that the blockchain is an interesting idea. People know how to use it and they are already testing it. However, there's still no application on the big scale.
EDIT: I am disappointed that this has become a political discussion, "Russia is bad and corrupt". Make of that what you will. Don't let the media brainwash you. Russia has many problems just like any other government. This post was meant for the crypto discussion. ethereum of all places man
Among the more frequently mentioned G+ alternatives at the Google+ Mass Migration community, and others, is MeWe with over 250 mentions. The site bills itself as "The Next-Gen Social Network" and the "anti-Facebook": "No Ads, No Political Bias, No Spyware. NO BS. It is headed by professed Libertarian CEO Mark Weinstein. As the site reveals no public user-generated content to non-members, it's necessary to create an account in order to get a full impression. I thought I'd provide an overview based on recent explorations. This report leads of with background on the company, though readers may find the report and analysis of specific groups on the site of interest.
Founder & CEO Mark Weinstein. Co-Founder & Chief Scientist, Jonathan Wolfe (no longer with company). Weinstein previously founded SuperFamily and SuperFriends, "at the turn of the millennium". Weinstein's MeWe biography lists articles published by The Mirror (UK), Huffington Post, USA Today, InfoSecurity Magazine, Dark Reading, and the Nation. His media appearances include MarketWatch, PBS, Fox News, and CNN. He's also the author of several personal-success books. His Crunchbase bio is a repeat of the MeWe content.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee: Inventor of the World Wide Web.
Jack Canfield: Legendary Founder, Chicken Soup For The Soul.
John Friedman: Founding Partner, Easton Capital.
Cullen Hoback: Director, Terms and Conditions May Apply.
Dianne Morrison: Partner, MorrisonMcNabb, LLC.
Colin Sebastian: Director, Equity Research/Internet, RW Baird.
Brett Shevack: CEO, Brand Initiatives; Former Vice Chair, BBDO.
Marci Shimoff: author, Happy for No Reason.
Sherry Turkle: Professor, MIT; author Alone Together.
Ownership & Investment
MeWe is the dba of Sgrouples, a private for-profit early-stage venture company based in Los Angeles, though with a Mountain View HQ and mailing address, 11-50 employees, with $10m in funding over five rounds, and a $20m valuation as of 2016. Sgrouples, Inc., dba MeWe Trust & Safety - Legal Policy c/o Fenwick West 801 California Street Mountain View, CA 94041 Crunchbase Profile. Founded: 2012 (source) Secured $1.2M in seed funding in 2014. 2016 valuation: $20m (source] Backers:
John Friedman, venture capitalist, founder & MD, Easton Capital, New York, NY.
Do you have friends still on Facebook? Share this link with them about Facebook wanting their banking information - tell them to move to MeWe now! No Ads. No Spyware. No Political Agenda. No Bias Algorithms. No Shadow Banning. No Facial Recognition.
MeWe provide several policy-related links on the site:
California Disclosures -- Do Not Track, 3rd-party cookies, and California Privacy Rights.
Your Identity: We protect it to the extent the law allows
Linking to Third-Party Sites: These are your decisions and responsibilities
Security: HTTPS and Encryption
Terms of Service
The ToS addresses:
Allowable Content and Acceptable Use
Who Our Services are For
User Content Ownership
Misuse of Usernames, Page names, Group names
Fake Accounts (pseudonyms allowed, misleading is not)
More on Spam
Our Commitment to Data Security
MeWe Content Data
MeWe Log Data
Your Data Portability
Deleting Your Account -- Right to Erasure
MeWe Secret Chat
MeWe Invitations and "Add Automatically"
Additional Policies for Pages, Groups, and Events Notifications of Requests for Account Information
Guidelines for Law Enforcement Seeking Customer Data (Worldwide)
Ownership In and To the Site and Services
Effective: November 6, 2018.
The FAQ addresses:
What is MeWe (emphasises privacy)
The Politics of MeWe ("absolutely no political agenda")
How can MeWe be free and make money? (additional services/freemium)
Which devices is MeWe available on? (Android, iOS)
What content can I share on MeWe (photos, videos, documents, voice messages, privacy mail, chats, gifs, memes, doodles)
What are some unique features of MeWe?
Who can see the posts I share?
Can I delete my MeWe account and is it easy to do this?
This emphasises that people are social cratures and private people by right. The service offers the power of self expression under an umbrella of safety. It notes that our innermost thoughts require privacy. Under "We aspire...":
MeWe is here to empower and enrich your world. We challenge the status quo by making privacy, respect, and safety the foundations of an innovatively designed, easy-to-use social experience.
Totalling 182 words.
Privacy Bill of Rights
A ten-item statement of principles (possibly inspired by another document, it might appear):
You own your personal information & content. It is explicitly not ours.
You will never receive a targeted advertisement or 3rd party content based on what you do or say online. We think that's creepy.
You see every post in timeline order from your friends, family & groups. We do not manipulate, filter, or change the order of your content or what you see.
Permissions & privacy are your rights. You control them.
You control who can access your content.
You control what, if anything, others can see in member searches.
Your privacy means we do not share your personal information with anyone.
Your emojis are for you and your friends. We do not monitor or mine your data.
Your face is your business. We do not use facial recognition technology.
You have the right to delete your account and take your content with you at any time.
There are a few mentions of MeWe in the press, some listed on the company's website, others via web search.
The following articles are linked directly from MeWe's Press page:
The page also lists a "Privacy Revolution Required Reading" list of 20 articles all addressing Facebook privacy gaffes in the mainstream press (Wired, TechCrunch, Fortune, Gizmodo, The Guardian, etc.). There are further self-reported mentions in several of the company's PR releases over the years.
Facebook Alternative MeWe Raises $5.2M, Los Angeles Business Journal (July 7, 2018) "The latest round, as well as MeWe’s total $10 million in fundraising, was predominantly backed by celebrity investors, such as author Marci Shimoff, Rachel Roy, and Lynda Weinman, founder of Lynda.com, which sold to Linkedin in 2015 for $1.5 billion. Jack Canfield, creator of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series, also invested in MeWe."
Is building a Facebook alternative worth the effort? MeWe thinks soVentureBeat (July 5, 2018) "[T]here are still companies hoping to make their mark in the social networking realm with “Facebook alternatives.” One of those is MeWe, a “next-generation” social network that positions itself as the anti-Facebook: “Your private life is not for sale. No ads. No Spyware. No BS,” its website proclaims." Continues to mention "modest $5.2 million" funding round. Also a "sister product", MeWePRO, a Slack competitor.
Startup MeWe Launches Free, 'No Ads' Social NetworkeWeek (March 16, 2016) "MeWe, a new network engineered with its users' data privacy built in, is betting that a lot of people will say yes to both of those questions. The Mountain View, Calif.-based startup, whose parent company is Sgrouples.com, launched its freely available social network out of beta March 9 with more than 200,000 members already using it.... Sir Tim Berners-Lee, co-architect of the World Wide Web, found out about MeWe on his own and approached the company about getting involved."
Facebook Alternative MeWe closes $5.2M Series A Yahoo/PR Newswire (July 5, 2018). "The investment brings MeWe's total funding to $10 million, to support the engineering of MeWe and the enterprise version MeWePRO.... The company has relied on high net worth individuals for all of its funding including Lynda Weinman, founder of Lynda.com ...; Marci Shimoff, a #1 New York Times bestselling author ...; Rachel Roy...; and Jack Canfield."
Exactis Data Leak 2018: 340 Million Records ExposedInvestorPlace (June 29, 2018) "'Today's cookies can link your mobile phone to your laptop, to your home monitoring devices, and much, much more. Creepy? Scary? Orwellian? Yes, yes, yes,' Mark Weinstein, the privacy expert and founder of social media company MeWe, told MarketWatch. 'So imagine that Exactis, like Facebook, knows everything about you — really.'"
MeWe Raises $3M in FundingFinSMEs (March 9, 2016) "Sgrouples, Inc., the Mountain View, CA-based developer of MeWe, a social network with neither ads nor tracking, raised $3m in funding."
This section is a basic rundown of the user-visible site technology.
The site is not natively accessible from a mobile Web browser as it is overlayed with a promotion for the mobile application instead. Selecting "Desktop View" in most mobile browsers should allow browser-based access.
There are both Android and iOS apps for MeWe. I've used neither of these, though the App store entries note:
MeWe Android 4.4 rating (13.1k ratings). Permissions: Contacts (read), Location (approximate/precise), SMS (receive), Phone (read status & identity), Photos/Media/Files (read, modify, & delete contents), Storage (read, modify, or delete), Camera (take pictures/videos), Microphone (record audio), Device ID & Call Info (read status & identity), and numerous elements under Other.
Crunchbase cites 209,220 mobile downloads over the past 30 days (via Apptopia), an 80.78% monthly growth rate, from Google Play.
Either selecting "View Desktop" or navigating with a Desktop browser to https://www.mewe.com your are presented with a registration screen, with the "About", "Privacy Bill of Rights", "MeWe Challenge", and a language selector across the top of the page. Information requested are first and last name, phone or email, and a password. Pseudonymous identities are permitted, though this isn't noted on the login screen. Returning members can use the "Member Log In" button. The uMatrix Firefox extension reveals no third-party content: all page elements are served from mewe.com, img.mewe.com, cdn.mewe.com, or ws.mewe.com. (In subsequent browsing, you may find third-party plugins from, for example, YouTube, for videos, or Giphy, for animated GIFs.) The web front-end is nginx. The site uses SSL v3, issued by DigiCert Inc. to Sgrouples, Inc.
The onboarding experience is stark. There is no default content presented. A set of unidentified icons spans the top of the screen, these turn out to be Home, Chats, Groups, Pages, and Events. New users have to, somehow, find groups or people to connect with, and there's little guidance as to how to do this.
Generally there is a three panel view, with left- and right-hand sidebars of largely navigational or status information, and a central panel with main content. There are also pop-up elements for chats, an omnipresent feature of the site. Controls display labels on some devices and/or resolutions. Controls do not provide tooltips for navigational aid.
My Cloud - Seamlessly organize all your content in My Cloud; it's your personal cloud. My Cloud offers an interactive dashboard for you to control everything you’ve posted or shared - making it simple to delete or reshare.
Unique profiles - Be yourself, free from any tracking and spying. Customize your profile for every group you create or join.
Voice integration (on any or all content) - Post pictures, videos, or documents and include a voice message. Respond to a shared post or just chat. MeWe’s voice integration works for you and your contacts throughout the entire platform.
Universal tagging - This is a new, convenient way to sort and organize all the content you receive and share, making it easy to find everything, anytime.
Enhanced permission control (patent issued) - Manage permissions on a granular level and decide exactly who sees what. You can also remove yourself from the search directory, make yourself invisible to other members online, and much more.
Much More – join MeWe today and take a look inside! MeWe is the next-gen social networking experience designed for you to have fun, stay in touch, collaborate, organize, and simplify.
A key aspect of any social network is its community. Some of the available or ascertained information on this follows.
Weinstein claims a "million+ following inside MeWe.com" on Twitter. The largest visible groups appear to have a maximum of around 15,000 members , for "Awesome gifs". "Clean Comedy" rates 13,350, and the largest open political groups, 11,000+ members. This compares to Google+ which has a staggering, though Android-registrations-inflated 3.3 billion profiles, and 7.9 million communities, though the largest of these come in at under 10 million members. It's likely that MeWe's membership is on the whole more more active than Google+'s, where generally-visible posting activity was limited to just over 9% of all profiles, and the active user base was well under 1% of the total nominal population.
MeWe do not publish active users (e.g., MUA / monthly active users) statistics.
MeWe is principally a group-oriented discussion site -- interactions take place either between individuals or within group contexts. Virtually all discovery is group-oriented. The selection and dynamics of groups on the site will likely strongly affect user experience, so exploring the available groups and their characteristics is of interest. "MeWe has over 60,000 open groups" according to its FAQ. The Open groups -- visible to any registered MeWe user, though not to the general public Web -- are browsable, though sections and topics must be expanded to view the contents: an overview isn't immediately accessible. We provide a taste here. A selection of ten featured topics spans the top of the browser. As I view these, they are:
Health & Fitness
Cars & Motorcycles
Fashion and Beauty
Specific groups may appear in multiple categories. The top Groups within these topics have, variously, 15,482, 7,738, 15,482 (dupe), 7,745, 8,223, 8,220, 1,713, 9,527, 2,716, and 1,516 members. Listings scroll at length -- the Music topic has 234 Groups, ranging in size from 5 to 5,738 members, with a median of 59, mean of 311.4, and a 90%ile of 743.5. Below this is a grid of topics, 122 in all, ranging from Activism to Wellness, and including among them. A selected sample of these topics, with top groups listed members in (parens), follows:
Activism: QAnon+++ (2,572), PATRIOT PREPPERS USA (2,430), Deplorables Republic (2,48), The War Drummer (1,898), Patriots for a United America. (1894), Anonymous (1,700).
Alternative Energy: Reiki, Crystals, and alternative healing (2,114), 💜Starseeds & Empaths💜 (345), Living in Colour (365).
Alternative Lifestyle: Natural Healing and Home Remedies (3,045), Backyard Farming of All Things (2,696), WeTheSheeple (2,251).
Alumni Connections: Google Plus Refugees (271), Google+ Refugees (186), Frog Pond (156), Carlsbad NM High School alumni (57).
Animals: I Love My Dog (4,421), Pussy Shots (4,619).
Astronomy: Spherical Earth Truth, Flat Earth is Wrong (278), Nibiru, Nemesis, Hercolobus, The Destroyer (187).
Biology: Trees (344), Field of Birds (104), Patriots of Australia (51).
Personal Improvement: For Introverts. (1,214), Anarchy, Philosophy, Psychology, and Spirituality (679), Positive Affirmations (447).
Philosophy: In5d Esoteric Metaphysical and Spiritual Database (1,764), Thought Bouncing (1,137), Obtectivists - Galts Gulch - Ayn Rand fans (561).
Poetry: Dead Poest (1,407), Palacio de Poetry (451), Poets Corner (412).
Politics: Donald J. Trump 2016 - Present (11,486), The Conservative's Hangout (8,345), Qanon Follow The White Rabbit (5,600), Drain The Swamp (4,978), Libertarians (4,528), United We Stand Trump2020 (4,216).
Pop Culture: The Loftus Party (116), The Walking Dead: The Stalking Dead (100), Tyler, Texas (71).
Privacy: Join the Open/Privacy Movement (3974), Kingsport tn gun trader (1,157), Safer Computing (555).
To be clear: whilst I've not included every topic, I've sampled a majority of them above, and listed not an arbitrary selection, but the top few Groups under each topic.
Google Plus expats (1,862)
Google+ Refugees (186)
G+ Refugees (101)
my Google+ expatriates
The Google Plus expats group seems the most active of these by far.
It's curious that MeWe make a specific point in their FAQ that:
At MeWe we have absolutely no political agenda and we have a very straightforward Terms of Service. MeWe is for all law-abiding people everywhere in the world, regardless of political, ethnic, religious, sexual, and other preferences.
There are 403 political groups on MeWe. I won't list them all here, but the first 100 or so give a pretty clear idea of flavour. Again, membership is in (parentheses). Note that half the total political Groups memberships are in the first 21 groups listed here, the first 6 are 25% of the total.
Donald J. Trump 2016 - Present (11486)
The Conservative's Hangout (8345)
Qanon Follow The White Rabbit (5600)
Drain The Swamp (4978)
United We Stand Trump2020 (4216)
The Right To Self Defense (3757)
Alternative Media (3711)
Hardcore Conservative Patriots for Trump (3192)
Bastket Of Deplorables4Trump! (3032)
Return of the Republic (2509)
Infowars Chat Room Unofficial (2159)
Donald Trump Our President 2017-2025 (2033)
Berners for Progress (1963)
Sean Hannity Fans (1901)
The American Conservative (1839)
I Am The NRA (1704)
Tucker Carlson Fox News (1645)
We Love Donald Trump (1611)
MAGA - Make America Great Again (1512)
news from the front (1337)
Basket of Deplorables (1317)
Payton's Park Bench (1283)
Convention of States (1282)
Britons For Brexit (1186)
MoJo 5.0 Radio (1180)
MeWe Free Press (1119)
The Constitutionally Elite (1110)
WOMEN FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP (1032)
AMERICANS AGAINST ISIS and OTHER ENEMIES (943)
#WalkAway Campaign (894)
ALEX JONES (877)
The Lion Is Awake ! (854)
We Support Donald Trump! (810)
The Stratosphere Lounge (789)
TRUMP-USA-HANDS OFF OUR PRESIDENT (767)
Official Tea Party USA (749)
Mojo50 Jackholes (739)
Yes Scotland (697)
"WE THE DEPLORABLE" - MOVE ON SNOWFLAKE! (688)
Judge Jeanine Pirro Fans (671)
Ted Cruz for President (650)
No Lapdog Media (647)
Q Chatter (647)
Daily Brexit (636)
Tucker Carlson Fox News (601)
The Trumps Storm Group (600)
QAnon-Patriots WWG1WGA (598)
100% American (569)
Ladies For Donald Trump (566)
Deep State (560)
In the Name of Liberty (557)
Material Planet (555)
Trump NRA Free Speech Patriots on MeWe Gab.ai etc (546)
Magna Carta Group (520)
Constitutional Conservatives (506)
Question Everything (503)
Conspiracy Research (500)
Bill O'Reilly Fans (481)
Conservative Misfit's (479)
Canadian politics (478)
HARDCORE DEPLORABLES (454)
Tampa Bay Trump Club (445)
UK Politics (430)
Bongino Fan Page (429)
Radical Conservatives (429)
RESIST THE RESISTANCE (419)
The Deplorables (409)
America's Freedom Fighters (401)
Politically Incorrect & Proud (399)
CONSERVATIVES FOR AMERICA ! (385)
Political satire (383)
RISE OF THE RIGHT (371)
UK Sovereignty,Independence,Democracy -Everlasting (366)
The Patriots Voting Coalition (359)
End The Insanity (349)
Coming American Civil War! (345)
Constitutional Conservatives (343)
United Nations Watch (342)
A Revival Of The Critical Thinking Union (337)
The New Libertarian (335)
Libertarian Party (official ) (333)
DDS United (Duterte Die-hard Supporters) (332)
American Conservative Veterans (331)
America Needs Donald Trump (326)
The UKIP Debating Society (321)
Coalition For Trump (310)
FRIENDS THAT LIKE JILL STEIN AND THE GREEN PARTY (292)
2nd Amendment (287)
Never Forget #SethRich (286)
Green Party Supporters 2020 (283)
It seems there is relatively little representation from the left wing, or even the centre, of the political spectrum. A case-insensitive match for "liberal" turns up:
104: Conservatives Against Liberal Beliefs C.A.L.I.B (273)
184: Progressive and Liberal Politics (119)
301: Liberalism is a Mental Disorder (33)
302: Resistance Against Liberal Socialism (33)
358: NOT For Liberals (17)
367: Drinking Liberally Houston (14)
400: Stephanie Miller's Sexy Liberal Army (6)
Mainstream political parties are little represented, though again, the balance seems skewed searching on "(democrat|republic|gop)":
391: Saving The Republic: Video News & Opinion (8)
The terms "left" and "right" provide a few matches, not all strictly political-axis aligned:
7: The Right To Self Defense (3757)
80: RISE OF THE RIGHT (371)
150: POLITICS ON THE LEFT (156)
157: 1st Amendment Rights Protected By The 2nd Amendmen (141)
209: On The Left With Jeremy Corbyn (84)
262: Eyes-Left Labour & PP - Social Media (49)
300: Gather Left (33)
385: Defend Washington State Gun Rights (9)
390: Left Coast Conservatives (8)
Socialism and Communism also warrant a few mentions:
121: Revolutionary Socialists United (204)
216: Socialist Thought (79)
220: Stories Of Communism (76)
262: Eyes-Left Labour & PP - Social Media (49)
288: Snuggly Wuggly Socialists (38)
302: Resistance Against Liberal Socialism (33)
And there are some references to green, laboulabor parties:
97: FRIENDS THAT LIKE JILL STEIN AND THE GREEN PARTY (292)
100: Green Party Supporters 2020 (283)
262: Eyes-Left Labour & PP - Social Media (49)
320: Green Party of Ohio Issues & Discussion Group (29)
Whilst there may not be a political agenda, there does appear to be at least a slight political bias to the site. And a distinctive skew on many other topical subjects. Those seeking new homes online may wish to take this into account.
Various typos and tagging corrections. 2018-11-29 - 30
Added G+MM references count for MeWe to lede paragraph. 2018-12-2
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