We launched today with two recordable, interactive stories:
Not only are the advantages of Bitcoin over gold accentuated by the restrictions which entrench the world’s fiat systems, it is likely that Bitcoin’s emergence is a reaction to those restrictions.
It is hard to imagine their development in a completely free market where successful banking is based on service and competition instead of the political privilege which licenses select institutions to counterfeit, where regulatory burdens would be very low and tending toward increased efficiency, where, rather than restricting the flow of commerce across borders, major institutions would be dedicated to enabling it, where we could instantly transfer fractions of a commodity money to anyone in the world.
In such a free market, there would simply be no need for a crypto-currency without a commodity backing.
So what is Bitcoin’s value? It is a means of escaping the enforcement of the world’s currency monopolies, a jailbreak. It is a service, like Western Union, only cheaper, easier and faster. Bitcoin is a vehicle. Bitcoin HAS an intrinsic value as a wealth delivery service with the peculiar feature that wealth needs to transform into Bitcoin before it can be exchanged.
In an environment of extreme Bitcoin skepticism, a transaction would look as follows: wealth transforms into Bitcoin, zips instantly to anyone in the world (or beyond, so long as they have internet access), and then transforms out of Bitcoin.
People would be willing to thus transform their wealth so long as they are saving money, time or convenience over rival money transfer systems like conventional bank-wires, credit card purchases, or Western Union.
In the skeptical environment, the amount of wealth people leave in the form of Bitcoin would reflect the fees associated with changing wealth into and out of Bitcoin (for example, the fees charged by btc-e.com or mtgox.com).
Fire and Forget — a discussion of soldiering, military culture, story telling, and my story in this anthology of military fiction
I dream about the military almost every other night, about Afghanistan more often than Iraq, sometimes about training. The dreams are usually tense, but not disturbing. I think my training prepared me for combat. Amazingly, the most troubling dream involves my returning to Ranger School. A bureaucratic error requires me to go again. It’s recurred more times than I can count.
Ranger School was effective because it was so God-damned hard — a 40% graduation rate when I attended. I’ve never stopped being proud of having earned the Ranger Tab, not when Ron Paul and Chuck Hagel convinced me our foreign policy was misguided, nor when the Constitution convinced me the state threatened my liberty far more than any external enemies. Even after Rothbard and Hoppe and the impossibility of a monopoly on violence, I remained proud.
The warrior ethic has likely been a virtue ever since primordial men banded together to bring down game too difficult or dangerous for lone hunters. Libertarians shouldn’t discard it because of its co-opting by the state.
Perhaps state stewardship of warrior culture makes it a lost cause and its scrutiny a moot point. Fair enough. If so, then chalk this up to sheer sentimentalism:
I’m also eagerly anticipating the release of Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War next month. It’s a collaboration of fifteen recent veterans.
Here’s an excerpt from Nathan Webster’s Amazon.com review:
“At some point there will be a definitive novel-length account of the Iraq or Afghanistan war. There have been a couple good ones, but none that tell (or try to) the whole story – there are too many experiences, perspectives and points of view for one book, with one voice, to accomplish all that. At least for now.
This short story collection pulls off that difficult task: it ‘collects’ 15 unique voices, each with their own perspectives. In these short forms, taken as a whole, it does give the reader almost all the viewpoints of a soldier and veteran’s experience. While each story might not be perfect (and there were a couple I didn’t like), the entire book adds up to a greater sum than its individual parts.
I have my favorites – “Television” by Roman Skaskiw presents an excellent day-in-the-life description of the grinding days of little obvious reward, when the “mission” isn’t what a soldier expects or wants. “And Bugs Don’t Bleed” by Matt Gallagher is a look at the homefront divide between compassion and rage. Siobhan Fallon’s “Tips For a Smooth Transition” is an accurate look at an awkward reunion between a returning soldier and his wife. Phil Klay’s “Redeployment” is a story of a man and his dog.
. . . .
But the audience should be civilian readers who are looking for a fuller view of the war than a nonfiction “combat” story can really tell. It’s a success of this collection that only one story, Brian Turner’s “The Wave That Takes Them Under” really describes combat, and it’s so poetic I barely noticed. A soldier’s experience is much more than combat; these stories show a lot of the human feeling that gets missed behind pictures of guys all turtled-up behind body armor and black sunglasses.
It’s a powerful collection; for now, probably the best, most comprehensive – fictional – look at the wars that has been written. As I said, the individual stories might have their own flaws and some are better than others – but the sum is much greater than the parts.”
The range of stories in Fire and Forget displays a remarkable depth and breadth of the experience of the Iraq war.
– Paul Harris, The Guardian
Captures the messiness of soldiering when the mission and endgame are unclear. Though fiction, each work reads true, filled with tension, fear, and anger.
Searing stories from the war zones of Afghanistan, Iraq, and the USA by warrior writers. Fire and Forget is about not forgetting. It is a necessary collection, necessary to write, necessary to read.
– E.L. Doctorow
I’ve been waiting for this book for a decade. I laughed, shouted, and cried while reading this kaleidoscopic collection. So many facets of war and the people who do our fighting are covered here. Fire and Forget is a literary history of this latest period of American wars. It’s a profound and telling work of art.
– Anthony Swofford
From Siobhan Fallon’s moving anatomy of what a waiting spouse has to look forward to after her husband’s third deployment, to Brian Van Reet’s brilliant gloss on Hemingway’s “Big Two-Hearted River,” these stories mark the territory of Return, in a manner both rich and essential.
– Anthony Giardina
A diverse anthology on our long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan united by the extraordinary talents of its authors. These stories are exceptional.
– Kevin Powers
A resonant, moving collection of stories from writers who know firsthand about the incongruous beauty and constant tragedy of war.
– Nathaniel Fick
“I had a chance to interview the very likable and intelligent Roman Skaskiw at PFS2012 this year. I met Roman last year at PFS2011 and had the chance to listen to his great speech about his journey from being an agent of the state to the conclusion that the state is wrong and evil. This was one of my favourite speeches last year. In this interview Roman tell us about what PFS means for him, about his speech last year and about his new adventures in Ukraine. I give you the great Roman Skaskiw.” http://www.mises.se/2012/10/07/interview-with-roman-skaskiw-property-and-freedom-society-2012/
Here is a link to my speech last year.