Quotable (#169)

The hardscrabble frontier:

… it’s no surprise that writers have been pouring over the new Author Earnings report released this week. […] … Are the numbers in the report encouraging or depressing? Well, that depends on your point of view. The Author Earnings authors are very enthusiastic: “We live in exciting times. Today it’s possible to be a full-time professional author, quietly earning $50,000+ a year — even six figures a year — without ever sending a query letter to anyone.” […] Others will likely find it pretty depressing that in the entire industry of book publishing, where over a million books are published a year, a mere 2,500 authors can be found making median US wage.

Twitter cuts (#107)

Concluding paragraph from the embedded link:

The big picture of content monetization on the internet is bright. Not only will pleasurable content like puppy pics be profitable, but educational videos, scientific research, and product designs for 3D printers will all be profitable. The way the world works will change — bitcoin micropayments on the internet enables the birth of the information economy, a social improvement comparable to, but greater than, the transition to the industrial age. The full potential is incomprehensibly large and positive.

It plays down the looming religious war aspect, but it gets the scale right.

Micropayments Marketplace

Nelson’s vision incremented into actuality by another step thanks to 21.co. It’s focused on the core constituency at the moment, situated in the intersection of coders with 21 Bitcoin Computers, but it looks like a significant beta version of something much bigger.


Marketplaces and currencies tend to go well together. Paypal famously got to scale by becoming the currency of choice for eBay buyers and sellers. The US dollar grew to its current international predominance in part on the back of the large, integrated US market. And it thus stands to reason that a digital currency like Bitcoin might be well suited for a digital marketplace based on Bitcoin. […] But the exact nature of the products being sold in such a marketplace is important. Unlike a traditional physical market localized to a nation state, the digital currency community is dispersed around the world. Moreover, most users hold relatively small balances, especially relative to their reserves of fiat currency. Finally, the community has a disproportionate share of engineers and computer scientists relative to the general world population. […] Taking these constraints into account, we’ve built what we think of as the first micropayments marketplace: a marketplace that allows buyers and sellers to trade in digital goods using micropayments, initially specifically focused on APIs for developer use.

(Forward links included at the source.)

Ping21 latches it to the Internet of Things (brief commentary at CoinDesk). Plus, more bitcoin market innovation.

Oil Glut

The New Economics of Oil:

The total stock of recoverable oil resources is assumed to be known and the main focus is on the optimal pace at which these resources should be exhausted. […] But in practice, estimates of recoverable oil resources are increasing all the time, as new discoveries are made and technology and understanding improves. And, importantly, they are increasing far more quickly than existing reserves are consumed. […] In very rough terms, over the past 35 years, the world has consumed around 1 trillion barrels of oil. Over that same period, proved reserves of oil have increased by more than 1 trillion barrels. […] Put differently, for every barrel of oil consumed, another two have been added.

… what has changed in recent years is the growing recognition that concerns about carbon emissions and climate change mean that it is increasingly unlikely that the world’s reserves of oil will ever be exhausted. […] Existing reserves of fossil fuels – ie oil, gas and coal – if used in their entirety would generate somewhere in excess of 2.8 trillion tonnes of CO2, well in excess of the 1 trillion tonnes or so the scientific community consider is consistent with limiting the rise in global mean temperatures to no more than 2 degrees Centigrade. And this takes no account of the new discoveries which are being made all the time or of the vast resources of fossil fuels not yet booked as reserves.
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Twitter cuts (#82)

Another (back-to-back) from my involuntary guest-blogger. Banks collapse into phones.

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Dr. Copper is not amused

Wintry indications:


Financialization, namely massive amounts of leverage, has made the disconnect between the stock market and the economy extend wider and longer than ever before. Maybe another speculative melt up is ahead. Who knows? Maybe DOW 20,000 or 30,000 is in the cards. […] With enough monetary deception anything’s possible. But, nonetheless, gravity still exists. Stocks cannot go up for ever. After a six year bull market, accompanied by a lackluster recovery, stocks could return to prior levels that were in line with present commodity prices. Remember, just a few years ago, Dow 8,000 matched up with current copper prices. Soon it likely will again.

ADDED: Also concerning.