Common Misconceptions About Binary Options

Stellaris Dev Diary Questions/Answers

{Edit: Glad you guys liked it, I just added another pass of a couple more dev diaries}
[just updated to include what should be all the remaining comments in Part 4]
So I compiled a number of paradox developer responses from the paradox dev diary forums from user questions.
All the original context can be found here:
This is by no means comprehensive and only accounts for about the last 5-6 [updated to include about the last 14-15 should be all ~26 diaries now, or as many had meaningful responses] of the diaries and not all questions or responses recorded. Just the ones I found interesting enough to track. I did not record who asked and who responded, but I only include responses by the developers, not any non-dev users. So assuming something doesn't change in the late stages, most should be close to good.
Sometimes I left the question for context, other times, if it was a stand-alone statement, I did not. You'll have to guess from context, but I figure it's still a good amount of quality information for those who didn't follow the forum responses to the dev diaries.
And sorry, I didn't track which dev diary they came from.
I'll try to format this better as I learn reddit formatting.
Question/Comment Answer
Will there only the be the option of rotating presidencies, or are other more interactive systems of selecting the next presidents in federations possible? For release, it will most likely be rotation only.
- Currently, only Xenophile/Xenophobe Materialist/Spiritualist are valid FE [Fallen Empire] traits. More may be added.
- The FE personalties are: Xenophile: Benevolent Observers; Xenophobe: Militant Isolationists; Spiritualist: Holy Guardians; Materialist: Keepers of Knowledge
How does opinion work in Stellaris? Is there a cap as I notice that its at -284 for the Avians in the first screenshot or can it forever decrease and increase? The cap is -1000/+1000, so effectively uncapped. The Confederacy of Penkor really doesn't like me.
- Going to 1000 is really not possible..
Will there be some sort of slider for the player to influence The sector ai spending? E.g. I want an older sector to spend more money on a larger fleet but a newer sector on developing colonies. Not at present. Note that Sectors don't maintain fleets (besides construction ships), so generally they'll sink their minerals into developing planets.
Does this mean I can change how the archetype behaves? Or does it mean I can have a multitude of different personality potentials under one archetype? Archetype determines some core behaviours, for example a 'Propagator' AI will focus on population growth. This can't be modded, but you can make very different kinds of Propagators.
- There's a personality type called 'Fanatic Purifiers', whose primary goal is to purge the galaxy of all aliens. They're not the most diplomatic people around.
- AI personalities are mostly static but if a country changes so radically that the old personality would not be a possible pick for it anymore, it will pick a new one. IE: If they're Despotic Slavers who stop wanting to have slaves, they won't remain Despotic Slavers.
- Militarist Empires prefer to form alliances with other Militarists, since Pacifists would just vote down their wars. Some personalities go it alone, but most can form alliances under the right circumstances.
If I understood correctly, the AI behavior is mostly dictated by their personality, which is defined by a combination of ethos. But the same personality can be formed by multiple combination of ethos, right? So 'Federation Builders' won't be all 'individualistic, xenophile pacifist', so maybe they would be spiritual instead of individualistic, but still be a 'Federation Builder', is that correct? Correct. Ethos variations of the same personality can have some minor variations (such as which laws they pass) but it probably won't be on the level noticeable to the player.
- The AI does not hate you just for declining trades, but for instance if they're boxed in by you and you refuse access they might consider that a reason to go to war.
- AI personalities are 99% moddable. The only thing you can't do is create new archetypes, but it's possible to make very different personalities within the same archetype.
Does each personality have one and only one valid ethos combination that will result in it? Some do, most don't.
So how exactly will this insight into "These particular creatures manage to stay alive due to their regenerative skin." affect the card tech system? Does it increase the chances of a related card popping up? Can you study it for a long enough time (fill a bar) and then a choice of relevant technologies pop up? or how? It would be added as an "additional card".
4) Can we skip "Regenerative Skin tech I" and get "Regenerative Skin tech II" right away? Do techs even work like that? Yes, you can research missiles 4 before having missiles 3, for example.
can you study alien space creatures without having to murder them? What about domesticating them? Not right now, but its definitely something I would like to add :)
does the rival system work similarry to EUIV's rival systemw here every nation pretty much always has 3 rivals? because that doesnt sound like too great a situatioin if everyone has only met a handfull of other empires but is almost automatically hostile to all of them due to all the AI wanting to maximize their influence. No. AIs won't rival someone just to have more rivals, and there's no penalties for having less than 3 except missing out on some influence.
Also a casus belli to force you to abandon planets, could they force you out of your homeworld with that? Or is it strictly limited to colonies or specific planets that empire cares about? They can't force you off your homeworld.
[Administrative Sectors are a] Good idea for reducing micro but can we regain control the of an important planet if we don't like the way the ai is doing? You can remove systems from a Sector, should you wish to do so.
My concern is that this kind of thing managed to tank MoO3 because the AI governors were pants-on-head retarded. I hope that this will not be the case here. Making sure sector AI is good enough that most players won't feel frustrated letting it run their planets is very high on my priority list.
The game is being designed with the idea of the player delegating administration of non-core worlds to the AI. Facilitating the "option" to micro everything would a major anti-feature. Since people would feel they could do a better job than the AI, weather true or not, there would be an incentive to do so even if most people would not find it a lot of fun. And then people would start advocating it as the optimal way of doing things; "No wonder you lost, you should manage all planets yourself!". Then people would start demanding fixes or balances to the game based on this play style, even if though the game was never meant to be played like that. "It's in the game, so you should support it!" So you'll ending up with the impossible task of trying to support two conflicting play-styles, compromising the overall design of the game. And any changes that are done to improve the intended play-style of the game, are likely to be met with uproar from the minority who wants to play differently. Sorry, I would rather have a game with a cohesive design, than one trying to please everyone. Yep. Precisely this.
Do all the CBs regarding planets revolve around seizing them for ourselves or our allies? What if I do not want the world for myself but just wish to deprive it from my enemies? Can a planet become entirely depopulated during a war or as a result of the following peace treaty? If your policies allow full orbital bombardment, it is possible to severely damage planets, but not to completely depopulate them.
In the first screenshot is the 30 in the middle of the trade table 30 reasons that the deal will be accepted? Are deals black and white yes/no like in EU4? I really hate the old maybe/likely/etc system. Also what is the +17% with the arrows mean in the trade deal screen? AI will always tell you a definite yes/no when creating the offer, no need to send it and wait for an unknown answer. While slightly less realistic perhaps it does reduce frustration by a lot since otherwise you'd just keep sending offers blind over and over. The 17%-value shows how willing/reluctant that Empire is when it comes to trading with you. You can often trade with Empires that doesn't like you much, but it might require putting a bit more on the table.
1) Is there a cap on how many protectorates/vassals we can have a la EU4 diplomatic relations? I'm assuming so, and I'd bet it'd be influenced by ethos, gov type, and social research? 1) We're testing to see if a cap is needed, or if Liberty Desire is enough.
2) Will there be some mechanics to such that the choice between annexing vassals or just keeping them is more involved? Perhaps some bonuses to research or diplomacy if you elect not to annex your vassal species? 2) You do gain Military Access, Sensor Info and Construction Rights within a Vassals territory, which might be worth more than dealing with the headache of getting a new species within the Empire that has conflicting ethics/views on your politics. We might add some additional bonuses to keeping Vassals if we feel this is not enough of a motivator.
Does this mean, uplifted species will become more loyal vassals? Or do they forget their gratitude after some time? (Especially if the Overlord does something conflicting with their Ethos.) An uplifted species will be eternally grateful, but that does not mean they'll always agree with everything the overlords does. It helps but it's not a binary thing. The opposite goes for an Empire that is force-vassalized through war or such. They'll dislike their new overlord quite a bit at first, but time and/or having the same outlook on things might help mend relations.
Also, can we be a subject of another empire too, or is the game lost then? It would be nice to organise an uprising within another empire, maybe even uniting other subject species against the invasions. A player can be a Vassal to another Empire (human or AI) and still play. If the player is integrated/diplo-annexed the game is lost however.
Part 2
Question/Comment Answer
Let's hope [combat] won't be a godawful hard counter system and race with extremely highly advanced lasers could beat shields. Hard counters are one of the worst designs ever to see in a strategy game. It's Galactic Civilizations-level horrible. It's more of a cost-efficiency thing. Lasers will still do decent damage against shields, but it will not be the perfect choice. If you know an enemy fleet has gone 100% missile-weapons and you can get full point-defense coverage you'll do very well (though not win unharmed).
very cool, i like the battle computer add in. this will give some standard AI for that ship to follow. question though, how (if at all) will stellaris try to balance ship sizes in fleets to make sure that fleets dont end up as zerg corvette fleets or only massive battleships? Efficiency-wise we'd like it to be Corvette < Destroyer < Cruiser < Battleship < Corvette. This is of course an over-simplification but that's the general idea. We do a few things to try and achieve this, such as Corvettes gaining full Evasion from all sources while Battleships only gain 25% (Destroyers and Cruisers gain 75% and 50% respectively). This in combination with the fact that the larger weapons used by Battleships have lower attack speed, higher damage per attack and somewhat lower hit-chance should make it less cost-efficient to overkill small corvettes with huge weapons (lots of missed shots, those that do hit deal far more damage than needed). Corvettes in turn will struggle with the higher armor and shields of a Destroyer etc. up the chain.
Will we be able to customise strike craft? No, we've decided not to go in to such detail. Strike Craft come in sets of units (or Wings) that can be placed on ships with hangar-capabilities.
So every ship will have EFTL [Emergency FTL]? Even if they rely on wormholes and stuff? All fleets having some type of FTL-capability can use EFTL. Ships relying on Wormholes to travel will need a functional Wormhole Station within range. If there is no station in range, the fleet is stranded and can not EFTL (doooooooooooooooooooooooooooom!).
Does the player design strike craft or are they built using fixed rules (e.g. "fighter always use best beam weapon")? Are strike craft automatically replaced after battle, require repairs to be replaced or require new strike craft to be manufactured? Do strike craft on existing ships upgrade when new weapons are acquired? Strike Craft use their own type of weapons and are not dependent on what type of lasers etc. you've researched. Any Strike Craft lost during a battle slowly regenerate over time automatically. They can be upgraded should a new rank of them be researched and the design of the carrier-ship updated.
How does armor damage reduction work? Is it a percentage reduction in damage or subtracting damage from each hit? Armor subtracts a set amount of damage from each hit, up to a limit. Armor can never reduce damage taken to zero. Armor-penetration is percentage-based.
Will we be able to mod weapon stats? Yup yup!
Question: -Will there be some kind of speed upgrade to ships, so they can move faster? -Does 'strike crafts' have any range limit inside a solar system, and if so, is it shorter than missiles? -Is there any missile upgrade/type which can mitigate point-defense damage, like making the missiles go faster, being tougher or splitting into many smaller? As you can judge from the above I'm thinking about a design which tries to kite the enemy :) being fast enough to stay out of enemy range and keep hitting from afar, using shields as defense so they regenerate when out of range. The speed of the ship is mainly dependent on the Thruster, which can be upgraded. In rare cases there might be other components that improve speed as well (such as a Combat Computer). Strike Craft do have a range-limit. We're still tuning that so not sure on range just yet, what do you all think makes more sense? Also, there might just be a thing called Swarm Missiles that do overwhelm point-defenses (somewhat).
How will retrofits work? Will existing ships be able to be refitted with new weapons and technology on their sections, or will ships need to be built from scratch in order to make use of the latest weapons and tech advances? You can upgrade your fleet to the latest design at your nearest spaceport :)
My question is are we limited to one ship design per hull size at a time? So we can only have one corvette design, one cruiser design, and so on? Or is there freedom to design, save, and build multiple types of the same hull? Maybe I want one cruiser filled with point defenses guns to act as an escort while another cruiser just has long-range missiles for fire support. Things like that. From the screenshots its hard to say if we can save multiple designs for the same hull sizes or not. You can have multiple saved designs.
Stellaris is still in alpha so that 146 fleet size number is anything but fixed, however what does it represent? Each ship-type has a different cap-usage. A Corvette uses 1, while Destroyers use 2, Cruisers 4 etc.
Are these colony events/decisions things that need to be done "now or never"? Like the underground vault, for example, do we have to decide immediately and irrevocably, or can we say "let's wait until our colony is more established before opening that" ? In the case of the underground vault, you will get a Special Project to open it which you can complete whenever you want. Of course, other events can lead to Special Projects that are timed. If you don't finish them on time, there may be consequences...
Can the events effect your POPs' traits and ethics? Some event-results are very likely to do so, yes.
Do you have to participate in combat to take debris ? Or can you swoop in after the battle is over ? Still doing some testing on this but currently the idea is that the debris should be visible and available for all. First come, first serve most like.
Can you play as a fallen empire? Or at least tag switch? Though they are not designed to be played, you can tag switch to them. Also in the setup there is flag "is_playable" with currently is set to = no. But if you just switch to "yes", then they turn up in the Species creation wizard as an option.
Do different species rebel often or were the examples here special ? How hard is it to keep a multiracial empire together ? Whether Pops from a different species will rebel depend on a number of things, such as their ethics, the ethics of your empire, your policies and so forth. Keeping a multiracial empire together is certainly possible.
Another question regarding Krogan and last weeks dev diary. Last week, you said that species that get to the atomic age can destroy themselves. Do they always destroy themselves, or can they just nuke themselves back to the stone age, a la Morgan style. There is also a chance that they will revert to a more primitive, pre-industrial stage. Of course, their planet will still be partially covered in radioactive wasteland, massive bomb craters and ruined cities...
Wonder if there will be clone armies... :D
Part 3
Question/Comment Answer
Can we deenact an edict? Or are we stuck with +1% missionary strength and -5% stability cost for the rest of the game? An edict is always timed and can not be retracted. A policy is active until changed, and can not be changed for 10 years (currently) after having set it.
As for research under passive observation. Is there a limit on how much research you get from industrial vs. non industrial etc or they are the same? Is there a maximum limit per civilisation you study or you get the ongoing bonus until they become space faring? An Observation Post in Passive Observation mode acts essentially as a more powerful Research Station, providing you with Society resources. There are various events that can trigger for them, of course. If the primitives become a spacefaring empire, the station will be dismantled.
Do civilizations naturally progress, and does Technological Enlightenment work by rapidly moving them through the various stages? Can civilizations actually wipe themselves out in nuclear war, (with a possibility to intervene perhaps) or was that just fluff? Civilizations can and will progress between the ages, but it's a fairly slow process so you're not going to see a Bronze Age civilization work their way up to space technology within the span of a single game... on their own, at least. Technological Enlightenment does not move them up through the various ages, it's essentially a progress bar (with associated events). The time it takes depends on how advanced the primitives are. And yes, there is always a risk of civilizations wiping themselves out in a nuclear war if they have reached the Atomic Age.
Can the native species react to your actions? Yes. :)
Can they only wipe themselves out in the Atomic Age? Yes. Of course, a stray asteroid could always show up...
How common will pre space age civs be? This is something that will likely see some tweaking before release, but we're aiming for that sweet spot where they're not too common and not too rare. ;)
Are the pre-spacefaring eras moddable? So could I add new ones and replace old ones? Yes.
... So I can't get tech B unless I have tech A, or it's more likely for me to get a proposal for tech Y if I already have tech X? Both. Sometimes there is a prerequisite, sometimes you need to already have unlocked a certain amount of techs and sometimes a tech is extremely unlikely of appearing unless some condition is met.
How moddable whole Technology&Research is going to be? Should be very moddable. It's easy to add or change new technologies. The only real difficulty is keeping track of the randomness and how likely techs are to actually appear.
Wouldn't it be more strategical to have the weight for each technology (instead of the lone rareful ones), with a convenient tooltip explinaing the weight for each one? I'm thinking to something like: Chance of appearance: Xenophobia: +10%; At war: -10%; Only 3 technologies in this field of reseach: -20%; Disgruntled Pops: -20%; This way, it could help to decide if such or such technology may be worth to be returned to the deck, at the risk it won't appear at all, or much later. In theory, good idea, in practice, not so much. We've decided that how the techs are generated, as one of three options, is not something we want to make transparent in the game.
I'm a little worried. If there are so many techs and there's no linear tree how can we evaluate other factions tech level? Especially with autogenerated techs. How do I know they have great lasers or industrial output? You fight them.
Will there be techs that would be mutually exclusive to each other like going biological path of a tech or a electronic path of a tech that would give more unique to races like one race would go down the biological path have these half tentacle looking ships while others would go like a more standard futuristic ships and etc Somewhat. But the exclusivity comes more from ethics than from other tech choices. Collectivists and Individualists will have different approaches to colonization.
Can you have scientists with special abilities that let you choose from 4 different techs? (or 2...) Some Empires will likely have the ability to generate additional (or possibly fewer) tech-choices, but that is not necessarily dependent on the scientist.
Part 4
Question/Comment Answer
Also, do we not get different types of POPs on a single planet? You could and probably will get that, but not at the start of the game.
I hope we'll be able to scrap modules for spacestations? I still have nightmares about CK2 before they added in modding support for removing holdings. Yeah, you can swap modules for a cost.
So... how long the list of all rare resources is? How do they work? (more or less like strategic resources in HOI3 FTM?) Can be anything from forging the strongest armor to increasing FTL speed to affect Pop Happiness.
Question for any devs. Is the wormhole station linked to spacestations? Or is it a different mechanic? They are not directly linked. Wormhole Stations are built outside a systems gravity well (a minimum distance from the star) and are not attached to a planet.
If we capture a spaceport from another empire, can we use (not build) the modules that they have put on it that we cannot due to our ethos or scientific reasons, or will they be rendered useless? If you take control of a planet with an intact spaceport the modules will function even if you can not build them yourself. If the module requires a resource to function, you will have to be able to provide that resource.
I assume 1 spaceport per planet? Yup, each inhabited planet can only have one spaceport.
Are there ways of increasing the number of leaders I can have or is it a hard cap? Number of leaders can be increased with techs.
Really nice that option to terraform a barren world. The button is disabled though, Currently Barren planets cannot be terraformed
Will players be able to create and use their own portraits ? :) (Even if user-created portraits are not animated) Yes, modders will be able to add their own portraits, none moving. And if you have the skills, you will likely be able to create your own moving one too.
I this a lot, a whole lot. I have to ask, though, what's each dev's favorite FTL method so far? It honestly varies week to week as we play MP. I have a love-hate relationship with Wormholes, being awesome when they allow me to deep-strike enemies but less awesome when my fleet is stuck in nowhere as another player raided my exposed connection-point.
How exactly does a wormhole-based traveler navigate the galaxy, anyway? Do they have to bring some sort of constructor vessel with them in to simply return to where you came from? To have a constructor vessel create a relay in every system you pass through? A fleet in range of a system with a functional Wormhole Station may request a wormhole to be opened to their system, allowing them to get home. It still takes time and occupies the Wormhole Station of course.
Follow-up questions: Can you make more than one wormhole station in a system? Effectively making a wormhole hub to be able to get multiple fleets to multiple systems quickly? Also, if you make a wormhole in two "neighbouring" systems, can those wormholes link to each others' system at the same time, each operating independently for further efficiency? Costly ventures, both of my hypotheticals surely are, but they could be strategically critical. A system can have several Wormhole Stations, creating a hub. Wormhole Stations in neighboring systems can independently send fleets to each others systems.
So, are hyperlanes there at the beginning of the game (created by ancient beings perhaps?) and impossible to change? Can you create new ones but not destroy any? Or can you destroy and create them? Also, is all movement FTL or is it possible to send a slower-than-light ship for colonization or even exploration purpose, before your technology allows you to have good FTL? The origin of the hyperlane-network is unknown, and can't be manipulated at will (for now at least...). Ships can be built without an FTL-drive to act as a local defense-force, but with no means of FLT-travel they can't leave the system. There is no sub-FTL travel between systems.
- I used to be a favor warp travel before, but wormholes are just to fun to pass up on.
Is this a sign that warp equipped ships will have inferior (combat) capabilities as compared to wormhole or hyperlane ships? How major drain on the available power will be represented in game? Not at all. But you'd have to think a bit more about how you configure your ships (until you research better reactors that is).
Very nice! One question though, how many planets are there on average per system? And how many planets can there potentially be per system? At the moment it is normally 3-10 planets, but it depends on the type of system. This number is being always being tweaked and may change for release. You can mod the files to have how many you like, but I can't promise that everything works if you go up to like 100 planets ;)
Will we also have systems with 2 or more stars? At the moment no, but we have had discussions about it. If we were to allow it I imagine that they will be quite rare.
Will be something related to gravity or magnetic field with stars? A Pulsar is an object with a high magnetic field, very small, very heavy. Events or physics are attached to the type of star? Planets and events can have certain features depending on the system they are spawned in, it is however not guaranteed.
will anomaly's work similar to the way they work in Endless Space? (essentially a random planetary modifier) Similar yes, think modifiers in our other games, can't give away more details than that ;)
Is it possible that a game will end and parts of the Galaxy will still be unexplored? Yes
I love the art. But I question why the fleet doesn't concentrate its fire on specific targets. Or is that an unlockable tech that follows later? ;) Currently each gun chooses its own target, depending on whats in range and optimal for its damage. As for the entire fleet, might not be in range of the same target. Also it would look sort of boring and unrealistic if the entire fleet was focus firing at one target at a time.
So my question is, why the tiny sun? I get that a realistic size would be silly (it would take up half the screen or more if it were), but I always wonder why star sizes are so wildly under-represented in these games. I think it would be pretty interesting to have these huge balls of fire in the center of each system, perhaps with a suitably bassy rumble when they enter into view. I feel like they would give a nice sense of scale, and also present a navigation problem. Instead the size is comparable to Jupiter, like maybe 2-3 times bigger at most. I wonder if that will be something we could mod later. Heh. The size of the stars are very easily modded. I completely agree about the size of stars. We do have different sizes on the stars, roughly corresponding to the actual classes of stars. And this is something we haven't fully solved yet. The thing about large stars are, if they are bigger, for the ships not to pass through them when flying, they either have to be far above them. At which point the ships looks really weird in respect to all the other planets. Or, you have to code something for the ships to avoid the sun, for which there are many solutions. Though all of them are relatively time consuming. Right now we are focusing on gameplay, so it something we hopefully will have time to revisit before release. Lots of questions regarding the ship designer, and you'll get your answers. We have a ship designer diary coming up in the future, so say tuned. Pluto and moon fans, don't worry, moddability is very comprehensive on all aspects of the game, so you can add all the moons you see appropriate, and i don't doubt that you will. And I would love to see some ambitious total conversions.
It would be cool if devs could make some of the graphics adjustable/moddable. For example allow to play with color and brightness curve of the light emitted from the sun of system. These, for example look much more grimdark, enigmatic and mysterious to me. Although i do understand the difficulty of applying multiple suns lights to multiple planets. All those options are moddable ;) I am looking forward to see what the modders can do :)
[Edit: Ok did my best]
submitted by harperrb to Stellaris [link] [comments]

Open thread, July 2017

This is an open thread to discuss items of interest. I may also use it to drop thoughts as they occur to me as well -- something of a replacement of my former "tab closure" posts, as ... well, it seems tabs are simply running away from me. Consider this an experiment that's been mulling for some time.
If you've got a question, observation, link, or anything else, feel free to post it, with a thought to the lair rules -- like house rules, but larrier.


I strongly recommend eleitl's subreddit, /collapsademic/. "Low-volume, low-noise, moderated discussion of our coming collapse".
That's one of a set of "limits and collapse" subs I've created a multireddit for:

Facebook's secret sauce wasn't software, it was Harvard

That is, Facebook was once literally Harvard. Something it very much isn't anymore, a point I noted after cries of "but the normal people are coming" rang out on Mastodon. It's a point danah boyd has also made in her research.
There's a corollary: if your interest is in creating the next Facebook, or even merely disrupting the present one, then it strikes me one viable option would be to identify whatever your next Harvard is -- a cohort of intelligent, attractive, interesting people, who aren't much impressed by Facebook Which Is No Longer Harvard -- and kick some funding and technical support at them.
Your Next Harvard doesn't have to be Harvard, mind, though that's probably a good (and symbolic) target to include. And I can pretty much guarantee that the folks at 1 Hacker Way will go into a blind panic.
Which might just be a sufficient disruption.

Veritasium: What YouTube's algorithm selects for

Derek Muller, among the higher-quality YouTube creators, has reflected from time to time on what makes for successful YouTube content. Much of that (as with other social channels) is strongly dependent on what the site's own algorithms incentivise for. This 12 minute video looks at recent changes, and what this suggests.
Why YouTube Used to Prefer Quality.
This ties in with a ... much larger .. reflection I've been engaged in on media generally. It also highlights one of many failings with The Information Diet, which is that the information appearing online, at social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit, or on the sites and content farms feeding those maws, depends tremendously on what is being selected for and promoted.
Muller also fails to consider a few elements:

Tech Ontology -- Blocking factors

I'm trying to explore a few concepts before writing a post (or posts? or book?) on the idea of an ontology of technological mechanisms. In particular a few bits:
Identifying what technology is, specifically, and how it differes from both science and the liberal arts / humanities. There's a very good passage from John Stuart Mill in his Essays on some unsettled Questions of Political Economy:
One of the strongest reasons for drawing the line of separation clearly and broadly between science and art is the following:—That the principle of classification in science most conveniently follows the classification of causes, while arts must necessarily be classified according to the classification of the effects, the production of which is their appropriate end. Now an effect, whether in physics or morals, commonly depends upon a concurrence of causes, and it frequently happens that several of these causes belong to different sciences. Thus in the construction of engines upon the principles of the science of mechanics, it is necessary to bear in mind the chemical properties of the material, such as its liability to oxydize; its electrical and magnetic properties, and so forth. From this it follows that although the necessary foundation of all art is science, that is, the knowledge of the properties or laws of the objects upon which, and with which, the art dons its work; it is not equally true that every art corresponds to one particular science. Each art presupposes, not one science, but science in general; or, at least, many distinct sciences.
Comparing existing ontologies of technology. The Encyclopedia Britannica, the Bacons (Francis and Roger), the Library of Congress Classification System, the Random House Encyclopedia, and Joseph Needham's classifications come to mind.
Comparison with mechanisms within biology. Why biology? Because human technology is, as I see it, an extension of biological mechanisms, at least in large part. Nick Lane in particular has some very interesting work here.
Are the mechanisms themselves technologies? I think my answer here is no, though I want to check myself on this.
The fundamental mechanisms. All the categories boil down to "do less" or "use more", I think.
The Network Elements. Numerous of the categories I've defined have or represent network-type effects. I'm asking myself if these cannot be simplified.
Keeping the end in mind. The ultimate goal of any classification scheme is to find an underlying and simplifying pattern. The realisation as I started putting this together was that each of the mechanisms implied specific benefits, and disadvantages, for the associated mechanisms, as well as a set of common features.
Disruption. I'm looking for ways Clayton Christensen's concept comes in to play. See also Jill Lepore's The Disruption Machine: What the gospel of innovation gets wrong (2014).

John Baez, Category & Network Theory

Category theory and Network Theory are areas of research of University of California, Riverside, physics professor John Baez. I've been playing catch-up with his G+ profile and Azimuth blog. Baez has maths I don't have, but the ideas he's pursuing strike me as similar to where I'm going with my own.
See particularly his Oxford Network Theory collection.

Can privacy be quantified?

This presupposes a few other questions, including defining what privacy is.
Jill Lepore, again, has a University of Kansas lecture, "Unseen - the History of Privacy" (April, 2017), which suggests a progression from mystery to secrecy, then privacy:
Lepore also notes that "the case for privacy always comes too late" -- after the horse is out of the barn. Debates over privacy always lag advances in technology.
There's a related set of etymologies: cabinet, a chamber of secrets, secretary, one entrusted to secrets, and secret itself: "set apart, withdrawn; hidden, concealed, private", from PIE root *krei- "to sieve," thus "discriminate, distinguish".
It seems to me that privacy is the abilty to set, define, and defend boundaries. (A source of rather constant friction with Google.) In which case some of the possiblities for measurement:
That's a partial and speculative list, but it gives some sense of where I'm looking.

Employment and Automation: Why is factory work different?

The focus on the automation debate is over the likely falling wages, and apparently job security, of labour. This frequently prompts the counterargument that factory work was an earlier age's version of automation, and ultimately paid well.
One though that occurs: What if manufacturing-based factory work was an exception?
And if so, an exception to what, exactliy, and why?
A few points come to mind, with Arnold Toynbee's Lectures on the Industrial Revolution and Robert Gordon's The Rise and Fall of American Growth supplying much of the background here.
Adam Smith writes of the five factors which provide for a premium on wages:
first, the agreeableness or disagreeableness of the employments themselves; secondly, the easiness and cheapness, or the difficulty and expense of learning them; thirdly, the constancy or inconstancy of employment in them; fourthly, the small or great trust which must be reposed in those who exercise them; and, fifthly, the probability or improbability of success in them.
Several of these apply to factory work:
That's four of the five factors.
The real key to me though is that the role of human workers was as the brains and control element of a structured, automated, and powered process. Factory work is very much literally a force multiplier of raw human skill. A single man, plus machines, could have his output multiplied many times. And due to the considerations above, plus unionisation, eventually claimed a high wage.
The question is how these factors extend into the coming world of work. I have concerns. And I don't see any of the discussion of this point following the lines of analysis I've given here.
Further development in a comment at The Other Place.
And, back to unionisation: factories represent both a strength and a weakness of monopoly-as-network-control.
On the one hand, a factory is a nexus of capital, access to financing, marketing and vendor relationships, transport, power or energy, and labour. On the other, a factory is much like a mine: you cannot simply pick it up an move it to another location. Or at least this was far less true in the 19th and much of the 20th century. Over the past 50 years or so, mobility of capital, and the ability to finance and construct new factories largely at-will has increased, with labour organisation falling largely in parallel.

The Brain and the Eighth Hand

I was reminded of a fantastical riff Yonatan Zunger posted to G+ a while back in which he created an entire wealth, class, and informational complexity theory around Star Wars vaporator droids. This is fiction-on-fiction, mind, but a wonderful set of imagery:
When Owen asked C-3PO if he spoke the binary language of moisture vaporators, the proper answer for him to give (in binary) would have been "with neither too many hands nor too few," that being the idiom for speaking politely and properly. Moisture vaporators use their hands as communication ports, each finger transmitting or receiving a single channel, and touch hands to one another in order to speak; if you were to speak with more hands than the listener had available, they would miss part of what you were saying, and (especially if that were crucial metadata) they would not be able to understand you. Conversely, if you spoke with fewer hands than they listened with, your transmissions would be slow, stilted, taking far too much time. Speaking with the appropriate number of hands is a key aspect of their culture.
But as with many societies, etiquette conceals notions of class: the number of hands a moisture vaporator has is largely determined by wealth and their role. As a result, a common worker with only two or three hands will always seem slow-witted and foolish when trying to speak to a five-handed member of their bourgeoisie, and that burgher would in turn feel profoundly uncomfortable in "seven-handed society."
An eighth hand, by law and by custom, is permitted only to their Emperor, and in fact "the eighth hand" is both a symbol of and metaphor for Imperial power.
So, we get communications, class, wealth, status, and complexity of thought, in one package.
I'd run across an item at Nautilus (fantastic online source, by the way, and they're actively soliciting support currently), "How Your Brain Decides Without You:
The structure of the brain [Lisa Feldman Barrett] notes, is such that there are many more intrinsic connections between neurons than there are connections that bring sensory information from the world. From that incomplete picture, she says, the brain is “filling in the details, making sense out of ambiguous sensory input.” The brain, she says, is an “inference generating organ.” She describes an increasingly well-supported working hypothesis called predictive coding, according to which perceptions are driven by your own brain and corrected by input from the world. There would otherwise simple be too much sensory input to take in. “It’s not efficient,” she says. “The brain has to find other ways to work.” So it constantly predicts. When “the sensory information that comes in does not match your prediction,” she says, “you either change your prediction—or you change the sensory information that you receive.”
To which I obseved on the Inevitability of the Eighth Hand, by the Emperor, that is, the decisionmaking centre of society:
Thus: the emperor must always have the eighth hand, and proper interpretation and framing of the Universe requires more processing power then sensing power, and/or the obligation to discard information which cannot be integrated into the receiving frame.
On which I'll note that the most startling element of this whole episode was that I was actually able to find it using G+ search -- otherwise almost wholly useless.

"Forward to the Past" -- the Digital Library as the problem, not the solution

Eric van der Velde writes on my newfound obsession, libraries, in "Forward to the Past". I've points of disagreement and agreement.
What particularly caught my attention, though, is this:
Why is there no scholarly app store, where students and faculty can build their own libraries?
Though I disagree with the market-based approach, the premise of a self-controlled, self-contained facility for personal information management ... yeah, I'm kinda hankering that way myself.

Subreddit styling: Geopolitics has a wonderful thread-collapse design

I'd first run across this some time back ... and then couldn't recall which subreddit it was. /Geopolitics has a very slick CSS where the "collapse thread" control runs the full height of the left-hand margin, for each nesting level of a comment thread. If you've decided you've had enough of a particular digression, you can close any level of it with a single click, without having to hunt up-thread for the relevant comment. See this archived post for an example.
I'm impressed and may well steal the concept. Good UI is very rare. This is a good UI.
Why? It puts the control directly in context, makes it easy, makes it obvious, and, should you close an item by accident, makes undoing the action trivially easy.

China and classifications of industrial sectors

In a YouTube video, Mark Anderson of INVNT/IP makes mention of a classification by China of the global economy into 417 sectors, and apparently is targeting those for economic espionage. On inquiring as to where that classification is made: the Communist Party of China's 12th Five Year Plan, 2011 - 2015.
Which I now feel I need to find an English translation of.
I did track down a U.S. government assessment of the plan, however. And in that, a further interesting note on what it considers to be a failure of the plan: though the performance targets of the plan were generally hit (and fairly impressively so), the analysis argues that the structural foundations of the economy weren't adequately addressed. This strikes me as an interesting possible response to various "things are going so amazingly awfully terrifically swell!!!" glurge posts which emerge from time to time. Interesting how vision clears when focused outward....

The Tech Ontology Purity Test: Filters

Another aspect of the tech ontology: I'm somewhat stuck on the point of various purification processes and mechanisms and how these fit within the notional framework I've conceived. Especially as this capability is a highly fundamental biological process, one that is key to virtually any process. Actually, it gets us straight back to entropy and de-entropisation.
A process by which a conglomeration of two (or more) things can be reduced to two (or more) separate collections, each with only one set of components to it, is what de-entroposiation is all about.
That might be a mechanical sorting (e.g., hand-picking), size-based filters (sieves, nets, filters), density differentials (wheat/chaff sorting, bouancy, air-jet separation, charged beam, gas diffusion, centrifuge), magnetic properties, distillation processes, chemical solutions, ion-diffussion / proton-pump mechanisms (cell-wall), etc. The upshot is: how do you distinguish between what you want, and then, somehow, act differentially on the one vs. the other?
Is this strictly a process knowlege, in which case it falls under "technology"? Is it a class of actions? Is it material properties? Systems management?

Asset price inflation and Adam Smith

A wonderful Smith quote:
As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce.
-- Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, Book I, Chapter VI
See previously, Asset Price Inflation of Maslovian and Productive Goods.

Robert Behn and "Gresham's Law of Leadership Strategies"

From his book The performanceStat potential a leadership strategy for producing results, Robert Behn distills what I see as a statement of Gresham's Law as a generalised constraint on complexity within systems:
He starts with the pithy observation:
Simple leadership strategies drive out the complex.
But then expands this more completely, showing the information-theoretical underpinnings of the fundamental Gresham's mechanism:
Simple, easily explained, easily comprehended, explicit-knowledge descriptions of a leadership strategy dive out subtle, complicated, tacit-knowlege appreciation for the potential of a complex leadership strategy to influence organizational behavior in ways that improve performance.
He continues to note that this comes in two forms:
  1. We humans prefer simple leadership strategies to complex ones.
  2. We also prefer simple explanations of complex leadership strategies to the subtle and complicated reality.
What I particularly like is the focus on several elements of psychology and cognition:
This suggests a subsuming mechanisms for Gresham's Law which jibes with concepts from Darwinian evolution: that systems evolve complexity costs, and that among the selective pressures which exist are those for a minimisation of complexity in light of such costs. There's an article on a computational evolution experiment, "Meet the Animats", which notes that there is a minimum complexity bound to various maze-traversal "animat" bots, though, without a complexity cost factor, the experiment found no constraint on the upward bound of complexity.
A few minor edits -- mostly deletions -- makes Behn's formulation on page 42 (appropriate) much more general:
"Simple, easily explained, easily comprehended, explicit-knowledge, descriptions ... drive out subtle, complicated, tacit-knowledge appreciation for the potential of a complex model."

Pilots vs. software users

From HN, ncallaway and kbuttler note that the airline industry's safety record is based on pushing beyond "pilot error" as an acceptable prime factor in accidents, and that the software industry might well do similarly.
While I agree generally with that sentiment, there's a key difference.
Airplane pilots are licensed, certified, trained, and regulated. There's a clear floor to who is allowed in the cockpit (barring extreme emergencies, e.g., incapacitation of a pilot). By contrast, software is made available to pretty much the entire world. And it turns out that two thirds of all adults have "poor", "below poor", or no computer skills at all. Which is to say, the qualifications floor is nonexistent. It's the tyranny of the minimum viable user.
If you're designing a one-size-fits-all system, you've got to design for this. The results, I'd argue, are ... not particularly satisfactory.
I'm not saying "don't design for the user in mind", or "don't dismiss user error". But rather, than when your floor is zero, you're going to have a remarkably difficult challenge.

One last thing ...

Do you like what you're reading here? Would you like to see a broader discussion? Do you think there are ideas which should be shared more broadly?
The Lair isn't a numbers game, my real goal is quality -- reaching, and hopefully interacting with, an intelligent online community. Something which I've found, in several decades of online interactions, difficult to achieve.
But there's something which works surprisingly well: word of mouth. Shares, by others, to appropriate venues, have generated the best interactions. I do some of that, but I could use your help as well.
So: if you see something that strikes you as particularly cogent (or, perhaps, insipid), please share it. To another subreddit. To Twitter or Facebook or G+. To the small-but-high-quality Metafilter. To your blogging circle, or a mailing list. If you work in technology, or policy, or economics, there as well.
Thanks, Morbius.
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Infinite Binary Profits | Infinite Stupidity? | Which Comes 1st? | Sept.2015 Review

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[Table] IAmA full-time Bitcoin day-trader, blogger, and explainer. I was a pro TCG player. Here until Midnight EST. AMA!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2014-02-20
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
Let's say someone was looking for a stay at home computer job, would you recommend doing what you do? Is it something you can hop into, or is it something a lot of time must be put into before considerable income comes? You handle risk and pressure well, and you don't let your emotions guide your decision-making. Professional Poker and TCG players often develop this skillset.
You have experience working with stocks, bonds, derivatives, foreign exchange, or other financial instruments. If you have a strong mathematical background, that would also likely fulfill this.
You can invest significant capital into trading while remaining financially secure if it all suddenly vanishes.
You are capable of constantly monitoring a situation, waking up in the middle of the night if an alarm goes off, etc. It requires serious dedication.
You are good at keeping up with news, understanding market psychology, and "feeling" shifts in attitude and perception among other market participants.
Of those, I'd be most cautious if you don't meet no. 3. Going bust is a real possibility--day-trading a volatile commodity is inherently extremely high-risk. Nos. 2 and 4 are the easiest to learn or force through routine. No. 1 requires a person who approaches things in an emotionally detached manner. No. 5 is something that comes with investing enough time.
Second question: I'm answering this after that big block of text because this answer will come off like a get-rich-quick scheme. Yes, you can hop into it very quickly, and you can start making very high profits very quickly. I put in a small initial investment to test the waters, and made 10% on it in a few days. If you have the right skillset, composure, and resources, yes. It is a potentially very lucrative and exciting stay-at-home job. It is not for everyone, though.
As much as it would be beneficial for me (being in the industry and all), to tell everyone it's easy and that it will help them provide for themselves I feel that people need to know the real risks that are involved. Regardless, that's all a little irrelevant. We're not playing the house, and we're not flipping coins. We're playing other investors, and we're making actual decisions. You keep saying things like "98% lose money" and "Go onto any FOREX forum, and you will see from the users posts that they pretty much all lose money" but you don't back it up. Cool, yeah, it's a zero-sum game with a rake: a little more than half of the players will lose. That's expected. They'll probably complain about it, too, huh?
Retrospect can have a very positive effect. Got any real account trading statements I can have a look at? Let's see how fast you can come up with excuses not to show me ;) I only have and need one: I have chosen not to disclose my personal valuation for privacy reasons. Same reason I've had all along. I instead publicly disclose my trades, as they happen, on my website. The posts are timestamped, and the ones that are the start of a position contain the price I entered at. Go check the posts, then go check the charts, then go check my archive. But feel free to continue to arbitrarily call my credibility into question--that makes your argument better!
What leverage do you use? In Australia the leverage is typically 100:1, perhaps that's why your not seeing how risky I deem it to be. First, our argument so far has had nothing to do with risk. Second, I told you I am leveraged 2.5:1, two posts ago. Third, you realize I'm trading Bitcoin, not ForEx, correct? And that no one in their right mind would offer 100:1 leverage on Bitcoin due to its volatility?
What's your last year's hourly salary? A year ago I was finishing up college and extricating myself from the TCG business I'd co-founded. I took very little in take-home pay over that period, but kept part ownership of the continuing business. Money isn't just about the number on your bank account--it's also about residual future income.
How many hours a week are you typically on a computer? On a computer, probably 50-55, if you add in time I spend on my phone, I'd say 65-70. Day trading takes constant watchfulness. I imagine it's like an easier version of taking care of a baby.
What are your favorite to sources of news besides waiting for it to get to the front/hot page of /Bitcoin when it's several hours old? I have an IFTTT for /BitcoinMarkets and /Bitcoin that notifies me early on about some posts.
What's the weirdest thing about your mom? She started a bookselling business online in her 50s and makes more money than me.
She's a little old lady who loves gadgets and technology.
What are your thoughts on Dogecoin and other bitcoin competitors? Do you think any have staying value? LTC.
Coins that offer something different or that have a strong community to them can be valuable prospects.
LTC is the first-mover scrypt coin - DOGE has the most non-techies interested in its success and is spreading quickly as a result - NXT is a cool generation two coin that has a lot of features BTC doesn't have - VTC is ASIC-resistant
Ok, let me spell it out to you. The retail forex market only makes up 5% of the total forex markets liquidity. The other 95% is from hedge funds and institutions. Therefore, 99% of the retail market losing their money is very possible, as that only makes up 4.95% of the whole market. Is it possible that 4.95% of the market generally loses? Yes. How is that infeasible? Nope. That's a false equivalence. It is possible that 4.95% of the market loses. It is not feasible, that, say, 99% of people with blue eyes lose. What, exactly, in empirical terms, is the difference between retail investors and hedge/institutions that causes this INCREDIBLE disparity? Would you care to respond to my above empirical argument that demonstrates that a zero-decision system is flipping a losing coin? Do you consider it feasible for 99% of people playing a 45-55 game to lose?
Are there options and/or futures markets for Bitcoin? Not really yet, but there will be more prominent ones soon. I hear about a new one pretty regularly, it seems, but nothing that seems truly legitimate has come out. I'm certainly excited for them, though.
Eventually, once Mr. Lawsky and co. get things sorted out, I'm certain we'll see a big-name investment bank start offering them.
From the time you started trading until today, what is your overall percentage return? In USD, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 300% over a little more than 2 months.
In BTC, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 425% over a little more than 2 months.
Using my average per-coin buy-in price, if I had just bought-and-held, I would have lost about 27% of my initial investment value.
Ben, i told you I'd be here and asking about Hearthstone first. If there's one class that needs a bit of tuning, up or down, which is it and why? I think Mage needs basic, class-level tuning. I'm not sure what needs to be done exactly, but I don't like what the Mage class power does to gameplay. I've thought some about how different it would be if it could only hit minions, and I'd want to know if Blizzard had tried that out. The Mage power is too versatile, and over the long-term I think it will prove to be problematic.
What's your favorite card? Lord Jaraxxus is my favorite card. He has a truly legendary feel to him when you play him, but your opponent can still win, even though he's very powerful.
So, where do you think we go from here? I'm currently short, but I don't expect to be so for a lot longer. I don't think we'll get past 550. I also don't expect this drop to hold on for a really long time.
I haven't seen a good, substantive rationale for what the MtGox situation really has to do with Bitcoin price. Yes, it looks bad, it certainly doesn't help with our legitimacy, but is it really worth the incredible price declines we continue to see? I don't think so. I think we are seeing these impressive declines because the price on MtGox (which is a reflection of trust in MtGox relative to Bitcoin price, not just Bitcoin price) has been declining heavily. I don't expect it to continue forever, especially not with things like the Winkdex and the accompanying ETF launching.
MtGox is basically dead to me, for now at least. The sooner everyone stops paying attention to it, the sooner we can all get back on track, which I, for one, will be quite happy about.
Do you think that it's a good thing for a game when the developers of that game discourage certain playing styles (e.g. mill decks or decks that try to win in unconventional manners) whether in hearthstone, MTG, or other TCGs? It can be. I don't want the developers metaphorically over my shoulder outlawing strategies, but I don't mind if the strategies that are "less fun" for your opponent (Draw/Go, Mill, or Hard Combo from MTG, for example) are also less powerful. Most players prefer a game where the best decks are also among the most fun, because it means that they are playing against fun decks more often. Clearly the 2-cost 3/3 will be played most often. If you fix this by making both 2-cost guys 2/2s or 3/3s, or by making one a 2/3 and the other a 3/2, then you've done something--but it's not that interesting. If you instead make the 2-cost 2/2 have text that says "While you control the 3-cost 3/3, this gets +2/+2" and you give the 3 cost 3/3 text that says "While you control the 2-cost 2/2, it has Taunt" you now have more complex cards that reward players for doing something other than just playing the best stand-alone card.
Which do you think is a better option to encourage diversity in TCGs; improving/buffing cards/decks that hardly see any play versus weakening/nerfing cards that are overwhelmingly played? This is obviously a very simplistic example, but I hope it makes the point. Games are more fun when you give players more relevant choices: buffing and nerfing cards tends not to do that as well as promoting synergies does.
Where/what is the actual money behind bitcoin? If it does exist. You might need to rephrase your question for me to understand what you're asking. If you're asking why a Bitcoin has value, the answer is the same as any other good: because someone is willing to pay it.
If you're asking why someone is willing to pay that amount, my answer would be utility.
I just got started on Bitfinex (using your referral link) and am a little intimidated. What types of trades would I recommend I try as a beginner? From there, just keep careful watch, and see what happens. Be neutral and objective toward your own hypothesis, just like in science. Don't be biased by your hopes, be focused on the reality.
So far I've only done a liquidity swap offer to try it since it seemed (nearly) risk free. Have you done any liquidity swap or is it too low in profit? If I'm not going to be able to check my computer for a day or two, or I'm uncertain of what's going to happen the next few days, I do use the liquidity swap function. It's actually very profitable, relative to traditional investments. And you're right, it is low-risk. I'm a fan. Good job selecting it if you were intimidated--that's a good place to start. As far as actually starting trading, do science. Start with a hypothesis. If you were up at 5 AM today when MtGox published their announcement, a good hypothesis might have been something like: "This announcement is going to be a blow to their credibility, and might panic the markets. We'll probably drop by some amount as a result." Invest based on it, figure out around what price you want to take profits, and at what price you'll cut your losses and get out. Stick to those determinations unless something substantive changes. The time you tell yourself you can afford to not close your position because it will "rebound" back to where you want is also the time you lose your shirt.
Is it true that you like Balloons? No, I <3 them.
Lol to the question about your mom... Ben, from my understanding Bitcoin is anonymous, does this mean that you can avoid taxation when receiving payment? Bitcoin isn't anonymous. That's actually a common misconception. It's actually pseudonymous, like Reddit. You end up with an online identity--a wallet address--that you use with Bitcoin.
If I walk up to you on a street corner and buy Bitcoin with cash, then I'm pretty much anonymous. If I buy it from a large institution like Coinbase or some other company, they will have records of the address my Bitcoin was bought for. As a result, you can trace them down, generally speaking.
As for avoiding taxation, that's a general no.
What do you think Bitcoin's biggest hurdle is and how do you think it can be overcome? Are there any misconceptions about Bitcoin that you think people have? The biggest hurdle for Bitcoin to overcome is governments. Governments have a variety of reasons not to want an alternative currency. We seem to have done pretty well on that front here in the US, but for other countries (China) that is not the case. Past that, the other major hurdle is something I consider an inevitability: consumer adoption. Business adoption has begun in earnest, consumer adoption hasn't. It will when enough businesses take Bitcoin to give it sufficient utility for the average customer.
What trading platform do you use to daytrade Bitcoin? What is the standard margin that Bitcoin brokers offer? what's the typical ask/bid spread? I primarily use Bitfinex.
Very few Bitcoin brokers currently offer leverage, Bitfinex offers 2.5:1. Over time, I anticipate it will become more like current Forex, where 10:1 or greater leverage is common.
It varies by exchange depending on their fees. Huobi charges 0% fees, so their spread is generally tiny. Some exchanges can be as wide as 1.5%. Typically, I see spreads between .5 and .7%.
Do you invest in any other type of cryptocurrency? if so, which is your favorite besides bitcoin? I currently have no other holdings, but I've held DOGE and LTC at points and am considering VTC and NXT. DOGE is probably my favorite, because if the community can keep this up for a little longer it will snowball into amaze.
Can you trade me a Jace? TMS WWK, TMS FTV, Beleren, MA, or AoT?
Beleren. M10, M11, LOR, JVC, JVCJPN, or Book Promo?
M10 and if not possible then M11. Sure.
I've been reading your blog for quite some time and especially like your summaries for recent events. Keep up the good work! Do you use strict stop-loss orders for your trades? When do you decide to close a trade? Especially in situations where you can basically see you profit/loss grow by the minute. When is enough? Do you have a longterm bitcoin investment you don't touch or do you use everything you have for trading? I do use relatively strict stop losses, but they're not stop loss orders. My conditions usually aren't just the price hitting a certain point, but instead it sustaining for a brief period, or hitting it with a certain volume, or with a certain amount of resistance to retreat. I don't want my stop loss to be triggered by some idiot who dumps 300 BTC and temporarily drops the price 15, but only ends up really dropping it 3. I am very strict with myself about this, though, generally speaking--if I can't trust promises I make to myself, what good am I?
Let's say for example you have a sum x dollar and a sum y bitcoin on your trading account. How much % of x or y do you risk at every trade? I've seen a formula for the max. amount of investment and read numerous times that traders shouldn't risk more than one or two percent of their "bankroll". Do you generally have dollar and btc or just one of them at any given time? 100% of funds in every trade, so long as all funds are easily moved into the position. Common exceptions are lack of liquidity and funds being on other exchanges. My reasoning for being all-in all-the-time is that it's a profit-maximizing move. It is also risk-maximizing. My risk tolerance is infinite; most people's isn't. Only ever one. Generally BTC if I'm long, dollar if I'm short. I prefer to double-dip, as otherwise it would be in contradiction to the 100% plan. I use everything I have for trading. Again, profit-maximization, infinite risk tolerance.
I decide a closing price when I'm near either my stop loss or my profit aim. I place a limit order or multiple limit orders wherever I need to. I avoid market orders whenever possible. Enough is when I hit my goals or my loss tolerance. I decide these at the start, but I frequently re-evaluate them as news and market conditions develop.
What is a typical bid/ask spread for Bitcoin? It depends what exchange you're looking at, but generally .5-.7%.
What's the best way to popularize Bitcoin among the masses? Add your own but would love your thoughts on: -microtransactions developing nations -gift economy (tipping) I would suggest just running around shouting "You get to be your own bank" is probably the best way.
In all seriousness, though--we don't need to try. It's going to happen on its own from now on, as the news media slowly starts to pick up the story. People will start appearing on TV talking about it with more and more frequency. Things like the Dogelympic teams are great PR and help boost it up, as well, of course, but in general it's just going to follow the adoption curve of every other technology.
If it picks up in a few developing nations that have stable internet, it will be a massive revolution for them. Self-banking can do a huge amount of good for an economy like theirs. We might see reports on that. If a major newspaper decides to run a permanent paywall like what the Sun-Times tested recently, that could be big as well. The slow PR from tipping on Reddit is another way, to be honest. Every bit helps, but the cryptocurrency community is now large enough that we're going to do a significant amount of organic, word-of-mouth style growth.
Do you think that a magic game could beat harthstone? If they do a good job, absolutely. They have to focus on the right things. It needs to be mobile-available, easy to pick up and play, and fun.
Is there a good crypto currency to get in on now, before it explodes like bitcoin did? There are plenty of options. Check out Fair warning, there are plenty of horrible things there--treat it kind of like penny stocks. I like BTC, LTC, DOGE, NXT, and VTC.
Also, why is it such a pain in the ass to buy them with actual money? Like you have to have bitcoins to buy other crypto currency. It's such a pain to buy them with USD because no one has made a good system to do it on, like Coinbase. If you think there's a desire, go do it!
Well the way I look at it, is how the hell else would you be able to buy them? Not everyone has piles of bitcoins lying around and I really don't want to spend $600+ on a single bitcoin just to buy some other currencies. Ah, I see the problem! You can buy fractions of a Bitcoin using Coinbase--I think .01BTC (~$6) is their minimum.
The March 2013 appreciation was from American and European investors and November 2013 was mainly from Chinese investors. Which group of people do you think will be the next to buy (I hate using the word invest when talking about bitcoin) bitcoin for investment purposes? American institutional and hobby investors. That is, Wall Street and people who pay attention to Wall Street.
Which do you think will be a better long term (~5 years) investment, Bitcoins, Litecoins, Dogecoins, Fetch Lands, Shock Lands, or Original Dual Lands? Does it change for ~10 years? Either Bitcoin or Fetch lands for 5 years. For 10 years, Bitcoin. I'd be worried about the 10-year view for paper MTG.
Ive been mining Bitcoins for years now, i have a good sum im my wallet but i never plan to use them. Does this make me a bad person? Approximately yes.
Ben, I should've simultaneously copied and pasted all of my questions from the Spreecast over to here but here are a few... It seems like the conspiracy crowd has really latched onto the idea of Bitcoin as being a discreet form of currency. If Bitcoin is backed up by the internet why would people choose having a currency that's being tracked over say cash, gold, different commodities? Having a currency be tracked has negatives and positives, but it's overwhelmingly positive for the average consumer. Because it's tracked, you don't need to pay someone to move your money for you. There also are no chargebacks, which means merchants aren't getting scammed and passing those costs onto consumers. Theft costs everyone money. It's also very fast--transactions confirm in just 10 minutes, regardless of size or where it's going. Transferring dollars from here to China is very difficult--transferring Bitcoin? Just as easy as from anywhere else to anywhere.
My job is a mix of voodoo, intuition, science, and news. In USD, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 300% over a little more than 2 months.
No, just gambling. In BTC, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 425% over a little more than 2 months.
Anyway, how have the profits been from start to finish compared to the market? Using my average per-coin buy-in price, if I had just bought-and-held, I would have lost about 27% of my initial investment value.
Are you willing to disclose how much you have in your trading portfolio/what kind of profit you turn both % and $ wise? In USD, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 300% over a little more than 2 months.
In BTC, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 425% over a little more than 2 months.
Using my average per-coin buy-in price, if I had just bought-and-held, I would have lost about 27% of my initial investment value.
What would you say is the easiest method of shorting bitcoin or any other coin? For shorting Bitcoin or Litecoin, check here.
For other coins, there isn't really a good way yet, to the best of my knowledge. A few exchanges have plans to add short-selling, but Bitfinex is really the only one I know of that has.
What did you have for breakfast today. Didn't breakfast, was delicious.
Hey Ben, I know next to nothing about Bitcoin. I went to /bitcoin after seeing this AMA on your FB, and I noticed that everyone is going apeshit over "Gox". I have no idea what that means or why everyone is so sad/angry/suicidal. MtGox (which originally stood for Magic the Gathering Online eXchange) was the first prominent Bitcoin exchange. They've been going through some rather rough times lately, some of which I was an early cataloguer of here. In short, everyone is freaking out because the exchange may be insolvent. It's not really a big deal to Bitcoin as a whole, but it's certainly an obvious blow to credibility. In my view, people are primarily upset because MtGox has been a part of Bitcoin for a very long time, and it can be hard to let go of what we're used to. I expect that they will either fix the issues or will go out of business officially very soon.
Please explain what happened.
Tell me every artist in your iTunes. Daft Punk, detektivbyrån, Kid Cudi, Matisyahu, The White Panda.
Spotify for life, yo.
Follow up question, what % are you in BTC vs Fiat and when you are on the losing side of a trade do you find your self dumping in more to get right or do you pull the cord Unless my positions are on different exchanges or in different coins, they're all always 100% of what I'll put into that trade at entrance and exit. As a result, I end up with a binary choice: stay or reduce/close. I very rarely reduce position size, nearly always preferring to just end the position instead.
Last updated: 2014-02-25 04:57 UTC
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