The idiom "Crossing the Rubicon" means to pass a point of no return, and refers to Julius Caesar's army's crossing of the Rubicon River (in the north of Italy) in 49 BC, which was considered an act of insurrection, treason and a declaration of war upon the Roman Senate. Julius Caesar may have uttered the famous phrase "alea iacta est"—the die is cast—as his army marched through the shallow river.
Monday marks the seven-year anniversary of the first Bitcoin transaction, in which a Florida man paid for two pizzas with the cryptocurrency. The day has become part of folklore, not because of the transaction, but more the price: the man in question paid 10,000 Bitcoins, which today is worth $20 million, for the two pizzas.
Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract (scripting) functionality, which facilitates online contractual agreements. It provides a decentralized Turing-complete virtual machine, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes. Ethereum also provides a cryptocurrency token called "ether", which can be transferred between accounts and used to compensate participant nodes for computations performed. Gas, an internal transaction pricing mechanism, is used to prevent spam and allocate resources on the network.
!time:12:23 Vitalik: two years ago I would have said we haven't crossed the rubicon, and now I would say we are in the middle of crossing it. Right now we at the stage where people are starting to understand that this isn't just a toy for computer hackers, but that there is a large amount of people who are actively thinking about what is possible to do, but not just thinking about it but actually doing it. Last year there were lots of experiments about how to create your own cryptocurrency or how to create a platform for digital identity, right now several of these experiments are becoming reality.
Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a particular country or socio-economic context, or is easily converted to such a form. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of value; and, sometimes, a standard of deferred payment. Any item or verifiable record that fulfills these functions can be considered as money.
Money is historically an emergent market phenomenon establishing a commodity money, but nearly all contemporary money systems are based on fiat money. Fiat money, like any check or note of debt, is without use value as a physical commodity. It derives its value by being declared by a government to be legal tender; that is, it must be accepted as a form of payment within the boundaries of the country, for "all debts, public and private".[dead link]
My own theory is that we are in the middle of a dramatic and broad technological and economic shift in which software companies are poised to take over large swathes of the economy.
More and more major businesses and industries are being run on software and delivered as online services — from movies to agriculture to national defense. Many of the winners are Silicon Valley-style entrepreneurial technology companies that are invading and overturning established industry structures. Over the next 10 years, I expect many more industries to be disrupted by software, with new world-beating Silicon Valley companies doing the disruption in more cases than not.
researchers found a handful of malicious files on one of the systems and discovered the world’s first digital weapon.
Stuxnet, as it came to be known, was unlike any other virus or worm that came before. Rather than simply hijacking targeted computers or stealing information from them, it escaped the digital realm to wreak physical destruction on equipment the computers controlled.
Traditional warfare: Dani tribesmen fighting with spears in the Baliem Valley of the New Guinea Highlands. The highest one-day death toll in those wars occurred on June 4, 1966, when northern Dani killed face-to-face 125 southern Dani, many of whom the attackers would personally have known (or known of). The death toll constituted 5% of the southerners’ population. Photo credit: Karl G. Heider.
Hunter-gatherers tend to have an egalitarian social ethos, although settled hunter-gatherers (for example, those inhabiting the Northwest Coast of North America) are an exception to this rule. Nearly all African hunter-gatherers are egalitarian, with women roughly as influential and powerful as men. Karl Marx defined this socio-economic system as primitive communism.
A hunter-gatherer is a human living in a society in which most or all food is obtained by foraging (collecting wild plants and pursuing wild animals), in contrast to agricultural societies, which rely mainly on domesticated species.
Hunting and gathering was humanity's first and most successful adaptation, occupying at least 90 percent of human history. Following the invention of agriculture, hunter-gatherers who did not change have been displaced or conquered by farming or pastoralist groups in most parts of the world.
America’s new tribalism can be seen most distinctly in its politics. Nowadays the members of one tribe (calling themselves liberals, progressives, and Democrats) hold sharply different views and values than the members of the other (conservatives, Tea Partiers, and Republicans).
Each tribe has contrasting ideas about rights and freedoms (for liberals, reproductive rights and equal marriage rights; for conservatives, the right to own a gun and do what you want with your property).
Each has its own totems (social insurance versus smaller government) and taboos (cutting entitlements or raising taxes). Each, its own demons (the Tea Party and Ted Cruz; the Affordable Care Act and Barack Obama); its own version of truth (one believes in climate change and evolution; the other doesn’t); and its own media that confirm its beliefs.
The tribes even look different. One is becoming blacker, browner, and more feminine. The other, whiter and more male. (Only 2 percent of Mitt Romney’s voters were African-American, for example.)