I believe it will change the world for the better,” writes Sanjuro, who shares his handle with the nameless samurai protagonist in the Akira Kurosawa film “Yojimbo.” (He tells me he chose it in homage to creator of the online black market Silk Road, who called himself the Dread Pirate Roberts, as well Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto.) ”Thanks to this system, a world without wars, dragnet panopticon-style surveillance, nuclear weapons, armies, repression, money manipulation, and limits to trade is firmly within our grasp for but a few bitcoins per person. I also believe that as soon as a few politicians gets offed and they realize they’ve lost the war on privacy, the killings can stop and we can transition to a phase of peace, privacy and laissez-faire.
Today in weird emails I receive. This one to the work account!
Evidence is mounting that points to a “lost decade” between what we now remember as the 1970s and 1980s, a time whose full cultural trauma and resulting suppression from memory was so complete as to effect itself even on the living. […]
The space: do we not all feel it? The space. It may be said that the consumer cultures of the 1980s and 1990s, successively exhorting us to embrace artifice and then soul-crushing blandess, were manufactured to “cure” the residual confusion and cultural inconsistency that resulted from the methods used to effect mankind’s collective psychic displacement. The hidden “space,” however, manifests itself in curious ways — the obsession with youth and physical condition in those born in the 1960s and 1970s; oddities in climate change data; the apparently freakish pace of economic change in what we believe now to be the 1980s; and so forth. […] Likewise, no-one familiar with the Lost Decade hypothesis can fail to grasp the religious significance of shutter shades.
This tickles that space deep within me that loves conspiracies, the more world-encompassing the better. 19A0 | jwz
For what it’s worth, his thesis concerns the reasons Obama returned a bust of Winston Churchill to the British Embassy early in his presidency. The only answer D’Souza entertains: that Obama is a Mau Mau anticolonial revolutionary driven to impress his dead, absentee father, a Kenyan who dared to write in 1965—two years after his homeland achieved its independence—that government regulation might sometimes be needed to rein in private industry. You might object, “But Obama has spent almost zero percent of his life with that father, and something like 75 percent of his life in the same private schools and Ivy League universities and institutions of power occupied by every other president of either party in recent American history.” D’Souza’s counter is to brandish Obama’s memoir and proclaim, “Notice it says Dreams From My Father, not Dreams of My Father.” Also: Bill Ayers! Jeremiah Wright! Edward Said, who once taught a class Obama took! NYU psychology professor Paul Vitz shows up to explain that the father who abandons a boy has a profound influence on the shaping of that boy, an argument that lays bare D’Souza’s debased rules of evidence: the fact that Obama senior was never around to radicalize Obama junior only proves that he did radicalize Obama junior. That explains why junior later went on to fulfill the dream of all Kenyan revolutionaries of the 1960s: passing the health care plan Republicans came up with in the ’90s.
Let the Awl brighten your afternoon with the tale of the astrologer who beat Hitler — at least, if he were telling the story.
It’s really interesting to watch libertarians’ rising sense of disbelief and outrage over the Koch brothers’ attempt to take over the Cato Institute, the most prominent and respected libertarian think tank in the country. Suddenly, many former defenders of the Kochs are beginning to question the intellectual integrity and political purity of their benefactors. In one sense, it seems a petty and personal squabble within a small political faction. But from another standpoint, the stakes are much higher, putting to the test the lingering question of whether libertarianism is in fact a non-partisan intellectual movement, as its adherents insist, or just a fancy-sounding name for a subset of the Republican Party, aimed at enhancing the wealth and power of its deep-pocketed donors.