How Bitcoin Mining Works 
I wrote this to try to explain Bitcoin mining.

Hereís an analogy for Bitcoin mining.

Letís say I open a giant factory to make origami sculptures. I open the doors and say that anyone that wants to work for me is welcome.

You bring your own paper.

I pay per piece and I pay in gold coins worth about $10 each.

I want an average of 3 sculptures per hour. If the people are producing more than that, Iíll make a more complicated pattern that takes them longer to fold.

Whenever someone brings me a completed sculpture, everyone else throws their paper in the garbage and the next pattern I want folded goes up on the big board.

The gold coin I pay per sculpture never changes but letís say the price of gold goes up 10% every day.

Do you bring your paper and come work in my factory?

Also, China sends a giant delegation of expert origami artists to work for me.

Note that just because you're not very good at origami doesn't mean you can't take a crack at this and maybe get a gold coin.

If you like, you can get together with a bunch of your friends and even a bunch of complete strangers and come to an agreement that you'll all go to the factory and, if any one of you earns anything, you'll pool it together and then divide it up based on how many folds you made. Even if all your papers ultimately went in the garbage, you should still get something out of this.

Obviously you're gonna want some ringers in your group and they'll be folding way faster than you are and with more accuracy. It's only fair that they'll get a bigger share of the loot. So number of folds seems like as good a measure as any to divide it up.

Steve will collect all the coins for the group and put them in a bucket in his basement. He'll give you access to a spreadsheet so you can check whenever you like to see how many coins your group earned and how much of it is your share.

One day Steve will tell you he went to put the latest coins in the bucket but found it empty. There's no coins in it. Steve has no idea how this could have happened.

Steve will then buy a yacht.

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BitCoin GoFundMe for Gummy Bear 
I've been looking into the whole crypto-currency thing to understand how it all works. I think I've got a pretty good handle on it now.

FWIW, my conclusion is that the whole thing could go up in smoke at any time and is ripe for manipulation but that a lot of people are going to make a lot of money right up until it does. It's basically a giant game of hot potato and whoever is holding the coins when the music stops loses.

As part of my research, I went and got myself a Bitcoin wallet and would love nothing more than to see it actually do something.

To that end, I sent out a tweet and a few messages basically begging anyone who would listen to send me some small fraction of a Bitcoin. Just a penny's worth. Enough to buy a gummy bear. Nothing more.

So far, nobody has. I've utterly failed in my fundraising goal and will probably never be able to afford the sweet sugariness of a gummy bear.

You can see the balance and transaction history of my wallet here. https://blockchain.info/address/1CSo3bVBkxBErBtGfi1KxPpahjApjn5r4Z

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. :)

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Did You Lie Or Were You Lied To? 
I want to start a movement.

Critical thinkers have long been aware of all the fake news and outright lies being spread on social media and elsewhere in support of just about any argument under the sun.

More recently, it's become a more mainstream news item and people, including major social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are looking for ways to combat the phenomenon.

This is how I'm trying to do my part.

I'm starting with the premise that people don't want to be lied to and that they don't want to spread lies. In light of the facts behind how this became an issue in the first place, you might think this premise is ridiculous but I don't think it is. I just don't think people realize how much they're being lied to and how much of what they think they know is the direct result of that.

So my plan is to create an easy way of pointing them out with the hope that once people are aware of just how much this is happening, they'll realize how important it is to be critical of everything they're told and will learn some very basic research skills to try to validate things before they propagate them.

Here's how it will work.

I'm going to create a meme that you will post whenever you see an obvious and verifiable untruth. The meme will simply say:

DID YOU LIE OR WERE YOU LIED TO?

People will then respond to that meme with a few canned choices. These will be:

I LIED. YOU CAUGHT ME.

Some people ARE unashamed liars. If you encounter this sort of person, there's nothing further to be done other than to question their moral character. If someone is known to be a liar, then nothing they say is of any argumentative value and there's no point in furthering a discussion with them.

I WAS LIED TO. THIS IS WHO LIED TO ME.

I expect most people aren't willingly liars. If they realize they lied, hopefully they'll take some conviction in calling out their source so both they and you can know not to ever rely on that source again.

I WAS MISTAKEN. I HAVE NOW SEEN THE LIGHT. HERE IS THE TRUTH.

Sometimes people just make mistakes. I have a feeling this is going to be a very popular option because people don't like to be wrong and like to make excuses as to why the lie shouldn't impact your opinion of their moral character. Hopefully after a few of these, people will learn how easy it is to verify facts before they post them and will make that minimal effort in the future. Imploring people to post the truth may even open them up to opposing viewpoints and change their world view. One can hope, right?

If someone refuses to post the truth of the matter because it opposes whatever argument they're trying to make, then the idea of them having been mistaken can be considered a lie in itself. In this case, they'd actually lied but just don't have the moral character to admit it.

Note that if people find themselves posting this one a lot, I would hope they realize that it will make them appear to be stupid. Everyone makes mistakes now and then but if you're constantly making these mistakes in your postings, it's proving that you're either stupid or very gullible or both. Nobody wants to look stupid and the solution is to verify stuff before you repeat it.

I DIDN'T LIE. HERE IS THE EVIDENCE.

Before posting the meme in the first place, you're supposed verify that what they said was demonstrably untrue. There's nothing wrong with healthy debate and with giving opinions. Opinions aren't lies. If you call someone out as a liar and they prove you wrong, then you should suck it up and post one of these responses yourself in defense or apology for your initial finger-pointing.

It's that simple.

Before I set up the graphics and try to get this thing started, I'll open it here for comments. My social media reach is rather limited but you never know. Maybe it'll take off and maybe something good will come of it.

If you have ideas for additional appropriate responses, please explain them as well so I have as complete a set as could be expected when I get it started.

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Watkins Glen International 
It's been a long time since I've put anything here. :(

Just so as not to let it die, here's my last session at Watkins Glen on May 22nd. :)



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First Time Off Road 
Haven't had much to say here recently, so here's a couple videos of our first trek off the beaten path in the Jeep.

Driving to the Farm

On the way home.

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