* Posts by G Mac

99 posts • joined 25 Aug 2011


Document? Library? A new kind of component? Microsoft had a hard time explaining what its Fluid Framework is

G Mac
Thumb Up

Re: OLE, oh-lay oh-lay oh-lay (and not forgetting OpenDoc)

Yes! Although my first thought was that this is "Internet based DDE". DDE still gives me nightmares.

Zoom goes boom, Teams tears at seams: Technology stumbles at the first hurdle for this homeworking malarkey

G Mac

And please mute yourself...

before going to the bathroom.

Deadly 737 Max jets no longer a Boeing concern – for now: Production suspended after biz runs out of parking space

G Mac

Minor edit...

"The jets have been gathering dust since March 13, 2019, when America's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an emergency order grounding all 737 Max models in response to every other aviation authority in the world having grounded the models after two crashes with the new aircraft that killed a total of 346 people."

There, fixed it.

White Screen of Death: Admins up in arms after experimental Google emission borks Chrome

G Mac

Exactly. The Command Line switch should be --experiments to switch it on vs. default off.

How four rotten packets broke CenturyLink's network for 37 hours, knackering 911 calls, VoIP, broadband

G Mac

...they were generated by a switching module in a node ... for reasons still yet unknown...

A broadcast packet greater than 64 bytes with a valid header and checksum and no TTL magically appears ex nihilo from the quantum soup in the transmit buffer of a switching module?

Kind of puts the Infinite Improbability Drive to shame.

Or it could be a bug... nah.

An upset tummy and a sphincter-loosening blackout: Lunar spaceflight is all glamour

G Mac

As time goes on the space program gets more amazing to me

From a time When America Got Shit Done(TM). Not to dismiss the Ruskies, but in this case...

Now, the aspiration of the US is build a &@%!#$ Wall.

Seeing as Bitcoin is going so, so well, Ohio becomes first US state to take biz taxes in BTC

G Mac

Made for money laundering?

One would hope they have taken into account the money laundering angles.

* Overpay tax in bitcoins, get USD back as a refund

* Setup a 'Pay OH Tax in Bitcoin' business, where the bitcoin payment firm pays an OH business's taxes in bitcoin (from various dodgy sources) and gets paid in USD by the firm whose tax is being paid, maybe at a discount since you are washing dirty bitcoin.

This would be a boon for those businesses in the US getting side-lined by banks because of incoherent federal/state laws - for example those states with legal marijuana where the banks won't take the business proceeds due to the fear the Feds will crack down and nix their banking license. Now they can get paid in bitcoin and wash it through OH, or so at least it would seem at first blush.

Sneaky phone apps just about obey the law, still have no trouble guzzling your data, says Which?

G Mac

Re: Nothing new, nothing will ever change

You would think the AI/ML types out there would do something amazingly useful by being able to identity the WTFs and Gotchas in T&Cs.

You know, something folks could use everyday.

Prepare to have your minds blown, storage industry. 5 words: Client access Optane DIMM caching

G Mac

IO Elimination???

'The use of host persistent memory is, for Peglar, a milestone on a longer journey to IO elimination: "Having said that, I look forward to further development of systems which actually help to, or completely eliminate IO, rather than just make it faster, i.e. with reduced latency, greater throughput, etc. by the use of persistent memory in true memory semantics, pure CPU load/store. This is the ultimate benefit of persistent memory."'

So the end of the Von Neumann architecture as we know it or marketing bafflegab bullshit?

Hackers manage – just – to turn Amazon Echoes into snooping devices

G Mac

Hmm 'permanently'...

"What isn't clear is whether Amazon is capable of overriding its system to listen in permanently, rather than require it to wait for the "wake word" before listening, and so act as a live bug (the device holds a two-second audio buffer)."

I think it is a bit slippery to say that the device is NOT listening permanently. Obviously it has to 'listen' to recognise the 'wake word'; the hope here being that that two second audio buffer is not released upstream regardless of the trigger word presence, which I believe was the point here.

Internet overseer ICANN loses a THIRD time in Whois GDPR legal war

G Mac

Is this related to the Bear Hunter joke...?

''You're not in this for the hunting are you?''

Indictment bombshell: 'Kremlin intel agents' hacked, leaked Hillary's emails same day Trump asked Russia for help

G Mac

Re: anonymous coward

And what if your hand was caught in the cookie jar over 80 times? If once was not "doing it right", what is 80?

And by inference, it seems that if you DON'T get caught it's all good sport, right?


"It's about securing the West's systems"

Ah so for Johnny Foreigner well he will just have to look at the ceiling and think of...

This is not to say doing this kind of thing IS ok by anybody. But it does mean that the immediate pearl clutching and heading to the fainting couch needs to take rest.

More jaw-jaw less war-war.

G Mac

Re: anonymous coward

Absolutely there has to be whataboutism.

That is because there are a bunch of elected folks, along with neocon pundits, that say this is "an act of war". Try searching for "russian hacking act of war".

For example, try this from this Intercept article https://theintercept.com/2018/02/19/a-consensus-emerges-russia-committed-an-act-of-war-on-par-with-pearl-harbor-and-911-should-the-u-s-response-be-similar/:

'The claim that Russian meddling in the election is “an act of war” comparable to these events isn’t brand new. Senators from both parties, such as Republican John McCain and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, have long described Russian meddling in 2016 as an “act of war.” Hillary Clinton, while promoting her book last October, described Russia’s alleged hacking of the DNC and John Podesta’s email inbox as a “cyber 9/11.” And last February, the always war-hungry Tom Friedman of the New York Times said on “Morning Joe” that Russian hacking “was a 9/11-scale event. They attacked the core of our democracy. That was a Pearl Harbor-scale event.”'

Yikes. Keeping in mind that the US has been meddling in other countries elections quite a bit since WW2 gives some perspective that hopefully (but of course won't) will give these folks pause when calling out the Marines, literally.

Of course the US is the big dog so it can expect to give all a good beat down. Except in asymmetric warfare, AKA Afghanistan and Iraq.

So yes, this is whataboutism, but only to allow us to say STFU to the war-happy nutjobs who want to pick fight with the 2nd biggest nuclear power on the possibly short-time-to-live planet.

And ESPECIALLY given that nobody seems to deny that the leaked documents are genuine.

Icon for obvious reasons.

Uber breaks self-driving car record: First robo-ride to kill a pedestrian

G Mac

Re: Turkey was this way.... not sure it it still is

I lived in NYC 20 years (moved to CA two years ago) and I can tell you the cabs know their **** will be pushed in if they hit somebody - its not those guys I had an issue with.

It was the wankers in nice cars that would try to bust through the crosswalk when the pedestrian sign says WALK. Those bastards would try to barge past, though the true NYCers dared the mongrels to try it, whereby the car owner's **** would also be pushed in.

Amusingly the last time I saw a cab in an accident in NYC (non-injury is why it is amusing) was when a courier bicyclist blew through a red light and plowed into the side of a yellow cab, getting a bent front wheel for his effort.

Airbus ditches Microsoft, flies off to Google

G Mac

Re: "and switching to plain text"

At least for .docx (and .xlsx etc) it is binary only insofar that it is compressed ZIP format.

If you uncompress a .docx (say by renaming it .zip and unzip), there will be a directory structure of XML, which if you desire (but don't - you will lose the will to live) you can examine in any text editor.

There's more to blockchain than dodgy cryptocurrencies

G Mac

Is that a bit of a minimization of the CAP Theorem?

"...he explained, noting that techniques for dealing with issues like network latency – which can mess up a distributed database – still have to be refined."

Is that a bit of hand wave re the CAP Theorem? Distributed databases aren't much of problem EXCEPT for the fact of a dodgy network.

Android P will hear no evil, see no evil, support evil notches

G Mac



Disengage, disengage! Cali DMV reports show how often human drivers override robot cars

G Mac

Paradoxically, yes

Check this article about Air France flight 447 that crashed into the Atlantic:


The gist is that because so much regular airtime is on auto pilot, when the system disengages the pilots are less able to assess and take over the plane because they are out of the loop and out of practice.

So with a car that disengages every mile or two the driver will at least have retained most driving skills, and in fact will be pretty much waiting for the disengagement.

On the other hand, if it disengages every 5,500 miles, the chances that the driver will be able react (and is even able to! nap time right?) would be pretty slim.

After reading the Slate article, I came to the conclusion that for self driving cars it is a case of all or very little: either 0 disengagements, or so many that the driver is still pretty much engaged. Of course I could be pessimist about this.

Uber saddles up for a new cycle of controversy

G Mac

Er, another cash burn effort?

"Uber hasn't mentioned any upfront charge and, by bringing its huge user base to JUMP, might just be able to muscle other bike-share companies aside."

Sounds like they have found another way to burn cash without any idea on how to make a profit. With a huge user base.

If Australian animals don't poison you or eat you, they'll BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE

G Mac

New hit song for Oz?

I hope your chooks turn into firebirds and burn your dunny down

Hitchcock cameo steals opening of Oracle v Google Java spat

G Mac

Re: Nostalgia

They're baaack:


Voyager 1 fires thrusters last used in 1980 – and they worked!

G Mac

"...until something nasty stops them."

Well, it could be "Something wonderful".

Judge stalls Uber trade-secret theft trial after learning upstart 'ran a trade-secret stealing op'

G Mac

Re: When do the magic words...


'To win, a plaintiff would have to prove (1) conduct, (2) of an enterprise, (3) through a pattern, (4) of racketeering activity called "predicate acts," (5) causing injury to the plaintiff’s "business or property."'

And predicate act would include theft and fraud...?

Interestingly, this has been through the El Reg meat grinder before in April - search for RICO:


G Mac

When do the magic words...

... "RICO Act" start to get mentioned in hushed tones?


Bitcoin outfit 'Tether' reveals US$31m BitBuck BitHeist

G Mac
Paris Hilton

Re: Load of nonsense

"They did not steal bitcoin, only tokens, and AIUI those have now been declared as worthless; the token's source and its value can be checked before any exchange for something else proceeds."

Ok fair enough.

But if they are declared 'worthless', then in fact the money is gone? Asking a fair question here.

Somebody used the check book analogy above, which isn't then same thing as the cash itself - it is a means for transferring an account's cash. Declaring the 'check book' as worthless is not the same thing as declaring the cash in the account as worthless.

I am trying to understand here - so stay with me. I think what you are saying is that the transfer is in fact 'worthless' - really voided - and due to the hard fork the transfer will be unwound to restore the funds. And hopefully everybody (exchanges only required?) will be on board to void the transfer?

Universal basic income is a great idea, which is also why it won't happen

G Mac

I see no mention of Speenhamland, a form UBI

It was tried a couple of hundred years ago in the UK. It was a form of rural poverty relief, but in the end caused employers to use the payment as a subsidy, which I suspect would happen with a UBI.

A better solution in my view is a Job Guarantee is a better. It puts a floor under wages, gives people a chance to have meaningful employment (whatever that may be), and alleviates the problem of employers not wanting to employ the short/long term unemployed.


Parity's $280m Ethereum wallet freeze was no accident: It was a hack, claims angry upstart

G Mac

Hmm I thought 'smart' contracts meant no laywers

It was my impression that a smart contract was code that defined what was supposed to happen. Since the code is the contract, it is always the 'law', thus eliminating messy lawyer paper shuffling and court disputes.

Interesting that those messy things might still be necessary...

See smart contract as lawyer/court replacement:


15 'could it be aliens?' fast radio bursts observed in one night

G Mac

I am Appalled and Outraged!

After re-calibrating my units of measure system to the Reg's common sense and entirely practical system, q.v. https://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/page/reg-standards-converter.html, I find that this article uses a non-standard unit of measurement! Unacceptable!

I demand that The Register, if it is to maintain it's readers expected high standard of reporting, to immediately rectify the situation by using an approved Reg unit.

Given we have force (the Norris) and distance (possibly the Linguine is most relevant), I suggest The Register immediately gets to work to supply both the name of the Reg unit and it's conversion rate, particularly to this thing called a 'joule', on which I am unable find any information on the Reg's standard converter, making it, the joule, a meaningless unit.


Appalled A. Outraged

World's largest private submarine in mystery sink accident

G Mac

Re: What's sixze got to do with it?

The Trieste was not a true submarine, it was a bathyscaphe:


Essentially a sphere for us humans (= best shape to withstand pressure) suspended below a large tank of gasoline (= less dense than water and incompressible). It got back to the surface by releasing it's iron shot ballast.

What I noted about the article's submarine was that it had portholes! I would of thought that was a major weak spot.

Hey America! Your internet is going to be so much better this January

G Mac


So I can walk into an office that only has 'slow' 20Mbps fixed internet access and proclaim loudly that I will fire up my mobile hotspot for all because it has 'fast' internet access at 10Mbps.

I am starting to think 1984 and the Ministry of Truth has arrived, though 30 years late.

50th anniversary of the ATM opens debate about mobile payments

G Mac
Thumb Up

Re: merchant cannot discount payments made in cash

Ah that is interesting I missed that thanks.

Looking at the rules for Visa though it is not across the board:

* Applies only to credit cards, not debit or pre-paid cards;

* 10 states restrict the surcharge, including some big ones (CA, NY, FL, MA, TX). Since I have lived in NY and CA no wonder I missed this!

* Merchant can only surcharge up to the acceptance rate of the card up to 4%. The rate varies according to card present, type of business, signature required etc. At least for Visa it seems they want the highest rate applied across competing networks to be applied.




In the end the merchant still cannot discount cash transactions at a rate the merchant chooses. In addition, I would like the transaction fee for *all* transactions to be available.

Question for US folks not in a restricted state - does the surcharge get displayed BEFORE you OK the transaction?

G Mac

Re: Extinct in ten years?

In the US it is a law (put through by the credit card industry via bribes to politicians) that a merchant cannot discount payments made in cash. So its cash only or everything is the same price no matter the payment method.

Apparently it was 'designed' to encourage use of credit cards. I will believe the hype of a cashless society when they remove that restriction so folks can choose the method of payment based on the transaction fee.

No doubt some will say there is a cost for maintaining a cash float by the merchant - fine by me if that cost gets passed through. Want I don't want is opaque fees that I cannot compare.

And you can bet your sweet bippy that when no choice is to be had (aka cashless) those fees will only go up.

US Secretary of State: I will work with Russia on cyber security issues

G Mac

Re: Wait, what? Maybe missing irony quotes around belligerent?

Oh that is easy to answer - it was polite warning. This is how I would defined them:

A belligerent warning is when you shoot down the foreign plane when it has intruded on your airspace for ~17 seconds and is so close to re-entering their own airspace that the wreckage lands on their own soil.

A polite warning is when you DON'T shoot down a foreign plane in your airspace, even though they have recently shot down one of your planes in your own airspace.

G Mac

Wait, what? Maybe missing irony quotes around belligerent?

"...Russia's belligerent warning that it was prepared to treat US warplanes as potential targets following a recent attack on a Syrian regime aircraft".

Let me get this straight: the US shoots down a Syrian plane in Syrian airspace while claiming that it was protecting US and Allied troops stationed on Syrian sovereign soil without permission of the Syrian government or a UN mandate, and it is Russia that is being belligerent?

Where 'shot down' < 'belligerent warning' in strength of act?

And where US flies by tolerance and not by invitation of the sovereign state?

And this after the US bombed and killed around 100 Syrian troops in Deir ez-Zor?

Yup, gotta be missing the irony quotes.

Wow, someone managed to make money on Fitbit stock – oh, 'fraudulently'

G Mac

Re: Glad we're catching the top crooks

In this case, someone steals a Honda and gets prosecuted while folks are being home invaded, bound, pistol whipped and their life savings stolen, all in front of the kids, and the perps get a slap on the wrist.

This prosecution is an example of 'regulatory theater' where captured regulators and politicians take a victory lap and say 'look, something is being done' while far more corrosive crimes get a free pass because they are corporations.

Your comment pretty much reflects that the regulatory theater is working.

G Mac

Let me see if I get this right...

Item 1: A pump and dump scam where a bloke creates a fake account, pockets less than $4K and the bloke faces criminal charges.

Item 2: A very large TBTF bank called Wells Fargo creates millions of fake accounts, pockets some $MM and no one faces criminal charges.

Oh that's right, Wells Fargo paid a fine. Maybe the bloke should do that and avoid a possible perp walk.

HTC seeks salvation with squeezy design

G Mac

My M7 is still going strong

The only problem is the USB port is a bit loose so I need to pay attention when connecting to recharge.

Other than that the battery life is still good, and it is in great nick.

Given I haven't had any reason to upgrade, and the later models have been a bit lackluster, if I can cope with the loose USB port I may skip the model(s) this year as well.

The *only* reason I have to upgrade is because the version of Android is falling behind. HTC tried for a while, and of course Verizon gets in there too, so I am still on Lollipop (5.0).

That is the major frustration, and going to a non-Google phone will have the same problem. I looked at the Pixel and wasn't impressed, at least at first blush.

As Trump signs away Americans' digital privacy, it's time to bring out the BS detector

G Mac
Big Brother

The one way this will be stopped quick smart...

... is if the browsing history of say a Supreme Court nominee gets out into public view.

Just ask Robert Bork and the Video Privacy Protection Act for VHS rental history:


Of course if it only will happen to the great unwashed public then say sayonara to your data.

Zeta Systems: NVMe over Fabrics speed is real... and here's why

G Mac

Can we get that even so please?

That is, the minimum/average/median/maximum request times?

FCC death vote looms for the Golden Age of American TV

G Mac

Hmm, still no mention of a la carte channels

As somebody who has recently moved in the US I am looking for a TV service. The amazing thing is that I *still* cannot get fully a la carte channels, and from what I can see DSTAC does not address that - meaning I still get bundles of stuff I don't want. If Google can break that apart then I am all for it. Now folks may raise 'diversity of channels' concerns but if that is an aim then do it transparently with (for example) a specific tax versus a hidden tax via the bundle. And if a bundle turns out cheaper than a la carte then guess what I will take the bundle ;)

"Google’s proposal takes an end run around both private contracts (previously held to be sacred) and property rights (similarly so)."

Wow so much angst. Here is a newsflash - contracts get renegotiated all the time. And I don't see how property rights are violated - stuff gets licensed successfully everyday - is Andrew saying Google will steal content without paying for it? Can I get a reference to that outcome please.

BTW, private contracts and property rights were already crapified by the mortgage industry (see MERS - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortgage_Electronic_Registration_Systems). By creating a free for all database to avoid registering property transfers (you know, like had been done for centuries so that folks can find out who owns what) they so seriously screwed the private contracts that they required fraud to 'fix' them - AKA robosigning.

Don't let banks fool you, the blockchain really does have other uses

G Mac

Re: Must try harder

Seems a bit thin and maybe misleading...

It looks like the documentation was hashed in the blockchain, not the funds itself which were sent via Swift - so technically the trade was documented by blockchain, but the trade was executed normally.

So having completed a number of electronically signed documents amongst multiple parties (aka a mortgage), I guess the key for this is that it was distributed.

But my understanding - correct me if wrong, is that verification of the blockchain must be done by some quorum of processors of which none have a majority (45%) of processing power. In this case, who did what to who? And how do you known given anonymity in the real world?

I am curious to see how this could work in a distributed manner - that is after all the selling point beyond what is in place now.

Unlucky Luckey: Oculus developers invoke anti-douchebag clause, halt games for VR goggles

G Mac

What an idiot

He should of got a SuperPAC setup and donated anonymously like everyone else that wants to buy a piece of the action:


Video service Binge On 'broke the internet' but 99pc of users love it

G Mac

Explain the logic underlying that conclusion

"incentivising the network operator to invest in a better network"

Or, perversely, causing them to down sample further when the network gets saturated. Meaning people get less for the same price.

Just saying that that is another possible outcome, and the way network operators work, more likely. But maybe I am just being cynical.

IBM open sources its blockchain code – the non-crazy part of Bitcoin

G Mac
Black Helicopters

Seems a bit thin on details - aka happy path only...

Hmm this seems to be fairly happy path, and it might be true, though I have questions/observations:

* My understanding of the blockchain processing is that it is computationally intensive, taking non-trivial compute power and a finite time (10 minutes for BTC at the moment??), so 'almost instantly' is subject to understanding. 10 minutes versus 3 days for a check to clear? Sure

* It is also my understanding that, at least for BTC (at the moment), around 6 'independent' (correct?) verifiers of the transactions in the next block is required (concensus mentioned in article), so although you have disintermediated the current payment system, you reintermediated those folks;

* The fear for verification is that if a common group of verifiers make up some high proportion of the total verifiers then it becomes a bit dodgy since they can verify spoofed transactions. From memory there was some concern in BTC land a couple of years ago when a 'mining' group got ~45% (correct?) of the pool, which they then voluntarily scaled back. What happens for these ledgers?

* It is also my understanding that as a 'reward' for verifying the block the verifiers are rewarded in BTC for the effort (hence 'mining'). Eventually that was to be replaced by a transaction fee that is associated with each transaction as payment for the verification effort.

Since this new system cannot create currency (aka forging), it either would need another token for payment (analogous to BTC) or the transaction fee is a cut of the invoice price. I am sure that there may be some folks out there that are willing to verify for free, but like most things that are free you may not have a great experience (with say turnaround time).

On the other hand if you do add a transaction fee, you could expect that the higher the fee the higher priority for verification. What does that fee look like? Do I pay 0.X% for 3 day turnaround, and X.0% for 'almost instantaneously'? Is there a market for transaction verifiers? If so how to I get that - remember they have to be 'independent'. I smell Wall Street.

* Is this a single global ledger, a global ledger per currency, combination thereof, or some arbitrarily created ones, say for a supplier?

* Who verifies the verifiers? Given currency ones is that is supranational? Government? Self-regulated (remembering self-regulation is to regulation what self-esteem is to esteem)?

If it is some ledger created for that supplier, who are the independent verifiers? Or is the supplier allowed to mark their own homework?

* How do you deal with cross currency transactions - that is, getting the cross rate? Is that set at transaction time or delivery (given it takes non-trivial amount of time to create/transport goods)? Do you trust that rate setter?

* What are the laws surrounding problems that occur (they always will - see the history of the credit card industry). What happens when returning goods? What happens in disputes?

With respect to the RFID, yes they use it for stock control now, but now it proposed to use it for financial transaction control. To stop the swap out of goods for cheaper knockoffs, is it embedded in the product itself? When I get a pallet of cement, do I scan each bag to make sure I got them all, or just the pallet, trusting the supplier (and deliverer!)?

Hmm a bit of a wall of text. But although this could be a miracle, just saying it will be so without explaining what it actually means in practice is a bit thin.

Seagate floats out 10TB HDD filled with lifting gas

G Mac

Typo in cache size...

"We understand it spins at 5,900rpm, has a 256GB cache, a 216MB/sec transfer rate, and a 6Gbit/s SATA interface."

Specs say 256MB for the 8TB guy. You did get me to choke on my coffee with the thought of a 256GB cache though...

So Quantitative Easing in the eurozone is working, then?

G Mac

Re: Inflation prediction please - update 3

Latest in:

"Euro-Area Spell of Sub-Zero Inflation Ends as Unemployment Falls"


So SUCCESS!!!! From -0.1 to 0.0 - that must count as a major coup for the projection made by the article. Not.

What is annoying is that by making the pronouncement that all that is needed is QE and 'proving' it via this post's math, it has frozen policy in place. That is, it becomes a wait and see versus doing something Keynesian/stimulus (and the ECB doing more QE, which may be the new definition of insanity).

Of course we are talking about the EU, so providing stimulus via Euro-area action is a tall order to get agreement. But taking it off the table because of an ideological "QE works" without any evidence is not correct.

ICANN CEO, internet community heads clash in accountability row

G Mac

Hmm that is really a non-answer...

"There is no question about the binding nature of arbitration in the designator model, and ICANN has provided materials to support that position," the DNS overlord told us in a statement.

So the answer to the question is it is/could be/may be a NO to being binding? All you have to say is that it *IS* binding, end of story.

How to answer with a question about a question. I really hate that.

And of course it is a deflection on the member modal proposal...

THIS is MASSIVE! Less-Masslessness neutrino boffins bag Physics Nobel

G Mac

Wait, a coffee cup sized detector?

Sure that isn't just a strong Brownian Motion generator and they are actually building an... Infinite Probability Drive???

What is money? A rabid free marketeer puts his foot in lots of notes

G Mac

Re: Some quibbles...

You will find the writing of time recording debts to temple and the monarch. Please show the extensive records of private debt *not* to those.

As for bankruptcy, it is something that can be used only under pretty extreme measures, at least in the US. Multiple laws have gone into effect to restrict bankruptcy for student loans, credit cards and even personal. What is more, the law doesn't allow for expunging of debt by decree, which is what a Jubilee Year is. Please show me the law allowing debts being wiped by decree. Ah yes there is one for sovereigns, but that isn't private, is it?

"Do you have the faintest idea what that actually means? The 'resource constraint' in question is whether you've rounded up all the Jews yet and taken their money, or if there's still more to steal.

I find the term _modern_ monetary theory to be absolutely laughable. It's not modern at all, it's just a rehash of some very old antisemitic claptrap.

Clue for you: there is no magic money tree, the Jews aren't stealing the fruit, and so gassing them won't actually help everyone else pig out on the fruit instead."

Do you actually know what MMT is? Please provide a link where you got the above idea...

G Mac

Some quibbles...

So lets start at the top.

With respect to your pig debt analogy, there is no anthropological evidence in pre-history that that is how a village operated. If you owed 5 chickens for my pig, I know you are good for it, along with everyone else in the village. Debts did not have to be maintained.

Certainly there was barter between groups, using whatever means of equivalency for exchange, like gold, amber, etc. etc. But debt didn't really come into this since the groups were not formally linked (you have to see a group again/regularly to pay/receive debt service).

As for Graeber, note that this really starts round the agricultural revolution, particularly in the fertile crescent. It wasn't so much private debt being recorded, but debt to the temple and/or monarch. There is also the concept of the Jubilee Year, mentioned in Biblical regulations, which has been argued about by modern economists since it is anathema to modern capitalism. A Jubilee was (apart from other actions) the wiping out of debt owed. Since it was owed to the temple/monarch it was not a problem to do so, and was seen to rebalance the economy.

Next, it's nice that you now see MMT as valid, but you failed to mention a crucial aspect of the MMTers view that the government can spend freely. So instead of your statement here:

"It can, and should, just make as much as it needs and then go spend it on whatever it wants."

It is in fact:

"It can, and should, just make as much as it needs and then go spend it on whatever it *needs as long as whatever it spends it on is not resource constrained*."

MMTers are very aware of inflation, and know that the government cannot simply spend cash on things that are resource constrained. I am sure this has been pointed out to you before, but you should get a refresher from the MMTers.

Also, taxation is the way of making a fiat currency worthwhile for folks to desire. It doesn't have to 'pay' for anything (within constraints of a fiat currency that the government issues, free floating exchange rate and debts issued by the government are denominated in that currency). As such, taxation can be used to smooth high growth/low growth cycles by increasing/decreasing taxes.

Finally, the examples of the Weimar Germany (and Zimbabwe for a similar reason) is spurious. Germany had reparation debts denominated in foreign currency, along with losing the Saarland to France as a commodity (and cash) resource. Keynes recognised this and called it for what it was - a disaster in the making. For Zimbabwe, it was Mugabe's land 'reforms' that effectively wiped out a resource.



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