Capital Subversion    
 CitiFinancial failed to intimidate1 comment
category picture18 Nov 2005 @ 23:18
[Crossposted from , my other blog ]

I Kicked CitiFinancial's ass. They gave me a loan (before I went bankrupt) and they secured it with a bunch of random household crap. A Citizen 27" TV, a VCR, a Sanyo 3disc 2spkr Stereo and a Pentium III Computer w/printer. That is the exact level of detail, definitely no serial numbers and I was totally guessing on the specs of the TV and the Stereo. It turns out that I actually have a 21" Electrohome TV and a 5disc Panasonic stereo. Oopsee, but that's ok as you'll find out. So after going bankrupt these guys start talking to me (after finally getting the bankruptcy memo) about how we can settle the security on the loan. They wanted the $900 estimated replacement value of the stuff (I'm not really sure where the values came from, I think it was both me and my loan officer guy pulling numbers out of our asses), after giving me the spiel on how they don't hardly ever settle for less than half the loan amount, and why did I just go bankrupt instead of trying to continue to pay them, and how I've wrecked my credit rating. And I don't care one whit of course about my credit rating, or what they usually do, and I'm certainly not going to talk about $900 hahaha. I made my first counter offer over the telephone. I started at $40. Hahahaha. But it was more funny because then they said $500. They wanted me to come in to meet with them and talk about settling, so I went in, and I spoke with the branch manager C and she and I discussed the matter. I let her know in the end that I was only prepared to settle for a maximum of $110, and if that was insufficient then they could have the stuff. She said they'd have to get back to me and that she didn't think they'd accept the offer of $110. They started calling me a few days later to get on with it, the woman who called apparently not knowing about my offer of $110. The first time she called I think she said $500, but I told her $110 (or take the stuff). The second time she called and that time she said $250, and I again told her $110 (or take the stuff). She said that she thought they would want to take the stuff, and that she would go to get the details of the stuff and asked me to please hold. After a few minutes she came back and said they'd be accept my offer of $110. Bwuwhuaahahah. It was a possibly that it might have cost me up to $150 to assemble all the junk I would have needed to satisfy them. But the junk was so poorly described that just about anything could have passed. I was gonna get the old p3 computer from work (gutted) with a second hand cartidgeless $5 bubblejet printer. Old vcrs are supercheap too. The TV and the Stereo are funnier. Not sure if they'd care much about the difference in the stereo or if I could have gone out and found some junk that more closely matched the description. For the TV, what the hell does 27" mean? There are ways of measuring things which can yield whatever number you are looking for ;) . I could also have said that the stuff all went to Jessica when we split up, but I didn't think of that, and I didn't want to play games. This was a few days ago, and now that I've actually paid them the $110 and got a receipt stating that it is done with, I feel better. I'll stand by my $110, even though it means the combined total that I gave them of $938 (3x 276 monthly payment plus the $110) is about 7% of the roughly $13200 they would have gotten out of their $7550 loan to me (3 years at %30.99).  More >

 Upgrades to FunMoney system0 comments
category picture6 Nov 2005 @ 21:02
I've just been doing a bit of coding to add some stuff to my FunMoney trading system.

- Added account activation requirement - typical activate code by email routine.
- Added option to not show email address on public profile display
- Added ability to update ones own profile details of blurb and show_email (via the show_profile screen when on your own profile)

Code running here. External latest source snapshot here. View the about page with complete changelog at the bottom here

 Thanks for the links jstarrs and blueboy1 comment
category picture6 Nov 2005 @ 15:14
Some good stuff in those links in the comments of the previous post.

I am familiar with the LETS concept and I think its a great way for these local economic activities to be facilitated. But for my system design I wanted a pure mutual credit with no central issuing authority. The idea would be like the Mediated Three-Party Transactions in blueboy's link. Essentially the idea has three parties for every transaction, the offeror, the acceptor (assuming they do in fact accept it) and the STR (Shared Transaction Repository) which verifies the other party identities, ensures the validity of the offer record, and keeps a public record of the transaction.

This is my idea (well not really mine - i unknowingly fished it out of the noosphere with the help of people like Bernard Lietaer and Todd Boyle) of a means of accounting for stuff without reference to national fiat currencies. Such a system can just be used by people who want to use it, regardless of the health (or existence) of national currencies. It can be used to build cross linked trust networks which scale to an infinite level, so eventually people wont need to put their faith in governments (and their bankmasters) for their livlihoods and can instead put that trust in themselves. All that is needed to sustain this system is at the very minimum one powered computer with the software installed. A network of powered computers (like the internet is) would just makes the system more robust.

I've fallen into a bit of a doomsday crowd as of late (probably from hanging around on for a while haha), focussed mainly on two big problems: the infinite growth required by central-bank-interest-bearing-notes capitalism, and the peak in oil production that we seem to be witnessing now. Thinking about these scenarios and what could happen in a situation of society collapse have been major motivators in developing a new money system. I have serious doubts that any new money system will take hold on a large scale until, at the least, national currencies like the USD start to implode. Because for the great many, existing national currencies are simply "good enough".  More >

 New forms of money3 comments
category picture23 Oct 2005 @ 15:04
So I am trying to figure out how to not use fiat money anymore. I've thought a lot about money and done some reading. I liked the idea of a ROCS (a Robust Complementary Community Currency System - see here)

And well I've taken a crack at a basic implementation in Perl. Yay. I wanted to do that for a long time and finally had enough proof-of-concept success with some encryption modules that I decided to give it a shot.

So now I have this thing that can be used to create keypairs, create offers, and accept offers. Everything is digitally signed, so as long as people protect their passphrases for their private keys, there should be no way to create any kind of fraudulent entries.

Now also I've finally got SSL running on my development box (thanks to people in efnet #apache for some help over the last bump in my configuration). You can reach the machine here and an externally hosted (thanks Ming) small source code bundle here  More >

Lets end our reliance on national fiat currencies and the banking institutions that decide how they'll be issued.

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