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> I knew about bitcoin only as an investment vehicle favored by several essentially sweet nerds close to my heart—and I knew, too, that cryptocurrencies are the pet untraceable funding model of the far-right.

The author really hasn't been paying attention if she failed to realize it is the pet funding model of drug dealers, ransomers, scammers, and money launderers, and only instead opted to use it to mock the political spectrum she doesn't agree with. This article is poor journalism at best.

I can't believe someone paid the author to go on this cruise and to write such shoddy work. I'm not a fan of the cryptocurrency space, but I had to stop reading this -- it was a Im-better-than-you hit piece to justify the paid trip.

The sentence that you quote is one in which she professes her ignorance about the subject. That should be sufficient to lower ones expectations about this being an academic paper.

> This article is poor journalism at best.

Not all articles need to be ProPublica investigative journalism. There's no shame creating well written, entertaining, lighthearted content, even if it's not 100% accurate.

Alt/far-right has become the ultimate boogieman for subjective "journalism". Mythical, faceless people who are simultaneously hacker geniuses and inbred neanderthals. Anything and everything that is not clearly within the approved Overton window must be part of this vast, conspiratorial underbelly.

The ultimate irony of labeling anyone ideologically different "*-ist" being itself a form of bigotry is lost on them.

I wasn't too offended by that bit. I checked out her source, and moved on. I think it's a pretty interesting piece - an interesting slice of life in a very strange time.

You weren't really paying attention if you failed to realize the author was a woman. Poor readership at best.


> I had to stop reading this -- it was a Im-better-than-you hit piece

Her name is shown next to the headline.

Laurie is a male name too

Since when has it been the case that the far-right are never drug dealers, ransomers, scammers, or money launderers?

I thoroughly enjoyed this piece precisely because she did describe the dystopian soup of all of the above that decentralisation and distribution has given us. If anything you should have walked away from this article with the realisation that, thanks to it all, we can no longer truly organize ourselves into such narrow little boxes of prejudice.

I'm guessing you didn't make it to the end of the article? I'll save you a tap on the back-button, and quote the part that I think you did yourself a disservice by missing:

"But it’s also the case that no amount of mathematics can delete human prejudice, and no ledger can logic away human cruelty. If the crypto community hasn’t realized that yet, it soon will."

This is probably the wisest thing I've ever heard anyone say, ever, who has had even the slightest contact with crypto-culture.

I'm not a fan of the far-right, but this begging the question/false equivalency doesn't sit well with me:

> Since when has it been the case that the far-right are never drug dealers, ransomers, scammers, or money launderers?

Since when has it been the case that the far-right are always drug dealers, ransomers, scammers, or money launderers?

The political inclinations of these people are a factor, but not the sole reason. 1 + X = 2, only if X = 1. There are many more reasons why such as trip would attract scumbags and political idealogies aren't the whole story.

Left/right is a different political spectrum to libertarianism, totalitarianism, communism, liberalism etc. Fascism is closer to totalitarianism (which is the polar opposite of libertarianism), but is far-right.

shshhdhs's post complaining about the author injecting their political views into this piece indicated that they (shshhdhs) felt that the author was singling out the far-right leaning people she met on the cruise, for targeting, and that her cynicism of the crypto- scene is derived, somehow, from the fact that she (the author) held political views incompatible with the people she met that she associated as being far-right. shshhdhs's response to this was to indicate that the crypto- scene is also the realm of drug dealers, ransomers, scammers, etc.

But these things are not incompatible. Far-right scammers, drug dealers, scammers, etc. exist. So do far-left versions of the same. So it really isn't relevant to their (shshhdhs) criticism, and thats the point I wish to make.

It seems to me that shshhdhs is only complaining about the authors political views with regards to this cruise, because they are incompatible with shshhdhs's views of the same, and that shshhdhs is making the statement that crypto- is more the domain of drug-dealers, etc. therefore "it can't be all far-right people in the scene". I merely wish to point out that if you're left-, or if you're right- wing, you can still be a bad person for other reasons: drugs, ransom, scams, etc.

Crypto- is an equaliser, and that is really the big point. Ones political ideology is irrelevant to the technology - its just as useful for people who wish do good, however they define 'good' as it is for those who do things others think are 'bad', for whatever that definition may be.

The authors own conclusion - the very last sentence of the article - demonstrates that she gets it: it doesn't matter what your political views, crypto- is going to let you continue to espouse them, whether they are good or bad. Maybe thats offensive to some, but it doesn't seem to me that it bothers the author that much. What seems to bother her, is the rampant sexism that she observed, and I concur with her statement that it seems technology is never going to solve this. Only humans will.

Found John McAfee

I'm not sure how you get "mock the political spectrum she doesn't agree with" from her accurately reporting here that it is used to fund a current political movement in the United States, using the name that movement chose for itself. This statement is purely factual. Now if she'd described it as "the favorite mechanism for American Nazi-wannabes incompetently laundering their Russian cash", that would have been mockery.

Yeah, she's literally, in that opening you quoted from, admitting to not having paid attention.

Does the later choice of focus on the connection between bitcoin and, to quote, 'libertarian-shading-to-far-right` thinking render the observations she makes, on a cruise catering apparently to many people of that mindset, invalid?

Aren’t journalists paid to pay attention? I’ve never seen much “far right” in crypto land (fascism we’re talking about right?), as much as I’ve seen libertarianism or crypto-anarchy... this kind of naive “let's get rid of governments and everyone will be happy and cooperate peacefully” that Roger Ver espouses really well.

As software developers are paid to write code. And yet I couldn't begin to tell you the difference between Node and Angular.

You haven't been paid to specifically research that difference.

If you think her editor was disappointed in how it came out, you don't know journalism very well. If they wanted someone to write knowledgeably about crypto, they would have hired someone else.

Instead, the point seems to have been to pay a writer who didn't know much about it to go on the cruise and write about what happened. The only real qualification needed for this sort of piece is being able to talk to people and write well.

"paying attention" and "researching the difference" imply distinctly different patterns of activity. I was objecting to the former, and am asserting that the article is an exploration of one facet of the latter.

libertarianism IS far-right to the author.

>> I can't believe someone paid the author to go on this cruise and to write such shoddy work.

This is how this level of journalism works: CyproCruise has a promotion budget. That budget includes "free" tickets for journalists. They offer these tickets to hip/cool outlets but, as this is a cruise, they need the name of the journalist before actually sending the ticket. So hip/cool outlet sends bio/headshot of the journalist they want to send.

She is admittedly short, petite, young and has cool hair. In her headshot she probably looks 22. Boxes ticked. Cryptocruise sees her both as another attractive female and, being misogynist pigs, thinks her incapable of doing any real damage. So she gets the ticket. Whether her bosses tell her they have paid for the ticket, or that it has been provided, we can never know.

Everyone got what they thought they wanted. Cryptocruise got another attractive female on their boat, and at a discount. News outlet got what they wanted: a colorful description of exactly how misogynist crypto has become. And we readers go our thing too: I actually read the entire article. It reinforced my understanding and assured me that cypto is not long for this world, at least in its current form. Everyone got their thing and made a few bucks doing so. That's how journalism works.

[Think of how awful the article might have been. Imagine if they had sent a 45yo hetero guy, someone who might have fallen in with a very different crowd on this boat.]

no-one looks at the Laurie Penny types and their "cool hair" and thinks they'll portray a positive (or even neutral/journalistic) image of libertarians.

Positive image of libertarians. OK.

It reinforced your understanding that crypto is not long for this world even though we never learned from the article how many people were on the cruise?

Plenty of thought leaders in crypto were not on this cruise. It's easy to cherry pick your opinions from one event where people behave poorly.

Except she's Laurie Penny who has been an extremely active anti-men writer for a long time. If they were expecting anything other than the worst hatchet job imaginable, then they didn't do even 5 minutes of research.


You honestly think these people read her bio? The people promoting this cruise didn't get past her headshot. I'm interested to see which other journalists were invited.

I think she's perhaps more well known for this type of thing than you realize.

So they probably wanted her to write a piece like this to generate controversy?

Possibly, but I don't think it's an accident to put literally the most hostile journalist imaginable on board.

Nah, the most hostile journalist possible would have been the FT's Izabella Kaminska. Or possibly David Gerard.

FT would have been Jemima Kelly. https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2018/08/02/1533182400000/One-for...

If I'd gone I'd definitely have tried for the McAfee interview. As it was I just made sure Laurie had read my book first.

(of course we know each other, it's the worldwide SJW conspiracy)

Grouping the people she writes about under "men" is an insult to the rest of us.

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