That would be more convincing if the scientific papers were written in a way that make the point as clearly as the coded-up version of Monty Hall problem. In practice, it's more like they publish the assembly code and when you ask why they didn't do it in Python or something, they lecture you about the need for formal rigor.
I think there's generally selection bias about what part of an exposition makes the "a-ha" hit in two ways. First, your a-ha moment may not be the same as someone else's, but you're less likely to observe theirs. Second, your own a-ha is likely the product of a larger production than the moment itself of which you're most attuned to.
A good mathematical author must be guarding against both of these selection biases.
Reminds me of the (probably apocryphal) story about the military officer test that asks "How do you dig up a ditch?" where most candidates answer with detailed instructions about how dig it, when the "correct" answer is something like "I say, 'Private, dig me a ditch!'"
The point being that, at that level, it's more important to know how to deploy your soldiers toward a goal as opposed to the low-level details of every individual task.
The entire point was: "Heh, I'm going to make light of this issue while not conveying any helpful insight for thinking about it, and if it's close enough to satire and takes the right position, I'll make it into the NY times."
Seriously, op-eds like this remind me of what my selection of commentary looked like before the internet.
How is it clever to joke about "gosh, the worst we get 'round these parts is cheating on scantrons, shuck-a-muck."
That's not what strawman means, and the point is that different measures protect you from different things and you shouldn't fault one for not protecting against others (outside its "threat model").
Paper dollars are designed to protect against counterfeit. That's all. To protect against muggers requires either a) sacrificing the desirable properties of paper dollars, or b) use of a separate security layer (vaults, safes, holding little at a time on you, etc). In no case are those limitations a failing of the paper dollar itself.
They likewise don't themselves protect against someone convincing you to give them your paper dollars under false pretenses. Same points apply: to handle that threat, you rely on laws, trust networks, escrows (like credit card arbitration) etc. Still not a problem with the dollar, just outside its threat model.
I made the previous comment in the hopes of compressing that point into one sentence. Perhaps I failed, but at no point did I misattribute a position to the GGP. "Your position implies X" != "you are advocating X" ... even and especially if you're not advocating X!
"Physical cash" stored at a third-party like a bank or credit union does have mugger protections - they have safes and vaults and security guards and insurance. If a bitcoin "wallet" service opened that offered those things, consumers would be more likely to take it seriously.
Putting a fortune into Mt. Gox or someone similar is like burying your cash in someone else's backyard. You don't need mugger protection, you need common sense.
>"Physical cash" stored at a third-party like a bank or credit union does have mugger protections - they have safes and vaults and security guards and insurance. If a bitcoin "wallet" service opened that offered those things, consumers would be more likely to take it seriously.
Indeed. But you wouldn't fault the paper dollar itself for failing to have the protections of the vault, just as you shouldn't fault the Bitcoin itself for failing to have he protections of escrow, nor compare a paper apple to a vaulted orange.
Yes, 3rd party services will help with the trust issue in the Bitcoin ecosystem. They are still not a failing of Bitcoin per se, just as lack of built in mugger protections is not a failure of the paper dollar per se.
So the question remains: Is there a bitcoin wallet that offers such a guarantee?
The Federal Government has up to $100,000 for deposits.
Banks themselves will provide funds bank in case of fraud, to increase consumer confidence.
Credit Cards have a number of consumer guarantees (for example, did you know if you purchase an item with a credit card, the credit card company will extend the warranty of the item in many cases--read the fine print).
As another commenter said, yes I'm "paying" for that insurance by giving up some amount of control, but I think before BitCoin or another decentralized currency can reach critical mass, it will need service providers to offer similar protections.
Bitcoin are also vulnerable to physical theft and the OP isn't talking about physical theft of currency -- I'm pretty sure you know that and are electing to be snarky in spite of that.
A credit/debit card when stolen, regardless of physical or electronic purloining, is backed by a set of consumer protection laws, regulations and policies -- some obviously required by government but some provided without legal obligation. Further a bank account, a brokerage account or any number of real money stores are insured against theft and loss (bankruptcy). BTC are not.
This is mostly irrelevant. Bitcoin "has no" escrow arbitrator in the very same sense that cash (esp physical) has no escrow arbitrator. It's just something you have to layer on top if you want that service, the same way you would for a cash transaction. To the extent that it mimics cash's irreversibility, then of course it inherits the need for third parties when you actually want this kind of reversibility.
(Normally at this point I'm supposed to mention bitcoin's embedded programmable contract system that further facilitates escrow, but I'm worried that bringing it up at the same level would encourage the very same apples-to-oranges comparison I'm trying to get people to stop making!)
I'm not sure I understand how the law school would be "stupid" for being indifferent to local vs 3rd-world volunteerism, let alone strongly preferential to the former.
3rd-world volunteerism involves working without any of the amenities you take for granted (e.g. using different toilets), so it's not much of a vacation, and it involves helping people who are a lot worse off materially than "ghetto" kids. Unless law schools started getting nativist recently, of course ...