Sun, 25 February 2018
As the 2018 Winter Olympics come to a close The Majority Villain Podcast presents to you the villain’s review: our version of events, validating various vignettes of valor - the victor’s view from the vertex. Vamoose vagabonds! Vanish you valley voyagers vibrant only in vanilla vagary! Vended and verified be the vanquisher.
Today’s music brought to you by Napoleon Bonaparte.
The Nigerian Women's bobsled team becomes the first ever African bobsled team to qualify for the winter Olympics.
This of course revitalized once again the conversation that predominantly black nations from warmer regions can in fact have bobsled teams. Jamaican Bobsled documentarian John Candy explains:
(John Candy, Cool Runnings)
Nigeria is one of only 8 participating African countries in the 2018 Winter Olympics. The team is comprised of Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga. The Houston based women are trained track and field athletes. Adigun competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics in the 100-meter hurdles and Onwumere competed in the All-African Games.
Despite previous successes, when Lagos-based writer Emmanuel Dairo spoke with Nigerian freelance reporter Linus Unah, Dairo said of the team, "Very few even know there is a winter games going on, and even fewer care.” Nevertheless, it was Seun Adigun who launched a GoFundMe page in 2016 to help raise money for their trip to the games, and after raising $150,000 she helped to establish the Bobsled & Skeleton Federation of Nigeria. The team eventually competed with a slew of sponsors as part of team Visa. Even if winning wasn’t in the cards… perhaps it wasn’t the point…"Our objective (now) is to be the best representation of Africa that the Winter Olympics have ever witnessed,” Adigun said.
North and South Korea competed as a United Korea this year in hockey, despite being technically still at war! This was the first time some of the South Koreans have met North Koreans. North Korea brought more than 180 cheerleaders (a reminder of how weird shit is over there), and were accompanied during all events by minders that sat with them, disputing any semblance to freedom there might have been. The cheerleaders acted as a stark reminder to how far the two countries have grown apart, including mixed reactions from the women at a moment when a Kim Jong Un impersonator walked in front of them. Awkward shiiiiii…
(Audio, John Candy)
For more on North Korea peruse the Majority Villain podcasts on the device you’re already using. (That means subscribing to the show!) I recommend the January episode, “North Korea Could Be Anywhere” http://www.majorityvillain.com/thepodcast/northkorea.
Teen Olympian snowboarder, Red Gerard, overslept and then won gold in slopestyle after late night binging on Netflix in which Gerard stated that he was watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine - which appears to be available only on overseas Netflix - so it’s pretty understandable, Red. Get it while you can. We dig it. After being woken up by his roommate, Gerard realized soon that he couldn't find his coat and ended up taking his roommate's which was too big. As his family spent the morning shotgunning South Korean beer, the clearly overwhelmed 17 year old clinched gold, cursing on television, ”What the fuck? Hoooly shit”. In related news, Gerard has promised his Olympic roommate either one of his kidneys whenever it is needed.
(Audio, John Candy)
The United States National Hockey League did not participate these Olympic games. The decision was announced on April 4th of 2017, stating they would not be allowing their players to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, because the games take place directly in the middle of the NHL's regular season, causing issues with tickets and other operations. Another factor was injuries. With athletes going to the Olympics, injuries are always a fear that players may miss out on regular season games. Likewise, there are financial losses that NHL teams would have in their existing contracts, like setbacks on regular league play. The International Olympic Committee doesn't actually have a partnership with the NHL. This would mean that the NHL and all teams with participating players would be footing the bill to provide insurance for players as well as travel and lodging costs. All in all, the NHL saw no upside to allowing players to compete.
(Shuffling papers) Aaaand in other news the US women’s hockey team won gold in a dramatic shootout against Canada.
John Candy was born in Newmarket, Ontario. John Candy’s middle name was Franklin.
John Candy graduated from Neil McNeil High School in Toronto.
You’ve been listening to the Majority Villain podcast. I’m Gregory Haddock. Today’s show was written by Ethan Braine and myself. To redeem your villain points for this episode be sure to visit the website at majorityvillain.com and on Facebook and Twitter @majorityvillain. On a side note - Big suprirse, this show is satirical… a HUGE congratulations to the US Women’s Hockey Team on their gold medal. Thanks for the showing the NHL what a bunch of wieners they are. You guys are badass.
Wanna get a gold medal of your own? Go to Apple Podcasts. (But, uh, maybe… I, uh, later I can, uh….) No, no, no - I insist. A link is provided in the show notes…https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/majority-villain/id877298705?mt=2\ go there and leave a review for Majority Villain. A five star review is single handedly the most helpful action you can take to support the work we are doing. Gold medal sold separately.
Status Quos Are For Suckers.
John Candy was 6’2”.
Red Gerard Oversleeping
NHL Not Participating
Nigerian Women's Bobsled Team
Sat, 10 February 2018
Cryptocurrency may just seem like the latest fad for throwing your money away. It is, at least, what one man would classify as (Ethan: fake internet points). And to a degree, he’s right, isn’t he? Think about it. The internet age is a millennial specialty for our throw-away culture — like swiping right and most of the rules of grammar.
Proponents of cryptocurrency, sometimes called digital currency, like it for its more democratic ends based on the very fact that the currency belongs to no one entity. It’s decentralized from a banking system which means it remains in the public commons and is, in essence, unbound by traditional rules of economics.
That doesn’t mean that cryptocurrencies are without their struggle. Far from it. With volatile market fluctuations, cyber crime and hacking, cryptocurrencies have more than traditionally government-backed currency and regulations to contend with. They and consumers are navigating unforeseen obstacles everyday to see if they will become a major player in the future of finance or if they will become just another footnote in internet history alongside grumpy cat memes, duck lip selfies, Charlie Sheen and the mannequin challenge (shudder).
Despite the uphill battle, even the hardest of the hardcore crypto-haters out there will admit that in the face of major obstacles like record-breaking price-drops in value over the month of January 2018, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are unlikely to disappear altogether. Like it or not, we are tech-bound for the duration of our stay on Earth. Cryptocurrency is ipso facto, here to stay.
So, if you’re anything like me, you probably have one gnawing question:
Yeah, I’m going to need some help with this one. (I’m Ethan Braine with Majority Villain)
The drop in Bitcoin is actually $7915.01, as of the recording of this message, though days ago it was nearly $6000. The volatility is violent.
While many cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin allow access to a public ledger, the trails for these funds can be astoundingly complicated and drowned out in the process. Hackers may have numerous “wallets” where questionable transactions are mixed in with clean funds and then sold off at a later date when the money in question is digitally mixed enough through a process called “tumbling”. Think of it as the money laundering of the future!!!
There are plenty of reasons cryptocurrency is a good idea. The elimination of a central government - means no government or company can control the currency or directly manipulate interest rates. There are also no limits on how much money can be transferred so banks are a non-factor, and the fees are almost non-existent. Best yet, they can be used anywhere! So a Bitcoin in Bulgaria is a Bitcoin in Burkina Faso, and a Bitcoin in Belarus is a Bitcoin in Boston and a Bitcoin in Bolivia is a Bitcoin in Bangladesh and a Bitcoin in Bermuda is a Bitcoin in…
The Dark Web makes all kinds of things possible. It’s dark, because it is all the seediest activities humans aren’t typically willing to do in overwhelmingly public, well-lit areas. The following is a re-enactment of one type of seedy dark-web behavior. Listeners be warned as this audio clip contains adult content taken from a real-life dark web incident.
Man 1: Why hello there sir. How do you do?
Man 2: I do. And you?
Man 1: I do too. Thank you. Now, tell me my good man. Where might I purchase some drugs?
Man 2: Why why, my good man. I would be happy to accommodate your drug request by providing said drugs to you, hereby to be referred to simply as “drugs”.
Man 1: Bully! Naturally it would be poor form to simply hand you paper currency, hereby to be referred to as “cash money” for said “drugs”.
Man 2: Understandably so. Let us then conduct our cash money for drugs transaction via a cryptocurrency delivery to one web address, to then be split and muddled into multiple addresses, thereby disguising the cash money and drugs in question.
Man 1: Bully! In that case I will also acquire one unit of sex for more cash money.
Man 2: Bully! Consider the sexy sex for cash money delivered.
…And that’s how it happens. Just. Like. That.
The pain is real. The Mt. Gox hack resulted in the absolute ruin of some investor’s. Real people, real consequences.
From a reddit post in 2014, following the Mt. Gox bankruptcy:
— (originally I tried to withdraw $30,000.00, but Mt. Gox cancelled my withdraw and asked me to change to GBP. Funds never arrived. Mt.Gox admits in the e-mail funds are mine.)
— I have about 90 BTC in my Mt. Gox account, which I would very much like to receive back at some point. It's only just sinking in that it might all be gone.. I can't believe I waited so long before getting it out somewhere safe, but.. here we are.
— I have about 650 BTC in Gox. I haven't slept in days and haven't been able to tell my wife how much I've lost. I was an early adopter, just mining in my basement, and I can't imagine all of my time and work vanishing like this. Please contact me with what I need to do.
Think this all sounds crazy? Don’t. We do it everyday. Try eating a handful of dollar bills and tell me how full you feel, but that may sound stupid because that money is government-backed. However, there is one other type of financial speculation much more similar called a “future”. A future is a financial arrangement in which the thing being traded back and forth is not intrinsically for the item in question, but rather for the value that item has on the market at any given time. In other words, the Wall Street speculator that purchases 1000 future shares of cattle livestock doesn’t actually want 1000 shares of cattle livestock to show up to his office. That idea is so silly, we wouldn’t even know where to begin. But that doesn’t mean those future shares of that very livestock won’t change hands multiple times in one day as men in black suits with black ties yell back and forth on the trading floor to move those future shares. Imagine what the average rancher thinks of all this!
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t all that different. The value isn’t the weight of the bitcoin sitting in your hand. It’s about the value of these “fake internet points” the market places on it. This isn’t just an internet-age phenomenon either. 17th century Dutch saw entire fortunes won and lost on the exchange of exotic tulips. Yes, those tulips. As 1630s trades for tulips ramped up in the Netherlands, a 1000% market-value increase for one type of bulb in the span of a single month was not unheard of. A link to an article comparing the Dutch tulip craze and cryptocurrency on Focus Economics is located in the show notes.
You’ve been listening to the Majority Villain podcast. I’m your host, Gregory Haddock. A very special thanks today to the Villain’s newest, correspondent, Ethan Braine, who helped write much of today’s show. To redeem your villain points for this episode be sure to visit the website at majorityvillain.com and on Facebook and Twitter @majorityvillain. In signing out I would like to ask one very particular favor: please click on the iTunes link in the show notes and leave a review for Majority Villain. A five star review is single handedly the most helpful action you can take to support the work we are doing. Thank you in advance for taking action.
In the meantime… Status quos are for suckers.
Real life stories of people screwed at Gox...
Tulip Mania: When Tulips Cost As Much As Houses
From $900 to $20,000: Bitcoin's Historic 2017 Price Run Revisited
Link to power consumption
Regulation from South Korea
South Korean regulatory page
Top Five hacks
Nvidia asks retailers to stop selling graphics cards to miners
Warren Buffett says he won't invest in cryptocurrency
Info on BitConnect lawsuit