/r/Bitcoin FAQ – Newcomers please read

Welcome To The /r/Bitcoin Sticky FAQMaybe you’re here because you’ve received a tip on social media, or maybe you’ve just been hearing a lot recently about Bitcoin and are wondering what the big deal is? The following videos are a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little bit about its long term potential:Video 1: What is Bitcoin?Video 2: What Is Bitcoin & Why Should You Care?Video 3: The real value of bitcoin and crypto currency technologyFor lots of additional video resources check out the videos wiki page.Where can I buy bitcoins?You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin (from as little as $1 worth) and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank account. A good list of exchanges sorted by region can be found on the exchanges wiki here.Note: Bitcoins are valued at whatever market price people are willing to pay for them in a 24/7/365 balance of supply vs demand. Here are a couple useful sites [1] and [2] that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just Google “1 bitcoin in (your local currency)”.Where can I spend bitcoins?An extensive list can be found at TheBitcoinPage.com but some of the key ones are below:StoreProductMicrosoftXbox games, phone apps and softwareSpendabit and The Bitcoin ShopSearch engines of online retailers accepting bitcoin with millions of resultsOverstockEverything under the sunGyftGift cards for thousands of retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Whole Foods, CVS, etc.NewEgg, TigerDirect and DellFor all your electronic needsExpedia, Cheapair and 9flatsFor when you need to get awayWordpress, Namecheap, Mullvad and PIAHandy web servicesFoodler and TakeawayTakeout delivered to your door!HumbleBundle and GreenmanGamingFor when you need to get your game onReddit GoldPremium membership which can be gifted to othersCoinmap and AirBitz are helpful to find local businesses accepting bitcoins. UK residents can find a comprehensive directory of shops, pubs, websites and other places in the UK that accept bitcoins at wheretospendbitcoins.co.uk.There are also lots of charities which accept bitcoin donations, such as Wikipedia, Red Cross, Amnesty International, United Way, ACLU and the EFF. You can find a longer list here.Merchant ResourcesThere are several benefits to accepting bitcoin as a payment option if you are a merchant;1-3% savings over credit cards or PayPal.No chargebacks (final settlement in 10 minutes as opposed to 3+ months with credit cards / PayPal).Accept business from a global customer base.Increased privacy for your customers.The payment processor can convert 100% of the sale to the currency of your choice for deposit to your account which means there is no need to hold bitcoins and no exposure to price volatility. Alternatively, you can choose to keep a certain percentage of the sale in bitcoin if you wish to begin accumulating it.If you are interested in accepting bitcoin as a payment method, there are several options available;BitPayCoinbaseCoinkiteSnapcardGoCoinCan I mine bitcoin?Mining bitcoins can be a fun hobby but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here. Still have mining questions? The friendly folks at /r/BitcoinMining would be happy to help you out.If you want to contribute to the bitcoin network by hosting the blockchain and propagating transactions you can run a full node using this setup guide.Securing your bitcoinsWith bitcoin you can be your own bank and personally secure your bitcoins or you can use trusted companies such as Coinbase and Circle which have secured wallets where they hold the bitcoins for you and provide insurance.If you prefer to have direct control over your coins without having to use a trusted third party there are many options in the wallets wiki.For increased security use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email!2FA requires a second confirmation code to access your account, usually from a text message or app, making it much harder for thieves to gain access.Android 2FAGoogle AuthenticatorAuthyiOS 2FAGoogle AuthenticatorAuthyEarning bitcoinsJust like any other form of money, you can earn bitcoins by working for them. Here are a few resources for bitcoin jobs./r/Jobs4BitcoinsCoinality job boardBitgigs job boardFind Bitcoin JobsTippingUse ChangeTip.com (/r/changetip) for tipping people on Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, GitHub and more! (you can even use custom monikers to tailor your tip to the discussion or add a bit of humor). Read more about ChangeTip at their reddit wiki.Go to /r/FreeBits to get a few bits to practice with and then tip them forward. Go to /r/BitTippers to play games and solve riddles to earn your bits. Don’t forget your flair!Bitcoin UnitsOne Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. The most common ones are listed below:UnitSymbolValueInfomillibitcoinmBTC1,000 per bitcoinSI unit for milli i.e. millilitre (ml) or millimeter (mm)microbitcoinμBTC1,000,000 per bitcoinSI unit for micro i.e microlitre (μl) or micrometre (μm)satoshisat100,000,000 per bitcoinSmallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventorFor example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $500 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:0.02 BTC20 mBTC20,000 μBTC (colloquially referred to as bits)For more information check out the Bitcoin units wiki.Still have questions? The friendly folks at /r/BitcoinBeginners would be happy to help you out. If you decide to post a question in /r/Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit. If you’re looking for more advanced information, an extensive list of (frequently updated) bitcoin related, peer-reviewed, research papers can be found here.Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending mod approval. The original sticky can still be found here.Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy! via /r/Bitcoin http://ift.tt/1xNeBkB

Free Books Related to the Singularity

These are in the order of how interesting I found them. The first is very graphic so I’d advise against reading it if you are young or easily offended.

Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect
my review

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Harry Potter Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky

Artificial Evil

my review

Rapture of the Nerds

I don’t know, Timmy, being God is a big responsibility



The Egg

The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Robots Will Steal Your Job but That’s Ok

Eroom’s Law

It’s often cited that it costs more and more billions to bring a drug to market. Erooms law is Moores law backwards. Countervailing forces like regulation are blamed for this phenomenon. (The author of this piece seems ludicrously positive on the past success of pharma while I think the reality is that LDL lowering drugs are disappointingly non-efficacious and aspirin is just a masker of problems in the body. I say this mostly in response to the better than the Beatles argument which seems to treat human health as some sort of a solved problem.)

My own theory is more radical. The whole practice of drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry is flawed on a fundamental level. The body is a finely tuned machine more complex then any man made machine. It is so complicated that we simplify it to a comical degree. We come up with ideas like “the bad cholesterol” in heart disease or “the bad COX” in pain relief. We then come up with chemicals that will hopefully impact our chosen villain. However both Cox-1 and Cox-2, LDL and HDL are manufactured by the body and function as components in tiny machines not chemical waste products or some spice like salt which needs to be reduced to make a tomato sauce taste better. Moreover we often do not even know why a chemical like LDL is reduced by a compound so it is difficult to anticipate side effects. As science has advanced we have gotten better at showing just how efficacious our drugs aren’t but also how frequently they have side effects. It’s not only that drugs are expensive and time consuming to bring to market but also that they are now more frequently withdrawn. It may sound like heresay to some but I doubt magic pills with strong benefits are even really out there to be found. It’s unlikely there’s a particular acid that you could open up the hood of your car and pour in that would have that great of a benefit. This is not a condemnation of all medicine just the general current paradigm of pharmaceuticals that are supposed to effect a disease process. Antibiotics have a use, so do vaccines and surgery and the reason they work is clear. But in general the approach of medicine needs a paradigm shift that treats the body as a machine. In the future we won’t treat depression by just adding serotonin or heart disease by lowering LDL. We will instead rewire the brain and repair the plumbing of the circulatory system. The earliest pharmaceutical drugs were things like opium and cocaine I’m sure they sailed through regulatory hurdles in development but what is really the point they were never very good. Modern antidepressants some how increase the risk of suicide.

I don’t like analogies but I think this is an apt one. We are working with a car we inherited which is our body. We are only beginning to understand how it works. Its as if your doctor was a mechanic for a space ship. Rather than saying you have a broken muffler the mechanic would be in the position of well we added this chemical into the gas tank and we found a statistically significant result that most people did see a reduction in noise from the muffler after this treatment. It later turns out that it was just the right small amount of sugar added to the gas tank to slow the engine down without junking it. Isn’t the “miracle drug” metformin just agitating the liver in a similar fashion? In a new paradigm we will know how to replace the muffler (stem cells) or even build a better one with biomedical engineering.

So in sum I have a libertarian bias and would prefer we went as far as to do away with the FDA. But I don’t think its fair to blame them for the rising cost and general lack of success in today’s pharmaceuticals. I also don’t think the garbage the industry marketing machine has been jamming down our throats is just too tough to top. I think we’re moving from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence.