My first BBS

I joined my first BBS (bulletin board system) on November 18, 1994. It was called Fun City and was operated by Kevin Diehl.

(Wikipedia) A bulletin board system, or BBS, is a computer server running software that allows users to connect to the system using a terminal program. Once logged in, the user can perform functions such as uploading and downloading software and data, reading news and bulletins, and exchanging messages with other users through email, public message boards, and sometimes via direct chatting. Many BBSes also offer on-line games, in which users can compete with each other, and BBSes with multiple phone lines often provide chat rooms, allowing users to interact with each other. Bulletin board systems were in many ways a precursor to the modern form of the World Wide Web, social networks and other aspects of the Internet. Low-cost, high-performance modems drove the use of online services and BBSes through the early 1990s. Infoworld estimated there were 60,000 BBSes serving 17 million users in the United States alone in 1994, a collective market much larger than major online services like CompuServe.

State Farm Drive Safe & Save Mobile

If you don’t know this about me already, I’m not very concerned about privacy. I think you should have it if you want it and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to get it, but it’s not a high priority for me. Might be someday. Not today. As Estelle Costanza said, “I’m out there, Georgie!” I’m willing to give up some (a lot of) privacy to get some conveniences.

That said, today I activated State Farm’s Drive Save & Save program. Keep a little Bluetooth beacon in my car that works with an app on my iPhone to track my driving. According to their website the track acceleration; braking; turns; mileage; speed and time of day (rush hour, late night, etc)

According to the marketing material (and my local agent) I’ll get an immediate 5% discount and another 20% if I don’t go above the national average of 12,000 miles a year. “More small discounts may be tallied if you prove to be a safe motorist, do not drive over 80 mph and avoid driving between midnight and 4 a.m.” I think I meet all of those goals but we’ll see.

I found this while googling around: “State Farm warns that some drivers already getting a low-mileage discount may see a rate hike. “If you currently receive a premium reduction for low estimated annual mileage (under 7,500 miles annually for personal use) and your vehicle is actually driven more than that, your premium may increase at a future policy renewal period.”

I know this kind of thing freaks a lot of people out. But not me. I’ll try it and if I don’t like the results I’ll stop. And if State Farm fucks me over, I’ll just switch providers.

Do we have control over our thoughts?

If the answer is “yes,” when and how do we choose what we’re going to think next? And does that mean it’s possible to know what my next thought is going to be before I think it? (I don’t think so) And if we can choose what we are going to think, can we choose to think nothing for the next 30 seconds?

I’ve been reading up on this for a good while now and I’ve concluded it only feels like I’m thinking my thoughts. In fact, the thoughts are thinking me. I’m that little kid in the toy car on the front of the grocery cart. I’m turning the steering wheel left and right and — occasionally — the car turns in the direction I steered. And before you ask, no, I have no fucking idea who’s pushing the cart… I just know it ain’t me.

A Blockchain for Facts

The most interesting idea associated with blockchain have nothing to do with money. It’s ideas like this that really grab me. I fiddled with Klout when it first came out but quickly decided I didn’t care much about my ‘influence’ score. But it would be cool to have a high Rep score.

Here’s how it works: After one group of people joins a prediction market and bets on an outcome, Augur pays others to identify that outcome—to verify what happened. But it doesn’t just pay them a flat fee. On its blockchain, Augur houses its own cryptocurrency, a digital token that encourages people to get things right. “If you’re not telling the truth, you stand to lose a bunch of money,” Krug says.

Augur calls its digital token the Rep. This cryptocurrency doesn’t let you buy and sell stuff. It tracks your reputation—that is, how often you tell the truth. People bet their Rep tokens that they are indeed telling the truth—reporting the facts as they actually are. If most others agree, the system returns their tokens and pays them in cash.