The meteoric (and illogical) rise of GameStop is just the beginning

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source: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/the-rich-got-richer-during-covid-19-heres-how-american-billionaires-performed/

The status quo is under attack. Its power has always been more illusion than fact, and that façade is becoming more transparent. This is broadly true, but also specifically from the vantage of how we determine value.

Oil futures traded for negative dollar values in 2020. In 2021 the stock price of GameStop, a retail-based video game store which was struggling even before the pandemic, rose 2,000% (20x) in a fortnight.

The old truth has always been that value is dictated. The new paradigm is that it is subjective. We decide.

My primary window into this over the past decade…


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It’s my last night in Ecuador and I’m leaving a bar with some friends when one of the bartenders runs out after us.

“Are you the guy who exchanges $2 bills?”

“Yeah”

He pulls out a ten. “I’ll take five.”

Fifteen years after Ecuador adopted the US Dollar as it’s official currency, the issue still stirs debate. Dollarization was so unpopular when first announced that protesters took over the capital and the government collapsed. The replacement government stuck with the plan though. There wasn’t much choice. …


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In April 2005 I was living in Cuenca, Ecuador, teaching English. I had just graduated college in the United States and was still very new to the place — but there was already a simmering fire about to explode. The President, who was hailed as a courageous defender of the nation’s heritage and champion of the poor when elected, had quickly moved to the right as soon as the votes were counted. A few months previous to my own arrival, he had fired an unsympathetic court and replaced it with his friends. …


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My window was open, and I heard a cacophony of celebration pour in from outside. It didn’t build but exploded all at once as if the entire neighborhood had found out simultaneously. I knew immediately what it meant: Donald Trump had lost. People hung out of windows banging pots and pans, cheering and screaming while a rhythmic pulse of car horns blared up from the street in all directions.

I live at the very top of Manhattan in Washington Heights, a mostly Dominican neighborhood, and decided to ride my bike all the way down the island to witness the varied…


Or, how to cede your power in one easy step

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There is tremendous energy wasted on electoral politics. At best it is a distraction, at worst it serves to suffocate any alternative.

To clarify, this isn’t an attack on voting per se, it’s an attack on what large scale political elections in the United States have become.

We are beaten over the head our entire life with the notion that change begins at the ballot box. That’s false. The reality of change is that it’s uncomfortable. Voting will never yield substantive change because it is designed to prohibit the very discomfort which is a necessary prerequisite to substantive change.

In…


Their focus on privacy and decentralization carry forth the original Bitcoin vision

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When I first became aware of Bitcoin, it was a revolution. It seemed immediately clear that it would cause major disruption to the status quo or be suffocated in its infancy. This was in early 2013, so it was already going for four years, but the project was still in the early stages. It seemed possible, nay probable, that the full weight of governments and central banks would come down on it and the community consisted of lots of visionaries and dreamers who thought Bitcoin could disrupt a corrupt system.

A lot has changed since then. Bitcoin is no longer…


But this time, the guns will turn inward

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A few days ago, a car drove through a Black Lives Matter protest in Times Square. Maybe it hit home because I had been considering going, or maybe it was following the story online and scrolling though the endless comments. It was clearly an intentional act meant to physically harm protesters. That’s attempted murder. Yet, many internet comments defended the driver and attacked the protest — ‘That’s what you get for blocking the street, lol.’ The ramming took place in a crosswalk while the driver had a red light in an area that is mostly a massive pedestrian plaza with…


The Capital Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) is the latest, but the Paris Commune is history’s most famous example of liberated space.

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Paris, 1871.

The city of lights; the city of love — Paris is most famous for being in flames. The Paris Commune burned so bright that upwards of thirty thousand Parisians died during the government siege of the city in La Semaine ensanglantei — the bloody week.

Paris has a long history of capturing the world’s attention with romantic idealism and blood. …


The Capital Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) is the latest in a long history of free territories

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A flag used by the black army (translated).

When the February 1917 revolution overthrew the Tsar in Russia, political prisoners were freed from the jails in Moscow and looked up to as heroes who had fought the old regime. Later that year, in October, the Bolsheviks led a second revolution and installed the “dictatorship of the proletariat.” In the civil war that followed, one of the prisoners released in February, an anarchist named Nestor Makhno, would take control of eastern Ukraine with an army 100,000 strong and lead the charge for the “third revolution.”

It’s surprising how little is written about Makhno and the Free Territory, considering it…


Promises of change by politicians ring hollow to many of us

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The death of George Floyd was the match, but the kindling had been piling up for a long time. The tragedy is not a police officer slowly murdering an unarmed black man in plain sight and in front of witnesses, the tragedy is that we live in a country that enables that behavior. The racism and police abuse that killed George Floyd was built upon a myriad of acts of unchecked subtle racism and unquestioned police power. There are only so many times politicians can promise change and fail to deliver before that rage boils over.

Riot is desperation. It’s…

John Dennehy

Writing about social movements, international politics and cryptocurrency — often from South America or Asia. Author of Illegal https://amzn.to/38NQveX

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