Sunday School

Sunday School 22nd August 2021.

This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  TheEncogitationer 1 month ago.

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  • #38749

    Just say you’re an atheist if you are one. It helps others to free themselves too. The vast majority of atheists are secularists and have no problem with the idea of Religious Freedom. It is Religious Privilege that is the issue for us as are all incidents of violence based of religion or belief. When it comes to the most pressing moral issues of the day we need staunch atheists not the proudly pious to take charge.

    I have always found it strange, when debating with Christians, that they think modern scientific discovery somehow boosts their faith.

    Catholics often regret asking me “What have you got against our Church?”.

    Science vs. religion as Greek priests lead the anti-vax movement.

    The Taliban and women’s rights.

    Pakistani and other blasphemy laws must go.

    World of Woo: We must not be frightened by uncertainty, especially in medicine.

    Environment: Rain fell on Greenland’s Ice Sheet for the first time in recorded history. Fire was once helpful to an ecosystem but now it just destroys.

    Just how big can the Quantum world be?

    We are effectively alone in the universe but maybe the James Webb Space Telescope will find a sign. See also the “fingerprints” video below.

    What’s it like living with a phenomenal memory and can it be learned?

    Long Reads: Why is it so hard to be rational? A scientific approach to explaining consciousness. Not all Neanderthals were ‘cavemen’: half were women.

    Sunday Book Club:  The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don’t.

    Some photographs taken last week.

    While you are waiting for the kettle to boil……

    Podcast: The state of the World with Sam Harris and Dambisa Moyo.

    Coffee Break Video:  What if megachurches were not run by Liars for Jesus. TED: The fingerprints of life beyond Earth. Take an eight minute walk with Amal.

    #38751

    Have a great week everyone!

    #38753

    _Robert_
    Participant

    That megachurch video,LOL. Thanks Reg!

    #38757

    Unseen
    Participant

    My contribution to Sunday School this week is a bit off-the-wall.

    OnlyFans.com had become a major internet destination where amateur and pro pornsters alike could ply their wares in relative privacy. It’s a DIY porn site that takes out the middleman of website operators who buy content and charge visitors an entrance fee. Instead, the performers produce the content, put it up on OnlyFans, and OnlyFans handled the processing of the fees, taking a small cut.

    That WAS their business plan.

    Until, that is, the banks and payment processors laid down the law: They didn’t feel comfortable with that sort of business.

    And so, OnlyFans felt forced to ban explicit content, which, frankly, doomed them. (I’m reminded of Playboy Magazine’s short-lived plan to ban nudity.)

    But privacy guru Edward Snowden is offering them a way out by taking Bitcoin as payment. Bitcoin eliminates the middlemen, the banks and payment processors, which would allow the performers and OnlyFans to take their payments without fear of the sort of indirect censorship that OnlyFans was subjected to.

    Bitcoin is easy enough to buy. One simply joins one of the brokerages that sell the cryptocurrency, which includes crypto-only or stock exchanges that sell Bitcoin. Examples of the former are Coinbase and Binance, and examples of the latter are eTrade and Webull, though nowadays I wager most stock exchanges will sell you Bitcoin.

    Not so easy, though, is securing it. You can leave it on the brokerage site and there have been breakins that have cost people their entire holdings. The alternative is to put them into a coin wallet, but many will find them hard to use. The additional problem with a wallet is that should you or your heirs lose track of the password, the investment is gone forever. There is no backdoor. At least with a brokerage, you have someone to appeal to. For that reason, for many people, the most reasonable strategy is to leave the coins in their online account.

    There is another problem OnlyFans was facing: Shy investors not wanting to sink big cash into a porn biz. However, one wonders if a business that had been raking in $2 billion a year really needs investors. Why not just self-finance any expansion and keep it a privately-owned operation?

    Read more on Snowden’s suggestion here.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  Unseen.
    #38760

    Unseen
    Participant

    One more contribution…

    Extremism has always been present in American politics, but it’s never before had the power it has now.

    When Extremism Goes Mainstream

    #38773

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    The larger story is that the banks and payment processors were pressured to do this by Federal authorities acting on the FOSTA Act that prohibits online advertisement of prostitution, driven by the present moral panic about “sex trafficking.”

    The method the Federal authorities used derives inspiration and precedent from Operation Chokepoint, where Federal authorities were putting pressure on banks and payment processors to stop facilitating online gun sales.

    And as always, people think the crocodile will never get to them. *

    *(I always use the example of the crocodile instead of quoting Rev. Martin Niemoller, whom I can’t stand precisely because he admitted he knew what was going on in Nazi Germany and didn’t speak up.)

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