Inflation, deflation, do you see the future?

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Seattle, Feb 7, 2023.

  1. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I don't think it's such a large grain of salt. Most people here have investments. If you have a 401k, for example, you are probably invested in dozens of companies. Personally I still have a lot of Tesla and Microchip stock. I still technically have Enphase stock but it's in an exchange fund now. I even still have some Qualcomm stock.

    Just for fun I checked my 401k. It is a mix of eight funds. I looked at the biggest fund - VOO (Vanguard S&P 500 exchange-traded fund.) It in turn is made up of:

    Apple Inc
    Berkshire Hathaway
    NVIDIA Corp
    Exxon Mobil Corp
    Unitedhealth Group Inc
    Tesla (so even more Tesla!)

    I often post here on topics related to EV's, telecommunications, environmentalism and alternative energy. You could think I am biased towards renewables because I own Enphase, which is a solar inverter company. You could think I am biased against renewables because I own Exxon through my 401k. But when I am posting, ownership of those stocks really doesn't affect how I think about those topics. I think that's true of most people - me, Seattle, you.
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    It's also ridiculous to call discussing a current relevant topic like Bitcoin as advertising and promoting.
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Yes, but you aren't here posting advice on which stocks our members should invest in, in every second thread.
    Clearly, you haven't noticed the pattern in Seattle's posts when he (regularly) spruiks the benefits of Bitcoin.
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    What if I was discussing the internet or email in the days when people were dismissing those as useless?

    People used to dismiss email with "who am I going to send an 'email' to? No one has email."
    Or "Computer, my secretary does all that, I don't even know how to type" or "Internet, that's just for the military, academic research, and kids".

    I guess you would be upset that they were "promoting the internet" or advertising computers?

    By the way, no one outside of Australia, knows what "spruiks" means.
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    As a general principle of journalistic integrity, reporters who are seen to be promoting a product are ethically obliged to disclose their own interests in promoting the product. This is so that viewers are aware of the reporter's potential conflict of interest. Specifically, in promoting the product, the reporter might be more interested in securing his own personal gain, rather than giving a neutral perspective and reporting "just the facts".
    You're wrong about that.

    But aren't you grateful that I have introduced you to two things you didn't know about before?
  10. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I'm not promoting anything and nothing that could occur as a result of a Bitcoin discussion here could result in any gain for me.

    If everyone one here put all of their money into Bitcoin it wouldn't move the needle. I hope you've now learned something.
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Clearly you haven't thought this through. Please read my previous post #34, where I explained the concept of a vested interest carefully to you, and told you why it is important to declare such interests when trying to promote something.

    Take some time. Stopping jerking the knee. Simmer down and think.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2023
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    No. Like I said, you're barking up the wrong tree. Take some time. Simmer down. Try to put your personal issues with me to one side. Read post #34. Think.
    I explained the relevance in post #34. You should be grateful to me that you're now aware of the issue. You'll be able to avoid making the same mistake Seattle made.
    Yes, yes. It's very obvious. Well, you got a little of it. I'm guessing you'll demand some more?
    If that becomes a relevant matter for moderator attention, you can rest assured that you will be informed.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2023
  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I'm glad you've seen the error of your ways. Let us move on, then.
    Well, part of the way there is better than nothing, I suppose. Anyway, it's your actions that count here. Your false beliefs about subsidiary matters aren't important, in terms of moderating your posts.
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Well, but there's two possible explanations for something like that, right?

    One is that the person has invested in a random fund/company/concept and is now trying to make more money by touting it, pretending it is better than it is.
    The other is that the person is really interested in this concept. and thus talks about it a lot AND invests in it AND does a lot of research into it etc.

    The latter is certainly why I invested in Enphase. I support renewable energy and Enphase had a technology (their IQ8 distributed gridforming inverters) that looked very very promising, so I invested even while I was telling people on Facebook that distributed solar energy was the answer to supporting the greater demand that EVs will bring on. I don't really connect that to "promoting solar for my benefit" but I guess some might see it that way.
  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    The issue of appropriately declaring a vested interest is actually a separate one from the issue of telling lies and pretending a product is better than it actually is. Even if you're just telling the truth about the product and not trying to dress it up as something it isn't, the fact remains that if you stand to personally benefit from enticing others to act in some way in respect of the product then you have a vested interest, which you really ought to declare.

    The issue is somebody posing as a disinterested commentator, when in fact they have a personal stake in encouraging others to invest. There is also no necessity for such a benefit to be guaranteed; the perception of conflict of interest is sufficient to make it appropriate to declare one's vested interest.

    In your example, you say you were really interested and supportive of solar energy and you talked about it a lot. But were you actively encouraging people to make particular investments in renewable energy stocks that you owned? If so, then it would be appropriate to include a disclaimer to let your readers know that you owned the stock yourself and therefore might be seen to have a vested interest in promoting it.

    If, on the other hand, you were merely advising people to invest in shares in solar technologies in general, without referring to specific companies, then it would not be necessary to declare your particular holdings, but it would still be appropriate to declare your ownership of the kinds of stocks you were recommending.

    And if you were not advising people to invest, specifically, but were just generally talking about the benefits of solar energy over fossil fuels, or similar, it might not be necessary to declare your personal investments at all, but then again it might be, still. It would really depend on the nature of the specific conversation.

    To summarise then:
    1. If you were telling people on Facebook that they ought to invest in Enphase, explicitly, then it would be ethical to declare your vested interest, specifying that you had already invested.
    2. If you were telling people on Facebook that they should invest in renewable energy companies, without mentioning Enphase in particular, it might be appropriate to just say something like "I already have (invested)" or something like that.
    3. If you were not advising people where to invest their money, but instead were just discussing solar energy vs fossil fuels in a general sense, there might be no need to declare your interest.

    Consider another example raised by Seattle as a trolling exercise in a different thread. I posted a comment in a thread in the Ghosts, UFOs and Monsters subforum that was critical of "paranormal investigation" TV shows that promote ghosts. Seattle suggested that I should declare a vested interest, because I "run a ghost-debunking subforum".

    As a matter of fact, I do not run a ghost-debunking subforum; sciforums has no such subforum. But let's run with the idea that our Ghosts subforum is a ghost-debunking subforum, as described. I am an administrator of sciforums. Do I have a vested interest in promoting the debunking of ghosts?

    We have been talking about a financial test, so far, so let's apply that one, for starters. Do I stand to gain financially by promoting the debunking of ghosts on sciforums? I'm not aware of any way I could accrue any financial benefit from that (and nobody else has suggested one, so far). But let's run with the idea that, somehow, my promoting the debunking of ghosts is a potential money-maker for me. Should I have declared a vested interest? Perhaps.

    We need to bear in mind, here, that my post was posted in the so-called "ghost debunking subforum". Any reader would surely be aware that posts about debunking ghosts are going to be common in any ghost debunking forum. No reader should be especially puzzled as to why somebody might want to debunk ghosts in a ghost forum specifically flagged for that purpose.

    Perhaps I make my money from the ghost debunking forum because I am a forum administrator. Most of the people who post to sciforums are aware that I am an administrator. In fact, there's even a helpful badge on my avatar that specifically labels me as a "staff member". One could be forgiven for assuming that a staff member might have a vested financial interest in the content hosted on a forum administered by that staff member. Under the circumstances, do you think a specific disclaimer about my vested financial interest should be attached to all posts I make in the Ghosts subforum (or, indeed, to every post I make on sciforums)? I don't feel like that would be necessary, given the context. A confused pedant might see things differently; I don't know.

    Suppose that I, in fact, do not stand to benefit financially from ghost-debunking posts on sciforums. Suppose that I just really like ghost debunking and approve of people who do it, or that I value science over superstition, or something like that. Do I have a vested interest in ghost debunkings, in that case? In an emotional sense, probably I do: I stand to gain warm fuzzy emotional happiness each time ghosts are debunked. Should I add a disclaimer at the bottom of each of my posts saying something like "Warning: debunking ghosts is likely to make me happy, so please take what I say about ghosts with a grain of salt, bearing this in mind"?

    I'll leave you (and Seattle and Sarkus) to ponder that question for yourselves.
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Why do you keep implying that I am encouraging people to buy Bitcoin?

    You also keep implying that I would somehow benefit if they did. I have pointed out twice (or more) now that if everyone on this forum put all of their life saving into Bitcoin it wouldn't move the needle and benefit me in any way and yet you keep repeating that it would.

    How is talking about Bitcoin encouraging people to buy Bitcoin? It's like talking about ChatGPT except that ChatGPT isn't a public product at the moment that one can invest in (maybe indirectly) but it is an interesting subject. So is Bitcoin, blockchains, deflation vs inflation, etc.

    Quite frankly you're off base with this one, IMO. Now there is a "warning" for "trolling" when I try to point out your faulty logic by applying it to the ghost subforum and your comments there?

    Ninety percent of forum traffic seems to be "voodoo" related and when I try to discuss subjects I find more interesting it's "trolling" and worthy of a "warning". That's a bit stifling for discussion don't you think?
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2023
  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    The only irrelevance is your continued request for a declaration of vested interest. Shame you can't see that.

    There you go again trying to paint the other person as arguing from emotion, and being emotional, as if that, too, is impacting their arguments. More fallacious and dishonest behaviour from you, James R. Please stop.
    If you think calling you out as a dishonest troll, and a bully, is personal, no, it's not. You're just not that important, although I'm sure your ego thinks you are.
    Read. Thought. Rejected as wrong for the reasons given. You read those. You think. Then tell me: how does a vested interest alter the veracity or otherwise of what is stated? If one already is influenced by emotion, or personality, then I can see how someone's enthusiasm might persuade, but that is fallacious reasoning in and of itself. So, tell me, how does whether I or Seattle having a vested interest in Bitcoin alter the veracity of what we say on the matter?

    No, you didn't. You explained the relevance to those who think irrationally/fallciously on the matter, as explained. You have not explained how it alters the veracity of what is said. Until you can do that, you have explained nothing about the relevance, other than it's irrelevance. Try again. This time actually think about it.
    Grateful to you for being wrong? Does your arrogance know no bounds? Your error has been explained to you. Repeatedly. The rest is up to you.
    I demand nothing. I post replies in the hope that someone gives their attention. I don't fret when someone doesn't reply within 10 hours or so, for example. But I don't demand it. Again, all very egotistical of you to think that anyone cares enough about you to demand your attention. You're just not that bright, or interesting.
    If anything I do becomes a relevant matter for moderator attention then I will be informed. That's the way moderation works: you inform the person. Do you not read what you write?
  18. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    You want to continue this? Okay, then.
    Er... because you're encouraging people to buy Bitcoin.
    The potential is certainly there.
    Yes, and I'm right and you're wrong, on this.
    I didn't say that.
    You decided, for some reason, to carry this discussion over into an unrelated thread, where you attempted to troll me. There was no call for that.
    Look. If you're confused as to what trolling is, there's a description of it in our site posting guidelines. Go and read them.
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    I see you are looking for some more of my attention. I thought you might.
    I don't know what you're talking about. You told me that you have no intention of declaring any vested interest you might have in anything. It would be a complete waste of my time to continue requesting such a declaration from you, under those circumstances, would it not?
    Emotion is not a bad thing, Sarkus. You don't have to be ashamed of yourself for having emotions. Nor should you be critical of others for having them.

    Clearly, you've got yourself into a bit of tizz again. It's understandable. You don't like receiving criticism, or being wrong about things. I get it.
    Interesting contradiction, there. On the one hand, I'm not important. But on the hand, I'm important enough for you to keep popping yourself into conversations to make sure that everybody knows I'm a dishonest troll.

    So which is it? How important am I to you, really, Sarkus? With all the following me around and crying out for my attention, it seems like I'm fairly important to you.
    It doesn't.

    It looks like you've yet to grasp the notion of when and why it's ethical to declare a vested interest.

    Either that, or you're just trying to change the subject or erect a straw man.
    I'm not wrong. You have yet to grasp the point. Either that, or you grasp it but lack the moral fibre to act appropriately on the information. Let's hope you don't stay this way.
    Seriously? This, from you? You're good for the occasional laugh, I'll give you that.
    Good-o. Let us move on with our lives, then.
    You must be awfully glad to gained my attention, then. I made your wish come true!
    Patience is a virtue.
    Focus. This is just about you, not about "anyone". Think about what you're doing. Reflect.
    Don't tell lies, Sarkus. Clearly, you find me fascinating. Also, I'm confident you are able to recognise that I'm quite a bright fella. Not the smartest person in the room like you are, maybe, but no fool, that's for sure. A man with your smarts can tell.
    Yes. You got it.

    Have a nice day, Sarkus!
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2023
  20. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    That's what replying is, James R. Haven't you figured that out yet? Feel free to stop wanting my attention, though.
    You just have to read and comprehend, James R. Try it. You might be surprised at actually discovering what people said.
    Did I say the irrelevance was in continued requesting from me? No. So, again, go back and read what was said, not what you wanted it to say.
    I never said it was bad, but thanks for yet another strawman.
    Of course I can be critical if it gets in the way of understanding the truth. Oh. Wait. That's why you wouldn't be critical, 'cos you have no desire for truth when you can just bully and argue fallaciously until you get to your conclusion, right.

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    No one likes criticism or being wrong, you of all people are proof of that. So, yeah, you would understand. But that's not relevant to me here, as I'm not wrong. You are, even in your pathetic assessment, yet again, of a person's state of mind, in an effort to belittle and bully.
    No contradiction, if you actually read, and understand, what was written. But that's a failing you have shown repeatedly, so your failure to comprehend shouldn't surprise.
    Let me reiterate: you're not important enough for me to make it personal. I don't know you from Adam, couldn't care less who you are, but I react to what is written. If I see trollish behaviour, or dishonest behaviour, I often call it out. Nothing personal. Maybe that more seems to be coming your way makes you think that? Cest la vie.
    You're not. Your trolling, your dishonesty, is important because it is detrimental to this site. But beyond that, no, you are not important to me.
    Following you around?? Are you not even aware of the size of your own ego? You have an overinflated sense of significance. Yes, you're a moderator. But as a poster, you're... dull and uninteresting. You have flaws that manifest through your bullying, your fallacious arguments, your trolling, for example, which I'd prefer you didn't do.
    That's pretty much the extent of any interest I have in you. You're just... not interesting.
    Then stop pushing the matter.
    I do grasp it, but none of it applies in the cases here. Noone is selling, buying, or looking to benefit, and nothing said here could influence such in any way. That is what you don't grasp about this. Shame.
    Ah, the false dichotomy fallacy. Thanks.

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    Defiant to the last, I see.
    Again with the false dichotomy. Nice.
    Oh, I know I'm arrogant. And that means you're not... how? But thanks for again arguing and hominem. Again.
    You should give it a go, then.
    But your ego isn't about me, James R. Focus. Read what is being written, not what you want it to say. Reflect.
    Don't falsely accused, James R.
    Alas, no. Your ego is running away again. Cest la vie.
    It's all relative.
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    I'm just curious if you see any difference between talking about something and pitching it.

    Seattle, in #5↑ is pitching a fantasy. Most of the conversationalism about his narrative is internal, easily presupposing through and around what would otherwise be important issues, such as the presupposition that the means of exchange in society should be immune from societal policy, or ahistorical presupposition about capitalistic and bourgeois behavior vis à vis pretenses of abundance.

    It's like his opening line, "Traditionally we have been in an inflation/debt system". That may or may not be accurate, but we don't know because it appears to be make-believe, an unreliable dichotomy that just happens to be convenient in the moment. Or perhaps it's something he gets from a software CEO and Bitcoin enthusiast; it's hard to know, without more reliable citation, but perhaps it comes from Jeff booth, who, per Seattle, "has written a lot about this along with others but I think this idea is pretty accurate but that's only as accurate as predicting the future can be".

    Every paragraph of that post is not simply weird or flawed, the whole thing is just kind of bizarre. In order:

    What is that inflation/debt dualism? The words, "I think", are doing all the lifting in the second paragraph. The third is carried by the words, "should", "if", and "if". Another "if" in the fourth, which is entirely speculative according to a whole lot of if and should. The three sentences of the fifth paragraph might make sense to Seattle, but the rest of us have to speculate on his behalf in order to imagine what he means. The sixth is entirely presumptuous, such that it's hard to know where to start, but we ought not presuppose the debasement of national currency is a good thing, and, moreover, the part about, "but it's not in your face as is the case in many 3rd world countries", is entirely internalized, and is more a persuasive statement than expository—i.e., it's pitch language. The seventh paragraph is similarly internalized, and just as an example we might wonder how many people in Africa are using how much of how many bitcoins. The eighth paragraph observes its own priority, and seems largely make-believe. The ninth is a statement of inevitability that would appear to describe a surrender of the public trust to a private-sector altruism not only unseen in capitalism, but denounced as antithetical. Namedropping Jeff Booth in the tenth is almost useless, a fallacious albeit thin appeal to authority Eleven, twelve, and thirteen are internalized; we might be able to discern his meaning if we know any of the reference points upon which the rest of the post was based, but we don't: Eleven is a generalized truism that could work with elephants and cheese, or mozzarella sticks and watching paint dry, or any number of seemingly irrelevant juxtapositons.¹ Twelve is internalized. Thirteen is perversely perfect, the craven nothingness of the line, and accentuated by the exclamation point that lends the sentence, and, really, the whole pitch, that dubious feeling that came with watching youth preachers of my time trying to convince the young people that Jesus was a cool rebel, and it's hip to have faith. It's an interesting topic? What is the topic? How Bitcoin will save the world?

    It is, to say the least, an interesting post.²

    Now things get complicated.


    It is actually more difficult than it should be to describe James R's performance as comedy, but it's also true it feels that way; it gets complicated, though, and thus is not the best explanation for what we see. If we go back to December, we find James R doing the vested interest bit; he was picking on a particular statement↗, and that after razzing↗ him earlier for what "sounds like an advertisement".

    Consider a dualism: If James is wrong, does that mean Seattle is correct? Of course not. I don't think Seattle's strange statement about Bitcoin↗ establishes the institutional definition of vested interest, but I do get the idea in a more colloquial context. Seattle's posts about Bitcoin are laden with pitch language, to the point that he reads like an advocate.

    Comparatively, and vis à vis particular developments in this thread, I might not find Sarkus' discussion of cryptocurrency convincing, but there is a clear difference in tone and focus. Sarkus reads like someone hopeful about a cryptocurrency future; Seattle reads like an advocate.

    (Note aside: How subtle is this getting, or perhaps we should consider how subtle we wish to get. There is a certain amount that stands out, seems kind of apparent at first read; if the hard part is explaining each and every one of those details, part of that difficulty is in comprehending the context of each point individually and collectively, which, it is important to remind, is a dynamic expression perpetually revising in accord with new data input. Still, though, some other things really do stand out.)

    While you list some of your investments, I would suggest that ceteris paribus is not in effect. If I imagine some political interest to assign you, I end up focusing on what you might think your interests are in mushing up the discourse; for instance, I don't recall you being so zealously focused.

    In my time, sometimes people include themselves with infamy in order to oppose someone or something else. It happens a lot in discussions about other people's human rights, when some who would otherwise think themselves not of a particular crowd will include themselves in order to complain about being defamed or denigrated.

    That's not quite what you're doing, but I do think it would be strange if you're not suggesting some sort of false equivalence: Do you really think your writing is no different than Seattle's?

    It's not mere matters of style³, but that our neighbor's easy, conversational presentation is built around unsupported presupposition, much of which is crackpottery. It's not quite a gish gallop, but the effect is similar: If we take the time to address everything awry, that can become all we do. We might not look at it like religious evangelization, but it is similar; the main difference is that it's not theistic. Even more, though, Seattle's posts about Bitcoin are really focused. Compare James R's three-point summary↑ about disclosure with two considerations: First, someone of Seattle's education, experience, and intelligence ought not need that reminder; part of it all is argumentative time-wasting. Second, Seattle's pretense of confusion, such as #53↑, "Why do you keep implying that I am encouraging people to buy Bitcoin?" is absurd.

    Here, let me attempt his defense: He's not really pitching Bitcoin, but, rather, simply communicating and expressing in the only way he knows how, so honor diversity and lay off. And if that version sounds condescending, it's not that I'm trying to be, but now we see why I ought not write his defense. If he spent his career in sales, and this manner of communication has become praxis, then no, he's not really trying to pitch Bitcoin so specifically. But isn't that a rather specific presupposition for someone else to conceive of and then grant him, especially compared to the idea that Seattle has no idea why his posts about Bitcoin read like a pitch?

    Seattle has interest in normalizing cryptocurrency in general and Bitcoin in particular; discursively, that's not really a big deal. But his pitch language stands out; the political and advertising language of persuasion, as well as design or lack thereof resulting in a string of discursive points that do not necessarily flow from one to another, becomes hard to not notice.

    Once upon a time, someone acknowledged to me that they were a participant in their local Republican Party, which isn't disqualifying, but it certainly did explain his penchant for reciting talking points. If people were better at supporting their bullet points and mythopoeia, certain associations or mere appearances would matter less.

    I don't know what to tell people about colloquy; proverbially, everybody uses it but nobody ... what, likes it? ... understands it? And the idea of James R razzing someone in this way is apparently rarefied. And our neighbor, Seattle, "How is talking about Bitcoin encouraging people to buy Bitcoin?" is duplicitous. Unless he's not.

    But I also think there's a difference: It's not all the same from one member or post to the next.


    ¹ For the record, it doesn't work with golf and gay sex because we eventually run into a no-true-scotsman fallacy. I blame alliteration.

    ² cf. "cryptocurrencies" #137↗ (November, 2022): Seattle in re benefits of Bitcoin, "Anyway, it's an interesting subject."

    ³ see, in re "style", #3592788 (Aug. 2019)↗, 3607598 (Nov. 2019)↗, 3681684 (Aug. 2021)↗, 3702361 (Aug. 2022)↗, 3703472 (Sep. 2022)↗, 3703483 (Sep. 2022, twice in one day)↗, 3709400 (Jan. 2023)↗.​
    James R likes this.
  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Speaking of bizarre...pot/kettle.

    What is bizarre is what follows after "In order:...".

    It's entertaining I guess but ultimately what we have here is a personality case study of two individuals and the rest of the site can be lumped under the category of unintended consequences.
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    I can see that replying to you only encourages you to seek further attention.

    You're a waste of my time. Stop bugging me.

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