Teach for America is a social justice cult

[disclaimer for regular readers: today’s news has nothing to do with bitcoin or crypto markets.]

Background data: I applied for teach for america, didn’t get in, and then (as non teach for america) applied for and was hired as an inner city high school english teacher for one semester with not very good results. I was under prepared. I’m not proud of the work I did. I would not say my students got a good education from me.

At least i avoided jail time though.

Unlike this guy.


Holy fucking hell. Joshua sounds like a decent human being who gave his all for his students. In return, he got far worse than my experience and i thought nothing could top john adams high school in south ozone park, nyc. 33 hours of jailtime! Hopefully that helped alleviate his white guilt 🙈

Both Josh’s and my experiences are from twenty years ago, but as the comments in the article show, if anything these problems have only gotten worse.

Maybe this is why I experienced puerto rico as a functioning society despite extreme problems like every other day blackouts and government stealing everything not nailed down. Puerto rico is not in cultural collapse.

A community that cannot protect or teach its children, is flirting with that state.

Also Martha Hephzybah Russell in the comments is despicable.

“Although I am very sadden that this young man was failed by Teach for America on their failure to train him with explicit classroom management skills as well as the administrators for not seeking greater ways to support teachers lacking the skills to manage their classrooms, I am surprise he did not decide to take on a hands off approach after being investigated the first time for physically handling a student. If two students are fighting and one is being injured and I am already being charged by administration for separating them, I would call security or send for help. This way, the administration can only write a greivance if they so want to for me not responding physically. They cannot have it both ways. Unfortunately, men tend to be accused more than women on such a charge.”

Yes. Let’s let a child get potentially seriously injured, to prove a point. (Josh was jailed for breaking up a fight between second graders.)

Disfunctional social justice warrior logic.

Also… and I’ve been wanting to say this for twenty years. Teach for america is a social justice cult.

Someone at TFA should have told Josh to get the hell out when he didn’t get the support he needed from the school administration. But that would violate the super hero mystique that gets TFA fat charitable donations from mckinsey and bulge bracket consulting houses, and the other usual suspects in corporate america.

So Josh got sued for twenty million and 3 days in a washington DC jail.

Cults don’t protect their members. They’re just fodder for the machine. Like I could have been, if I had gotten in. Or like Josh.


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Raoul Pal bungled bitcoin (2017)

“This revolutionary digital infrastructure [editor’s note: indian government digital cash initiative] will soon be able to process billions more transactions than bitcoin ever has. It may well be a bitcoin killer or at best provide the framework for how blockchain technology could be applied in the real world. It is too early to tell whether other countries or the private sector adopts blockchain versions of this infrastructure or abandons it altogether and follows India’s centralised version.”


Raoul was comparing bitcoin to gold in 2012 and continues today to be be one of bitcoin’s staunchest advocates to the hedge fund and institutional investor community. You can charge $40,000 a month for your newsletter if you are telling your readers to buy bitcoin at $130. And he did.

Raoul also called ethereum digital silver last week on an ask-me-anything.

With bitcoin even people that get it… don’t get it.

It’s ok, Raoul. I have my doh moments too.

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With current technology, Bitcoin can only run for 30,000 years

With current electricity generation technology, and figuring that renewables will require energy subsidy from nuclear power for long term functioning, the bitcoin money system can only be run for 30,000 years.

“30,000 years: Estimated supply lifespan of fission-based breeder reactor reserves, using known sources, assuming 2009 world energy consumption.”



On a long enough time frame, gold bugs are right.


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It’s still early days for the boring gray metal

So… The Fed Will Buy Bond ETFs Now.

On the most sophisticated investing and tech forum I know, out of 118 howls of outrage so far, there are 3 bitcoin mentions, only 2 leaning positive.

It’s still early days for the boring gray metal.

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A16Z struggles to earn passing grade in crypto fund II investor letter

Andreeson Horowitz put out a sort of combined think piece and “request for startups” at https://a16z.com/2020/04/30/crypto-fund-ii/

Since I am getting questions on this, I will just give some quick thoughts about the a16z roadmap here, to help orient investors in the space. To bottom line it, I will grade a16z pass/fail for each area of interest.

1) Next Generation Payments


A16Z failed the test with “Payment blockchains are picking up where Bitcoin left off.”

This seems to be about stable coins and “higher throughput blockchains.”

This is digital snake oil.

Stable coins are just bank liabilities in the best case, and more commonly fraudulent mafia money laundering ponzi schemes like tether. **

Bitcoin lightning makes higher throughput blockchains irrelevant.

** Full disclosure: as a crypto analyst who previously rated finex/tether affiliated CFIG  “potential buy,” I am particularly ornery about the tether scam. I have paid my dues for making this mistake and my primary concern now is preventing future investors from getting mired in this kind of stupidity.

2) Modern Store of Value


A16Z seems to understand that bitcoin is the new digital gold. Fairly un controversial.

3) Decentralized Finance


The problem with the DeFi story is… what problem were we trying to solve again?

“DeFi is a new stack of financial services –– think lending, derivatives, insurance, trading, crowdfunding, and more –– built on top of blockchains that embraces the core values of the open internet, including 1) open access to anyone in the world; 2) commitment to open source code; 3) permissionless extensibility by third-party developers; 4) minimal-to-no fees; and 5) encryption-backed security and privacy.”

Yes but what PROBLEM are we trying to SOLVE? No one seems to be able to give a straight answer to this. Like, give a single example of a simple problem. A16Z seems to be hoodwinked or, more likely, they are just harvesting the easy money from naive investors in the space. As early purchasers of tokens at discount, they can cynically profit and dump the tokens on bag holders.

There are some interesting future defi stories with bitcoin. Discreet log contracts built on lightning is the most important one. But this is years away, and several protocol upgrades, from relevancy and anything that will actually move the needle. Finance needs and thrives on trust, and legitimate defi solutions may continue to be niche even in a bitcoin maximalist future.

So this is either a boondoggle or a money grab, or both.

4) New Ways for Creators to Monetize 


A16 is asking the right question here.

They should look at lightning labs LSAT protocol. Possibly a16z is already an investor in lightning labs, in which case they are upgraded from PASS to PASS / WITH A.


What we are seeing born here is, finally, a sane solution for micropayments for content.

You can see a sort of proof of concept (pre-lsat, but using lightning) on yalls.org and a few other similar toe in the water type sites.

If LSAT gets traction it has the potential to turn the content industry upside down. There is only $10m of liquidity on lightning (http://1ml.com). It is still very very early days.

5) Web 3


This is the filecoin/ipfs story, along with a few other do nothing utility tokens.

This is a pure boondoggle. I am sorry to see a16z once again clubbing their classmates (naive investors) for lunch money. But it is a time of low moral values and expensive lunches, so while I am sorry I’m not very surprised.

There is almost no chance that distributed solutions can compete with the economies of scale provided by amazon and other centralized hosters for digital resources. And given the tiny chance that this should somehow come to be, the payment mechanism would of course be bitcoin (probably in lightning flow form), so tying these boondoggles to a utility token just makes it a boondoggle squared



A16Z has only 2/5 passes. Unfortunately this means they receive a final grade of FAIL.

However, if a16z has invested in lightning labs, that portion of the test, which received a passing grade, receives higher weight. In which case their final grade would be a (low) pass.

Again, I am encouraged by the effort and I hope to see more progress from a16z along the path to full bitcoin maxi enlightenment.

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Usable Lightning Network by 2022

So I am doing some lightning network usability testing.

My current test is round tripping coins between the reddit lntipbot and whatever wallet I got on my computer, preferably noncustodial. Today I was trying out neutrino wallet from lightning labs.

The result of the test is… I guess I would give ln a c+ to b-.

* Onboarding is slow and awkward but works. The slow part is having to deposit on chain bitcoin before you can do anything else. But for non custodial I suppose there is no way around this.
* I can deposit to the lntipbot from neutrino ok but
* withdrawal was painful and only worked a minority of the time.

“Your withdrawal failed with
unable to find a path to destination
Your current balance is 26853.0 satoshis.”

“Your withdrawal failed with
unable to route payment to destination: UnknownNextPeer
Your current balance is 26853.0 satoshis.”

“Withdrawal of 1579.0 satoshis successful!
Payment preimage: 8105f61e467b1c557afe23d4724c8fd617506334b7ff800a85f3e2fa96d4d12d
Your current balance is 26853.0 satoshis.”

further the one successful withdrawal, I can’t reconcile it with a deposit on the neutrino side. Maybe it’s just because the ui is messy, there are tens of attempts.

iiuc this should improve when neutrino autopilot is integrated with lightning loop “loop out” for incoming payment
https://blog.lightning.engineering/announcement/2019/06/19/mobile-app.html (“a note on receiving payments”)

that was the plan from june 2019 so I would say progress is not exactly super fast.

I also find the loop in / loop out terminology confusing.

* Which is for being able to receive payments into my wallet again? (hint: loop out)
* and which is so I can pay out my bills after my channels are depleted? (hint: loop in)

also overall the neutrino app is also slow crashy and nonresponsive. then again I am on a shitty $200 smart phone.

So maybe usable non custodial lightning in 2022, for both paying and receiving?
lightning for paying is ok now, and I guess that’s the more common use case.
so not great, but not so bad.

yeah… so lightning loop is the future, all hail lightning loop.

as a side note, for additional awkwardness for withdrawals to neutrino… scanning for qr codes failed on my desktop, as webqr stopped working. so when I wanted to import the withdrawal invoice on neutrino, to my laptop where reddit was running, that was another source of suckage. (I wound up using emails)

any other lightning experience reports?

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Hodlers Guide to Hardware Wallets

Open sourcing this hodlers guide to hardware wallets, which has been used to onboard various folks to personally holding bitcoin in a hardware wallet.


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