Best Of The Web
“In 2017, bitcoin was one of the greatest investment manias in recent memory. This year, that boom has turned to bust.
To understand what drives the wild cryptocurrency market—the technology, hype and innovation, combined with the hacking, market manipulation and increased regulation—we decided to experiment with a digital currency of our own: WSJCoin, a virtual token for the newspaper industry.
Traveling to Japan, a hotbed for cryptocurrencies, we found that creating a coin is relatively easy: Find a blockchain startup, watch the founder type some code on a screen and a cryptocurrency is born. No wonder there are more than 2,000 of them, according to CoinMarketCap.
What’s complicated is creating a cryptocurrency that is valuable, useful and has widespread appeal. So we began a journalistic venture to find someone who would accept WSJCoin for payment.
Along our way, we met quirky characters who epitomize Japan’s crypto craze: a popular all-female J-pop band called the “Virtual Currency Girls”; a 21-year-old student who spends most of his time mining cryptocurrencies; and a university professor creating a cryptocurrency for use exclusively on campus and in the neighboring college town…” Follow link for video.
JJ Best Of The Web
"Now I’m starting to wonder how I can go at all. And I’m also wondering why more Muslims don’t question the powers that control our most sacred site—and how the Saudis have already twisted it to their own political and financial ends."
"It's going to be a letdown. Not only is it likely that the final report will not reveal that the president has been a KGB agent since the late '80s, as at least one mainstream liberal columnist fantasized."
"The JFNA GA may say they want to talk, but there are some parts of Israel which have the feeling that this American Jewish organization is not really interested in hearing what they have to say."
“What responsibility do you think young, famous women have today to be activists?” I asked Bateman. “Are you tempted to leverage your fame for political reasons?”
"For nearly 40 years, the GOP has relied on cutting taxes as an easy way to win votes, even when their plans—like the most recent package—benefit only the rich. "
"On its face, voting by phone makes sense. Nearly ninety-five per cent of American adults own mobile phones, and rely on them for all sorts of secure transactions."
"Allegations of sexual harassment brought down Bill Gothard, a leading figure of the Christian right. But his fall also revealed the diminished influence of fundamentalism in the Trump era."
"Literature — the top-shelf, award-winning stuff — is positively ectoplasmic these days, crawling with hauntings, haints and wraiths of every stripe and disposition."
"Kids have a habit of imitating their parents’ criminal behavior. It’s no wonder, then, that by one measure, 10 percent of families account for two-thirds of criminals."
"SFAH doesn’t make an argument for local or slow food per se, but that’s what we see. The dishes are simple, with few ingredients, made traditionally and with pleasure."
We think of archeological finds as being clues to the ancient past. In a new book from Ulrike Sommer, archeology's effects on present-day national narratives are excavated.
"That the highest God speaks for six days and then has to rest from fatigue at the seventh is a patent absurdity: ‘It is not fitting for the first God to be tired or to work with his hands or to give orders,’ he writes."