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Tuesday, October 15th 2019 - Issue #591

A call for a return to quality aesthetics

Charlie Rose interviews Harold Bloom in 1994 about his book 'Western Canon'
Yesterday, literary scholar, author and critic, Harold Bloom passed away. I must admit, I have never really taken a deep dive into any of Mr. Bloom's work, but yesterday I fell down a YouTube rabbit hole and feel compelled to share this interview with Harold from 1994. In it, Charlie Rose raises questions about the state of the study of literature in the US and Mr. Bloom answers very candidly. I highly recommend you give it a listen if and when you get 25 minutes today. 

It's crazy to see how worried Bloom was about the state of literary study, discourse and critical thinking in 1994. And as I switch tabs to my TweetDeck and observe the current state of discourse, it is hard not to think of how prescient this man was. The talk of "creeping resentment" into scholarly discussions and debates has crescendoed into the insanity that persists on some college campuses today. Places that are supposed to be designated for debate and intellectual rigor and have been debased to such a level that some do not express particular ideas due to fear of physical harm.

Aesthetics in literature and art seem to be at an all time low as the masses become consumed by porn fiction like 50 Shades of Gray and a cycle of different iterations of the same superhero movies. This erosion of standards has led us (myself very much included, I've watched most of the Marvel films) to neglect classic literature that has helped people learn about themselves and how to think critically for millennia. And this, in turn, has led to a dearth of modern day literature and art that may stand the test of time. Do you freaks really think our great grand children are still going to be consumed by Christian Gray's sex swings?

This letter probably comes off just a tad pretentious, but, again, I woke up this morning and felt compelled to share this perspective.

On a lighter note, this is pretty dope. 
Final thought...

Life is weird. Like really weird when you think about it. 
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Tuesday, October 8th 2019 - Issue #586

Bitcoin scary stories

It's October and we here at the Ƀent are well known for our penchant to play along with holiday themes. As Halloween approaches, we thought we'd take the time to share some scary stories with you. Here's a transcript from a talk that Ethan Heilman gave over the weekend at a Bitcoin conference hosted by MIT. The talk is titled Near misses: What could have gone wrong, and is filled with scary stories from Bitcoin's past. 

Take some time to learn about the bugs that have been found in the Bitcoin codebase over the years. Problems that, if exploited, did and/or could have led to node denial of service attacks, inflation bugs, and inevitable network splits. Luckily for us, the scary stories that Ethan told about Bitcoin's past have come and gone. The bugs have been patched and lessons have been learned. But, if anything, we should use these instances to help become more vigilant moving forward. Each individual exploit teaches us about an attack vector we should be aware of and how we can harden our defenses. The more we find and come to understand, the better. 

So let this be a scary reminder to you freaks out there, bugs have existed, they probably exist right now, and may very well exist in the future within Bitcoin. Be aware. Stay vigilant. Encourage your smart developer friends to help peer review the Bitcoin Core codebase.  
Final thought...

Moving the car for street sweeping; equal parts rage inducing and demoralizing. 
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Ƀent noun 1. direction taken, as by one's interests; inclination.

Thanks for reading Marty's Ƀent, a daily newsletter containing all the information I found interesting in the Bitcoin world in the last 24 hours.

Archives for Marty's Ƀent can now be found here. 
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