Ducks in the Soup

The Anaheim Ducks’ season came to a fairly ignominious close last week when they were swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the San Jose Sharks. There’s been some apocalyptic reaction in the newspaper, although Helene Elliott’s staggeringly obvious biases against any hockey team I like do make me question her summing-up of the Ducks’ 2017-18 season. They weren’t as bad as all that. To judge from the team’s playoffs appearances (as most people do), yes, theRead more

The Blog is Back

A cursory glance at the dates of the last three posts reveals that the Blogfolio has been on hiatus. There’s no mention even of the Dodgers’ unfortunate visit to the World Series in 2017. I realize that gardens need tending, but I had good reason for ignoring this one. I was ghost-cultivating someone else’s garden. That’s one of the things we do at Word Handler: write a blog for you, either giving a polished written voice to your own ideas,Read more

David Chaum and Prehistoric Bitcoin

In my previous post, I mentioned that the inventor of Bitcoin is a pseudonymous individual who goes by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. That might suggest that Bitcoin sprang Minerva-like from his pseudonymous (and perhaps metaphoric) head. Although Bitcoin does present several revolutionary innovations (such as the blockchain), it was not the first time anyone dreamt of a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. That vision dates back to a paper published in 1983 by the American computer scientist and cryptographer DavidRead more

Bitcoin in a bit more than 25 words

Pretty much every time I’ve told someone that I’ve been working on and about Bitcoin for the past while, I’ve been greeted with puzzled looks and flat admissions that my interlocutors have no idea what Bitcoin actually is. The easiest way to explain Bitcoin is the way its inventor, who goes by the catchy pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, described it in the white paper that started it all: “an electronic peer-to-peer cash system.” Cash is a simple, fast and anonymousRead more