Chia Farming is the Dumbest thing Computer Nerds are doing right now

Chia is supposedly a “green” crypto currency, created by the guy who, with the purest intentions, figured out how to allow us all to download Metallica albums on the internet without the help of Napster or eMule. BitTorrent didn’t really work better than the other platforms, but exploited legal greyness by clearly separating itself from the content it enabled sharing. Likewise, as far as Chia goes, it is not the first crypto currency of its kind. Off the top of my head, I recall BurstCoin taking a similar approach.

If you believe their bullshit, Chia, like Burstcoin (and probably others), supposedly solves the global warming crisis caused by Bitcoin and other Proof-of-Work coins by introducing a concept Chia calls “proof of space and time”. (Similar algorithms called it simply Proof of Space, or Proof of Capacity)

Supposedly, they say that it is “green” because once you generate your plots, a process you go through to fill up your “unused” disk space with lottery numbers with hopes that you eventually get a “win”, the process of picking new winners doesn’t require much energy at all… because it involves, in a simplified nutshell, a process of just doing a quick binary search of the sorted hashes on your disk(s).

The problem is…. this is just as potentially wasteful as Bitcoin’s proof-of-work system! Why? The economy, stupid! The bottom line: If you create a contest with a valuable reward that increases in difficulty as more people join up, don’t be surprised when people destroy the planet trying to win it., because the difficulty of that contest will always grow to match the reward.

Both Bitcoin and Chia tie their value to market signals. Bitcoin ties it’s own value to the cost of the electricity used to “mine” it. It just so happens that Bitcoin is worth a lot therefore is equally expensive to mine… but also the people who are mining bitcoin expect it to be worth more someday and are willing to mine it at a loss (hoping for future profits). Bitcoin is also designed, however, to become more “green” over time.. as nobody would be willing to spend an entire city’s worth of electrical bills just to acquire meager transaction fees.

Chia, also ties its value to the cost of “farming” it. If Chia suddenly finds itself worth a lot on a market somewhere (as has happened recently), “farmers” will rush to farm as much of it as possible until the cost of farming it is roughly equal to the market value. If the cost of farming it is less than market value, fewer people will decide to farm it. Both Bitcoin and Chia directly correlate their wastefulness with market demand via a “difficulty” equation that gets more difficult as demand increases, supposedly balancing demand to mine/farm with price/cost. So ultimately, Chia farmers and Bitcoin miners should never expect to get more out of their output than they input.

With this in mind, Bitcoin and Chia, are potentially equally wasteful, and Chia is arguably more wasteful due to the fact that the contest it asks “farmers” to win involves more than just electricity generation… and the only reason Chia isn’t currently as wasteful as Bitcoin, is because nobody really wants to own Chia.

As a beginner Chia farmer, I watched as my farm, which originally predicted a win every 3 months, dwindled in prospects… and the “difficulty” level (the equation that balances the computing power of the hive) has increased from 7 to 700 as of this writing. Every day my prospects of getting a win become less and less… while I frantically rush to fill up my 80TB array with garbage using every system I can get my hands on. Right now I’ve thrown 32+16+8+6+4+2 cores at it. so thats…. 62 cores… running full blast all day and night. The difficulty is increasing faster than I can buy hard drives and burn out m.2 SSDs to generate plots.

As long as Chia is valued high in the market, “farmers” will continue to buy out all the m.2 sticks they can find anywhere and run them into the ground generating “plots” until they go up in smoke and need to be replaced… which will drive up the cost of large hard drives and fast m.2 sticks… etc. etc. etc. Just like Bitcoin, Chia will tie itself to the amount of destruction “farmers” are willing to impose on the environment in order to acquire it… it will simply come in a slightly different form than Bitcoin. Really what the world needs to solve the Crypto energy crisis, is a proof-of-work coin that can somehow guarantee that it was created using a “green” technology… like maybe a mechanical cypher tied to a windmill, a cypher tied to nature in such a way that no computer’s limited discreet mathematical capabilities can reasonably generate crypto keys…. I dunno… measure flaws in diamonds, count snowflakes with specific shapes, use monkeys or an ant-farm contest, force rats to race a maze towards some cheese…. just something that could never be generated by any other means. Computers are great at discreet math, but they are terrible at indiscreet math, worse at indiscreet area calculations, and abysmal at indiscreet volumetric calculations (e.g. wind tunnel physics simulations) … maybe there’s something there… I don’t have the answers… nobody does. Until someone invents something totally new, Chia will be more of the same.

And even though the cost of “farming” your existing plots is relatively trivial, you’re still going to compete with everyone in the world to generate more plots than the next guy… and this process is actually CPU limited (I am currently running 32-cores on a Threadripper 2990WX chip to the max) … and in a nutshell it is essentially no better than a CPU-bound proof-of-work system!

In many ways it is even worse, because, now, not only do I need to prove that I did the “work” to generate the plots, but now I also have to prove that I dumped cash into buying hard disks on Amazon or NewEgg or Microcenter to store all the plots that I generated…. wouldn’t it be just simpler to cut out all the extra storage and simply prove the “work” part of it? That’s what “proof of work” is…. simpler, and arguably more green. Maybe an argument could be made that as farm sizes increase, the desire to add more plots via “plotting” should decrease as the chance of winning increases more slowly as farming becomes more widespread…. but the opposite argument could also be made that as farm sizes increase, there will be more and more pressure to fill up warehouses and warehouses with nothing but hard disks.

If that isn’t enough to get you to stop your obsession with plotting… Chia’s motivations as a company are potentially toxic to you as a farmer. IMO, Chia is really just another pump-and-dump scheme, and the motivations of its creator(s) are spelled out in plain view on their own website. The creators opted to “pre-farm” a bunch of Chia, and they intend to use this “strategic reserve” to “reduce volatility”… in other words… if you dumbasses drive up the price of Chia on a market somewhere, the devs are simply going to drive the price down by selling their Chia on the market… keeping YOU poor, and making them rich. This plotting/farming craze has put them in the spotlight and now they’re out there converting your NewEgg purchases into Lambos and Yachts…. In the meantime, here I am burning out multiple m.2 SSDs and trying to waste 80TB of hard disk space as quickly as possible before there’s no chance in hell that even my 80TB will give me a single win in a whole year… I highly doubt I will ever make back the $800 or so I spent on newer, faster m.2 sticks and extra large hard drives this week alone.

Simply put, if someone tries to sell you a money printing machine, don’t buy it. Because anyone who owns a money-printing machine, would never, in a million years, sell it to YOU. They’d simply print the money for themselves.

Elon Musk Clearly Never Knew Jack about Crypto, and Still Doesn’t

Elon is not Tesla Motor Company. He is not SpaceX. He is not Cryptocurrency.

Elon is the guy with lots of money who get’s to stand in front of podiums and take all the credit for the legions of smart people who work for his companies in exchange for a massive slice of the pie. His job is relatively simple: 1) hire a bunch of business managers and 2) hire accountants to make sure that the business managers are making him money.

In between those duties, he is free to go on Joe Rogan and smoke weed, or spend a week rehearsing to host SNL. Elon Musk isn’t busy figuring out how to go to the moon. People who are busy doing that kind of shit are too damn busy to host SNL.

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The Circle is the Most Miserable Pile of Crap to Ever Plague your Television Screen

Spoiler Alert: To watch The Circle, in-and-of-itself, is a spoiler. The only way to prevent spoilage is to NOT watch the circle at all. The Circle represents everything you hate about humanity, social media, and relationships in general. And big Spoiler Alert: The White Broey dude wins in the end, just like in real life.

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Delphi 10.4.1 is an Inadequate, Last-Ditch Effort

I think this image metaphorically illustrates the situation surrounding Delphi 10.4.1. High-speed police chases… they happen basically every day. They all end the same.

The “bad guys” always seem to have such confidence when they are speeding down the highway at 90mph. Unfortunately for them, they are typically not looking into the sky, and therefore do not notice that they are royally f*cked by the chopper following them with infrared cameras. They also are unaware that the cops have already coordinated spike strips 10 blocks ahead, and they are about to lose their tires.

Arrogant and ignorant, they barrel on as-if they believe they can get away and evade judgement…

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Donald Trump is no Jesse Ventura

People like to put Jesse Ventura and Donald Trump in the same category. They both have affiliations with the entertainment industry, including the production of “Pro Wrestling”. They both were insurgent candidates who shook up the political party system… but speaking as someone who actually voted for Jesse Ventura (and did not regret doing so)… let me tell you, Donald Trump is no Jesse Ventura.

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The Real Reasons why you should Avoid AMD CPUs at any cost.

AMD has been selling us 99% Intel-Compatible chips for as almost as long as I can remember. It was in the mid-late 90’s when Intel compatible motherboards started including ZIF Sockets, making it easy for customers to insert, remove, and swap CPU chips attached to their motherboards. But have Intel clones been a good choice over the years? Are they a good choice now? Let’s ponder.

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RadStudio/Delphi 10.4.1 Released without a Big Fat Apology Letter Attached

I was going through my spam email, and came across a typical spam from Embarcadero that made me throw up in my mouth a little.

Instead of releasing 10.4.1 hot on the heels of the horribly failed Rad Studio 10.4, Embarcadero is trying to “sell” it to customers who don’t have a support/upgrade agreement in place.

This is just sick and wrong.

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Living With Ass Pain, A ClickHouse Story

ClickHouse offers a friendly, unassuming, first impression. With it’s compatibility with MYSQL’s wire protocol, many may think that it should be easy to integrate with your existing system. With it’s promises of speed, it may seem like like a compelling option for your database application.

However, doing even the most simple thing in ClickHouse becomes a mess incredibly quickly, and the speed advantages often come at the cost of data accuracy. Programmers are often left out in the cold to design/redesign systems specifically to play nice with ClickHouse, which operates on a paradigm that relatively few are familiar with.

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Geforce RTX 3090, and the Optimism of a Disgruntled Consumer.

With the nVidia Geforce 3090 release just around the corner, I gotta be honest… I, and a lot of people, felt pretty ripped off about the 2000 series GPUs. A very privileged few could actually afford the 2080ti, which was the only card that came close to delivering acceptable performance in RTX-enabled games at high resolutions. Will I bend over and accept the $1600 cost of upgrading to a Geforce RTX 3090 when it launches Sept 24, 2020? Let us ponder…

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Tech Crunch Review of Flight Simulator 2020 Emphasizes Flaws

A recent review on Tech Crunch emphasized that the Bing Maps data scrubbing in Flight Simulator 2020 is beautiful when it is on target, but frequently is quite obviously off-target. This, combined with new leaks that show blatant artifacts in heavy traffic areas such as San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge, reinforces everything I’ve been saying all along about Flight Simulator’s relationship with Bing Maps and Azure AI for months.

Multiple Leaked videos show satellite projections beneath major bridges in San Francisco and New York City.

Don’t get your hopes too high when Microsoft claims that they’ve modeled the entire world in 3D. We all know they’ve done a much poorer job than Google in this regard, and even Google has barely scratched the surface. In reality, what you’re buying is a fraction of what’s available on Google, some hand-crafted airports (40 of them in the Premium-Deluxe edition), a few models of landmarks (even Pyongyang’s May Day Stadium has a model), with a whole bunch of auto-gen scenery in between (which is how 99.99% of the world will be rendered by my estimation). The auto-gen techniques are probably just an evolution the same techniques you would have found in FSX, but clearly updated for the first time in 13 years.

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