Earlier today running some errands I happened to pass through Ciudad Vieja. Approaching Plaza Independencia I noticed something afoot. Read the rest of this entry »
Peso Uruguayo down. Peso Argentino really down.
Not being a Texan, this is not a bean and tomato free recipe faithful to the historical dried beef and chili powder composition. It produces a bit under 4 liters of finished Chili. The process begins by going to a supermercado, or several smaller retailers which will not quite have all of the necessary ingredients: Read the rest of this entry »
With #trilema dark, its time to feed the blog. Let's do some tourism. Read the rest of this entry »
To address my continued shortcomings, it is time I caught up on practicing the methodology of sanity. Thus far managing Pizarro has been a mix of increasingly routine administration and reactive action as sharp unpleasant edges and rocks are encountered with the mix weighted too heavily to reactive activity. The most recent, unpleasant clash with reality has been the failure of the market in the forum to prove competitive to the market outside the forum when swallowing the datacenter's monthly feeding needs. This is paired with the sad fact that Pizarro's fiat reserve, which helped to weather Bitcoin's winter is now fat, passive, and depreciating against BTC without being put to any productive use.1
Pizarro's monthly fiat needs fall into two distinct categories:
- 2834.06 USD - To the datacenter, invoiced on the 30th of the month, due in 10 days.
- Just under 2000 USD - Keeping presence on the ground, various bills due a various times of the month. From the difference between 2000 and what gets spent the fiat reserve has been growing between 150 to 200 USD each month.
The on hand fiat reserve sits at 5704 as of the June 29th report. If used to back a price floor on monthly auctions for the entirety of the datacenter's fiat needs, it would be reduced by 49.7 percent, and exhausted if called upon twice to cover an entire month. There's also 1537.64 USD on deposit with the datacenter.
The local market buying bitcoin consists of:
- "The Bicycle Guy" - Capacity to reliably provide 1000-1500 USD within 1% of reported spot price within an afternoon. Summoning the fiat to provide the datacenter payment the one time he did thus far required a weeks notice and strained his capacity. Bulk of his business is fiat and Bitcoin into and out of Venezuela. Has provided most of the locally acquired fiat. Have met.
- Less Favorable Rate Guys - One frequently advertises ability to buy up to 5000 USD in Bitcoin within 5% of spot. Due to their choice of bank, transfers take more time. Others offer smaller sums or less frequent offers to buy.
- Border Crossing Argentines - Advertise occasionally in Uruguay.
- Wide Spread Guys - While there are actors as listed above who buy bitcoin within a 5 percent of spot and take heftier premiums from folks buying Bitcoin off of them, there are a few folks who insist on big spreads in both directions. Very small advertised capacity. Still worth another round of conversations.
- Retarded Payment Networks Crowd - Insist on paying for Bitcoin through Mercado Pago, a sort of Latino Paypal or other incredibly niche methods like "recarga telefonica" members of this crowd are frequently not actually in Uruguay, occasionally not even in Latin America.
This reveals an avenue to act in meeting more of the unfamiliar traders even if it means taking the boat to do so.2
Getting Fiat From Outside of Uruguay
There are a few options for reliably bringing USD fiat to Uruguay.
- Western Union - 8 USD fee, well supported in Uruguay, can reliably fulfill transfers up to 1,000 USD. For higher sums it can be a challenge to find a local agent in Uruguay with the full amount in dollars.
- International Wire - Fee dependent on sending bank around 25-50 USD, works reliably.
- Physically Carrying Benjis - Works but requires a person to travel
Two routes are completely unworkable:
- Cash In Mail - Not feasible. A birthday card sent without cash in early February 2018 by my mother arrived in November of 2018.
- Transferwise - Explicitly banned for bad behavior
With this laid out, we can attack the auction problem. From September 1st3 through the end of the year there are 16 weeks. Our fiat needs through the end of the year are:
4834.06 * 4 = 19,336.24 USD All together
Could be met by auctioning 1208.52 USD weekly every week to cover all of Pizarro's fiat needs through the auction process. At this time the sum seems a bit on the heavy side in light of the forum's past auction participation. The fiat reserves and local market are likely to get a workout.
2834.06 * 4 =11,336.24 For just the datacenter, remainder of fiat expenses met with local market and reserves.
This could be met with actions for 708.52 USD weekly every week in the forum. As a smaller number, more folks will likely have the cash to bid for the prize. The local market and fiat reserves can readily support competitive prices, while also being counted on to deliver the other 500 USD in fiat weekly. This is the solution I am inclined towards at present. Of course there's one more way this could be cut.
8000 for other fiat, met with 500 USD weekly auctions. Local liquidity and reserves counted on for paying the datacenter
While this option puts a nice round 500 USD up for bid in the forum every week, I have reservations starting weekly auctions at 500 USD a week could leave the forum stuck through inertia at carrying only 500 USD weekly in bandwidth. Starting instead with the middle option leaves room to adjust up or down. Starting at the bottom leaves only up or stagnation as options.
Based on feedback I will publish an auction plan for the rest of 2019 on Pizarro's blog July 21st, 2019.
- In late 2017 and early 2018 local fiat-Bitcoin liquidity was tighter, anxieties were higher, and having a dedicated "oh shit!" fund seemed to make sense. BTC kept trading down and sitting on fiat made sense for an extended period. Now there's a halving around the corner and 10 kilodollar Bitcoin is here to stay. Having a fiat reserve is still necessary, but it needs to start being leveraged. [↩]
- Exploring the boat situation: one line on a less popular route recently folded (archived). Colonia Express tends to run ~1500 pesos / 50 USD each way to go from the Tres Cruces Bus terminal to Buenos Aires. Buquebus tickets run ~3000 pesos / 100 USD to go from the Port of Montevideo to Buenos Aires each way. [↩]
- Chosen because it neatly marks the last trimester of the year. Also starting weekly auctions creates the opportunity to do one last monthly auction in August for the full datacenter wire using the fellow advertising greater local liquidity as a reserve, or failing using the fiat on hand as a reserve. Having the transaction to offer him means having something to talk about. [↩]
Around the corner from the habitation module is a Frente Amplio clubhouse. A neighbor relayed to me that on election night they were in the right place at the right time to see a crow of derp pour out in anger. The derps proceeded to the nearest dumpster where they proceeded to... systematically and impotently remove garbage and place it outside of the dumpster. Not even, try to burn the dumpster... just take the trash an put it somewhere else. When I walked past the aftermath later that night I just thought it was an especially inconsiderate trash miner. As it was the night the trash trucks were scheduled to come by later anyways, all evidence of the incredibly impotent protest failed to endure as far into the future as the next morning.
Lets look at the inner workings of this fountain of Butthurt.
The Frente Amplio
Bald yuppie social democrat/democratic socialist Daniel Martinez "won" with just a smidge over 40 percent of the vote. Carolina Cosse came narrowly into second through support from Mujica's MPP faction over the third place finisher from El Partido Comunista de Uruguay, a bearded hipster who calls himself Óscar Andrade. Everyone else trailed these three substantially.
These three flavors of socialism vary in their marketing and their desired ends.
- Martinez and the sitting two time president Tabaré Vázquez favor a Nordic Socialism that enters into a polite stagnation where everything is shit, but anyone who could object has long fucked off to anywhere else. This sector isn't afraid of invoking the Christian thing when it comes to justifying Pantsuist Puritanisms. They just engage in obscene levels of Gymnastics to make shit fit. Martinez cast his own ballot at a polling place located near 21 de Setiembre1 and Bulevard España in the ambiguously "is this block Pocitos, Punta Carretas, or a forgettable pocket barrio" ritzy for Uruguay zone.
- Mujica runs the MPP which supported Cosse's run, but didn't extend support to the post voting vice-presidential candidate selection process. The MPP's ideology might be likened to anarcho-communism, but in practice in appears to actually materialize in a veneration of "just scraping by" as an activity. Carve outs and programs to benefit the not necessarily idle, but definitely not being employed at substantial expenses in time and treasure to "service" incredibly small niches characterize MPP positions.
- El Partido Communista - The traditional "labor is sacred" party with its own local twists. Growth appears to be driven by not unjustified perception by los trabajadores that the MPP is more interested in vagrant interests than their own. Strict view of economics as zero sum and singular focus on getting a bigger piece of the pie for the trabajadores even if the pie shrinks to nothing.
Since Martinez won with a plurality and not a majority, his very recently announced vice-presidential pick will wear the pre-candidate label through the FA's convention. At some earlier plenary, the FA decided at least one person on top of their ticket must be a woman. This naturally would have suggested Cosse as the second place finisher and only FA woman running for the slot, except her brand is sufficiently toxic the MPP would not endorse her as vice president despite giving her a presidential campaign apparatus. In an apparent joke, the Partido Communista immediately turned around and endorsed her.
Martinez ended up yesterday picking complete unknown Graciela Villar has choice for running mate, if the Frente will allow him to do so. The rumors that Villar is just an established FA minister in drag are already circulating (archived). Provided they don't split over their differences, the FA will be carrying the advantage of Uruguay being a mandatory voting country into the general election. A split in the FA is not out of the question in the near to mid term as the self-identifying Left continues to accumulate resentments.
The National Party
Luis Lacalle Pou won a clear majority in the National Party internal giving he a free hand moving forward. He was the most voted candidate between all of the parties by a very wide margin. During his victory speech, he exercised his free hand to declare Beatriz Argimón his running mate. Beatriz is a long haired blond woman who appears to my eye to carry herself in the manner of an adult woman in contrast to the old/fat/Merkel gendered hags of the FA like Cosse and Villar.
The postcount party the Blancos held was a big show of party unity and included calls for the rest of the opposition to join in defeating the FA to save Uruguay. Little time was spent on the platform of "shocks" that won him the nomination. Herrerismo, the small country stay in our lane but defend the hell out of it nationalism, is dominating the actual conversations between Uruguayos. Why wouldn't it be when Uruguay's most important economic metric, the market value of agricultural fields, has been falling since 2014.
Yet in spite of unity in the National Party, newcomer and distant second place figure Juan Sartori has simultaneously gone on vacation and tilt at the same time. This man who had the appeal of spending time living outside Uruguay and building businesses inside and outside Uruguay in the end leaned too hard on the impulse to insulate himself from the Uruguayos in favor of dropping pronouncements from on high. This continued thrashing is likely to be a fountain of lulz for the forseeable future. In the interim the local rags are talking about Sartori voters as though they are a unified "sector" in the manner of the MPP or PCU.
For bonus lulz, during the campaign the Sartori press organism raised concerns over a "voting list"2 supporting Lacalle Pou which included the line "Un bagayero, un patriota" which roughly carries the meaning that "a smuggler is a patriot." In the case of Uruguay this is both true in practice and deeply recognized as a truth in the culture. Unactionable complaints were filed with the police over the slogan with hand wringing and whining emitted by the classes that contribute the stone to the soup. Anyways, it is clearly a winning national campaign slogan.
The Talvi guy who identifies as an economist managed to edge out old gendered twice president Julio Sanguinetti garnering a clear majority in the least voted of the three major internals. Instead of a unified show of force as a singular, if irrelevant Colorado Party, Talvi answered Luis's Party of the Party with one on one media sitdowns election night. To the best of my knowledge no Colorado running mate has been chosen. Now that the competition has gone from intra-party to inter-party, militants from the other parties are very helpfuly spreading particular points of Talvi's very detailed platform.
Guido Manini Ríos, Uruguay's commander in chief of the Army3 from 2015 to earlier this year, took roughly 50,000 votes in the uncontested internal for the "independent" Cabildo Abierto party. Guido and his family are dedicated Colorados of the militant branch of the Colorado Party that governed during the dictatorship years, and by all appearances Cabildo Abierto was a shell of a party waiting for Guido to get fired in order to define the party. The local rags credit Sanguinetti's loss to an intra-Colorado dispute manifest into defectors leaving for Cabildo Abierto.
The Colorado Party and its splinter Cabildo Abierto survive based on a sort of heritable fandom every bit as bitter as the Peñarol versus Nacional futbol rivalry. The split is such that a woman Guido approached to be his running mate had to reject the approach in public citing family loyalties. Back before the mass Italian arrivals, Uruguay was a harder country. A country of men, and those men fought prolonged civil wars between the urban Colorado party controling the port and the rural Blanco, now National party holding the fields.
Other than branding loyalty, Guido's campaign is fueled by hyping the manufactered insecurity and proposing the "Caja Militar" ought to be priviledged over the other welfare programs successive Uruguayo governments have overburdened the country with. It's not a platform for electoral success on its own, and the conditions for a military coup just aren't here. There's maybe enough energy here to split the Colorado Party into still further irrelevance for a couple election cycles splitting the 8-15 percent of dedicated Colorado voters into still smaller chunks. The odd way elections work here, the fellow still might end up with a legislative seat, but that's doubtful.
The Obvious Prediction
The October general election results will almost certaintly lead to a November run off between Luis Lacalle Pou and Daniel Martinez.
- In Uruguay it is not Septiembre. The "p" is incompatible with their accent so they killed it by dictat. [↩]
- Voting in the Party internals here consists of placing up to 2 pre-printed voting lists inside the balloting envelope. This creates problems for the very marginal who can't print and place lists in the hands of their supporters. [↩]
- The Army of Uruguay presently recovers a substantial chunk of its operating expenses and acquires new material through participation in UN peacekeeping missions. They also operate the national anti-aircraft artillery which consists of roughly a dozen 20 millimeter cannons. Organized into four divisions the Army suffers an excessive ratio of General and Colonels to other personel. Similarly the Navy suffers from an excessive ratio of Admiralds and Captains to ships. [↩]
As promised, here is a look at one of several market segments it may be worth chewing through with a mechanized conversion engine. For this first installment let us look at a group which is having a moment in the popular discussion space three years after their guy had his moment in the Republican space, the Elliot identifying self-aware surplus males. Or as they prefer to self identify, incels.
Why market to self admitted losers? Consider the following points of ideological allignment:
- Deep Hatred of the Femstate - Unfortunately this also tends to be accompanied by preferences for different flavors of socialism, but it is a short move from where their discourse is centered to the Republican imperative to disenfranchise bitter old women for they are the root of all evil.
- Not anti-hooker Puritans like their "Manosphere" predecesors - Wheras the bizarre characters making up the backbone of the old manosphere/pill realm focused on ethically sourcing free range pussy in a complete surrender to both the Puritan and Pantsuit objections to sex work.1 There is cognitive dissonance and lack of consensus in the ranks on the subject over whether patronzing hookers
- Their Loserdom is Deeply Internalized - Rock bottom and possibility of surrender and all that. Also, they tend to be sufficiently disillisioned to resist the tempation to view Trump as their secret best friend unlike the folks embracing their manliness in weird Anglo-Puritan ways.
The bulk of them, like the bulk of idiotic humanity is likely too far gone for anything, but that happens even when Mircea fishes for sluts in the place that says its supposed to have sluts. It's possible that one or more angry young men out of the millions is open to doing something about their situation, and unlike the average "dominant identifying" sense of humor guys, their resignation might make them hungry enough to try something.
Group solitications would likely fail for the same reason they have in the past failed to hook promising leads from other populations. Bias towards their known, comfort heirarchy and the ensuing ant defense tactics. In their language, every positive action is derided as a "cope". All of the sex-having apparently goes to some guys named "Chad", the bodybuilder-tattoo uniformed folks doing the Pick-up thing and apparently ruining pink markets around the world.2 The obsess over millimeters of bone they may or may not have ignoring ample examples from history where dozens of hookers kept armies of thousands of men laid while on the march.
The size of this pile is immense to the point Anglin and Weev shifted the editoral spin of their Socialist Stormer in a not entirely unsuccessful attempt to appeal to these surplus males as a group. I am strictly uninterested however in groups or numbers. I am interested in mechanically tossing ropes into their pits of melancholy with the hope some might climb. Other might hang, but that is already incredibly common in their community. The #trilema channel is pointedly not the place to be receiving the climbers, thusly #pizarro and the other aspiring castles are going to need irc bot attention.
The sad state of the world is that it seems the place to start churning through in search of live intelligences is also the place most sad.
- The primary Puritan objection is that sex work is sex, while the primary Pantsuit objection is that sex work is work. [↩]
- The mechanism for this which I suspect from Mircea's observations of his travels is they go around doing their "nomad" thing and their "pick-up" thing. The result is girls who'd normally be selling mis-perceive the arrival of their chance, and get burned. Eventually the cycle breaks with the guys talking about how "Eastern Europe is ruined" before going to Jesus while the girls are abandoned to pastoral bovinity. [↩]
The outlook is looking a lot like it did the last time I visited the issue. Lacalle Pou still leads the Blancos despite Sartori taking Larrañaga voters, the irrelevant Colorado primary is still a coin flip, and Martinez still has a commanding lead within the Fat Foreheads coalition. The minor parties are still irrelevant.
One peculiarity about how the party internals work here versus the party primaries back home is that here, they vote off of lists. The voters are expected to arrive to the polls with their chosen list which includes their candidate and anywhere from 50 to 500+ names of delegates supporting their candidate. They are also expected to bring a small light source because voting happens in the "dark room" which is apparently their solution to privacy. Thusly everywhere in the city with appreciable foot traffic has collections of "militants" handing out lists for "their" candidates. In nearly all cases the "militants" appear to be hired help.
There is a certain peculiar ethic as to how they hand out the lists. The folks are far too honest to dump them into the trash and declare mission accomplished. Instead they will hand out 3, 5, 9, or 10 lists so long as you appear receptive to receiving the lists. Because the culture war is a war, I have been declining offered lists of the Colorado and Frente candidates with a simple "Gracias, pero soy Blanco." I doubt this will have a profound impact in any particular situation, but over enough interactions it may "humanize" the Blanco cause in the same way my response to the Trump question "Of course I voted for Trump" grits the femstate's gears.
The list givers seem to follow certain trends. Luis and Larrañaga have a lot of Uruguayas and old men. Sartori has a lot of young Dominican and Venezuelan men. Both Colorados have a lot of far Venezuelan and Dominican girls along with
dorks "average guys" wearing their candidates flags like capes. Meanwhile the Frente and minor leftist parties are presenting fat old women, metro-gendered cocksuckers, and the actual unwashed poor of the streets as their public image.
The pichi above is "militating" for the minor leftist party UP. Ten feet into the future he will navigate around the dumpster into the street to avoid a dog barking in reaction to his proximity. He went into the street for several passing persons as well before our paths diverged. I have no doubts he earnestly supports the candidate and party whose flag he is carrying or he wouldn't be taking on the great personal risk of being this far outside his comfort zone. By this I don't mean there aren't pichis in my barrio, but that he is not a pichi of this barrio. Few things are more dangerous for the unwashed than being somewhere that one is both unwashed and unknown. Even bearing the message of "more gibs for the unwashed" modern democracy can't change the hard reality where more mouths pleading for "una moneda para comer algo" means less monedas to go around.