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My 2019 curated list of articles, resources and links on programming, math and computer science.
Hi /compsci! Every year I bookmark many websites, tutorials and articles on mostly programming, math, technology and computer science. I go through them all in the end of the year and curate the best, unique and interesting stuff to make a list for myself (and discard the others). I hope some will benefit you, ignite your interests further in computer science or find something interesting to read and learn. Enough talk, let's get to the meat!
Paperdigest, tracks and analyzes all new papers (ai, machine learning, vision, robotics, etc) uploaded to Arxiv and published on selected conferences, and then generates a one sentence summary for each paper to capture the paper highlight.
cogsci reading list, the cognitive science subreddit's reading list is an amazing resources with a lot of books, papers and articles if you're into cognitive science.
Gwern's Blog/Website, about psychology, statistics, and technology; Gwern writes about darknet markets & Bitcoin, blinded self-experiments & Quantified Self analyses, dual n-back & spaced repetition, and modafinil.
On the Separation of Assets – The Financial Cost of the BSA/LDS Split
This is a follow up report on a report made on May 10, 2018 entitled “A Mormon Divorce – The Ending of a Boy Scout Era by the Numbers”. “Love is grand; divorce is a hundred grand." ~ Shinichi Suzuki Overview (tl;dr): On paper, neither the BSA nor the LDS Church should walk away from this split without losing substantial financial assets on both sides; however, further analysis suggests both entities have sufficient war-chests to remain in a strong financial position post-separation:
The BSA gets the better part of this deal depending on a number of factors, not least of which includes a surprising increase in membership dues collected post-separation and first dibs to all assets belonging to the dissolved Utah councils – an estimated $50,619,729 depending on how things are actually split up between the BSA and LDS. The BSA will lose out on $220,116/yr in National Service Fees if the three councils dissolve, and continues to struggle in its 10 year decline in magazine sales. Overall contributions and BSA equipment/uniform sales show solid gains, and this combine with total assets of $1,471,984,000 in 2016 leaves the BSA in a strong position to move forward in its mission to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
The LDS leave behind an estimated $50,619,729 in Boy Scout camps, buildings, and other assets to the BSA in just the act of dissolving three of the five existing Utah BSA Councils. This figure does not take into account the amount of funds the LDS Church as a whole and Mormon families individually have invested in other Local BSA Councils across the nation. This figure also does not take into account the untold tens of millions of dollars it will cost the LDS to replicate youth organization on the same level as the BSA. With this said, the LDS Church collects $8 Billion in tithing each year – $50 million lost plus another $50 million or more invested in creating a new youth organization is a drop in the bucket for the LDS Church and more than worth the expense to create a program better suited to the LDS Church’s international missionary needs.
Funds to support the national organization of the Boy Scouts of America come from registration fees, local council service fees, investment income, Scouting and Boys’ Life magazines, sale of uniforms and equipment, and contributions from individuals. These monies help to deliver the program of the BSA (through four regional service centers and more than 300 local councils) to chartered organizations that use the Scouting program to meet the needs of their youth.
Lets break down each of these funding sources: Registration Fees On paper, this is the scariest loss of funding for the BSA National Organization. The BSA membership fee as of Dec. 1, 2017 was $33 a year for both youth AND adults. With 470,000 Mormon youth exiting the BSA in 2019-2020, the BSA National Organization is looking at losing $15,510,000/yr in membership dues – essentially eclipsing the LDS $50 million loss in just four years. However, this $15 million figure is misleading for three reasons. (1) It doesn’t account for registered Mormon adults in each Troop who also pay the $33 membership fee; (2) As covered in depth in a prior article and detailed further below, LDS Troops receive a discounted rate on their membership dues; (3) The membership fee was RAISED from $24/scout in 2014 to $33/scout in 2017 by the BSA National Organization in response to an anticipated departure by the LDS Church. So let’s look at these calculations again in 2014 to 2019 terms: 2014 = ($24 Membership Fee)x(2,419,000 Mormon and non-Mormon Scouts) = $58,056,000 per year in Membership Fees 2019 = ($33 Membership Fee)x(1,871,000 non-Mormon Scouts) = $61,743,000.00 per year in Membership Fees In the worst case scenario, where (1) 470,000 Mormon scouts all leave at once, (2) the BSA does not add or lose any other non-Mormon scouts (girls, LGBT, or otherwise) to its ranks, and (3) Mormon scouts paid the same dues as everyone else, the BSA still makes $3,687,000 MORE revenue without LDS scouts in its ranks than the organization made with LDS scouts. However, we know not all 470,000 LDS scouts are leaving at once as some will stick around for a year or more to complete their Eagle Scout Award. We also know LDS scouts do not paid the same dues as everyone, as show by the BSA's own 2014 Financial Statement:
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA), consisting of 280 local councils, continued to deliver an exciting and valuable program to young people in 2014, with approximately 2,419,000 youth members and Explorers registered in individual programs. Approximately 981,000 registered adult leaders provide support to these youth. Fees decreased in 2014 by $9,934 with the absence of the 2013 National Scout Jamboree fees totaling $32,784. This is offset by a membership fee increase effective January 1, 2014, which led to increased membership revenues despite a decline in membership.
The 2014 Financial Statement reports Revenue generated from Registration (Membership) Fee was $62,732,000 in 2014 with 2,419,000 youth and 981,000 adults. ($24 Membership Fee per youth/adult)x(3,400,000 youths and adults) = $81,600,000 This is $18,868,000 more than revenues reported by the BSA's 2014 Financial Statement - there are approximately 786,167 youths/adults ($18,868,000/$24 Membership Fee) missing from the 2014 Financial Statement. As the Utah BSA Councils stated to the Salt Lake Tribune:
The national BSA normally charges a $24 registration fee for each Scout and adult leader per year. However, a 2015 statement from the three BSA councils in Utah said those fees "are negotiated between the national BSA and the LDS Church. All registration fees are retained at the national BSA level."
Ironically enough, depending on how large a discount on membership fee LDS scouts get, the BSA National Organization may be earning way more revenue from its membership fees with the exit of the LDS and the addition of young women and the LGBT community into its ranks. Local Council Service Fees This fee is two parts paid on a yearly basis by each of the 280 Local BSA Councils across the nation. The first is a fixed charter fee of $1,000 – this fee can be waived if the Local BSA Council turns in its Renewal Application before Mar. 1 of each year. The second is the National Service Fee. The final amount of this fee is based upon data extracted from the council’s general ledger, and using the following formula:
(1) 2015 professional salaries (account No. 7002) for all funds (all funds being defined as Operating, Capital, and Endowment) (2) 2015 office salaries (account No. 7003) for all funds (all funds being defined as Operating, Capital, and Endowment) (3) Calculate the qualifying salaries for use in determining the 2017 national service fee (sum of figures 1 and 2 above) (4) The council’s national service fee for 2017 is 3.5 percent of the qualifying salaries above* (multiply figure 3 above by .035) *For those councils that will be charged a national service fee of $40,000 or greater for the year 2016, their fee will increase at the same rate of qualifying salary growth from 2014 to 2015, not to exceed 10 percent. Examples: (1) If the council’s 2016 national service fee will be $48,783 and the qualifying salaries recorded in accounts 7002 and 7003 increased by 6.2 percent from 2014 to 2015, then the council’s national service fee for 2017 would also increase by 6.2 percent, or be $51,808. (2) If the council’s 2016 national service fee will be $48,783 and the qualifying salaries recorded in accounts 7002 and 7003 were the same or decreased, the council agrees to and will be invoiced a national service fee of $48,783 for 2017.
The National Service Fee is pegged to the professional and office salaries of those employed in the BSA Local Council – changes in the number of scouts a local council has will not impact the National Service Fee assessed. Hence, across the nation, only Local BSA Councils at risk for closing because they do not serve enough scouts will be impacted. Currently, only three BSA Councils are anticipated to be at risk of closing:
TT = Unknown; Estimated to be average of GSL and UNP -> $73,372
In a worst case scenario, should all three Utah Councils go under, the BSA will lose at most $220,116/yr in National Service Fees due to the LDS split. In 2016, the BSA made $5,994,000 from interest and dividends alone on its investments - $220,116/yr is an easily absorbable loss. Investment Income In short, investments are affected by market conditions – not by the internal affairs of a single non-profit. Regardless, a short summary of the BSA’s investments:
Balance Dec 21, 2015
Interest and Dividends
Investment Manager Fee
Net investment return
Scouting and Boys’ Life magazines The BSA National Organization’s flagship magazine is actually one area the BSA could really feel the hurt – nearly ever year Financial Statements were kept, the magazine’s revenue declined until hitting negative in both 2015 and 2016. While the LDS/BSA split will certainly not help this situation, the BSA magazine has been declining in revenue for the last decade. Clearly the BSA needs to consider either scrapping the magazine entirely or moving to more cost effective options like sending out electronic subscriptions over email to save on printing costs.
In short, the BSA magazine was an issue before the LDS/BSA split and will continue to be an issue long after the split. Again though, the BSA can temporarily cover this loss in revenue with gains in other areas of the organization – such as $5,994,000 interest gains on investments. Sale of uniforms and equipment Unlike the BSA flagship magazine, uniform and trading post sales have nearly tripled from 2005 to 2016, benefiting from a new wave of low overhead online shopping. While it remains to be seen how these sales might be impacted by the loss of 470,000 scouts, the addition of new demographics into the Scouts program means new uniforms and new equipment.
Even in the most extreme situation where 20% loss of membership = 20% loss of Uniform and Equipment revenue, a 20% reduction in 2016 Sales means ($$13,367,000) - ($13,367,000)(0.20) = $10,693,600.00 in 2019 Sales Revenue -> Still better than almost every year up to 2014. Contributions from Individuals Individual contributions rose considerably in the 11 years spanning from 2005 to 2016, but at an unpredictable rate. The BSA will certainly be missing out on contributions given by LDS families, but the BSA has such a large endowment ($218,224,000 in invested assets in 2016) that the organization will be able smooth out any transition period between the LDS leaving and new demographics entering.
Ms. Peggy Stack and Mr. Lee Davison from The Salt Lake Tribune wrote an interesting article back in August on a topic generating much discussion with the Boy Scouts and Latter-Day Saints Wards – how badly will the BSA be hit financially for losing approximately 20% of its members in 2020 when the LDS Church officially parts ways with the Boy Scouts? In short, the Ms. Stack and Mr. Davison come to the conclusion any split will…
…have dire financial consequences for BSA. The LDS Church is far and away the nation's largest Scouting sponsor, serving 437,160 boys in 37,933 troops. In 2013, more than a third (37 percent) of troops were LDS sponsored, accounting for 18 percent of the BSA's 2.4 million total membership (Mormon troops, while more numerous, tend to be smaller in size). An LDS Church withdrawal also could ruin the three Scout councils in Utah, which say between 96 percent and 99 percent of their members are in Mormon units. In Utah, the three councils say they have a combined 320,000 registered Scouts and adult leaders, the vast majority of whom are Mormon. Losing them could bring big financial blows to Scouting. For example, the national BSA normally charges a $24 registration fee for each Scout and adult leader per year. The fee just for Mormon youths would cost $10.5 million a year. However, a statement from the Utah councils says those fees "are negotiated between the national BSA and the LDS Church. All registration fees are retained at the national BSA level." In Utah, the Orem-based Utah National Parks Council says 99 percent of its Scouts are in LDS units. The Salt Lake City-based Great Salt Lake Council says 98 percent of its Scouts are. And the Ogden-based Trapper Trails Council says 96 percent of its youths are in Mormon-sponsored units. Each year, the LDS Church supports a "Friends of Scouting" drive to ask members for donations to boost the local Scout councils — money which could disappear if the faith leaves. The Utah National Parks Council says the Friends of Scouting push provides 43 percent of its budget; the Trapper Trails Council says it generates 36 percent; and the Great Salt Lake Council receives 34 percent of its money from the effort. "The large majority of Friends of Scouting funds come from LDS units," according to the joint statement from the councils. Questions also arise about what may happen to the many Scout camps in Utah if the LDS Church exits the organization. In response to Salt Lake Tribune questions, the local councils wrote, "All camp properties are either owned by the council or are leased properties from the Forest Service. Each council is a 501(c)3 corporation separate from the Boy Scouts of America or any other council. The properties would continue to serve Scouting and the needs of religious and other youth groups in our communities."
There is a lot to unpack in this article. We have already covered facts concerning BSA's suprsingly solid financial footing despite loosing 20% of its membership. Let’s next focus on what Local BSA Councils are and what happens when Local BSA Councils dissolve. BSA Organization and Local BSA Councils in Utah The Organization of the Boy Scouts of America is a topic that requires a post of its own (conveniently found here!). In short, the BSA is run by a National Executive Council that, among other functions; develops program; sets and maintains quality standards in training, leadership selection, unforming, registration records, literature development, and advancement requirements; and publishes Boys' Life and Scouting magazines. The National Executive Council does not attempt to administer directly the more than 150,000 registered Boy Scout units (troops, packs, venturing crews, etc.). To achieve this, each year, the National Council issues a charter to an autonomous organization called a Local Council. The United States and its territories is divided into local councils. Local councils are usually not-for-profit private corporations registered within the State in which they are headquartered. The State of Utah actually has five Local BSA Councils - not three - however, The Salt Lake Tribune can be forgiven for this slight accounting error because: (1) the Great Southwest Council (GSW) is headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and provides Scouting to 7,260 youth in northern New Mexico, northeast Arizona, Utah south of the Colorado River, and the Durango and Mesa Verde areas of Colorado; and (2) the Snake River Council (SN) serves a number of Scouts in Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. There are three Utah based BSA Councils who are composed of between 96% - 99% Mormon youth and focus only on the State of Utah:
Utah National Parks Council (UNP) – 99% Mormon Scouts;(www.utahscouts.org) serves 79,194 youth scouts in areas of Utah who live south of Salt Lake County, Utah and in some isolated areas of Nevada and Arizona.
Of these five Local BSA Councils, only GSL, UNP, and TT are at risk of dissolving in 2020 once the Latter-Day Saints Church officially splits from the BSA. Both GSW and SN have enough geographic dispersment and diversity of membership to survive the split relatedly unscathed. So what would happen if a Local BSA council suddenly dissolved? Well fortunately the Boy Scouts of America have been around for nearly 120 years as a national youth organization, and in this time plenty of Local BSA Councils have come and gone. Hence, the BSA National Executive Council has had plenty of time to develop and enact procedures for what happens to Local BSA Councils when they dissolve: BSA Rules and Regulations; III. Local Councils
Council or Unit Assets Upon Dissolution Consistent with the Bylaws, in the event of the dissolution of a council or the revocation or lapse of its charter, the Executive Committee may, at its option, authorize the National Council to assume charge of the affairs of the council and continue operation pending reorganization or reestablishment of the council or wind up the business of the council. All funds and property in the possession or control of such council must be applied to the payment of the council’s obligations. Any surplus funds or property may thereafter be administered as deemed to be in the best interests of Scouting. In the event of the dissolution of a unit or the revocation or lapse of its charter, unit funds and assets must be used to first satisfy any outstanding unit obligations. Any remaining assets obtained with funds raised in the name of Scouting must be redeployed for Scouting use in the local area. Any assets obtained with funds from the chartered organization or parents of registered members may be redeployed as agreed upon by the chartered organization and local council. Any property or funds acquired by the National Council upon the dissolution of a Scouting unit or local council will be administered so as to make effective, as far as possible, the intentions and wishes of the donors. Real Estate Except as hereafter provided with respect to incorporated local councils, the title to all real estate acquired for a unit or local council must be vested in a bank or trust company, in trust for the use of the unit or local council in accordance with the wishes of the donor with the provision that if such property cannot be utilized in such a manner, and title does not revert to the donor, that title or beneficial use of the property must nonetheless be for the benefit of Scouting in the local area. Any incorporated local council may hold title to real property in its own name provided that in the event of the dissolution of the unit or council or the revocation or lapse of its charter said trustee or trustees will, after satisfying any claims against such unit or council to which such real estate may be subject, convey said property or, if sold, pay the net proceeds of such sale to the Boy Scouts of America, which may hold or use said property or funds for the benefit of Scouting in such locality or elsewhere if there is not suitable opportunity to use said property or funds in such locality. Any incorporated local council holding title to real property in its own name must ensure that its certificate or articles of incorporation expressly provide for the conveyance of such property or the net proceeds from the sale thereof to the Boy Scouts of America in the event of the dissolution of the local council or the revocation or lapse of its charter in a manner consistent with this provision. Restricted Funds Restricted funds received by a unit or local council must in all cases be held (a) in trust by either a corporate trustee for a bank or trust company, the National Boy Scouts of America Foundation, or the Boy Scouts of America Endowment Master Trust; or (b) in the Boy Scouts of America Commingled Endowment Fund LP for the use of the unit or the local council, in accordance with the wishes of the donors, with the provision in the statement of the conditions governing the administering of the funds that in the event of the dissolution of the unit or council or revocation or lapse of its charter said funds will, after any claims against said funds are satisfied, be turned over to the Boy Scouts of America for use by the Boy Scouts of America for the benefit of Scouting in such locality and for the specific purposes for which the fund was granted. If there is no suitable opportunity for the use of said funds in such locality, they may be used elsewhere.
This is A LOT to unpack, but here are the highlights; Registration
Every Local BSA Council across the US is registered as a separate 501(c)3 corporation separate from the Boy Scouts of America or any other council. Every Council owns assets and liabilities separate from the BSA parent organization.
However (and this is very important), every Local BSA Council, including all five Councils in the State of Utah, are legally bound to the rules and provisions as laid out by the BSA Executive National Committee. These rules clearly spell out the actions that will be taken once a Council is dissolved, including the BSA’s right to all of the Council’s property and most of the Council’s assets.
Steps Taken Upon Utah Council Dissolution
(1) National Committee will step in and take control of all Utah Local BSA Councils under threat of dissolution. The Committee will do everything in its power to keep the Local Councils alive including moving remaining scouts to other troops or other councils in extreme cases. You can already see this process starting with the GSL Council here.
(2) If the Local BSA Council cannot be saved, then the Councils will be permanently shuttered. Now here is where things get really interesting – all Local BSA Council assets and liabilities are turned over to the BSA Executive Council. These assets are first used to pay off all outstanding debt carried by the Local BSA Council. The remaining assets “raised in the name of Scouting” will be kept by the BSA Executive Council, while assets “obtained with funds from the chartered organization or parents of registered members may be redeployed as agreed upon by the chartered organization and local council.”
Real Estate - Any buildings and land owned outright by Local BSA Councils is first used to pay off outstanding liabilities. After this, the buildings and land is turned over to the BSA Executive Committee to be given over to other BSA Local Councils. If no other Councils can make use of the property or land, the real estate is sold off and the funds are kept by the BSA to deploy to other Local Councils across the nation. This will be important when we examine the Financial statements of Utah Local BSA Councils next.
What do these numbers mean? In 2020, approximately 72,844 Mormon scouts (98% of the GSL) will walk away from the GSL leaving approximately 1,487 non-Mormon scouts behind. The BSA National Executive Committee will take over the GSL, and take control of $29,118,969 in assets and $5,983,311 in liabilities that the Latter-Day Saints Church walks away from. Lets look at some interesting things the LDS Church is leaving behind (at least initially and according to the BSA Bylaws) to the Boy Scouts:
$84,365 Monetary Pledges from mostly Mormon Scout Families in 2016
$17,084,440 in Land, Buildings, and Leaseholds in 2016; This figure includes construction costs for the Thomas S. Monson Lodge which amounted to $6,229,000. It is likely the lodge will retain its name when it is initially turned over to the BSA as seen in past cases of councils dissolving. It also includes 564.82 acres purchase the on the East Fork of the Bear River from the State of Utah Schools and Institutions Trust Lands Administration (“SITLA”), as well as the Federal lease ownership of Camp Steiner. Additionally, Hinckley Scout Ranch and Millcreek Canyon Camps will be initially retained by the BSA.
The following Money Market Accounts, Treasury Notes, Corporate Bonds, and Real Estate Trusts:
2016 USD AMOUNT
Money Mkt Accounts
Fixes Income Securities:
U.S. Treasury Notes
Mortgage Backed Gov Sec
Real Estate Investment Trusts
It goes without saying this level of professional investment is really really unique to find in a Local BSA Council. I honestly have never seen anything like this – though I do come from a poor and tiny Local BSA Council. On a side note, “Alternative Investments” is accounting slang for things like Bitcoin – so it is pretty humorous to think there is a remote possibility that scouting in Utah could be funded in part by Bitcoin.
The following land restrictions:
“The Council owns two parcels of land, which have permanent restrictions on them. The Council’s Headquarters is on a piece of land that was given to the Council as long as it is used as the Scout Headquarters. The property’s restriction was removed in 2016 through the Council’s payment of $1,590,000 to the holder of the restrictions. The other restricted property is the Bear Lake Camp in Rich County, Utah, which represents approximately 289 acres that was given to the Council to use strictly as a Boy Scout Camp.”
The purchase of the Council Headquarters land in 2016 to remove the Boy Scout restriction is an interesting move. This move was made around the same time the LDS Church began to take active measures to claw back as much as it could from Local BSA Councils around the US before announcing a split in 2018. No matter what happens with this split, the LDS will lose Bear Lake Camp to the BSA.
Summary of GSL Council Dispersal of Assets and Liabilities $29 million in assets is at stake for both the BSA and the LDS in the termination of just one BSA Council. It is clear from a legal standpoint all assets and liabilities will be initially turned over to the BSA in an attempt to salvage the GSL Council. It is also clear that should these efforts fail, approx. $6 million in assets will be sold off to cover the existing debt. From this point forward, the BSA has legal claim to all the property holdings of the GSL Council and can choose to retain this property or sell some, all, or parts of these properties to the LDS or other organizations. The only certainty from a real estate perspective is that the BSA will retain ownership of Bear Lake Camp due to deed restrictions as well as the Federal lease for Camp Steiner. What will happen to other non-real estate assets is less clear, but the language of the BSA bylaws asserts the BSA will make a determination which assets to keep and which to return or sell back to the LDS. UTAH NATIONAL PARKS COUNCIL - 2014 In the interest of type space, time, and because Hinton & Burdick are awful awful people for inverting their Financial Statement, I will not be inserting this F/S into the post. I left the link above to the UNP Financial Statement if anyone wants to go hog wild. [2014 is the newest F/S posted] Big take aways after reviewing the 2014 UNP Financial Statement:
Total Assets in 2014: $17,275,633; Total Liabilities: $734,307
$2,941,642 invested in Securities and REIT
$244,838 in total contributions
$10,731,547 in Land, Buildings, and Equipment
$124,500 in Scout Camp land is permanently earmarked for the BSA
$3,241,341 in total endowments
There isn’t really much more that can be said for the UNP that wasn’t already covered by our discussion of GSL. In short, the BSA will initially retain all assets and liabilities of the UNP, and should the UNP resolve, $734,307 in assets will be liquidated to cover existing debt. The remaining $10,731,547 is legally owned by the BSA with some, part, or all of these holdings being either retained or sold off the LDS or other third party interests. Part of the remaining $5,809,779 will either be retained by the BSA as it was raised for the purpose of scouting, while an unknown portion will be returned to the LDS Church. Unfortunately after an exhaustive search online, no Financial Statements for TT could be found. Roughly Estimating the Final Cost to the LDS from the BSA Split So how much does the Latter-Day Saints Church lose by parting ways with the Boy Scouts? Well a rough estimation can be made with the following assumptions in mind:
(1) Assuming the LDS Church will either lose control of all land held by the BSA Councils or will have to buy the land back; [In reality some land will be gifted or donated back to the Church by the BSA]. Either way, all assets found in the “Land, Buildings, and Equipment” ledger of both Financial Sheets will be given to the BSA. GSL = $17,084,440 [Real-Estate (RE)]; UNP = $10,731,547 [RE]
(2) Assuming all liabilities are paid off by non-real estate assets dollar for dollar; [In reality, there will be a cost to manipulating assets and debts in a short term]. **GSL = $6,051,218 [Total Assets (TA) - Liabilities (L) - RE]; UNP = $5,809,779 [TA – L – RE]
(3) Assuming remaining assets are equally split between BSA and the LDS Church; [In reality, it is unknown how much of the remaining assets the BSA will retain after covering debt and securing real estate]. **GSL = $3,025,609 [$6,051,218 / 2]; UNP = $2,904,890 [$5,809,779 / 2]
This puts total LDS losses from the GSL ($20,110,049) and UNP ($13,363,437) at $33,746,49.
It is not unreasonable to assume TT will exact similar loses on the LDS Church as did GSL and UNP despite having no available Financial Statement. For this reason, the average of GSL and UNP was taken as the losses exacted by TT. Hence, TT = $16, 873,243 [$33,746,49 / 2].
It is from these assumptions we can arrive at a ball park figure of the LDS Church surrendering $50,619,728 in assets to the BSA in just the dissolution of three Utah BSA Councils. This figure does not account for the substantial investment the LDS Church has put into other BSA Councils across the US, or the invest Mormon families have made in paying for Scouting uniforms, campouts, membership fees, and other costs. This figure also does not take into account the $50 million or more it will take to replicate a youth organization on the same scale as the Boy Scouts. With this said, Bloomberg reports the Mormon Church collects $8 Billion a year in tithing alone from its wards around the world - $50 million lost plus another $50 million or more invested in creating a new youth organization is a drop in the bucket for the LDS Church and more than worth the expense to create a program better suited to the LDS Church’s international missionary needs.
China orders banks to stop financing cryptocurrencies & plans his own digital currency (140 points, 225 comments)
At 8:00 on January 4, 2018, the founder of Vechain, Lu Yang, will make a breakthrough in technological transformation at the live-streaming "China-US Blockchain Broadcasting Group" (138 points, 70 comments)
355 points: Criptolete's comment in Just visited VeChain offices in Shanghai: got my hoodie and nice info for you!
299 points: Crypto078's comment in A message from Sunny Lu: STOP ASKING VECHAIN PARTNERS FOR MORE INFO
275 points: deleted's comment in VeChain mods removed a legitimate criticism to VeChain. It cant always be happy rainbows and sunshine. We need to hear and discuss all the sides. Here is the text that was removed by them.
u/jessquit to u/nullc "You're so fucking shameless, devoting your career to crippling one of the most disruptive inventions since the Internet to please your investment team. Watching you go down in flames will be one of the great moments in computer science. Your legacy will be a monument of shame" (214 points, 40 comments)
Suggestion for new terminology. Instead of saying "small blocks" vs "big blocks", we could say: "centrally planned blocksize" vs "market-based blocksize". This will make it clear that some solutions are based on markets and economics, and other solutions are based on central planning. (195 points, 64 comments)
Core/Blockstream is living in a fantasy world. In the real world everyone knows (1) our hardware can support 4-8 MB (even with the Great Firewall), and (2) hard forks are cleaner than soft forks. Core/Blockstream refuses to offer either of these things. Other implementations (eg: BU) can offer both. (180 points, 35 comments)
Letting FEES float without letting BLOCKSIZES float is NOT a "market". A market has 2 sides: One side provides a product/service (blockspace), the other side pays fees/money (BTC). An "efficient market" is when players compete and evolve on BOTH sides, approaching an ideal FEE/BLOCKSIZE EQUILIBRIUM. (153 points, 42 comments)
Previously, Greg Maxwell u/nullc (CTO of Blockstream), Adam Back u/adam3us (CEO of Blockstream), and u/theymos (owner of r\bitcoin) all said that bigger blocks would be fine. Now they prefer to risk splitting the community & the network, instead of upgrading to bigger blocks. What happened to them? (149 points, 66 comments)
"Negotiations have failed. BS/Core will never HF - except to fire the miners and create an altcoin. Malleability & quadratic verification time should be fixed - but not via SWSF political/economic trojan horse. CHANGES TO BITCOIN ECONOMICS MUST BE THRU FULL NODE REFERENDUM OF A HF." ~ u/TunaMelt (124 points, 80 comments)
u/Luke-Jr: "The best available here is currently 5Mb down + 512k up DSL." // u/TruthReasonOrLies: "You seem to want to hold back the network development and growth to support those who are the least likely to run full nodes or mining." (114 points, 45 comments)
The Bitcoin community is talking. Why isn't Core/Blockstream listening? "Yes, [SegWit] increases the blocksize but BU wants a literal blocksize increase." ~ u/lurker_derp ... "It's pretty clear that they [BU-ers] want Bitcoin, not a BTC fork, to have a bigger blocksize." ~ u/WellSpentTime (90 points, 41 comments)
Just because something is a "soft fork" doesn't mean it isn't a massive change. SegWit is an alt-coin. It would introduce radical and unpredictable changes in Bitcoin's economic parameters and incentives. Just read this thread. Nobody has any idea how the mainnet will react to SegWit in real life. (88 points, 26 comments)
the systematic censorship policy of r\bitcoin is one of the clearest proof of the technical inferiority of blockstream core prescribed solutions : if they were just better , there would be no need for such policy . (219 points, 74 comments)
Another successful hard fork by Ethereum occurred today. Protocol upgrades are possible. Don't listen to lies from entrenched interests that say otherwise. (202 points, 78 comments)
I think if it comes down to it, Core would rather remain in control, even if it means introducing a small blocksize increase, as opposed to losing control entirely. We should not lose sight of our larger goals no matter what carrots they throw our way: We need a new, un-corrupt dev team. (177 points, 65 comments)
Bitcoin Core Devs can't just say the price of Bitcoin should be stuck at $100 per coin. The market decides. Just like Core shouldn't say the size of a block is stuck at 1MB. The market should decide! Take centrally planned actors OUT of the equation. This is Bitcoin-- Not the Federal Reserve. (145 points, 39 comments)
Miner Jiang Zhou'er: "I can conclude with great confidence: SegWit will never ever be activated. Even in 75% or 51% scenarios it will not be alive. ..some people are destined to be nailed up on the pillar of humiliation." (95 points, 63 comments)
We need more exclusive content for /btc with watermarks stating against censorship in /bitcoin. The new content will be effective in spreading the word! (79 points, 32 comments)
No one (except the market) knows what the price of Bitcoin should be, just like no one (except the market) knows what the size of blocks should be. Bitcoin Unlimited allows a market-decided blocksize. Bitcoin Core allows a centrally planned blocksize. (74 points, 20 comments)
It is likely a Core-affiliated extremist will attack pools mining Bitcoin Unlimited blocks. I recommend Bitcoin.com Pool goes live ASAP, with over 10% hashrate, so we have multiple pools for redundancy. 10-12% hashrate is not enough in the face of attackers who try to artificially activate Segwit. (64 points, 52 comments)
nullc is actively trying to delete Satoshi from history. First he assigned all satoshi commits on github to himself, then he wanted to get rid of the whitepaper as it is and now notice how he never says "Satoshi", he says "Bitcoin's Creator". by blockstreamcoin (243 points, 243 comments)
Censorship test from Gavin: post two positive things one about BU and another about SW, and see what happens by chakrop (240 points, 69 comments)
206 points: ViaBTC's comment in I'm Haipo Yang, founder and CEO of ViaBTC, Ask Me Anything!
118 points: solex1's comment in Gavin Andresen on Twitter: "I'm happy to see Bitcoin Unlimited gaining popularity, and hope their decentralized market-based approach gets adopted."
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