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The Remedy

A song plays on a handmade boom box. Cobbled together from random odds and ends, it looks like something out of Dr Frankenstein's lab. But hey, it works.
"T-the remedy is the experience.
th-i-is is a dangerous liaison
- the comedy is that it's serious.
this is a strange enough new play on words."
The CD had seen better days.
"I say the tragedy is how you're gonna spend
the rest of your nights with the light on
So shine the light on all of your friends
--it all amounts to nothing in the end."*
(*"The Remedy," by Jason Mraz)
I can remember back when mp3 players ruled the planet. Then little by little music was regulated to smaller and smaller devices until culture was nothing more then an app ran in the background of more important projects. Who would guess that in the dawn of the 22nd century the only music we have left is what was real; CDs, vinyl, cassettes. Everything else was lost int he destruction. Perhaps that's why I wish to write my story, to put it into words so that it will never be forgotten. Because it's my story to tell; the life of Dr. Ella Flores.
I was just twenty-one years old when my mother received the letter that would change my life. No, not anything nice like an invitation or a letter of acceptance to a decent school. This was much well...stranger.
As I stood outside my mother's house waiting for the carriage she reserved, I fished the piece of paper from my satchel. The letter, from a small town in Mexico.
It was around ten at night, dark and cold, even for Southern Texas. I checked my hair wrap, to make sure it would stay in place. I didn't cover my hair for religious reasons, more for my own safety. Under the shadow of the night, I could pass as a brunette, like my mother and sisters. But in reality I was "blessed" with my father's blonde hair; hair the color of gold, hair that made me a target.
When I was certain my hair would behave I attempted to re-read the letter, by the light of the full moon. Long story short: a farmer lay dying of fever. According to the letter the man had been living as a beggar, having lost his land and his family. But by the mercy of the Lord, he had been granted sanctuary at a church, someplace called Saint Theresa's.
The story had so many plot holes; did the man claim to be a farmer? Had he sought sanctuary in a church? Was there no doctor located closer? A more importantly, who was this letter from? there was no point of contact, all it said was "We will be expecting you, Dr. Flores."
That was the other issue on my mind: the letter was addressed to my father, Dr. Alberto Flores. But he was dead; murdered. So it was decided, by my mother, that I was to go in his place.
I could hear the sounds of the robotic hooves approaching. Centuries ago carriages were pulled by horses; majestic creatures that all but went extinct during the great famine. Cars still existed but with the cost of fossil fuel, only a handful of people cared to own them. The majority of people traveled via steam robot. Or walked; if the journey did not take me into such unknown territory I would have considered making the trip by foot.
I greeted the driver who was clad completely in black, including an industrial mask. As he held open the door of the grotesque mental carriage I could see he was armed with both a knife and a pistol.
"Thank you, sir," I said in my most polite tone.
He gave no reply. I knew the ride was prepaid through my mother's bitcoin account but knowing her she probably stiffed him on the tip.
"Here," I whispered, hanging him some coins from my pocket.
The man raised his mask, allowing me a view of his face. He had the most stunning green eyes. "A-are you sure?"
I nodded and quickly hopped into my seat.
I could see his gloved hands trembling. It was clear he hadn't eaten in days. I watched as he lowered his mask and pulled on his chest armor before firing up the engine.
I knew I was safe inside the carriage, although part of me wanted to see the glow of the radioactive core that powered the steam engine. "How long have you been a driver?"
"J-just a few m-months, when my Pa got too sick."
"I'm so sorry." I knew it was the nature of the job, men of the lower-class rank would line up for the chance to rent and operate a carriage. Drivers would be supplied with all the material necessary to power their vehicle, in exchange for a monthly fee- and eventually their health. “This address,” I asked if only to change the subject, “is it a church?”
“No, St. Theresa’s is actually a convent,” the driver replied.
"You've been there?"
"On occasion: dropping off young women like yourself."
"Like myself?"
"Young women looking for a career change..."
His words felt strange. What kind of work was done at a convent located just past the Mexico border? "I'm actually a doctor."
"Like a real doctor? Did you go to school?"
"My father did," I replied awkwardly. Truthfully, I was only an apprentice.
As the carriage crossed the Texas-Mexico border I glanced out the window. I could see the remains of guard towers and even the once legendary wall. That was before the world went to shit. In 2075 more people wanted to cross into the south, than the north. Countries run by gangs were safer than ones run by elected officials.
"Your father? A man was allowed to attend school alongside the witches?"
"Yes, he was one of the few." I paused as I fought back tears. "My father was a brilliant man."
"Was?"
"My father was stolen from my family life by a coven. It makes me sick to think what they did to him." For witches, men are catalysts. They can be claimed through sex or cannibalism. A man claimed through sex belongs to his mate, their hearts united as one. But for many witches, true love is too much to hope for so instead they resort to kidnapping men and devouring them like cigarettes for a temporary power boost.
"And your mother?"
"She's a practicing healer."
"Healer? An interesting title for a witch."
"You say 'witch' as if it's some kind of derogatory word."
"All women of impurity are witches."
"Impurity?" I chuckled at his choice of words. Yes, all women were witches. All women craved the life force of male victims. I knew my mother wanted me to kidnap the patient at St. Theresa’s, to replace my father. She was hungry, we all were. Hence why my two sisters left home, determined to find men to claim as their own.
The driver started to speak, chuckled, then simply coughed. I could tell he was trying to stop himself from going into a laughing fit.
I rolled my eyes. "No, I have not taken a lover." Within the last hundred years, all women were born of power to some degree. I inherited my mother’s healing abilities, but I didn’t want a man- not as a lover or a food source. Even if that meant my powers would be hindered.
"I guessed as much."
"Why, have you?" I asked with concern. I had always believed that once a woman claimed a man they would mate for life.
"Only when I have no driving jobs lines up." He chuckled softly as if he was joking. But I knew he was not.
"None of them ever wanted to keep you?"
"I wasn't worth their time. Not even to keep around as a snack. But you know what the really messed up thing is? I would have gladly lived with any of them, abandoning my father to live out the rest of my life as some witch's pet."
"How many women have you been with? Never mind, oh God I can't believe I said that."
"Seven."
"Excuse me?"
"I've been with seven women, all for pay."
"Oh..."
We rode in silence for the remainder of the trip. Upon arrival at the convent, he opened the door and just as quickly attempted to return to his seat to leave.
"Wait! I never got your name."
He left his rig, stepping down to face me.
I reached to hold his gloved hands. "My father told me stories, a long time ago men used to rule the world. Some were good, some were evil but at the end of the day they all slept under the same stars." I removed his gloves, revealing the driver's badly burned hands. "Witches, men, cats, dogs, all of God's creatures- and the end of the day when we close our eyes, we all sleep under the same stars."
"M-my name is William."
I lifted his mask to look into his eyes. "That's a beautiful name. Was it your father's name?"
"My grandpa, my mother's father." He swallowed hard, blinking tears from his eyes. "She gave me my name before she passed away."
"I'm Ella. My father named me after his mother, Eleanor. Our names are all that we are. William, I want you to find a place to sleep. But only after you return to your father." I placed his gloves back on his hands. "May God hold you in his grace."
William nodded and pulled on his mask. "Goodbye, Dr. Flores, I hope you find what you're looking for."
I watched him leave before turning to the front gate of St. Theresa’s.
I was greeted by an elderly woman who introduced herself as Mother Lorena. “You must be Dr. Flores’ assistant?”
“No, I’m Dr. Flores.”
“Oh? I was under the impression Dr. Flores was male.”
“I’m as skilled as my father.”
“I have no doubt, but the patient’s current condition will put your lady-like senses to the test, I’m afraid.”
We walked to a cold barn area. As we got closer the smell of death and decay became strong. Mother Lorena opened the door to a remote wooden structure. The room was dark, lit by only a few candles. From the doorway, I could make out a man laying on a dirty mattress. His face was obscured by a beard and long, matted hair the color of the night sky.
“Is there a source of water nearby?” I asked.
She motioned towards a metal pail. “We have someone assigned to bring him water once a day.”
Much to my surprise, the container did actually hold clean water. With the pail in hand, I approached the bed.
As I removed the thin blankets, it was clear he had not been properly bathed in days. Besides the dirt and the smells, more disturbing were the lesions. There were deep wounds on his arms and back where he had been flogged without mercy to the point where the skin had been torn from the flesh. It was clear the wounds had been left to fester but there was something odd; he was healing in that I could only describe as stripes.
Not that the gashes looked like stripes. No, the wounds looked like the work of a medieval torture professional. That, or a wild animal.
But his body was healing itself in long flower-petal shaped chunks, forming a chrysanthemum-like shape. I would wait until we were alone before taking a closer look. “How long has he been here?”
“I’m not entirely sure,” the old woman replied. That was clearly a lie.
I touched the man's neck. As I expected, the body was covered in sweat. Despite the coldness of the night air, he was burning with fever. With every weak breath, he was shivering so badly I could not help but weep. All I could think was, that this man is someone’s son, perhaps even a husband or a father.
His eyes flickered.
I could see the dark brown color sparkling by the light. But I was not certain if there was anything beyond those eyes. I couldn't help but wonder if this was what my own father had endured?
“Is there anything you require?” asked Mother Lorena.
“Perhaps a bath?”
“I will have some water brought to the guest quarters, for after you have completed your examination.”
“Not for me, for the patient. This man’s body is covered in open wounds.”
The old woman rolled her eyes. “It's quite late. I’ll wake one of the servants, and see what I can do.”
It was clear to me Mother Lorena was not the one who wrote the letter, sending for a doctor. She would have been content, perhaps even happy, to watch this man die.
As she left I put down my bag, setting up my humble equipment. I had a small camp stove and several small candles. My flask of vodka would have lit the fire much faster but I needed to conserve the contents for sanitizing my tools. And to be able to sleep later.
Using one of the nearby candles I lit my stove to boil some water. I poured in some herbs, mixing them with some oils: a formula I'd committed to memory. As the mixture simmered I held my patient's hand, stroking his cold, motionless fingers. "I'm Dr. Flores, you can call me Ella. If you can speak, that is."
I stripped the blankets to fully examine his body. As expected, the man was kept naked, like an animal. Despite his current state of sickness he had the body of a warrior; muscular, with a broad chest, thick arms and long legs. To my surprise he wasn't shackled or restrained. I laid the man on his back, to observe the movement of his breath.
His eyes shot open as his body convulsed.
I quickly rolled him on to his side, allowing him to cough up blood and mucus. It was clear he was breathing, he was alive. Even if he was barely conscious there was no way he was not in pain. "Sir, I don't know if I can help you, but I'm going to try."
I soaked a cloth into the warm liquid, then pressed it to his forehead, neck, working my way down the wounds of his back. With every touch, he flinched in pain. There was no logical reason why he was still alive, save for the mystery of the chrysanthemum.
I left his back exposed but kept him positioned on his side as to not inhibit his breathing.
That was when I heard him gasp. “Ava?” The sound was barely a whisper.
“Who’s Ava?”
He coughed a deep congested cough, gripping his chest in pain.
“Try to take some deep breaths, you’re safe now. I’m a doctor. I’m going to give you something for the pain.” I returned the cloth into the warm water to soak up more of the mixture. “Is Ava here, at the convent?” That would explain why he was not restrained. There was someone here, a wife or maybe a daughter; someone worth dying for.
“Ava runs the most beautiful garden,” he explained, his voice drifting away into a dream-like state. “She requested a slave to help her with the harvest..."
“You’re a slave?” I reached for a pair of scissors from my bag. I ran my fingers through his dark greasy locks trying to determine just how much had to go. I wanted to get a look at his face.
“A slave is what I am, here.”
“But you’re definitely not a farmer,” I muttered out loud as I began to cut away chunks of hair, revealing his forehead, cheekbones, and neck. “Keep talking, tell me more about Ava.”
“She was so beautiful, with hair the color of the ocean on the darkest night. And skin the color of coffee with cream.”
“Of what?" I had heard of cream. But coffee, that was something I had only briefly read about in old, foreign cookbooks.
“You are too young to remember, back before the great famine. There was so much beauty in this world. The clear blue oceans were teeming with fish, while birds filled the smog-free skies.” He paused for a moment as his lungs struggled. “That world was a fantasy, like Ava herself.” His body shivered in pain but his lips broke into a smile.
What he said was strange. No one alive knew of such a world. People refer to the ‘great famine’ as a single event, but in truth, it had taken place over decades. It was a massive series of dominoes; country after country falling into economic depression, overpopulation, global warming. It was all God’s way of saying mankind’s time was up.
I stroked my finger along his jaw. He was a very attractive older man around the same age as my father. “Why do you refer to Ava in the past tense?”
He swallowed hard, his words escaping as a labored breath, “Because she’s likely dead!”
“They found you in her bed, I assume?” My self-taught scientific mind in action: he was handsome and this Ava was clearly not a blood relative. I focused the cloth on his neck. With each breath, his body appeared to be getting stronger.
He turned his head, looking at me with his dark eyes. "She offered herself to me so that I might know comfort.” He paused his lips into a seductive pout as he took in a stream of air. “We were both taken away in shackles. I knew if I took the blame there was a chance she would not be harmed.”
"That's very sweet." I could feel my cheeks flush. Was it possible I had a crush on this stranger? "Is this medicine helping?"
"Yes," he said in a soft moan, "your touch feels heavenly."
"Ok...thanks..." I attempted to roll him on to his back again, hopeful he had healed enough to not go into convulsions. Thankfully, his body remained perfectly calm.
I soaked the cloth then held it to his throat, working my way down his chest. I could feel the rise and fall of his breath becoming ever stronger. “I learned this technique from my father. The warmth will help you breathe easier. My father was a trained physician, he devoted his life to helping people.”
“And your mother?”
“My mother is a healer, just a different kind. I've witnessed her power first hand. My father, ever since he was a child he walked with crutches and leg braces, just always in terrible pain. My mother was one of the few people who were kind to him. Her healing gave him a chance at a normal life."
"Kindness?" he asked in a sarcastic tone.
"Yes," I replied, slightly annoyed. "My mother is a kind women, much like your Ava."
"But it's your father whom you idolize."
"Even more reason to appreciate my mother. Had she not chosen him, my father would have ended up like the millions of homeless men and boys who wander the streets looking for a work."
"I do not disagree. Tell me more."
"My parents, they met in high school."
"High school? So you come from wealth."
"I did, mean they did. After the elimination of public education, there was no way my parents could afford to send me and my sisters to school. My grandmother was rich."
"Hence your blonde hair?"
"My father was a stunning, Nordic man. His height and his blonde hair were a gift from the expensive fertility clinic where my grandmother purchased sperm in an effort to give birth to a healthy, beautiful baby girl. But instead, fate saddled her with a sick crippled little boy. All she could do was make sure he the chance to go to school so that he might find a powerful woman to watch over him." I giggled remembering the stories my father used to tell me. "He was fourteen, in year one advanced biological sciences. Out of a class of fifty, he was one of only four boys."
"Lucky man."
"He was also the only one with cerebral palsy."
"Oh." The man turned his head, leaning into my touch.
"She wanted so badly to help him, so she developed a very special way of treating his pain. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.”
“Would you care to show me?” The man whispered, his eyes closed, lips agape.
I laughed as I shook my head. “I couldn’t even if I wanted to, I don’t possess her level of power.”
“Have you ever tried?”
“No, I guess not," I replied nervously since I was essentially admitting to my virginity. “But we don’t have that kind of connection.”
"How can you be so sure?" He sat up, stretching his back. "You healed my body. I say give it your best shot.”
"I healed your body?" I moved to his lap, caressing my hands down his shoulders. His body felt sticky. I could feel the movement of his skin and muscle tissue sealing the once open wounds. The medicinal water did not possess such an ability, on every other patient I'd treated it provided only sanitation and relief of their pain.
I knew needed to touch the chrysanthemum on his back. I glided my hands down his spine. I could feel raised scar tissue in the flower pattern. It felt cold and perfectly smooth, like metal or glass. “Fine, for you, I’ll try. But first, tell me your name.”
part 2
https://www.reddit.com/Wholesomenosleep/comments/8u54te/the_remedy_2_lovelorn/
https://dourdan.wordpress.com/
submitted by dourdan to Wholesomenosleep [link] [comments]

The Remedy

A song plays on a handmade boom box. Cobbled together from random odds and ends, it looks like something out of Dr Frankenstein's lab. But hey, it works.
"T-the remedy is the experience.
th-i-is is a dangerous liaison
- the comedy is that it's serious.
this is a strange enough new play on words."
The CD had seen better days.
"I say the tragedy is how you're gonna spend
the rest of your nights with the light on
So shine the light on all of your friends
--it all amounts to nothing in the end."*
(*"The Remedy," by Jason Mraz)
I can remember back when mp3 players ruled the planet. Then little by little music was regulated to smaller and smaller devices until culture was nothing more then an app ran in the background of more important projects. Who would guess that in the dawn of the 22nd century the only music we have left is what was real; CDs, vinyl, cassettes. Everything else was lost int he destruction. Perhaps that's why I wish to write my story, to put it into words so that it will never be forgotten. Because it's my story to tell; the life of Dr. Ella Flores.
I was just twenty-one years old when my mother received the letter that would change my life. No, not anything nice like an invitation or a letter of acceptance to a decent school. This was much well...stranger.
As I stood outside my mother's house waiting for the carriage she reserved, I fished the piece of paper from my satchel. The letter, from a small town in Mexico.
It was around ten at night, dark and cold, even for Southern Texas. I checked my hair wrap, to make sure it would stay in place. I didn't cover my hair for religious reasons, more for my own safety. Under the shadow of the night, I could pass as a brunette, like my mother and sisters. But in reality I was "blessed" with my father's blonde hair; hair the color of gold, hair that made me a target.
When I was certain my hair would behave I attempted to re-read the letter, by the light of the full moon. Long story short: a farmer lay dying of fever. According to the letter the man had been living as a beggar, having lost his land and his family. But by the mercy of the Lord, he had been granted sanctuary at a church, someplace called Saint Theresa's.
The story had so many plot holes; did the man claim to be a farmer? Had he sought sanctuary in a church? Was there no doctor located closer? A more importantly, who was this letter from? there was no point of contact, all it said was "We will be expecting you, Dr. Flores."
That was the other issue on my mind: the letter was addressed to my father, Dr. Alberto Flores. But he was dead; murdered. So it was decided, by my mother, that I was to go in his place.
I could hear the sounds of the robotic hooves approaching. Centuries ago carriages were pulled by horses; majestic creatures that all but went extinct during the great famine. Cars still existed but with the cost of fossil fuel, only a handful of people cared to own them. The majority of people traveled via steam robot. Or walked; if the journey did not take me into such unknown territory I would have considered making the trip by foot.
I greeted the driver who was clad completely in black, including an industrial mask. As he held open the door of the grotesque mental carriage I could see he was armed with both a knife and a pistol.
"Thank you, sir," I said in my most polite tone.
He gave no reply. I knew the ride was prepaid through my mother's bitcoin account but knowing her she probably stiffed him on the tip.
"Here," I whispered, hanging him some coins from my pocket.
The man raised his mask, allowing me a view of his face. He had the most stunning green eyes. "A-are you sure?"
I nodded and quickly hopped into my seat.
I could see his gloved hands trembling. It was clear he hadn't eaten in days. I watched as he lowered his mask and pulled on his chest armor before firing up the engine.
I knew I was safe inside the carriage, although part of me wanted to see the glow of the radioactive core that powered the steam engine. "How long have you been a driver?"
"J-just a few m-months, when my Pa got too sick."
"I'm so sorry." I knew it was the nature of the job, men of the lower-class rank would line up for the chance to rent and operate a carriage. Drivers would be supplied with all the material necessary to power their vehicle, in exchange for a monthly fee- and eventually their health. “This address,” I asked if only to change the subject, “is it a church?”
“No, St. Theresa’s is actually a convent,” the driver replied.
"You've been there?"
"On occasion: dropping off young women like yourself."
"Like myself?"
"Young women looking for a career change..."
His words felt strange. What kind of work was done at a convent located just past the Mexico border? "I'm actually a doctor."
"Like a real doctor? Did you go to school?"
"My father did," I replied awkwardly. Truthfully, I was only an apprentice.
As the carriage crossed the Texas-Mexico border I glanced out the window. I could see the remains of guard towers and even the once legendary wall. That was before the world went to shit. In 2075 more people wanted to cross into the south, than the north. Countries run by gangs were safer than ones run by elected officials.
"Your father? A man was allowed to attend school alongside the witches?"
"Yes, he was one of the few." I paused as I fought back tears. "My father was a brilliant man."
"Was?"
"My father was stolen from my family life by a coven. It makes me sick to think what they did to him." For witches, men are catalysts. They can be claimed through sex or cannibalism. A man claimed through sex belongs to his mate, their hearts united as one. But for many witches, true love is too much to hope for so instead they resort to kidnapping men and devouring them like cigarettes for a temporary power boost.
"And your mother?"
"She's a practicing healer."
"Healer? An interesting title for a witch."
"You say 'witch' as if it's some kind of derogatory word."
"All women of impurity are witches."
"Impurity?" I chuckled at his choice of words. Yes, all women were witches. All women craved the life force of male victims. I knew my mother wanted me to kidnap the patient at St. Theresa’s, to replace my father. She was hungry, we all were. Hence why my two sisters left home, determined to find men to claim as their own.
The driver started to speak, chuckled, then simply coughed. I could tell he was trying to stop himself from going into a laughing fit.
I rolled my eyes. "No, I have not taken a lover." Within the last hundred years, all women were born of power to some degree. I inherited my mother’s healing abilities, but I didn’t want a man- not as a lover or a food source. Even if that meant my powers would be hindered.
"I guessed as much."
"Why, have you?" I asked with concern. I had always believed that once a woman claimed a man they would mate for life.
"Only when I have no driving jobs lines up." He chuckled softly as if he was joking. But I knew he was not.
"None of them ever wanted to keep you?"
"I wasn't worth their time. Not even to keep around as a snack. But you know what the really messed up thing is? I would have gladly lived with any of them, abandoning my father to live out the rest of my life as some witch's pet."
"How many women have you been with? Never mind, oh God I can't believe I said that."
"Seven."
"Excuse me?"
"I've been with seven women, all for pay."
"Oh..."
We rode in silence for the remainder of the trip. Upon arrival at the convent, he opened the door and just as quickly attempted to return to his seat to leave.
"Wait! I never got your name."
He left his rig, stepping down to face me.
I reached to hold his gloved hands. "My father told me stories, a long time ago men used to rule the world. Some were good, some were evil but at the end of the day they all slept under the same stars." I removed his gloves, revealing the driver's badly burned hands. "Witches, men, cats, dogs, all of God's creatures- and the end of the day when we close our eyes, we all sleep under the same stars."
"M-my name is William."
I lifted his mask to look into his eyes. "That's a beautiful name. Was it your father's name?"
"My grandpa, my mother's father." He swallowed hard, blinking tears from his eyes. "She gave me my name before she passed away."
"I'm Ella. My father named me after his mother, Eleanor. Our names are all that we are. William, I want you to find a place to sleep. But only after you return to your father." I placed his gloves back on his hands. "May God hold you in his grace."
William nodded and pulled on his mask. "Goodbye, Dr. Flores, I hope you find what you're looking for."
I watched him leave before turning to the front gate of St. Theresa’s.
I was greeted by an elderly woman who introduced herself as Mother Lorena. “You must be Dr. Flores’ assistant?”
“No, I’m Dr. Flores.”
“Oh? I was under the impression Dr. Flores was male.”
“I’m as skilled as my father.”
“I have no doubt, but the patient’s current condition will put your lady-like senses to the test, I’m afraid.”
We walked to a cold barn area. As we got closer the smell of death and decay became strong. Mother Lorena opened the door to a remote wooden structure. The room was dark, lit by only a few candles. From the doorway, I could make out a man laying on a dirty mattress. His face was obscured by a beard and long, matted hair the color of the night sky.
“Is there a source of water nearby?” I asked.
She motioned towards a metal pail. “We have someone assigned to bring him water once a day.”
Much to my surprise, the container did actually hold clean water. With the pail in hand, I approached the bed.
As I removed the thin blankets, it was clear he had not been properly bathed in days. Besides the dirt and the smells, more disturbing were the lesions. There were deep wounds on his arms and back where he had been flogged without mercy to the point where the skin had been torn from the flesh. It was clear the wounds had been left to fester but there was something odd; he was healing in that I could only describe as stripes.
Not that the gashes looked like stripes. No, the wounds looked like the work of a medieval torture professional. That, or a wild animal.
But his body was healing itself in long flower-petal shaped chunks, forming a chrysanthemum-like shape. I would wait until we were alone before taking a closer look. “How long has he been here?”
“I’m not entirely sure,” the old woman replied. That was clearly a lie.
I touched the man's neck. As I expected, the body was covered in sweat. Despite the coldness of the night air, he was burning with fever. With every weak breath, he was shivering so badly I could not help but weep. All I could think was, that this man is someone’s son, perhaps even a husband or a father.
His eyes flickered.
I could see the dark brown color sparkling by the light. But I was not certain if there was anything beyond those eyes. I couldn't help but wonder if this was what my own father had endured?
“Is there anything you require?” asked Mother Lorena.
“Perhaps a bath?”
“I will have some water brought to the guest quarters, for after you have completed your examination.”
“Not for me, for the patient. This man’s body is covered in open wounds.”
The old woman rolled her eyes. “It's quite late. I’ll wake one of the servants, and see what I can do.”
It was clear to me Mother Lorena was not the one who wrote the letter, sending for a doctor. She would have been content, perhaps even happy, to watch this man die.
As she left I put down my bag, setting up my humble equipment. I had a small camp stove and several small candles. My flask of vodka would have lit the fire much faster but I needed to conserve the contents for sanitizing my tools. And to be able to sleep later.
Using one of the nearby candles I lit my stove to boil some water. I poured in some herbs, mixing them with some oils: a formula I'd committed to memory. As the mixture simmered I held my patient's hand, stroking his cold, motionless fingers. "I'm Dr. Flores, you can call me Ella. If you can speak, that is."
I stripped the blankets to fully examine his body. As expected, the man was kept naked, like an animal. Despite his current state of sickness he had the body of a warrior; muscular, with a broad chest, thick arms and long legs. To my surprise he wasn't shackled or restrained. I laid the man on his back, to observe the movement of his breath.
His eyes shot open as his body convulsed.
I quickly rolled him on to his side, allowing him to cough up blood and mucus. It was clear he was breathing, he was alive. Even if he was barely conscious there was no way he was not in pain. "Sir, I don't know if I can help you, but I'm going to try."
I soaked a cloth into the warm liquid, then pressed it to his forehead, neck, working my way down the wounds of his back. With every touch, he flinched in pain. There was no logical reason why he was still alive, save for the mystery of the chrysanthemum.
I left his back exposed but kept him positioned on his side as to not inhibit his breathing.
That was when I heard him gasp. “Ava?” The sound was barely a whisper.
“Who’s Ava?”
He coughed a deep congested cough, gripping his chest in pain.
“Try to take some deep breaths, you’re safe now. I’m a doctor. I’m going to give you something for the pain.” I returned the cloth into the warm water to soak up more of the mixture. “Is Ava here, at the convent?” That would explain why he was not restrained. There was someone here, a wife or maybe a daughter; someone worth dying for.
“Ava runs the most beautiful garden,” he explained, his voice drifting away into a dream-like state. “She requested a slave to help her with the harvest..."
“You’re a slave?” I reached for a pair of scissors from my bag. I ran my fingers through his dark greasy locks trying to determine just how much had to go. I wanted to get a look at his face.
“A slave is what I am, here.”
“But you’re definitely not a farmer,” I muttered out loud as I began to cut away chunks of hair, revealing his forehead, cheekbones, and neck. “Keep talking, tell me more about Ava.”
“She was so beautiful, with hair the color of the ocean on the darkest night. And skin the color of coffee with cream.”
“Of what?" I had heard of cream. But coffee, that was something I had only briefly read about in old, foreign cookbooks.
“You are too young to remember, back before the great famine. There was so much beauty in this world. The clear blue oceans were teeming with fish, while birds filled the smog-free skies.” He paused for a moment as his lungs struggled. “That world was a fantasy, like Ava herself.” His body shivered in pain but his lips broke into a smile.
What he said was strange. No one alive knew of such a world. People refer to the ‘great famine’ as a single event, but in truth, it had taken place over decades. It was a massive series of dominoes; country after country falling into economic depression, overpopulation, global warming. It was all God’s way of saying mankind’s time was up.
I stroked my finger along his jaw. He was a very attractive older man around the same age as my father. “Why do you refer to Ava in the past tense?”
He swallowed hard, his words escaping as a labored breath, “Because she’s likely dead!”
“They found you in her bed, I assume?” My self-taught scientific mind in action: he was handsome and this Ava was clearly not a blood relative. I focused the cloth on his neck. With each breath, his body appeared to be getting stronger.
He turned his head, looking at me with his dark eyes. "She offered herself to me so that I might know comfort.” He paused his lips into a seductive pout as he took in a stream of air. “We were both taken away in shackles. I knew if I took the blame there was a chance she would not be harmed.”
"That's very sweet." I could feel my cheeks flush. Was it possible I had a crush on this stranger? "Is this medicine helping?"
"Yes," he said in a soft moan, "your touch feels heavenly."
"Ok...thanks..." I attempted to roll him on to his back again, hopeful he had healed enough to not go into convulsions. Thankfully, his body remained perfectly calm.
I soaked the cloth then held it to his throat, working my way down his chest. I could feel the rise and fall of his breath becoming ever stronger. “I learned this technique from my father. The warmth will help you breathe easier. My father was a trained physician, he devoted his life to helping people.”
“And your mother?”
“My mother is a healer, just a different kind. I've witnessed her power first hand. My father, ever since he was a child he walked with crutches and leg braces, just always in terrible pain. My mother was one of the few people who were kind to him. Her healing gave him a chance at a normal life."
"Kindness?" he asked in a sarcastic tone.
"Yes," I replied, slightly annoyed. "My mother is a kind women, much like your Ava."
"But it's your father whom you idolize."
"Even more reason to appreciate my mother. Had she not chosen him, my father would have ended up like the millions of homeless men and boys who wander the streets looking for a work."
"I do not disagree. Tell me more."
"My parents, they met in high school."
"High school? So you come from wealth."
"I did, mean they did. After the elimination of public education, there was no way my parents could afford to send me and my sisters to school. My grandmother was rich."
"Hence your blonde hair?"
"My father was a stunning, Nordic man. His height and his blonde hair were a gift from the expensive fertility clinic where my grandmother purchased sperm in an effort to give birth to a healthy, beautiful baby girl. But instead, fate saddled her with a sick crippled little boy. All she could do was make sure he the chance to go to school so that he might find a powerful woman to watch over him." I giggled remembering the stories my father used to tell me. "He was fourteen, in year one advanced biological sciences. Out of a class of fifty, he was one of only four boys."
"Lucky man."
"He was also the only one with cerebral palsy."
"Oh." The man turned his head, leaning into my touch.
"She wanted so badly to help him, so she developed a very special way of treating his pain. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.”
“Would you care to show me?” The man whispered, his eyes closed, lips agape.
I laughed as I shook my head. “I couldn’t even if I wanted to, I don’t possess her level of power.”
“Have you ever tried?”
“No, I guess not," I replied nervously since I was essentially admitting to my virginity. “But we don’t have that kind of connection.”
"How can you be so sure?" He sat up, stretching his back. "You healed my body. I say give it your best shot.”
"I healed your body?" I moved to his lap, caressing my hands down his shoulders. His body felt sticky. I could feel the movement of his skin and muscle tissue sealing the once open wounds. The medicinal water did not possess such an ability, on every other patient I'd treated it provided only sanitation and relief of their pain.
I knew needed to touch the chrysanthemum on his back. I glided my hands down his spine. I could feel raised scar tissue in the flower pattern. It felt cold and perfectly smooth, like metal or glass. “Fine, for you, I’ll try. But first, tell me your name.”
https://dourdan.wordpress.com/
part 2
https://www.reddit.com/cryosleep/comments/8u53km/the_remedy_2_lovelorn/
submitted by dourdan to cryosleep [link] [comments]

The Remedy

A song plays on a handmade boom box. Cobbled together from random odds and ends, it looks like something out of Dr Frankenstein's lab. But hey, it works.
"T-the remedy is the experience.
th-i-is is a dangerous liaison
- the comedy is that it's serious.
this is a strange enough new play on words."
The CD had seen better days.
"I say the tragedy is how you're gonna spend
the rest of your nights with the light on
So shine the light on all of your friends
--it all amounts to nothing in the end."*
(*"The Remedy," by Jason Mraz)
I can remember back when mp3 players ruled the planet. Then little by little music was regulated to smaller and smaller devices until culture was nothing more then an app ran in the background of more important projects. Who would guess that in the dawn of the 22nd century the only music we have left is what was real; CDs, vinyl, cassettes. Everything else was lost int he destruction. Perhaps that's why I wish to write my story, to put it into words so that it will never be forgotten. Because it's my story to tell; the life of Dr. Ella Flores.
I was just twenty-one years old when my mother received the letter that would change my life. No, not anything nice like an invitation or a letter of acceptance to a decent school. This was much well...stranger.
As I stood outside my mother's house waiting for the carriage she reserved, I fished the piece of paper from my satchel. The letter, from a small town in Mexico.
It was around ten at night, dark and cold, even for Southern Texas. I checked my hair wrap, to make sure it would stay in place. I didn't cover my hair for religious reasons, more for my own safety. Under the shadow of the night, I could pass as a brunette, like my mother and sisters. But in reality I was "blessed" with my father's blonde hair; hair the color of gold, hair that made me a target.
When I was certain my hair would behave I attempted to re-read the letter, by the light of the full moon. Long story short: a farmer lay dying of fever. According to the letter the man had been living as a beggar, having lost his land and his family. But by the mercy of the Lord, he had been granted sanctuary at a church, someplace called Saint Theresa's.
The story had so many plot holes; did the man claim to be a farmer? Had he sought sanctuary in a church? Was there no doctor located closer? A more importantly, who was this letter from? there was no point of contact, all it said was "We will be expecting you, Dr. Flores."
That was the other issue on my mind: the letter was addressed to my father, Dr. Alberto Flores. But he was dead; murdered. So it was decided, by my mother, that I was to go in his place.
I could hear the sounds of the robotic hooves approaching. Centuries ago carriages were pulled by horses; majestic creatures that all but went extinct during the great famine. Cars still existed but with the cost of fossil fuel, only a handful of people cared to own them. The majority of people traveled via steam robot. Or walked; if the journey did not take me into such unknown territory I would have considered making the trip by foot.
I greeted the driver who was clad completely in black, including an industrial mask. As he held open the door of the grotesque mental carriage I could see he was armed with both a knife and a pistol.
"Thank you, sir," I said in my most polite tone.
He gave no reply. I knew the ride was prepaid through my mother's bitcoin account but knowing her she probably stiffed him on the tip.
"Here," I whispered, hanging him some coins from my pocket.
The man raised his mask, allowing me a view of his face. He had the most stunning green eyes. "A-are you sure?"
I nodded and quickly hopped into my seat.
I could see his gloved hands trembling. It was clear he hadn't eaten in days. I watched as he lowered his mask and pulled on his chest armor before firing up the engine.
I knew I was safe inside the carriage, although part of me wanted to see the glow of the radioactive core that powered the steam engine. "How long have you been a driver?"
"J-just a few m-months, when my Pa got too sick."
"I'm so sorry." I knew it was the nature of the job, men of the lower-class rank would line up for the chance to rent and operate a carriage. Drivers would be supplied with all the material necessary to power their vehicle, in exchange for a monthly fee- and eventually their health. “This address,” I asked if only to change the subject, “is it a church?”
“No, St. Theresa’s is actually a convent,” the driver replied.
"You've been there?"
"On occasion: dropping off young women like yourself."
"Like myself?"
"Young women looking for a career change..."
His words felt strange. What kind of work was done at a convent located just past the Mexico border? "I'm actually a doctor."
"Like a real doctor? Did you go to school?"
"My father did," I replied awkwardly. Truthfully, I was only an apprentice.
As the carriage crossed the Texas-Mexico border I glanced out the window. I could see the remains of guard towers and even the once legendary wall. That was before the world went to shit. In 2075 more people wanted to cross into the south, than the north. Countries run by gangs were safer than ones run by elected officials.
"Your father? A man was allowed to attend school alongside the witches?"
"Yes, he was one of the few." I paused as I fought back tears. "My father was a brilliant man."
"Was?"
"My father was stolen from my family life by a coven. It makes me sick to think what they did to him." For witches, men are catalysts. They can be claimed through sex or cannibalism. A man claimed through sex belongs to his mate, their hearts united as one. But for many witches, true love is too much to hope for so instead they resort to kidnapping men and devouring them like cigarettes for a temporary power boost.
"And your mother?"
"She's a practicing healer."
"Healer? An interesting title for a witch."
"You say 'witch' as if it's some kind of derogatory word."
"All women of impurity are witches."
"Impurity?" I chuckled at his choice of words. Yes, all women were witches. All women craved the life force of male victims. I knew my mother wanted me to kidnap the patient at St. Theresa’s, to replace my father. She was hungry, we all were. Hence why my two sisters left home, determined to find men to claim as their own.
The driver started to speak, chuckled, then simply coughed. I could tell he was trying to stop himself from going into a laughing fit.
I rolled my eyes. "No, I have not taken a lover." Within the last hundred years, all women were born of power to some degree. I inherited my mother’s healing abilities, but I didn’t want a man- not as a lover or a food source. Even if that meant my powers would be hindered.
"I guessed as much."
"Why, have you?" I asked with concern. I had always believed that once a woman claimed a man they would mate for life.
"Only when I have no driving jobs lines up." He chuckled softly as if he was joking. But I knew he was not.
"None of them ever wanted to keep you?"
"I wasn't worth their time. Not even to keep around as a snack. But you know what the really messed up thing is? I would have gladly lived with any of them, abandoning my father to live out the rest of my life as some witch's pet."
"How many women have you been with? Never mind, oh God I can't believe I said that."
"Seven."
"Excuse me?"
"I've been with seven women, all for pay."
"Oh..."
We rode in silence for the remainder of the trip. Upon arrival at the convent, he opened the door and just as quickly attempted to return to his seat to leave.
"Wait! I never got your name."
He left his rig, stepping down to face me.
I reached to hold his gloved hands. "My father told me stories, a long time ago men used to rule the world. Some were good, some were evil but at the end of the day they all slept under the same stars." I removed his gloves, revealing the driver's badly burned hands. "Witches, men, cats, dogs, all of God's creatures- and the end of the day when we close our eyes, we all sleep under the same stars."
"M-my name is William."
I lifted his mask to look into his eyes. "That's a beautiful name. Was it your father's name?"
"My grandpa, my mother's father." He swallowed hard, blinking tears from his eyes. "She gave me my name before she passed away."
"I'm Ella. My father named me after his mother, Eleanor. Our names are all that we are. William, I want you to find a place to sleep. But only after you return to your father." I placed his gloves back on his hands. "May God hold you in his grace."
William nodded and pulled on his mask. "Goodbye, Dr. Flores, I hope you find what you're looking for."
I watched him leave before turning to the front gate of St. Theresa’s.
I was greeted by an elderly woman who introduced herself as Mother Lorena. “You must be Dr. Flores’ assistant?”
“No, I’m Dr. Flores.”
“Oh? I was under the impression Dr. Flores was male.”
“I’m as skilled as my father.”
“I have no doubt, but the patient’s current condition will put your lady-like senses to the test, I’m afraid.”
We walked to a cold barn area. As we got closer the smell of death and decay became strong. Mother Lorena opened the door to a remote wooden structure. The room was dark, lit by only a few candles. From the doorway, I could make out a man laying on a dirty mattress. His face was obscured by a beard and long, matted hair the color of the night sky.
“Is there a source of water nearby?” I asked.
She motioned towards a metal pail. “We have someone assigned to bring him water once a day.”
Much to my surprise, the container did actually hold clean water. With the pail in hand, I approached the bed.
As I removed the thin blankets, it was clear he had not been properly bathed in days. Besides the dirt and the smells, more disturbing were the lesions. There were deep wounds on his arms and back where he had been flogged without mercy to the point where the skin had been torn from the flesh. It was clear the wounds had been left to fester but there was something odd; he was healing in that I could only describe as stripes.
Not that the gashes looked like stripes. No, the wounds looked like the work of a medieval torture professional. That, or a wild animal.
But his body was healing itself in long flower-petal shaped chunks, forming a chrysanthemum-like shape. I would wait until we were alone before taking a closer look. “How long has he been here?”
“I’m not entirely sure,” the old woman replied. That was clearly a lie.
I touched the man's neck. As I expected, the body was covered in sweat. Despite the coldness of the night air, he was burning with fever. With every weak breath, he was shivering so badly I could not help but weep. All I could think was, that this man is someone’s son, perhaps even a husband or a father.
His eyes flickered.
I could see the dark brown color sparkling by the light. But I was not certain if there was anything beyond those eyes. I couldn't help but wonder if this was what my own father had endured?
“Is there anything you require?” asked Mother Lorena.
“Perhaps a bath?”
“I will have some water brought to the guest quarters, for after you have completed your examination.”
“Not for me, for the patient. This man’s body is covered in open wounds.”
The old woman rolled her eyes. “It's quite late. I’ll wake one of the servants, and see what I can do.”
It was clear to me Mother Lorena was not the one who wrote the letter, sending for a doctor. She would have been content, perhaps even happy, to watch this man die.
As she left I put down my bag, setting up my humble equipment. I had a small camp stove and several small candles. My flask of vodka would have lit the fire much faster but I needed to conserve the contents for sanitizing my tools. And to be able to sleep later.
Using one of the nearby candles I lit my stove to boil some water. I poured in some herbs, mixing them with some oils: a formula I'd committed to memory. As the mixture simmered I held my patient's hand, stroking his cold, motionless fingers. "I'm Dr. Flores, you can call me Ella. If you can speak, that is."
I stripped the blankets to fully examine his body. As expected, the man was kept naked, like an animal. Despite his current state of sickness he had the body of a warrior; muscular, with a broad chest, thick arms and long legs. To my surprise he wasn't shackled or restrained. I laid the man on his back, to observe the movement of his breath.
His eyes shot open as his body convulsed.
I quickly rolled him on to his side, allowing him to cough up blood and mucus. It was clear he was breathing, he was alive. Even if he was barely conscious there was no way he was not in pain. "Sir, I don't know if I can help you, but I'm going to try."
I soaked a cloth into the warm liquid, then pressed it to his forehead, neck, working my way down the wounds of his back. With every touch, he flinched in pain. There was no logical reason why he was still alive, save for the mystery of the chrysanthemum.
I left his back exposed but kept him positioned on his side as to not inhibit his breathing.
That was when I heard him gasp. “Ava?” The sound was barely a whisper.
“Who’s Ava?”
He coughed a deep congested cough, gripping his chest in pain.
“Try to take some deep breaths, you’re safe now. I’m a doctor. I’m going to give you something for the pain.” I returned the cloth into the warm water to soak up more of the mixture. “Is Ava here, at the convent?” That would explain why he was not restrained. There was someone here, a wife or maybe a daughter; someone worth dying for.
“Ava runs the most beautiful garden,” he explained, his voice drifting away into a dream-like state. “She requested a slave to help her with the harvest..."
“You’re a slave?” I reached for a pair of scissors from my bag. I ran my fingers through his dark greasy locks trying to determine just how much had to go. I wanted to get a look at his face.
“A slave is what I am, here.”
“But you’re defiantly not a farmer,” I muttered out loud as I began to cut away chunks of hair, revealing his forehead, cheekbones, and neck. “Keep talking, tell me more about Ava.”
“She was so beautiful, with hair the color of the ocean on the darkest night. And skin the color of coffee with cream.”
“Of what?" I had heard of cream. But coffee, that was something I had only briefly read about in old, foreign cookbooks.
“You are too young to remember, back before the great famine. There was so much beauty in this world. The clear blue oceans were teeming with fish, while birds filled the smog-free skies.” He paused for a moment as his lungs struggled. “That world was a fantasy, like Ava herself.” His body shivered in pain but his lips broke into a smile.
What he said was strange. No one alive knew of such a world. People refer to the ‘great famine’ as a single event, but in truth, it had taken place over decades. It was a massive series of dominoes; country after country falling into economic depression, overpopulation, global warming. It was all God’s way of saying mankind’s time was up.
I stroked my finger along his jaw. He was a very attractive older man around the same age as my father. “Why do you refer to Ava in the past tense?”
He swallowed hard, his words escaping as a labored breath, “Because she’s likely dead!”
“They found you in her bed, I assume?” My self-taught scientific mind in action: he was handsome and this Ava was clearly not a blood relative. I focused the cloth on his neck. With each breath, his body appeared to be getting stronger.
He turned his head, looking at me with his dark eyes. "She offered herself to me so that I might know comfort.” He paused his lips into a seductive pout as he took in a stream of air. “We were both taken away in shackles. I knew if I took the blame there was a chance she would not be harmed.”
"That's very sweet." I could feel my cheeks flush. Was it possible I had a crush on this stranger? "Is this medicine helping?"
"Yes," he said in a soft moan, "your touch feels heavenly."
"Ok...thanks..." I attempted to roll him on to his back again, hopeful he had healed enough to not go into convulsions. Thankfully, his body remained perfectly calm.
I soaked the cloth then held it to his throat, working my way down his chest. I could feel the rise and fall of his breath becoming ever stronger. “I learned this technique from my father. The warmth will help you breathe easier. My father was a trained physician, he devoted his life to helping people.”
“And your mother?”
“My mother is a healer, just a different kind. I've witnessed her power first hand. My father, ever since he was a child he walked with crutches and leg braces, just always in terrible pain. My mother was one of the few people who were kind to him. Her healing gave him a chance at a normal life."
"Kindness?" he asked in a sarcastic tone.
"Yes," I replied, slightly annoyed. "My mother is a kind women, much like your Ava."
"But it's your father whom you idolize."
"Even more reason to appreciate my mother. Had she not chosen him, my father would have ended up like the millions of homeless men and boys who wander the streets looking for a work."
"I do not disagree. Tell me more."
"My parents, they met in high school."
"High school? So you come from wealth."
"I did, mean they did. After the elimination of public education, there was no way my parents could afford to send me and my sisters to school. My grandmother was rich."
"Hence your blonde hair?"
"My father was a stunning, Nordic man. His height and his blonde hair were a gift from the expensive fertility clinic where my grandmother purchased sperm in an effort to give birth to a healthy, beautiful baby girl. But instead, fate saddled her with a sick crippled little boy. All she could do was make sure he the chance to go to school so that he might find a powerful woman to watch over him." I giggled remembering the stories my father used to tell me. "He was fourteen, in year one advanced biological sciences. Out of a class of fifty, he was one of only four boys."
"Lucky man."
"He was also the only one with cerebral palsy."
"Oh." The man turned his head, leaning into my touch.
"She wanted so badly to help him, so she developed a very special way of treating his pain. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.”
“Would you care to show me?” The man whispered, his eyes closed, lips agape.
I laughed as I shook my head. “I couldn’t even if I wanted to, I don’t possess her level of power.”
“Have you ever tried?”
“No, I guess not," I replied nervously since I was essentially admitting to my virginity. “But we don’t have that kind of connection.”
"How can you be so sure?" He sat up, stretching his back. "You healed my body. I say give it your best shot.”
"I healed your body?" I moved to his lap, caressing my hands down his shoulders. His body felt sticky. I could feel the movement of his skin and muscle tissue sealing the once open wounds. The medicinal water did not possess such an ability, on every other patient I'd treated it provided only sanitation and relief of their pain.
I knew needed to touch the chrysanthemum on his back. I glided my hands down his spine. I could feel raised scar tissue in the flower pattern. It felt cold and perfectly smooth, like metal or glass. “Fine, for you, I’ll try. But first, tell me your name.”
https://dourdan.wordpress.com/
submitted by dourdan to clancypasta [link] [comments]

Development Update: ATMChain Development News Collection (October)

ATMChain Protocol development update
October 9th
Github open source community created at: https://github.com/ATMChain
Twitter account for developers created at: https://twitter.com/ATMChainDev
October 10th
ATM token smart contract source code uploaded to github Implementation requirement on multi-party value distribution discussed with DECENT
October 11th
Discussion on monthly plan of ATM protocol layer development
October 12th
Implementation on ATM smart contract automation test platform
October 13th
Review of ATM smart contract automation test platform ATM smart contract automation test source code uploaded to github
October 15th
Technical discussion with ATM Swiss community
October 16th
Design of ATM micropayment solution
Design of ATM media file distribution solution
October 18th
ATM monthly vesting execution and data check
October 19th
Assessment and brainstorming on Raiden Network development status
October 20th
Discussion on ATMChain explorer development plan
October 23rd
Integration of micro-Raiden to ATMChain
October 24th
Technical preparation for listing ATM on exchanges
Design of ATM media file distribution solution
October 25th
Study on smart contract built on plasma platform
Integration of micro-Raiden to ATMChain
October 27th
Finish integration of micro-Raiden to ATMChain
Assessment on micro-Raiden test data and future limitations
October 30th
Forecast on ATM evolution roadmap:
Mid-term, interoperability with service chain and token chain Long term, new media economy based on multi-chain interconnection and unified ATM cryptocurrency
October 31st
Top down architecture design and key technology research of ATM long term roadmap
Enterprise application development update
October 8th
CunChain project team received the customer visit of D-SHORE Information technology CO.,LTD. About the demand of agricultural products traceability, CunChain team provided the technology solution based on CunChain Proof of existence platform and IOT technology.
October 9th
The CunChain project team output the 《Construction scheme of rural comprehensive property rights trading platform in Shunyi District”》document.
On the basis of the CunChain PoE platform, through the smart contract, it supports the transaction into the blockchain ,traceability, non tampering, document PoE and other requirements of the land rights trading platform.
October 13th
The function list of CunChain’s new iteration which is called “Gemini” is completed, as the input of the Gemini iteration ,it will support fabric block chain, support the state cipher algorithms and provide better user experience.
October 15th
Complete the internal review and finalization of the document 《Construction scheme of rural comprehensive property rights trading platform in Shunyi District》.
The document will beused for the project negotiations.
October 16th
Swiss Telecom medicine traceability needs and solutions discussion.The demand will be developed based on the CunChain PoE platform.The CunChain project team began to analyzhe the demand and output the scheme.
October 17th
The key technical points of 《Construction scheme of rural comprehensive property rights trading platform in Shunyi District》 are detailed analysis, and we plan to develope a demo version, both as a project pre research, and easy to follow similar block chain based certificat transaction circulation project’s effect display and exchange.
October 18th 《Swiss Telecom medicine traceability scheme》’s refinement and output, Sorting out specific Use Cases,as well as the key business processes, after internal review, it will be used for the scheme communication with Swiss Telecom customes.
October 19th
Begin to translate the 《Swiss Telecom medicine traceability scheme》doc to English to prepare for the visit and communication of Swiss Telecom clients.
October 20th
About 《Swiss Telecom medicine traceability scheme》, we discussed the scope of the prototype, the prototype design and the project plan. We planed to develop one demo program next week for the Swiss Telecom client to visit to ensure the communication effect.
October 23th
We start the Medicine traceability Demo project.
October 24th
For the Medicine traceability Demo project, we finished the development of Scan Code and the UI design of PC client and Mobile.
October 26th
For the Medicine traceability Demo project, we finish the code of PC client、 mobile、backend、blockchain。
October 27th
For the Medicine traceability Demo project, we started to do the integrated test.
October 30th
1.The function list and project plan of the CunChain’s new iteration “Gemini” are finished, we will start it on November 1st.
2.For the Medicine traceability Demo project, we continued to do the integrated test and bug fix.
October 31th
We finished the integrated test and bug fix of the Medicine traceability Demo project.The demo functions are complete and available which can demonstrathe scan code of the medicine’s delivery, storage, sale,traceability record information into the block chain,mobile phone scnanning code tracing source, tracing medicine circulation records, etc..
ATMChain Global operation update
The ATMChain Foundation has been involved in a large number of activities and project resources docking in the past October.
First two weeks(Oct.1-Oct.13)
This month with the international community of Norway, Japan, Malaysia, Britain and other countries of the community leaders from time to time to determine the possible docking in November summit. It is now clear that in mid-November we will attend the Norwegian Innovation Week Summit and the UK Local Leaders Summit. Specific schedule negotiations, please keep an eye on ATMChain official website and various international community social tools.
Middle of Month(Oct.14-20) The ATMChain Foundation has been involved in a large number of activities and project resources docking in the past October.
we are pleased to announce that this month, the ATMChain community was invited to the China-France Electric Merchants Summit, at the summit ATMChain chairman Usama conducted a speech on the theme of ATMChain. Usama also improved understanding of ATMChain in the French community and docked the electricity industry application of the relevant resources landing.
Rest of Month(Oct.21-31) Swiss Telecom, a key partner in the Swiss community, ATMChain has done a lot of programs and technical docking which provided a solid foundation for both of us following collaboration. We believe that we could trigger more sparks next month.
Technical strategy partner Decent also done a lot of docking work this month, especially in the introduction of the latest public chain version of ATMChain consider the cooperation of the docking program. We are looking forward to this matter at the next Decent meeting.
Finally, thanks to all the support of ATMChain enthusiasts around the world, you are our biggest driving force.
ATMChain The Exchange update
With the help of the European community, the Nordic community, the Asian community and the Korean community and the relevant person in charge, the number of ATMs currently listing is now more than ten which surpassed our expectations this month. The following is the specific situation of the ATM list exchange.
1.RFinex (community partner exchange) RFinex is the digital currency exchange that our partner RFintech introduced. We are very pleased in the ATMChain which has its own strength to build our ATMChain ecology with our partners .Indispensable part of the exchange. According to the ecological panorama of the intellectual chain, we can see that the economic model put forward by the exchange in the intellectual chain plays a vital role, Thanks to our Swiss partner RFintech for providing such an important build, thank them.
2.HitBTC (the top 6 in the global exchange)
We are delighted that HitBTC, as one of our very important partner which has a full range of cooperation as the Nordic First Digital Currency Exchange, both in terms of transaction support, currency issuance, information sharing and community building. Thanks to the world's leading exchange HitBTC as our trading partners to join the intellectual chain chain ecology, but also thanks to the Christian chain of the Nordic community to make contributions.
3.EYA LABS (Community Partner Exchange) EYA LABS as a well-known Korean digital exchange was promoted by our South Korean community leaders Mr. Cui who have the Korean community fans . Cui also push the collaborate with EYA LABS of South Korea's well-known digital currency exchange further.
There is no rose-like gorgeous modifier but honest and frank and constantly enrich and develop, and now the most perfect posture in Korea to gorgeous flags.
EYA LABS In the Korean community's ATMChain would make a great contribution in three years. Thanks to the fan of ATMChain Korean community communities.
4.LiveCoin (the top 30 of the global exchange)
Livecoin is a modern encrypted currency trading platform that provides you with a comfortable, practical and profitable encrypted currency trading platform. The exchange is the ATMChain European communities via the introduction, after a brief communication, in understanding the strong global ATMChain ,LiveCoin decided to the fastest on listing ATM. For the ATMChain Eastern European community, the Russian community enthusiasts , Livecoin provided a convenient and convenient trading channel and also could create the core of the global economic environment to lay a solid foundation. Thank you for the ATMChain Eastern European communities for bring well-known channels, thank you.
  1. Yobit (the top 20 of the global exchange)
Yobit as a well-known platform to exchange encrypted currency platform, Yobit.net in the market play a role in the collection of market participants. Its as the world's top 20 heat to Russia, India, French ATMChain community enthusiasts to make a positive recommendation. The ATMChain responded positively to the community's voice, and finally succeeded in communicating and listing on Yobit. Thanks to the ATMChain European and South Asian communities for your good advice and suggestions.
6.Etherdelta (the top 30 of the global exchange)
As the well-known to the Center Square to the central exchange, whether it is Twitter or facebook have a lot of ATMChain community enthusiasts to do a positive recommendation. The ATMChain Foundation has responded to these voices with the fastest speed to list ATM. At the same time, the Etherdelta exchange is also popular with community enthusiasts, so far contributed a lot of trading volume. thank you.
7.RBEX (Community Partner Exchange)
Recol Bitcoin Exchange, as part of the R fintech Group, its OTC trading offers more trading options. Thanks the RFintech Group again for providing projects and technical.
8.Mercatox(the top 80 in the global exchange)
Our partner mercatox would like to present universal market platform mercatox.com. It is a unique creation in the world of digital money, based on multi-language platform. It combines automated trading, payment service, Peer-to-Peer sharing based on "smart contracts" and many other features. We are planning to provide not just a service with different abilities, but create a new financial market in the digital world.We are happy to collaborate with Mercatox for ATM/ETH, ATM/BTC trade.
9.DECENTREX(the top 100 in the global exchange)
Decentralized exchange for Tokens and Ethereum cryptocurrency. Open source, based on public Ethereum smart contract, with no registration, no limits and no barriers. Decentralized P2P blockchain trading right in your browser, on any OS and device. ATMChain is happy to collaborate with DWCENTREX for listing ATM.
10.Openledger (the top 100 in the global exchange)
Thanks to Belarusian community enthusiast Yukhniuk who helped us contact Openledger.info and was very active in promoting the process of our ATM listing. Thanks for her free time on weekends.We believe that Openledger will be able to help the Eastern European community and even the world of intellectual media chain ATM enthusiasts. Thanks to Yukhniuk.
11.C-CEX (the top 60 in the global exchange) C-CEX exchange has an active community who share tips and information in our chat box. After ATMChain enthusiasts recommended , we had contacted C-CEX with their help and reached a consensus on listing ATM. After the end of the coin listing queue ,will be list ATM. Hope that C-CEX can bring more supporters and strength to our global ecological construction.
The above ten exchange that the Foundation had now cooperated and list ATM. After communicating with the above exchange partners, we decided to open a lot of transactions that had already been supported on Sunday. Before that the Foundation will launch a staff to test the tokens trading for ensuring that ATMChain community enthusiasts in a safe and fast trading environment for ATM transactions. In addition, ATMChain will continue to follow the recommendations and recommendations of community enthusiasts, in November and December to seek the world's relatively well-known exchanges to continue list on ATM. Ultimately, further improve the mobility of the entire ATMChain ecology.
ATMChain 58wallet development update
October 11th
For the 1.0.0 version, we fixed some bugs, UI adjustment, optimize the user experience.
October 12th
The technical details of the Bitcoin system are analyzed
October 13th
Sort out the micro-service architecture, clear the service function boundaries.
October 14th
Release 1.1.0 version, add English language support, and fix some BUG.
The technical details of Zcash and other systems are analyzed.
Design the new architecture solution for the solution
October 16th
Study the issue of bitcoin hard fork, identify the risk range.
Finishing BTC wallet flow chart, timing diagram.
October 17th
The next stage of demand feasibility analysis.
New version of mobile infrastructure discussion.
Bitcoin wallet technology program confirmation.
October 18th
We improved our system to analysis the transaction called from a contract. And we can discover new assets automatically now.
October 19th
determine mobile-side infrastructure solution, write documents.
October 20th
Fit the new UI style.
October 21
Message push technical program confirmation Litecoin, Ripple, Monero and other currency technology research
October 23rd
BTC wallet creation, import, export and other functions
October 25th
Tokens automatic discovery APIs.
Mobile-side integrated message push function.
October 26th
Zcash, Litecoin and other currency technology research
October 30th
BTC wallet transfer, transaction history and other functions.
The back-end system extracts a unified business model for different tokens systems and uses this to extend more tokens.
ATMChain Application development update
October 9th
ATMChain POC practice summarization and development discussion.
ATMChain POC practice report.
October 10th
ATMChain POC performance improvement discussion.
ATMChain POC practice product data analyze.
ATMChain area hotspot framework discussion.
October 11th
Discussion with DECENT team.
ATMChain VOD solution drafting and oversea product discussion.
ATMChain performance improvement discussion.
October 12th
ATMChain separated chain and business solution discussion.
Business solution with Zhongke discussion.
ATMChain performance improvement.
October 13th
ATMChain Japan community communication.
ATMChain performance improvement.
October 16th
ATMChain Ad solution draft.
ATMChain performance improvement and multi-language solution
October 17th
ATMChain Ad solution draft and English translation.
ATMChain performance improvement and multi-language solution.
October 18th
ATMChain Ad solution internal discussion.
ATMChain Japan Community communication.
Swisscom cooperation info discussion.
ATMChain performance improvement and multi-language solution
October 19th
Swisscom Itinerary discussion.
ATMChain Japan Community solution discussion.
Telecom solution designation.
ATMChain performance improvement and multi-language Solution.
October 20th
ATMChain Japan Community solution discussion.
Telecom solution designation.
ATMChain performance improvement and multi-language Solution.
October 23th
ATMChain domestic ad union proposal discussion.
Performance & architecture improvement.
Siwsscom visit material preparation.
October 24th
Telecom solution designation.
October 25th
Telecom solution designation.
Business practice research.
October 27th
Telecom solution designation.
Business practice research.
October 30th
Blockchain camp in Tokyo discussion.
Business practice research.
October31th
Blockchain camp in Tokyo apply discussion.
Blockchain camp in Tokyo document preparation.
Kickoff meeting with Zhongke Solution.
Technical discussion with Zhongke.
submitted by ATMChainNews to ATMChainOfficial [link] [comments]

[Table] IAmA: I am Steve Horwitz, economist, professor at St Lawrence University, and bleeding heart libertarian . AMA!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2014-02-28
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
Do you think the relative unpopularity of economic liberty (laissez faire) as a policy is due to people's lack of knowledge or some predilection in favor of tangible, sold 'plans' over the unpredictability of freedom? Or neither or some mix of both? All great questions. I think your instinct is right here: people prefer the (false) security of a "plan" than the more open-ended promise of market discovery. Part of the way to deal with that is to point out how often those plans fail and their propensity to generate unintended consequences that make matters WORSE and then generate a demand for more intervention, etc..
As a followup, how do you convince people to put their faith in free markets and free people without promising some specific plan or specific outcome? Saying "the free market will fix it" doesn't seem satisfying to most people. If you can't trust a lot of people to solve smaller problems in decentralized ways with a functioning feedback process, how can you trust a small number to solve big problems with a crappy feedback process?
Do you support open borders? If so, do you think a large enough influx of immigrants from a different culture could produce such negative externalities in the process of assimilation that on net, they destroy more wealth than they create? My friend Bryan Caplan did an AMA a little while back and I have the same views as he does on open borders, which is keep 'em wide open. I don't fear the scenario you lay out here because there's no history to support it. Immigrants who come here do so because they want to make their lives better and help their families in the process. As they assimilate, they will not just complete "become us," we will become more like them. Thinik about all the ways in which what was once immigrant food and culture have become part of who we are as Americans (that pizza you're eating..). Assimilation is a two-way street and has many more positive than negative externalities. Plus, it's a simple matter of human rights and bleeding heart libertarianism that we should give those with the least all around the world the opportunity to make a better life for themselves by recognizing their right to move to where the opportunities are and create work and property contracts with those who live there. I simply cannot see how any libertarian can support anything less than open borders on both practical and moral grounds.
What is a bleeding heart libertarian? I'd also like to tackle this one early. BHLs come in various flavors. What we all seem to share is that we think the primary moral concern of libertarians, if not any political philosophy, should be how well our preferred system will do for the least well off among us. For some of my BHL colleagues is is that concern that is the moral justification for any system, i.e., libertarianism is only moral justified in so far as it improves the lives of the least well off. For others, like me, it's more about rhetoric and style. I believe that libertarianism DOES serve their interests very well, but I think it's more that we should focus our arguments and our rhetoric on that point, rather than thinking it serves as the ultimate moral justification.
BHLs generally believe that libertarianism can meet the ENDS of our leftist friends concerned with social justice but through the MEANS of freedom.
So "a rising tide lifts all boats" will now be stated as...hmmm... "Free people make better choice for themselves and have better outcomes"? It lifts ALL boats, but it also lifts the LEAST WELL OFF boats the most.
Not much freedom if you are poor. How about "you're far more likely to be poor if you have no freedom." The Berlin Wall was not there to keep people in WEST Germany.
WARNING: I am a Marxist, please do not be alarmed. With that out of the way, I was wondering if you could answer this question from a Libertarian standpoint: With industry as vast and as awe-inspiring as it is today I was wondering why you think it is still a good idea to continue the practice of private ownership over the goods that industry produces? It seems to me that, in light of current global economic "problems" (to say the least), we could simply cut the bullshit. Put people into industries, have them (the workers) collectively run the workplace. With people who aren't concerned with competition but cooperation it seems that they would most likely focus on lifting themselves (them being the community of whichever particular area, town,city,village,whatever) out of poverty, and if we continue this practice across countries, the entire globe even, it seems that we could lift massive amounts of poverty and ignorance off of millions of people. Why bother bickering about this-or-that style of Capitalism, why not just throw the damn thing overboard, like we did feudalism, and finally start using industry for more than profit hoarding and worthless vanity items? THanks for the question. I think you radically undersestimate the problems of determining how to use resources in ways that improve economic well-being. First, markets ARE about cooperation. Did you make your shirt? I'm guessing not. That shirt was make through the cooperation of millions of people from across the globe, coordinating their activity through the prices, profits, and losses of the market. Markets are the most powerful form of social cooperation (and globally so) that humans have ever discovered. You need to get beyond the competition/cooperation binary.
Second, in order to know how best to use resource to improve people's lives, we need to know their value. That requires a standard of comparison that relates back to people's wants and needs. And that is what prices do. Monetary exchange and the price system are form of extra-linguistic communication that enable us to assess value. To have meaningful prices, we need them to arise from actual exchanges by real people in real markets. And that requires private ownership, especially of capital. How would all of these firms know 1) what to make 2) how to make it? It is market prices, profits, and loss that facilitate the social learning process that enables us to answer these questions.
Profit is a social signal and what justifies using markets is that they are the only way we have of answering all of these questions about what to produce and how to produce it. If we get rid of markets, we are not giving the tin man a heart, we are Oedipus poking out our eyes.
What do you think of the latest developments affecting the bitcoin ecosystem? To be honest, I don't follow bitcoin that closely. I have long believed that we need to get rid of central banks, so I'm in favor of anything that creates an alternative to central banking, thus I"m rooting for bitcoin. But I'm also skeptical about it because I'm not convinced it will be anything more than a niche way of engaging in very sophisticated multi-lateral barter, but with limits. That said, I want it to stick around if for no other reason than to show folks that you don't need government to get sound money. Because... you don't.
How would we regulate the economy without central banks? The history of economies without central banks and with truly competitive monetary systems is that they are much more stable and much less prone to bank failures and monetary mischief than ones with central banks. Canada did not have a central bank til the 1930s and never had the problems the US did. Link to www.coordinationproblem.org
Prof. Horwitz, given your work on family, what changes do you think should be considered to welfare policies? In my ideal libertarian world, the need for such assistance would be far less and it would be provided by the various institutions of civil society. If you haven't read Dave Beito's From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State, there's the place to start. If the state is going to be involved, I would like to see two kinds of related changes. We need to get away from welfare systems that create perverse incentives that discourage the formation of healthy families. The tax/welfare system is so full of special interest nonsense that it creates huge incentives for poor folks not to get married, when doing so can be one (but not the only) way to help them climb the income ladder. The second change is to move toward some sort of basic guaranteed income program. It's not my first best, but it's far better than the status quo. If nothing else, it has far less overhead cost to taxpayers and gets rid of many of the perverse incentives of the current welfare system, especially with respect to marriage adn families. It's also FAR less intrusive on people's privacy.
Wouldn't guaranteed income give people even more of an incentive not to work? It's not clear that it's worse than the status quo and at far less cost. But yes, that's a potential problem and the literature on BGI tries to deal with it. You should google the recent discussion of this topic on bleeding heart libertarians.
Wouldn't a UBI be a forced redistribution of wealth that flies in the face of the non-aggression principal? Again, it's a second best.
Plus, I don't ground my libertarianism in the non-aggression principle. If you could show me that a world with a large government was better than a world with a small or non-existent one, I'd be fine with the large government. I care about consequences first and foremost.
Are there any areas of research where you'd like to see more libertarians focusing their efforts? Are there any areas that draw too much focus from libertarians? Thank you for doing an AMA! In general, there's too many damn economists! I think there are a ton of interesting questions that we should be tackling with more gusto. I'd like to see us do more on family and children, which is why I am working on a book on that topic, but I'd like to see it from a variety of perspectives, such as psychology. I don't think libertarians have done enough history. There are so many interesting historical episodes that could benefit from a reading through the eyes of Mises or Hayek or other libertarian thinkers, including outside economics. I'd love an army of young libertarian scholars taking on those topics, especially the ones related to race and gender, to show how the standard readings of those events, which tend to support bigger government, actually tend to show that government causes way more problems than it cures.
What is your opinion on the Civil Rights Act of 1964? The CRA did two things. One, it banned government sponsored discrimination such as that associated with Jim Crow (and let's not forget that Jim Crow was the state and that many private firms opposed it). Two, it banned private discrimination on the basis of race - the counter at Woolworth's.
The first was a HUGE gain for liberty and I obviously support it strongly. One element of libertarianism/classical liberalism is that IF there's a state, it must treat all citizens the same. Equality before the law is a libertarian principle.
The second was a loss for liberty - the loss of freedom of association and that's a bad thing. On net, the gains of the CRA, in my view, strongly outweighed the losses, and in the imperfect world of politics, it was the best anyone was going to get in 1964. Had I been in Congress as a libertarian, I would have voted for it.
One additional note though: with the advent of fast communications technology and the net, the belief that markets and civil society could not sufficiently punish private discriminators seems farfetched. Can you imagine what people would do on Yelp (or here!) if a restaurant put up a "no blacks served" sign? Or a "no gays" one? It's harder for bigots to hide these days, esp. when the tolerance level for those behaviors is so low.
So yes, the CRA wasn't perfect from a libertarian perspective, but it was a big improvement.
What is one thing you believe that most libertarians do not? Or: What is one thing you disagree with most libertarians about? I love this question. I think the answer to both is the same: I am much more sympathetic to feminism, even of the non-libertarian sort, than are most libertarians. The result is a lot of arguments. I think that libertarians have done to feminism exactly what libertarians accuse others of doing to us: taking the most extreme and silly people as representative of what's typical. My experience of 25 years in academia with lots of left feminists is that the libertarian caricature of them is simply unrecognizable. Yes, that caricature exists, but those are the Alex Jones's of feminism - they are not the typical one, even among academics.
What's the state of libertarianism in other parts of the world? Not only in Europe, but perhaps in Asia, Africa and Latin America? How's it'views in Austria? :-) What do you think happens in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Cayman Islands, is libertarian philosophy used to justify part of the status quo there? Are you in contact with any intellectual from there? Where is libertarianism, as an offical party, is stronger and where has it won elections, finally if so, how did it go? TKS! I have never been more optimistic about the growth and influence of libertarian ideas globally than I am now. In particulary, the growth of STudents for Liberty across the world as well as the ways in which technology has made ideas and resources available, along with the development of dozens of think tanks, are good evidence that these ideas are developing a presence and being heard globally.
What's the best financial advice you have for young people? Let's start with an easy one: Pay your bills on time. Seriously. If you establish a reputation for being someone who lives up to their promises and understands the importance of financial trust, other things will follow from there. This is so important for things like your credit rating and the like. If you're in college or just out, this should be your priority. After that? Just remember that you will have a future and the future you will be happy that the present you did not put him/her in too much debt and that you saved something for a rainy day or two. But the easy best advice: pay your bills on time all the time.
So your saying paying 60,000 a year for SLU isn't a great investment. It isn't for everyone! Depends on your net cost, your ability to handle debt, what you want to do with your life etc. For some people it is a great investment, not for others. I'm not someone who thinks everyone should go to college.
If state intervention is generally counterproductive, why do the Nordic/Western European countries rank higher than the United States does in quality of life, education, environment, etc.? Because many of those countries actually have freer economies than the US, which now ranks 17th free across the globe, as the commenter below notes.
If you could debate any intellectual and/or public figure who would it be? Rachel Maddow. I want to wipe that smug smile right off her face. :)
I would love to see that! Mostly because you're the one who's coming off smug right now. Nicely played.
On election day, there are a lot of libertarians making a point of the fact they don't vote. Do you vote? How do libertarians expect to change government if you don't vote? I do not vote. I don't think it's immoral/wrong to vote. I just think that's largely ineffective.
Social change comes from changing the climate of ideas, like doing an AMA, or teaching economics, or doing a program on House of Cards, or writing a letter to the editor, or dozens of other acts of engaged, concerned citizenship we might choose to engage in. Voting, to me, is just not an effective path to social change.
Is there a better term than "invisible hand" which is often mocked, to describe the invisible hand? Great question. It shouldn't get the bad press it does, as Smith was a genius who people outside economics should be reading and taking way more seriously than they do. I tend to use "spontaneous order" which is usually associated with Hayek, though he got it from the philosopher-chemist Michael Polanyi. The idea is that the order of the market is the product of human action, but not human design. You can talk of "emergent order" as well, as "emergence" in that sense is hot in complexity theory and the sciences.
But I think the best way to do this, especially with lefitsts, is to make the analogies to evolution by natural selection. If people believe that the natural world is orderly but without a designer, then they should be open to the argument that the social world is too. If you think "Intelligent Design" is a joke in biology, then you should think "Intelligent Economic Planning" is the equivalent joke in economics. HEre's an old and short blog post of mine on this issue: Link to www.coordinationproblem.org
After NYTimes published an article attacking Rand Paul you made comments about how libertarians ought to "call out" people with racist/sexist et al attitudes within the movement; you also personally stated your refusal to cooperate with such persons, even in efforts against the state. The answer to your last question is yes. I have plenty of libertarian friends who believe things I think are wrong, but we still work together productively. That's one of the healthiest signs in our movement - we HAVE disagreements and can work together in spite of them.
I was wondering, do you really believe there should be such red lines in the sand, even if you and the other person agree on a majority of public policy issues? If so, what is your own personal red line? Do you think it's possible for libertarians to cooperate on the issues they agree on whilst criticizing each other on the things they disagree on? If a person or institution continually supports positions that I think are deeply wrong, and especially when I think that position also undermines the good work being done by other libertarians, we should call them out on it. Social pressure and shunning is not coercion. It's freedom of disassociation. And we should use it.
Steve, what do you say to "established" - read Keynesian economists who argue that libertarians are not "evidence" focused or logically consistent? One thing I do is point them to the link below and open a discussion about what we mean by "evidence": Link to www.cato-unbound.org It's also important to remember the economics world does not divide into two groups: "libertarians" and "Keynesians." There are all kinds of flavors here and we need to recognize those differences.
What is the best way to try to convince/change the minds of those who are generally inclined toward state intervention to solve problems? Show them the practical consequences of intervention and of markets. This is why we need really good empirical work, especially good history. For example, the more we write and talk about the Great Recession and have a great command of the facts to explain why it was a failure of policy not markets, the more likely we are to push people in our direction. History is very powerful in setting people's narratives and we need counter-narratives. I also think that we need to be very mindful of our rhetoric. We CANNOT say things that allow others to tag us as racists/sexists etc, or that we don't care about the poor. And we need to be unafraid to call out leftists (for example) who make that accusation over policy differences. Objecting to minimum wage laws is NOT racist and people who say it is need to be called out both for their historical ignorance (it's the MW laws that are racist!) and for their refusal to discuss in good faith.
How do you feel about the state helping those who can't help themselves? For example, should the state step in for cases of child/elder abuse? These are IMO some of the hardest issues for libertarians. Let me stay with child abuse. I think first we have to distinguish abuse and neglect. I think with neglect, there are ways that non-state institutions can work with families to improve outcomes. And, importantly, we have to ask "compared to what?" Perhaps the child is in less than optimal circumstances, but will that be improved upon if the state moves them somewhere else?
In general, I think that there are Hayekian reasons to think that parents have the best knowledge and incentives to do what's right for their kids, so the bar for state intervention should always be quite high - and the state should bear the burden of proof.
If we are talking abuse, then different story. If the state has the responsibility for protecting the rights of adults against violence from others, then it has that same right with respect to children and violence form their parents. I am a strong defender of parental rights, but those do not extend to clear cases of abuse (as opposed to mild forms of corporal punishment). But even here, the state should be working with extended family, friends, and organizations like synagogues or churches or the like to find solutions that minimize the impact on kids.
As to how an anarchist society would handle these situations, my honest answer is that I do not know.
Where is the brightline between neglect and abuse? Punishment to some people is much harsher than others. A girl recently died of hypothermia near where I live because staying outside in a barn was used as punishment. THere's not a brightline. We shouldn't expect one either. That's why these issues are so hard.
Do you get along with the Keynsians or do you sit on oppostie sides of the room at the faculty Christmas party? Every single one of my closest friends on the SLU faculty is a leftist.
Consortin' with the enemy, eh? ;) I'm a consorter from way back.
Keynesians are "leftists" like Republicans are "capitalists". In fact even calling Keynesians, who are by definition capitalist, "leftists" is sort of silly. That said, I know this AMA is dead and I don't expect a response but as a left libertarian I just wanted to say that chafed me a little. I meant leftist. Not Keynesian. My friends on the faculty are leftists not Keynesians.
Related to your research on families, what do you think about the advice (usually coming from the right) that one of the most beneficial things the poor can do to improve their lot in life is to get married? There's some truth to that, but it's more complicated than it's been presented as. Married people DO have much better outcomes along almost any measure you care to look at (including their sex lives). But that doesn't mean you should just "get married" regardless of who the other person is and what your particular circumstances are. And as I noted earlier, public policy distorts the incentives to marry in ways that encourages it where it shouldn't and discourages it where people could benefit from marriage. So yeah, marriage is good for people (gays and lesbians too), but that's not "get married no matter what."
Do you worry that a free market is too concerned with the present and not suited to deal with long term problems, like climate change? Hypothetically, if we could see that the free market was bringing about a catastrophe, should we intervene with our best idea of what suitable regulation would be? Do you think a system in which the participants are almost exclusively concerned with what will happen in the next 2, 4, or 6 years is MORE capable of thinking in the long term than the owners of capital who can pass its value to others over an indefinite time frame? I think that markets are far better able to think about the long run than is the political system, assuming that the right institutional structure is in place in the market.
How would we even know the market was bringing about a catastrophe? What's the sort of scenario you have in mind? (It probably shouldn't be climate change because that has to account for gov't)
Do you deny the positive effects of the 2009 American Recovery Act (ARA) on the U.S. economy? China has used both a market-based and state-based approach in concert to create a strong economy. Does this indicate to you that the state should have some economic control? Yes I deny them. Where was the "market-based" approach? And where is the strong economy? Millions have left the labor force. Unemployment remains notably higher than was predicted if we passed the ARRA. Private investment is still very low. The recovery in employment is the slowest since the Great Depression.
So, does this theory reject the phenomenon that markets will overheat, or ever need to be stimulated? Markets are not physical systems, they are human ones. Using metaphors from physical systems gets us off on the wrong track.
Are you relating the free-market to House of Cards? How is the online class going to be structured and what will it be about? Also, can you pinpoint an event in history where a free-market system has prevailed? It's about how HoC shows the failures of the political system through the lens of Public Cholce Theory. You will get to see some video lectures by me as well as other videos on line, plus participate in online discussions on Facebook and real-time chats.
Do you watch Parks and Rec? If so, how do you feel about Ron Swanson's portrayal of Libertarianism? I don't. I should. So I can't answer this one. Sorry.
Do you think our lack of growth comes from a deficiency of inflation like the Federal Reserve suggests? Do you think we are experiencing deflation/stagflation that is being papered over by monetary easing/competitive devaluation or do you believe the FED is 'exporting' inflation to EM currencies through carry trades given the inflation rates of the EM markets? We are not suffering from too little inflation. We are suffering from too much regulation, too much uncertainty, too much anti-business rhetoric, and a central bank that won't adhere to the rule of law. (And it's the Fed not the FED - sorry, pet peeve :) ).
Tonight is TV night with my GF. House of Cards or True Detective? Which show should I start tonight? I haven't watched TD, but man do I love House of Cards.
Hey Steve. Should they legalize pot, or what? They should legalize pot... and "what", as well. :)
How do you respond to the accusation that you don't care about poor people when you oppose raising the minimum wage? (This happened to me, recently.) I send them here: Link to www.fee.org
Why free markets are both the most efficient and most resilient systems? Because they are best at discovering and making use of dispersed, contextual, and often inarticulate human knowledge. They are social learning processes with very powerful feedback processes that help us know when we've made mistakes and provide incentives to correct them.
Markets aren't better because people make fewer mistakes in the market than in government (think about all the restaurants that fail). They are better because those failures take place in an institutional structure that provides knowledge and signals for everyone else to correct them in ways that political institutions do not.
What are your thoughts on the arguments that market anarchists like Michael Huemer and Roderick Long put forward? Specifically in regards to markets in law and defense. I consider myself to be a market anarchist (at least most days). While I'm not sure I can provide an answer to how markets and civil society might solve every problem, I have yet to be convinced by an explanation for how the state could. The burden of proof is on the state and it hasn't met it yet, but that doesn't mean we "know" markets/voluntary social cooperation have the answers to the tough questions like those.
I am much more persuaded by arguments for polycentric legal systems than for privatized defense. But here too - does anyone really believe that gov't does a good job defending us, especially when we consider the rent-seeking involved and the ways in which the tools the state adopts to "defend" us quickly oppress us - think the NSA/war on terror.
I"ll take my chances with the unknown over the known evil.
What are you having for dinner? Mediocre Mexican is the plan. That's as good as Mexican gets up here in the hinterlands.
What's your response to more Rothbardian readings of Human Action that take more radical claims about the supremacy of a priorism? I would LOVE to come to Hillsdale. I've talked with folks there about doing so, but we can't seem to find a time that works.
Also, would you mind coming to Hillsdale College sometimes soon to give a lecture if I say pretty please and promise a brownie? I think those Rothbardian readings are mistaken. Here's some thoughts on Mises and methodology that might explain why: Link to www.cato-unbound.org
Do you feel the Austrian School was strengthened or discredited internationally as a result of the Great Recession? Only reason I've asked is that I've heard both and you seem to be a more credible source on the issue then some other media sources I could name. Strengthened. Austrians have had more positive attention, and deservedly so, because I do think that Austrian theory provides a very powerful lens with which to understand the boom, bust, and crisis. Link to www.fee.org
Any good books about economy for a high schooler? You can always start with "Economics in One Lesson". Also a new book by Howard Baetjer "Free Our Markets."
Prof. Horwitz, what books (either by Hayek or about him) do you consider the best for a student to start learning about F.A.? Individualism and Economic Order Constitution of Liberty
Favorite rush song/album? "Natural Science" and "Moving Pictures" Link to myslu.stlawu.edu
How many Bitcoins did you lose in this "Magic the Gathering Online Exchange" silliness? Zero. I own none. I have never owned any.
I've never listened to Rush. What song should I start with? Wow. THat depends. What's your taste in music and how much of a libertarian are you? :)
Are you a feminist? I'd like to think so, but others might disagree.
What are your thoughts on monetary inflation? What do you believe would be a better system than the federal reserve determining how much new money to print? I am an advocate of "free banking." Link to www.youtube.com
What's your favorite part of northern ny? Ps. I don't miss the cold. The people.
What do you suggest against the prisoner's dillemma? Find me a real world case where the parties could not communicate and/or solve the problem through the reputational effects of repeated play.
Last updated: 2014-03-04 19:49 UTC
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