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Messages - Dread Pirate Roberts

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Silk Road discussion / Re: SR Vendors give back to chairty next week
« on: October 01, 2013, 05:23 am »
It warms my heart to see everyone's generosity.  There are a couple of points I'd like to mention about giving to charity.  For one, I think it is an important pillar of civil society.  Our capacity for empathy and wanting others to succeed should not be ignored or downplayed.  A lack of charitable spirit is often used as a point in favor of a central authority with the power to take from the rich and give to the poor.  It is said that, absent government intervention, no one would have the incentive to help those who are in need and have little to give in return.  You are proving them wrong right now.

Second, you must be responsible for the effect of money on your fellow man.  Money encourages and motivates people to do whatever they have to in order to get that money.  For an employee, that's doing a good job and pleasing their boss, or maybe blending in and not risking a visible mistake, or maybe lying on their resume.  For a businessman, that can mean serving their customers, or bribe the authorities to enact laws that hurt their competition, among many other things.  A dictator/politician will murder thousands, even millions, to keep their, or their party's control of tax revenue.  Con artists and thieves have their way of getting money.  For beggars, often being helpless and/or destitute gets a good return.  In other words, money shapes people's behavior, which in turn shapes who they are, and it is not the case that giving someone money always has the effect you hope it does.

So, don't ignore your desire to help people, but strive always to give in such a way that people are empowered to rise up out of their conditions and transform their lives.  Just be careful you aren't creating an incentive for people to become needy and destitute in order to win your charity.

Silk Road discussion / Re: brief downtime
« on: September 25, 2013, 02:44 am »
Got my funds.

It shouldn't be this hard.  I have to say I am thoroughly unimpressed with SR support.

please try to remember that we are on the bleeding edge of several technological fronts and do our absolute best to serve the community.  Considering that there is no standard to compare Silk Road to, speculating how it should and shouldn't be is going to be hard to nail down.  All things considered, it shouldn't function nearly as well as it does and for what it's worth, I am thoroughly impressed with my admins and staff.

Silk Road discussion / Re: brief downtime
« on: September 25, 2013, 12:07 am »
We've corrected the problem with delayed deposits, but it is likely that a few were never credited.  If you are still waiting on a deposit, please contact support with the deposit address and amount so they can manually review your case and credit you.  Sorry to those that were affected by this.

Silk Road discussion / Re: brief downtime
« on: September 24, 2013, 12:59 am »
ok, we're back.  some deposits are delayed, but we'll get those going asap.

Silk Road discussion / brief downtime
« on: September 24, 2013, 12:41 am »
had to take the site down for just a moment, should be back up within an hour if not sooner.

Silk Road discussion / Some thoughts on Atlantis closing
« on: September 20, 2013, 07:11 pm »
Atlantis was good for Silk Road and the community at large and I am sad to see it go.  Yes they were a bit cocky and aggressive, but they never crossed the line and did anything unethical, and they served their customers well.  They reminded us in the Silk Road administration that to stay #1, we have to be constantly thinking of our users and how to serve them best and can not take for granted your loyalty.

There has been more than one occasion where I have wanted to quit as well.  Without going into details, the stress of being DPR is sometimes overwhelming.  What keeps me going is the understanding that what we are doing here is more important than my insignificant little life.  I believe what we are doing will have rippling effects for generations to come and could be part of a monumental shift in how human beings organize and relate to one another. 

I have gone through the mental exercise of spending a lifetime in prison and of dying for this cause.  I have let the fear pass through me and with clarity commit myself fully to the mission and values outlined in the Silk Road charter.  If you haven't read it yet, please do.  Here is the link:


The bottom line is... Silk Road is here to stay so long as there is breath in my lungs, a spark in my mind, and fire in my heart.  I know many of you in this community feel the same way and is an honor to stand beside you here.

Lastly, to anyone considering opening another market, you WILL face unexpected challenges one way or another, and if you don't have the conviction to overcome them then your efforts will likely be in vain.  And please open up a dialogue with me if you do open another site.  Even competitors can talk from time to time on friendly terms :)

Atlantis admins, if you are reading this, I hope you stick around and contribute as you are able.

Philosophy, Economics and Justice / little rant
« on: September 18, 2013, 10:32 pm »
I was asked a couple of questions privately the other day and wound up going on a bit of a rant in response.  Thought it would make a good forum post:

"Can you talk a little bit about why (or whether) you feel like the recent rise in MDMA-related deaths make for a good argument for sites like Silk Road?"

Of course it makes a great argument for Silk Road. People die from ecstasy because of overdose and low purity. These people don't know what they are taking and how much, but it's the best they can do because of all the damage prohibition has done to the market for drugs. Silk Road is repairing that damage. We are giving consumers choice and allowing the invisible hand to shape the market to their desires. One of their biggest concerns is purity and dosage, so it's no surprise SR has some of the purest drugs on the planet with well defined dosages and a community of support for people seeking harm reduction advise. The market works if given a chance. We have some of the most responsible, dedicated and brave individuals that make up our community. The vendors are heroes in our eyes. The discourse is enlightening. Growth has been phenomenal without a single dollar spent on advertising. You don't get that kind of result by being a control freak. You get it by holding yourself and others to a sane and liberating credo: That an action is moral in all cases except when it initiates the use of force or fraud. If that last sentence went over your head, read it again until you get its implications. Beyond that, Silk Road users are free to do as they please and we just do our best to support what they are already doing, and it's truly inspiring to see what they have come up with.

"Do you feel like legalization would be an even better avenue, or whether the ideal scenario is to leave the drug market black, so that Phillip Morris doesn't come in and screw things up."

Legalization is a whole other matter. First of all, I'm not at all opposed to competition. If the management and shareholders of Phillip Morris want to run an anonymous market online, they are free to do so just as I have, and I wouldn't stand in the way of the loosening or eliminating of drug laws so that we could all more easily provide the service Silk Road does. What I AM against is the agents of the state being involved at all. If they had simply left people to their own devices and allowed them the freedom to choose as I have at Silk Road, we'd have an economy so productive and robust it would be generating wealth for centuries to come, with more than enough for everyone. Instead we have giant war machines, surveillance states that are looking more and more like prisons, debt that won't be paid off for centuries if ever, oppression, strife, and hunger in varying degrees all over the world

Humanity is at a critical juncture. Either violence will dominate the future of mankind, or peace will. The way of the sate is the way of violence, oppression and death. The way of the market is freedom, dignity and peace. If you understand this, it is your moral duty to protect the victims of the state in any way you can. Drug users have been victimize for too long and it's time everyone start treating them with some respect. I'm a drug user. I've smoked pot, I've tripped on shrooms, MDMA, and others. I never hurt a living soul any time I did either. If anything I was even more loving, empathetic, creative, bold, thoughtful, etc. than when sober. Of course legalization would be a tremendous win for drug users and freedom lovers and you'd have to be a cruel, cold person to still support the drug war at this point. Maybe when it got started you could plead ignorance, but now it's plain to see it has completely failed to meet its stated objectives and done immeasurable damage. There are people in this world who are starving and you are worried about whether I smoke a joint or not? That is insanity. Don't ignore it. Don't explain it away. Let that sink in. How many people have starved to death because the agents of the state use up all of the resources to fight endless wars, subsidize invasive and destructive projects and do their best to keep everyone else under their thumbs? There is nothing redeeming there. The little good they do eek out is just enough to get elected and avoid revolt. The damage they do is so immense most don't even see it, like water to the fish. I only hope enough of us wake up to this reality before it is too late to do anything about it.

In short, Silk Road is an example of a moral culture where peace, cooperation and ethical competition are the norm, and violence and fraud are found only on the margin. This is opposed to the nation states of the world, where violence and fraud are used as a means to control their citizenry and to dominate one another. The people that make up human society at large need to adopt the Silk Road credo or we may all perish, or live under the thumbs of tyrants indefinitely.

Silk Road discussion / Re: buyer ratings
« on: September 15, 2013, 10:49 pm »
As usual, great points have been raised.  At this point, I think it is too soon to make more changes to the system.  We need more time for everyone to get used to the changes that have already been made.

Customer support / Re: Requesting Silver Clarification
« on: September 15, 2013, 10:22 pm »
this is a grey aread.  up to this point, we have been strict about not allowing counterfeit currency, but all kinds of counterfeit things like bullion, apparel, even fake drugs have started to be sold on SR and we just haven't taken the time to police it or draw a well defined line for what is and isn't allowed.  At this point, you won't be stopped if you list this item, but sometime soon I will have a discussion with the community about where we want to draw the line and you might be asked to delist such items.  If that's the case, anyone selling such items will get their bond refunded even if they hadn't met the requirements.

Hope that helps clarify a little.

Customer support / Re: Has the FE process changed in the last 3 month?
« on: September 15, 2013, 10:17 pm »
nothing has changed.  the N/A is under "auto-finalize".  Once the order has been shipped, that will begin counting down until your order automatically finalizes and the funds are released to your vendor.

Silk Road discussion / Re: SR xrate
« on: September 14, 2013, 02:01 am »
OP updated

Silk Road discussion / SR xrate
« on: September 14, 2013, 01:08 am »
UPDATE:  Bug should be fixed now.  Payments and refunds that were done while the exchange rate was around $70 and hedged got extra large payouts.  I totaled it up and it wasn't much, so I'm just going to leave it up to those users who know they got too much to do the right thing and return the funds.  You can send them to "Dread Pirate Roberts" via your account page.

There was a bug with the SR exchange rate.  I've closed the site until we can fix it.  I'll keep you updated here.

Silk Road discussion / Re: buyer ratings
« on: September 13, 2013, 11:15 pm »
Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts on this subject.  First off, a couple of posts were made about vendors seeing buyer reviews on your "recent orders" page.  This is going to get put back in.

Regarding vendors reviewing buyers, there have been a couple of points brought up that I'd like to focus on.  Consider the following scenario:  Buyer leaves a 4/5, vendor says remove it or I'll give you a bad rating.  To prevent this, it was suggested that vendors not see their rating until they have rated their buyer and vice versa.  This sounds like a legitimate option, but I'd like to know if anyone sees a downside to it.

The other point I heard is maybe we really don't need a buyer rating system at all.  Vendors can already see a buyer's full stats when they place an order with them.  quantity purchased, amount spent, # of vendors, percent of orders left to autofinalize, percent of sales refunded.  Let's say we let vendors do a yes or no rating: "would you sell to this buyer again?", and then presented that to future vendors as a percent of sales, such as...  95% would do business again, or 37% would do business again.  Would that be helpful?  Could vendors abuse this?

As a quick note, some of you have said that vendors wouldn't take the time to rate hundreds of buyers.  We could default the rating to "yes, would do business again" and then have a batch process in one click, so all they would need to do is change the bad buyers to "no" and click "rate all".  So that's not an issue.

Thanks again for the discussion.  Let's focus now on the points I've just raised and move the conversation forward.

Silk Road discussion / buyer ratings
« on: September 12, 2013, 02:12 am »
Let's see, where were we... oh yea, ratings and review overhaul :P

From what I'm getting, it sounds like there are a couple of issues some are still having with the changes:

1) "Preventing buyers from editing reviews forces them to wait until their transaction is resolved and we won't know fast enough if a vendor is scamming."  Don't forget about the discussion boards!  If these turn out to be insufficient, we'll definitely look at making changes, but as of now I don't want to change anything based on hypothetical problems.

2) "Labeling 4 of 5 as "solid, would recommend" is bringing down my average."  Don't worry, it's a level playing field and all vendors are experiencing this.  The net effect is to give more info to buyers, distinguishing "solid" vendors from "outstanding" ones.

There are a couple of more tweaks that will likely get pushed out in the coming days/weeks, and we can continue to talk about them in this thread:


but I think we are ready to open up discussion about the next phase of the overhaul, which is empowering vendors to judge their potential customers.  The obvious feature that's been tossed around is allowing vendors to rate/review their customers after a transaction is complete so other vendors can have a better idea of whether they want to accept them as their customers.

I think we need this feature.  Vendors are already keeping and sharing "buyer black lists", but in an inefficient and non transparent way.  We should either discourage this, or integrate it into the system and I personally think it should be integrated.  However, I want everyone's input before we go making more major changes.  If you think it's a terribly idea or a great one, now is your chance to convince the community.

PS - I'm committed that these changes go much more smoothly than the previous ones.  For my part, I will try to change as little as possible at a time and do my best to receive everyone's feedback.  I request that you have patience and keep the discourse as civil and constructive as you can.  Thanks!

Silk Road discussion / Difficulty accessing Tor hidden services
« on: September 04, 2013, 06:49 pm »
Hash: SHA1

There isn't much to say except to acknowledge that the Tor network is having problems and access to Silk Road and the forums has been hard the past few days.  We are doing our best from our end to overcome the problems and I know the Tor team is doing their best.  Hopefully we'll get the network running smoothly soon.  I'll keep you posted here if anything develops.



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