I just started this one @stephers - seems very oddball to include these two. They are writing a book about crypto. The fact that Ben attended elite prep school in Austin and studied economics while having a major acting career. Just wondering what is being imprinted here.
He is noted as one of the few high-profile skeptics of the technology. As such, he has been particularly critical of the proliferation of celebrity endorsements of unstable cryptocurrencies, their speculation, and NFTs.
Schenkkan is the uncle of actor Benjamin Mackenzie who is known for his starring role on The O.C. which also starred Melinda Clarke and Michael Nouri.
Schenkkan was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the son of Jean Gregory (née McKenzie) and Robert Frederic Schenkkan, a professor in the Department of Radio-Television-Film at The University of Texas at Austin, and public television executive. He grew up in Austin, Texas.
Robert Frederic Schenkkan, former professor in the Department of Radio-Television-Film at The University of Texas at Austin, died in Austin on February 9, 2011, at the age of ninety-three. From 1955 until his retirement in 1976, Robert Schenkkan was also the director of the UT Austin Communication Center, the president and general manager of KLRN-TV, the general manager of KUT-FM, and the director of the Texas Educational Microwave Project and the Southwest Creative Film Project.
Bob married Jean McKenzie on August 26, 1944. Jean preceded him in death on January 3, 1985. Bob is survived by four children and their spouses: Pieter and Frances Schenkkan of Austin, Texas; Dirk and Patricia Schenkkan of San Francisco, California; Robert Schenkkan Jr. and Maria Headley of Seattle, Washington; Gerard “Tex” and Judith Schenkkan of San Francisco, California; and by twelve grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. In 1989, four years after Jean’s death, Robert married Phyllis Rothgeb, and he is survived by Phyllis; her sons, John Reese Rothgeb Jr. and David Rothgeb; and two grandchildren.
Robert was born in Manhattan to Joseph and Flora Schenkkan, who were Dutch immigrants, on March 4, 1917, and grew up in Brooklyn and Long Island, where he graduated from Sewanhaka High School. After working four years in Manhattan, he received a scholarship from the University of Virginia, where he graduated with honors in 1941. Robert subsequently enrolled at the University of North Carolina (UNC), but left to volunteer for military service. Robert served in the U.S. Navy, primarily in the Pacific, and later retired from the Navy Reserves with the rank of commander. He returned to UNC and completed his M.A. degree in drama in 1947. He taught there until the fall of 1955, when he was recruited by UT Austin President Logan Wilson to come to Austin to found public radio and television stations and to teach as a professor of Radio, Television, and Film.
In 1958, Schenkkan helped launch KUT Radio and then, in 1962, he started KLRU Television. According to Jim Lehrer, “He [Schenkkan] was the first to understand the immediate meaning and ultimate importance of public broadcasting. He really got it.” Robert Schenkkan became a national force in organizing educational TV stations into the PBS network and worked with President Lyndon Johnson on passing the Public Broadcasting Act in 1967, which established congressional funding. He was a fierce defender of public broadcasting when President Richard Nixon loaded the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with partisan appointees who threatened to stop government funding for public affairs programming.
“Bob Schenkkan was a quiet warrior for an independent press,” according to Dean Roderick P. Hart. “He stood among a few men and women who helped create the Public Broadcasting System we know today. His leadership role continued as he helped preserve a national treasure when political forces tried to dismantle it.” Bob Schenkkan was one of the three founding fathers of the College of Communication and, as such, his legacy will forever be a major part of The University of Texas at Austin.
When Robert Schenkkan retired from UT Austin in 1976, he was recruited by the Agency for International Development in Washington, D.C., to promote educational television in developing nations. He ended his career completely when his wife Jean became ill.
Robert Schenkkan received three Ford Foundation grants to study and extend public broadcasting programming, and he was a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Chile in 1969 and 1972. His list of consultancies, professional assignments, and other study grants, both in the United States and Latin America, is extensive. Robert also served on a number of non-profit organizations. He supported the arts, Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, and Planned Parenthood. He also continued to serve on the Board of Directors for KLRU and KUT after his retirement.
Bob Schenkkan was a visionary and an innovator. His legacy is more than a station, a network, or even public broadcasting itself. His legacy includes millions of people whose lives were enriched because of his courage, persistence, and imagination. For his ninetieth birthday in 2007, KLRU and KUT hosted a tribute that brought together one hundred and fifty friends and family members. Written and filmed accolades included messages from Bill Moyers and Jim Lehrer, as well as former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton Minow and legendary public TV and radio executive Ward Chamberlain. The University of Texas, the College of Communication, and, indeed, the whole nation owe Robert Fredric Schenkkan a great debt of thanks.
William Powers Jr., President
The University of Texas at Austin
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty
This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professor Isabella Cunningham (chair), Wayne A. Danielson, and J. Stewart Vanderwilt.
KUT founder Robert Schenkken passed away Wednesday. It was his hard work and fierce determination played a big role in public broadcasting as we know it today. He was also a driving force in the creation of public TV station KLRU. Schenkkan worked long and effectively for the enactment of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. No funeral arrangements have been announced yet.
In 1955, Schenkkan moved to the University of Texas at Austin, where he taught as a professor of Radio-Television and Film in the School of Communications.
That’s when he began working with university engineer Nockey Willett. They quickly focused on creating a radio station. The first step was to get a transmitter. With little money the two set out to buy one second hand. They got a call from a man in upstate New York offering a deal that seemed too good to be true.
“That was the most foul mess I had ever seen in my life. You could take a finger and just rake across anywhere, it was just a tarry oily mess. Worthless, we can’t do anything. But we’ve got the money invested for it. So we’re going to have to do something with it,” said Nockey Willett.
Willette and Schenkkan spent some time cleaning the transmitter up. After a lot of work, they were able to coax about 250 watts out of it, just enough to broadcast to the UT campus and parts of downtown.
In 1958, the University of Texas applied to name the station after UT’s original and long dormant radio station KUT.
Pidcoke, Coryell County, Texas, USA
78526967 · View Source
Noyes W. (Nockey) Willett III died Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at Scott & White Hospital in Temple.
Noyes was born August 23, 1924 to the late Noyes W. Willett Jr. and Gladys Helm Willett. He graduated from Clifton High School in 1941, and entered Texas A&M University, majoring in Electrical Engineering. In 1943 he transferred to the University of Texas at Austin. He worked part-time as a technician in the Communications Shop providing technical service to Radio House, the college radio production and training studios at UT.
In 1946 he entered the military and was transferred to the Air Force. He was assigned to the Pentagon in Washington as assistant chief engineer for Air Forces Information and Public Relations, Radio Section. In 1947 he returned to UT Austin and Radio House.
On May 24, 1952 he married Florence Spencer. They made their home in Austin.
In the early 1950s the University built KUT-FM and Nockey served as chief engineer. Also in the 1950s, studios were built and equipment installed for television production. All such services were brought together as the UT Communications Center. He was Assistant Director and Chief Engineer of the Center, the position he held until his retirement.
Public television broadcasting for Central Texas was organized under a public corporation, Southwest Texas Public Broadcasting Council, which contracted with UT and the Communications Center to construct and operate its studios in San Antonio and Austin. His time was divided and he also served as Vice President in charge of engineering of the Council. KLRN signed on in 1962. To house these projects and its School of Communications, the University built a 200,000 sq. ft. Communications Center. He was heavily involved in the design of the building and was responsible for the design, purchase and installation of its equipment.
Nockey was a 60+ year Master Mason, Austin Lodge No. 12. In addition to membership in the various professional societies, he was Chairman of the Texas State Agency Television Advisory Council. When the Federal Department of Health, Education and Welfare began to consider funding of Public TV projects, Nockey was a member of the committee chosen to write guidelines for equipment eligible for Federal funding, and later helped screen and evaluate applications for funding.
He served as chairman of the engineering committee of the Southern Educational Communications Association, the 16 state regional non-profit broadcasting group, and chairman of the engineering committee of the National Association of Educational Broadcasters. He was named to the engineering committee of National Educational Television, the forerunner of PBS, which consisted of only five members, including men from Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles educational stations. When PBS was organized, he became founding member of its engineering committee and was active with the committee until he retired. He did the engineering, planning and all FCC liaison and served as volunteer chief engineer for the non-commercial, subscription supported, classical music station in Austin. KMFA-FM has been broadcasting for more than 40 years.
He contributed to the design of other broadcasting facilities, including a television studio at Alice High School in Alice, Texas, a television studio at the Technical Institute in Monterrey, Mexico, and a radio station at North Texas State University in Denton, Texas. Nockey proposed program exchange via satellite linkage to serve public TV stations in the 16 state Southern Educational Communications Association, the first utilization of any satellite for scheduled television programs for broadcasting.He served as technical manager and NASA liaison for the project and was invited to give papers before several groups, including the International Communications Society of West Berlin, and the Royal Society of Canada.
On August 31, 1980, Nockey retired from UT but remained with the Southwest Texas Public TV Council until 1982. He was active as a broadcast consultant until 1988, primarily in the design of customized directional antennas for UHF broadcasting. Because of his work in broadcasting, he is listed in “Who’s Who in Communications and Media”; “Who’s Who in Entertainment”, and “Who’s Who in Advertising”.
In 1968 the Willetts purchased ranch property in Coryell County, used primarily as a weekend retreat. He was active at Pidcoke Methodist Church for many years, and served as Lay Leader, member of the Board of Trustees, and chairman of several committees. In 1998 Nockey petitioned the Texas Public Utilities Commission to instigate Expanded Local Calling in the rural area near the ranch. The Willetts prepared and filed the petitions, documents and exhibits, and followed them through the Public Utilities Commission and the Federal Communications Commission. Two years later, in May of 2000, the successful process was completed, allowing telephone service into five surrounding towns to be classified as local calls.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Noyes Willett IV of Austin, TX, and a sister, Betty Willett Nixon of Indianapolis, IN.
He is survived by his wife; one son, James Willett, and one granddaughter, Savannah Pearl Willett, both of Austin, TX; niece, Sally Moore and husband Bruce of Fisher, IN; and nephew, James Nixon and wife Denise of Indianapolis, IN.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to Scott & White Foundation Office 2401 S. 31st St., Temple, TX 76508. Specify Heart and Vascular Research.
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Since 2015, blockchain technology has held a significant place in the market with excessive promises to revolutionise the financial industry. The technology was to be utilised in most existing sectors. Since the early days of the proclaimed innovation, words such as decentralized, investment, public ledger and distributed ledger have become commonplace in the news, web, tech related conferences and dinner table discussions all around the world.
Blockchain is a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) that is formed by chains of blocks. These blocks include information that is agreed amongst the network and cannot be changed. The cryptocurrencies are token based resources on the DLT that are based on blockchains. All these buzzwords are used interchangeably.
Recently, blockchain and the companies in the ecosystem seem to be losing their momentum. Many companies that previously focused on implementing the so-called technology in relevant sectors seem to have failed or to have created less efficient solutions than the ones already on offer. We would like to emphasize two main issues in this technology’s paradigm. Firstly, why we cannot call blockchain an investment or a distributed ledger and secondly the negative effects on society, mainly for retail investors.
In recent decades youth around the world is feeling unable to make a difference. They are on the receiving end of political decisions made in their absence, despite these decisions affecting their political, social and economic welfare. Essentially, they end up watching the developments from the backseat whilst populist politicians assuming positions of power, intensify economic struggles, intensify environmental issues, and increase global inequalities.
That’s how blockchain’s anarchist approach towards institutions, unpopular governmental organisations and well-established financial institutions is becoming increasingly attractive. Blockchain appeals through the mixture of these feelings of discontent with the promised capabilities of this technology. It promises disruption or rapid change of financial institutions and governments. In other words, my favourite term used for Blockchain is “incorruptible power to freedom”. Concepts of governance and institutions that regulate trade is already in the process of evolution since the beginning of modern history. That is the backbone of cryptocurrencies’ popularity amongst the unsatisfied middle classes around the world as well as lower-income individuals hoping to make easy money out of it. Oliver Renick makes very accurate analogy in his article in Forbes(1), stating that Cryptocurrencies are more similar to a roulette wheel than any other traditional asset class.
The speculative nature of cryptocurrency as an asset comes from not having any intermediary protection from institutions like private, national banks or regulators. Its speculative value is not based on usage as a currency. The total market value of BitCoin is currently at $136 billion, at its peak in December 2017 the total market cap reached $324 billion, which is respectively 0.16%(2) and 0.38%(3) of the total money in the world. Essentially, iit is still insignificant when compared to the amount of the money in the world.
In addition, cryptocurrencies - mainly BitCoin - are incompatible with current transaction providers like Visa, MasterCard or global messaging system SWIFT. For instance, currently in the retail sector Visa has 65,000 transactions per second of throughput capacity, while BitCoin can have a capacity of 7 transactions per second. So, you can certainly realise cryptocurrency is only used to entice investors by offering an instrument with instant liquidity rather than equity.
It is detached from the traditional business model and exists only at the capitalisation structure level, not the implementation level.
On top of this, even though an investment instrument could exist while lacking on aspects like basic transparency, market standards, scalability and governance, it cannot afford to have no liability. In the UK, for example, any payment transaction below £30,000 and above £100(4) is protected by the service provider, while any regular account in a bank or a building society is under protection for the first £85,000 of the money in the account under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. On the other hand, Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies in the market cost investors millions of dollars with unexplained computer errors, scams or hackers.
Taking into account the issues mentioned above, what is worrying is the widespread notion of cryptocurrencies being used as an investment instrument. A simple Google search of “cryptocurrency” offers amongst the top ranking websites a definition of cryptocurrencies as an asset, an easy route to riches or an innovation that will change the world.
However, the current market environment proves the shallowness of the whole paradigm. With the loss of the initial momentum in the industry, retail investors and engineers who bought into the revolutionary idea are realising the business model is lacking the fundamentals. Blockchain proved itself to be nothing but a paradigm of fancy words which were not applicable in the real world of governance, financial systems and enterprise solutions.
On the other hand, there have been some developments that deviated from the blockchain and its approach to ledger technology. As a result of this different approach it has created legitimate technology which has real use cases in the public and private sector like distributed ledger technology (DLT). However, there has been some effort of the speculative commune to capitalise on these solid approaches for more positive PR which was hoped to lead to crypto-investments. It is crucial to understand that DLT deviates from the cryptocurrencies’ public ledger which has no governance and it elevates itself as a private ledger-based enterprise solution. However, as DLT gained more and more popularity, in many occasions it is confused with blockchain. Mainly because the term is used interchangeably in the blockchain ecosystem. That said, they are not interchangeable terms at all despite DLT emerging as part of the blockchain paradigm. DLT is simply a more complex version of an electronic spreadsheet. It allows the spreadsheet to be verified and distributed without being corrupted amongst various databases. It also verifies any updates in every server it exists in.
These capabilities of DLT are promising when legacy IT systems only used as silos in different public and private institutions. Considering the UK’s public sector with the existing inefficiencies in tax collection, general public services and management of databases like the Land & Vote registry, technologies like DLT have a lot to offer. The case of Estonia, further supports this argument: the Estonian government is leading the implementation by connecting all public sector services to each citizen’s ID card i.e. PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) The citizens are undertaking over 3000(5) functions with their ID cards in different institutions, with their information kept and validated in a DLT environment that keeps a record of all government registers and services. The possible use cases are endless. An example of private sector usage is The Certificate Transparency (CT) system by Google. It helps to verify users and services through the ledge while stopping attacks or imposters.
Nevertheless, all DLT or similar developments have nothing to do with decentralised speculative currencies i.e. assets. Simply put, more solid solutions are expected out of the Blockchain paradigm, otherwise cryptocurrencies will not materialise as anything more than a speculative asset lacking the essential requirements in terms of liability, governance and technical capability.
Jan Akalin worked for Adjoint Inc. – co-founded by Darren Tseng
Darren Tseng is a fintech entrepreneur and an independent writer covering the technology sector and financial fraud. He studied finance at the University of Massachusetts Boston and has founded several fintech companies in Europe and the United States. Darren brings his expertise in both the banking and information technology sector to his writing about financial fraud and public policy. Darren’s family immigrated to the United States from Myanmar and he currently resides in London.
The Crypto Policy Symposium, organised by Stephen Diehl, Martin Walker and Darren Tseng, was held on Monday 5 September and Tuesday 6 September, and broadcast over Zoom to an appreciative audience of (I think) between 1000 and 2000. [Crypto Policy Symposium]
The intended target audience was regulators, bureaucrats and politicians — and they were very interested.
The organisers decided that this conference needed to lead to more action against technologies that were being used as bad excuses for predatory behaviour. So they’re starting a new US-based 501(c)4 foundation: the Center for Emerging Technology Policy. [CETP]
Stephen and Darren, with Jan Akalin, have also put out a book: Popping the Crypto Bubble. Available as a lovely paperback or hardback, or it’s free on Kindle Unlimited! [Amazon UK, Amazon US]
Stephen manned the Zoom desk with only a few sound dropouts. But if you missed anything, you’ll be pleased to hear that all the videos are up on the YouTube channel! [YouTube]
It is interesting that Ben keeps reminding everyone that he is a story teller, and that he left the narrative of crypto and bitcoin, then came back a few years later. His focus on how celebrities endorsed bitcoin is also something I noted because I wonder if that is part of the game. These folks plan generationally and energetically (those birthday portals lol), so I wonder if having someone like Matt Damon initially endorse it to encourage people to buy (hive mind maybe?), then it crashes and now we have Ben coming back to continue telling the story, is actually part of a bigger narrative. Like each actor has their part to play, Damon played his and now it’s Ben’s turn. I think you mentioned this in other presentations and articles, that these folks make up the problems so as to present the solution.
With Ben, I looked up the movie 88 minutes where he starred along side Al Pacino, and have only seen the trailer. It looks like the story revolves around Al Pacino’s character is caught up in some sort of game the serial killer is playing with him. I feel more and more, we are already in the mixed reality, I just don’t know how immersed we are right now.
I looked at some of the other actors/actresses in 88 minutes and one that really stood out is a actress named Leah Cairns and she stared in a time travel show called Travelers.
I watched Travelers about six months ago and it’s about people being send back in time and taking over someone else’s body/host (alluding to digital twins maybe) and assuming that person’s life and trying to save their future at the same time. The director (a God like entity) is an A.I. and is the one who sends people back in time. The show references nano technology, graphene and a number of things related to the topics being researched in the forum. Plus the show as filmed in Vancouver and a number of time travel shows have been filmed here.
I wonder if the movies actors and actresses star in creates some sort of energy.
On a personal and almost creepy level, Ben and I share the same birthday portal, Sept 12.
Ben also mentions Robert Shiller and Narrative Economics, I found this short video of Robert Shiller talking about the great depression, and automation interesting, and I wonder if this hinting at the overall narrative of the mixed relate global brain these people want to usher in.
Also the clip of Charlie Chaplin in the movie Modern Times called the ‘Feeding Machine’ where management tries to automate the worker’s lunch. Robert mentions the movie while talking about Narrative economics.