Tag Archives: Rorta

A year of Rorta.org

We’ve been here for over a year now!

I felt like an update was in order.

First, please excuse the lack of posts because I’ve been extremely busy. I quit my business for good in September, handed the reigns to one of my mentee’s and got a very well paid, full time job instead where I don’t have to stress about everything. I’ve worked on a few business ventures and temporary jobs since June, explaining the slowing pace of posts here.  I’m also working slowly on my newest business venture – something big… More to come on that.

Secondly, if you haven’t checked out the forum, I implore you to do so! You have to register as a user on the blog to view the forum but there’s already a ton of content considering there are only a handful of members.

I’ve been doing a lot of research on many different topics:

  • Weightlifting
  • Van dwelling and urban survivalism
  • Mushroom cultivation
  • Alternative living
  • Drugs
  • Cryptography
  • Pyrotechnics

The list is endless. I’m hoping I can share some of my research with readers and randomers in the near future.

I’m also thinking about rebooting the WordPress theme. I feel like a year of use is perfect, but I’m a little bored of the theme even though I like it a lot.

Take care.

An Introduction to Investing in Silver

One of the posters on our forum, JekyllandHyde, produced this article on investing on silver. I thought it was really good and serves as a perfect introduction for investing in silver and definitely worth publishing on this blog – He agreed to let me use it and all credit goes to him! If you want to discuss this in more depth, register and head on over to the forum – Gracias!

If you want to submit an article, either get in touch with me in the comments section or forum. Cheers.


 

This is an introductory article for newcomers (and oldtimers) for the various investment forms of silver that are available. Please feel free to discuss this article in the thread below.

Silver comes in many forms – bullion, coin, scrap, silverware, even paper, and varying finenesses – a new stacker might be at a loss knowing where to start, or what sort of silver they should be acquiring. The first question that should be answered is “WHY are you buying silver” – is it for investment purposes, wealth protection, nest egg, fallback stash, or even for some survival scenario! Once you’ve answered this question, you will be in a better position to decide what silver to acquire and from where.

Bullion Bars

The most commonly recognized form of investment silver to most people would be bullion bars. Condition really should not matter with bars – they are for all intents and purposes merely a lump of metal that is eventually destined for industrial purposes. What matters is the purity and weight – if possible get .999 or better fineness. Some countries have laws that dictate whether or not a metal is investment grade depending on the fineness. This is important when it comes to taxes! For example, in Australia silver needs to be .999 or higher to be classed as investment grade, and therefore not subject to GST. Check your local, state, and federal laws to be on the safe side. Commonly available weights are 1oz, 10oz, 20oz, 1kg, 50oz, 100oz and 5kg – even 1000oz bars are available. Larger sizes like 5kg and 1000oz bars may not have an exact weight, e.g. 5.005kg, and they are usually priced according to the exact silver content. Amongst casual investors though, perhaps the most commonly held sizes are 1oz, 10oz and 1kg.

Bars may be minted, milled or poured.

Occasionally bars gain a collectors status, and their worth can be more than their intrinsic value alone – usually they are historic bars, or bars associated with defunct mints or companies. For the casual or novice stacker though, these are best avoided as the premiums are subject to the whim of the markets.

Do consider liquidity issues when buying bars – larger sizes like 100oz or 5kg may be difficult to sell privately, particularly if a dramatic increase in the spot price occurs. The 1kg bar that is affordable today may be beyond the reach of many casual investors in a few years time if you plan on selling privately – so consider a mix of sizes.

Bullion Rounds

Another form of bullion are rounds – also known as generics. Usually 1oz in size (although available in larger sizes as well), these look like coins, but are privately minted. As they are effectively just a round form of bullion not issued by a government mint, they should not be priced any higher than the equivalent sized bullion bar, however they are usually minted and of a higher quality finish.
Some rounds have outlandish designs (e.g. Christmas or political messages) that may not appeal to a wide range of buyers, so consider liquidity issues when it comes time to sell. The 1oz size however is a very nice size for smaller sales if you do have to liquidate part of your stack. Best to stick to tame generic themes that don’t have the potential to offend or turn off potential buyers though.
‘Junk’ Coins

A sometimes overlooked source of low-premium silver is so-called ‘junk’ silver. This is an informal term used for any silver coin which is in fair condition and has no numismatic or collectible value above the bullion value of the silver it contains. The actual silver content of junk silver coins can vary quite a bit, even within the same geographical location. In American the actual silver content of junk silver coins can be 90%, 40%, or 35% depending on the coin.

You will need to research your local junk silver coins to see what is worth stacking. Also remember that the higher the actual silver content, the less space it will take up.

One difficulty with stacking silver in this form is liquidity – on the open market this silver often sells below spot, and is not always in favour. However it is the easiest and cheapest way to obtain fractional silver in Australia, with the occasional upside of a numismatic find amongst bulk purchases.

World Bullion Coins

Three very common world bullion coins are the American Silver Eagles (ASE), Canadian Maple Leaves, Austrian Philharmonics, and Australian Silver Kookaburras. These are all 1oz silver coins, and issued for bullion purposes. As a rule, these coins come loose in tubes of 20 or 25 depending on the country of issue, and have the appeal of international recognition. Expect to pay more per ounce for these government mint issued coins than generic bullion rounds, but there should never be a need to pay the same or more for these coins than for local Australian bullion issues.

Other forms of Silver

There are numerous forms of silver beyond that covered in the preceding paragraphs available for purchase – however by sticking to these recognized forms of silver, the average stacker will find themselves building a stack of recognized silver with generally good liquidity. Below are some of the more dubious forms of silver to acquire:

Graded Slabbed Coins

A common sight on auction websites are graded silver coins in plastic slabs, usually accompanied with guarantees and praise for their investment potential. Don’t be ripped off. Unless graded by a recognized tier one grading firm like PCGS or NGC, any grading is generally suspect. For bullion purposes, gradings have no meanings other than the potential numismatic premiums that a grading might attract, and for bullion coins in Australia, collectors of such items are few and far between. It is common to see world silver coins such as US Morgan dollars in plastic slabs from “no-name” grading firms – avoid paying anything more than spot price for such items – the slab is merely fancy packaging and a trap for the unwary. Another commonly slabbed coin is the American Silver Eagle – coins in MS-70 slabs from PCGS or NGC do attract massive premiums, but in the Australian market, the choice of such an investment could be questionable.

World Silver Coins

Most countries throughout the world have issued silver coinage at some time or other during their history. It’s not uncommon to encounter silver coins from Papua New Guinea, Great Britain, USA or New Zealand. For silver stacking purposes, these coins are often available under spot in Australia, but liquidity is an issue at resale time, and you may find it hard to recoup your investment if the spot price has not moved greatly. These coins are best left to collectors, unless you can obtain them for under melt value (which is the price a refiner will pay you, which is usually only a percentage of the spot price).

Sterling Silver

Sometimes bargains can be found in the form of sterling silver – whether it be in the form of flatware (cutlery), ornaments, commemorative issues… unless the items have particular historical or antique value for resale, paying spot for such items is a questionable investment. A better pricing guide is to find out the current melt prices that a refiner might pay for hallmarked silver, and use that as a pricing basis, ensuring that if you can’t resell the items as antique, you can scrap them and sell to a refiner. Be very wary of accidentally purchasing silver plate items over sterling silver – plated items have no value whatsoever from a refining perspective. There are numerous websites with good references on the various hallmarks, and you will soon learn to identify hallmarked pieces as sterling or plated. As a beginners guide, anything marked A1 or EPNS is merely silver plated – the relevant hallmark to search for on most Australian pieces is the lion with raised paw, indicating sterling silver of English origin.

In Summary

Hopefully this primer has given new stackers an appreciation of the physical silver scene. If after reading that and you’re still stuck, I think most readers would agree that the following three classes of silver would be a good place to start your stacking adventures if you were just looking for someone to tell you what to buy!

* World bullion coins (ASE, Maples, etc)
* Bullion bars or rounds
* Junk silver

 

Update: Apple Encryption Success!

Earlier this year I wrote about Apple’s new encryption deployed on all new iPhones or those running the more recent firmware and that this was good news for anyone concerned about their iPhones and their personal privacy.

Wired published an article this week stating that in New York, 92 criminal cases have come about where an iPhone running Apple’s new encryption was a piece of evidence and that in 74 cases, the NYPD were locked out of the iPhone altogether. We can bet that in the 18 cases where the phone was accessed, they were not utilising the alphanumeric passwords I discussed in my earlier article.

That makes the encryption mechanism somewhat successful in the face of one of the biggest police departments in the World.

Stories like this will have major repercussions in terms of laws regarding encryption on devices such as the iPhone, and if the UK is anything to go by, its likely America will introduce some kind of legislation against such forms of encryption.

Eliminating Consumer Behaviour (Part I)

This is going to be a fairly long post, split into two parts.

The next part of my self improvement adventure is to reduce my consumer behaviour. I already talked a lot about reducing the amount of money I spend on food in an earlier article, but I am going to continue in this vain, reducing my consumer behaviour and increasing my productive behaviours.

What is my motivation for reducing/eliminating my own consumer behaviours?

Western society is fundamentally miserable. We want, want, want. We spend aimlessly and thoughtlessly with no thought for our future. Buy consuming we put more money into the pockets of corporations who seek to influence government legislation and have us buy more and more of their products. Spending money is unfulfilling. Producing content, creating and selling products and improving ourselves is much more fulfilling. I’m sick of seeing those around me consume and I’m sick of seeing some of those traits in myself too. Above all I’m eliminating my consumer behaviours in the hope that I can be a happier person. Apologies if this sounds like a rant – That’s because it is one!

The first step in eliminating my own consumer behaviour is looking at what I consume that can be eradicated or reduced to as little as possible:

  • Clothes
  • Caffeine drinks
  • Social Media
  • Alcohol
  • E-Liquid
  • Time spent in nightclubs/bars
  • Pop culture

Clothes

I will happily admit that I have spent a lot of money on clothes. I own entire collections of various brands. Buying these clothes makes me temporarily happy and I will admit I get a long term enjoyment from wearing nice clothes and people telling me how well dressed I am and asking where they can get the threads I wear. On the negative side I have spent far too much money on clothes and realised the other day that realistically I could go a whole year without having to buy any new clothes, with the exception of suits. I may do just that. People buy clothes because they like the feeling of novelty and guess what? That feeling dries up the longer you have your once new clothes for, so you have to buy more clothes to get that feeling.

Caffeine Drinks

Again, I’m addicted to Diet Coke and am partial to a lot of other junk drinks. I’ve gone four days without a Diet Coke at the time of writing and I honestly cannot remember when I have gone this long without. If each bottle costs £1, I estimate that I am spending somewhere in the region of £350-£500 a year on this addiction alone. That is staggering and unbelievably it’s something I’ve never really thought much about. On the plus side, I own shares in Coke and Pepsi, so…

Social Media

This isn’t really financial consumerism but more of a time sink. I shudder to think about the amount of time my use of social networks adds up too, but it must be a lot. Even checking your Facebook for 20 minutes a day adds up to five days a year spent on Facebook. Most people have Twitter, Instagram, etc. Spend 20 minutes each every day and that’s FIFTEEN DAYS a year spent browsing those sites. I discovered what I call Facebook withdrawal – A sinking feeling that happens when you don’t check your Facebook for several days that I suspect is due to lack of Dopamine and possibly a secondary feeling of “Thank God, I’ve escaped”. Who knows. 120 hours of working even at minimum wage is almost £800. When you think of it like that…

Alcohol

Admittedly, these days I’m not so much of a drinker, but I still spend money on booze and it also causes/encourages a myriad of consumer behaviours such as spending money wastefully, eating crap food and doing nothing. Even buying as little as a four pack a week costs £250 a year. And I know people who drink that much every day.

E-Liquid

E-Liquid costs nothing compared to cigarettes but if you buy expensive liquids it can still add up. For me kicking cigarettes was the start of a renewed interest in consumer behaviour because it is addictive, costly and not good for you; the three characteristics I think makes up so much of reckless consumerism.  I buy all my juice wholesale so I pay about a third of the price and I’m looking at mixing my own juices.

Time spent in nightclubs/bars

I spend a few hours a week at least inside nightclubs and bars. I spend money in these places so I can consume more pussy. That is almost the sole reason I go out. I have plenty of friends and I make plenty of acquaintances and associates anyway. What’s worse is it has held me back from meeting higher quality women because you won’t find quality women in the places I frequent. It’s a harsh truth. When I’m in bars and clubs I’m also spending money on alcohol too. I don’t spend much, but it adds up. Frankly I’ve spent the best part of ten years going out and getting hammered and pulling girls in those kind of environments. I’m bored of it and I don’t want to be hanging out in bars when I’m thirty, either.

Pop Culture

We all consume pop culture on some level. Social networks practically shove it down our throats. The same with mainstream media too. Does anyone in the western World not know about Kim Kardashian fathers sex change? More worryingly I know people who know more about the goings on of the Kardashian family than their own. I’ve never been a big consumer of pop culture but I still watch junk on the Internet from time to time and find myself clicking on pop culture related clickbait. Fuck that.

Part II will be published ASAP.

Ibogaine – An Actual Miracle Drug?

I came across Ibogaine reading advice for someone who was trying to give up a 15 year Heroin habit. I must confess, I had never heard of Ibogaine before, not on the old Rorta forums or anywhere else and when I heard it could cure Heroin addiction in one treatment I was sure it was a complete scam or a drug manufactured abroad by a questionable Chinese pharmaceutical firm.

Perhaps I should be less cynical.

Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive drug with psychedelic properties that can be found in several plants. It’s also a tryptamine similar to drugs like AMT but its tripping potential isn’t what interests me. What interests me is its reputation as a drug that can cure addictions. People have reported its success in treating Opiate, Alcohol, Stimulant and cigarette addictions.

Ibogaine seems to achieve this by encouraging introspective thoughts where people look at their what led to their addictions in the first place as well as alleviating the symptoms of Opiate withdrawal, which as any Opiate user will tell you is fucking awful and is one of the biggest reasons why quitting Opiates is so tough.

Of course it’s not a commonly found drug on the black market and has a dubious legal status in many countries meaning that independent research is difficult to achieve.

There are a lot of trip reports and detailed encounters with Ibogaine, such as the links below. I’ll be publishing any new information I hear about in further articles.

https://www.erowid.org/experiences/exp.php?ID=86662

https://www.erowid.org/experiences/exp.php?ID=38833

http://www.vice.com/read/can-a-psychedelic-root-cure-heroin-addiction-234

Most Blogs and Websites Don’t Want to Help You

Don’t bother expecting 99% of online sites to want to truly help you. I say this as the author of this blog and the webmaster and administrator of over ten other sites/forums.

Most blogs and websites generate money through advertising and clicks, thus explaining why the vast majority of websites today are based on nothing more than clickbait. They use bold titles that seem like they can make miracles work in order to make you click on their link and generate them a tiny sum of money. Some are actively trying to sell you their product or a product they take a cut on. Others are interested in merely the ego boost of knowing a lot of people click on their site and read their shit.

Others, the absolute minority, like myself on this site, truly want to change people’s lives for the better and to inform them. I don’t want this site to grow because I see the vast amount of people as being unworthy of the information that Rorta has to offer. They are far more interested in spending money on bullshit and supporting the establishment through consumer behaviour to grasp any benefit from the information I want to get out there.

On all manner of blogs and similar websites you see generic advice that is catered for SEO and clicks that is completely worthless to the vast majority of people who visit the site.

If only ten people come here a month and can learn something or take something away from this site then I have achieved my goal. You’ll never see adverts on this site either. I’ll pay the bills out of my own pocket. Publishing articles and maintaining Rorta to me is a pleasure, just as watching mindless hours of television is to others. It always has been and it always will be, no matter what form Rorta takes.

Hermit spends 27 years living alone in the Maine woods!

This is an amazing story, a couple of years old now, but I only heard about it today. To give the low down, a guy disappeared into the woods for 27 years, having human contact only once, but feeding and supplying himself through breaking into peoples homes and creating a status of myth in the local area.

Here’s the story – give it a read because its the best thing I’ll probably read all week. 

David Cameron wants to ban use of Encryption…

The absolute privacy of Facebook and Twitter users can no longer be tolerated in the face of international terror, David Cameron suggested yesterday.

Tory MP Henry Bellingham asked the prime minister whether the attacks in Tunisia meant it was time “companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter… understand that their current privacy policies are completely unsustainable?”

Cameron agreed, saying that the security services must always be able to “get to the bottom” of online communications.

From the articles I’ve read, it mainly looks like DC and the Conservative government will be targeting technology companies, rather than the individual, but I suspect regardless of the outcome, the legislation that is proposed will have serious ramifications on individuals utilising encryption methods to protect their data.

Read the whole story here and here.

More updates to come as this story progresses.

Want to make money? Try this exercise.

I see a lot of people IRL and online looking for alternative ways to make or boost their income. A neat idea I had a few months ago was this little exercise.

Every single day for thirty days, think of a new business idea. Don’t look online for inspiration but look around you instead.

For example, I was chatting to a friend who works in the music and recording industry. One example of a business venture I thought of after talking to him was to teach people to use software to make music and also to teach people how to record their own music. With a vast array of home recording equipment available for a wide range of budgets, if you had the skill set and the right location this could definitely be a good money maker. I know my brother who plays guitar at a very proficient level has bought recording equipment he doesn’t really know how to use. On top of that he has no idea how to use software to work with music he has recorded. While he could definitely teach himself, it would be easier for someone to give him more professional advice.

Like most ideas I come up with doing this exercise, its not actually viable for me to do myself. I find though, that if only 10% of the ideas you generate are viable then generating these ideas is worthwhile. If you did this exercise for a whole year you’d come up with about 35 viable ideas.

The whole point of doing this is to teach yourself how to spot opportunities to make money in your day to day life. I think you could easily create a few income streams a year or maybe even something that allows you to quit your job. I’ve got two ideas that I’ve generated this way that I’ll be attempting to monetise come August. Both require minimal financial investment, so if I fuck up, it won’t be a massive financial loss to me.