December 3, 2021

AF Community

Authoritarianism in Turkmenistan, China in Academia, and State Bitcoin Policy

By: AF Editors

Each week, we’ll be featuring opinion pieces from the alumni and current participants of AF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. Do you dream of having bylines like these? Learn more about how the Writing Fellows Program can help boost your writing career!

Turkmenistan’s Record-Setting Repression by Billy Binion (Spring 2018) in Reason

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov is many things: equestrian, pop star, collector of Guinness World Records, marksman, lifter, poet, race car driver, and brutal authoritarian.

The last role is the most important. But it is also the one about which there is arguably the least information, as Berdimuhamedov’s Turkmenistan is one of the most secretive and repressive dictatorships on the planet…

China is Using Academia Like a Trojan Horse by Georgia L. Gilholy (Spring 2021) in Newsweek

Across western higher education, elite institutions are normalizing authoritarian political systems—such as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)—when they should instead be under scrutiny.

Recently, the University College London’s student debating society hosted a discussion where panelists pushed the motion that “Chinese-style” governance could be adopted by other countries—an alarming belief that goes against democratic principles…

Why Louisiana should lead the world in Bitcoin mining by Eric Peterson (Fall 2014) in The Center Square

Louisiana has long been a leading state in energy production. Our state is blessed with the energy resources that power portions of the United States and the rest of the world. While the oil and gas industry is used to power homes, cars, and other aspects of everyday life, they can also be channeled into energizing the growing Bitcoin mining industry. Louisiana can become a hub of not only oil and gas but of new and innovative industries by fostering partnerships in the Pelican State.

Bitcoins are the most widely known and valuable cryptocurrency with an estimated 46 million Americans owning some portion of a Bitcoin. Bitcoins are created through a process known as mining. When Bitcoins transfer from one person to another, it’s recorded on a digital ledger that requires computing power to facilitate. The computer that lends its computing power to record the transaction is rewarded with a small amount of Bitcoin. As the number of Bitcoins is capped at 21 million, the race to mine the remaining Bitcoins is on, especially as the price remains over $50,000…