Pot of Gold at the End of the Ethernet Cable

Back in the days of MUDs and MUSHs there was a story going around about a guy—addicted to cocaine—who got so addicted to MUDding that when his “friends” laid out a line of cocaine next to his keyboard he couldn’t stop playing long enough to sniff it.

But a couple of weeks ago, I read in the New York Observer the most outrageous internet overuse story since those days.

Here it is:

One college student sustained permanent minor brain damage due to heatstroke after he dozed off in his room next to four computers furiously mining Bitcoins. “I wish I was joking,” he said in a forum post that was reposted on the website BitcoinMiningAccidents.com.

Bitcoins are a virtual currency, created (or “discovered”) by solving a mathematical problem with a computer.  People can use their home computer setups (very powerful home computer setups) to create new coins and that’s what caused the accident in this case.  A later post on BitcoinMiningAccidents.com provides more details.

The gold standard is the most exhausting topic in politics, but discussion of Bitcoins has the potential to combine all that economic wonkery with hard core computer nerd-dom.  Bitcoins may take over the world, but only if everyone doesn’t fall asleep first.

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