the guy is in jail and you use this AMA as an opportunity to promote your Altcoins of choice, that's really classy /s
Don't be a goober. Imagine a financial entrepreneur had gone to jail in 2009 and was set to be released in 2011. You, being on the forefront of money, hear about this cool new thing called 'bitcoin' and offer to keep him informed not only about the stock market, but also about any developments with this new 'bitcoin'.
Your comment is the equivalent of "Wow, he's in jail and you want to tell him about your crazy computer money? Really classy."
Financial privacy won't just be an issue in 2 years when Mr. Shrem is released - it already is. With companies like SABR popping up and the first disgusting tendrils of bitcoin "black lists" and "white lists" creeping into the public consciousness we are already facing a situation where we need to consider all available alternatives.
Satoshi didn't wait until total fiat collapse to start introducing the idea of bitcoin. He (whether through coincidence or design) planted the seed and gave it time to grow, so that by the time it would be necessary - it would already be robust enough to prevent civilization from turning on each other.
Cryptonote based coins are a lot like that. To claim that "we have bitcoin, and no matter what happens we will never need any other form of money!" is to fall into the same toxic arrogance that was once displayed by the bankers who scoffed at the idea of "computer nerd money". Bitcoin is an invaluable public ledger for the entire world, and will likely see use for a long time to come.
But it is not private.
And finance, like all large 'games' needs public moves as well as private ones. Imagine playing a game of poker where no one was allowed to have any "private" cards. Imagine trying to maintain a relationship where you told each other how you *really* feel 100% of the time. Imagine a large corporation disclosing all of their R&D and projected acquisitions to the public on a daily basis.
Some point to tools like CoinJoin, but the fact that merely using Tor to anonymize our internet browsing arouses suspicion shows us that add-on privacy is not enough - it must be a fundamental part of a protocol.
Finally consider this: If bitcoin had launched in 2009 with a system that automatically mixed all transactions together such that no two parties could track or trace each other, and all balances were kept hidden from everyone but the address holder, would anyone seriously consider entertaining the idea that this system of financial privacy should instead move to one where all transactions are conducted on a transparent ledger viewable by all?
So it's not my intent to send Mr. Shrem spam about how he needs to get interested in KittyCoin or CheeseburgerCoin. There has been a disgusting glut of shallow alts since the rise of the original Bitcoin, I agree. Thankfully, Cryptonote is not a bitcoin 'alt' or 'clone'. It is an independent code base, built from scratch. And it certainly wasn't my intention to only provide information about solely Cryptonote projects - you mispaint my intentions. But to truly keep up with possible innovations in this space, you can't shut your eyes to any possibilities without fair consideration.
And having been in similar situations to his in my life - where you are cut off from the torrent of information that the internet has accustomed you to... it's a very cruel fate. It feels as if suddenly you have lost an entire sense. It would be a shame to lose a mind as bright as his to such an information 'coma' for 24 months, so we'll do our best to keep him on the forefront of all cryptocurrency technologies; not just the original bitcoin.