There’s a complete lack of theoretic elegance — or even basic structure — to this, but it still strikes me as basically right.
The image is over two years old. but I’ve only just seen it (via). The text pinned to it is from February this year, and also makes a solid forecast. The basic direction of capital teleology hasn’t been this pronounced for a century (at least).
madness in her face and i
the world that i had seen
and when my soul shall be to see the night to be the same and
i am all the world and the day that is the same and a day i had been
a young little woman i am in a dream that you were in
a moment and my own heart in her face of a great world
and she said the little day is a man of a little
a little one of a day of my heart that has been in a dream
Not the greatest poetic achievement in world history, certainly. (The two final lines are definitely poor.) But the worst? Anywhere even remotely close to the worst?
The author: “Deep Gimble I is a proof-of-concept Recurrent Neural Net, minimally trained on public domain poetry and seeded with a single word.”
(Submissions from literary AIs accepted at the link.)
Short but utterly mind-melting.
Probably not — except by competitive coincidence — a response to this, but it works as one. This is turning into the most inspiring epoch of visionary plutocracy since the late 19th century. Even the Washington DC + Wall Street parasite hub is unable to blot-out the signal.
More SpaceX chatter.
The technical competence required to evaluate this (MegaNet) initiative far exceeds my capabilities (that’s what you lot are for).
(a) If doable, it’s huge.
(b) It seems to follow the grain of The Process (and cross-link not only to Bitcoin, but also to Urbit).
According to Kim Dotcom, the key to a safer, more secure and decentralized Internet will lie within blockchain technology, or a version of Bitcoin’s original concept. He has spent two years working on the program, and basically turning the Internet into a encrypted, decentralized smartphone app. In general terms, here’s how it works: […] “If you have 100 million smartphones that have the MegaNet app installed, we’ll have more online storage capacity, bandwidth and calculating power than the top 10 largest websites in the world combined,” Dotcom claims. “Over the years with these new devices and capacity, especially mobile bandwidth capacity, there will be no limitations. We are going to use very long keys, systems that will not be reverse engineered or cracked by any supercomputer. […] … Dotcom says it will use a faster version of blockchain technology to exchange data globally. There will be no IP addresses within MegaNet, like the current Internet IpV4 protocol uses for enhanced user security. Yet, it will use the current Internet protocol initially as a “dumb pipe” to get the ball rolling. He and his staff are working on a new type of encryption that will work regardless of how MegaNet is accessed. Bandwidth would come from Wi-Fi use and when the phone is idle, so no charges would come through an IP.
There’s a lot going on here:
Do you ever feel like you’re using the Internet as a modem? […] The Internet is actually an awesome modem. The online services blow AOL away. But are we really that far from 1995? […] Can we re-decentralize the Internet? A lot of great hackers have tried. Maybe we can’t? Maybe it’s just impossible? […] The Internet isn’t from 1995. It’s from 1975. In 1995, we learned that a network beats a mainframe. Now, we’ve learned that a 2015 mainframe beats a 1975 network. […] Does it beat a 2015 network? What is a 2015 network, anyway? […] If the Internet beats a modem, and a modem on top of the Internet beats the Internet — what if we made an Internet on top of the Internet? […] These questions seemed interesting. So we built Urbit.
The Urbit whitepaper (with links to (arcane) demos).
The Hacker News discussion starts off sophomoric, but gets better.
Best promo slogan I’ve seen yet (from this, last year): “If Bitcoin is money, Urbit is land.” It’s the algorithmic propertarian matrix for virtual real-estate.
Peter Thiel on Silicon Valley’s “cultural disconnect”:
There is a big disconnect, because you have this sense of stagnation and slow growth in many other places, and you have this incredible boom in Silicon Valley. […] Also, I do not think we live in a scientific and technological age, as a society. I think most people do not like science and technology. They’re scared of it. All you have to do is watch science-fiction movies — they all show technology that doesn’t work, or they’re dystopian. I watched “Gravity” last year, and it’s like you’re so glad to be back on a muddy island. You never want to go into outer space. […] There’s something about our society that’s incredibly conservative, in the sense of not wanting things to change. So I think there’s a cultural disconnect with Silicon Valley that’s pretty big.
Hugo de Garis on the irrelevance of cyborgs:
Let’s start with some basic assumptions. Let the grain of sand be a 1 mm cube (i.e. 10^-3 m on a side). Assume the molecules in the sand have a cubic dimension of 1 nm on a side (i.e. 10^-9 m). Let each molecule consist of 10 atoms (for the purposes of an “order of magnitude” calculation). Assume the grain of sand has been nanoteched such that each atom can switch its state usefully in a femto-second (i.e. 10^-15 of a second). Assume the computational capacity of the human brain is 10^16 bits per second (i.e. 100 billion neurons in the human brain, times 10,000, the average number of connections between neurons, times 10, the maximum number of bits per second firing rate at each interneuronal (synaptic) connection = 10^11*10^4 *10^1 = 10^16. I will now show that the nanoteched grain of sand has a total bit switching (computational) rate that is a factor of a quintillion (a million trillion) times larger than the brain’s 10^16 bits per second. How many sand molecules in the cubic mm? Answer:– a million cubed, i.e. 10^18, with each of the 10 atoms per molecule switching 10^15 times per second, so a total switching (bits per second) rate of 10^18 times 10^15 times 10^1 = 10^34. This is 10^34/10^16 = 10^18 times greater, i.e. a million trillion, or a quintillion.
OK, but that’s coarse sand …
Hurlock‘s find has (deservedly) generated a cybernetic hum across Outer-NRx twitter, and beyond. (There’s more, which I have yet to explore.) Some samples with minimal commentary over at UF. Most immediate take-away (as with Butler): Before people got distracted by the instructions of programmable machines, they were far clearer about the problem of machine teleology, the kind of evidence it produces, and the scale of historical process at which it operates.
Compared to Butler, Garet Garrett provides a far richer socio-economic and historical context for his discussion of spontaneous order among the machines. His sense of the integrated techno-commercial system in which machine evolution is promoted is sufficiently sophisticated to approach theoretical closure. Demographics, the economic dynamics of industrial capitalism, globalization, and modern military conflict are all neatly comprehended by his model. In a nutshell; economic incentives drive mechanization, which compels the expansion of production, which pushes the commercial order beyond its limits, with the stark horror of a displaced Malthusian catastrophe digging its spurs into the human base-brain. “What is it you will fear? That you will be unable to sell away the surplus product of your machines. That industry will no longer be able to make a profit? […] No. The fear is that you will starve. Your machines have called into existence millions of people who otherwise would not have been born — at least, not there in that manner. These millions who mind machines are gathered in cities. They produce no food. They produce with their machines artificial things that are exchanged for food.” The process is driven forward by the lash.
To have sunk from this level of theoretical grandeur to confused questions about the programming of nice robots is an intellectual calamity of such magnitude that it cries out for an explanation of its own. There’s still a little time to get back on track.
Himanshu Damle (@) shared the link to this paper, which definitely needs to be passed along here. Called ‘Abrupt rise of new machine ecology beyond human response time’ it is co-authored by Neil Johnson, Guannan Zhao, Eric Hunsader, Hong Qi, Nicholas Johnson, Jing Meng & Brian Tivnan. Abstract:
Society’s techno-social systems are becoming ever faster and more computer-orientated. However, far from simply generating faster versions of existing behaviour, we show that this speed-up can generate a new behavioural regime as humans lose the ability to intervene in real time. Analyzing millisecond-scale data for the world’s largest and most powerful techno-social system, the global financial market, we uncover an abrupt transition to a new all-machine phase characterized by large numbers of subsecond extreme events. The proliferation of these subsecond events shows an intriguing correlation with the onset of the system-wide financial collapse in 2008. Our findings are consistent with an emerging ecology of competitive machines featuring ‘crowds’ of predatory algorithms, and highlight the need for a new scientific theory of subsecond financial phenomena.
The techno-financial ecology is not evolving as fast as it is running, and scientific research has computers too, so pursuing a cognitive arms-race against this thing is not necessarily as futile as it might at first sound … but still. Operations in the “all-machine phase” is the strategic environment under emergence.
Hugo de Garis argues (consistently) that controversy over permitted machine intelligence development will inevitably swamp all other political conflicts. (Here‘s a video discussion on the thesis.) Given the epic quality of the scenario, and its basic plausibility, it has remained strangely marginalized up to this point. The component pieces seem to be falling into place. The true element of genius in this futurist construction is preemption. The more one digs into that, the most twistedly dynamic it looks.
Among the many thought-provoking elements:
(1) Slow take-off is especially ominous for the de Garis model (in stark contrast to FAI arguments). The slower the process, the more time for ideological consolidation, incremental escalation, and preparation for violent confrontation.
(2) AI doesn’t even have to be possible for this scenario to unfold (it only has to be credible as a threat).
(3) De Garis’ ‘Cosmist-Terran’ division chops up familiar political spectra at strange angles. (Both NRx and the Ultra-Left contain the full C-T spectrum internally.)
(4) Terrans have to strike first, or lose. That asymmetry shapes everything.
(5) Impending Gigadeath War surely deserves a place on any filled-out horrorism list.
De Garis’ site.
(Some topic preemption at Outside in here.)