Quote note (#276)

Fernandez on the escalation of irreversibility:

In Orwell’s view the mutability of the past was the foundation of tyranny. “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” To ensure this the Ministry of Truth was honeycombed with Memory Holes into which any inconvenient fact could be dropped and be disappeared. […] But just to illustrate how things have changed for the State we now know that Orwell was wrong. The mathematically dominant method for recording transactions, whether they involve the transfer of financial assets, intellectual property, health records or any type of information is probably going to be the blockchain. It has three important properties. First the entire record can be reproduced by anyone from a Genesis cryptographic starting such that all records will have the same signature if and only if they are the same. Second, no part of the record can be altered without regenerating the entire block chain from the beginning. Third, it is impossible to rewrite the block chain without incurring enormous real costs in electricity and computing power, as guaranteed by the laws of thermodynamics. […] The first property means that blockchain by nature it is a public ledger. The second ensures the database can only be falsified in its entirety. The third makes it prohibitively expensive to do so. …

There are still countless fools advising Cnut the Great to defy the waves, but time is not on their side.

August 20, 2016admin 28 Comments »
FILED UNDER :History

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28 Responses to this entry

  • Dark Reformation Says:

    http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/michael-j-totten/liberal-democracy-and-its-discontents

    Nothing really new to people here. But a good overview of the situation.

    Question for people here:

    What, if any, steps are you guys doing to survive the coming chaos? (Besides private islands?)

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    George Orwell is probably spinning in his grave at Totten’s abuse of the English language.

    [Reply]

    SVErshov Reply:

    humans never had anything but chaos, just failed to notice it. as some said, societies which fail to comprehend and reconnect with reality are zombies societies. but what do with it is tied to evolving concept of acceratiomism, which is quite misundrstood by commentariat here. perhaps we must denounce our differences, stay united and see if we can work something out.

    [Reply]

    cyborg_nomade Reply:

    I’m getting as rich as I can and saving gold and btc.

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 20th, 2016 at 1:41 pm Reply | Quote
  • grey enlightenment Says:

    https://pajamasmed.hs.llnwd.net/e1/richardfernandez/user-content/13/files/2016/08/2016-Update-EU-GDP-Share.png

    I wonder if the rise of China has anything to do with that

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 20th, 2016 at 3:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • SVErshov Says:

    he is digging his grave as writer on technical issues. same as in finance journalism too. Nerds will NEVER forgive to some who wrote such things as:

    “Third, it is impossible to rewrite the block chain without incurring enormous real costs in electricity and computing power, as guaranteed by the laws of thermodynamics. […] The first property means that blockchain by nature it is a public ledger. The second ensures the database can only be falsified in its entirety. The third makes it prohibitively expensive to do so. …”

    bitcoins blockchain (for exaple) can be copied in abount 50 mins, around 93gb now. not a different from any other copy paste operation. To start new alternative coin like NRxCoin is one day work for programer with minimum C++ skils. what are you going to do when there will be 1000 of 200trb blockchains. which one is genuine? you have scan them all and compare to something. I been througn similar problem recently, going trough rescanning and choosing best chain for days. Fernandez schould try it, helps very much to reduce euphoria about blckochain’s techs.

    it is primitive concept proof at best at the moment.

    [Reply]

    cyborg_nomade Reply:

    I guess that when blockchains get massive, truth will be fully commercialized and people will live in their own truth bubbles

    (an ironic avenging of the ontological turn)

    [Reply]

    Ur-mail Reply:

    @SVErshov

    I’m not quite clear what the argument being made here is.

    Fernandez’ statement is factually accurate. You can easily copy and validate a proof-of-work blockchain – I’ve written software to do this that takes on the order of a few hours – the slowest part is pulling back the history from peers, the validation is nearly instantaneous compared to this (hundreds of blocks per second, faster if you use specialized hardware). The hard part is regenerating the chain from the genesis block, as you’ll have to devote the resources to generating valid proofs of work – which is thermodynamically costly and puts you farther and farther (temporally) behind the main chain in terms of total work.

    While anyone can launch their own proof-of-work blockchain and cryptocurrency, the only chains that will have the level of computing power to reach hundreds of TB any time soon will be the chains with the most valuable network and hence largest mining pools. For 8 years of transactions, the bitcoin blockchain is only 80GB. There are possible pruning mechanisms discussed in the Bitcoin whitepaper to make the accumulated past less onerous for small actors in the network, while still allowing them to validate the entire chain.

    > what are you going to do when there will be 1000 of 200trb blockchains. which one is genuine? you have scan them all and compare to something.

    If you’ve read the original Bitcoin whitepaper you know that this is applying a standard of proof to the blockchain that it was never designed to satisfy – namely an external correspondence style of proof. The blockchain has no external referents and therefore you don’t have to “scan [all the blocks] and compare [them] to something”, if you are presented with the longest blockchain that contains only valid blocks you take that as the record of what happened…until a longer chain comes along. Since this is a cumulative Poisson point process, we know the probability of there being multiple, competing, equally long work-wise, equally valid chains is, for all intents and purposes, 0, as even small variations in computing power between the chains would eventually cause large variations in accumulated work.

    All that to say, I’m unclear what’s wrong with anything stated by Fernandez.

    [Reply]

    michael Reply:

    it cant be applied to verifying truth on a sociological context because that changes the scale and the value of the information, once information becomes to complex humans resort to shorthand and trust block chains only make information more obtuse if that type of information can even be transcribed. for financial and contractual info where a penalty for lying is costly and verifiable absolutely its different story.Even then you are going to see exponential blockchain generatio or a new technology invented thats not so cumbersome

    [Reply]

    SVErshov Reply:

    there is opinion that in few years 90% of news will be wirttent by AI.

    here is demo of Yseop Conpose https://compose.yseop.com/demos/

    I’m sure Yseop can write much better XS critique, ever writtent hy anyone.

    AI analysis market going to become 120bn market in 4 years. Nobody going to read people in 5 years. AI no need blockchains, it can use PDF.

    SVErshov Reply:

    my point is that this bitcoins block chain is just primitive proof of work concept. Fernandez technically wrong he simply does not have an idea what he is talking about, it is beyond critic. who said that you need prove of work to generate block chain. you can just generate it with 20 mln coins in it, and give those coins to your friends. there is plenty of alt coins started that way, with pre-mined coins. key question here is that everybody have same copy.

    #The blockchain has no external referents and therefore you don’t have to “scan [all the blocks] and compare [them] to something”,

    backchain on your HD has external references to blockchains on other nodes. in case if some records in ‘chainstate’ folder gone missing, you have to rebuild index and rescan all blocks on your HD. you can try to intall BitcoinCore 0.12, then while bitcoincore running switch of power of your computer. then you will see for your self what I’m talking about.

    if you really want to understand the whole digital coins thing I would recommend RAND corporation report on Alternative coins.

    [Reply]

    (N) G. Eiríksson Reply:

    SVErshov what would you say is the ultimate significance of bitcoin for us? no great impact? ~no exit?

    SVErshov Reply:

    opportunity for not doing something to make money, but make just that – money ( by mining)

    Posted on August 20th, 2016 at 3:47 pm Reply | Quote
  • cyborg_nomade Says:

    I think he’s a little optimistic for now. enormous costs can be paid by govt since central banking.

    I’d be more confident in the technical inepcy of governments

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 20th, 2016 at 5:11 pm Reply | Quote
  • Henk Says:

    The internet already knows how to bury truth under heaps of chaff. Why wouldn’t that work with blockchains?

    Re. Bitcoin, I haven’t seen this one from the EU here, maybe it was in a chaos patch:

    Tackling terrorist financing risks linked to virtual currencies: to prevent misuse of virtual currencies for money laundering and terrorist financing purposes, the Commission proposes to bring virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers under the scope of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive. These entities will have to apply customer due diligence controls when exchanging virtual for real currencies, ending the anonymity associated with such exchanges;”

    [Reply]

    Seth Largo Reply:

    There’s something interesting to be said about the contrast between your link and your assumption that blockchain can be obfuscated in the normal way. But I’m too tired at the moment to put it into words.

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 20th, 2016 at 5:38 pm Reply | Quote
  • pyrrhus Says:

    Isn’t all of a culture a blockchain? Maybe Venezuela is an example of what happens when links in that blockchain get destroyed….

    [Reply]

    michael Reply:

    You think South America really lost their library cards and internet connections and had no idea about the pitfalls of socialism?
    Because i think what happened was Chavez was a low time preference red nigger that thought he could vic some honky oil companies and local conquistadors, egged on by some marxist jew educated useful idiots he was easily able to persuade his fellow red niggers of the wisdom of this.
    As enamored of socialism as whites are they never quite manage to blow their shit up. They actually come so close to making it kind of work it maintains enough of a following to prevent a true comparison.whites want socialism for a completely different reason than niggers opposite reasons actually.Whites know for a fact they can have a 375K income and be socialist and things are fine what’s the problem.
    You want to tighten the feedback loop and untangle the mixed metaphors require the experiment in separate test tubes.

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 20th, 2016 at 6:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • wu-wei Says:

    There are still countless fools advising Cnut the Great to defy the waves, but time is not on their side.

    The intellectual squabbles between RF and XS are surely the most interesting development in the reaction ‘scene’ since Moldbug himself wrapped up his writings. Funnily enough, time may actually vindicate both perspectives, if fragmentation accelerates as predicted.

    [Reply]

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    There’s a Cnut vs Xerxes dialogue on the shore just waiting to be written.

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 20th, 2016 at 6:28 pm Reply | Quote
  • michael Says:

    Bradbury’s ‘Sound of thunder’ huh? didnt something else come out of that besides an 1984 analogy, yes it was something to do with butterflies Lorenz what was it now the folly of predicting dynamic systems.
    Its also as prohibitively expensive to go through the blockchain or the internet to prove the truth as it is to change the truth. So much so that any bullshit can be passed off for truth.The army is missing 8.2 trillion dollars but its not worth the effort to find out if it was lost, spent or misplaced.And thats just simple math, translating the welfare state into a block chain wont make it any less contentious.In fact anyone proposing such dribble ought to have to explain just how one would translate it. We already have the data what we spent to make niggers equal how unequal they still are does it help. did we not see quoted here last week the reply; that a bunch of color graphs does not make it true.
    Besides won’t AI running itself on the Galt Engine wreak havoc on the bloch chain

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 20th, 2016 at 6:42 pm Reply | Quote
  • NRK Says:

    Ok I’m ready to believe that this will eventually become an effective roadblock to governments trying to fake it until they make it. Then, all we need will be a way to prevent their next best move, ritual mass murder.

    [Reply]

    michael Reply:

    I get thats the appeal close the feedback by defeating fiat Im certainly sympathetic its fun to imagine teh peeps abandoning fiat and leaving leviathan with the bag. Though a bit odd coming from a crowd that want to formalise power. Imagine total democracy the entire budget is up for vote by every taxpayer [even if corporations were excluded and net tax takers were given an equal vote this would work ]
    I imagine a liberal having to vote on how to spend only the taxes collected, basic human rights would evaporate overnight. you needn’t get rid of fiat or reserve banking only a balanced budget law.

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 20th, 2016 at 7:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • Grotesque Body Says:

    Third, it is impossible to rewrite the block chain without incurring enormous real costs in electricity and computing power, as guaranteed by the laws of thermodynamics. […] The third makes it prohibitively expensive to do so.”

    Prohibitively expensive for average Joes, you mean.

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 20th, 2016 at 11:48 pm Reply | Quote
  • Sid Littlefield Says:

    If you are referencing Orwell in anything other than a mocking tone, no one should accept your analysis of the situation.

    [Reply]

    michael Reply:

    why is that? I was being mocking in this case if you meant me, but I dont generally mock Orwell his insight into language and thought control etc was nothing short of astoundingly prescient between he and huxley they were able to predict almost exactly whats happened.maybe even whats still to happen

    [Reply]

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    Orwell’s writings on language are quite naive and more folk linguistics than anything else, not very rigorous.

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 20th, 2016 at 11:49 pm Reply | Quote
  • horizons Says:

    > To ensure this the Ministry of Truth was honeycombed with Memory Holes
    > into which any inconvenient fact could be dropped and be disappeared.
    > […] But just to illustrate how things have changed for the State
    > we now know that Orwell was wrong. The mathematically dominant method
    > for recording transactions, whether they involve the transfer of
    > financial assets, intellectual property, health records or any type
    > of information is probably going to be the blockchain. It has three
    > important properties. […]

    I don’t think this necessarily suggests Orwell was wrong at all.

    “The blockchain’s” supposed inability to be maliciously altered is one thing. The transaction histories of clients/brokers/etc. engaging with it is another…

    [Reply]

    Posted on August 22nd, 2016 at 2:19 am Reply | Quote

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