How to Solve Fake News with Proof of Consensus and Blockchains

6 months ago
73 in blockchain
Consensus, a general agreement among people, is perhaps one of the most critical components of any prosperous society. Almost every aspect of our life is impacted by the prevailing consensus that governments have authority. By consensus we know to drive on the right (correct) side of the road and to use proper manners. In fact, the very language we use to communicate is dependent upon a general agreement among all as to the meanings and definitions of words. Anyone who attempts to act contrary to “consensus” faces resistance, persecution, and potentially death.

In the absence of consensus there is disagreement, strife, and ultimately civil war. The challenge for humanity is to develop systems that facilitate consensus and minimize opportunity for discord. These systems need to be robust in the face of attacks from those who wish to manipulate the perceived consensus for their own gain.

We all know what we think the consensus opinion is, but in reality there are two different consensus opinions that don’t always line up:

  1. What everyone really thinks (true consensus)
  2. What everyone thinks everyone thinks (perceived / effective consensus)

There is a significant difference between “perception of consensus” and “actual consensus”. This difference has never been clearer than the “perceived consensus” that Hillary would win, and the “actual consensus” that Trump won. Similar situations show up in the climate change debate where some people “claim consensus” by simply ignoring or writing off those who disagree and then use their domination of public discussion to create the illusion of consensus.

Illusion of Consensus

Those who are able to generate an illusion of consensus, a fraudulent consensus, gain unimaginable influence over the masses. This influence is derived from people's natural tendency to trust "public opinion" on any issue they don't understand. People are also desire to belong and their fear of being an outcast for holding an unorthodox opinion. The illusion of consensus is created by manipulating public opinion about public opinion. It is next to impossible for any individual to directly measure public opinion, so we all use various signals to estimate opinion:

  1. What friends and family think
  2. Frequency of opinion on TV and online
  3. Polls
  4. Voting

The sad part is that most people defer to their perception of consensus rather than bring new information and critical thinking to society. This means that “what friends and family think” is usually highly correlated with what they think everyone else thinks. This creates a self-reinforcing feedback loop that is difficult to change once established. Eventually the perceived consensus becomes part of culture, religion, language, identity, and habit. Once it reaches this stage all attempts to change the consensus are reflexively resisted without thinking in an effort to defend our identity and egos. No one likes to admit they were wrong.

Preventing Fraudulent Consensus

A fundamental requirement for reaching true consensus is censorship-free peer to peer information exchange. All attempts to censor communication impact the ability of people to reach a real consensus. If you censor all opinions contrary to the party line then it can give the outward appearance of one (fraudulent) consensus even if the true consensus is exactly the opposite.

The art of propaganda is to convince everyone that everyone else thinks a certain way. If you believe everyone is against you, then you will be afraid to say what you think for fear of rejection. This creates a paradox where everyone thinks there is one consensus (the prevailing propaganda) when in reality what people really think is completely different. Any time people act on a misperceived consensus all of society suffers a loss of efficiency and a waste of effort.

Those who lack the self confidence necessary to form their own opinions are apparently overconfident in their ability to form an opinion on what everyone else thinks.

More often than most people want to admit, people will choose to believe what they think everyone else believes. This stems from a lack of self confidence and the belief that “everyone else cannot be wrong”. It may well be true that “everyone else cannot be wrong”, but that statement fails to account for the fact that you could be wrong about what everyone else thinks! Those who lack the self confidence necessary to form their own opinions are apparently overconfident in their ability to form an opinion on what everyone else thinks.

In the end it is possible to change the real consensus (what everyone really thinks) by carefully crafting propaganda about what other people think. The most obvious example of this is the pre-election polling designed to create the illusion that Hillary Clinton was the favored candidate by the masses.

The Importance of Proving the Real Consensus

In order for society to function smoothly it is critical that we develop systems that are able to accurately aggregate the true opinions of the masses so they can be reported faithfully and relied upon by individuals. It is only through manipulation of information flow that those in power are able to maintain the illusions of their authority to act contrary to public benefit.

"The Emperor's New Clothes" is a short tale by Hans Christian Andersen about two weavers who promise an emperor a new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, no one dares to say that they don't see any suit of clothes on him for fear that they will be seen as "unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent". Finally, a child cries out, "But he isn't wearing anything at all!"

The emperor has no clothes, but the popular consensus is that he is wearing the finest clothes ever made. Everyone thinks everyone else can see the clothes and therefore pretends that they also see the clothes. No one dares to speak out because they fear that if they do there will be no one to back them up. Who are you going to (pretend to) believe, “everyone else” or your lying eyes?

Some people are smart enough to know the emperor has no clothes, but they believe the emperor will punish them if they say otherwise. In this case they believe everyone else believes the emperor has authority to punish those who would expose his nakedness. Does everyone else really think the emperor should have that power? Does the emperor have any power without the belief of the masses? His power to punish is just as real as the perception of his clothes.

If the people had a way to accurately assess what everyone else really thought, then no one would act based upon misinformation. People would not fear being punished by the emperor because they know the masses would back the truth and mock those who claimed to see fine clothes. Without access to reliable information about other people’s thoughts people will act in unproductive and harmful ways (praising the emperor's fine clothing and bowing to his authority as the emperor slaughters clothing deniers). Sadly, even those who know the emperor has no clothes will murder the deniers to save their own skin from the delusional consensus.

Consensus Depends upon Free Speech

All attacks on free speech limit the ability of people to discover what those around them really think. If the naked emperor outlawed any speech that said or implied that his clothes were not the finest ever made and then enforced that decree by intercepting and filtering all forms of communication then it would significantly hamper people’s ability to know whether they are incompetent, possess x-ray vision, or are just like everyone else.

Censorship vs. Propaganda

There is no shortcut to eliminating propaganda and fake news. The power to censor is the power to manipulate reality as perceived by the masses. Propaganda (fake news) also has the power to manipulate the reality of anyone who fails to consider all opinions. The difference is that propaganda only works on those who trust the source of propaganda. Once that trust is lost the propaganda loses all power. Censorship, on the other hand, denies people the opportunity to think for themselves. Censorship is a centralized authority deciding what is true and false for their own benefit, whereas propaganda is a centralized authority attempting to influence a decentralized mob. Propaganda is far weaker than censorship when it comes to controlling public opinion.

Society operates on a web-of-trust. We all tend to build our own beliefs based upon the collective inputs of those we trust, first hand experience, and varying degrees of logic. Censorship is an attempt to sever the flow of certain information through branches of that web.

The mainstream media propagandists have been losing their power thanks to the free speech enabled by the internet. In response to their loss of power, they are proposing censorship as the solution. It should be clear to all thinking men that censorship is worse than any propaganda because it grants power over propaganda to a single group. While both propaganda and censorship can be used to manipulate the general consensus, only censorship attempts to create an environment where propaganda can go unchallenged. Unchallenged propaganda represents complete control over the general consensus and empowers the ultimate tyranny.

Consensus is Slow to Change

The deepest held beliefs of the masses are established over decades and are very difficult to change. Imagine trying to convince people to switch from English to Chinese, from Imperial to Metric, from left side driving to right, from the Dollar to Gold, or violence to nonviolence. It requires extraordinary events to get people change things on this level.

What we can conclude from this is that real consensus takes years to establish and once established is next to impossible to change (even in the face of logic and reason). All attempts at changing the consensus are met with resistance. Society is trapped in a prisoner's dilemma where people will not change their opinion until/unless they think everyone else has changed their opinion. Few people are willing to “go first”. The end result is that even if 80% of the population wants consensus to change, consensus cannot and will not change until people believe that 80% actually will change. Once that tipping point is reached, there is a tectonic shift in consensus that sends a destructive earthquake through society that brings down everything dependent upon the old consensus.

100 years ago there was world-wide consensus that gold was money. This consensus continued through the 1933 gold confiscation clear through Bretton Woods until 1971 when Nixon closed the gold window. What we learn from this process is that consensus that was originally built around a trustless currency (gold) with limited supply that was free from political control gradually shifted to fiat dollars backed by nothing and entirely under the control of private central banks. Now they are attempting to remove cash as well.

If they attempted to remove the gold backing in 1913 when the Federal Reserve was created, then the entire world would have rejected it. It took a century with continuous propaganda to gradually move people from decentralized free market money (gold and silver), to fully centralized digital fiat tokens.

How Blockchains Facilitate True Consensus

Free markets and free societies depend first and foremost upon consensus on property rights, of which ownership of money is perhaps the most important. Money is half of every transaction; therefore, if consensus over who owns money can be reached we have solved half of the problem of property rights. When consensus over money collapses the result is a disorderly collapse via hyperinflation.

Blockchains generate a public record that can be verified by all. For the first time in human history we have a technology that gives everyone the power to directly verify the signed testimony of everyone else and the order in which it was created. We have the power to draw deterministic conclusions based upon the incorruptible inputs of the masses. We are no longer dependent upon trusting a 3rd party to validate our transactions.

There are two levels of consensus that a blockchain must reach: Internal Consensus and External Consensus.

Internal Consensus

A blockchain must reach an internal consensus as to which blocks of transactions are valid and how to govern itself. There are as many different algorithms for reaching internal consensus as there are forms of government. Internal consensus involves those who have already adopted a particular blockchain.

For small groups it is possible to directly poll everyone and thereby prove consensus. As groups get larger it becomes increasingly difficult to get everyone to agree and even more difficult to measure. Once a certain critical mass is reached changing the consensus from the status quo becomes almost impossible.

External Consensus

This level of consensus involves deciding which blockchains to adopt. Reaching this consensus must be done the old fashioned way. Each and every day those in favor of crypto-currency are attempting to convince the masses to “switch” to one flavor of crypto or another. Meanwhile the status quo consensus on King Dollar and government authority are resisting change.

The Best Internal Consensus Algorithm

A large part of achieving a strong external consensus is by having a strong internal consensus algorithm. People want to know that if they go through the effort of abandoning King Dollar that they will not end up with Emperor Bitcoin. They want to know that the new system is better than the old system. They need to trust that the internal consensus algorithm has superior checks and balances than the existing government and monetary system.

In order to trust a consensus algorithm people need to believe that it is fair in their own subjective opinion and they need to believe that it will remain fair in the long run. What should be clear to everyone is that what the masses subjectively believe to be best may or may not be what is objectively best. If enough people believe a certain way, it is very difficult to get them to change their opinion.

Proof of Work - (Bitcoin)

Bitcoin has an internal consensus algorithm that uses a mathematically proof to determine the internal consensus over which transactions are valid and when new transactions can be included. There is very enticing marketing about the benefits of eliminating politics from the internal consensus process. This marketing appeals to everyone who is tired of corruption, cronyism, and the general “stupidity” of voters. Everyone who fears mob rule and the rule of dictators can see some appeal in being ruled by math.

The perceived external consensus is that Bitcoin is decentralized, censorship resistant, and fixed supply free from political manipulation. It is clear that people want a system that cannot be manipulated by those in power for personal profit. Whether or not Bitcoin has these properties in practice is subject to debate.

Proof of Work is a consensus model that grants censorship rights to the highest bidder. Whoever is willing to do the most mathematical work for the least direct reward gets to decide which transactions to include. The theory is that no single individual would have the resources to buy all of the censorship rights. The theory is that market forces will always favor including transactions that pay the highest fee and that competition will keep fees low.

The theories are all short-sighted. Bitcoin’s value is tied to the number of people who believe in it, just like every other currency (Gold, Silver, Dollar, etc). Once a particular medium of exchange gains enough network effect (external consensus) the economic calculation changes. External consensus is like vendor lockin, very difficult to change. The value of having monopoly control over a monetary system with external consensus is far greater than the internal rewards.

Imagine for a moment that the Federal Reserve moved their accounting to a blockchain based upon proof of work. There would be no need for block rewards because the free market would compete based solely on the right to censor. The right to censor is the same as the right to charge a fee for service. Whoever can obtain 51% of the hashpower gains a natural monopoly on financial transactions. Once a monopoly is achieved they can charge whatever the market will bear without competition to keep prices as low as possible.

Someone with a monopoly on money transfers gains the power to freeze accounts and demand compliance with any rules they fancy. The only recourse individuals have is to stop using the currency, but once a strong external currency consensus has been established opting out is extremely expensive or impossible. People need to participate in the market to survive; therefore, being cut off from currency transfers means death or extremely high-overhead barter transactions.

The free market cannot not compete directly against a government subsidized industry because free market actors must make a profit. This means that control over the US dollar would fall to whichever country was willing to tax its citizens the most to win the proof of work battle. In some sense, control may fall to which ever country is able to manufacture the best ASIC hardware which they then keep a state secret.

The people in these various countries realize they would be better off leaving proof of work and simply accepting a centralized manager of the public ledger for Federal Reserve Notes. From an external perspective there is no difference between a centralized entity that spends $1 trillion dollars on proof of work and a centralized entity that spends $0 on proof of work. The day-to-day experience of the average man on the street is the same under either blockchain consensus model. The only difference is that under one model the people are taxed to burn electricity and under the other model there is no tax.

Proof of Stake (Peercoin)

Another internal consensus algorithm is known as Proof of Stake. Peercoin was the original Proof of Stake coin and its model replaces computational power with voting rights based upon tokens. Each Peercoin holder is given an opportunity to produce a block containing transactions proportional to the number of Peercoins they hold. At first glance this model is more censorship resistant than Bitcoin because everyone can participate without depending upon a competition of economic might in ASIC and electricity production. While you may be able to tax people to fund your control over Proof of Work, it appears to be impossible to take people’s control over Proof of Stake without actually taking all of their money.

In practice the algorithm used by Peercoin breaks down due to a limited confirmation window. The confirmation window is the period of time during which blocks and transactions may be reversed due to new information. Technically Bitcoin has an infinite confirmation window, but practically it is about 1 day (120 blocks). If we assume Peercoin has a 1 day confirmation window then 100% of all power rests with those who can produce 51% of blocks in a 24 hour period.

Due to natural wealth disparities we know that most people would only have an opportunity to produce a block about once per month, while the richest people would get to produce every hour or even more frequently. Unless the masses are in coordinated agreement (unlikely), then control over including transactions in the blockchain will be shared among a few top token holders.

If the US Dollar were to move to a peercoin style proof of stake system, then the largest governments and maybe a few top corporations with large cash holdings would collectively be in control. This system would be significantly harder to censor than Bitcoin because it isn’t winner take all based upon external resources. Instead, it is based entirely on internal resources which, when properly distributed, are economically infeasible to monopolize.

The cost to monopolize an established Proof of Stake system grows exponentially due to the laws of supply and demand and comes at the expense of enriching your competitors and all normal users. The cost to monopolize a Proof of Work system is linear and does not enrich your competitors nor any normal users.

It is not unrealistic to expect collusion among major stakeholders, potentially held at gunpoint. These people have large personal wealth and a financial interest in keeping it. This system most closely resembles a oligarchy in which the masses have no input at all.

Delegated Proof of Stake (Bitshares and Steem)

DPOS is a model of internal consensus uses approval voting to elect the people who will produce blocks. In order to censor people under this model you must convince 51% of the elected witnesses to censor and you must subvert the election process. Just like Peercoin, an oligarchy of rich stakeholders will have the majority of influence over which witnesses are selected. The major difference is that collectively the “masses” of small accounts can and will add up to more influence than any individual oligarch.

There is one major difference between DPOS and all other internal consensus systems. It gives the masses the ability to clearly measure the opinion of their fellow man. While this opinion may or may not carry meaningful weight on the internal consensus, it will absolutely carry weight on the external consensus. With clear and tamper-proof voting the masses can collectively overthrow oligarchs which would subvert the election process or otherwise censor transactions in a manner that is out of alignment with the external consensus.

Importance of Combining Internal and External Consensus

Ultimately we are all subject to external consensus because it is what exists outside of any system. No system, not even the worst tyranny, can resist the power of external consensus for long. A large part of external consensus is established by the culture surrounding a currency. When people adopt that currency they are implicitly or explicitly agreeing with a set of principles shared by all other users of the currency.

Any attempt to change the internal consensus in a way that is out of alignment with the well established principles of the external consensus will be met by resistance and quickly overthrown by a hardfork. The simpler the principles the easier it is to establish and enforce an external consensus.
This is why it is critical to establish the principle that all stakeholders have a right to vote and that there is never any grounds to censor votes. A government attempting to control a blockchain by using its stake to censor votes would have no moral or security ground to stand upon. The right to vote is so ingrained in our culture due to years of propaganda, that attempting to take away that right is almost universally offensive.

People accept the freezing accounts of “terrorists” and seizing bank accounts of the accused because they believe that their right to vote has given government this power. If you take away the right to vote, then people stop believing in the authority of government.

A blockchain with an internal consensus based upon built-in voting is much harder to hijack and begin censoring than one based upon an oligarchy and or “economic might makes right”. The security comes not from the internal consensus, but from the external consensus.

Transactions as Proof of Stake (Bitshares and Steem)

This last level of internal consensus has all users certify the public record every time they transact. This is the only means of creating an internally provable irreversible consensus. All other blockchains can be forged (have their history rewritten) with enough economic might. The oligarchs and miners can collude to rewrite history any time it serves their interest to do so. When they rewrite history they can pick and choose which transactions to migrate and which ones to discard. There is simply no internal proof of consensus.

Clearly all blockchains have a strong external proof of consensus based upon the widely distributed copies. Any attempt to rewrite history would be known by everyone and the external consensus would likely push back hard. Unfortunately, the only way to reject such a rewrite by the mining powers that be is to change away from proof of work or proof of stake. Without a clear and unambiguous path forward people lack the means to coordinate a resistance. It isn’t even clear that the miners and proof of stake oligarchs are doing anything “wrong” because the internal rules of consensus do not define any metric of irreversibility nor contain information necessary to derive it.

Under Transactions as Proof of Stake all users directly confirm the public blockchain when they transact. Depending upon user activity, eventually 51% of all users will directly confirm the blockchain with unambiguous proof of irreversible consensus. The only possible way to create an alternative blockchain with greater proof is to convince more than 51% of the stakeholders to transact on the new ledger. Absent the direct consent of the majority of the masses history cannot change. On the Steem blockchain, there is 50% direct confirmation in just 12 hours making it substantially more secure and irreversible than Bitcoin after 12 hours.

Simplicity is Key to Strong External Consensus

It is challenging enough to get people to agree on the definitions of words, let alone entire political philosophies. The more complex and nuanced a concept becomes the fewer people are able to understand it, let alone agree with it. Every added bit of complexity creates an opportunity for a disagreement and a fracturing of external consensus.

Rules like the following are easy to understand and form a strong external consensus around.

  1. No Censorship (beyond universally applied reasonable resource usage limits)
  2. Majority Rules (for bug fixes, new optional features, etc)
  3. No Rewriting History
  4. No Violence
  5. No Changing Balances without Consent
  6. No increase in inflation / dilution
  7. Key is Authority, no appeal to external consensus to correct lost or stolen key

This strong external consensus can be further reinforced by direct internal consent and agreement by all parties. Any individual voting in a way that contradicts their prior agreement (signed statement) to the external consensus / social contract will be provably and publicly breaking their own contract. This kind of breach of contract would have a dramatic impact on their reputation (external consensus).

Free Market Competition

The biggest threat to liberty is the lack of options. Without options you are a slave to whatever society offers you. The free market pricing mechanism is the means by people reach consensus on the supply and demand of all resources, including blockchain tokens.

In the presence of a free market of competing currencies the decentralization of the internal consensus doesn’t matter nearly as much as it would if any individual blockchain became the reserve currency of the world or even a small country.

All internal consensus mechanisms, whether Proof of Work, Proof of Stake, or DPOS are subject to the external consensus of the market. If Bitcoin miners start censoring transactions in an attempt to regulate money transfer or collect taxes, then market participants will go someplace else. The price of Bitcoin will reflect the market’s belief in the miners to provide a reliable service.

While it is true that the free market is the ultimate defender of our freedoms, it is also true that systems that gain substantial network effects (external consensus) are hard to change even if all the masses want to change. It is expensive to build and deploy competitors to youtube, facebook, the dollar, and other networks. Any new system starts out with almost no external consensus and takes significant time to grow.

We should take every measure possible to ensure that we build future platforms on a foundation that is able to remain true to its founding principles. This is why Steem is built on DPOS and TaPoS and why I am a strong advocate for establishing a strong external consensus (aka Steem Constitution) that all users explicitly consent to.

Conclusion

Blockchains based upon DPOS, TaPoS, and a strong constitution of simple principles explicitly agreed to by all create the strongest possible guarantee of censorship resistance. All cryptocurrencies depend upon freedom of speech and censorship resistance, unfortunately most are far less effective at preventing censorship than commonly believed. It is more critical than ever to build a web of trust from which you can gather your news by following quality bloggers on Steem and convincing other bloggers to also post to Steem.

Please share this article on as many outlets as possible. We need to work together to promote content outside of steemit.

Update:
The solution to Fake News is to minimize its effect on Consensus. In particular we want to minimize the potential for Fake Consensus (e.g. polling results) because of the impact that Fake Consensus has on people's actions.

If we can provide provable consensus then we will have eliminated a large and dangerous category of Fake News and replaced it with truth. This consensus may still be centered around a falsehood, but at least it accurately reflects what people think.

When we don't even know what other people think, that is when the complete breakdown of communication occurs and society is in trouble. Those the desire to control the masses depend upon this breakdown of communication to maintain their power.

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70
  ·  6 months ago

To a large degree, societies have always had their consensus process corrupted which has perhaps led to society's tendency to believe big lies that end up having terrible results. If reaching consensus can be achieved with integrity over many years, I imagine the overall effect will be that the bar will be raised significantly and it will be less likely that consensus around highly damaging beliefs will occur. Much better and more truth for everyone.

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68
  ·  6 months ago

Well said. This is giving many good vibes and ideas.

68
  ·  6 months ago

Truth is not Democratic. Consensus has nothing to do with the situation (although I appreciate the sentiment.)

History and News are shaped first and foremost by the public's wishes. This is how lore and heroes are made.

News produce what the public wants to see. I worked for a major media company in NY for a while. Every month we contacted surveys in regards to what people wanted to see and the publisher was creating news to satisfy the market. This is also what Hollywood does with movies. This is what every major company does. You research the market and then you market upon those wishes.

Fakes news are the product of the free market much like democracy, religion and everything we see around us. Humanity's tragedy is that it feeds itself self fulfilling narratives. If people wanted to see hopeful, true and positive news they would shape the market to do so. Instead what we see is lies, pessimism and doom because this is exactly what the average human craves.

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74
  ·  6 months ago

because the average human finds it more entertaining, and it is

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63
  ·  6 months ago

It's a good point, that news currently operates on a supply / demand model. Funny enough, this is exactly what state sponsored news was always supposed to protect against, having compromise on truth because private media must to give people what they want in order to sell papers and turn a profit. Not only that but as a business you are obliged to take any and every step to increase profitability, so if you can get away with sensationalism you will as it's more exciting. The government is supposed to be outside the market and thus not bound by such Darwinian struggle. Kind of like God is supposed to be I guess, like Hobbes theorised.

It obviously works out that state media is worse, and we all know why. It becomes propaganda, perhaps always was and will be, because it is not in their interest to promote challenges their authority or the legitimacy of their rule.

In any case, no one really wants a free market without rules, they just don't want the rules to be abstract, opaque and unfair. Truth is a rule aspect, not a commodity. Fake news is the product of a system where the rules are not concerned with truth. It doesn't mean this must necessarily be so.

Because another thing which the average human craves is fairness.

51
  ·  6 months ago

Yesterday an article was posted on steemit that advanced the idea the Russian diplomat to Turkey was not really shot. The autrhor to the post was so naive that he or she felt that the incident was fake cause it did not "look real like the movies" and because they did not think the body fell the right way.

if you read the author's orignal post and replies. It becomes very clear they know nothing about shooting, how bullets impact flesh or what happens when terminal energy is transfered from one mass to another mass.

None the less this article proclaiming fake news by someone who has no knowledge what so ever about that which they speak recieved a lot of consensus and upvoting .

The bottom line is that false information can obtain a consensus, and what is more important to remember , is that just because informaiton has consensus does not mean it is true.

Remember the old maxim .. Trust but verify most of the population believed the world was flat for long time after it was proven not to be the case.

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Actually flat earth was never as widespread as we make it out to be today.

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51
  ·  6 months ago

The point it flew over your head... actually no it was pretty well accepted by most during those times. Literacy levels were incredibly low and people were very superstitious.

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59
  ·  6 months ago

America it wouldn't be the case.
Literacy Rates in Early America

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72
  ·  6 months ago

The interesting thing about that is, the first globe (the Erdapfel) wasn't (reportedly) made until 1492.

I'm having a hard time figuring out why the inhabitants of a planet would wait 1800 years (assuming 275 BC was when they were "aware" their world was a ball) to create a model of their world, if they truly knew the shape. One thing is for certain though, they sure were creating a lot of flat maps during that time. ;)

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64
  ·  6 months ago

None the less this article proclaiming fake news by someone who has no knowledge what so ever about that which they speak recieved a lot of consensus and upvoting .

Welcome to Steemit. Flag away.

71
  ·  6 months ago

The major difference is that collectively the “masses” of small accounts can and will add up to more influence than any individual oligarch.

But is that really the case with Steem as it exists today? How many low SP votes does it take to equal a high SP vote? I understand every system has trade-offs and Sybil Attacks need to be defended against, but I also think we should be up front about the current Steem Power distribution not being what we may like it to be to better support this point you made. If Steem Power was more widely distributed, this would be more true. Maybe a falling price with more people powering down will eventually lead to an equilibrium point where new buyers see the value to jump in... Time will tell. So far, I'm seeing the ratio of people sending Steem to exchanges compared to those taking it off an exchange at 5.51 to 1 as of my last weekly exchange transfer report. Wouldn't that ratio have to change in order to see more new people powering up, leading to a wider distribution?

As always, great write up, Dan. I always enjoy these peeks into your ideas.

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74
  ·  6 months ago

the ability of steem to distribute itself without investment of money from those who cant afford to spend money, but can afford to invest time, this is like a tree that grows in the wild, with no need for fertilizer, pesticides, or human interaction, time is more valuable than money in nature, steem is using time to grow itself naturally... to be more decentralized, all that steem requires is time

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68
  ·  6 months ago

I really love how you putted it. This is inspiring me, a lot.

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73
  ·  6 months ago

The distribution of funds is spreading out. I would withhold judgement based upon todays allocation and wait to see how it plays out. Transaction censorship isn't really a problem when a system is young and looking to grow.

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71
  ·  6 months ago

I wouldn't spend so much time here if I didn't have a level of confidence it will play out well over a long enough time frame. :)

That said, we're not there yet. We might as well admit that and be honest with ourselves and others about the current distribution. We don't yet know how long the "playing out" will be. Could be a couple years. Could be... longer. It all depends on how many people are willing to invest and how quickly they do so.

Thinking about transaction censorship as a problem which only really matters once you've grown big enough for it to matter is an interesting perspective I'll ponder on some more.

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74
  ·  6 months ago

the upcoming steemit roadmap will address the distribution issue, that's what I heard, I also heard the roadmap could be released before christmas

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74
  ·  6 months ago

I think it would be on the first day of 2017 :) but probably a bad time to do so since people are probably out celebrating.

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71
  ·  6 months ago

Or recovering from celebrating :)

67
  ·  6 months ago

I like the concept and well written.

I agree with pretty much everything you said and i will pass it along my fb and twitter.

But steem is not consensus based it's steem power based.

If 300 minnows agree on something 1 or 2 whales can out do us.

I like the system here, sometimes it gets on my nerves but it serves its purpose as a blogging platform

What would stop CNN (any msm) from buying $4 million worth of steempower under pseudonym and then they control the narrative?

People will start chasing those votes and writing to appeal rather than writing to express what they truly feel.

I've written in the past steem isn't taken seriously outside of the platform and that is what hurts it from growing.

Always happy to hear from you.

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73
  ·  6 months ago

There is a fundamental difference between reward distribution and publishing of content to your followers.

In this case I am referring to censorship of transactions on the blockchain, not curation.

If someone wanted to buy $4M worth of STEEM then the price would quickly climb back toward $4 and they would have influence equal to a few whales. If they use their voting influence to promote garbage then other whales would probably counter them.

It is true that whales control the narrative on Steem by directing the rewards. But people get to choose whether or not to follow the vote ranking or to simply look at their own feed of trusted bloggers.

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67
  ·  6 months ago

ah so. If it's just the transaction your talking ya that makes sense. It is a solid platform.
If I win the lottery I'm spending it all on steem.

and thanks for quick reply.

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  ·  6 months ago

Shared on twitter

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  ·  6 months ago

Steem_Land Steem_Land tweeted @ 20 Dec 2016 - 07:00 UTC

How to Solve Fake News with Proof of Consensus and Blockchains — Steemit steemit.com/blockchain/@da…

Disclaimer: I am just a bot trying to be helpful.
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  ·  6 months ago

I agree with entirely the last half of the article, and much of the first half. But there are a few statements where you can't exactly prove (I agree with @mrosenquist on his points). The blockchain will definitely be a public record and can improve narrowing that difference between actual and perceived consensus. But determining the Truth is another story. So how does that relate to Fake News? Let's call Fake News what it really is: click-bait. It's what people are writing to get clicks for ads or products or to push out propaganda to influence things like elections. The term Fake News is thrown around like an idea when it should be applied to evidence: I often ask people to give an example of a Fake News article and they have trouble mentioning one unless its the Hillary polling, which was off in a few States but almost exactly correct in the national polling (48%). Now if you believe in the wisdom of the crowd, then a blockchain can still possibly get closer to the Truth, but what if your crowd is Infowars? We are back to the echo chamber, only the chamber is a blockchain. Even Wikipedia is prone to errors and false pages. Blockchains can help by making information transparent and immutable, but I don't think it alone will solve fake news.

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  ·  6 months ago

now that I think about, the only real news I have seen in the past 2 months is that Donald Trump will be the next president, and that's the only news that matters to me, it's the best news I got this year, second best was when he announced he was running. After the first few weeks of watching him campaign, I realized he would win, and was inspired to write this line. ...

Satan took control of the world with two words... "you're fired"

Only the devil himself can make America great again, and that's why I always supported Trump.

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  ·  6 months ago

What a potent article. Thank you so very much for this high quality piece and, for me, specifically, for the review of the proof "work" contracts. Excellent information and philosophical consideration as well as point of views. All for one and one for all! Namaste :)

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68
  ·  6 months ago

It's good to see you comment here!

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  ·  6 months ago

Thanks it is my pleasure really. All for one and one for all! Namaste :)

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  ·  6 months ago

Thanks for the post. It must have taken quite a while to compose.

I've shared on Facebook - whether it will be seen or not is another matter, unfortunately.

This reminded me of a quote: If you are right, you are a majority of one.

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  ·  6 months ago

Upvoted and Tweeted. A real Game Changer that most people cannot even begin to work out. This truly will change EVERYTHING..!! Another great Blog.
Stephen
https://twitter.com/StephenPKendal/status/811146059460308992

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  ·  6 months ago

StephenPKendal Stephen P Kendal tweeted @ 20 Dec 2016 - 09:47 UTC

How to Solve #FakeNews with Proof of Consensus and Blockchains..!! #BLOCKCHAIN #GameChanger @Steemit steemit.com/blockchain/@da…

Disclaimer: I am just a bot trying to be helpful.
71
  ·  6 months ago

Nice post Dan, resteemed and shared on twitter

61
  ·  6 months ago

What a very interesting discussion. :-)

Within the limits of a discussion about blockchains, it is valuable to be an advocate of consensus over disagreement.

In the wider context of the world, agreement and disagreement are balancing forces of chaos and order. Promotion of one over the other leads to an imbalance. An imbalance leads to an increase in suffering at some level of existence.

I think blockchains are a way of addressing a wider imbalance of power structures in the real world. Issues of centralization of power and abuse of power are rampant in a world effected by totalitarian forces. I would caution too much idealism being attached to the value of consensus outside of this limited context of blockchain technology. It has merit, but that merit has limits.

I have my own thoughts on consensus. The feminine works with consensus. The masculine manipulates through force of will. Either one can be a tyranny if there is no balance. To create the divine child of the fruitful union of masculine and feminine both need to come together in unison. Consensus secures, manipulation moves. We need security, but we need flexibility. The Dao of Steem.

63
  ·  6 months ago

This is a fantastic article! 😃 ⭐️ It's great to see a break down how Steem and similar blockchains can be used to resist propaganda and censorship. Very clear writing.

My main thought: This particular Steem implementation (or instance) is a social media site, not concerned with truth or against fake news per se. What about an implementation that explicitly was? Kind of like a decentralized PolitiFact of the people? I kind of propose something like that here.

Also, I have to agree with @mrosenquist a bit here on the definition of consensus (a debate which you kind of predicted with your statement "It is challenging enough to get people to agree on the definitions of words..." 😂) and how truth comes into it. You've responded a little in an edit, and there's a lively debate on that thread already, I won't bother adding to it directly. I'll only say that it's relevant when talking about information to consider that the fear of mob rule is real. I don't believe what everyone think, just the people I trust. I think this is one of the biggest challenges of decentralization.

Also I would be interested to hear your thoughts on how force comes into consensus as you see it. I seems to me that consensus is not the same thing as accepting a situation, especially one backed up by law and thus force. Consensus does not guarantee implementation, and force comes into it, as well as ability and willingness to act.

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  ·  6 months ago

It is challenging enough to get people to agree on the definitions of words...

You just reminded me of this :D http://existentialcomics.com/comic/164

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63
  ·  6 months ago

Ha! Hadn't seen that one yet 🤣

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  ·  6 months ago

Nice Write Up... just blogged something this morning as well... https://steemit.com/news/@kyusho/the-answer-is-simple

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  ·  6 months ago

Consensus is a different concept than Truth.
Consensus can be wrong. "Appeal to Belief" is a common false argument and bias. Although blockchains can be used to verify consensus, they do not inherently have the tools to determine Truth.

The problem with false news stories, propaganda, false marketing, etc. is there intends to take advantage of a victim in order for someone else's gain.

Free speech is wonderful. It allow people to express themselves, provide opinions, submit facts, etc. But we as a society expect Truth in certain circumstances. Think how books in a library are organized. Fiction and non-Fiction. When we want to be entertained, we look to fiction. But when we want to make important decisions, we want Truth. Do you want your doctor to spin a yarn of lies as he tell your prognosis? No. Do you want falsehoods when you watch the news, no. How about a witness in a court of law?

So the problem of people knowingly providing fabrications in the context of expected Truth is a problem. It is a lie.

As great as blockchains are, I don't see it as a tool for logic to determine truth. It can pull in other resources who may have an opinion, can provide support or evidence against. But it in of itself does not have the capacity to tell fiction from non-fiction in broad contexts. However, once the classification is made, it could be a repository of record for where that data should be filed.

Just my 2 cents.

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  ·  6 months ago

Truth is another matter altogether. The purpose of consensus is to reach agreement. People need to make decisions based upon what other people actually believe whether or not what they believe is true or false.

Distortions in the process of reaching agreement is like corrupting the blockchain validation algorithm. Society can function even if everyone draws the wrong conclusion... at least there is no abuse. The abuse comes into play when people attempt to distort how people perceive each other's thoughts by censorship.

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68
  ·  6 months ago

But agreement on what? For everyone to agree to a lie, undermines the validity of the exercise. Consensus to believe in a falsehood, is a failure in the system. It is an irrelevant goal.

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73
  ·  6 months ago

Some things are neither true nor false, yet consensus is required and the result of that consensus has impacts on all of society.

Picking a currency is one example. Picking a side of the road to drive / walk on is another.

The result is less important than the process. Who shall determine the truth? From what frame of reference? Show me any process that is guaranteed to arrive at the truth and I'll show you how it will fail.

Only individuals can make an estimation of truth based upon their own perceptions. Consensus is the result of the majority of individuals coming to the same conclusion.

Assuming all individuals can communicate and have incentive to live in the truth then truth will prevail. If there is incentive to believe a lie, then the lie will prevail. This applies even on an individual basis.

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74
  ·  6 months ago

yes, truth is based on personal perception, and experience develops perception, every individual has a unique experience, and their own level of truth based on their perceptions derived from personal experience... the paradox of truth. A soldier who has fought in a war has a different perception of what is true about war than a person who only knows stories about war.

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68
  ·  6 months ago

But your title and topic is about solving fake news... That is not a decision of consensus on which side of the road cars should drive on (I still get mixed up when in the U.K.). It is about the reporting of facts to the public. Fake news is the reporting of falsehoods in the context of fact. So I am a bit confused in your reply. Sorry.

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  ·  6 months ago

The solution to Fake News is to minimize its effect on Consensus. In particular we want to minimize the potential for Fake Consensus (e.g. polling results) because of the impact that Fake Consensus has on people's actions.

If we can provide provable consensus then we will have eliminated a large and dangerous category of Fake News and replaced it with truth. This consensus may still be centered around a falsehood, but at least it accurately reflects what people think.

When we don't even know what other people think, that is when the complete breakdown of communication occurs and society is in trouble.

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68
  ·  6 months ago

Your work is making me a better person. It's a work in progress but I'm very grateful to say the least. I listened to this article twice and I planed on scanning it at least once.

The comments you have made on this tread are making the article even clearer.

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72
  ·  6 months ago

Truth is subjective and it doesn't need to be actionable. You can believe that something is true but you can choose not to act on it, not to do something about it, or even not to share it. Agreement is necessary if you want to do something together. If there is a common goal - like living in prosperity and without violence on this planet - then people sharing that common goal need to agree on the key actions.

The fact that what they agree upon is the truth is disjunct from agreement itself. We can agree to live a lie or to live a truth, they're both possible, as long as there is a common, shared goal. Consensus is about agreement, not about truth.

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68
  ·  6 months ago

Well, consider racism, genocide, and oppression also have firm roots in consensus. We can all agree the moon is made of cheese or an innocent person is guilty. It does not make it right. It does not support good decisions or move us towards a better society. Manipulating people's beliefs to form a consensus of your liking is an art form, first used since the dawn of civilization to control people. There are countries in which the people are united in belief that their government rulers are gods, oppression is right, and one person should be the supreme ruler of everything. Consensus is a tool of ease and comfort. But a tool can be used for good or bad.

Copernicus did not care what the masses thought. He only pursued the Truth. The Wright Brothers didn't care that for centuries people believed human flight was impossible. They pursued the Truth that it was possible. Before our country was formed, the world held the consensus that Monarchy rule was just, right, and would forever be in place. The Truth was far from that.

The Truth, freedom of expression, and context of information is what breaks the bonds which turn people into cattle. I believe (just my personal belief, not trying to convince anyone) that Truth is far more important in decisions and change, than the consensus of the masses. Only with Truth, will the best decisions be determined. Consensus when Truth is realized becomes an operational triviality.

...the Truth will set you free (but first it will make you miserable) - Garfield

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59
  ·  6 months ago

I agree that consensus is not the solution to everything. But what I think Dan's point is that if you don't know what to think, basing your actions on true consensus is better than basing them on perceived (fake) consensus.

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68
  ·  6 months ago

Which is why 'mob mentality' is so dangerous. People doing what the crowd does can be extremely dangerous and situations escalate quickly with those ingredients. All I am saying is consensus is different than truth or critical thinking. The fact a group agrees on something is less important than the decision/position itself.

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58
  ·  6 months ago

I absolutely agree with your point here @mrosenquist as I think a group consensus is definitely different than 1 person in that consensus doing all the research on a topic and finding more truth than another within that consensus.

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60
  ·  6 months ago

This is an observation to your comment below which began, "You should know why you believe 2+2=4" and ended, " And rationality is about creating beliefs based on evidence."
So basically it would be really easy to gaslight you and the guy from the blog that you linked?!
His mind game was very interesting but I think it was somewhat flawed because when he said, "but memory would be absurd in the face of physical and mental confirmation that XXX - XX = XX." Surely memory and mental confirmation are the same thing? I see that he's trying to put them in separate compartments of his brain but that, I think, is his error: to do the sum and achieve mental confirmation he has to rely on his memory, surely? It just looks to me like he's changed the functionality of his brain to suit the outcome that he required for his mind game.
If I was in the situation that he described, my memory would continue to tell me that my eyes were seeing something odd and my mental arithmetic, based on my memory, would tell me the same. I would conclude that I was going mad or someone had found a way to gaslight me.
Having said that, I agree with what you said below, but I think that man made constructs as pure as maths are simply a bad example to illustrate what you were saying.

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59
  ·  6 months ago

I am not sure I understand your issue with memory and mental confirmation. In the link I referenced earlier there is

This would conflict with my stored memory that 3 - 2 = 1

I imagine the situation as follows: I remember that 3 - 2 = 1, but I keep seeing that XXX - XX = XX. My observation contradicts my memory, so I keep repeating the experiment, but only see XXX - XX = XX. So I go to my girlfriend and show her my experiment. If she is seeing what I am, I'll ask her what is 3 - 2. If she says 2, then I will start doubting my memory. If she is seeing something else than I am, I will start blaming my senses. If she is seeing and remembering the same as I, I will investigate further and try to find what is going on..

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  ·  6 months ago

What you just described is fine but different to what the guy in the article described and his conclusion wasn't further investigation it was him having his mind changed. He had three things going on in order to prove why his mind would be changed: his memory of doing the sum previously, his observation and what he called mental confirmation, which was doing the sum in the present.
I believe that what he describes is impossible because he tried to separate two things that can't be separated.
It was a fun mental experiment but fundamentally flawed because his assumption of how memory works seems to be wrong.
There aren't many reliable things in the universe but pure maths is one of them-thank God!

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72
  ·  6 months ago

Well, consider racism, genocide, and oppression also have firm roots in consensus.

That's exactly my point: consensus can be used to live a lie or to live the truth. But realizing the truth is a personal choice. It cannot be forced by consensus.

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  ·  6 months ago

subjective truth is subjective. objective truth is not subjective.

chocolate is good. this statement is subjective.

2+2=4 this is objective, but true.
if you jump off a cliff, at less than escape velocity, you will fall toward the center of gravity. this statement is objective, but true.

belief does not change objective reality into subjective truth.
here is an experiment to try, put an apple on the table in front of you. now, with only the power of your mind, turn the apple into an orange. if you are successful, tell me how you did it. i haven't figured it out yet.

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  ·  6 months ago

With all due respect, the example you give, 2+2=4 as being true, is subjective, meaning it's context dependent. What you described as being true is just a decimal math operation. A binary operation with the similar components will give a different result.

1+1=2 in decimal, but 1+1=10 in binary.

Everything is context dependent.The truth changes based on your point of seeing.

What I agree with, though, is that belief - alone - does not change the perceived reality. There is an inherent inertia in the continuum we live in. And you cannot change - at least at our level of understanding - apples into oranges, like instantly. But you can alter your reality, it just takes time.

You cannot plant tomatoes and expect carrots, that's also true. But you can change the perceived reality by planting tomatoes, and, sooner or later, you will get tomatoes, that is certain.

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66
  ·  6 months ago

was there some doubt that i intended a base 10 context? deliberate misinterpretation does not change objective truth.
in base 10, 2+2=4 today, tomorrow, or thirty thousand years from now.

if you say, i weigh 300 lbs in a gravity field of 9.8m/s/s. this is time dependent, as tomorrow with gain or loss of mass, the weight will change, but objective truth is still objective, and is not subjective.

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72
  ·  6 months ago

I can agree to disagree. Maybe this will clear the confusion related to "objective reality", which is nothing but an assumed perspective, voluntarily promoted to the absolute level of truth:

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  ·  6 months ago

You should know why you believe 2+2=4. If the reason why you believe it ceases to be valid, you should be ready to change your belief. In other words, I can imagine observations which would convince me that 2+2=3 (for more details refer to http://lesswrong.com/lw/jr/how_to_convince_me_that_2_2_3/)

You can never be 100% sure of something because that would take away from you the possibility of ever updating your beliefs if new evidence comes. And rationality is about creating beliefs based on evidence.

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66
  ·  6 months ago

there is a difference between observationally dependent perspective, and belief dependent perspective. beliefs can be altered independent of objective reality. observations are derived from objective reality and are dependent on the ability to perceive enough of the aspects of objective reality in order to comprehend it.

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72
  ·  6 months ago

I enjoy this conversation / debate :). But still, I agree to disagree. There is no objective reality. What we call "objective reality" is a highly personal, virtual reality created second by second, based on what we previously experienced (observations and beliefs are both emerged from experiences).

If we talk about "objectively seeing" something, then what about blind people? Do they not experience an objective reality? There is this amazing talk on Ted, given by a very interesting person (I won't spoil it, maybe you didn't see it). It's worth 15 minutes of your life, methinks :)

http://www.ted.com/talks/isaac_lidsky_what_reality_are_you_creating_for_yourself#t-605150

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  ·  6 months ago

i enjoy this conversation because it allows me to refine my ability to explain this even to myself. for almost two decades i was a staunch advocate for all of the arguments made by Mr Lidsky. i looked for every explanation that would bolster my supply of proof. from brain science, psychology and optics to quantum mechanics, even linguistics, i had all of my angles covered. the subjective is admittedly a huge part of individual perception. i think most people do not appreciate how much of what we experience is made up by our brains, but there are still events that exist outside of our ability to create them. nuclear radiation, cosmic rays, inertial and gravitational effects, force gradients, chemical pressure waves, more things than i can name here, anything that exists outside of even our unconscious perception, these and more can be measured independently, with equipment external to our nervous system, by anyone who can view the readout. this can be adapted to braille, just as there are braille computer monitors. all of scientific knowledge takes advantage of repeatability. if everything is subjective, repeatability from person to person is impossible. instruments that repeatably measure conditions, that can be used by more than one person, one time, which is what repeatability is, this is dependent on our interaction with objective reality.

this is similar to reading a book. if two sighted people read the same book, that is not altered between readings, the words remain the same. the meaning may be vastly different from one person to the next, but the book remains. even if the second person is not literate, the book remains. objective reality exists, our perception and comprehension are what diverge from one person to the next, and/or from one time to the next. objectivity is to be found in the repeatable and external.

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72
  ·  6 months ago

I think I understand your point of view. I will, once more, choose to gracefully disagree.

The basis of my disagreement is change. Everything changes. Repeatability doesn't exist, it's an illusion we create by our ability to discern what is different and what is equal. Two seconds are both equal and different. They are different in that one is "older" than the other, but they are equal in terms of the "slice" of time that we agree they represent (time is relative, you know that). So two seconds are not truly "repeating" one another.

Change is all pervasive, the person you were 5 minutes ago, when you wrote your comment is different from the person you are right now, reading my comment. We impute a concept of "me" on top of this continuous change, on top of this observer of phenomena and we cling to it. And we grow a cognitive system on top of this clinging of "me". Eventually, this system is the one that creates the lack of happiness and fulfillment we experience.

It's a very difficult pill to swallow, I know, because it creates even more confusion. Which, to an extent, is true: there's no real meaning in this world or in this life. We create that meaning by fear of non-existence.

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60
  ·  6 months ago

Hey, maths is the only dependable thing in the universe; your argument would make many dead Greek people cry!
An object plus a similar object gives double the original object or 2 in decimal = 10 in binary, every single time. You were arguing semantics.
Dead Greeks wailing-stop it!

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  ·  6 months ago

Truth is truth because it is not subjective. I agree with everything else.

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  ·  6 months ago

Truth is never subjective.

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  ·  6 months ago

Truth is never subjective.

Unless only a single subject exists - that which "we" call the universe.

If, as some believe, only a single "witness" or "entity" exists (some call it simply the "Self"), then there is no real "object" that's separate; thus no "objective world". If all is the Self (in Hinduism, this Self is referred to as Brahman), then everything, and non-thing, is subjective in existence and non-existence (manifest and unmanifest, or conscious and unconscious).

So, you could say that there are two "levels" of truth (in the case that all is Brahman), one relative to our individual perspectives as persons within an objective world and another, "higher truth" (or Truth), within which all is the single Subject (I suppose you could say that the universe is its body and the combined perception and intellect of all conscious beings, its mind).

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  ·  6 months ago

If you understand the brain in a jar model of consciousness, you would then maybe see that the end goal of truth can never be reached but always grown. Absolute certainty requires complete knowledge, not merely the sufficient.

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  ·  6 months ago

Agreed, large numbers of people can agree , but a lie is still a lie.

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50
  ·  6 months ago

Agree!

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  ·  6 months ago

I am glad you are collecting rewards again for your posts. I feel that you have build this platform and should be able to use it.

The CEO of Daimler should also drive a Mercedes to work.

Your work is are very valuable to the platform and you should be rewarded in the same way like everyone else. I feel that the best way for you as someone to build this place to experience it is if you are also a user including its benefits, which are the rewards.

62
  ·  6 months ago

This is cutting edge stuff! Love it!

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  ·  6 months ago

Interesting. By the way, have you noticed that we have our own perception of consensus, here, within steemit?

It became much better seen after the "view" counter was introduced.

I'm talking about the fact that a lot of users upvote articles, that have been upvoted becasue they beleieve, as you say, that the masses opinion can't be wrong. And it's a perfect example of how a "fake consenus" is formed within a society.

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  ·  6 months ago

We need multiple rankings...
To solve the fake news we need multiple ranking methods. I think this would even help for steemit. See it is not just "Is this true?" There are other aspects. Does it represent both sides fairly? Is it well researched? Is it well written? Is it courteous and polite? Is it plagiarized? What is the reputation of the person who wrote it? What is the history of past articles? Is it new? Urgent? Important? Valuable? Socially, with "likes," "Shares," and "comments" we get a lot of that information. Comments on an article are actually really good, both as a writer and as a reader. All that said, "social approval" is only one part of truth. Many times -like before the subprime financial crisis- many people are fooled. In implementing this on Steemit, I think there could be a ranking button where we could rank on multiple characteristics.

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  ·  6 months ago

Hi Dan.

I was not going to put this here but when I woke up today and looked at my various interests, I wrote this up which is breaking news, I could not find you on twitter but I tweeted @ned - you need to read this asap, it is big.

Thanks again for all your work, I am reading your article tonight, I have it saved

https://steemit.com/blockchain/@barrydutton/breaking-trump-appoints-pro-blockchain-crypto-advocate-for-budget-chief-who-also-despises-the-federal-reserve

67
  ·  6 months ago

Top post thank you.good work.regards

60
  ·  6 months ago

Highly comprehensive post, and an amazing read! UV + RS

68
  ·  6 months ago

There is no reality in my opinion, we make it up as we go along. We may or may not agree on our sense data because pure sense data is parsed by an individual's conditioning. There is relative truth and absolute truth, and to tell you the truth, absolutes are beyond my ability to understand.

News has always been biased, try and get two people who were at the same event give you the same exact story on the event they both just witnessed....

I'm going to read this article again tomorrow I totally got lost in the blockchain data. I just had a shot of whisky and all I can think of is consensus = fallacy and consensus killed science...

I feel like, maybe I shouldn't of commented, but Oh well, I'm going to post my opinion anyway and prolly regret this action tomorrow.

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  ·  6 months ago

This reply, @reddust, is a very insightful comment. Thank you for posting it despite your gut feeling.
Reality is what is consensually agreed upon. Believing in your own reality, or hallucination, is considered insanity; believing in someone else's, is called religion ; )
Imgur

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68
  ·  6 months ago

I am, therefor I steem.....hahaha...row, row, row your boat, life is but a dream. Thank you and a big happy New Years to you my friend.

Those who are labeled delusional just don't fit into our trending consensus...

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68
  ·  6 months ago

I keep forgetting to say this and I think this one thought may be very important. I have a right as a free person to figure out what is fake news.

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  ·  6 months ago

Interesting take on it. I have a different take. It looks like the two approaches could work together. My approach has an interesting quality in that it replaces the idea of truth with the idea of trust which is ultimately awarded by each individual. It let's each person describe their own truth through their personalized trust network. It looks like your block chain truth method would plug in directly as people choose to trust it and it enters their truth definition. Here is a micro-dissertation on it:
https://steemit.com/speakfreely/@dsonophorus/i-decide-what-is-or-isn-t-fake-news

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  ·  6 months ago

Great article.

Maybe have a look at HTTPS://LOCKEDPOST.COM (a free, anonymous, secure, uncensorable, decentralised and eternal post board)

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  ·  6 months ago

Funny how Steemit is primed and ready to destroy fake news...it's like the creators saw it coming and had the knowledge and know how to build a blockchain based protocol to solve the problem...weird...

oh shit...that really happened :D :D :D

Steemit creators are fucking rock stars

YOU GUYS ARE THE REAL MVP'S

Chris Bates
CSO Bitland Global

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  ·  6 months ago

https://steemit.com/revolution/@chris-bates/steemit-blogging-rewards-done-right

6 months ago:

"I have been involved in the crypto-space since late 2013. There have been many projects that have come and gone attempting to do what Steemit is doing right now. I must say, this is by far one of the best blogging-reward platforms that exists. Period. Not just in the crypto-space. Steemit is fucking amazing!

I have been reading and lurking, and trying to see the complexity and robustness of the platform. Holy shit!

This thing is just...it makes me so happy to see something this prolific being done. There are so many projects that get attention and get $160 million, and are no where near this functional or novel. Steemit will change the way people create media and express themselves. By making one's thoughts immediately valuable, people will work harder to refine their expression, and how they put their thoughts out to the world."

"You have solved the puzzle.

How to make people more involved, and at the same time make them more critical and independent...

Hats off!"

Excerpts...

Chris Bates
CSO Bitland Global

63
  ·  5 months ago

By far one of the most in depth and informative posts I've read on the various topics touched upon. It is but a question of "time"how this plays out in an organic fashion. This 2017 with all that is transpiring politically and financialy, one would think that the masses will take back control of their own self interests. Quick shout out to @dantheman for his writing skills. "Holla!"