If Money = Memory, if Society = a Super Computer, if Computation is in Physical Systems, what is a Decentralized Operating System?

in philosophy •  5 months ago

These concepts are not often discussed so let's have the discussion from the beginning. The first concept to think about is pancomputationalism or put another way the ubiquitous computers which exist everywhere in our environment. We for example can look at physical systems living and non living and see computations taking place all around us. If you look at rocks and trees you can see memory storage. If you look at DNA you can see code and if you look at viruses you can see microscopic programmers adding new codes to DNA. Even when we look at the weather such as a hurricane it is computing.

If you look at nature you see algorithms. You will see learners (yes the same as in AI), also in nature. The process is basically the same for all learning. Consider that everything which is physical is also digital. Consider that the universe is merely information patterns.

If we look at society we can also think of society as a computer. What does society compute though? One way people talk about a society is as a complex adaptive system, but this is also how people might talk about the human body. The human body computes with the purpose of maintaining homeostasis, to persist through time and reproduce copies of itself over time. The human brain computes to promote the survival of the human body. Just as viruses pass on codes to our DNA, the human brain is infected with mind viruses which are called memes. Memes are pieces of information which can alter physically how the brain is working.

The mind isn't limited to the brain. The mind is all the resources the brain can leverage to compute. In other words a person has a brain to compute with but when language was invented this allowed a person to compute not just using their own brain but using the environment itself. To draw on a cave is to use the cave to enhance the memory of the brain. To use mathematics is to use language to enhance the ability of the brain to compute by relying on external storage and symbol manipulation. To use a computer with a programming language is essentially to use mathematics only instead of writing on the cave wall we are writing in 1s and 0s. The mind exists to augment the brain in a constant feedback loop where the brain relies on the mind to improve itself and adapt. If there were no external reality the brain would have no way to evolve itself and improve.

A society in the strictly human sense of the word is the aggregation of minds. This can be at minimum all the human minds in that society. As technology improves the mind capacity increases because each human can remember more, can access more computation resources, can in essence use technology to continuously improve their mind and then leverage the improved mind to improve their brain. The Internet is the pinnacle of this kind of progress but it's obviously not good enough. While the Internet allows for the creation of a global mind by connecting people, things, and minds, it does nothing to actually improve the feedback loop between the mind and the brain, nor does it really offer what could be offered.

Bitcoin came into the picture and perhaps we can think of it as a better memory. A decentralized memory where essentially you can have money. The problem is that money is a very narrow application. It is the start, just as to learn to write on the cave wall was a start, but it's not ambitious enough in my opinion.

Humans in the current blockchain or crypto community do not have many ways where human computation can be exchanged. Human computation is just as valuable as non biological machine computation because there are some kinds of computations which humans can do quite easily which non biological machines still cannot do as well. Translation for example is something non biological machines have a difficult time with but human beings can do well. This means a market will be able to form where humans can sell their computation to translate stuff. If we look at Amazon Mechanical Turk we can see many tasks which humans can do which computer AI cannot yet do, such as labeling and classifying stuff. In order for things to go to the next level we will need markets which allow humans to contribute human computer and or human knowledge in exchange for crypto tokens.

The concept of a decentralized operating system is interesting. First if there are a such thing as social computations (such as collaborative filtering, subjective ranking, waze, etc) then what about the new paradigm of social dispersed computing?

  • First think of computation as a commodity. It is something which can be bought and sold (with Bitcoin if you like?).
  • Second think of computation as ubiquitous while also thinking of the trend toward hyper connectivity.
  • Third think of how apps can be distributed across multiple platforms and physical computing systems.
  • Consider the impact this could have on life as we know it.

The question becomes what do we want to do with this computing power? Will we use it to extend life? Will we use it to spread life into the cosmos? Will we use it to become wise? To become moral? To become rational? If we want to focus on these kinds of concerns then we definitely need something more than Bitcoin, Ethereum, or even EOS. While EOS does seem to be pursuing the strategy of a decentralized operating system which seems to be the correct course, it does not get everything right.

One problem is as I mentioned before the importance of the feedback loops between minds and brains. The reason I always communicate on the concept of external mind or extended mind is based on that fact that it is the mind which creates the immune system to protect the brain from harmful memes. The brain keeps the body alive. The brain is not really capable of rationality, or morality, or logic, and relies on the mind to achieve this. The mind is essentially all the computation resources that the brain can leverage.

EOS has the problem in the sense that it doesn't seem to improve the user. The user can connect, can join, can earn or sell, can participate, but unless the user can become wiser, more rational, more moral, then EOS has limits. EOS does have Everpedia which is quite interesting but again there are still problems. What can EOS do to improve people in society and thus improve society, if society is a computer and is in need of being upgraded?

Well if society is a computer first what does society compute? What should it compute? I don't even know how to answer those questions. I could suggest that if computation is a commodity along with data then whichever decentralized operating systems that do compete and exist will compete for these commodities. The total brain power of a society is just as important as the amount of connectivity. And the mind of the society is the most important part of a society because it is what can allow the society to become better over time, allow the people in the society to thrive, allow the life forms to continue to evolve avoid extinction.

A decentralized operating system on a technical level would have a kernel or something similar to it. This is the resource management part. For example Aragon promises to offer a decentralized OS and it too mentions having a kernel. A true decentralized operating system has to go further and requires autonomous agents. Autonomous agents which can act on behalf of their owners are philosophically speaking the extended mind. But the resources of a society is still finite, has to be managed, and so a kernel would provide for an ability to allow for resource management.

The total computation ability of a society is likely a massive amount of resources. A lot more than just to connect a bunch of CPUs together. Every member of the society which can compute could participate in a computation market. Of course as we are beginning to see now, the regulators seem concerned about certain kinds of social computations such as prediction markets. So it is unknown how truly decentralized operating systems would be handled but my guess is that if designed right then they could be pro-social, be capable of producing augmented morality by leveraging mass computation, and also by leveraging human computation be able to be compliant. To be compliant is simply to understand the local laws but these can be programmed into the autonomous agents if people think it is necessary.

What is more important is that if a law is clearly bad, and people have enhanced minds, then it will be very clear why the law is bad. This clarity will help people to dispute and seek to change bad laws through the appropriate channels. If there is more wisdom, due to insights from big data, from data scientists, etc, then there can be proposals for law changes which are much wiser and more intelligent. This is something specifically that people in the Tauchain community have realized (that technology can be used to improve policy making).

A lot is still unknown so these writings do not provide clear answers. Consider this just a stream of consciousness about concepts I am deeply contemplating. This is also a way to interpret different technologies.

References

  1. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/computation-physicalsystems/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_physics
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended_cognition
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme
  5. https://www.popbuzz.com/internet/viral/memes-are-making-you-fat/
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubiquitous_computing
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it is network of networks. the neuron-dendrite appears to be not mere binary device but complex computer on its own. brains are aggregations of neurons, society is aggregation of brains. brains do thoughts. brains do artefacts. some artefacts amplify or do thoughts on their own. resources are services. infra-network ones.

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Right, each human body is a complex adaptive system. It is like a city with different lifeforms from the microbiome to the mitochondria to the viruses that drive mutations. All of it is acting together to survive through the human body. It's a strange symbiotic relationship which evolved between the bacteria like substances called mitochondria and the cells. I don't fully understand it myself but it's really the key to life as we know it (mammals).

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yeah, roughly 100b brain, 10t you, 100t monocellulars, 500t viruses is the population distro.

brains output thought, societies output wealth.

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Yes the word you probably despise, qualia. Qualia is why people become addicted to food. And it's cool to be fat so people will eat more. Americans in particular like big portion sizes.

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it is not qualia that drives ppl to adiction, it is neural mostly genetical predisposition. like with Bell curve of IQ, roughly the same %-ages of ppl are more addictable than average and less addictable than average. I told you few times you do not grok 'qualia' but so be it. Probably you like the word. How it sounds ... :) And IF YOU make it to change the meaning into what you think it is , i'll embrase qualia, i swear.

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If humans could not taste then humans would not have the same desire to eat bad foods. Are you sure qualia has nothing to do with it?

Yes addiction may have a genetic basis but so does the tongue.

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go to wikipedia or anywhere and focus on the true meaning which is invested in this beatifully sounding but so useless and crappy term 'qualia'

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Why not just quote Wikipedia? Showing me I'm wrong is better than telling me.

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The problem with wealth is that it could help people die faster. Obesity for example is a perfect example. Society generates memes which cause people to want to eat more which causes obesity. People who create these memes get wealthy selling processed foods but it doesn't keep the members of society alive, productive, healthy, so it's not actually good for the members of society even if it adds to GDP.

Why is this? Because society isn't wise, rational, or moral. Society seems like you say to be nothing more than a growth machine. A better world would mean society would produce biofuels/clean food which taste good, is healthy, is cheap, etc. We don't see this right now though or if we do then it is rare.

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the poor are obese. the wealth = better medicine and science. incl. longevity and rejuvanation and radical repair tech. more, better, and diverse and more and more affordable.

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Wealth is just access to resources. What do you think will happen if the computation resources are hoarded? What happens if more people gain access? It doesn't require any of what you mention prior to just having every citizen given the means to participate in science. Collaborative team science.

To study the human body takes time. It's extremely extremely complex. To study even your own body would take too much time for you to do. If you had autonomous agents as part of your mind then suddenly it becomes a lot less time consuming for you to be constantly researching your genetics and diseases or your gifts.

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knowledge and thought are everything. correct. the most valuable wealth. but without money how would you trade them?

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How do you interact socially? You act as if every interaction you have in your life is involving money? I exchange knowledge all the time with you in specific and we aren't involving the blockchain to do that.

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gift economy. :)

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The Kwakwaka'wakw continue the practice of potlatch. Illustrated here is Wawadit'la in Thunderbird Park, Victoria, BC, (aka Mungo Martin House) a Kwakwaka'wakw "big house" built by Chief Mungo Martin in 1953. Very wealthy, that is, prominent, hosts would have a longhouse specifically for potlatching and for housing guests.
A gift economy is a type of economic system in which goods and services are given without any explicit agreement for immediate or future quid pro quo. A gift economy emphasizes social or intangible rewards, such as karma, honor, or loyalty, for giving. In some cases, simultaneous or recursive giving serves to circulate and redistribute valuables within a community. This can be considered a form of reciprocal altruism. Sometimes there is an implicit expectation of the return of comparable goods or services, political support, or the gift being later passed on to a third party.

No, not gift economy. Social exchange. People exchange without even consciously being aware. Barter is a conscious awareness of an exchange of like for like where the value of the two things being exchanged are seen as equal. The gift economy in western society is mostly a Christmas ritual at best where people exchange gifts, or Halloween where people give candy to kids.

People share knowledge because it's a way to gain more knowledge. If people decide never to share knowledge with others then they'll have a harder time getting more knowledge.

References

  1. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Gift_economy
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gift_economy

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computation and action (physical, yeah, measured in energy-multiplied-by-time) are synonymous.

learning is compression. of data originally, but algos are data too, so they are also compressible. acquiring of algos to crunch data and algos.

why single DecentOS? The only universal language is translation.

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