This book will give you a lot of information if you want to know more about the convergence of money and information technology and the system of the world. You will also find many of your questions answered concerning Google, Bitcoin, and everything in between. Most importantly, you’ll learn why time remains the indisputable objective economic factor in a world that is continuously evolving.
Quotes from the book
AI is believed to be refining what it means to be human, much as Darwin’s On the Origin of Species did in its time. While Darwin made man just another animal, a precariously risen ape, Google-Marxism sees men as inferior intellectually to the company’s own algorithmic machines.
Security is the foundation of all other services and crucial to all financial transactions. It is the most basic and indispensable component of any information technology.
A system of the world necessarily combines science and commerce, religion and philosophy, economics and epistemology. It cannot merely describe or study change; it also must embody and propel change.
The “cloud,” then, is an artful name for the great new heavy industry of our times: gargantuan data centers composed of immense systems of data storage and processors, linked together by millions of mules of fiber-optic lines and consuming electrical power and radiating heat to an extent that excels most industrial enterprises in history.
With a few small (but significant) exceptions, everything Google offers to its “customers” is free. Internet searches are free. Email is free. The vast resources of the data centers, costing Google an estimated thirty billion dollars to build, are provided essentially for free.
Free is not by accident. If your business plan is to have access to the data of the entire world, then free is an imperative. At least for your “products.” For your advertisers, it’s another matter. What your advertisers are paying for is the enormous data and the insights gained by processing it, all of which is made possible by “free.”
So what’s wrong with free? It is always a lie, because on this earth nothing, in the end, is free. You are exchanging incommensurable items. For glimpses of a short video that you may or may not want to see to the end, you agree to watch an ad long enough to click it closed. Instead of paying — and signaling — with the fungible precision of money, you pay in the slipper coin of information and distraction.
Mida’s error was to mistake gold, wealth’s monetary measure, for wealth itself. But wealth is not a thing or a random sequence. It is inextricably rooted in hard won knowledge over extended time.
The intellectuals of this era are simply blind to the reality of consciousness. Consciousness is who we are, how we think, and how we know. It echoes with religious intuitions and psychological identity. It is the essence of mind as opposed to machine. It is the source of creativity and free will. If you don’t understand it, you may have a theory of computers but you do not have a notion of intelligence.
Consciousness depends on faith — the ability to act without full knowledge and thus the ability to be surprised and to surprise. A machine by definition lacks consciousness. A machine is part of a determinist order. Lacking surprise or the ability to be surprised, it is self-contained and determined.
Real science shows that the universe is a singularity and thus a creation. Creation is an entropic of a higher consciousness echoed by human consciousness. This higher consciousness, which throughout human history we have found it convenient to call God, endows human creators with the space to originate surprising things.
“The central mistake of recent digital culture,” writes Jaron Lanier, “is to chop up a network of individual so finely that you end up with a mush. You then start to care about the abstraction of the network more than the real people who are networked, even though the network by itself is meaningless. Only the people were ever meaningful.“
The 1517 Fund explains the parallel: “Likewise, universities today are selling a piece of paper at great cost and telling people that buying it is the only way they can save their souls. Universities call it a diploma, and they’re making a fortune doing it. Call us heretical if you like, but the 1517 Fund is dedicated to dispelling that paper illusion.”
To Russel (Austin Russel), nothing matters but performance. There is no long-run demand for a system that kills people. Aim at performance, and low cost will follow. Aim at low cost, and you will not achieve sufficient performance to have an enduring business. After a sufficient system is devised, demand will foster economies of scale and learning curves that bring the price down over time.
Satoshi explained: “Governments are good at cutting off the heads of centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure peer-to-peer networks like Gnutella [music] and Tor [The Onion Router for encrypted email and video] seem to be holding their own.”
As the Cypherpunk poster James Donald put it soon after Satoshi announced bitcoin, “To avoid pressure, the network has to avoid any central point at which pressure can be applied. Recall Nero’s wish that Rome had a single throat that he could cut. If we provide them with such a throat, it will be cut.”
“The way to measure value — proof-of-work — is through the pure expenditure or sacrifice of time. As my friend Nick Szabo put it, ‘We can arrange our affairs around the measurement of sacrifice rather than of its results …’”
The way to measure value — proof-of-work — is through the pure expenditure or sacrifice of time.Satoshi Nakamoto
Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in Geneva invented them in 1989 as part of his World Wide Web. Berners-Lee wanted to make all data linkable into one Web, a skein of tools that made it easy to set up a Web page of “shared creative collaborative space where everyone could play together.”
Better than cash, it (Blockstack) offers exchanges that conceal personal information but also allow complete proof of compliance where necessary. Not only can you exchange anonymously, you can also prove your record of behavior if a government makes untrue charges or a business makes spurious claims. This combination of security and attestation makes cryptocurrencies a fundamental improvement on existing moneys — a remedy for the monetary turbulence of our time.
Cookies are a memory element on your computer that a website can control. They can be sweet when they remember you after you leave a site and allow you to toggle back to it without reentering your user name and password. They are a menace when they are used by rogue websites to insert malware on your machine.
The advertising catastrophe is most acute in the fastest-growing and most inviting market in the industry — smartphones. Customers increasingly are paying their bandwidth suppliers not for the content they seek but for the noise of ad delivery overhead.
The most avid ad-blockers are millennials, whose typically limited bandwidth and high-cost data connections leave their smartphones clogged and jammed by advertising and its overhead.
What information consumes is the attention of the recipients. A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.Herbert Simon, the Carnegie Mellon information theorist
As Eich told a TEDx adience in Vienna in October 2016, “Try to imagine a world in which you own your own dossier; it’s your own online life — you should own your own data. If you own it, then you can give terms of service [to the giant walled gardens on the Web], as well as them giving you their ‘terms of service’ that no one ever reads . . . . This would create a new web.”
In a world of abundant information but scarce time, what do people value most? As Kevin Kelly declares, “The only things that are increasing in cost while everything else heads to zero are human experiences. . . . Cheap abundant [virtual reality] will be an experience factory.”
As Peter Thiel writes in Zero to One, “every great entrepreneur is first and foremost a designer. . . .”
In response to my question about bitcoin-as-Ponzi-scheme, Demeester sneered, “If it were a Ponzi it would crash when it was discredited by setbacks. Bitcoin has endured continual frauds and flareouts and come back stronger every time.”
Google began as an Internet company crawling the World Wide Web with its miraculous search capabilities. Today, as Eric Schmidt declares, it is moving from “search” to “suggest,” using artificial intelligence to disintermediate the Web.
In practice, the only factor that makes any serious difference for Internet neutrality is investment in bandwidth. If bandwidth is scarce, it will have to be allocated preferentially, regardless of the laws. Network neutrality is out the window. If bandwidth is abundant, neutrality laws are unneeded. Everything finds a conduit.
“Commodity? Security? Currency? Property? What is it?” Perianne asks. “I haven’t the slightest idea,” answers the Mad Hatter, observing Washington’s rule: “If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving regulate it. If it stops moving subsidize it.” Since the Cambrian explosion of cryptographic innovation is not going to stop moving, it faces a growing threat of taxation and regulation, as every regulatory faction seeks jurisdiction over it.
Blockchains, hashchains, blockstacks, smart contracts, token issues, and cryptocurrencies are new ways to address the evils of the Google Age: porous Internet security, unmoored money, regulatory overreach, network concentration, officious delays, and diminishing returns of big data.
Governments and investors everywhere should welcome the explosion of creativity in crypto, preparing a new financial system of the world for the moment when the fiat currency piñata bursts at last.
Accumulated supplies can shift between gold’s two main uses as money and jewelry. Money is liquid jewelry; jewelry is crystalized money.
In a world full of subjective human passions and greed, hungers and desires, time is the one economic factor that is indisputably objective. Thus time lends objective substance to the movements of money.
…bitcoin is the transactions medium itself rather than a stable metric for the valuation of fiat monies. For gold, transactions are incidental; for bitcoin, transactions are the key point. Bitcoin, unlike gold, must therefore increase in either volume or value if the system is to succeed.
Prosperity only happens when there is no easy way for people to produce money, and instead they have to produce useful things.Ammous
Currencies create value by measuring it. The price of bitcoin changes with demand. You can respond that the price of the dollar also changes with demand.
“No other basic unit of measure,” says Kendall–whether it’s the second, the meter, the ampere, or the kilogram–“changes in value with demand. They are standards” based on physical constants. If money is a measuring stick, it cannot respond to demand.
The universe is hierarchical and multidimensional. It cannot be reduced to two-dimensional sequences. A computer industry for a world of information should be oriented to the creative dimensions of virtual reality rather than the flat universe of the materialist superstition. A successful system of the world should be devoted to rendering the full complexity of human life and mind.