Replies to comments about Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence?

My first blush looking at the slides … it seems to me things are  way too complicated. The last slide is:

Superintelligence should be developed only for the benefit of all of humanity and in the service of widely shared ethical ideals.

  • Sounds nice, but there is a “should”. That’s usually a nice way of saying what other people should be forced to do.
  • Define “benefit”. Then define “benefit for all of humanity”.
  • “Widely shared ethical beliefs”. Please, no. The most widely held beliefs right now are its fine to lie cheat and steal.

Seems easily gamed and riddled with potential exceptions. Evolution codified for practical use (how to refine our global brain) starts out with specific and clear definitions.

The slide titled “The Challenge” says to solve the intelligence problem and control problem (no solution is given, I think) in the right order. And then notes “Principle of differential technological development“:

… societies would strive to retard the development of harmful technologies and their applications, while accelerating the development of beneficial technologies, especially those that offer protection against the harmful ones.

Again, similar issues: Define “harmful” and “beneficial”. And how exactly does one “retard” or “accelerate” them. We are designing non linear emergent systems: Basically, only the initial conditions can be “managed”. We can’t manage even the current rate of change with top down models. When we do, its typically nefarious, and brimming with unintended consequences. Why does anyone think “leaders” can do a better job when the rate of change doubles? This shows

I think Mr. Taleb’s insights are more accurate.

The principle of “via negativa” suggests that, in terms of taking action, subtraction often trumps addition because it is so hard to improve on nature’s time-tested original (without dilutive side effects). Infant mortality and life-saving surgery aside, the simple exhortation to stop smoking (give up cigarettes) has had more positive health impact than virtually all “modern medicine” advances of the 20th century. — Embrace Optionality and Don’t Drink Orange Juice: “Antifragile” Review (Taleb ond nature)

Here are some responses in the comments section.

Evolution works, right? So codify those initial conditions. They seem to be: nodes are private property. All things are unique and so have value because of connections. Change is iterative. Add value first.

“Retard the development of dangerous … technologies… and accelerate the development of beneficial technologies” How is dangerous defined? This sounds like centralized control. How does one manage the rate of change as the singularity nears? Evolution’s goal: maximize future freedom in a category and timeframe. Machines and people are already part of that system.

Alas, nature does not share [our] values.

Alex Wissner-Gross’ great TED talk defining “intelligence” can be slightly twisted to suggest that evolution’s goal is to maximize future freedom within a scope of resources. What are “values”, and where do they originate? Logically from evolution’s initial conditions of: ownership, all things are unique and so have value, change it iterative, and add value first.

… If we deemed pointy heads favorable … natural selection would favour pointy heads. Evolutions goal would thus be pointy heads…

Only if pointy heads somehow maximized future freedom within a scope of resources. Otherwise, we could choose to go against the trend (what some call free will?), but it would cost more than going with the trend. Evolution is much bigger than us.

Even before stellar nucleosynthesis. 🙂 One can originate at “nothing” ( ) and logically get to all that is going on now.

How about learning from an (apparent) expert, Martin Armstrong, who (apparently) has a working product? Very interesting!

“Programmers cannot write code to accomplish something they do not understand.” – Martin Armstrong
“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them” – Einstein
So in order to solve global “problems” like famine and injustice, we must use a system that produces emergence. This is how Castpoints is able to solve problems on any scale: It works on any scale AND has emergence, so it can fix stuff at least one scale greater than it is.

Advertisements is doing something similar to Castpoints

My comment on their “psuedo-white-paper

Hi! Great to see your efforts!! (Thanks to Matt Schutte!) I am working on solving similar problems. Castpoints takes a more organizational and practical approach though. It codified evolution so that anyone can solve any problem.

Our work has many similarities! Nature based, peered, things expire, elegant initial conditions producing lots of fun emergence. And meaning!

CEPTAR’s “Carrier protocol” is like what I term “taxa”. Everything has a taxa which defines the thing, provides relationship and context, and stores info about the thing like cost, ROI, lifespan, etc.

Lets look at money
Ricardian contracts, block chains, etc., have a number of problems. The necessity to employ them stems partly from the desire to mitigate dishonesty. (Root word > ethos > nature.) All of these situations are a symptom of indirect communication.

Consider a vastly simpler method of directly managing value. (When things are direct, dishonesty does not pay well.)

Good money is gold. Great money is a piece of what/who consistently adds value. In Castpoints, every endeavor or group is an “Event”. All events have fractional ownership that can pay dividends.

Internally, CP uses Joules. kWh are a stable world standard and allows people to easily view value in local units. There is no currency risk in Castpoints.

Ownership is expressed as a fraction of “100”. “I want to buy 87 nano % of Morning Cafe”.
Events are securitized. They can simply be “1,000 oz of gold”. Or “1 trillion USD”. Or “My cul-de-sac”. Or, “Jeff Fitzmyers”
Float is then autonomous. So company owners don’t have to manage it (most are not good at that). And the aggregate float of all events is also autonomous. So govs can’t manipulate that in their favor.
The end result is the whole monetary system pleases everyone (that is not dishonest), and works just like stock markets which are easily understood.
This elegant emergence of simplicity happens with conflict resolution, trading goods and work, valuing and using content, information and decisions. CP securitizes anything via any browser, maximizes future freedom, minimizes uncertainty, and is fun.

The Internet Of Everything will be managed in a generalized fashion

Jon Bruner’s nice post The next industrial revolution: It’s all about software, but it’s a little harder than that suggests a generalized software solution it not a good idea for managing the IOE.

Actually, software is abundant, yet search results still have little context. What is lacking is context and organization.

I agree that doing things unilaterally won’t work. But, seems to me that a generalized approach is the only thing that will work. Stephan Wolfram proved that only 3 to 4 initial conditions are needed to create all the complexity required to manage anything. That’s how evolution works. People keep missing the IOE forest for the shiny trees. Everything has truckloads of info from sensors, and decision flow to actuators, but how are gazillions of interdependent decisions made in real time?

How about a system that mimics how the human body works? How biomes work? It’s already proven, and most repetitious decisions happen autonomously.

Evolution’s initial conditions are deceptively simple:

  • Nodes: private property, and imply local scope. Larger scope and data should be aggregated.
  • Connections: how things are differentiated and communicate. Infinite scope, so data winnowed at source, by source.
  • A classification system that gives everything a relationship and value.
  • Then, take a step forward (add value first): the process of iteration: Gather resources and feedback. Integrate. Add value.
  • Trade the value, broadcast winnowed info.
  • And what most don’t understand, excrete what no longer has value locally!

People regularly err at:

  • Private property. Symptoms are ad based revenue models, and privacy concerns. Connections define nodes. If they didn’t, things would just be a morass.
  • And they don’t excrete. Symptoms are info overwhelm. And older stuff should be aggregated unless there is a good reason.

In time, IOE’s fragments must simplify to this integrated model. There is no other proven way to robustly organize complex non linear systems. Artificial Intelligence, a misnomer, is not in competition with evolution, its a subset of evolution, which is always trying to maximize future options in a timeframe.

Everything seems to be a story. IOE’s beginning are sensors, the end filled with actuators. The middle hopefully makes valuable decisions.

Castpoints uses a generalized data framework so that any data can be input, within a context.

Classification tree

  • Tier 1 (anyone, kids, teens, grown-up, unoffensables)
    • Tier 2
      • Tier 3 (etc.)
        • Item’s (or role’s) short description
          • Birth
          • Status
          • Location
          • Value
          • Visibility scope (role, role classification, event, public)
          • News made here; scope managed by liaison
          • Tags or stipulations (describes the rest of item, if needed)
            • Labels (temp, density, etc.) so we know what we are talking about.
            • Value (can be summed, or averaged, up the event level). These can be numbers or text
            • Units (°F, °C, °K, etc.)
            • Value tally scope (role, event, public)

Another article about the emerging data standards. My response, “They are all going to fail! Google needs so much mining because their method of valuing items is indirect with little context. The shear mass of data will soon evolve to mimic the way nature organizes data: encoded via a self adapting classification system that provides context for the item label, value (numerical, or text), units, timestamp, location, prices, and ownership. Data is then aggregated up in larger scopes, preserving privacy. Decisions made by people and machines are then sent to actuators that will send feedback. Huge integration is what makes it all work at any scale.”

But, But, But… CP can’t work because…

“Money Laundering will run amok without top down management”
Almost impossible to do on a large scale because all money goes into the dividend fund and is distributed by merit after a cycle lag time. If participants try to create an overly large dividend on a small forum, that will quickly attract arbiters which defeats the purpose.

“Criminality will run amok without top down management”
At some point the profits of ignoring ever bulging red tape (regulations, laws, permits) become greater than the risks of ignoring them. This creates the opportunity, corruption and danger of grey and black markets.

The unofficial economy easily competes with the official economy because it has much less overhead.

It’s simple arbitrage: more red tape creates greater profit opportunities, which infuriates the “kings” who respond with more controls, taxes, regulations, which creates even greater profit opportunities until enough of the real economy eclipses the controlled economy and the “king” loses power.

CP is a self-correcting system that minimizes parasitic and criminal behavior BECAUSE it is maximizing ALL human potential. However, all complex systems have some parasites and are a bit messy because healthy systems have friction and direct consequences.

Systems use feedback loops and control structures to manage themselves (growth, communication, conflict, etc.) In CP, the “control” mechanisms are transparency, reputation, agreements backed by performance bonds, localized decisions by stakeholders, and basically no barriers to entry. Therefore, there is no systematic and significant economic advantage to operate outside of the castpoints system. In other words, Castpoints is how nature works: it has no competition. It provides and manages a level playing field for trading any resource.

Criminality part 2: “If you don’t delete users and events, people will run amok”
Entities that don’t add value naturally fade away. It’s just not profitable to be a significant parasite on CP. Also, if people don’t like something, they might be better served by leading by example, and or ignoring what they don’t like. A general rule of thumb is that 1/3 of people will like a person, 1/3 will be indifferent, and 1/3 will dislike the person. Why spend any resources with anyone that does not like you?

Actually, we rather like the vampires (value takers) since all their money consistently and readily flows to the value adders, and they can only affect smaller things for a short time.

“We need debt to grow”
For most people, debt is playing with bombs, on a pompous precipice, above slavery’s chasm. “…nature doesn’t like debt. Nature likes redundancies.” — Nassim Taleb

“There are 2 ways to enslave a nation. 1 is by the sword. The other is by debt.” — John Adams, 1826

Gold is the money of kings,
Silver is the money of business people,
Barter is the money of peasants, and
Debt is the money of slaves. ~~ Norm Franz

“Taxes, we need taxes, and more taxes, so many taxes we can’t possibly keep track of them all and have no representation”
Taxes are win-lose fiat decisions and so not used. CP employs “use fee” agreements at the point of sale. These fees are preferentially tied to a transaction’s physical location and can automatically be paid to the local municipality as part of a residency contract. Ideally the local municipality contracts with a larger municipality, which then contracts with an even larger municipality. Boroughs, cites, states, etc., compete with each other like Neil Stevenson enclave’s. By default, each role can only spend and receive use fee money within it’s role plus or minus one level up and down. So in America, a city can only contract with residents, and the county. The county can only contract with cities and the state it’s within. And the state can only contract with it’s county and the federal level. That way it’s in everyone’s best interests to do what they say they will do and there are immediate consequences for mistakes. Currently in America, politicians can promise whatever they want in order to have more power and the maximum consequence is that they might not get reelected. Ohhh, scary. Details.

“We need lots and lots of regulations to protect everyone.”
Regulatory burdens, laws, and central banks are the main challenge. The are all based on the idea of the devine right of kings, aka win-lose relationships. Castpoints, and many other collaborative consumption endeavors, are based on agreements, aka win-win relationships. It’s unlikely the status quo will acquiesce to the competition. Economically, the flow of capital changes from moving from debt (slaves) toward credit (master), to flowing between sovereign individuals (freedom, prosperity).

This is happening in New York City where Airbnb’s business model is “illegal” possibly because hotels spent “millions” protecting their market (passing laws, etc), instead of bettering their product. Airbnb participants spend their money offering valuable products that are often unique. More.
What works better?
– Expensive regulations that have serious systemic flaws as evidenced by the mortgage fiasco, MF Global and allegedly corrupt CFTC regulators that go uninvestigated
– Transparency and reputation that apparently have no overtly notable reported problems after 10 million transactions world wide (other than annoying the status quo), and are incredibly cheap.

Intrade shuts out American bettors …due to legal and regulatory pressures, Intrade can no longer allow US residents to participate in our real-money prediction markets… U.S. regulators on Monday sued Intrade, saying the company illegally let customers bet on options that must be traded on regulated exchanges.”

Yet, the opaque 600 trillion Over-The-Counter is mostly unregulated. Probably because this is a large arena where the “too-big-to-fail/jail” banksters operate. On the basis of the world’s 80 trillion GDP, the OTC market is levered by at least 7.5 times with almost no oversight and minimal margin.

What really works and many examples of how regulations fail, dramatically, all the time — especially when they are supposedly “needed most”.

“What about ‘national security’ and ‘social justice’?”
They are misnomers of slave drivers used to justify whims. As Martin Armstrong says, individuals adding value is what makes prosperity:

There are 2 ideas that have been responsible for killing more people than anything in history… The first was the idea that land was wealth… Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations was a direct response to that idea showing that the true wealth of a nation was its people and its total productivity… Under this theory that landmass is power, then why did Japan reach the second largest economy with only 145,925 square miles…

…The second idea …[is]… Communism and this notion of “social justice.” Europe thought that what made American economically powerful was a single currency. They failed to see that its taxes were half of that in Europe and the regulations promoted small business formation rather than suppress it… Communism failed for it suppressed the very element that makes a country rich – the total productivity of its people.

Why Castpoints? Problem, Solution: Theory, Metaphor And Overview

Challenges CP addresses

  • People often don’t own their content
  • Internet has no organization
  • Information overwhelm
  • Difficult to know the value of things
  • Current legal systems are insane
  • Difficult to know how things are relate.
  • Correcting information is challenging
  • Hard to generate income from posting value
  • Holding people accountable is challenging
  • Censorship, manipulation, propaganda, fake ratings
  • No simple and effective way to screen things for children
  • Can’t easily buy and or protect copyrighted material
  • People be crazy. — Porter Stansberry

Chaos theory suggests that a complex system’s behavior is highly sensitive to initial conditions and slight changes of those conditions.The current dominant cosmology theory of a big bang suggests that the universe was born from a singularity, where “many laws of physics break down” and there is no specified origin for the singularity itself. In other words, the genesis of the universe is currently the belief that, “Many things are the way they are because we say so.” This manifests as the belief of “divine right of kings.”

The universe appears to be iterative with simple rules according to Stephan Wolfram and others. So a major iteration of the big bang theory is watered down to produce “Natural Law”, Natural “rights”, and government in an effort to reconcile a divine right of kings belief with reality. This does not really work, yet many more laws and regulations are iteratively created attempting to force harmony. Finally society can’t withstand the economic burden of the cognitive dissonance, and “fails”. Although the new society has vitality because it’s focus is on what works out of necessity (needing to get commerce going again quickly), it’s still hobbled from the core belief of royal absolutism and will one day “fail”, again.

An alternative cosmology, Null Physics, suggests that in the beginning there was literally nothing, a void. If a bit of that nothing was removed, well, now there is something! Specifically there is a separation between things, but if put all together again, the “equation” sums to zero. This can translate into the universe’s initial conditions of, “Things are the way they are due to separation, each bit/relationship is unique compared to every other bit/relationship, and not only is that okay, it’s fun! But it is not special.”

The genesis of trouble is constantly mal-investing to prove that separation has some type of “special” meaning, rather than the RELAXED state of noticing that “separation” just means “difference”.

Iteration produces a separation that not only denotes “this” and “not this” but also mediates interactions between both. This is the basis for almost all biology as currently defined: the semi permeable cell membrane. Not considering viruses, etc., the next main complete and successful system is the cell. Cells are the main functional unit of most biomass on Earth. The reason Castpoints works, is because it mimics the cellular purpose, structure, relationships, communications, and resiliency in a fractal way: A physically healthy cell has strong boundaries. A psychologically healthy person has strong boundaries. A strong building has a strong foundation which is the boundary between the building and the ground, etc.

Cells naturally and immediately excrete what they do not need anymore. If they don’t, they get toxic. Philosophically, suffering (not pain) is caused by not relaxing and holding on to things that no longer have value. Metaphorically, grabbing a rose and getting pricked by a thorn is pain. Clenching onto the stem and thorn is suffering. Relaxing and letting the rose go is healing.

Castpoints fixes that by securitizing everything, stewarding trade based on the common denominator of value with minimal trading barriers (friction), and quickly letting go of what no longer serves specific individuals.

There is a heavy focus on intrinsic motivations. Extrinsic motivations, like money, are not necessarily used to motivate people, rather to allow comparison of things that are hard to compare.

CP specifically employs antifragile concepts so that emergencies and weird things are not handled by exception (which indicates an incomplete system), rather they help drive the system toward more value.

Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it antifragile. Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better. — Taleb Nissim

Structure and hierarchy
Responsibility, accountability, and roles are formally organized and based loosely on the standard Incident Command System. Participating in a structure means that people make agreements that include amends. For starters, people “agree to do all they say they will do, and not infringe on others or others property”. Agreements tend to be short and clear, or else people will go elsewhere. Who wants to read legaleze on a cell phone when money is on the line?

The hierarchy tree can expand and contract rapidly. Basically after about 6 people are added to a role, it’s often time to bud another role. These roles are dynamically defined and managed by those who use them most which dramatically reduces information overload. A person can be part of many roles and events: Their neighborhood, school, local community, multiple friend / interest based groups, etc. People have a places to belong.

“Nature bats last.” CP structure is created as a byproduct of what people are doing, and trying to do. Nobody has to design a company organization chart; the action of members create the chart. Theoretically:

Any organization that designs a system (defined more broadly here than just information systems) will inevitably produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization’s communication structure.Neil Schulman’s 10th of June post may also be alluding to Conway’s Law

Ownership is power; agreement is power (win-win). Laws are force (win-lose; lose-lose).
Humpty Dumpty said, “… And if you take 1 from 365 what remains?”
Alice said, “364, of course.”
Humpty Dumpty looked doubtful. “I’d rather see that done on paper,” he said.
Alice couldn’t help smiling as she took out her memorandum book, and worked the sum for him: 365 – 1 = 364. Humpty Dumpty took the book and looked at it carefully. “That seems to be done right –” he began.
“You’re holding it upside down!” Alice interrupted.
“To be sure I was!” Humpty Dumpty said gaily as she turned it round for him. “I thought it looked a little queer. As I was saying, that SEEMS to be done right — though I haven’t time to look it over thoroughly just now — and that shows that there are 364 days when you might get un-birthday presents –”
“Certainly,” said Alice.
“And only ONE for birthday presents, you know. There’s glory for you!”
“I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory’,” Alice said.
“Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t — till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’”
“But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you CAN make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be MASTER — that’s all.”

Free Market Principle Fancy Term Nature’s Analog Notes
Value Resources Joule, Light, calories Digital content, goods, services
Skin in the game Capital at risk Direct participation It’s just hot air until someone puts their money where their mouth is.
Private property Node Cell’s, tissues, organs People’s blogs, forums, and websites. Everyone is their own profit center, and owns and manages their own reputation.
Low entry barriers, structure, contracts Connections Roots, relationships Groups of nodes are related by formal role based contractual hierarchal networks. Everything is connected. Cells, tissues, organs, organisms.
Money Value units Hemoglobin, chlorophyl Effective allocation of resources uses an abstracted, and likely scarce, resource that everyone finds value in. Default units are shares of stock and Joules. But anything can be used.
Transactions based on supply and demand at a specific price. Evolution Life, movement Based on agreement, not force. Since decisions are not based on politics, mal-investment is minimized .
Subsidiarity, Transparency, Verification, conflict resolution Feedback loops, reputation Teeth, claws Management by the smallest, lowest, and or least centralized authority capable of doing things well, support the balance of privacy and transparency. Hormones.
Fullfilment Sanity Be-ing If people offer projections, illusions, and unfinished traumas, the feedback will likely be less money and positive suggestions. If people don’t know their value, they can iteratively, at a small level of risk in a supportive environment, experiment. When people start to offer their unique value, they will feel good, make money and receive complements.
Devaluing Death Excretion, decomposition Adaptability partly comes from the ability to have assets handy in order to allocate allocate them quickly. Some assets tied to the past help provied reference points and support. But it’s also very supportive to recycle that wich is no longer useful back to resources that can be used to build things in hte present.

Castpoints annotated contract

Current contract

No contract unless you understand, agree, and freely participate.

“Force” is not used, only agreements, which are enforced.

~”Do all you agree to do. Respect (avoid harming or interfering) people and their property.” Make amends quickly, or be challenged. ~ Richard Maybury

Mind your own business and don’t agree to stuff you don’t want to to do.

CP makes money only if you make money first. If event pays dividends, transaction fee is currently XXX pico share. (non-refundable)

I would like to take credit for this, but can’t. It was inspired. The old business plan was more complicated. A business plan of selling 3rd party ads is inefficient. Where is that found in nature? CP’s best interests are always 100% aligned with every participant.

Privacy: No cookies. You own your data. Events own their aggregate data. CP uses the bare min to run servers.

Prosperity and freedom comes from private property. We don’t want to  be responsible for anyone else stuff. Our sole focus is stewarding others to add value. That can’t be done via theft.

Changes may occur at any time. (link to news.)

We try to give as much advanced warning as possible.

Data only released via confirmed subsidiarity request.

CP doesn’t give out any personal info, nor aggregate info, because CP doesn’t own it: it’s not CP’s to give. We honor agreements we have with local subsidiarity’s. Specifically, we don’t have agreements with law based tax regimes because they act as parasites (force) not as partners (agreements).  Correct taxation “use fees” are built into CP.

Specific info deleted after 3 months months of inactivity. Aggregate info deleted when event expires.

Nature takes in, transforms, acts, then excretes. Relaxing and letting go of the past are critical to happiness, productivity, and freedom. This does not mean the past is forgotten, just that the experiencer of past events gets to assign meaning to them. This meaning can change as the person changes. In other words, the stupid stuff posted on current social media, that seemingly never goes away, can’t be used to negate a person’s current talents and reputation.