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Precambrian Video Games
Aug 19, 2002



My interest in StrangeCoin is witnessing the genesis of an unusually bad idea that I hope will soon see a gruesome and timely death. I also wouldn't mind a happy ending where it fades into obscurity as RA actually comes to terms with how terrible it is and develops enough critical thinking skills to spend his time working on or thinking about something more useful.

Just out of curiosity, RA, when you discuss ideas like reifying the class structure by assigning people coloured buttons identifying their social class and when you advocate a system that would admittedly make it more difficult for poor people to buy food and basic necessities, are you making any kind of value judgement on the merits of such a system? It's hard for me to reconcile 'worried about hypothetical silent discrimination against cyborgs' RA vs 'likes the idea of clearly identifying poors with brown badges to more easily refuse to serve them' RA.

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RealityApologist
Mar 29, 2011

ASK me how NETWORKS algorithms NETWORKS will save humanity. WHY ARE YOU NOT THINKING MY THESIS THROUGH FOR ME HEATHENS did I mention I just unified all sciences because NETWORKS :fuckoff:

SedanChair posted:

I don't know Eripsa, it all just seems a little ridiculous. But there's nothing wrong with ridiculousness, and honestly you've shown me once and for all that cranks are the vigor of D&D. From hollering at you, I feel like I understand my own priorities a little more clearly.

I'm okay with this stuff being cranky, as long as it's understood that the crankiness is motivated by hazy understandings of legitimate natural science, and not quasimystical Deepak Chopra technochakra bullshit or fascist/libertarian/tinfoil/triangular political ends. I'm not appealing to facts, methods, or research outside the mainstream of scientific discourse, I'm just putting them together in confused and incomplete ways, and that I'm willing to educated myself when corrected.

With all that said, I've done some research and written essays on the role of extremist positions on the dynamics of social systems. In the interest of sharing things I actually know:

quote:

I'm using a very simple model of opinion dynamics, specifically the Deffuant-Weisbuch (DW) bounded confidence model from 2002; the figures below are taken from the paper linked here. A more complex and interesting model can be found in the Hegselmann-Krause (HK) model and its extensions, but the simpler model is all we need for this post.

The DW model describes a collection of agents with some opinions, each held with some degree of confidence. Individuals may have some impact on each other's beliefs, adjusting them slightly in one direction or another. The less confident I am about my beliefs, the more room I might move in one direction or another depending on the beliefs and confidence of the agents I interact with.

On this model, "extremists" are people who a) hold minority opinions, and b) are very confident about those opinions. Extremists aren't likely to change their beliefs, but can be influential in drawing others towards their positions, especially when there is a high degree of uncertainty regarding those beliefs generally. In fact, that's exactly what the DW model shows.



In Figure 5, the y axis represents the range of opinions people might hold, centered on 0. The extremists hold their positions with very low uncertainty at the fringes in orange. Their beliefs they are not easily swayed. But in this simulation general uncertainty is also set fairly low (at .4). The graph simulates a series of interactions among the agents under these conditions, and we see the results stabilize as we move to the right of the graph, with the the vast majority of agents (96%) converging somewhere near 0. Since most people were fairly confident about their beliefs, the extremists had very little impact, and the overall system stabilizes into a moderate position.

In contrast, Figure 6 describes a scenario where general uncertainty is very high (1.2). In this case, extremists are much more likely to sway those near them, and you can see how this eventually results in a radically polarized field of beliefs, where most agents are drawn away from the center, towards one extreme or the other. In more complex models like HK, you can show that these bifurcations will never reach a consensus, but will instead tend to maintain themselves as independent opinion communities that
never interact.




In any case, perfectly polarized situations like this are less common than situations where one extreme or the other dominate the field. Figure 7, below, shows a representative simulation where the upper extreme eventually dominates, again in a case of high uncertainty. Notice that in this simulation, the extremes become increasingly attractive for agents near the middle, which corresponds with the decreasing uncertainty. But its really the agents in the center, who are just slightly more extreme and more confident, that are really doing all the influential work. Interestingly, one extreme or other might dominate even when the number of extremists on both sides is equal.



This all demonstrates interesting instabilities in the dynamics of opinion, and suggests some immediate lessons for tolerating extremism in the discourse. These lessons might not be entirely surprising, but I think they are worth making explicit. By "toleration", I don't just mean the general respect for disagreement and difference that ought to accompany any human exchange. Instead, I mean "toleration" in the sense that, for instance, some digestive systems can tolerate lactose, while others (like mine) fall apart in its presence. Tolerating extremists means working in situations where the presences of extreme views is taken for granted and handled appropriately. The point is to understand precisely the power and influence extremists bring to social dynamics, and to manage and anticipate the extent of their potential impact and influence. Extremists aren't wanton forces for chaos, discord, and fear; they are an ineliminable aspect of human social dynamics. If we're to manage those dynamics at all we'll need to learn to digest extremist views.

First and foremost, extremists have influence primarily in situations of high uncertainty, when people's beliefs are unstable. This suggests that urging moderation or attacking extremism directly may not be a particularly effective strategy for dealing with extremist beliefs. In fact, engaging extremists directly might have the adverse consequence of raising the general uncertainty of beliefs, thereby making people more easily swayed towards extremist views. One characteristic of stable systems is that distinct belief communities don't interact much. In cases where community cross-talk is correlated with increased uncertainty in beliefs, it will also increase the potential influence extremists might have on the community.

It shouldn't be surprising, then, that extremists are usually marginalized and ignored, precisely as a way of reducing their potential impact on an uncertain public. But the model also shows that a lot of the work in pulling a moderate consensus towards an extreme is done not by the extremists but by the slightly off-center moderates who fall within the scope of influence of both the extremists and the moderates. Someone who "leans right" might actually be doing more to move the overall opinion rightward than the "strong right" minority that represent the extremes, since the right-leaning moderate will generally have more interactions with, and chances to influence, the rest of the centrists. This result is counter-intuitive, especially if we are trying to counteract extremists by urging moderation and marginalization. Moderating a formerly extreme positions might nevertheless pull the discourse towards the extremes, by making those extremes more palatable and familiar to moderates through the centrist-leaning proxies.

The DW model suggests an alternative to marginalizing extremists that may be more effective at managing their presence: instilling a higher confidence in people's existing beliefs. Which is to say, education is more effective than moderation. Reducing uncertainty in the discourse has the effect of reducing the influence of extremists without needing to attack or even address them directly. For instance, consider astrology as an example of an extreme belief, which few people hold with high confidence. In 2008, the NSF found that 78% of college graduates believed that astrology was "not at all scientific", compared with 60% of high school graduates. Although college students rarely receive any formal refutation of astrological claims, their confidence in their education nevertheless reduces the potential influence of the extreme astrological beliefs. This confidence can be instilled whether or not astrological beliefs are engaged directly, and isn't contingent on deliberately avoiding interacting with or censoring that community. In fact, one common way of establishing increased confidence in science is through a contrast with the alternatives like astrology. Science doesn't need to actively marginalize astrology through censorship or avoidance because it is stable even in the presence of extremist alternatives.

Of course, not all extremes are bad. There might be good reasons to try and direct the beliefs of a stagnantly moderate population towards some extreme or other. After all, sometimes the extremists are right, and a strategy that merely seeks to avoid extreme positions also loses access to any wisdom they might provide. Even in science some new theory or discovery might warrant a shift in the consensus opinion, so that what was formerly an extremist view becomes the norm. The importance of updating beliefs is precisely why we'd want to encourage cross-talk among communities even at the risk of introducing instability, because those instabilities might make room for potential advantages that can't be accessed from intra-community talk alone. In other words, unstable positions are sometimes good, in that they can allow the discourse to find new and better positions, which is often more important than mere stability.

To sum up briefly, extremism isn't always a problem, and if it is, moderation or maginalization aren't always solutions! Sometimes, the presence of extremists simply represents the fact that people aren't entirely confident in their beliefs, in which case marginalizing extremists may actually have counter intuitive consequences. Dealing with that lack of confidence through education can be an effective and reliable alternative to marginalizing extremists.

If you're interested, the HK model looks like this:

ryde
Sep 9, 2011

God I love young girls

RealityApologist posted:

For what it's worth, AI researchers are also getting better at farming out the tricky computational tasks to human computing resources like ATurk, and as a consequence are populating their databases with a large amount of psychological data about human discrimination and categorization patterns. They're currently mining these patterns for slave wages, but they're constructing the databases will eventually serve as training sets for future AI systems.

The data that they're collecting isn't going to be generally usable in the way you are suggesting. Its typically very targeted and specific to a certain problem.

woke wedding drone
Jun 1, 2003

by exmarx
Fun Shoe

RealityApologist posted:

I'm okay with this stuff being cranky, as long as it's understood that the crankiness is motivated by hazy understandings of legitimate natural science, and not quasimystical Deepak Chopra technochakra bullshit or fascist/libertarian/tinfoil/triangular political ends.

Why? For aesthetics? It's not like idealistic, unscientific interpretations of science are any less mystical than mysticism itself.

e:

quote:

[extremism]

Wait you're not saying you're an extremist are you? There's a difference between a crank and an extremist. Extremists usually have positions that are fairly easy to understand.

woke wedding drone fucked around with this message at 05:07 on Apr 4, 2014

moebius2778
May 3, 2013

RealityApologist posted:

For what it's worth, AI researchers are also getting better at farming out the tricky computational tasks to human computing resources like ATurk, and as a consequence are populating their databases with a large amount of psychological data about human discrimination and categorization patterns. They're currently mining these patterns for slave wages, but they're constructing the databases will eventually serve as training sets for future AI systems.

I think you mean AI researchers have gotten better at sticking human judgment tasks on Turkers instead of graduates and undergraduates. I mean, the Penn State Treebank (and, come to think of it, every other Treebank) shows that AI researchers have no problem putting large numbers of graduates and undergraduates to work creating meta-data that can, at the moment, only really be reliably generated by humans.

But it's still pretty task specific - object detection, translation, speech recognition, ... any number of natural language tasks, etc.

Vincent Van Goatse
Nov 8, 2006

Enjoy every sandwich.

Smellrose

RealityApologist posted:

I'm okay with this stuff being cranky, as long as it's understood that the crankiness is motivated by hazy understandings of legitimate natural science, and not quasimystical Deepak Chopra technochakra bullshit or fascist/libertarian/tinfoil/triangular political ends.

Quackery is quackery whether its inspired by science or seeing Jesus of Nazareth in a grilled cheese sandwich. One variety is not morally or logically superior to the other. They are both garbage that should be condemned with all the force people who know what they're talking about can muster.

RealityApologist
Mar 29, 2011

ASK me how NETWORKS algorithms NETWORKS will save humanity. WHY ARE YOU NOT THINKING MY THESIS THROUGH FOR ME HEATHENS did I mention I just unified all sciences because NETWORKS :fuckoff:

eXXon posted:

when you advocate a system that would admittedly make it more difficult for poor people to buy food and basic necessities, are you making any kind of value judgement on the merits of such a system? It's hard for me to reconcile 'worried about hypothetical silent discrimination against cyborgs' RA vs 'likes the idea of clearly identifying poors with brown badges to more easily refuse to serve them' RA.

I would only advocate for the idea if I thought it had a chance to change the social circumstances for the better. The reasoning is something like the following:

1) People are psychologically disposed to reasoning about community membership (identity), their status within those communities (influence), and how to engage those communities(culture/convention). This is what significant portions of their brains evolved to do.
2) People are not particularly disposed to reasoning about traditional economic frameworks (supply and demand, wealth, etc), their status within those framworks (class, inequality), and how to engage those those frameworks (making sound economic decisions). They can do this, and the ones that do, do really well, but its hard and most people can't and suffer because of it.
3) It would be easier for most people to do well in a system that emphasized transactions of the type that people are typically good at reasoning at than ones they are typically bad at reasoning at.
4) Therefore, we should prefer an economic framework that emphasizes reasoning of the former and not the latter type.

I'm not saying this fixes all inequality and suffering, but it makes it easier for people to do things that might be harder in other frameworks. Homeless or destitute people, for instance, might have an easier time finding coalitions of support than in a traditional economic framework. Why? Well, first because the cost to anyone helping that person is distributed across the network in a way that minimizes the burden that anyone would bear in the process; in other words, it's in people's interest to help because of the incentive structure of Strangecoin. And second, because the only thing you really need to do to generate a flow of resources is to find other people who want to collaborate, which in the very act of collaboration generates an economic flow that can prevent destitution. So it's just much harder to "bottom out" in the network.

Which isn't to say that it is built to be perfect for everyone or that some people won't fall through the cracks, but just that it might do a better job than the tools that we have in place.

Vincent Van Goatse
Nov 8, 2006

Enjoy every sandwich.

Smellrose

RealityApologist posted:

I would only advocate for the idea if I thought it had a chance to change the social circumstances for the better.

And everything to do with your attention economy has been shown to do nothing whatsoever in that direction. In fact it would almost certainly make social circumstances much worse than they are now.

And yet you continue to advocate your ideas.

RealityApologist
Mar 29, 2011

ASK me how NETWORKS algorithms NETWORKS will save humanity. WHY ARE YOU NOT THINKING MY THESIS THROUGH FOR ME HEATHENS did I mention I just unified all sciences because NETWORKS :fuckoff:

ALL-PRO SEXMAN posted:

Quackery is quackery whether its inspired by science or seeing Jesus of Nazareth in a grilled cheese sandwich. One variety is not morally or logically superior to the other. They are both garbage that should be condemned with all the force people who know what they're talking about can muster.

I have to disagree. The former is responsive to reason and evidence and must be committed to the accurate correction of their claims. The latter does not.

Tokamak
Dec 22, 2004

RealityApologist posted:

My appeal to network theory was to motivate the project of digital philosophy, and to characterize the project of scientific unification it develops in response to. I'm not appealing to anything in those papers to justify the Strangecoin proposal.

The criticism still holds for attention economy/strangecoin/whatever. Each person is a node, and each transaction is a line between each node. After each step in time (t), a new graph needs to be redrawn to take into account any new transactions and remove completed transactions. The time it takes to make any meaningful analysis of these graphs is similar in complexity to the analysis of Petri nets.

I really don't know why you avoid this problem, because it should be obvious that no matter how you describe strangecoin, there will be many accounts and many transactions occurring between each account. If this were straightforward, VISA and Mastercard would have perfect fraud detection because they would be able to recognise a transaction pattern, and cancel the fraudulent transaction before it is able to be settled by the banks.

RealityApologist posted:

For what it's worth, AI researchers are also getting better at farming out the tricky computational tasks to human computing resources like ATurk, and as a consequence are populating their databases with a large amount of psychological data about human discrimination and categorization patterns. They're currently mining these patterns for slave wages, but they're constructing the databases will eventually serve as training sets for future AI systems.

Now imagine providing the Turk with a image of 6 billion connected circles and asking if you can trace a line from circle #5343 to #3451253245 without lifting your finger. Upon knowing the answer, what insight can you draw from that calculation?

RealityApologist posted:

I'm okay with this stuff being cranky, as long as it's understood that the crankiness is motivated by hazy understandings of legitimate natural science, and not quasimystical Deepak Chopra technochakra bullshit or fascist/libertarian/tinfoil/triangular political ends. I'm not appealing to facts, methods, or research outside the mainstream of scientific discourse, I'm just putting them together in confused and incomplete ways, and that I'm willing to educated myself when corrected.

I'm sure Deepak really believes his ideas are founded by science in some way that scientists haven't discovered and that gold-bug libertarians really believe fiat is an economically flawed theory and that gold standard will eventually be validated by new economic data. How is your theory any different from perpetual/free energy, cold fusion, or that the speed of light has not remained constant?

Vincent Van Goatse
Nov 8, 2006

Enjoy every sandwich.

Smellrose

RealityApologist posted:

The former is responsive to reason and evidence and must be committed to the accurate correction of their claims.

Considering your history in these threads, this is incredibly rich of you to say. Nevermind the fact it's completely untrue.

Vincent Van Goatse fucked around with this message at 05:40 on Apr 4, 2014

Tokamak
Dec 22, 2004


You need to set the scale of those graphs to log to make accurate predictions of human decision making.

Babby Formed
Jan 2, 2009

Tokamak posted:

. How is your theory any different from perpetual/free energy, cold fusion, or that the speed of light has not remained constant?

All of these concepts could be broadly explained in a single sentence including the point of figuring it out at all?

woke wedding drone
Jun 1, 2003

by exmarx
Fun Shoe

RealityApologist posted:

I have to disagree. The former is responsive to reason and evidence and must be committed to the accurate correction of their claims. The latter does not.

N-no. There is a difference in the content upon which you are building your delusions. A delusion is still a delusion regardless of what it was built upon. As long as you remain in the framework of delusion, you don't enter into a state of responsiveness to reason and evidence; delusion shields you from them.

Cargo cults in Vanuatu are not any closer to understanding the force of lift just because they worship it.

Doctor Spaceman
Jul 6, 2010

"Everyone's entitled to their point of view, but that's seriously a weird one."

RealityApologist posted:

Homeless or destitute people, for instance, might have an easier time finding coalitions of support than in a traditional economic framework. Why? Well, first because the cost to anyone helping that person is distributed across the network in a way that minimizes the burden that anyone would bear in the process; in other words, it's in people's interest to help because of the incentive structure of Strangecoin.
State-funded homeless shelters already spread and minimise the burden, and it's already possible to find (or conduct) studies that show that greater social mobility and equality are economically beneficial to society.

The problem with helping the homeless isn't working out who needs help, it's convincing the large number of people who think that it isn't a problem, or that those who are unfortunate in life deserve it.

That's one of the main problems with your ideas: you think the problem is that we don't have sufficient data on what is going on in the world at the moment, and that the best way to get more data is to massively transform society rather than to use existing approaches to research. Why is data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (Omniscient AI division) going to convince people that food stamps and unemployment benefits are good things when they aren't convinced by the existing reams of information?

Best Friends
Nov 4, 2011

Tokamak posted:

The criticism still holds for attention economy/strangecoin/whatever. Each person is a node, and each transaction is a line between each node. After each step in time (t), a new graph needs to be redrawn to take into account any new transactions and remove completed transactions. The time it takes to make any meaningful analysis of these graphs is similar in complexity to the analysis of Petri nets.

Eripsa believes computers are magic. It's a growing trend. They have a whole religion now.

Tokamak
Dec 22, 2004

Babby Formed posted:

All of these concepts could be broadly explained in a single sentence including the point of figuring it out at all?

Maybe the point is to get other, more intelligent people to get worked up, and think more 'laterally'. Maybe the genius is that Eripsa is an intellectual entrepreneur running a intellectual idea accelerator and will cash in when his name is on the acknowledgement of the next theory of relativity. Makes you think.

Doctor Spaceman
Jul 6, 2010

"Everyone's entitled to their point of view, but that's seriously a weird one."
ignore

Precambrian Video Games
Aug 19, 2002



RealityApologist posted:

I'm not saying this fixes all inequality and suffering, but it makes it easier for people to do things that might be harder in other frameworks. Homeless or destitute people, for instance, might have an easier time finding coalitions of support than in a traditional economic framework. Why? Well, first because the cost to anyone helping that person is distributed across the network in a way that minimizes the burden that anyone would bear in the process; in other words, it's in people's interest to help because of the incentive structure of Strangecoin. And second, because the only thing you really need to do to generate a flow of resources is to find other people who want to collaborate, which in the very act of collaboration generates an economic flow that can prevent destitution. So it's just much harder to "bottom out" in the network.

Which isn't to say that it is built to be perfect for everyone or that some people won't fall through the cracks, but just that it might do a better job than the tools that we have in place.

Wait I thought there was a basic income, why are there homeless and/or destitute people at all? Are they just being refused service for being in the lowest caste?

Could you also substantiate some of these claims, like for example:

quote:

Well, first because the cost to anyone helping that person is distributed across the network in a way that minimizes the burden that anyone would bear in the process; in other words, it's in people's interest to help because of the incentive structure of Strangecoin.

I must have missed the formal proof that StrangeCoin minimizes the burden of charity on a single person. Is it standard practice in philosophy to make a (possibly) falsifiable claim without a shred of evidence or at least some minimally complex and contrived but suggestive example?

quote:

And second, because the only thing you really need to do to generate a flow of resources is to find other people who want to collaborate, which in the very act of collaboration generates an economic flow that can prevent destitution

Collaborate on what? Are you talking about people with zero income coupling with someone who does have income? Why would they want to do that? How is that different from regular charity in the first place?

Tokamak
Dec 22, 2004

Someone give me a paid internship/junior position doing AI/systems research; I have no self control and need to be saved from this thread.

Edit: I'll refrain from making GBS threads up the thread any further.

Badera
Jan 30, 2012

Student Brian Boyko has lost faith in America.

RealityApologist posted:

I'm okay with this stuff being cranky, as long as it's understood that the crankiness is motivated by hazy understandings of legitimate natural science, and not quasimystical Deepak Chopra technochakra bullshit or fascist/libertarian/tinfoil/triangular political ends. I'm not appealing to facts, methods, or research outside the mainstream of scientific discourse, I'm just putting them together in confused and incomplete ways, and that I'm willing to educated myself when corrected.

With all that said, I've done some research and written essays on the role of extremist positions on the dynamics of social systems. In the interest of sharing things I actually know:


If you're interested, the HK model looks like this:



What would you consider to be an ideal outcome for society? I don't really get anything from all this other than "I worship the Singularity", which usually shakes out to some weird kind of fascism.

RealityApologist
Mar 29, 2011

ASK me how NETWORKS algorithms NETWORKS will save humanity. WHY ARE YOU NOT THINKING MY THESIS THROUGH FOR ME HEATHENS did I mention I just unified all sciences because NETWORKS :fuckoff:

SedanChair posted:

Wait you're not saying you're an extremist are you? There's a difference between a crank and an extremist. Extremists usually have positions that are fairly easy to understand.

No, I'm not saying I'm an extremist, especially about the strangecoin stuff which I'm not at all confident about. But the crank and the extremist both serve similar kinds of organizing functions within a discourse, pulling the population of varying degrees of belief one way or the other. Which is to say that I agree with you comment earlier: being cranky isn't so much an insult as it is a recognition of the role being played in the discourse.

I like posting in D&D because a few of people here are extremists, at least from the mainstream political perspective, but most people are very confident in their views. The extremism in this forum tends to be motivated by an anarchist/radical politics which I'm very sympathetic to, and the confidence means I can bounce a crazy idea off them, and the feedback it generates is meaningful to me. I got a bunch of feedback from HN also, but I don't run in Valley startup circles and have no idea what values or intentions they're bringing to the discussion.


edit: of course, I am insulted when people call me stupid, but it's on my shoulders to do the work so that I wont. The difference between me and the mystic is that I'm willing to do the work. I started thinking about this stuff back in 2010 with a relatively traditional training in philosophy. I had some background in computer science, but I hadn't written code or done any math for years. I've had to learn a lot of material, some formally but mostly self taught, often in areas very distantly related to my areas of specialization. I recognize there's a long way to go, but I also recognize there's been substantial improvement too, and that's almost never something you can say about the mystic.

Sigh... economics. Yeah, yeah.

DoctorDilettante
May 16, 2013

RealityApologist posted:

I have to disagree. The former is responsive to reason and evidence and must be committed to the accurate correction of their claims. The latter does not.

This is veering dangerously close to a fight about the demarcation problem.

RealityApologist
Mar 29, 2011

ASK me how NETWORKS algorithms NETWORKS will save humanity. WHY ARE YOU NOT THINKING MY THESIS THROUGH FOR ME HEATHENS did I mention I just unified all sciences because NETWORKS :fuckoff:

Tokamak posted:

The time it takes to make any meaningful analysis of these graphs is similar in complexity to the analysis of Petri nets.

Does it matter that all the Strangecoin transactions are computed locally between users (or TUA)? In other words, there's no central source handling all the strangecoin interactions, there is just the user and their local cluster of transactions, maybe across a few generations?

I mean, maybe meaningful analysis of the network is computationally expensive to the point of prohibition, so that all the economic analysis uses only partial models of known communities or whatever to evaluate the economy at a large scale.

But assuming the network is far less connected than a complete graph, then I don't see why computing individual transactions (again, even with TUA) should be prohibitively expensive computationally.

Also if the strangecoin network is better resolved with simulated annealing all bets are off.

RealityApologist
Mar 29, 2011

ASK me how NETWORKS algorithms NETWORKS will save humanity. WHY ARE YOU NOT THINKING MY THESIS THROUGH FOR ME HEATHENS did I mention I just unified all sciences because NETWORKS :fuckoff:

Tokamak posted:

Maybe the point is to get other, more intelligent people to get worked up, and think more 'laterally'. Maybe the genius is that Eripsa is an intellectual entrepreneur running a intellectual idea accelerator and will cash in when his name is on the acknowledgement of the next theory of relativity. Makes you think.

If someone builds this, it actually works, and it actually has some appreciable and positive impact on the world, then hopefully I won't need the cash. All I'd ask is that it continued to be developed in the spirit of open voluntary collaboration and criticism, and that this and the other attention economy threads and related online activity are archived and displayed for the public record.

Badger of Basra
Jul 26, 2007

I feel like we should all talk a little more about how Eripsa doesn't understand the tragedy of the commons. It's probably the most basic, widely understood thing he's mentioned in the thread (is it ontologically basic????) and he completely misunderstands it.

Wanamingo
Feb 22, 2008

by FactsAreUseless

RealityApologist posted:

No, I'm not saying I'm an extremist, especially about the strangecoin stuff which I'm not at all confident about.

What a coincidence, I was literally just reading the attention economy thread and look what I saw.

RealityApologist/Eripsa, two years ago, on page 21 posted:

I completely accept the accusation that I'm advocating for a kind of extremism.

I think the state of affairs warrants extremism.

Judakel
Jul 29, 2004
Probation
Can't post for 9 years!
This is the blind leading the blind. Every single one of you looked exactly like every boorish community college student who has read just enough to embarrass themselves. With one exception, you all sounded exactly like them too. I feel no more enlightened on the warrant of this currency and what problems it seeks to address than I was before I watched that video.

RealityApologist
Mar 29, 2011

ASK me how NETWORKS algorithms NETWORKS will save humanity. WHY ARE YOU NOT THINKING MY THESIS THROUGH FOR ME HEATHENS did I mention I just unified all sciences because NETWORKS :fuckoff:

Wanamingo posted:

What a coincidence, I was literally just reading the attention economy thread and look what I saw.

I'm certainly extremist in some of my views, sure. But SedanChair is right to suggest, and the research I point to supports, that I'm not being an extremist about strangecoin, mostly because I'm not at all confident about it.

There are some parts of these threads that I am quite confident about, but the proposal isn't one of them.

Wanamingo
Feb 22, 2008

by FactsAreUseless

RealityApologist posted:

I'm certainly extremist in some of my views, sure. But SedanChair is right to suggest, and the research I point to supports, that I'm not being an extremist about strangecoin, mostly because I'm not at all confident about it.

There are some parts of these threads that I am quite confident about, but the proposal isn't one of them.

You literally just said you weren't an extremist, especially when it comes to strangecoin. This means you are not an extremist at all, and that you are especially cautious over your current idea. I provided you with a quote from yourself saying you were an extremist.

Just once in your life I want you to admit that you were wrong. Either say you're an extremist now, or say you shouldn't have been an extremist two years ago.

e: phonepostin, typo

Wanamingo fucked around with this message at 06:27 on Apr 4, 2014

RealityApologist
Mar 29, 2011

ASK me how NETWORKS algorithms NETWORKS will save humanity. WHY ARE YOU NOT THINKING MY THESIS THROUGH FOR ME HEATHENS did I mention I just unified all sciences because NETWORKS :fuckoff:

Badera posted:

What would you consider to be an ideal outcome for society? I don't really get anything from all this other than "I worship the Singularity", which usually shakes out to some weird kind of fascism.

I don't have a strong sense of specific traits an ideal society has. My framing of ideal is methodological and not substantive.

The ideal society is one where:

1) People can associate in groups of just about any form or structure as they (both individually and collectively) see fit
2) The infrastructure supports cooperation. For any two groups, there is always some more fundamental network of support shared by both through which the two can cooperate and resolve potential conflicts or incompatibilities
3) Groups that promote human and social well-being tend to do better than those that don't.

The first two principles are really just principles of self-organization, and should be obvious how Strangecoin exemplifies them. The challenge is in answering 3.

So let's again talk about the incentives of strangecoin. People who do well in strangecoinworld:

A) form strategic alliances with others who perform well
B) maximize their throughput (they form lots of alliances)
C) minimize their impact (they balance their income and expenses)
D) improve the economic situation of everyone else (through a coupling with TUA)

Incentive B is a a disincentive to form tiny cabals of wealthy elite, since it also minimizes the economic influence those small groups can have. Both C and D provide disincentives towards radical disparities in influence or "wealth" (again, not measured in quantity of coin), at least insofar as those disparities have an impact on the overall health of the system.

This doesn't prove that people would do better in strangecoin world, and certainly doesn't suggest that some won't fall through the cracks, but it gives at least some reason for thinking it might.

RealityApologist
Mar 29, 2011

ASK me how NETWORKS algorithms NETWORKS will save humanity. WHY ARE YOU NOT THINKING MY THESIS THROUGH FOR ME HEATHENS did I mention I just unified all sciences because NETWORKS :fuckoff:

Wanamingo posted:

You literally just said you weren't an extremist, especially when it comes to strangecoin. This means you are not an extremist at all, and that you are especially cautious over your current idea. I provided you with a quote from yourself saying you were an extremist.

Just once in your life I want you to admit that you were wrong. Either say you're an extremist now, or say you shouldn't have been an extremist two years ago.

e: phonepostin, typo

I'm saying extremism is relative to particular beliefs. One isn't just an extremist simpliciter, they are an extremist relative to this or that belief or position. I'm not an extremist about Strangecoin, because I'm not confident in it and I'm interested in correction and improvement. Extremeists don't correct their beliefs because they are extremely confident in them. That doesn't characterize my belief in the Strangecoin proposal.

There are other views I hold, unrelated to strangecoin, about which I am an extremist. Many of my political views are extremist in the way I described above, and those political views are what I'm referencing in that comment you cite. Some of my political views fall out of the mainstream and yet I hold them very confidently.

There is nothing right or wrong about being an extremist; it identifies a particular role a person plays in the discourse. I'm not playing the role of an extremist in this thread (although I might have in previous threads). In this thread I'm playing a crank. The crank has similar consequences on the opinion dynamics, but cranks are different from extremists.

I love how many times there are substantive misinterpretations and abstract discursive volleying across numerous parties and disciplines and vocabularies with fluctuating degrees of truth and relevance, and yet how quickly people are to judge me to be a liar or suffering from a mental illness.

Glancing over interpretive subtitles in the course of a complex discussion doesn't make someone a liar. Lying makes someone a liar.

Perfidia
Nov 25, 2007
It's a fact!

RealityApologist posted:

So let's again talk about the incentives of strangecoin. People who do well in strangecoinworld:

A) form strategic alliances with others who perform well
B) maximize their throughput (they form lots of alliances)
C) minimize their impact (they balance their income and expenses)
D) improve the economic situation of everyone else (through a coupling with TUA)

Is this a pitch for a new version of Survivor? Do you sometimes fear that your friends and colleagues will vote you off the island?

Tokamak
Dec 22, 2004

RealityApologist posted:

Does it matter that all the Strangecoin transactions are computed locally between users (or TUA)? In other words, there's no central source handling all the strangecoin interactions, there is just the user and their local cluster of transactions, maybe across a few generations?

I mean, maybe meaningful analysis of the network is computationally expensive to the point of prohibition, so that all the economic analysis uses only partial models of known communities or whatever to evaluate the economy at a large scale.

But assuming the network is far less connected than a complete graph, then I don't see why computing individual transactions (again, even with TUA) should be prohibitively expensive computationally.

Also if the strangecoin network is better resolved with simulated annealing all bets are off.

Not really, you are still required to perform the necessary work to tease out the smaller, more relevant graph from the global one. This sort of simplification works if the data is small enough and doesn't change. But as soon as it changes you need to recompute everything to ensure the original simplifications are still valid.

The reason why the WATSON AI works is because it has a set of unchanging, factual information that has been pre-computed to give quick answers (it does some other stuff, but this is the main thing it relies on). The involved simplifications take up a lot of additional memory (where the name PSPACE and EXPSPACE are derived). The quicker you want your question answered, the more space is needed for a list of "shortcuts".

At the extreme end of things: if you want your questions answered almost-instantly you will need to provide a "shortcut" (unique answer) to every possible question. You will need to simplify the way that these answers are sorted so that you don't need to search the database from the start, until you find pre-canned response to the posed question. This is the general reason behind the problem requiring a polynomial or exponentially growing amount of memory.

---

Now say you applied the same thing to a snapshot of human interactions. Maybe you pre-compute things and so that you can get an interesting response as long as you ask the right questions.

Say you were interested in gun smuggling into the United States, you ask the computer the relationships between all of the people bringing in guns and it shows you a network highlighting that the trade is coordinated by a number of key figures. That's great, but it is only representative of the relations at the arbitrary snapshot that you chose to simplify.

The computationally simplified graph probably removed large graphs of relations that were not connected to Americans or Gun Smuggling associates (e.g. a remote African village). The snapshot gave the impression that these remote communities NEVER interact with Americans, but it later turns out that once every 10 years one of these isolated communities conduct the social/financial exchange of all gun smuggling for the next 10 years in a single burst of activity.

You would need to computationally simplify every single graph and simplify every single relation from one graph to the next for all graphs, and for all time in order to find the true gun smuggling mastermind.

This is why the credit fraud prediction won't work. By the time it is implemented, new data will (in all probability) invalidate the assumptions underlying the fraud prediction algorithm.

---

Now you might say, can you computationally simplify the way social interactions evolve over time? And in all fairness, you technically can. But to compute this table of "shortcuts" you would need to perform analysis on graphs/data that do not exist within the light cone of the computer performing the simplifications. In order to get this data to perform the simplifications that you desire, you would need to time travel or invest in an army of precogs.

I hope my explanation was descriptive enough to persuade you that your line of inquiry is fundamentally flawed. I don't think I can state the case more plainly.

Edit: And so ends my lesson on computational complexity for high-schoolers.

Tokamak fucked around with this message at 07:13 on Apr 4, 2014

woke wedding drone
Jun 1, 2003

by exmarx
Fun Shoe

Perfidia posted:

Is this a pitch for a new version of Survivor? Do you sometimes fear that your friends and colleagues will vote you off the island?

RealityApologist posted:

If someone builds this, it actually works, and it actually has some appreciable and positive impact on the world, then hopefully I won't need the cash.

Where we're going, we don't need islands. because no one will be able to economically organize the cleanup of plastic debris from the ocean

Wanamingo
Feb 22, 2008

by FactsAreUseless

RealityApologist posted:

I'm saying extremism is relative to particular beliefs. One isn't just an extremist simpliciter, they are an extremist relative to this or that belief or position. I'm not an extremist about Strangecoin, because I'm not confident in it and I'm interested in correction and improvement. Extremeists don't correct their beliefs because they are extremely confident in them. That doesn't characterize my belief in the Strangecoin proposal.

Okay, you have multifaceted beliefs. You're an extremist in some areas but not in others. That's perfectly fine. Why did you specifically deny being an extremist when you were asked? Don't tell me you were simply talking about your beliefs towards strangecoin, because if you were then you wouldn't have specified it. You said you were not an extremist, full stop, end of story.

Look, it's alright to say stupid things sometimes. Everybody does, myself included. But the thing is, when a reasonable adult gets called on saying something stupid, they're supposed to admit they were wrong so they can learn from the mistake and move on. What type of person are you if, when caught directly contradicting yourself, you double down and try to weasel your way out of it instead of just admitting the mistake?

Precambrian Video Games
Aug 19, 2002



RealityApologist posted:

So let's again talk about the incentives of strangecoin. People who do well in strangecoinworld:

A) form strategic alliances with others who perform well
B) maximize their throughput (they form lots of alliances)
C) minimize their impact (they balance their income and expenses)
D) improve the economic situation of everyone else (through a coupling with TUA)

Blablabla "wealth" (again, not measured in quantity of coin)

People who do well in Strangecoinland are those who rob TUA blind and only accept payments from the wealthy. Those are examples we discussed. A-D are all claims you pulled out of your rear end without proof or even a minimal pretense of effort. D especially because where did this coupling with TUA idea come from?

Or maybe nobody does well in Strangecoinland because wealth evidently means something other than wealth. I mean yeah it doesn't have to be a giant horde of coin since you did tell us there was a balance cap that you seem to forget about regularly but since I presume you can exchange coin for goods then you can always just keep the bulk of your wealth in non currency assets if you buy stuff rapidly enough to avoid hitting the cap. Maybe you can invest StrangeCoin in another currency that makesany sense at all once you're done with pillaging TUA.

WHR 49.5
Oct 21, 2012


I'm a grad student studying econ. I watched part of the video and actually enjoyed it. It didn't sound like what you guys were talking about has much to do with economics. You could try to link the idea to various fields, but it doesn't sound like you've put in the legwork to see what's out there. You're also not going to find what you're looking for in a micro or macro textbook. Undergraduate textbooks are bad. You could try graduate textbooks if you have a background in math/stats, but I still don't think that you'd find what you're looking for. If you want to just look through papers, something like http://nep.repec.org is a good place to start.

I'd also be careful of conflating studying economies with economics. Economics usually means making certain methodological commitments to studying economies. There are plenty of other approaches to studying economies which may be better suited to what you're looking for.

It was still fun to watch you guys seriously discuss the idea. Maybe it could be spun into a good story, an art project or even a small cult or something.

Precambrian Video Games
Aug 19, 2002



Actually now I think I get StrangeCoin. RA's ideal society is one where everybody likes everyone else and all are showered with coins and attention. The way to succeed in this society is to be friends with everybody. He thinks he has implemented an economic model of this society through a currency with a series of confusing, nonsensical and trivially broken transaction types and an obfuscating omniscient central bank. It also has something to do with flow and networks even though there's no reason whatsoever why it couldn't be implemented with discrete payments. In RA's imagination, this economocurrency will magically lead to emergent behavior constructing his ideal society. He has no evidence for this nor any reason to believe he could possibly produce it himself and he admits to being a crank but that's all OK because

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GulMadred
Oct 20, 2005

I don't understand how you can be so mistaken.

RealityApologist posted:

So let's again talk about the incentives of strangecoin. People who do well in strangecoinworld:

B) maximize their throughput (they form lots of alliances)

Incentive B is a a disincentive to form tiny cabals of wealthy elite, since it also minimizes the economic influence those small groups can have.
There are 86400 seconds in a day. On every even-numbered second, Alice sends 100 coins to Bob. On every odd-numbered second, Bob sends 100 coins to Alice. Any two conspirators can accrue an arbitrarily-large throughput by gaming the system; larger conspiracies can use fancier techniques to elude detection. Logically, I should prefer to setup a money-laundering ring rather than a [Youtube superstar | G+ cluster | camwhore | talent scout | architectonicist | cult leader | whatever people do in post-scarcity land] career; the latter requires actual work as well as budgeting (balancing inflows-vs-outflows).

You can handwave anti-fraud AI into existence, but I don't see a fundamental/structural affinity in Strangecoin for legitimate economic activity (providing goods, performing useful services, and receiving payment) as opposed to financialization (cabals, cartels, etc).


Waitaminute - actually, I think that you win this point on the grounds of "computational complexity." If we assume that a whole-system analysis is too expensive (especially for the smartphones or wearable PCs through which people will perform day-to-day transactions), then there's no such thing as a global scoreboard. My enormous e-peen transaction volume is visible only to the members of the conspiracy, and to our close friends/family (who will presumably refuse to setup strong links with us, so as to avoid being tainted by association). When I walk into a hotel and ask for the Presidential Suite, their computer performs a quick network walk, fails to find me within 7 edges of their corporate core nodes, and so the staff gives me the bum's rush.*

Large network segments could still be impacted by Madoff-type events (in which a malicious actor manages to accrue a large trust position), but the script kiddies can amuse themselves by trading trillion-dollar IOUs back-and-forth without destabilizing anything. Calculating the Universal Account balance and flows at any moment would be difficult; it would presumably be done only by quantum supercomputers at the central-bank-equivalent (for statistical/oversight purposes), or perhaps TUA would be treated as an accounting fiction: everyone would ignore the concept of TUA-stability and just focus on the stability of their own local cluster.

* If this paragraph is accurate, then you should probably avoid references to Bitcoin when introducing your idea to internet/compsci folk, and instead mention Ripple. Doing so would give them a more useful context for thinking about the proposed system, and reduce the risk of immediate misunderstanding (and immediate antipathy - Bitcoin has earned itself a lot of enemies).

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