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¶ Short of the Day #106: Life Inside a Secret Chinese Bitcoin Mine

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Perception de Ambiguity
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¶ Short of the Day #106: Life Inside a Secret Chinese Bitcoi

#1

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » June 1st, 2017, 11:22 am

"Short of the Day" is the daily discussion of a short.

Tasks:
1) Watch.
2) Discuss.
3) Send me your suggestions for the next Short of the Day per PM, along with links to the shorts and comments, questions for the other users to think about, and/or info about the short.

Detailed project introduction & index: here


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Life Inside a Secret Chinese Bitcoin Mine (Motherboard, 2015) :ICM: :imdb:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8kua5B5K3I
Length: 9 minutes 16 seconds

Suggested by: Carmel1379


I mentioned it elsewhere, but this brilliant piece merits its own thread. It has a superb cyberpunk quality to it. And for a journalistic video it's engagingly edited such that there's a free feeling of immersion unobstructed by much secondary commentary save for brief animations. Naturally it's a short of value for anyone interested in decentralised cryptocurrencies, philosophy surrounding the blockchain and sinofutures, like me, but I'd recommend it to anyone.

Comments by: Carmel1379
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#2

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » June 1st, 2017, 12:35 pm

I perceived it as more of a semi-ironic dry comedy skit than as a journalistic piece, I knew almost nothing about bitcoin and bitcoin mining before watching this, and I knew as little about it afterwards, unlike after watching this journalistic piece about bitcoin mining.

"Life Inside a Secret Chinese Bitcoin Mine" is slyly constructed like your average social issue documentary full of misplaced pathos, I think it's most of all the music that really sells it as deadpan comedy, which works so well here because other than that it is so understated. The interviewee loves to say "miners" evoking a mental image of human beings heroically hammering away in the sweat of their brow to make a living, and to say "employees" (like "most of our employees") as if the whopping four people working there weren't at the same time also the bosses and owners. But that's about as jokey as the video gets.

The whole thing is so absurd to me that initially I wasn't sure if maybe it was made-up altogether, albeit it's quite real...or is it? In any case, more than just showing the absurdity of the whole bitcoin business I think it reflects on the absurdity of the financial market because how is any of this really different to what is happening there, money being generated through trades of numbers and abstracts that have nothing to do with goods and services. It's not that I think that the gold=a country's wealth idea was any less absurd, though. Obviously even this basic system is an utter failure given that all countries on this planet seem to be in debt. Should bitcoin ever establish itself enough to even replace the financial market there will only be a shift of power, but despite all the good intentions with which it was invented I think it won't fundamentally change of fix anything, in the long run I don't see the digital currency system being any less fraudulent and corrupt.
Last edited by Perception de Ambiguity on June 1st, 2017, 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#3

Post by Carmel1379 » June 1st, 2017, 2:22 pm

Perception de Ambiguity on Jun 1 2017, 06:35:37 AM wrote:I perceived it as more of a semi-ironic dry comedy skit than as a journalistic piece, I knew almost nothing about bitcoin and bitcoin mining before watching this, and I knew as little about it afterwards, unlike after watching this journalistic piece about bitcoin mining.

"Life Inside a Secret Chinese Bitcoin Mine" is slyly constructed like your average social issue documentary full of misplaced pathos, I think it's most of all the music that really sells it as deadpan comedy, which works so well here because other than that it is so understated. The interviewee loves to say "miners" evoking a mental image of human beings heroically hammering away in the sweat of their brow to make a living, and to say "employees" (like "most of our employees") as if the whopping four people working there weren't at the same time also the bosses and owners. But that's about as jokey as the video gets.

The whole thing is so absurd to me that initially I wasn't sure if maybe it was made-up altogether, albeit it's quite real...or is it? In any case, more than just showing the absurdity of the whole bitcoin business I think it reflects on the absurdity of the financial market because how is any of this really different to what is happening there, money being generated through trades of numbers and abstracts that have nothing to do with goods and services. It's not that I think that the gold=a country's wealth idea was any less absurd, though. Obviously even this basic system is an utter failure given that all countries on this planet seem to be in debt. Should bitcoin ever establish itself enough to even replace the financial market there will only be a shift of power, but despite all the good intentions with which it was invented I think it won't fundamentally change of fix anything, in the long run I don't see the digital currency system being any less fraudulent and corrupt.
It doesn't contain any secondary commentary, so I'd agree that the label of "journalism" isn't very accurate, but in this case for me the lack of narration or interference works to its advantage which I termed with "free feeling of immersion", i.e. it's a pure attempt to document and record the thoughts of the owners and employees, how they mine bitcoin and what's their involvement in the process, without any attempt to comment on or overlay.

The film has "life inside" in its title, so it isn't its goal to be informative (although the man does some rudimentary explaining), but depictive. That's how I think, unlike the video you posted, the cyberpunk feeling emerges. I agree that there's a sly comedic nature to it too.

Why cyberpunk? Men live in vacant rooms, eating takeaway food, reading books and playing video games, in an abandoned factory filled with machines that need cooling, expending CPU power and electricity to solve problems within the proof of work system to verify and record transactions that maintain the distributed ledger, the blockchain, which is like secure synthetic temporality. So these men's job is the regulation and repair of machines that engage in incomprehensible tasks constituent of a massive exciting interconnected network happening on a global scale. The machines that don't work are a waste, set aside in one corner of the room. And the rest continues, on a cybernetic gradient, to mine and generate massive amounts of money (which won't go to most of the employers).

If there's comedy here, it's in man's impotence versus the machine. It's not them which are "heroically hammering away" (even though they might think so, which is, as you pointed out, funny on its own), but the vast amount of machines. And during their leisure time they also spend their time occupied by virtual games. High tech, low life?

I'm obviously not versed enough to start a cryptocurrency/bitcoin vs. current financial system argument, which is largely ongoing in other parts of the internet. Bitcoin functionality is evidenced by its use in increasing number of businesses and Dark Web black markets like Silk Road, which are almost totally based on it and engage in completely criminal activities.

Bitcoin is decentralised, anonymous, with a distributed ledger, and solves the double spending problem, that's already quite economically and philosophically engaging. I'll give a link to Satoshi Nakamoto's original paper, which is short and not technically difficult (I'd be surprised if that's the impression people get, at least not until section 11, which requires a bit of knowledge of probability): https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

Hehe, your philosophically pessimistic roots are giving away when you say that even if bitcoin would replace the current system that there's always going to be something absurd going on around it and that it's not going to be any more fraudulent or corrupt than the current system, humans are always going to screw over others, countries will have debts and Cream gives you AIDS. All of that's integral to whatever time we're living in, definitely. But suppose the involvement of artificial intelligence, and moreover how it could replace humans, accelerating towards the Singularity. There's potential for science-fiction where intelligent machines in general run corporations, softwares and Decentralised Autonomous Organisations, outsmarting humans using cryptocurrencies and running on the blockchain. (Also plenty of interesting scenarios when governments, corporations and crypto-anarchists try to hijack cryptocurrencies and compete against each other of course, and so on and so on.)

As a cybernetic and cyberpunk phenomenon bitcoin is definitely exciting, exemplary and engaging, with many fascinating issues to think about, now, and in the future (hence why I used those two images spelling the sentence).
Last edited by Carmel1379 on June 1st, 2017, 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?


Well here he is skidded out onto the Zone like a planchette on a Ouija board, and what shows up inside the empty circle in his brain might string together into a message, might not, he'll just have to see.

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
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#4

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » June 1st, 2017, 5:01 pm

The lack of "secondary commentary" I don't think would be in the way of journalistic value, but I also think that it simply wasn't the video's intent. As you said it's about the people, their day-to-day work. More a human-interest story than an informational one. Which I guess is also why I didn't quite take it so much as cyberpunk, it focuses too little on the machines. Certainly I see where you are coming from, there are cyberpunk elements and the way the video is made contribute to it, meaning that it is more than incidental. Some shots of the towering "mining machines" look like a city, for example, and its score wouldn't feel out of place in a cyberpunk feature. But overall I didn't find those aspects pronounced enough for me to put the video on a cyberpunk films list, for example.

Like I said, I think it's at most meant to be half-serious, and the lack of very much information and the relative focus on banalities are part of the joke. If it's serious then how is a viewer meant to take any of this? Your answer apparently was to take it as cyberpunk. I didn't quite see it, personally. So, if it is about the people and the work we have the issue that given how little manpower is required almost nobody in the world actually does this job, so looked at from that point of view why should anyone care? And as for the job itself, as presented here it is about as exciting to watch as the job of a nightwatchman who sits on his ass for hours on end and makes his rounds three times a night. Maybe the most engaging problem-solving part of their job from what we witness in the video was one employee's advice to another how to get the most out of their takeaway food - "No flavor? Dip it in that sauce." (points at sauce on the table) - But it IS interesting, partly because in this case a job involving somebody to "sit on their ass for hours on end" is so closely linked to computers, and unlike the billion office workers in the world here it is the computers who do the real work (not to say that I consider office work "real work"...). Another point of interest would be that most people watching this probably didn't even know this job (and this kind of business) existed, so even in all its banality all of this is quite new. But as for me the main thing that made it interesting was the absurdity and satirical value as how all of this relates to the financial market.

I don't think that bitcoin is like Cream, neither in its amazingness, its potential, nor in terms of the negative propaganda surrounding it to suppress an amazing product that would put a lot of people out of business. But I think even Cream has its negatives and dangers, I actually expected the Firth film to develop towards everything in the universe becoming Cream, and that obviously wouldn't do much good even if maybe every human being would exponentially improve himself physically and mentally to a zenith of absolute perfection subsequently evolving into a being of pure light energy, eventually even they would have to become just Cream. What were we talking about again?

It may come as a shock to you but I think true A.I. will never exist. Profound merging of human with machine to the point where the two even become inseparable, yes (possibly), but human-like artificial intelligence built from scratch I think will always remain science fiction. And if they become so inseparable maybe that distinction (built from scratch or not) doesn't seem very meaningful when speaking of A.I., but at least sci-fi stories so far and the general understanding of A.I. I think very heavily rely upon this distinct separation of human versus machine; machines being retired by Blade Runners, Terminators being a threat to human existence, machines enslaving people, androids as a replacement for a real child, etc, those things I think will never ever become a real issue.
Last edited by Perception de Ambiguity on June 1st, 2017, 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#5

Post by Carmel1379 » June 2nd, 2017, 12:33 am

I like how the noise from the machines is a soundscape of its own, and one can always hear it in the background even when there's music. They might have intended to complement and merge them at some point, but I'm unsure.

Putting it on a cyberpunk films list might be an exaggeration even for me, but there's something about this video that's different and superior to other of its kind. Other Vice-Motherboard shorts ("transmissions") about technology weren't nearly as unique. There's a calm, sincere feeling to it, but maybe I'm just overly excited because it features China in it.

Btw, I found a shorter, 3 minute video about another Bitcoin mine in China and its workers: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2016050 ... tcoin-mine. Seems fairly congruent.

As for the motivations of the production team to make it and Motherboard to air it, I presume it's because of the rarity of the opportunity - the location of the "mine" is secret after all. It's said in the introduction that "the six mines generated 4,050 bitcoins a month, equivalent to $1.5 Million", so despite their self-admittedly dull job of sitting on their asses, they earn a lot of money through a flourishing technology (though the more Bitcoin is mined, the harder it is to generate, so the high electricity costs also increase). The video was made in 2015, and now Bitcoin is almost 10 times as expensive, having surged over the last two months and reached its all time high just a few days ago (-> charts 1 and 2). Its future will definitely be volatile, but it's no overstatement that it becomes increasingly relevant.

I think at some point they said that all employers must have computer skills and be technically adept. And if they're a fairly small group, then I guess some of them must be business oriented too, looking at price trends, etc. The BBC piece I linked above mentioned Bitcoin miners are largely "former farmers and fresh graduates."

You're right, while their jobs for the most part seem functionally equivalent to a nightwatchman/security guard's (who we know have "the most tedious fucking job"), there's something inherently more interesting and video-worthy about it (even if you're just repairing machines), in how its being tied up with the cryptocurrency system, (for me) has a cyberpunk dimension and most people aren't familiar with such a job's existence.

Hehe, I wasn't meant to compare Bitcoin to Cream (though Bitcoin does get a bad reputation and lied about in general, many people would like to see it suppressed), I'm not a fanatic to think it is like Cream either, if that were true I'd be a hypocrite, since I clearly don't own any (yet... I guess). Funny you should say that you expected the Firth film to develop towards everything in the universe becoming Cream, since I thought exactly the same thing, I hoped that was the sort of direction it's going to take, making the point that while humans may have their flaws, encountering absolute "perfection" isn't a big consolidation, since it will only multiply to make itself and swallow everything in that perception which we know nothing of. I presume being pure light energy is exciting in some ways on its own, but "perfection" itself is contradictory, utterly incomprehensible and perhaps a little boring, as far as such a feeling can resonate for "beings" like pure light energies. But since it gets that point across too, I wasn't too displeased the short took a different direction; but I've raised complaints about it in the other thread of course already.

But speaking of people that cream their pants upon hearing about Bitcoin, I've actually read some that think it should have a monopoly over the currency market. Funny, because Satoshi Nakamoto's paper humbly defines it as "A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" as opposed to "The ... System." There's a lot of interesting research about and venturing going on with it.

Right, it's not really a controversial statement to say someone doesn't think true A.I. will ever exist, so it didn't exactly shock me, but maybe I am a bit surprised? I don't know, I'm not very partisan about the issue either, it's a complex topic. It depends how you define "intelligence", in one of the last chapters of 'Gödel, Escher, Bach' Hofstadter already stated (in 1979) the abilities that A.I. exhibited that would satisfy previous definitions of intelligence. But then people would say "oh, but that isn't really intelligence, here's what it also is: blah blah blah", which are things that machines in later years would demonstrate, upon which people repeat the same statement "that wasn't really intelligence". (Hofstadter of course attempts to define "intelligence" in his own way too.)

So it's always about programming the "next" thing - "AI is whatever hasn't been done yet". In any case, machine learning is probably one of the most interesting fields to be in right now. Recently I have been reading how just a few days ago AlphaGo beat the #1 human world champion in Go a consecutive time, how AlphaGo is actually rewriting the theory of the Go game and how it makes unprecedented moves that people would instinctively label mistakes, but later discover are utterly brilliant (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNrXgpSEEIE).

An interesting topic for sure, I reckon the debate is only going to become more intensified in the decades to come, if we don't nuke ourselves to hell, that is! The Singularity on this Earth will then have to wait for another 4 billion years, when the time of Dolphin People will come.
Last edited by Carmel1379 on June 2nd, 2017, 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
IMDb, letterboxd
Image
whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?


Well here he is skidded out onto the Zone like a planchette on a Ouija board, and what shows up inside the empty circle in his brain might string together into a message, might not, he'll just have to see.

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
t o B e c o n t i n u e d

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#6

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » June 2nd, 2017, 4:09 pm

I think the noise and music complement each other nicely as it is, with diegetic and non-diegetic sounds merging to some extent. "Very Zen."

Congruent, yes, but that video doesn't play it as comedy for me. Instead it seems to be subtly critical, choosing the miner's words that are mostly about how great it is for China and repeatedly showing the huge waste in computer equipment they produce for something that produces nothing of real value while only producing things of worldly harm except, of course, for the people who profit from it financially, and naturally they fully endorse it.

I don't think I'm being a pessimist here, but the more I read and hear about bitcoin the more it seems like the same thing as the current financial market (with elements of a pyramid scheme) though I can see how it is the lesser of two evils as long as it only remains an alternative to the financial market as opposed to a replacement of it. I don't know what you would call the practice of bitcoin mining, I'd call it exploiting the system as something that it was never designed for, and this only started a few years after its initiation. Doesn't seem like a promising start to me. Will bitcoin end all wars in the world? Yeah...no.

I'd argue that even a single-cell organism has more intelligence that the most advanced human-made machine right now. We measure things by putting things into categories and numbers ("Can a single-cell organism beat a person in chess? No! But the Chess Master 9000 can, so it must be more intelligent than a single-cell organism!") but that just wrongly reduces things, and we remain oblivious to most of the single-cell organism's abilities. I guess I'd say that a machine with a finite number of abilities is a tool, nothing more.

Not that I would define intelligence as being human (which seems a wrong notion in more ways than one), though we usually hold things to human standards so I would apply this to A.I. too. Creating a machine that can beat the world's best chess player is one thing, having that machine say "fuck this game", get up, and go sulk in a corner for a few hours when it realizes that it's probably losing is another thing (without having been explicitly programmed as this being an option and the machine just going through the motions, of course).

There's a Simpsons episode about the great intelligence of dolphins too, by the way. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnohhGCNLJs
If this seems over-the-top for The Simpsons that would not be because it's one of the shitty post-2000 Simpsons episodes (well, technically it is) but because it's a Treehouse of Horror episode. It's from 2000 when the episodes just started to become shitty so even if it's of course not one of the better ones it's still worthwhile (and the Treehouse of Horror episodes managed to stay watchable for longer than the rest of show since they always were unusually over-the-top and about ripping off other stories anyway).
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#7

Post by Carmel1379 » June 3rd, 2017, 11:26 pm

Perception de Ambiguity on Jun 2 2017, 10:09:25 AM wrote:I don't think I'm being a pessimist here, but the more I read and hear about bitcoin the more it seems like the same thing as the current financial market (with elements of a pyramid scheme) though I can see how it is the lesser of two evils as long as it only remains an alternative to the financial market as opposed to a replacement of it. I don't know what you would call the practice of bitcoin mining, I'd call it exploiting the system as something that it was never designed for, and this only started a few years after its initiation. Doesn't seem like a promising start to me. Will bitcoin end all wars in the world? Yeah...no.
Some people treat Bitcoin as equivalent to just another stock market share, gaining money in its volatile price history, sure; me including that price chart and emphasising that people's motivation is to gain money thanks to the Bitcoin system, might have made sound that way too much than I intended. But of course Bitcoin is peer-to-peer cash on top of that, unsupervised by a central transcendent banking authority while avoiding the double spending problem, so in that sense, Bitcoin is the culmination of the classical "liberal" ideals that individuals can interact between each other freely. What goods and services they exchange of course is still put under scrutiny by any morality and juridial system (i.e. you can't trade drugs, arms, slaves, etc.), but those issues evade from the Bitcoin system itself, which seems to be functional thanks to the blockchain, which will surely be implemented in technology and perhaps even discovered across nature in the future.

And Bitcoin mining is not "exploiting" the system, it's actually supervising it (recording and organising transactions by solving problems) at the cost of electricity, for which you're recompensed by more Bitcoin, in a diminishing way. People competing in mining should foster the system.

Bitcoin is meant to be thought off as "super-gold", since its number is fixed, i.e. after the 21st millionth Bitcoin is mined, no more will be created. In that sense Bitcoin is appealing to the whole Austrian Economic School, and also in general obviously to more libertarian-leaning traditions.
Perception de Ambiguity on Jun 2 2017, 10:09:25 AM wrote:I'd argue that even a single-cell organism has more intelligence that the most advanced human-made machine right now. We measure things by putting things into categories and numbers ("Can a single-cell organism beat a person in chess? No! But the Chess Master 9000 can, so it must be more intelligent than a single-cell organism!") but that just wrongly reduces things, and we remain oblivious to most of the single-cell organism's abilities. I guess I'd say that a machine with a finite number of abilities is a tool, nothing more.

Not that I would define intelligence as being human (which seems a wrong notion in more ways than one), though we usually hold things to human standards so I would apply this to A.I. too. Creating a machine that can beat the world's best chess player is one thing, having that machine say "fuck this game", get up, and go sulk in a corner for a few hours when it realizes that it's probably losing is another thing (without having been explicitly programmed as this being an option and the machine just going through the motions, of course).
I'm not exactly sure what you're getting at, but it's reminiscent of the "two types of thinking" Hofstadter puts forward in the aforementioned book, one being computational, algorithmic and working "within the system", while another more holistic, capable of "jumping out of the system" (which I'm linking to your "fuck this game") and viewing it from an outside point of view, which is later tied in with Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem, which has prompted arguments such as "consciousness can not be modelled by a computer program, since consciousness can actually understand Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem and see meaning outside of the axiomatic system that one's working within" etc. (I haven't found the appropriate passage in the book, so apologies if this sounds dodgy)

I think essentially what the question comes down to is "can intelligent behaviour be programmed", which relates to your idea of a "finite number of abilities". The intuitive answer is a clear no (I think Hofstadter's argument is "not necessarily", but I forgot the details), but I don't think that artificial intelligence necessarily has to emerge through "programming" as such. AlphaGo isn't completely made through "programming", it's a neural network that learns by playing games against itself, which links to this argument about self-improvement cycles of machines, accelerating feedback being an essential component of the emergence of the Singularity.

We'll see, I'll be reading into this a lot more in the coming months, so we might talk about it again.

I'll look into that Simpsons episode. "Under the heavy sea / I'll search the flight of whales" [and dolphins]
Last edited by Carmel1379 on June 3rd, 2017, 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
IMDb, letterboxd
Image
whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?


Well here he is skidded out onto the Zone like a planchette on a Ouija board, and what shows up inside the empty circle in his brain might string together into a message, might not, he'll just have to see.

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
t o B e c o n t i n u e d

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#8

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » June 5th, 2017, 3:16 pm

I see, I assumed the system regulates itself and that making a simple bitcoin transaction already qualifies you to get a goody in the form of an extra bitcoin, so that the miners are, for example, just making meaningless bitcoin transactions between themselves in order to get a piece of the freshly baked cake. I guess the 21 million limit is interesting (when will that be reached?), but if the miners do all the data processing and bookkeeping then who will care to continue doing that after the "lockdown"?

What do you mean by blockchain being "discovered across nature in the future"? I read a bit about blockchain and it seems to be quite the invention but I guess this is the reason why bitcoin transactions allegedly are getting gradually slower lately? Because with every transaction the entire blockchain has to be processed? I guess the system was conceived with the exponential growth of computer technology in mind and if that doesn't happen the system is screwed, plus apparently more and more organizations/projects/governments/banks are getting in on that blockchain train so things could get sticky soon.

Maybe I'm thinking of A.I. in a too expansive way, but creating a machine that is better at one function than a human being is easy, and I think of a machine being better at chopping wood in pretty much the same way as a machine being better at playing chess. I think that A.I. should be measured to the standards of human beings. Engineers mostly keep trying to replicate human work, human actions, human behavior, they don't try to make the perfect mechanized dolphin, and most people consider the only intelligent life on this planet to be human beings, so until we have a convincing android to the level of Roy Batty or *cough* Deckard I don't consider it achieved, basically it has to be up to the Turing-test INCLUDING being face-to-face with the alleged human. Basically the same as not being detectable by the Voight-Kampff machine, I guess (never mind how that machine works exactly). Or maybe I'm mixing things up and just think A.I. doesn't matter unless it can be put into a convincingly organic body.
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#9

Post by Carmel1379 » June 6th, 2017, 2:15 pm

Satoshi Nakamoto's paper includes two forms of incentives for people to expend CPU and electricity to keep the network secure - the creation of new Bitcoin for the miners and "transaction fees", a little surplus payed within a transaction such that a user is sure it will be included in the newly created block. Nakamoto writes "Once a predetermined number of coins have entered circulation, the incentive can transition entirely to transaction fees and be completely inflation free." I haven't read about it in detail in other sources, so it sounds a bit dodgy.

The estimate for when all bitcoin will be mined is around 2141.

"Blockchains in nature", hehe, that's a bit of an overstated exaggeration from my part, but I'm thinking that specifically the immune system has a bit of congruence with the blockchain. It's also all about security, regulation, algorithmic forms of governance, and identification of "attackers"; each individual has his own histocompatibility complex coded by ones DNA, each cell its own receptors, which like the hash function for transactions are solved and verified by lymphocytes at the expense of travelling through the body and work, and if there exists a chemical incompatibility the cell is consequently destroyed. I'm sure as one goes into more depth there become apparent differences, but on a superficial level I like the comparison. Maybe there are some more comparable systems, but that's the only one I can think of right now (but it's not like I came up with it myself, I plagiarised the idea from someone).

Yeah, I see what you mean, exponential growth of computer technology was definitely something anticipated when it comes to Bitcoin, this is also related to the aforementioned "miners's incentive converging to 0", where one expects that computers become more sophisticated to do more work for less electricity, and so on.

No, (about A.I.s and Deckard) that seems very reasonable to me too. But I'd imagine that A.I. will not attempt to take the form of an organic body, but will be more like The Puppet Master in 'Ghost in the Shell' or VIKI from 'I, Robot'.
IMDb, letterboxd
Image
whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?


Well here he is skidded out onto the Zone like a planchette on a Ouija board, and what shows up inside the empty circle in his brain might string together into a message, might not, he'll just have to see.

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
t o B e c o n t i n u e d

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