Rewiring the Flow

Took a quick trip to the Expo floor during the 2014 Photoshop World Conference that is happening thru Thursday here in Atlanta. Here is a picture of model that they had lit so well. The model was excellent. Shot with the NX30 camera from Samsung with the 60mm lense. 
Apr 8

Took a quick trip to the Expo floor during the 2014 Photoshop World Conference that is happening thru Thursday here in Atlanta. Here is a picture of model that they had lit so well. The model was excellent. Shot with the NX30 camera from Samsung with the 60mm lense. 

This one of those articles that make me spin the wheels of my thought engine into overdrive.  You will see more and more of these form as they are very effective in removing friction from past processes that have been embedded into the current Business ecosystems. This is the beginning of a very big change… it is not Bitcoin that is powerful it is the forming of these DAC’s which is explained below… Throw some bitcoin to Stan because this is brilliant and is now working on creating the next ones… 

Bitcoin and the Three Laws of Robotics

by Stan Larimer, President,Invictus Innovations, Inc.

You may not have considered it, but Bitcoin can be viewed as an unmanned company – or a Distributed Autonomous Corporation (DAC) if you prefer.

Unlike passive currencies, Bitcoin derives much of its tangible value by performing a trustworthy confidential fiduciary service. Essentially, it keeps private books for customer “checking” accounts and will transfer credits between accounts upon receipt of a properly signed “check”.   Aren’t these some of the same private services for which Swiss banks were once famous – back when privacy was something they could really offer?  Isn’t Bitcoin more like a bygone Swiss Bank than a commodity or a colorful piece of paper?

Would a DAC metaphor fit Bitcoin even better than its current coin metaphor?

Distributed Autonomous Corporations (DAC) run without any human involvement under the control of an incorruptible set of business rules. (That’s why they must be distributed and autonomous.) These rules are implemented as publicly auditable open source software distributed across the computers of their stakeholders.   You become a stakeholder by buying “stock” in the company or being paid in that stock to provide services for the company.  This stock may entitle you to a share of its “profits”, participation in its growth, and/or a say in how it is run.

Bitcoins can be viewed as a small “share” of the total market cap of the Bitcoin “corporation”.   The “mining” services that validate transactions and secure the network are paid for in new bitcoins that slowly dilute the “stock” as the corporation’s market cap ebbs and flows.  You can generally trade your shares for other currencies, goods, and services.  Operating rules for the corporation cannot be changed unless a majority of stakeholders vote for them by switching to another version of the software.  Interestingly, it is not the holders of existing shares that get to make this decision, but only those “employees” who are contributing their computer resources (mining bots) to run the company.

Nothing says a corporation can’t be structured to distribute voting rights this way, and that’s exactly what Bitcoin has done.  Shareholders get equity growth.  Employees get voting rights.  All “revenue” is paid to the employees as compensation for their work.  There are no profits.

Bitcoin is a shareholder-owned, employee run, not-for-profit crypto-corporation!

“Real” corporations, of course, are legal constructs created by governments so that groups of people can act as a single artificial person.  But groups of people are in general no more trustworthy than individuals. Even if you completely eliminate all humans in the corporation via automation, the result will no more honorable than the rascally humans that control and maintain it.   Can we construct a DAC that you would trust more than a Swiss Bank?  I think Bitcoin may have found a way – with distributed autonomous software and its own Three Laws of Robotics.  If you’re a true Sci-Fi buff, you already know the original set by heart:

Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings,
    except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

In Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot universe, every robot was required to have these laws hard-wired into its positronic brain as a safety feature.  Does Bitcoin not have analogous “laws” indelibly etched into its very core?  Are not these Core Laws what make Bitcoin virtually incorruptible?

The critical innovation with distributed blockchain systems like Bitcoin is their ability to 
credibly implement their own set of incorruptible Core Laws.

Any set of business rules could be implemented by a DAC, even those most would consider evil.  The key idea is that the Core Laws ensure that a chosen set of business laws are burned-in, immutable, and incorruptible.  If you like a DAC’s incorruptible business rules, you can rely on them.  If you don’t like them, don’t do business with them.  But you can never be betrayed.

DACs can still be designed to have a robotically inviolable intention to rob you blind,
but to enter the open source arena they must be honest about their plans to do so.

What Core Laws should DACs implement and how would they do it?  Here’s my stake in the ground, with apologies to Dr. Asimov:

Three Laws of Robotics for Distributed Autonomous Corporations

  1. A DAC must always obey its own published business rules.
  2. A DAC must never change its rules without consent of its stakeholders, except where such change would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A DAC must protect its own existence, as long as such protection does not conflict with the first two laws.

I, DACIn actual practice, these Three Laws are embedded into open source software for all stakeholders to inspect. They govern the protection of the rights of stakeholders and how other rules can be changed, but they themselves cannever be changed.

The First Law, integrity, is enforced by cross checking every DAC node’s actions with many other DAC nodes (i.e. bots). Rogue actions by individual DAC bots are simply blocked by the collective and their perpetrators shunned.  Rule disobedience is futile.  Coercion by nefarious agencies is futile.

The Second Law, incorruptibility, ensures updates to any DAC source code are not incorporated without consent of a majority of stakeholders. Unless more than half of the total collective work force agrees to adopt it, corrupting even a large minority of DACBOTs will have no effect.

The Third Law, self-preservation, covers features engineered to harden the software against very real threats to a DAC’s existence.  The first two laws already mitigate the introduction of bad bots into the collective. Open source software has thus far prevented corrupt agencies from introducing corrupting “features”. But a more serious risk is any persistent tether to a DAC’s human creators who must necessarily remain exposed to all the corrupting influences that flesh is heir to.  Such tethers are easy to exploit by shutting down web addresses, passing laws, proliferating regulations, issuing injunctions …or much darker methods. Attacks against a DAC’s creators remain its Achilles’ heel. To survive as trusted entities, DACs must become internationally autonomous.

Implementing the Three Laws of Robotics for DACs will be a never-ending arms race.

Asimov had the enviable privilege of decreeing his Three Laws as a fait accompli.  In the cold, cruel real world, we must tend to the engineering details.  Integrity, incorruptibility, and self-preservation technology must evolve with the escalating threats against them.  To stand still is to be overrun.

One obviously needed self-preservation strategy would be to include with each DAC’s distribution package a massively distributed ability to propagate that distribution package. DACBOTs need to be able to clone moreidentical DACBOTs without the interdictable support of their creators.   Another desperately needed innovation is a better way to introduce inevitable software updates that affect all DACBOTs.  Software updates generally rely on trusting the developer.  But now, it is way too likely that any trusted DAC provider will be shut down, prevented from offering its software, or seduced/coerced into installing back doors for Nefarious Secret Agencies in their next maintenance release.  Developers are, after all, only human.

Steely Eyed Geek (SEG)

Steely-Eyed Geek
(Homo Technosapien)

To date, Bitcoin has been well protected from such Trojan horses by its open source policy and a worldwide network of anonymous, independent Steely-Eyed Geeks (SEG) who would love to be the first to blow the whistle.  Unfortunately, Steely-Eyed Geeks are a scarce resource that must be attracted like antibodies to a DACs defense.  As DACs proliferate, novelty and fame will be less effective in attracting such resources.  So DACs will need to find ways to autonomously compensate their human defenders. Direct hiring by the DAC’s creators would expose SEGs to the same seduction and coercion risks.  To be effective, SEGs must remain motivated, anonymous and independent.  Distributed Autonomous Corporations need a SEG benefits package!

Ultimately, to achieve complete incorruptibility, developers must be willing to let go of their own control.  If there remains any centralized human control anywhere, it will eventually be exploited to the detriment of the DAC’s stakeholders.  DACs need to be free to be trusted.

“Centralization tends to corrupt, and absolute centralization corrupts absolutely.”

Bitcoin has already demonstrated its ability to credibly implement a social contract based on a rudimentary set of inviolable Core Laws.  We are betting that, having recognized they are in an arms race, developers will continue to out-distance the necessarily reactive forces that will try to corrupt them.  Put another way:  “incorruptibility is a necessity and necessity is the mother of invention.”

DACS with superhuman robot honor are inevitable.  It’s their unique competitive edge.

The Future of DACS

The DAC metaphor seems to be helpful in appreciating the revolutionary nature of blockchain technology.  Its not just the sine quo non of digital currency, it’s a way to implement incorruptible business relationships of almost any kind.  Adopting this new metaphor is like the difference between using a flat earth or a sphere as your model for planning global shipping routes. All sorts of new insights open up when we tap our prior experience about how market-driven corporations work in the physical world.   Lets go there in two steps:  First, try to imagine the value of a corporate entity you can design to have robotically inviolable fiduciary regard for the interests of its customers and stakeholders. Second, lets consider how to make it operate like a traditional corporation optimized to compete with its shifty human peers.

Step 1:  Recognize the nature of the beast.   Relentlessly honorable autonomous corporations would have many advantages in the free market.  Like Bitcoin, DACs armed with a set of inviolableCore Laws are far safer to deal with than corruptible human organizations.  Moreover, such entities have emergent characteristics with far more interesting applications than just keeping the books for a crypto currency.   Blockchain ethics allow a suitably motivated engineer to “incorporate” some or all of the following SEG-verifiable characteristics.

  • They are corporations – They are, and of a right ought to be, free and independent persons.
  • They are autonomous – once up to speed; they no longer need (or heed) their creators.
  • They are distributed – there are no central points of control or failure that can be attacked.
  • They are transparent – their books and business rules are auditable by all.
  • They are confidential – customer information is securely (and incorruptibly) protected.
  • They are trustworthy – because no interaction with them depends on trust.
  • They are fiduciaries – acting solely in their customers’ and shareholders’ interests.
  • They are self-regulating – they obey their own rules like, well, robots.
  • They are incorruptible – no one can exercise seductive or coercive influence over them.
  • They are sovereign – over their digital resources.  They don’t need governments to exist.

Collectively these imply that: 

DACs don’t need regulation, you don’t want to regulate them, and happily you can’t.

A DAC can be introduced into the wild from anywhere in the world and will spread on its own to wherever its services are appreciated.  It will survive if it is well adapted to its market environment and perish if not. Its creator can improve its survival odds by promoting it and defending it up to a point.  But the umbilical cord should be quickly severed since its creator remains exposed to the risks of the real world.

This is not to say that DACs are above the Law of the Market. Such natural law is the most legitimate source of regulation. If a DAC doesn’t provide trustworthy value in the marketplace, it will be shunned and die of neglect.  If its published social contract and the services it offers don’t make it a desirable business partner, it will perish.

In the end, a DAC’s survival depends on the willingness of others to engage in voluntary exchange with it.  DACs, like people, will develop reputations.  The Core Laws make sure that once a reputation is earned, it can be counted on to persist.  History is littered with human organizations that started out with high ideals like “We the people” or “Don’t be evil” only to succumb to ethics rot as flesh and blood executives are seduced and/or coerced.  Inviolable DAC ethics can start out bad, but they can’t rot.

Like the industrial and Internet revolutions before it, the DAC revolution will be a boon to those jurisdictions that restrict it the least.  Would-be regulators can’t stop the world’s truly free markets from adopting it. They can only make it harder for their own hobbled markets to benefit. Perhaps that’s a price they are willing to pay for power.

Regulation by force, like the use of antibiotics, will only lead to new, more resistant strains.

Namecoin, Mastercoin, BitShares and other “crypto-entities” already share many of these characteristics though some may not fully realize it. New insights and design patterns can be gained by recognizing (and perhaps standardizing) the DAC metaphor.  Such standards (and a good benefits package) will focus and conserve critical and limited Steely Eyed Geek resources.

Step 2:  Exploit the utility of the beast.   Technologies for making impeccably honest and tamper-proof software are only valuable if the software does something useful.  If we use a currency metaphor, we can invent better currencies.  If we use a corporation metaphor, we can invent almost anything.   A DAC is a company and can work in many ways like those of brick and mortar and flesh and blood.

  • It can raise capital by selling shares of its stock … and pay dividends.
  • It can raise capital by borrowing against its stock … and pay interest.
  • It can raise capital by providing services of value to its customers.
  • It can use stock to pay persons (human or artificial) for resources and services.
  • It can use Internet APIs to automate access to its products and services.
  • It can adapt its business processes in response to market feedback.
  • It can use stock transfers to (fairly) reward or penalize the behavior of others.

As a DAC performs fiduciary services of value to others it generates real wealth that can be stored and transferred via its own stock.   But, as Clint Eastwood might say, “a DAC’s gotta know its limitations.” A sovereign DAC has no way to accept, hold, or remit physical commodities or fiat currencies and still remain independent of external forces. Further, an open source DAC can’t keep a secret.  It can securely hold encrypted data for others, but it has no place to keep a private key of its own. Thus, a DAC can’t have its own crypto wallet full of blockchain assets.

So it works best when creating or transferring value entirely within the DAC domain.   This is not to say that humans can’t trade real assets among themselves in exchange for rights to a DAC’s shares, or that a DAC can’t participate in the allocation and tracking of those rights. But its sovereignty extends only over the contents of its own blockchain.

Here are some notional DACs that might well appear in the coming year …or decade.   Naturally, their corporate names in the DAC Domain would end in DAC, not INC, LTD, or LLC.  (Folks will want to know if they are dealing with a Corporation of Superhuman Integrity.) The common denominator is they all exploit an emerging competitive edge:

DACs trade on their incorruptible ability to apply transparent rules to secure data.

  • Reputable Monikers, DAC – Manages rights to an identity namespace.
  • Robo Courier, DAC – A secure electronic courier service.
  • TradeBitShares, DAC – Robotically honorable banking and brokerage services.
  • Unmanned Escrow, DAC – Escrow services that conditionally transfer ownership rights.
  • Virtual Ventures, DAC – A crowd-sourced venture capital firm.
  • Autonomous Arbitrators, DAC – Incorruptible arbitration services.
  • DAC Installers R Us, DAC – Trustworthy auto-installation of consensus-based DAC updates.
  • SkyNet, DAC – A swarm of DACBOT satellites implementing a unbuggable new Internet.
  • One World Government, DAC – A government that can’t ignore its own constitution.

I’ll quit before I get carried away.  The point is, changing metaphors opens up unlimited new possibilities.  You’re not limited to just another altcoin.  What earth-shaking, paradigm-busting DAC could you release into the wild?

Bottom Line. Metaphorically, the concept of a Distributed Autonomous Corporation is a helpful way to understand the much greater potential of the technology pioneered by Bitcoin.  By moving from the metaphor of a digital currency to one of an incorruptible unmanned business, revolutionary new entities can be envisioned. Unlike their flesh and blood peers, DACs will be sovereign corporations governed with inhuman integrity.

And that should make all the difference.

By Stan Larimer
Stan Larimer
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Jan 25
DAC’s could really rewire the flow of the world….

I have used this tumblr for collecting different things that deal with the area of change… 

The change of communication tools, the advent of social media, then social business, and now I am going to use this area to talk about the next area the connection of “smart things” to each other and to us that will change the way we do things and ultimately the next step of our evolution as humanoid to “transhuman”. Yep no science fiction here it is happening as we live and breath the air of today. 

Google Glass is a good point of reference- connected machine that has replaced the need to write to communicate with it, and also being able to converse with us. Starting to understand what we want, where we are, and what we are doing or may want to do- all without headphones or speakers.. it uses vibrations that go into the bone on the side of your head. So what is the next step as our machines get smaller and smaller and closer and closer to us…… 

So as we get closer and closer to a truly connected real time world how do we feel about it?  How many of us will want to unplug or understand that privacy is the most worthwhile endeavor or more than likely we will be just pulled into the new world without too much thought and just evolve as we have been since we started as star dust…. 

I have been too curious for my own good for so long I do not know how to be any different so I will just navel glaze at it all and dip in to the future as it catches my attention and then I will do what I do map it out into an ecosystem and break down how it works and what it can do or what it changes and just enjoy it for the sake of it, nothing more… and then I will share it because that is also what I love to do… 

I have been picked by Samsung to be one of their Imageloggers- they have picked 24 of us in the United States to receive their new camera the NX and I am honored to be in this group. I think they picked me because I do make pretty pictures and have been in the marketing world for quite a while… So I, a bleeding edge guy is going to be getting the 1st Camera of it’s kind- this is starting the movement into a new area of visual tools called “Smart” and this camera fit into the whole “experience” of connected, and I get to experience what that means to me and I will share it with those of you that are interested. I will be biased because I will be looking for what it can do, not what it can’t, and will not care about the specs even though I am a gadget nut case and can do the spec for spec game with the best especially in the area of cameras, but that is not what this is about… it is about what this camera and other devices will allow us to create faster and share it further and better than ever in less and less time.. Reducing the friction (one of my favorite sayings) in content creation, and lifestreaming. So I wait… The Samsung NX is on its way and I am told that I will have it for over a month before anyone can buy it here in the US… that’s kinda of cool. When I get it I will use this blog as the tool to communicate with you as I learn the camera, the operating system, the android ecosystem of camera based apps, the open software system and what that means for the camera now and in the future. I will look into how to create hybrid visual content in the camera and syndication of that content without the use of any other devices such as a laptop, tablet etc… wow a blog post from a camera- picture, words, sound and editing. If I can blog from my mobile why not a camera? 

I will have it prior to my annual fall foliage trip through the mountains of the southeast. For those interested in the camera I will cover that, for those interested in Visual Content Creation I will cover that, for those interested in Pretty Pictures I will cover that too… If I miss anything that you would like to know about in any of these areas just hit me up and ask… If I do not know I will know folks who will and I will get the best answers available. For those of you who are still reading this Thanks…

Next- When it arrives I will unbox it and give you all the linking goodies on the camera and share as I learn how to max out its usefulness…. Until then.           

Sep 23
Time to get reconnected…

Where does time go?  I have a love for documents like this one below- 

Time has moved on and what has happened… Recently we find out for sure what most of us in the tech world knew but didn’t want to think about- Privacy is gone.. Did we have a say…Did we try to stop this from happening…Some will say yes look at this group or that group trying to do this or that… 

Well, The good news is that it is taking less and less people to create change.

In the past it took countries, corporations, and very large communities to make societal change happen. With the collaborative tools, networked groups, open source, and collective social wisdom- the change in the future will happen at smaller and smaller numbers of the very smart. This good and also bad.

In the past evil and war was the arena of countries against countries, not a small group against the most powerful. There are folks in the Pentagon that believe we are entering a period of time where a new reality is coming. That a single human having the ability to end civilization.

Look  at what 2 kids did in Boston with crude devices, they closed  the city of Boston to an economic impact from various sources at 300MM dollars. Yes we were attacked and thousands of our citizens died and we responded with a Trillion dollar investment in two wars and creating fear and doubts about our security and now we are told we have to trade in our privacy. That is the bad…

Now the good…

Technology is also being made to try to maintain some of our privacy. Private Clouds, Encrypted messaging and email systems, New Digital Currencies that are Decentralized, 3D Printing and more and more coming.

So lets look at those:

Private Clouds- the answer to you being the product for all the social networks. I am a marketer and understand the use of big data and where the value lies there. However we are transferring value to the big brands and platforms that are using us and the relationship is lop-sided. Inside this cloud is your messaging and communication tools that are not in the open of Google, Facebook, etc. It could even be encrypted. 

New Digital Currencies- those that follow me know all about Bitcoin and my thoughts there. It is important because money is the most social and most important relay of what is really important to us. If we spend money on something we validate it, not just talk about it..it becomes an action. As a Marketing guy I know that actions is what we are after not intent. Also how many of us have thought about how little cash we use anymore and where this is all going. Well technology is working on building in privacy into the transaction of value, but the governments of the world will and are having concerns about this too. They will pitch the public the message we need to know or you will not be safe over and over. 

3D Printing-

Why this one- well the time has come for personal fabrication of your needs. Yes someone created the 1st Gun and that is a scary thought not that the gun is created but the evil gene in someone that will make the gun and then use it for evil… The printer can also make now and in the future more and more products that will be untraceable. So we will have less and less companies marketing to us again or needing our data.

So can the utopian dream of the our internet be realized … only time a lot it will tell… 

  A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

by John Perry Barlow <barlow@eff.org>

Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty itself always speaks. I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.

Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not know us, nor do you know our world. Cyberspace does not lie within your borders. Do not think that you can build it, as though it were a public construction project. You cannot. It is an act of nature and it grows itself through our collective actions.

You have not engaged in our great and gathering conversation, nor did you create the wealth of our marketplaces. You do not know our culture, our ethics, or the unwritten codes that already provide our society more order than could be obtained by any of your impositions.

You claim there are problems among us that you need to solve. You use this claim as an excuse to invade our precincts. Many of these problems don’t exist. Where there are real conflicts, where there are wrongs, we will identify them and address them by our means. We are forming our own Social Contract . This governance will arise according to the conditions of our world, not yours. Our world is different.

Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.

We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.

We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.

Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are all based on matter, and there is no matter here.

Our identities have no bodies, so, unlike you, we cannot obtain order by physical coercion. We believe that from ethics, enlightened self-interest, and the commonweal, our governance will emerge . Our identities may be distributed across many of your jurisdictions. The only law that all our constituent cultures would generally recognize is the Golden Rule. We hope we will be able to build our particular solutions on that basis. But we cannot accept the solutions you are attempting to impose.

In the United States, you have today created a law, the Telecommunications Reform Act, which repudiates your own Constitution and insults the dreams of Jefferson, Washington, Mill, Madison, DeToqueville, and Brandeis. These dreams must now be born anew in us.

You are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a world where you will always be immigrants. Because you fear them, you entrust your bureaucracies with the parental responsibilities you are too cowardly to confront yourselves. In our world, all the sentiments and expressions of humanity, from the debasing to the angelic, are parts of a seamless whole, the global conversation of bits. We cannot separate the air that chokes from the air upon which wings beat.

In China, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Italy and the United States, you are trying to ward off the virus of liberty by erecting guard posts at the frontiers of Cyberspace. These may keep out the contagion for a small time, but they will not work in a world that will soon be blanketed in bit-bearing media.

Your increasingly obsolete information industries would perpetuate themselves by proposing laws, in America and elsewhere, that claim to own speech itself throughout the world. These laws would declare ideas to be another industrial product, no more noble than pig iron. In our world, whatever the human mind may create can be reproduced and distributed infinitely at no cost. The global conveyance of thought no longer requires your factories to accomplish.

These increasingly hostile and colonial measures place us in the same position as those previous lovers of freedom and self-determination who had to reject the authorities of distant, uninformed powers. We must declare our virtual selves immune to your sovereignty, even as we continue to consent to your rule over our bodies. We will spread ourselves across the Planet so that no one can arrest our thoughts.

We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.

Davos, Switzerland

February 8, 1996

Jun 11
1996 - Idealism 2013- Realism (The idea is there but the will of the masses is not)
natgeofound:

Club members on the ocean front are shaded by decorative parasols, 1930.Photograph by Clifton R. Adams, National Geographic

Very cool what they are doing &#8230; vintage pics &#8230;. deep and forgotten until now!! 
Mar 10

natgeofound:

Club members on the ocean front are shaded by decorative parasols, 1930.
Photograph by Clifton R. Adams, National Geographic

Very cool what they are doing … vintage pics …. deep and forgotten until now!!