Open AR Cloud

Open Augmented Reality Cloud

Hi Jan and team,

I see some merit in the general thrust of your approach, but also some fundamental issues.

For me, any system must be based upon a clear hierarchy of values.

For me, that hierarchy is simple.
1/ Individual sapient life, (human and non-human, biological and non-biological); followed by
2/ Individual liberty, responsibly exercised, where it does not pose unreasonable risk to the life or liberty of anyone else, which also by implication imposes social and ecological responsibilities.

The reality is, that with accurate sensors (even of the sort we currently have), anything and everything can be tracked with reasonably high probability.

Cheating on any system becomes almost impossible to get away with for any length of time.

That exposes fundamental issues with many of our current legal and financial systems – that they are fundamentally designed to assist cheating on the human cooperative at some level. Exposing that fact will be hard on many within our current reality.

Having individual life and liberty as highest values will give everyone confidence that they will be able to survive, even if they do need to change some of their behaviours.

We need to all accept, that in public spaces, there is no such thing as privacy.

Privacy will only exist, and only to some degree, within private spaces.
Some of us will only go places where we can maintain real time connection (with use of full sensor suites) to our network(s) of trusted individuals.

We need to accept the games theoretic reality, that the maintenance of individual security demands a lack of privacy.

We need to acknowledge that centralised systems are the greatest threat to individual security, as they are vulnerable to both single point of capture and single point of failure. Security demands decentralisation and coordination.

We need to accept that exponential technology makes universal abundance of most goods and services possible; and that such universal abundance causes failure of markets and money as useful valuation tools.

So we are in a time of profound change, profound possibility, and profound danger.

I am cautiously optimistic for a shared future of security and prosperity for all of humanity, and it is not a naive optimism. I am very aware of multiple levels of existential level threat present right now.

The design of this technology must be conscious of those existential level threats, and must implement risk mitigation strategies for each of them-or it becomes more problem than solution.

This is one of the most deeply complex problem spaces facing humanity in our evolution to entities capable of indefinite life extension and exponentially expanding creativity. The number of dimensions in the space is exponentially expanding, as are the number of classes of systems with fundamental uncertainty and unpredictability.

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Quora – science and falsification

Quora – Why is it important in science that we design and perform tests capable of falsifying a hypothesis?

There are infinite classes of conjectures that cannot be disproven, and as such they are not useful in the sense of adding anything predictive about our understanding of reality.

Science is about asking questions of reality, via experiment, as to what its nature is.

And we need to be clear about how science deals with proof. Science does not get absolute answers.

Science is about dealing with uncertainty, eternally, and reducing that uncertainty where possible.

Science is much like the Japanese concept of kaizen – continual improvement, without ever reaching perfection.

In science, we achieve that by looking at the available explanatory frameworks, and seeing where their predictions are sufficiently different in certain contexts that we can distinguish between them, then we design experiments to test which of the available explanatory frameworks best fits the results.

And we have to accept that mathematics contains classes of systems that are fundamentally unpredictable for many different sorts of reasons, and reality seems to contain instances of those classes of systems. So we have to accept that some things may not be predictable, even in theory, let alone in practice.

This applies right down to the fundamental axioms of understanding.

Some people believe that all things are related by necessary and certain causes.

Others of us can accept the possibility that fundamental uncertainty, if it is constrained within probabilistic bounds, can in aggregate approximate causal systems very closely.

Many people have a great deal of difficulty accepting that latter possibility, even when shown mathematical and logical proofs that such systems are possible.

So there are many interpretations of what science is, and what it does; and being able to falsify things via well designed experiment is one of the major paths by which science extends the ability to offer useful understandings of new levels of systems and structure.

And we have vast sets of evidence already that clearly demonstrate that reality is far more complex than any computational system (human mind or Artificial General Intelligence) can deal with in detail; so any intelligence is going to have to resort to using contextually useful shortcuts (heuristics) in practice, to make any sort of sense of anything complex in any usefully short time.

So we are all in this mess together, and science, if used with a modicum of humility, seems to be a great tool in helping us gain sufficient understanding to find cooperative ways to survive with as much freedom and diversity as possible.

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Quora – Steps to a sustainable world

Quora – What steps need to be taken for a completely sustainable world?

What do you mean by sustainable?

What is being sustained?


Some people have tried to build a system that promotes and sustains competition, at the cost of security and freedom for most.

For me, what needs to be sustained is the value of individual sapient individuals (human and non-human, biological and non-biological).

Next after that comes the freedom of those individuals to do whatever they responsibly choose, where responsibility means acknowledging the rights to life and liberty (so defined) of every other individual; and includes the aspect of liberty being in contexts that are both interesting and diverse so includes social and ecological responsibility as part of it.

Freedom so defined is a very long way from following whim or fancy, though most impulses to action start with whim or fancy at some level. This sort of freedom demands a reasonable level of conscious exploration of the reasonably foreseeable consequences of actions before taking them, and involves a responsibility to clean up any unforeseen messes that are created.

If one starts from that premise, and explores deeply the strategic contexts of evolution, including the evolution of the complexity that allows for the emergence of awareness such as ours, then it becomes clear that such a process is predicated upon cooperation at every level (both for its emergence and its long term survival).

Once one begins to see that for complexity like ourselves it is much truer (to a first order approximation) to say that evolution is all about cooperation, than it is to say that evolution is all about competition, understanding changes.

In this sense, complexity like us can only emerge and continue in deeply cooperative social contexts.

Competitive contexts always drive systems to some set of minima on the available complexity “landscape” (and such minima are devoid of real freedom for most).

Thus for us, and the ecosystems of which we are part, we need to see ourselves as eternally seeking a balance between our individual freedom, and our need for cooperation to survive.

And there can be no simple set of rules or solutions to that need for balance which are applicable across all contexts.

For every different context there will be an infinite set of possible solutions, and a far greater infinity that lead to extinction. It is a bit like crossing a busy road. Lots of possible ways of doing it, but any that involve long pauses in the wrong place will result in death by truck. Yet most of us safely cross busy roads most days.

Many such choices are just so obvious we don’t think about them.

In terms of the choices available to us in the broader social context; the useful choices often are not nearly so obvious.

Our current context is changing in ways that have no direct historical precedent, we can only use history as a guide by quite deep levels of abstraction and analogy. Many of the ways our grandparents did things simply don’t work in our modern context, and some do.

One of the hardest ideas to get that don’t work is the idea of measuring value in markets, value in exchange.

It was undoubtedly a very useful approximation to value in our past; but the automation of computation, production and delivery is fundamentally changing that in ways that few can yet appreciate.

Rather than such automation delivering universal abundance of the reasonable needs of everyone, the context of market exchange value has forced us to adopt ideas like “Intellectual Property” simply to maintain an exchange value that could not possibly exist without it. Exchange value can only exist where scarcity exists.

When most things were genuinely scarce, this was a useful approximation.

Now the major reason most information is scarce is the need to maintain market value.

The injustice of that, the fact that poverty is created simply so that others may make money, is now the arguably the greatest existential level risk we face (and there are many existential level risks that we need to cooperate to effectively mitigate, this is just one).

Thus, in this sense, of the context in which we each view our self interest; long term sustainability demands of us that we see our individual long term self interest in being cooperative members of complex diverse and constantly changing societies. That will be deeply uncomfortable for many (for all of us at some level).

A useful transition strategy would seem to involve some form of universal comfortable income, enough that every person could meet their reasonable needs for food, housing, healthcare, transport, communication, education, etc. Even as the delivery mechanisms for those things changes faster and faster (eg high speed electric rail replacing air travel, self driving electric cars, etc).

And we need to see this as raising the low end of the distribution of resources, not putting any limit on the upper end. And of course there are physical limits to the amount of energy we can put into the earth’s ecosystem and maintain it; so if someone want to use more than that, then they will have to go off planet to do so. And technologies to do that safely a re rapidly being developed and will mature over the next couple of decades.

We need the exponential growth in computation and manufacturing capability to solve the many real issues we currently have, and those technologies will drive changes that currently seem impossible to many, but actually scale very quickly once key technological tipping points are reached.

Thus, if there is one key concept that needs to become generally understood, it is that the evolution of complexity is all about cooperation.

The cells of our body do not compete to make us what we are, they cooperate. We have a name for competitive cells (cancer), and they threaten our existence. Yet at the same time each cell is an autonomous entity doing it’s own thing in the environment in which it exists.

That is what we are.

That is what we need to become.

The cancer of growth for growth’s sake must be removed, before is destroys us all; even as we must accept eternal change, and the eternal exploration of novelty as part of what it means to have liberty expressed responsibly.

We need to have our conservative sides present to keep our liberal sides in balance – every level needs both. It can never be an either or sort of thing – both need to eternally be in communication to find a responsible way forward (placing those aspects of ourselves in competition, rather than cooperation, is one of the deep dangers and pathologies of our current social and political systems).

We must stop over simplifying complex systems.

We must accept that simple rules are not a viable response to complexity. Complexity demands an iterative approach, one of probing, testing and adapting to how the system responds. Every system must have boundaries, but those boundaries cannot be too simple. There must be an eternal search for balance in this dimension also.

We human individuals are the most complex thing that we yet know of in this universe.

We need to stop pretending that any of us are simple.

We are all profoundly complex; and we can all develop simple responses to dangerous contexts.

We can create sustainability, and if it is to have any meaningful freedom, it must include eternal novelty.

That seems to be the nature of the reality in which we find ourselves.

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Quora – how would we know if we were an experiment

Quora – How would we know if we’re an experiment in artificial intelligence?

Quite a few different ways of interpreting this.

Have you ever used google? If yes, then you are part of such an experiment.

At the broader scale, of the matrix of existence, there is no possible way of knowing, as to answer the question we would have to be smarter than than the AI, but as a subset of it that would seem to be a very improbable outcome. But there is an infinite set of such unresolvable questions, which is why we have Ockham’s Razor – as one useful mitigation strategy for one set of “halting problems”.

There are no shortage of questions to which we can usefully put our time and energy, like:

How do we spread international cooperation at scale?

How do we ensure, with the greatest probability, that all individuals have the least risk to continued existence, and the greatest degrees of freedom possible (consistent with least risk to survival and greatest degrees of freedom applied universally, which includes as a subset interesting natural and technological environments to “play” in)?

How do we counter the clearly false view that the evolution of complex entities is all about competition, where clearly any new level of complexity is always the result of new levels of cooperation, and human beings are the most complex and cooperative entities we yet know something of?

How do we transition away from the scarcity based values measured by exchange in markets, to abundance based values that actually support individual life and individual liberty at scales approximating infinities?

What do we each do, right now, to best solve these most pressing issues?

It certainly isn’t by delving into questions that have no computable answer (and there is an infinite class of classes of such questions, some of which cannot be proven as such – ie are fundamentally uncertain even in logic as to which class they belong in – so even in logic there are metaphorical quicksands).

Let’s get back to real questions we can solve like:

How to most quickly ensure everyone on the planet has enough to eat, good housing, good sanitation, good health care, good education, transport networks, reasonable degrees of freedom?

These are relatively simple to solve with the technologies we have available today – but are insoluble within a mindset that values scarcity (ie uses markets to generate a value measure).

How do we change that??????????????????


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Quora – research area to progress

Quora – Which area of scientific research would you like to see progress?

One stands out above all others – nano scale manipulation of matter.

The mining and manufacture of material at the atomic scale.

When we get that, then total recycling, and fully automated manufacturing become possible.

An age of universal abundance.

Individual sapient life (human and non-human, biological and non-biological) and their liberty, can then become the highest values of society.

The scarcity based system of values measured in markets then becomes essentially redundant.

People would be freed from the economic slavery they are under today, and would be able to do whatever they responsibly choose. And that would be a very new experience for most, as most currently think of their slavery as freedom; and very few have given the notion of responsibility much thought at all – even though it is the necessary companion of any sort of freedom that is to survive for very long in reality.

It would take time for most to adjust. Some sort of universal income is probably required to assist people through the transition.

[followed by a question about energy required for recycling and not quite understanding the second part.]

Yes – and if we are capturing 30% of solar power coming in, then we have quite a bit of energy available.

By comparison, trees (as fuel sources) are only about 3% efficient at turning solar energy into usable fuel.

The second part does come out of a fairly deep investigation of evolution and the classes of mathematical systems embodied and encoded in its products.

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Quora – AI and life expectancy

Quora – How can AI lead to increased life expectancy?

In several different ways.

AI systems can help us analyse the data from complex and uncertain biochemical experiments, and allow us to see new levels and pathways of connection that mediate the age related loss of functionality that our somatic cell lines experience.

Once we understand those, different sorts of AI systems will allow us to model the effects of candidate modifiers of those systems, thus leading to development of effective biochemical technologies for indefinite life extension.

And the third major way is in actually scaling the automation of the technology developed above so that it is deployed to every person on the planet (and thus becomes an individual’s choice as to whether or not they use it).

And of course there are thousands of other subtle ways that different AI systems will assist in the process, in terms of searches, communication through congested networks, visualisation of abstract concepts, manipulation at the nano scale, etc – right out to things like reliable grid energy, reliable food, self driving vehicles making some things viable that were not previously, ….

AI is exponentially impacting all aspects of existence – even to the point of making markets (and economics as most currently conceive it) not simply redundant but actually dangerous in the context of automation and indefinite life extension.

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James – Buddhism, Seneca, …

Buddhism, Seneca, and Tyler Durden

Nice one James.

So much truth in what you wrote.

We are serfs to an idea of value based in scarcity.
When most things were genuinely scarce, the idea that markets measured a good proxy for value generally had some merit.
Today we have the automated technology to meet all the reasonable needs of everyone on the planet, with minimal use of anyone’s time; and yet the quest for market value (a value based in scarcity) is driving the insanity we see today.

We make laws to preserve scarcity just to maintain market value – we call them intellectual property, as if that idea makes any real sense.
We have entire advertising industries that are there to create needs in us that we really don’t need – but the economic system needs us to keep on needing, to be able to continue generating the sort of value it makes.

So yes.
We need to rethink value.
We need to accept that markets are now useful only in measuring a very small component of the values people have, and if left to their own incentive structures will tend to destroy all other values to create more scarcity value. That is actually a mathematical recipe for societal level extinction.

We can do better than that.
We must do better than that.

We need a simple hierarchy of values:
1/ Individual sapient life (human and non-human, biological and non-biological);
2/ Individual liberty, and that demands of us
3/ Individual responsibility.

Liberty cannot mean doing anything, because some things are actually a threat to life, and life comes first.
Liberty must be within the constraints of social and ecological responsibility if it is to acknowledge the higher value of life in the long term.

Markets cannot do that.
Markets and money are internally incentivised to destroy any abundance – because market value is optimised at a certain level of scarcity.

That is why we must go beyond markets.
But that is not a trivial change, as markets currently empower many levels of functions that are essential to our survival – like distributed networks, distributed coordination, distributed arbitrage and conflict resolution – the list is huge.
Universal Adequate Income may be part of a useful transition strategy, but is not any sort of long term solution to the problem of valence based in scarcity.

So we live in interesting times.

Real security can only come when we each choose to take on whatever level of responsibility we can see as being required of us.
Not comfortable, and as you have noted here, rewarding in its own way.

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