Retrodictive archaeology is so tempting. It is about what it was, what it is, what we knew and what we know.
Here I present another time travel glimpse of mine:
February 1998. Global Information Summit*. Japan. Robert Hettinga** - the patriarch of financial cryptography wrote:
My realization was, if Moore's Law creates geodesic communications networks, and our social structures -- our institutions, our businesses, our governments -- all map to the way we communicate in large groups, then we are in the process of creating a geodesic society. A society in which communication between any two residents of that society, people, economic entities, pieces of software, whatever, is geodesic: literally, the straightest line across a sphere, rather than hierarchical, through a chain of command, for instance.
A network scales according to the capacity of its switches.
Mankind is a network of interlinked humans routed by ... humans.
The network topology*** of society is dictated by our incapacity to switch - similarly to the way the penguins society is shaped by their inability to fly.
Running the Sorites paradox**** in reverse - humanity does not form a sand-heap by adding grains, but fractalizes into groupings of up to just a few individuals.*****
Big body of research on discussions persistently brings back the result that over a certain threshold of as little as 5 persons the number of possible social interactions explosively exceeds the participants capacity to handle the group traffic of information.
Increase the group size and the 'c factor' - the collective intelligence - abruptly implodes. Bellow the individual human level. So long 'wisdom of the crowd'.
Hierarchy is the only way we know (up to now) for a society to scale. Centralization as emergenta of organic switching limitations.
It is fair to say that we have and have had upscaling exosomatic prosthetics all the time.: language, writing, institutions, specialization... but at the end of the day even within these boosters the social switching is bottlenecked down to just a few humans-strong.
Since recently, cause, you know ... computers. Humans are not only lousy switches, but also tremendously expensive ones to make. Computers - the vice versa: their performance/cost relentlessly bigbangs.
Moore's law****** is not only about silicon wafers. It is a megatrend from the very dawn of the universe as Kurzweil noticed******* long time ago, which goes up and up across all computronium substrata imaginable or possible.
Non-human computation and automated communication promises to break the social scaling barrier.
Here comes the Ohad Asor's Tau.********
The only project I know which asks the correct questions and looks into doable solutions of humanity scaling. And the only meaningful identification and treatment of these problems which seems to lead towards fulfilling of Bob Hettinga's Geodesic visions from few decades ago.
Of course I do not know it all, but lets say that I intensively search the relevant space.
Tau transcends the human switching limitations in humane way. Without to amalgamate individuals out of existence, which some other discussed ways - like direct neural interfacing - seem to inevitably infer. For society is ... human beings.
What's the pragmatics of geodesic vs hierarchic?
What game really the 'flat' p2p networks beat the vertical social configurations into?
It is an easy answer. It is pure physics:
A Tauful geodesic society comprises IMMENSELY richer economy.
Metcalfe's (and Szabo's) law on max!
The combinatorial size of it vastly exceeds the possible arrangements of any traditional social 'pyramid'.
The maximum social diameter becomes ~1.
In fact, it seems quite an ancient archetypal vision, the whole thing:
“Imagine a multidimensional spider’s web in the early morning covered with dew drops. And every dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops. And, in each reflected dew drop, the reflections of all the other dew drops in that reflection. And so ad infinitum.” Allan Ginsberg*********
1. *- http://www.nikkei.co.jp/summit/98summit/english/online/emlasia3.html (the second entry)
2. **- http://nakamotoinstitute.org/the-geodesic-market/
3. ***- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_topology
4. ****- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorites_paradox
5. *****- https://sheilamargolis.com/2011/01/24/what-is-the-optimal-group-size-for-decision-making/
9.*********- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indra%27s_net (image from: https://mindfulnessforhealing.com/2012/12/29/weaving-a-tapestry-of-wellness/ )
NOTE: I'm in the Tau Team, but this post expresses only my own associations and interpretations.
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