Think Bigger. Aim Higher. Go Further.

Month: April 2021

Four Reasons Why Engineers and Scientists Need Their Own Blockchain

Image by Pete 😀 from Pixabay

Many blockchains exist for many reasons, but none are built for the purpose of discerning physical fact from digital fiction. Where other industries use blockchain to correct their flaws, a blockchain of engineers and scientists can amplify their superpowers. Our ability to leverage truth may be the most powerful tool available to shift political priorities toward resolving our most pressing Global challenges.

For almost a decade, we have been writing about how four important aspects of blockchain technology could create thousands of times more value if applied to the engineering and scientific professions rather than the financial industry. We have also been amazed by the early ambivalence, reluctance, and often visceral resistance among some professional engineering societies, educational institutions, and engineering enterprise leaders, toward this technology.

Engineers and scientists need to reorganize ourselves fast if we are to have any expectation of pulling out of our flaming planetary tailspin of social, monetary, and ecological unrest.

The Thing That Happened.

Blockchain blew onto the scene with the Bitcoin white paper published in 2008. This technology was coincident with the 2008 financial crisis which had exposed near-fatal structural vulnerabilities in our financial system — going so far as to suggest a new form of currency could be developed. Blockchain introduced the idea of immutability to the financial system where laws had failed, thus code as law became the mantra.

An essential part of this arrangement is that there must be no overarching organization that can act against the consensus of the entire community and alter any transaction after the fact. This is broadly called “decentralization”. This puts many financial transactions at odds with governments who enforce laws (i.e., law is law). That struggle continues.

1. Immutability is our superpower.

Unlike the financial industries, engineers and scientist are abundantly familiar with immutability. You can’t return the lumber to the forest. An airplane can’t be un-crashed. You can’t un-pour concrete. In fact, all scientific processes are irreversible – that is what entropy is all about. In effect, blockchain would be far better suited to represent the immutability of the underlying asset rather than the flimsy paper that represents said asset. This makes more sense.

2. Engineers and Scientists are Already Decentralized.

Earlier, I complained about about resistance by the engineering institutions. What if this flaw is actually a feature? The experience taught us that there is no singular engineering or scientific authority that can sufficiently control or enforce its will on any of the others. Rather, we found engineers and scientists to be sequestered behind a multitude of organizational silos such as corporations, professional societies, ontologies, jurisdiction, national boundaries, academic titles, etc. Even if they wanted to change, they could not find each other to do so. It is no wonder that intellectual capital is called “Intangible” on a corporate balance sheet. In effect, the engineering and scientific professions are already decentralized. All we need to do is measure ourselves into a “tangible” existence.

3. Widespread Consensus Already Exists.

There is likely no greater consensus in human civilization than the laws of Nature. Every Noun on Earth is subject to these laws without exception. The scientific method, considered the greatest innovation in human history, provides us with a means to update, modify, correct, and replace old consensus with renewed consensus. Everything else can be expressed as the probability that a consensus exists. The scientific method is able to defend against failures in a manner not unlike the Byzantine General’s problem upon which much cryptography is based.

4. A Stable and Convertible Token

Money represents productivity as measured by Gross Domestic Product. Dollars represent American productivity, Yen represent Japanese productivity, etc. Yet nearly 80% of all increases in GDP can be attributed to technological change. This is the domain of engineers and scientists. Therefore, a token representing engineering and scientific productivity also directly represents GDP. In other words, we can print money.

Here’s the Good News

Blockchain technology was invented by engineers as a direct analogy of the engineering process – not finance. This is actually very good news because nobody controls a monopoly on intellectual capital which must be fought, beaten, and dismantled in order for engineers and scientists to reorganize. Engineers and scientists can build their own blockchain that represents their work-product and govern the presentation of physical fact over digital fiction. Engineers can exist with out Blockchain but blockchain can’t exist without engineers. This is a game we can easily win.

A Blockchain Of Engineers and Scientists

Financial products are fictitious representations of real things and therefore easily manipulated into many forms while the asset that they represent remains physically unchanged (suitably called “hypothecation”). There exists a powerful technology that is abundant and cheap and that can directly express physical fact as a monetary unit rather than financial fiction.

If we work together, global engineers and scientists can simply walk onto the economic landscape unchallenged to begin altering the development priorities for the World. No kidding. Again, there is nothing standing in our way, except our own unwillingness to change. This may be the most important opportunities that has ever been presented to the Sciences.

Please, let’s not squander it.

Please read this important paper:

The Innovation Bank and the Decentralization of The Engineering and Scientific Professions

Blockchain Is Better for Engineering. Global Engineers and Scientists must adopt Blockchain Technology to directly enforce physical fact over financial fiction.

25

The Innovation Bank Empowers Global Engineers and Scientists

Global risk requires global engineers and scientists

The Innovation Bank may be the most important advancement of the Post-Covid Era. The global pandemic is only a symptom of larger systemic risks that are challenging our world. Climate change, wealth disparity, access to work, education and health care are all global problems manifesting as racism, fear, distrust, and division in local communities. The pandemic further demonstrates how centralized control structures are tragically out-performed by a networked attacker. Rather, legacy control structure fomented social unrest even further. The term “Going Viral” takes on a new and dangerous meaning.

Lessons Learned

What if we can take what we have learned from new technologies, new ideas, and new organizational systems that are currently deployed in networked platforms, and apply them toward mitigation global systemic risk? If Uber is a data service cloud with cars at the end of it, and AirBnB is a data service cloud with beds at the end of it, then imagine The Innovation Bank as a data service cloud with engineers and scientists at both ends of it. This article provides a framework for decentralizing global engineers and scientists. The Innovation Bank is an auto-funding platform devised to address global systemic risks.

Measuring Invisible Value Into Existence

The Innovation Bank use blockchain technology, game theory, and actuarial math to measure and calculate the direct economic contribution of engineers and scientists. STEM professionals create knowledge assets by making claims and validating claims related to physical fact. The platform produces a cryptographic token which serves to permanently record these assets set in time. Business intelligence is created by mapping interactions among engineers and scientists. This imparts value upon the tokens and incentivizes increased rate of production of knowledge assets. The tokens are then used as payment to fund engineering and scientific works that address the world’s most pressing problems.

Supply and Demand For Knowledge Assets

Our current monetary system creates money in a similar way. The value of money is supported by the supply and demand for the things that people produce as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is usually easy to measure the quantity and quality of things on the GDP. It is difficult to measure intangible assets such as intellectual capital, creativity, and innovation. The Innovation Bank converts intangibles assets into tangible assets in the form of predictive data which can be easily measured.

The Innovation Bank; Blockchain Technology and the Decentralization of Engineering Professions

The economic value of Engineers and Scientists is measured by applying blockchain technology, game theory, and actuarial math (risk analysis) to a networked platform of global STEM professionals. The nature of risk is volatility – unpredictable outcomes. If we can measure knowledge assets directly, we can trade predictable outcomes efficiently, and therefore manufacture predictable outcomes as we would products and services. This is how we can “balance the books” between our tangible and intangible assets.

Again, this is an important paper. Please let me know if you have any questions, ideas or contributions for this project. Thank you.

(10 minute video summary)

You Can’t Buy Global Solutions with Local Money

Courtesy of Wikimedia Foundation

epSos.de, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

We are all familiar with the sentiment “if only there were more money, all our problems would be solved”. That is only about 20% true. The Innovation Bank is a system being built to solve the other 80% of our problems.

Money as we know it is a generalized accounting of all the things that humans produce. For example, Gross Domestic Product measures tangible value, it does not measure intangible value. Yet 80% of technological change can be attributed to intangible value creation (Solow, R). These include social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital.

We need to form a new type of money that measures the other 80% of the economy — the invisible stuff. This is where the big solutions are. Solving Global Problems requires global solutions that must all use the same units of account. VC and the USPTO try to do this, but only a tiny percentage of intangible value ever gets converted to tangible assets in this way. We need something better, comprehensive, and scalable.

Data as Currency

Data is emerging as a new form of currency which can be used to visualize, predict, and assess the value of intangible assets. The problem is that bad news is thousands of times more “tangible” than good news. A single attacker on Social Media can sink a business because nobody counts the 1000 perfectly satisfactory prior transactions. As David Mustaine elegantly croons “Peace sells but who’s buying?” Another version of Stanley McChrystal’s “The good guys need to be right 100% of the time, the bad guys only need to be right once.” This can put a horrible skew on things and AI can’t fix it.

The “good intangible” data needs to be proactively curated as part of one’s everyday professional activity record. There needs to be a simple interface where a person can produce a claim, and that claim can be verified by a recipient or observer. Then we can creating a data node with two at least two branches that can be aggregated with everyone else’s transactions. The resulting dataset, while enormous, would yield a tangible measure of social, creative, and intellectual capital.

Most importantly, this dataset needs to be populated and in direct control by the persons whose transaction record is being curated. It is important that this system is decentralized since the data will be extremely valuable. Someone else will gladly do it for us with every manner of IoT sensor, AI bot, or some old-school regulatory hurdle.

The Innovation Bank

The Innovation Bank uses game theory and blockchain technology for the purpose of curating valuable, truthful, productive, and validated “good data” created by people and their productive interactions with each other. There is no entry for bad news. The Innovation Bank rewards the users with a cryptographic token that memorializing their transactions. The tokens may then be exchanged for access to the metadata curated by others on the platform. This technique for delivering the right asset to the right place at the right time thereby releasing the other 80% of economic value produced by society.

In short, The Innovation Bank is auto-funded by creating a form of money that measures the remaining 80% of economic output. The Innovation Bank incentivizes high impact solutions precisely when and where they are needed most. There is a market for that, all we need to do is measure it into existence.

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