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Tag: Curiosumé

The Six Tenets of Curiosumé

Over the years we have identified several features of Curiosumé that every VC and “investor” wants to change – but these features are so fundamental to the operation of Curiosumé that to change them would render the application useless. More clinical, the Math falls apart.

On the other hand, this phenomenon serves as a very powerful test of human nature. Violating one or more of the six tenets represents the temptation of control and power over others – people who seek to exploit other people cannot resist this temptation and will shortcut or manipulate one of the following 6 tenets, thus guaranteeing failure. Those whose hearts are truly focused on empowering people can easily resist, and even thrive, in an environment of collaboration and inclusion, thus guaranteeing success.

The Six Tenets of Curiosumé

You are forewarned, each of these six tenets pass directly against the grain of traditional venture capital and investment systems making the work difficult to fund by traditional means:

1. The topmost ontology must belong to the Commons.  We specify Wikipedia, or other public databases for Curiosumé.  There will always be a strong tendency from investors to want to own the private database or to define the ontology because this is the most tangible form of control. In Curiosumé all data must reconcile upward to the single ontology owned by the commons. Investors will have a strong desire to own the ontology and privatize the database – we must resist this.

2. Non-competitive ranking system. Our culture is steeped in tradition of competition; war, sports, even evolution (survival of the fittest), etc – all purport the necessity of competition as a means of arriving at the best solution. It was very difficult to find a suitable rating systems that does not invoke some form of competitive hierarchy. But in reality, Nature exhibits many more examples of collaboration than competition, yet collaboration is not intuitive to the Capitalist psychology. We are not saying that competition is bad, it is just inefficient on a crowded planet. Instead, there should be a perfectly valid market for everyone. There will be a strong tendency for investors to rank people on a hierarchy – we must resist this.  

3. Self-selecting: People must self-identify their participation in a community. That way, they cannot cheat because they would only be cheating themselves. There is a strong tendency to tell people what to do, how to behave, and how to appear to a “market”. We must avoid this. If we can eliminate the incentive to cheat, then we can avoid the crippling friction of a punitive vetting mechanism in our processes. There will be a strong desire by investors to have a means of punishing people who game the game. We must resist this. Instead, we need to develop a system that allows people to game the game to improve the game. This is where creativity and innovation will come from.

4. “Learn-collaborate-teach” scale. It is extremely important that people are ranked ONLY on units of learning, units of collaboration, and units of teaching. The reason is that students and teachers do not compete with each other. Besides, people who is unwilling to teach others in an organization are just as useless as people who are unwilling to learn new things. Nobody knows everything and everyone knows something that can be taught to someone else. Learners represent demand for knowledge, teachers represent supply of knowledge, and collaborators represent factors of production in our new proto-economy. There will always be a temptation to create winners by producing and abandoning “losers”, we must avoid this.

5. Anonymity until the point of transaction (AUPOT): There is no reason anyone needs to know your identity until there is a tangible transaction, then and only then you must show your cards. Lack of privacy is what makes Big Data both invasive and unreliable. People acting anonymously behave differently (for better or worse) than those whose identities are known. The intrinsic unbiased activity data has completely different meaning than biased, impulsed, or controlled behaviors. The utility of such data would inherently be more beneficial to markets and society. There will always be a strong desire from investors to own the one-way communication channel (advertising, propaganda, control, etc) where they may impose controls – we must resist this.

6. Formation of the Asset: An asset can only be described in terms of a Quantity and a Quality of something. 100 gallons of drinking water is a completely different asset than 100 gallons of irrigation water. “100 gallons of water” without specifying the qualities of the water is not an asset. Curiosumé a claim as a “quantity” and a validation as a “quality” as a means of formatting a knowledge asset. This is called a unit asset and represents a node in the network. Investors will often want the asset to be described in terms of money where the components are explicitly risk vs return. We must arrive there a different way.

Conclusion

We are open to any new ideas on how we would build the Curiosumé application. However, the 6 tenets discussed here are non-negotiable features of Curiosumé that must remain intact otherwise the whole project will fail. Each one of the tenets rubs against the grain of current VC models, corporate investment models, even academic commercialization models. Obviously, these 6 tenets have made funding for our programs difficult.

On the other hand, the reasons why nobody has copied us is because they would have the same problems in funding. Breaking this legacy funding mold will be absolutely essential to emergence of a new economic paradigm.  

The Return of The Ingenesist Project

After about 4 years of not posting to this site, I have decided to return to the original ideas that resulted in so much innovation in this space. For a quick review, the term “Ingenesist” is derived from the Latin word for Engineer – A Maker of Useful Things.

The TIP archives found here include almost 600 blog posts (site map) approaching 1/2 million words. You’ll find the original thesis for the international mobility of engineers under NAFTA between US, Canada, and Mexico. That project involved 6 universities, the California Board of Professional Engineers, The National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors, and the National Society of Professional Engineers – and with the cooperation and support of CETYS University, the Baja California State Government, and over 250 Engineers from Mexico who presented the US Engineering Board exams.

That work was further developed at the Boeing Commercial Aircraft Company and published at the Boeing Technical Excellence series of conferences by their Technical Fellowship. From this effort, TIP developed The Innovation Bank that would match most worthy knowledge surplus to most worthy knowledge deficit to form an internal market (network) for knowledge transfer. That work is memorialized in an old 2007 Patent Application

Later, TIP co-founded Social Flights – a ride sharing service for private jets. The innovation was our ability to predict most likely passengers and match them with most likely seats available on private aircraft. Supply and demand were both dynamic. Keep in mind that this was before Uber and we were acting within a highly regulated industry. Ultimately Social Flights was acquired.

TIP developed three key innovations:

The Value Game: An economic game where multiple self-interested agents must share a common asset. Their motivation and incentive would be to preserve the asset rather than consume the asset. This was supposed to simulate a sustainable economy such as what is desperately needed for our planet. The Value Game originated at Boeing and was tested with Social Flights and successfully deployed in several remodeling projects for condominium associations (shares asset communities)

The WIKiD Tools Algorithm. WIKiD Tools creates a mathematical relationship between (viewed backwards) Data, information, Knowledge, Innovation, and Wisdom. WIKiD tools is useful when you can’t measure something like innovation directly, you could measure a derivative such as the “rate of change in knowledge” as a proxy. In this way,the richness of Wisdom, Information, Knowledge, information, and Data can be more predictable.

Curiosumé is a combination of the words Curate and Resumé. The idea behind curiosumé is to convert the CV or Resumé to a form of code that can be overlaid on other information databases such as Wikipedia, Amazon ontology, even the Library of Congress. This allows us to measure intangible assets as they act in a community.

Then Came Blockchain:

We stopped publishing to The Ingenesist Project in 2016 in order to apply TIP innovations to emerging technologies such as Social Media, Blockchain, AI, etc. It appeared that the decentralization of the engineering profession would be an important step in achieving the original goals of sustainable global enterprise. During this time, I also started a small engineering consulting firm called CoEngineers, PLLC that served a traditional local market bringing engineering services to a retail clientele. CoEngineers, PLLC helped pay the bills while also serving as a sandbox for testing and developing TIP Innovations. Our first entry into blockchain was the creation of a token called Quant on the BitShares Blockchain.

SIBOS, NSPE Task Force, and National Association of Insurance Commisioners: Collectively each of these organizations represent the Banking Industry, The Insurance Industry, and the Engineering Profession. TIP published 3 whitepapers that became the basis for the next iteration. It was noted that each of these industries trade an invisible currency called Risk. It was found that TIP methodologies were better described by actuarial math (probabilities) rather than interest laden monetary metrics. This 3-way association became the genesis of the Insurance / Engineering Blockchain Consortium. This was later changed to the Integrated Engineering Blockchain Consortium or IEBC.

IEBC: Over the course of several years, IEBC was the umbrella organization for 150 engineers, scientists, and business persons who advanced the idea of a decentralized engineering network to mesh with the banking and insurance environments. IEBC published numerous seminal documents and spoke at dozens of industry conferences. The two main achievements were to publish a whitepaper with detailed specifications for a blockchain strategy that would accommodate all prior TIP innovations. The IEBC team built a prototype blockchain by cloning an existing successful chain and modifying it to suit MVP demonstration. IEBC ultimately ramped down for lack of funding. But everything we learned is now open for iteration.

Where to re-Start? TIP has always been a place where ideas are formed and implemented either by ourselves or by others. Many TIP Ideas survive to this day in the many hundreds of engineers and scientists who have participated in the conversations, the start-ups, the publications, lectures, and webinars over the last 15-20 years. We can see many past TIP contributors advancing in their careers, businesses, and leadership roles.

There is something that binds people to this network – it has to do with the underlying belief that Makers Of Useful Things are the cause, not the effect, of sound and sustainable economic activity. The flaw of market capitalism has the world operating in a mirror image of the economy that was supposed to happen. The solution is more about perception than it is about revolution.

Gun Control On The Blockchain

The following discussion related to Gun Control On The Blockchain is a thought-exercise only inspired by new and emerging technologies for decentralized self-governance and does not necessarily represent the opinion of the author. It is not intended to favor any single political position. it is not presented as a comprehensive solution to all scenarios. This article is intended to invite readers to imagine new approaches and constructs to resolve complex governance issues using blockchain technology on public ledgers.  

Gun Control On The BlockchainProblem: According to some sources, 280,000 Americans have died from guns in the last decade.  Even opponents of gun control acknowledge that there is a need to assure that a gun owner is qualified to operate each specific type of firearm that they possess. Even proponents of gun control acknowledge that registering a gun with a central authority (government, insurance, gun schools) constitutes a loss of civil liberty. Everyone knows that “blanket legislation” accomplishes little more than punishing a large number of responsible people in order to deter a relatively small number of irresponsible people.

Proposal: A person who seeks to acquire a gun may create an anonymous Curiosumé persona that includes their training, qualifications, mental health record, police record, and personal references from other qualified gun owners, etc. This anonymous information can then be encrypted and time stamped on a blockchain. Any changes in these conditions must be added to the persona by one-way edit.  The identity of the persona remains on a private key held by the owner.

Gun dealers would be able to sell the level of armament commensurate with the threshold of competence evident by a quasi-anonymous persona. In the event of a disputed gun discharge, the actual identity of the person and their gun becomes known, therefore, their private key can be revealed without loss of civil liberty.  If the gun owner’s persona is accurate, then they will be protected under the 2nd amendment and receive an isolated incident judgment.  If the person lied on their persona, they forfeit some protected under the 2nd amendment and receive broad penalty and liabilities.

Alternate: Gun Owner Insurance:

Without revealing identity, the gun owner’s Curiosumé persona may act as a proxy identity for the person. The proxy would then be assigned to a risk sharing cooperative pool based on similar Curiosumé personas of the other people in the pool. The gun owner would pay insurance premiums commensurate with their persona – i.e., corresponding to the correct risk pool of their persona. In the event of a claim, the identity is unencrypted and revealed. If the person cheated on their premiums, they would not be covered. If they were truthful, they would be covered for accidental discharge.

Discussion:

Disciplined and experienced owners will pay a trivial amount for gun insurance while beginners would pay substantially more. This is an incentive to become educated in the rules of firearm ownership. If an individual has demonstrated severe shortcoming of responsibility, judgment, or prior convictions, then they will be pooled with others possessing the similar characteristics. As such, their insurance would be exponentially more expensive, perhaps prohibitive. Therefore, they would need to pay more to own a gun and or complete a rehabilitation program.  The market will reach a new equilibrium of relative safety.

This type of arrangement applying a Curiosumé layer to a blockchain effectively preserves the identity of the gun owner while also providing essential data to a public ledger that may be assessed by gun dealers, gun trainers, insurance companies, mental health professionals, personal references, legislators, and the public at large.

Again, in the event of a shooting, the gun owner and their gun are discovered anyway, therefore privacy no longer exists. Only at that time may the public ledger be reviewed.  There is a negative incentive for all people in the chain of possession in a community to allow an unstable person to possess a gun.

In the event of a worst case scenario intended by our founding fathers requiring for a protection by a trained citizen militia, then the blockchain can be shut down until such civil order is restored.

The Curiosumé layer on a blockchain satisfies the 2nd amendment on all points while protecting the public by filtering incompetent owners without punishing competent owners through fair market forces.

***

 

Bitcoin Protocol Future Currency Impact On The Engineering Profession

Beginning with the failure of the NAFTA Mutual Recognition of Professional Engineers followed by an introduction to modern cryptocurrencies, this seminal presentation specifies a future where engineering knowledge represented by a virtual asset may store true intrinsic value.

This presentation was filmed at the 2015 National Society of Professional Engineers Annual Conference, Advanced Leadership Track, July 16, 2015 in Seattle Washington. Daniel Robles, PE, MIB is the founder of Coengineers, PLLC and The Ingenesist Project

Abstract

The Bitcoin Protocol And The Future Currency Impact On The Engineering Profession

In a Wall Street Journal essay, two authors wrote, “The digital currency known as bitcoin is only six years old, and many of its critics are already declaring it dead. But such dire predictions miss a far more important point: Whether bitcoin survives or not, the technology underlying it is here to stay.” This session will cover what digital currency means for the engineering profession.

“Decentralization” is a term being applied to platforms that use the Blockchain Protocol pioneered by Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin.  As a cryptographic currency, Bitcoin remains problematic.  However, as an algorithmic protocol, blockchain technology will enable society to cheaply perform common business processes that are now controlled by institutions such as banks, insurance companies, corporations, government, etc.  Today, rapidly emerging platforms are under development to bring “smart contracts” (algorithms based on blockchain technology) into the mainstream.  

An important and essential variant of smart contracts is called an “Adjudicated Smart Contract” that requires an independent 3rd party adjudicator that would “flip the switch” on algorithmic agreements in finance, insurance, and decisions of governance.  There is a staggering opportunity ahead for the engineering profession to position itself for the role of the adjudicator in a wide variety of important and high value transactions.  The caveat is that we too must change the way that we organize ourselves.   

This presentation, Decentralizing the Engineering Profession, begins with the failure of the NAFTA MRD followed by an introduction to blockchain technologies, and ending with specifications on how our profession can jump to the top of the value chain in the era of Social Capitalism – if, and only if, [the engineering profession] can choose to change. 

The Best Digital Currency

The Best Digital CurrencyNothing Economic happens until two or more people get together to make something useful.  This could be a house, a meal, a friendship, or an education. This has been true since the dawn of civilization and it is true more than ever today. Therefore, the best digital currency must facilitate and “account” for precisely this uniquely human activity – bringing people together in a useful way – not driving them apart. Everything else is a derivative.

The Best Digital Currency

Curiosumé is an analog to digital converter for knowledge assets. Curiosumé will rapidly scale and accelerate the matching and accounting for the best digital currency.  Everything else that would be needed already exists.  The working title of this currency is called Gen.  The asset that underwrites Gen is human productivity.

The difference between Gen and the dollar is that the dollar no longer represents human productivity.  Instead, it represents interest on debt, financial exotica, endless war, political influence, unsustainable consumption, etc.  These things are no longer useful to the majority of people.  As a result a lot of “economics” that should be happening, cannot happen. No current digital currency resolves that problem because they are all still derivatives of the dollar.

Gen is the digital currency of TIP (The Ingenesist Project).  Initially, Gen will act as the unit of account between technologists as they  trade Gen among themselves while collaborating on useful projects. For example, a mechanical designer would exchange Gen with a website developer to render a product to a community. Curiosumé resolves the dual coincidence restraint on traditional barter encounters.

As transactions become more complex, the Gen will begin to represent the generalized technological knowledge stored in infrastructure such as buildings, clean water, schools, and farms. Since these things are useful to a lot of people, those people would gladly accept Gen in exchange for their own useful non-technological services that they provide in a community.  In this way, everyone gets what they need using a currency that represents the utility of what they can produce together.

Economic incentives will be altered:

1. To produce useful things that people need.

2. To build high quality things that last a long time.

3. To preserve useful things for as long as possible,

4. To discard things and ideas that are not useful.

5. There is no incentive to cheat.

Don’t be fooled by crypto-hype, the best digital currency is between your ears and only you can hold the keys to that vault.

Curiosumé is an analog to digital converter for knowledge assets. The rest of the components can be found in technologies that already exist.  Let us know if you think that Curiosumé would be useful and we’ll build it together.

Decentralized CRM With Curiosumé

Photo credit: New York Times

(Photo: New York Times)

Modern CRM (Customer Relationship Management) emerged from the boiler rooms of corporate sales departments. They needed a way to keep track of contacts, leads, calls, and ping schedules.  Soon they added client information like DOB, Spouses name, neighborhood news, etc.  The customer responded remarkably well, in fact, perhaps too well – they started asking for things like better service, warranty claims, and “can I get that in purple”.

Salespersons, being so closely tied to the revenue, began telling the service department that they are choking revenue,  and telling the warranty department when customers are defecting, and telling engineering to introduce new features.  They got away with it because they had management support as a revenue driver.  Pretty soon CRM systems began migrating across the enterprise evolving along the way. Ironically, CRM now finds itself losing touch with the customer despite the ever increasing amount of data that now populates the hit sheets.

Recently, we were asked to consider scenarios for Curiosumé applications in a CRM role in the financial industry. There are several important features of Curiosumé that can reconnect the customer to the enterprise.

Top level ontology in the commons
Instead of controlling people’s information, set it free and watch where the client leads you.  When all market channels pull their information from the same network of nodes and branches, they can always be current and synchronized. When the client adds information to the commons, this becomes available to the vendor outside of a firewall eliminating many security issues.  You don’t necessarily need (or want) to know the ID of the client in order to serve them better.

Anonymity layer / autonomous matching:
AUPOT (Anonymous Until Point of Transaction) allows clients to deploy anonymous personas so that they will be more willing to;

  • reveal true intentions to the commons,
  • perform their own pre-analysis in the commons
  • increase their insights and contribute that to the commons.

Customer Controls Their Data:
Help the client own and control their own engagement data.  Give them the same tools and opportunities to experiment as researchers as the Big Data wonks have.  Allow them to delete, save, edit or have as many different personas as they want. Let them deploy and retract personas as a way of finding you.  A better and more efficient relationship will emerge between both sides of a transaction.

User interface layer:
Instead of leading your client like cattle through an arbitrary ontology tree, show them photographs that corresponds to nodes in the common ontology.  These can then be matched algorithmically to advisors, products, or different departments in the firm, in real time.   In essence, you can create a multi-agent algorithmic game in a user interface that could be fun, engaging, and sticky as heck.

Advisor interface:
When a client chooses to engage the advisor or a product or a transaction,  they can submit their persona into the algorithm to select specialized advisors or a team of advisors. Only at the point of mutual acceptance, both players cross the firewall and engage in honest, trusting commerce. Layers and layers of bureaucracy, vetting, and security breaches can be eliminated until the actual exchange is made.

(Photo: The Philadelphia Orchestra)

Powerful Feature:
One of the most powerful and least recognized features of Curiosumé is the ability to constrain a “score” to a number or a range. One reason for this is to create imbalance around the mean – when the system is not balanced, it can never be static and will always have some movement (regression toward the mean).  It will become largely self-managing, self centering, and even a little joyous.

For example: if we constrain the client to having a Curiosumé score of zero; that means that for the total of all (+) sigmas, they must also accumulate an equal and opposite total of  (-) sigmas such that their net total is zero, in order to pass “go”. When we lay this back on to the top level ontology (Wikipedia), we can find a series of paths that unite the (+) sigmas to the (-) sigmas.  This path tells us a GREAT deal about where the client wants to go.  Likewise an older client may prefer a net (+) portfolio where a younger client may prefer a net (-) portfolio.  Decentralized CRM with Curiosumé can also be applied to risk pooling in the same manner. The deviation s from the mean and resulting movements are precisely how we would price the derivatives of intangibles, i.e. tangibles.

Outcome:
Decentralized CRM with Curiosumé is readily ready to happen. We know that people, advisors, and products can be brought together in personal and emotional engagement when they intersect paths of common interest. This is the weakness of both the barter system AND modern technological Capitalism  If we can envision interests flowing dynamically along vectors, we will have the ability to align human incentives and the markets that depend on them.

An Analog To Digital Converter For Knowledge Assets

A-D ConverterCuriosumé is an analog to digital converter for knowledge assets.

The single most destructive characteristic of the Market Capitalism is the dependence on resources extracted from the Earth to fuel constant economic growth. Natural resources are finite while constant growth model is infinite.  There are several ways to manage this disparity; the first is to expire Capitalism, the second is to base that dependence on an infinite resource. Given the shortcomings of most viable alternatives to Capitalism, the latter is likely more plausible than the former.

Many perils to society that manifest today have their beginnings in the thesis by Adam Smith called “The Wealth of Nations”. In this document Mr. Smith outlines the conditions of Capitalism where a merchant class would arise to efficiently allocate land, labor, and capital in various combinations in order to produce all of the useful things that society needs. The working class would hold the system in balance; too much growth would result in a shortage of labor that would constrain capital through higher wages (supply and demand). Government would be hardly necessary in a self-balancing system. Ironically, A great deal of innovation has arisen from the prospect of eliminating labor, which allowed growth to continue beyond the natural constraint.

Karl Marx identified the inevitable situation of constant struggle between the working class and the merchant class. One group strived for greater wages while the other strived to lower wages. From this struggle arose a spectrum of adjustments ranging from labor unions and calculated government regulations (Socialism) all the way to full State allocation of public resources (Communism). Herein lies the dawn of geopolitics and competing ideology.

It is fairly easy to see from this short history where hierarchy, competition, politics, exploitation, environmental crisis, and monetary corruption are intimately related. Today, these elements are enshrined in our culture in B-schools, sports, warfare, education, 2-party representation, etc. The result is that people are forced to compete with each other for jobs, money, food, water, air, education, civil liberties, etc.

But it does not have to be this way. A relatively simple modification to the existing paradigm can realign the economic incentives, and therefore social priorities, from consumption to preservation of our planet without necessarily triggering a collapse and subsequent reboot.

Consider the proverbial “basket of goods” – an economic standard used in a variety of analyses including Relative Price Index, Forex, Gross Domestic Product, etc.  The basket of goods consists of unit quantities of tangibles such as food, housing, energy, transportation, etc.  Now consider the human knowledge required to produce that same basket of goods. One can easily imagine economic standards articulated as either the tangible basket of goods or the intangible basket of goods. Both have the same outcome.

Yet, knowledge is an infinite resource that can underwrite so many more dimensions of human existence than a select basket of goods.  The problem is that there is no accounting system for intangibles as there is for tangibles. There is a reason for this – it is called control. Therefore, to create an accounting system for knowledge assets is to take control of productivity and the currency that represents it.  That is the evolution we ought to focus on.

This is a much simpler challenge than trying to solve every problem that our civilization faces individually. This is a much easier problem to solve than trying to change the minds of entrenched ideologies. This is a much easier problem than changing all the laws and institutions that exist to make the old game as fair as it can ever possibly be.  In fact, the solutions for our most complex problems as a civilization are stunningly simple to create.

Did I mention that Curiosumé is an analog to digital converter for knowledge assets?

Is Curiosumé is a Bad Investment?

Burn MoneyOver the years we have identified several features of Curiosumé that every investor wants to change – but these are so fundamental to the operation of Curiosumé that to change them would make the application useless.

However, the follow-on applications could be so hugely profitable that we make the claim: “When hundreds of millions of entrepreneurs see the format of the data output from Curiosumé, they’ll know exactly what to do next”.  The hurdle is to build Curiosumé right while dodging the VC “gauntlet” of control.

Is Curiosumé a Bad Investment?

The following is a list of Curiosumé tenets that we hold critical to the development of the application and why each of these pass across the grain of traditional investment community to make the application difficult to fund:

A. The topmost ontology must belong to the Commons.  We specify Wikipedia, or other public databases for Curiosumé.  There will always be a strong tendency from investors to want to own the database or to define the ontology because there is a legacy ideal that this is where the value is. Private data, such as corporate wiki, can certainly be used to run Curiosumé, but MUST reconcile upward to the commons data base at higher order definitions. There will be a strong desire to own the ontology – we must resist this.

B. Non-competitive ranking system: This will be tough enough for the culture to accept – but we all must change ourselves at least as much as we expect others to change.  Our culture is steeped in tradition of competition; war, sports, even evolution (survival of the fittest), etc – all purport the necessity of competition. It was very difficult to find a suitable rating systems that did not invoke hierarchy and competition.  In reality, Nature exhibits many more examples of collaboration than competition, yet collaboration is not intuitive to the American psychology. We are not saying that competition is bad, it is just inefficient on a crowded planet because it manufactures more uncompensated losers than compensated winners.  There is always a strong tendency for investors to rank business components on a hierarchy – we must resist this.   There is a legitimate market for everyone.

C. Self-selecting: People must self-identify their participation in a community – a great deal of thinking, intention, and VALUE is created and deposited into the system through this extremely important process of self expression – this is where assurance is mined. The only way for it to work is to eliminate the incentive to cheat. The only way to eliminate the incentive to cheat is to eliminate the component of competition. If we eliminate the incentive to cheat then we can disaggregate hugely expensive vetting mechanisms that too often add crippling friction to a system.  There will be a strong desire by investors to rank other people in their own image and to sit on top of a hierarchy to control people – we must resist this.

D. “Learn-collaborate-teach” scale provides demand- production-supply metric. This is extremely important that the selection criteria provide these components that form factors of production for a proto-economy based on intangibles. Later we can design other non-competitive scales as they arise, likely as a smart contract application.  For now, there is so much baggage associated with competition in society that we should best stick with Learn-collaborate-teach scale for now.

E. Anonymity until the point of transaction: Big Data is valuable to the degree that it allows people to perform scenario testing with the community (commons) data. Anonymity allows for the benefits of big data to occur without any detriment of self-identifiable markers and associated moral hazards.  Like Craigslist – when two parties choose to interact with each other, they can then expose their identities in a P2P/block environment and communicate directly with each other equitably. There will always be a strong desire from investors to create a one-way communication channel (advertising, propaganda, control, etc) especially because Curiosumé data format will be near-perfect for targeted ads – we must resist this. However, advertisers can interact on a P2P basis with agents on a mutually agreed (economic) basis. This will be the interface to smart contracts.

F. Formation of the Asset: An asset can only be described as a [quantity] X {Quality} of /something/.  For example: . [100 gallons] X {potable} /water/ is an asset.  Likewise [2014] X {BMW} /SUV/ is an asset.  [2000 likes] X {Pepsi} /Facebook/ is an asset, etc.  Alone, “SUV”, “100 gallons”, “200 likes” are not assets and cannot be traded.  As such, from critical elements above, the ASSET must be defined as [A]X{B}/C/.

This is called a unit asset and represents a node in the network. A persona is then constructed from this node and its relatedness to the public database (wikipedia) Personas can be combined and all the nodes will remain attached and compared by degrees of separation. Degrees of separation will define relevance and VALUE. This formation must be indelible until the agent changes it – this makes it a good candidate for block articulation.

In summary, I have described at least 6 elements of Curiosumé that will always be rejected by traditional investors, yet are absolutely essential to the ability to set ourselves free from the oppression of market capitalism.  Is this a coincidence?

Is Curiosumé a Bad Investment?

Decentralized Integration of Complex Systems

ApolloThe recent Panel at The Future of Money and Technology Summit on Fueling the Decentralization Movement ended on a very interesting point: The Integration of Complex Systems.

The last comments from Chris Peel suggested that the iPhone program was more complex than Apollo and that we are a far way off from the ability to decentralize production to the degree that a space program or revolutionary consumer product would require. From my years in aviation, I am keenly aware that the complexities associated with an aircraft program would be extremely difficult and risky to manage with a series of autonomous agents and smart contracts – as we know them today.

Wisdom of Crowds

However, the proposition made by Joel Dietz at Swarm is significant. Swarm proposes to crowd-select, crowd-vet, and crowd-fund start-ups. Several efficiencies are cited:

1. The crowd knows best what is needed in a specific time and domain,

2. The same crowd is also the first user/customer/advocates of the product, and

3. The same crowd is the first to iterate the project.

Such diverse and comprehensive “single source” domain expertise is unlikely to be available from any Venture Capital Firm.  Instead, far too many start-ups are designed specifically for the Venture Capital process effectively inbred with the centralized DNA.  The VC formula is fairly simple, well documented, and contains suitably developed infrastructure. The VC process efficiently removes promising innovations from a decentralized ecosystem, repackages them, and injects them into the 20th century finance model of banks, brokers, and IPOs.

Today, the decentralization movement is portrayed in the media by silos like AirBnB and Uber, who may eventually expand into other markets (such as Amazon did from books), but from a relative monopoly position of acquisitions, scale, and market dominance – which is the antithesis of decentralization.

Fueling The Decentralization Movement

This Panel at Future of Money was selected in a very different manner.  The idea that I was trying to get at is that an ecosystem is like scaffolding being populated with individual applications. At first they are sparse, but soon they expand to depend upon each other. At first, each of the panelists seemed very different and related only by ideology. As the session progressed, we could see the each of the panelists were filling in the gaps between themselves soon appearing like a full stack.

Paige Peterson suggested that Maidsafe’s ideas and technology would solve specific problems in the crypto-space that the blockchain could not. Christian Peel suggested that Swarm and Maidsafe may reduce scale risk with what Ethereum has to offer. Sam Yilmaz at DApps Fund is betting on cryptoequity and a broad spectrum of “work proofs” as a means of holding these DApps together rather than letting them become disassembled by a single minded Venture Capital process. Of course, our interest at The Ingenesist Project is precisely on decentralizing both supply AND demand as a means of articulating intangible assets to society (ref: Coengineers.com and Curiosumé).

What is Cryptoequity?

“Cryptoequity,” as defined by Swarm (from this Source) is an umbrella term that covers various applications of cryptographic ledger offerings.

These can include:

(1) Product presales in which the token serves as a coupon redeemable for a real world good (i.e. the Comic Book sale done via Swarm)

(2) Product sales in which the token is redeemable for some service in a decentralized network (i.e. Storj or Ethereum)

(3) Product sales which serve as a “subscription” or membership to some decentralized network (i.e. Swarm)

(4) Token which serves as a license to use some type of intellectual property, potentially with an attached legal contract (i.e. sales being conducted in the Swarm 5th of November launch)

(5) “Shares” serving as stock equivalent for organizations that have no legal entity (i.e. BitShares)

(6) Shares serving as stock for legal entities (i.e. Overstock/Medici)

Efficiency in Zero Marginal Cost

The relative benefit of many of these is that it solves an interesting problem related to the near zero marginal cost of software distribution; the fixed scarcity of a good or service allows the market to determine the appropriate price point for a product rather than centralized forced scarcity or management selection.

Decentralized Integration of Complex Systems

If we are to ever reach a point where complex systems (such as space travel or consumer products – or even equitable governance, environmental stewardship, and fair wealth distribution)  can ever be achieved in a decentralized manner, we must start with the integration of decentralized applications among themselves in a decentralized way.  We should not exclusively extract and seal critical components off from an ecosystem and run them through the VC gamut – the disruption goes both ways.

 

Future Of Money – Not What You Think

Power of PeopleNever underestimate the ability of the human species to adapt to changes in its environment.

All humans are engineers. If there is too much friction in a system, they will fix it, or they will replace it. When banks add overdraft penalties, incur service fees, constrain capital, restrict mobility or compromise the public trust in any way, all those engineers will make a “correction.” Money, after all, is a social agreement.

Today, young people are encountering a financial game that they cannot win playing by the rules that are presented to them. The result should surprise no one – they will either not play the game, or they will change the rules. In fact, innovation in banking is happening at an astonishing rate; unfortunately, bankers are not necessarily doing it.

Because banking touches every part of our lives, so, too, will any innovation that occurs in the domain of banking.

Look at Bitcoin. It is more than just a cute new social app like Facebook or Twitter – it is a new idea called decentralization. If it is possible to decentralize banking, it would also be possible to decentralize everything; insurance, engineering, education, production (i.e., corporations), education, legislation and even governance. Nothing is immune from the next wave of Internet innovation that is bearing down — and right now, not tomorrow.

Because this is an insurance audience, allow me to mention that, the easiest (technically) and likely the first big innovation that will arise from the decentralization movement will be decentralization of insurance. With the advent of smart contract platforms such as Ethereum and Ripple Labs, people can form their own risk-sharing pools to cover a whole suite of perils now in the domain of insurance. (For the lawyers and politicians out there, it is also nearly trivial to set up voting, escrow, contract enforcement, etc., via the sort of block chain protocol that is the basis for Bitcoin.)

Last year, I published an article called “What if everyone was a BitCoin”? The core idea was that there are several problems with Bitcoin:

  • Concentration of wealth is worse than the dollar.
  • The proof of work that creates coin is trivial except for the fact that it is difficult.
  • The valuation was speculative.

Future Of Money – Not What You Think

Today, there are hundreds of companies forming, and being funded in the millions of dollars, that are investing in innovations that would create thousands, if not millions, of alt-coins with characteristics of Bitcoin, except iterated without the impracticalities of Bitcoin.

For example, MaidSafe was able to introduce a currency called Safecoin that provides a way to take unused computational capacity that members are willing to contribute and build a decentralized server network. This network encrypts data flowing through it, creating a secure and anonymous Internet. What happens to big data when people stop sharing the streams of information available on today’s Internet?

Further, innovations such as Curiosumé (by this author) could have wide-ranging implications on everything from education to corporate HR and factors of production – Curiosumé is an open-source development project designed to replace the resume as a means for describing one’s interests, skills and abilities; the tag line is, “Because the resume must die.”

Swarm.co allows individuals to invest time and money in decentralized innovations without banks, insurance, corporations, etc. A new generation of venture capitalists such as DApps Fund is already funding new startups in crypto-currencies and demonstrating high convertibility and liquidity.

Every month, thousands of people are coming together at Meet-up  (itself an earlier social innovation) to learn, teach and collaborate on open-source platforms such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, Ripple and many others. Every day, with each article warning of the dangers of Bitcoin, there is another article of an ex-CEO banker coming out strongly in favor of the financial innovation in the crypto space. What is certain is that every impression placed on the public regarding these new technologies is bad for the status quo for banking and insurance.

Resistance predictably comes from the public voice of banks and governments, which have the most invested in the way things are. This is not to say that they are bad and wrong, just that they have the greatest infrastructure in place to support the existing system. Changing their minds is like pushing electric cars against the tide of Big Oil; lines have been drawn in concrete.

What we are seeing is not a “revolution” with a central army in a field of battle; there is simply a natural progression happening fueled by rational efficiency and nothing else. But change is inevitable.

As with previous financial innovations, my guess is that some trader may discover that the true risk associated with a particular crypto-asset is less than what the risk-adjusted market valuation indicates it is. Then, a financial instrument will be developed to exploit the risk-arbitrage. Some readers may recall the saga of Michael Milken, who correctly observed that companies with low credit scores were in some cases less likely to fail than their risk valuations indicated. This led to the creation of junk bonds and, ultimately, the idea that risk valuations can be skirted. To Milken’s credit, the assumption held until greed set in (which is not the fault of the asset).

I believe something similar may or must happen in finance to spawn internal innovation. For example: the insurance industry does not necessarily care about risk per se; the industry cares mostly that the risk is priced correctly. Soon, the insurance industry may realize that the risk of assets backed in crypto-currencies is lessened because of increased liquidity, fewer restrictions and regulations and rapid convertibility and because they are underwritten by better fundamental assets than the dollar. The industry will develop financial instruments that exploit this risk arbitrage and profit considerably.

But if the insurance company does not innovate in this future form of value, then people will build their own instruments. These new ideas and the technologies will enables millions of entrepreneurs and billions of engineers to print their own money one social agreement at a time. My advice to the insurance industry is to get in, help out and adapt before your customers leave you behind.

(Editors note: You are invited to join the author at The Future of Money and Technology Summit in San Francisco, Dec. 2, 2014, for his panel: Everything that Can Be Decentralized Will Be Decentralized.

The description is:

Much of our society today is based on centralized organizations that allocate our land, labor and money to create the things that we need. Today, we have an opportunity to specify and design any number of decentralized applications that also can produce all the things that society needs — except with stunning efficiency. This is a conversation about what is not only possible but is becoming increasingly probable. This group of speakers represent innovations that decentralize: data, venture capital, productivity, currency, contracts and knowledge — and that’s just the beginning.

The speakers are:

Paige Peterson – Maidsafe

Sam Onat Yilmaz – DApps Fund

Joel Dietz – Swarm.co

Christian Peel – Ethereum

Moderator: Dan Robles, The Ingenesist Project)

The Conjuring of Intangible Values

Conjure valueMy prior post “The Tale of Two Cities” demonstrates that the intangible social value conjured into existence by the bridge that connects two fair cities far exceeds the ‘tangible’ value of that bridge.  Yet, only the tangible value of the bridge is accounted for on a balance sheet such as GDP.

The Conjuring of Intangible Values

This may seem trivial until you observe that people are paid for their intangible assets (knowledge, creativity, and engineering calculations) as a percentage of the far lower number while the bankers, government, and corporate interests compensate themselves as a percentage of the far higher number.  The difference appears to be unaccounted for.

The Tail of Two Cities article concludes that the value that is conjured into existence by both the bridge and the fractional reserve system must be equal, by definition; otherwise the metaphorical breezeway that connects the two worlds would fall.

Bitcoin suffers from a similar curse as The Tail of Two Cities.  The prevailing argument against the crypto-currency is that it has no intrinsic value.  I have personally argued that a currency must represent human productivity intrinsically or else no other human would be willing to work (be productive) in exchange for it.  An article by Paul Bohm “The Value Of Bitcoin is Decentralization” makes a good point that the intrinsic value of Bitcoin is based on the value conjured into existence by increased productivity to society by what can be accomplished with Bitcoin that otherwise would be impossible without Bitcoin.

So if the valuation of a bridge crossing the river and the valuation of Bitcoin crossing the broker both suffer the same curse that there is no accounting system for intangibles, wouldn’t it make sense to solve that problem first  – i.e., measure into existence the intangible value of the Ingenesist – and then release those millions of human intentions (bridges and Crypto-currencies, not withstanding), into the system of trade?  This is the problem that Curiosumé proposes to resolve.

I believe that we first need to solve the under-mining problem that there is no accounting system for intangible assets.  Only then can there be intrinsic value in the conservation of those assets

… then maybe none of this would seem so mysterious.

Time to Kill Social Media

Kill Social MediaSocial Media is dying and it needs to be put out of its misery ASAP.  I have been in the social media space for many years and while much has happened, much has been lost.

There was a dream we all had in the earlier days that ‘user-generated content’ would evolve to ‘user-generated productivity’ and social priorities would change. The funny thing about economics is that nothing economic can happen until two or more people physically get together in time and space and make something valuable for each other.

I have seen this over and over in my own businesses. The Ingenesist Project (TIP) has global reach, high the engagement of important people, and a fair amount of notoriety – but after nearly 10 years, 500 blog posts, 60 videos and dozens of conference appearances, TIP has not generated a single penny of revenue.  But I’ve met hundreds of wonderful people many who have become close friends.

On the other hand, Coengineers is only a few years on and gets twice as many website views, we’ve toppled shady contractors, and publish an extensive catalog of engineering means and methods, and saved many shared asset communities from financial peril. But it is not until I physically walk into society and ask people face to face and ask “How can we help you?” that Coengineers generates revenue…. and, then we do generate revenue.  And I’ve met hundreds of people many of whom have become close friends.

Linkedin is worthless. Facebook is criminal. Google is downright creepy.

Again, nothing economic happens until two or more people get together in physical space and time to make something useful for each other. Yes, I know that software can be produced oceans apart, but what is that software about? It is always about something that happens in the physical space. It MUST eventually touch the ground somewhere in order to have an economic outcome to convert back downstream.  Big Data wants those relationships, they want them badly, they think that they should own them.  That is where the value is and Big Data wants to scale it.

ROI Rage

Nobody has ever been able to produce a reliable ROI on social media. It’s easy to get people to talk about something, but it is difficult to get people to buy something. Enter Big Data. According to Josh Sinell, VP at Merkle, “It’s [now] about determining what data we need to make something measurable and valuable happen, and then using that data to craft a strong offer, and delivering that offer when and where that customer is most ready to receive and act on it”.

The implications of this statement are horrific (“Shock and Awe” comes to mind). But we can also look at it as a business opportunity – marketers are willing to pay dearly for clean data from anyone who can harness it. So what if we the people could harness our own data and place a big yellow tollbooth on the Big Data Superhighway?

Turning out the lights 

Curiosumé creates a public key inventory of all the things that people need. Then you create your decentralized private key representing your relationships, which you control. By looking at either key, some global data may be attainable; mostly the the stuff that serves society in general. However, your personal data is encrypted until you – and only you – combine your private key with the public key, then the secrets within are revealed.   This would effectively shut the lights out on Big Data. If they want to see your data, they will need to pay you directly for it.

The famous prophet Mitt Romney once proclaimed, “Corporations are people, my friend” But little do many of us realize that people are corporations too. So go ahead, kill Social Media.  Society may simply reorganize into something else, the sooner the better in my opinion.

 

 

The New Definition Of Social Capitalism

SocIntCreaCapAbout 3 months ago, I received a cryptic email from what sounded like a war-weary Wikipedia Editor pinned down in the trenches by enemy cross-fire.  His message was stark;  Wikipedia will delete “Social Capitalism”, you are in the best position to save it”.

Since the dawn of Social Media, many people in the Social Capital domain, including myself, had been contributing references, material, ideas, and theoretical constructs to the doomed Wikipedia article in naive optimism that Social Capitalism may indeed be a new form of social organization.  So, upon receiving the desperate plea from the front lines of Wikipedia D-day, I jumped in and submitted argument after argument to an already formidable defense deploring the powerful Wikipedia Editors to preserve the article, the idea, the possibility…

But alas, we failed.  Perhaps we did not have proper academic credentials. Maybe we were not widely cited by important people. Our oppressors eventually provided a weak explanation related to social systems and economics, etc., but in retrospect, I think the real problem was that we were trying to define something that did not yet exist despite nearly 30 million Google search returns.

I have to admit that I agree with the Wikipedia editors. In reviewing that experience recently, I turned to the definition for “Capitalism (disambiguation)” in Wikipedia:

Wikipedia defines Capitalism as an “economic and social system in which the means of production are privately controlled”. 

Factors of Production (from classical economics) are presumed to be something like “land, labor, and capital”.  Now, consider that modern day factors of production are increasingly cited as: “Social Capital, Intellectual Capital, and Creative Capital” of people and their relationships.  After all, these are the assets that are deployed in order to produce the proverbial “basket of goods” upon which most global currencies are compared.  

This is not trivial. Since these modern factors of production exist between the ears of each individual person, they are, by definition “privately controlled” and readily exchanged for economic outcomes among people in social networks.

LifebeginsatincIf the US Supreme Court agrees that corporations are people, then it is equally valid that people are corporations too. Taken together:

Social Capitalism refers to the economic and social system in which the means of production are social, creative, and intellectual assets.  

However, (and a big however), in order for Social Capitalism to become the dominant form of social organization, quite literally, society must reorganize itself to account for exchange and trade of intangibles. Then, all the decentralized innovations that we call the “Social Capital Domain” can integrate, unify, and dominate. Everything will change.

SEE: Reorganizing For The Era Of Social Capitalism

Perhaps then we’ll finally have a Wikipedia article for Social Capitalism like those clear, present, and magnificently organized warriors behind such economic facts as  Corporate Personhood.

 

Shutting OFF The Lights On Big Data

turn_off_lights_19916160Big Data, Bigger Data, Not Neutrality, Mega-Mergers, Election Deform – BIG (fill in the blank)  spells BIG trouble for LITTLE (rest of us).  We don’t stand a chance against the tsunami of surveillance that is barreling our way.  Big Data is becoming it’s own feedback loop and, like shoving a microphone into a stack of tweeters, the noise is deafening.

Nature tells us many things about how an organism responds to externalities.  For example, when a stand of trees encounters an insect infestation, they work in symbiosis with fungi and micro-organisms to amazingly communicate signals across distance and across species to develop compounds to arrest the attack.  Nature collaborates in magnificent ways with often astonishing results – survival of the collaborators.

The entire human organism is in this position today, we cannot attack our own do-loop without also attacking ourselves.  We must adapt a new one.   We must address the perils ahead by organizing ourselves in a radically different manner.  When threatened by inundation, we must also become fluid, mix with the tide, and change its composition from within.

The following presentation was delivered at Seattle University in April 2014.  This presentation demonstrates why – and most importantly –  how we need to re-visualize society, especially our own place in it.  We need to reorganize ourselves as a species to face these powerful new forces that ultimately threaten to smother the knowledge, creativity, and wisdom from our one and only planet.

Our objective with this video is to communicate to all other New Value Movement applications that there is a new form of organization that we can all adapt in order to integrate ourselves in collaboration outside of BIG Data.

Only 20 minutes – be prepared for a mind bender!

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