01 Mar 2016

Perspectives on Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies

in Blockchain, Ceptr, Crypto, Currencies, Distributed Systems
blockchain-visualizationsMany are looking to the blockchain to solve many decentralization and consensus problems. I believe the infrastructure people are seeking is possible to build, but not in the way blockchain and cryptocurrencies have been approaching it so far.  There are fundamental flaws to the current popular approach that will keep it from ever reaching the scale on which we need collective intelligence, currencies, sense-making and distributed computing infrastructure to operate. 
Of course, this is why we've been building Ceptr – to provide the necessary infrastructure for these kinds of distributed systems. It solves all the same problems, but has been built from fundamentally different initial assumptions, so the more you know about cryptocurrencies, the harder it can be to understand why we're doing what we're doing.
I'll start with a summary of highlights and then drill into greater detail in the next posts - providing some examples of ways to make these kinds of distributed applications and cryptocurrencies work on a large scale.
Cl says to H: How do I know you’re not double-spending that electron?
27 Feb 2016

The MetaCurrency Myth

in Ceptr, Currencies, Vision
The story I want to be able to tell my (as of yet non-existent) grandchildren in 25 years.
Once upon a time, our planet was dying. People had organized themselves into patterns with funny names like “limited liability corporations,” “federal governments,” “non-profit organizations,” and “institutions of higher education.”  We were unwittingly eating the world and all of its resources to perpetuate the survival of and expand the growth of these social organisms.
This was a time before humans had recognized the power of currencies as “Current-Sees.” We barely understood any difference between the aggregate actions of individuals, and the phenomenon of those individuals organized into coherent patterns. Today we know that these patterns, or social organisms, actually have their own hardwired feedback loops, nervous systems, intelligence, and incentives and rewards, distinct from the individuals within them, just as biological organisms have intelligence distinct from the cells they're comprised of. But at that time, we didn't have good tools to see these patterns clearly.

03 Dec 2015

Variable Rates of Change Integration

in Ceptr, Currencies, Evolution, Reputation

The suggested 3-tier approachEric HB sent me an email asking how I think Ceptr and the ecosystem we're trying to build around it fits with what is depicted in this blog post.  I'm posting my reply.  And frankly, I wish I'd remember to capture content like this when I write about things in email or other random places so I can start to collect this information somewhere where it's shareable.


I think of the collaborative ecosystem we're intending to build around Ceptr as being a kind of community of practice (Remember stones/tumbles/gems which kind of map to his three tiers?).  We can have a pre-frontier space for exploration and discussing ideas / needs / requirements / innovations / bounties. Some of those discussions turn into initiatives with teams working on building something which eventually gets published/released into the compository.
Published receptors in the compository are sort of the pioneers frontier... although not their raw development or testing environment, because it needs to get triangulated in by a code reviewer and you and the reviewer have reputation riding on whether it works / does what it says it does.

18 Nov 2015

New Speech-Act Spaces

in Ceptr, Language, Mutual Sovereignty, Sovereign Accountable Commons

Cute Frankenstein CookiesThe US Constitution has provisions to protect freedom of speech and expression. Yet, I cannot declare myself a new name or identity and we cannot declare ourselves a new corporate entity. These kinds of statement can only be made by an official acknowledged by the state.

Why is this? Because it is a different type of speech act. We don't normally distinguish very clearly between statements of opinion and speech acts which declare new realities or agreements. And yet, they are different.

The reason I have to register a new name or a new corporation with the state is because I am asserting a new reality into a commonly held "legal space" which is intended to help us manage binding agreements with each other. By social agreement, my parents get to give me my legal name, and it is registered as such on my birth certificate and carried forward from there onto other identity documents of the state. For me to change the social agreement about my name, I have to take legal action as well as public/social action (publishing announcement in newspaper, etc.).

One of the things we see Ceptr providing is new ways of creating and asserting agreements -- spaces for binding speech-acts. Being able to store information which is digitally signed and countersigned into commonly held (by no individual but decentralized by a collective).  You could see these as alternatives to the existing law books and legislation. Laws for the members of that particular shared space or commons.

17 Nov 2015

Why you haven't heard of Ceptr | MetaCurrency has been Underground

in Ceptr, MetaCurrency

It's dark undergroundThere are many people trying to solve the same kind of problems we're solving with Ceptr/Streamscapes/MetaCurrency tools. Many are doing *parts* of what we're doing, but as far as I know, nobody has reformulated the whole system in a way that solves all those problems at once while also enhancing social collective intelligence by building an infrastructure for living flow maps which is fundamentally decentralized, unenclosable, interoperable (self-describing, pluggable protocols), highly composable, with fractal coherence, intrinsic data integrity (signed chains), holographic storage (variations of DHT), relational wisdom (scapes), shared sense-making (semantics) and rapid evolution.

We tend to have a communication problem. What we're building is so big and broad, that most people don't make it far enough through the story to get the whole picture before they start challenging isolated parts out of context. I hear responses like: "RDF does that," or "Sounds like the blockchain to me," or "Can't you just mash together Diaspora, XDI and IPFS to get what you want?" or a thousand less polite variants along the lines of that we're friggin' crazy to be trying to change things at the level that we are.

Taxonomy: all terms:
The presentation we used in our MIT-KIT Webinar. I recommend you watch that video to get voice narration about how this all works. http://www.artbrock.com/videos/mit-webinar-ceptr
12 Nov 2015

Why Ceptr? or Transcending Maslow's Hierarchy

in Ceptr, Collective Intelligence, Currency, Currency Design, Evolution, Flow, Flows, Language, Money

A friend of mine (Sheri Herndon) just sent me an email which I replied to. My response felt like it should be capture (and probably expanded or built on more in the future) for a glimpse of why we're building Ceptr.  In fairness, she knows a lot of what I write in my answer, but it was in part to share the purpose behind Ceptr to the others copied on the message who I may meet tomorrow at the Platform Cooperativism Conference..

From Sheri:

10 Nov 2015

New Kind of Commons: The Land Weaving Society

in Ceptr, Commons, Commonwealth, Currencies, Deep Wealth, Gift Economies, New Economy

aerial photo of landYou might know the expression among software developers: "Code is Law." It is a trueism about the abilities and limitations that the users of the software become bound to. And I see a world where this becomes quite literally true in the larger social context as we build new digital commons and distributed autonomous organizations where our agreements, and processes for sharing and accessing resources are quite literally encoded in the digital tools we use to share them and gain access to them.

I’d like to share a bit about a vision for a Land Weaving Society as an example of these patterns and processes -- a way to shift land access and use, by voluntary participation in a commons where owners "share" their land (or house, or buildings) with other members for various uses like hiking, camping, farming, firewood collection, fruit harvesting, etc.

03 Nov 2015

Distributed Receptor-Based Computing

in Ceptr, Decentralization, Receptive Capacity

Receptor Network[I shared this brief in preparation for the Rebooting the Web of Trust event in San Francisco November 3&4 2015.] 

The MetaCurrency Project’s requirements for decentralization combined with a commitment to leveraging organizing principles of living systems led us to invest a lot of time in the past 5 years developing Ceptr. Ceptr is a rebuild of much of the computing stack optimized for decentralized sense-making, computation and composability. This means semantics baked into the lowest levels of memory storage, self-describing protocols which let anything talk with anything else, blockchain-like abilities for decentralized data storage and computation.

02 Nov 2015

A Quantum Leap

in Ceptr, Currencies, Evolution, Language, Social Change
We are poised for a quantum leap of human evolution toward true large-scale social collective intelligence (beyond the hierarchical, mechanistic and cancerous organizational models of modern institutions and corporations). However, this breakthrough requires a new EXPRESSIVE CAPACITY which involves new TOOLS and new SKILLS.
TOOLS: Our social, legal, financial and computing infrastructure has centralized/hierarchical control built into its very DNA.