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Blockchain Temporality Smart Contract Time-Specifiability with Blocktime

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Blockchain Temporality
Smart Contract Time Specifiability with Blocktime
Part of a Series on Cryptophilosophy
cryptophilosophy

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Blockchain Temporality Smart Contract Time-Specifiability with Blocktime

  1. 1. Blockchain Temporality Smart Contract Time Specifiability with Blocktime Part of a Series on Cryptophilosophy cryptophilosophy Melanie Swan Philosophy & Economic Theory New School for Social Research, NY NY melanie@BlockchainStudies.org Stony Brook, New York NY, July 7, 2016 Slides: http://slideshare.net/LaBlogga
  2. 2. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future 1 Melanie Swan  Time Theorist, Philosophy and Economic Theory, New School for Social Research, NY  Founder, Institute for Blockchain Studies  Singularity University Instructor; Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology Affiliate Scholar; EDGE Essayist; FQXi Advisor (Foundational Questions Inst) Traditional Markets Background Economic Theory Leadership http://www.amazon.com/Bitcoin-Blueprint-New-World-Currency/dp/1491920491 Book: Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy
  3. 3. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future 2 Classic problem: how can we make more time?
  4. 4. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future Thesis Statement 3 A concept of temporality is needed that is adequate to the future; a model that has an open possibility space for both the form and content of time; that is multiple and complex; discrete and continuous; and integrates the unstoppable flow of physics and biology human-time with manipulable compute-time
  5. 5. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future Part I: A New Theory of Time 4
  6. 6. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future 5 http://www.robotandhwang.com/attorneys/ Law Firm, San Francisco CA How to develop empowering human- machine collaborations, especially when…
  7. 7. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future …humans and machines are running different time paradigms  Human-time of physics and biology is continuous, inexorable, flowing unidirectionally  Fixed endpoints: birth and death  Compute-time is discrete and malleable, interruptible, with multiple temporal regimes (discrete time, no time, asynchronous time), and the possibility of evolving new paradigms such as blocktime 6
  8. 8. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future What is time? 7 “A non-spatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future” – Merriam-Webster Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/time
  9. 9. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future Bergson’s Duration (1889)  Two time paradigms 1. Objective (quantitative): Measurable clocktime 2. Subjective (qualitative): Internal experience of lived time (flying by, taking forever, flow state); duration  Claim: exercise of free will is possible, by tuning into our internal qualitative experience, and acting from there 8 Source: Bergson, Henri. (1889, 2001). Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness. Dover Publications, London UK.
  10. 10. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future Husserl’s Retentional-Protentional Internal Time Consciousness (1893-1917)  Three time paradigms 1. Bergson’s measurable clocktime (quantitative) as objective time 2. Bergson’s internal sense slow/fast (qualitative) as phenomenological time 3. A third domain where we comprehend and distinguish 1 and 2  Any present moment is comprised of a primal impression (pure perception) plus a link to what it retains of the past (retention) and what it anticipates of the future (pretention) 9 Source: Husserl, Edmund. (1991, 1964). On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time (1893-1917). Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht NL.
  11. 11. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future 10 1. Retention 1. Protention Present Now Primal Impression 2. Recollection 2. Expectation (Discrete) (Discrete) (Continuous) (Continuous) Husserl’s Internal Time Consciousness I. Classic Diagram Primal Impression: pure perception of the present-now moment Retention-Protention: the link of the primal impression to what it retains of the just recently-elapsing past (retention) and what it anticipates of the rapidly-arriving future (protention); the horizon might be immediate (only surrounding the present-now point) or extending to include all recollections and expectations Recollection-Expectation: discrete elements (snapshots or flows) composed into re-plays or re-presentations of present-now moments in new present-now moments when requested or imagined Source: Husserl, Edmund. (1991, 1964). On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time (1893-1917). Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht NL. Past Future
  12. 12. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future A “Middle Third” Time term is needed  Overcome either/or conceptualizations of time 11  Discrete  Snapshot  Digital  Quantitative  Objective  Recollection-Expectation  Computing Clocktime  Machine-time  Continuous  Flow  Analog  Qualitative  Subjective  Retention-Protention  Physics/Biology Time  Human-time
  13. 13. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future Why? Cognitive Bias We know that we are not good at thinking about the future  Always “20 years out” - AI, nanotech, life extension, fuel cells, grand unified theory  Minsky: computer vision=summer project  Blackswans: positive/negative outliers occur with greater frequency than anticipated  Procrastination and fMRI studies: we procrastinate because we think of our future selves as strangers, third persons no different than politicians or celebrities  Supports Parfit: personal identity is not required for survival, but relational experience between past/future selves and experience is 12 Sources: http://nautil.us/issue/9/time/why-we-procrastinate citing van Gelder JL, Hershfield HE, Nordgren LF. (2013). Vividness of the future self predicts delinquency. Psychol Sci. 24(6):974-80, and Pronin, Emily. (2008). How we see ourselves and how we see others. Science. 320(5880):1177-80.
  14. 14. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future Thus we need a Temporality of the Future  A temporality in a more open non-determined possibility space of both form and content, where new trajectories might be possible  A temporality of multiplicity and complexity  Non-linear, dynamic, emergent, open, unknowable at the outset, interdependent, self-organizing 13 Source: Morin, Edgar. (2007). "Restricted complexity, general complexity." Trans. C. Gershenson. In Worldviews, Science and Us: Philosophy and Complexity, ed. C. Gershenson, D. Aerts, and B. Edmonds, 5–29. World Scientific, Singapore.
  15. 15. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future Inspiration: Light’s Wave-Particle Duality  The first ever photograph of light as both a particle and wave (Mar 2015)  Light's wave-particle duality imaged in physical reality for the first time  Schrödinger's cat: dead or alive? 14 Source: http://phys.org/news/2015-03-particle.html, http://actu.epfl.ch/news/the-first-ever-photograph-of-light-as-both-a-parti The bottom 'slice' of the image shows the particles, while the top image shows light as a wave Particle Wave
  16. 16. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future 15 1. Retention 1. Protention Present Now Primal Impression 2. Recollection (Discrete) (Discrete) A middle kind of time: time as a ‘raw material’ existing uncollapsed as simultaneously discrete and continuous; a snapshot and a flow (like light as a superposition of a particle and a wave); a perdurant khôra-spacing; time is an uncollapsed raw material until deployed into a specific situation Adds to our conceptual model of time (Continuous) (Continuous) Husserl’s Internal Time Consciousness II. Adding a New Kind of Time: X-tention Husserl’s Missing Middle Third term 3. X-tention 3. X-tention 2. Expectation (Discrete and Continuous) (Discrete and Continuous) Source: Extended from Husserl, Edmund. (1991, 1964). On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time (1893-1917). Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht NL. Past Future
  17. 17. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future Composability of Physical Time  Information Theory  Formulate spacetime as simultaneously discrete and continuous (Shannon’s sampling)  Time and matter are composable at small scales  Matter at the atomic scale (1×10−9) via positional nanoassembly (actual)  Possibly time and matter at the Planck scale (1×10−35) via Lego- like time fabric bricks (loop quantum gravity) (theoretical) 16 Source: http://www.dedoimedo.com/physics/what-is-time.html, Kempf, Achim. (2010). “Spacetime could be simultaneously continuous and discrete, in the same way that information can be.” New Journal of Physics. 12. Atomic-scale Positional Nanoassembly of Matter Planck-scale ‘Lego-like’ Assembly of Spacetime
  18. 18. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future Part II: Compute-time/Blocktime Temporality 17
  19. 19. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future Contemporary Situation  Algorithmic Reality  Increasing presence of technology  Everything is a math problem  Automation economy  Explosion in classes of compute technology  Personal robotics, drones, IoT (Internet of Things), BCIs (brain-computer interfaces), quantified self wearables, smart cities, smart homes, self-driving vehicles, factory automation, big data analytics, recommendation engines, deep-learning neural nets 18 Source: Swan, M. Rethinking Authority With The Blockchain Crypto Enlightenment. Response to The Edge Question 2016: What do you consider the most interesting recent news? What makes it important? John Brockman, Ed., 2016.
  20. 20. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future Posthuman Futures  Radically-different situations  Life extension, digital societies, cloudminds  Temporality and spatiality have been the fundamental organizing parameter in the physical world but less relevant in digital situations  Example: “location” not among 20 features in World- of-Warcraft event-recording software Prat  Need new models for correspondence between internal mind/experience and external objects  Meillassoux: conceptual grounds for the necessary contingency of reality 19 Source: World of Warcraft http://www.wowace.com/addons/prat-3-0
  21. 21. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future Temporality Paradigms  Human-time  Continuous flow of physics-biology time  Compute-time: computing clocktime eras 1. General: time becomes stoppable and malleable 2. Machine learning/big data temporality: time becomes predictable, future-addressable  Causality models = prediction models1  All human and natural patterns modeled  Shifts focus from reactive response to proactive attending to the real-time present and future 3. Blocktime: time becomes future-assignable, future-creatable 20 1Predictive Outcome causality modeling; graph theory; recurrent neural nets; (Karpathy) selective equation modeling (Pearl)
  22. 22. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future Blocktime: Temporality of the Blockchain  Blockchain: decentralized computing software protocol upon which cryptographic ledgers like Bitcoin run  Blocktime: the temporal regime of cryptographic ledgers and smart contracts; time is specified in units of transaction block confirmation times, not minutes or hours like human-time or variability like “park closes at dark” 21 Source: Swan, M. Magic Blockchains, but for Time? Blockchain Arbitrage. http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/Swan20151202
  23. 23. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future Specify Future Time with Smart Contracts  Time has not been future-specifiable before; now assignable in blocktime smart contracts  Example: automatic pay-out of bet on high temperature tomorrow, automatic e-debit for utility bills, automatic mortgage rate resets  Techspecs: assign time primitives, via MTL (machine trust language), for example open a micropayment channel dapp to track time  Temporality as a Smart Contract feature  Temporal regime: contract-specifiable parameter per drop-down menu, just like legal regime  Blocktime specifications: time speed-ups, slow- downs, event-waiting, prediction markets, Bayesian-distributed future event-positing 22 Source: MTL (machine trust language) time primitives: http://futurememes.blogspot.com/2015/11/machine-trust-language-mtl- human.html
  24. 24. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future Conjecture: Blocktime “makes more time”  Any compute-time like blocktime creates a differential with human-time  Since there is a differential, possible to  Hedge or arbitrage between time regimes  Example of Blocktime Arbitrage: a decentralized peer-to-peer loan coming due in blocktime, without there being enough physical-world time cycles available for generating the ‘fiat resources’ to repay the loan  ‘Make more time’ by accessing events in other time trajectories; thereby getting access to more time  Example: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat: accessing event trajectories not lived directly 23 Source: Swan, M. Magic Blockchains, but for Time? Blockchain Arbitrage. http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/Swan20151202
  25. 25. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future “More time” Parallelism Argument  Core argument: having sense of “more time” due to ability to access events in other time trajectories  Future could be running parallel: Flesh- space self and various digital selves; thus acquiring “more time” through multiple and parallel experienced trajectories  History is a form of time parallelism  Time parallelism already exists via history where we access events pre-dating and existing outside of our own direct experience of time as individuals  Example: Moon Landing 24 Source: Carr, D. (2014). Experience and History: Phenomenological Perspectives on the Historical World.
  26. 26. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future More philosophical questions raised…  Do we need “more time”?  How can we experience the benefit and meaning of more time and alternative time trajectories?  How to integrate the “diffs”  How to synthesize myriad subjective time regimes and event trajectories?  Moore’s Law for time?  Limits of computational complexity and time? 25
  27. 27. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future Thesis Statement 26 A concept of temporality is needed that is adequate to the future; a model that has an open possibility space for both the form and content of time; that is multiple and complex; discrete and continuous; and integrates the unstoppable flow of physics and biology human-time with manipulable compute-time
  28. 28. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future Conclusion  Blocktime Temporality  Merges human-time and compute-time  New theory of time as a raw material: simultaneously discrete and continuous  Make more time through access to alternative time trajectories  Could help orchestrate the automation economy and futures such as human-machine cloudmind collaborations, digital smartnetwork societies, and algorithmic reality more generally 27
  29. 29. April 22, 2016 Temporality of the Future Kurt Vonnegut “Salami-mercury (quantitative-qualitative) theory of time” 28 “I think one of the biggest mistakes we’re making, second only to being people, has to do with what time really is. We have all these instruments for slicing it up like a salami, clocks and calendars, and we name the slices as though we own them - when in fact they are as likely to break into pieces or go scampering off as dollops of mercury.” - Kurt Vonnegut, A Man without a Country, p. 119
  30. 30. Blockchain Temporality Smart Contract Time Specifiability with Blocktime Part of a Series on Cryptophilosophy cryptophilosophy Melanie Swan Philosophy & Economic Theory New School for Social Research, NY NY melanie@BlockchainStudies.org Stony Brook, New York NY, July 7, 2016 Slides: http://slideshare.net/LaBlogga Thank You! Questions?

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