Upload Update

Like the narrator of William Gibson’s short story “The Winter Market”, I don’t think that mind uploads are the person whose brain they destroy. I’m not even sure that a living brain is the same person each day, or from moment to moment, but reassembling a similar pattern on the same substrate at least looks like continuity. Whether the Ship Of Theseus is the ship that Theseus’s sailed or not, a copy built next to it all in one go probably isn’t. But if the Ship Of Theseus burns, that copy is more like it than anything else that exists. Where the resemblance is many billions of bits strong, and there is no stronger resemblance extant, that’s a form of continuity of identity. Hopefully that of a portrait that captures the sitter’s personality rather than a vampire child.

The only fully uploaded neural connectome is that of the tiny C. elegans nematode worm. Not any particular worm, the worm as an organism. So there is no single identity for the upload to continue or to not continue. The connectome been downloaded into wheeled robots, where it bumbles around in a wormy manner. I’m working on using it to control the pen in a version of draw-something. It’s a different kind of neural art. Nematodes probably don’t have subjectivity, so hopefully this isn’t cruel. I don’t want to be the worm-torturing version of Roko’s Basilisk.

What if we are the worms in someone else’s art project, though? If the universe isn’t a simulation but rather an artwork this would render conceptual art nomination a priori correct and give human suffering the moral quality of crimes committed in the name of making art that do not pay for themselves with the resultant aesthetic achievement.

Neal Stephenson’s mind uploading novel “Fall, Or Dodge In Hell” deals in the ethics and aesthetics of mind uploading and its worlds. Less simulation, more simulacra. Reading it and encountering an uptick in transhumanist themes online and in meatspace has encouraged me to revisit my low-resolution “Uploads” project to make it very slightly higher resolution. I’m porting it to Kinect 2, improving its performance, and looking at better EEG options.

Following the themes of “Fall”, the uploads need a world to live in. At present they implicitly live through, but not on, Twitter. Maybe they can inhabit a simple VR environment. They also need to communicate with each other. Sad and other predetermined emotional reacts only, though. As local disk-based blobs of data they are in danger of being ephemeral. Content-addressable storage (IPFS) can help with that.

Blockchain security and permanence can evocatively address all of this as well – there are blockchain VR environments, communication systems, and data storage systems. There’s a fear of loss behind both mind uploading and blockchain systems. Finn Brunton’s excellent book “Digital Cash” draws out some more direct historical connections between the two.

But that’s another story.

inter-word2vec

Word2Vec is a word vector system that has received attention for the way that mathematical operations on the vectors it generates give meaningful results.

To take an example from an article on Word2Vec:

vec(“king”) – vec(“man”) + vec(“woman”) =~ vec(“queen”)

Training Word2Vec works best with large quantities of text as a single corpus. I’m interested in mis-using it with smaller copora.

Reasoning Over Philosophy

If we can add and subtract vectors generated from different corpora, we can generate vectors for different philosophers’ ouvres (or phases) and compare them.

We can then add and subtract the same concepts from different philosophers corpora, standard corpora and poisoned/flavoured corpora to examine them and to extend/develop them.

We can use Wordnet to abstract the texts if there’s insufficient overlap. We can also project texts through Wordnet in various ways (e.g. find antonyms or tangentially related concepts) and use the results to create new vectors for comparison.

Evolving Philosophy

We can use word2vec mathematical statements normatively as tests for generated corpora. For each statement, when the vectors resulting from processing a corpus satisfies that statement (i.e. X – Y = Z, within the specified tolerance) the corpus passes that test.

We can specify the properties of a desired philosophy as these tests.

To generate a text that passes the test, start with a source text (for example either the collected translated works of Gilles Deleuze or the collected lyrics of Taylor Swift). While it doesn’t pass all of the specified tests, mutate the text and run them again. If the new version passes more tests, keep it. If not, discard it.

This will be very processor intensive, it’s a task for a compute cluster. Random word substitution will take an impractical amount of time. A more genetic approach, walking through conceptual space and informed by the words used in the tests, will still take a long time but may be practical. Even if not the results should be interesting.

Visual Applications

We can extend these uses to visual bag-of-words representations of images, reasoning over and generating artistic styles and genres. If visual representations are unusable for this we can use verbal descriptions of artworks from press releases, art journalism, or other references.

We can combine visual and verbal representations to try to capture semantic and aesthetic features together.

Dogecode

dcrun -u rpcuser -w rpcpassword DCvDS9g9VUZ94MSLbWi4zWRtxHrXeEctZ3
Hello World!

Cryptographic asset tokens can represent all kinds of things.

Including computer programs. Introducing…:

Dogecode

(There are several other projects called Dogecode. This isn’t them).

Dogecode takes computer programs in the Brainfuck programming language (chosen for simplicity of encoding):

++++++++[>++++[>++>+++>+++>+<<<<-]>+>+>->>+[<]<-]>>.>---.+++++++..+++.>>.<-.<.+++.------.--------.>>+.>++.

and translates them into a csv file of token amounts using dcc:

INCB,8
JFOR,1
INCP,1
INCB,4
JFOR,1
INCP,1
INCB,2
INCP,1
INCB,3
INCP,1
...

which are then sent to a Dogeparty address (slowly) as a series of token transfer transactions using dcsend:

Sending lots of tokens. Make sure you really want to do this.
Waiting for token state to synch
Row 1: INCB,8
Waiting for token state to synch...........
Row 2: JFOR,1
Waiting for token state to synch.............
Row 3: INCP,1
Waiting for token state to synch........
Row 4: INCB,4
Waiting for token state to synch..................
Row 5: JFOR,1
Waiting for token state to synch.......................
Row 6: INCP,1
Waiting for token state to synch.......................
Row 7: INCB,2
Waiting for token state to synch......
Row 8: INCP,1
Waiting for token state to synch......
Row 9: INCB,3
Waiting for token state to synch......
Row 10: INCP,1
Waiting for token state to synch.....................
Row 11: INCB,3
Waiting for token state to synch..............
Row 12: INCP,1
Waiting for token state to synch.....

The transactions encode the program on the address, which can then be fetched and run as seen at the top of this post using dcrun.

For more details see the whitepaper.

Update: There’s an easier to use runner and more examples here.

MYSOUL

20141110080048_Komar&Melamid_We_Buy_and_Sell_Souls_5

I have placed my soul on the blockchain, representing it as a cryptographic asset token.

The MYSOUL token is on the Dogecoin blockchain as a Dogeparty asset:

http://dogepartychain.info/asset/MYSOUL

I’ve divided it up into 100 units. This is more efficient that having a single token to represent the soul and transferring it to a single owner, as competition within the market will both reduce costs and allocate this resource more efficiently than a monopoly could.

To make ownership of my soul more accessible, I’ve also created a MYSOUL asset on the Bitcoin blockchain with Counterparty:

http://www.blockscan.com/assetInfo/MYSOUL

This is also divided up into 100 units. Counterparty is more expensive for transactions than Dogeparty, but is more widespread, so it’s good to have both options.

Work In Progress: Some Art

poops

“Some Art”, html5 canvas and JavaScript animation, 2014. Work in progress.

Fear Of Smart Contracts

Babylon, 1772BC, about tea time.
King Hammurabi is explaining the idea of laws to several learned persons.

Hammurabi: So these laws will regulate how we go about our business in society, backed by the coercive power of the state.

Learned Person 1: Hang on. These laws seem to create a causal and moral domain of their own distinct from mere human intercourse. What if they go wrong?

Learned Person 2: Yes, yes! And what if they act against society? Or are written to be evil.

Hammurabi: I’m your king. I would never write bad laws.

Learned Person 1: Yes but suppose a bad king took over. What then? We need something to protect society from these “laws” if they go wrong.

Learned Person 3: Indeed. Most indeededly so.

Hammurabi: Well alright. I’ll add some laws governing the creation and application of laws. That way, laws can be used to govern laws.

Learned Person 3: But that would be like asking the wolf to account for his consumption of lambs!

Learned Person 1: Yes I really don’t see how using laws to alleviate the potential harm of laws works. That’s just circular logic.

Learned Person 4: Yes. What next? Perpetual motion? You’re just begging the question.

Hammurabi: I’m your ****ing king! Shut up and agree with me!

Learned Person 3: If we shut up how are we to agree with you? What do your “laws” say about that?

Learned Person 2: Yeah. There should be laws against people like you…

Hammurabi: GUARDS!

Object Oriented Ontology Critique Response Generator

You’re missing the point.

Monkeycoin

monkeycoin

Monkeycoin is the follow-up to Facecoin. It is a Bitcoin-like cryptocurrency that uses trying to write the complete works of Shakespeare as its proof of work. You can find out more here.

Proof Of Existence 2

god

I have placed the hash of “God” into the Bitcoin Blockchain:

SHA256: ebc3e2e6448f94af7b58e57658336a44d3ff44eafadb54e4c4cd71ba7e607594

Address: 163NUfEg61eJeNiQ9SyN6EDT1ynkzDL2ar

This proves that God exists.

Surgical Strike Update

I’ve updated the 2008 remake of my 1996 artistic programming language “Surgical Strike” to compile on modern versions of GNU/Linux.

https://gitorious.org/robmyers/surgical_strike/

It makes things like this from stealth bombers and old computer company logos:

strike

incoming!
    
codeword blim
    manouver 0 18 0
    roll 0 18 0
    deliver
set
    
// Main orders

load "f-117.dxf"
camouflage "MacOS.png"
roll 0 90 0
manouver 0.1 0 0
blim 22