How we can use proof-of-work to arrive at better common ideas than would be possible with alternative means of gaining attention
"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." – Voltaire
Our world has a problem with reliably communicating the global state locally. This is what it means to have a Byzantine Generals Problem. The original paper[^1] has characterized the Byzantine Generals Problem as that of all honest actors agreeing as to a decision in the presence of traitors attempting to prevent agreement. In a system which is not Byzantine fault-tolerant, a traitor can trick honest actors to treat each other as enemies.
Information is difficult to sample and broadcast globally and the methods we have been using for doing so are vulnerable to scammers, who are motivated to adapt any such process to their own purposes. People generally rely on habitual sources of information for their information about the global state. For example, there are journals, newspapers, social networks, universities, and so on. Each of these is a central point of failure where information is collected and then broadcast.
Global scams operate by taking over sources of information, and isolating rational actors. Rational actors need to combat scams by connecting more closely to one another and evaluating all information together. Any source of information can be corrupted. If a source of information is corrupted, the cost of switching to better sources of information is a great deal of time spent evaluating poor sources of information. It is not easy to evaluate sources of information. Sources can also become unreliable quickly and in subtle ways that are not noticed easily. Once people are attached to a source of information they become dependent upon it due to the cost of finding new sources. Once people are cut off from reliable information, they can be trapped in a Matrix-like illusion. Emotional manipulation can be used to keep people addicted to the information and afraid to look for new sources. People with the truth can be vilified to prevent their knowledge from spreading.
Rational actors have trouble finding each other amid all the chaos. With proof-of-work as an upvote system, we create a system that emulates a central point without actually being one, and which therefore cannot be taken over as local sources of information can. There, rational actors can make themselves heard by minimizing energy expenditure, something that only rational actors can do. With a reliable way of finding each other, rational actors can confer with one another as to the evaluation of claims without being broken up by misinformation. In other words, rational actors can use proof-of-work to become Byzantine fault-tolerant, something which they have never been before.
We are now at a time when global scams are so pervasive that they threaten our civilization, our freedom, and many lives. The techniques I have described above have been used to put everybody under lockdown and in fear of a pandemic that is distracting them from noticing that democracy and the rule of law are under assault everywhere.
| | |:--:| | An information hub. |
The Handicap Principle[^2] says that the only honest signal of fitness is provable waste. It implies that when females are rational, males are honest; for it is only worthwhile for them to pay for attention from females in proportion to the value which they are actually able to offer them. As Graffen has said, “better males do better by advertising more”, meaning that those who offer more can also afford to prove that they can waste more. A male that undervalues himself survives more easily because he risks less, but he loses out on attention from females and has fewer viable offspring. A male that overvalues himself loses in two ways: first, he takes on more risk by growing a bigger handicap and second, he gains less from female attention than if he had been a genuinely fit male. The handicap is not the only way of looking at a male; it is merely the first thing that the female looks at. Females will be turned off by a male with an impressive handicap if the rest of him is not impressive.
Thus, the handicap game is one of self-assessment and balance. Males must choose the correct handicap for their own situation in order to optimize the trade-off between viability and female attention. The difference in this trade-off for different males makes them optimize at different sizes. They all rank themselves based on handicaps and their goal is to choose the correct rank.
When males do not handicap, females experience a problem of too many males and not enough time to give each one a proper assessment. It is difficult to find the best male in a reasonable amount of time. Thus, females end up with worse males than they could have got and better males end up with fewer females. The winners in the handicap game are all females and better males; the losers are the worse males. Better males can use handicaps to compete quickly with worse males and females get all males in a nicely organized list that is more likely to have better males at the front. Thus, handicaps save females’ time.
Thus, there are two aspects to handicaps: cost to males and ease of assessment by females. Both aspects together is what makes handicaps an unbeatable strategy. Handicaps are honest signals of fitness because they demonstrate cost, which is something that the unfit cannot afford to do; and they are worth paying attention to because females save time over other methods of assessing males.
The function of handicaps is to gain attention from rational actors. They work because candidates worthy of attention can more easily afford to approach death. Not all handicapped candidates are good, good candidates are more likely to be found among those who are the most handicapped. Without handicaps, it is harder for females to identify fit males so they are more likely to end up with a less fit male.
One of the most important results from Graffen is that even the weakest males must grow a handicap once the process gets started. When fit males start to signal with handicaps, the less fit must follow suit or get no attention from females, and less is better than none. In equilibrium, males with no handicap get no attention.
Zahavi wrote about his idea in terms of biological life, but it can also be applied to memes, as conceived by Dawkins. Dawkins insisted that the gene is the true unit of selection and his application of evolutionary theory depends on their nature as replicators.[^3] Therefore, evolutionary theory ought to apply to other replicators as well, not just DNA molecules. Noting that ideas are also replicators, Dawkins invented the word meme, which is just another word for idea that sounds like “gene” to suggest that evolutionary theory can apply to ideas. Memes compete for replication in minds, similar to how genes compete for resources to replicate. We might say that communism and capitalism are alleles for a meme that expresses itself in the way that people attempt to organize their society.
I have proposed, in accordance with Zahavi's idea, that we all evaluate our ideas and advertise them with proof-of-work[^4], which is a handicap that can be demonstrated over the Internet, in proportion to our own honest assessment of their value. In so doing, we reduce the risk of being overrun by less-fit males (parasitic memes) by ensuring that fit males (symbiotic memes) have a means of competing effectively in the short term. This is the problem of mass scams. In the world we have now, less fit males can use manipulation to gain attention cheaply and as a result, society is overrun by their mutant children.
A good society would be one in which symbiotic memes are pervasive and parasitic memes are sparse, which is the opposite of what we have now. This problem is that our system of information transmission favors parasitic memes. The problem can be solved by a correct application of the handicap principle.
We can use proof-of-work as an upvote system to rank ideas so as to ensure that the most fit ideas are easy to find and spread the most. The content is like the DNA, the proof-of-work is the handicap sexual display, and the brain of the reader is like the female. We can require all males to make a sexual display before they are evaluated for reproduction. Society will save a lot of time evaluating parasitic ideas and will focus more directly on symbiotic ones.
The Handicap Principle remains controversial in biology. This is not due to a problem with the idea but because it has not been fully understood by the scientific community. Modern criticisms of the Handicap Principle has to do with confusions over what the Handicap Principle actually is and with the relationship between Zahavi and Graffen, which has been poorly explained in the scientific literature.[^5]
When I say that “the only honest signal of fitness is provable waste”, there are two things that this does not mean: it does not mean that it makes sense to ignore everything other than the handicap nor does it mean that honesty is impossible without handicaps. Provable waste is the only honest signal of fitness because it is optimal, therefore other honest signals of fitness are unstable until they grow a handicap. Handicaps are the only honest signal of fitness that would be expected to appear in nature, not the only honest signal of fitness that can be imagined in any theoretical scenario.
Although Zahavi has stated his principle in a way that could be interpreted to mean that other honest signals of fitness are impossible, the arguments that he uses to support his idea are all based on optimality, not logical impossibility. He talks about how animals save resources by using handicaps. Other biologists like Számadó have pointed to models of honest signals that are not handicaps in order to disprove Zahavi when it should have been obvious from the start that this was not really what he was talking about. Really he just talked in a sloppy way because he didn’t anticipate the objection that was made later. If any of those other models were augmented to include the possibility of growing a handicap, the animals in the model would grow one and they would do it because there is no signal that is easier to assess than provable waste. Therefore there would always be a potential time save from employing a handicap. Once a handicap was employed, it would not completely overshadow everything else that the animals do to signal. The optimal signal would use some handicap and some of anything else that was honest.
Thus, handicaps are the only honest signals of fitness not because everything other than a handicap is dishonest. Rather, every honest signal of fitness uses a handicap. Furthermore, honest signals of fitness are not nothing but a handicap, but they all use handicaps in equilibrium. The handicap is the optimal first step in any application process.
In my earlier article, I discussed the idea of using proof-of-work with resumés. If this was done, would it make sense for the resumés to be blank and for the employer to hire whoever had the highest difficulty? No, of course not. The problem with resumés is similar to that of the problems faced by males face when trying to impress females. Although some information on resumés can theoretically be checked, it can be a successful strategy to put bullshit on a resumé and send it to as many employers as possible just to get a chance at an interview. Potential employers face the problem of having more applicants than they can afford to look at carefully. If applicants were required to do proof-of-work on their resumés for each employer they sent it to, they would not want to use deception anymore because now every employer who does not hire them is a cost that they cannot recover and deception is a good reason not to hire them.
Thus, the size of the handicap is not the only thing that is honest about the resumé. Rather, the cost of the handicap to the applicant gives him the incentive to be honest with his entire presentation. This issue is obscured in biology because the peahen cannot simply ask the peacock interview questions about himself as if he were applying for a job.
Every honest signal of fitness will be like that resumé. It begins with a handicap but it is more than just a handicap and the whole thing is honest because of the handicap. That is the Handicap Principle.
As to the relationship between Zahavi and Graffen, Graffen claimed to have developed a complete model of the Handicap Principle, but in reality he over simplified Zahavi and neither he nor Zahavi noticed this. Later writers like Számadó have correctly pointed out that Graffen’s model is of strategic choice, which is a component of the Handicap Principle but does not cover everything that Zahavi had in mind. However, there is not a consensus on what Zahavi intended that is not in Graffen.
Graffen’s model dealt with the most well-known objection to the Handicap Principle at the time that it came out, which was from Maynard Smith[^6]. The objection was that males would be better off not handicapping, since a handicap would reveal their inferiority but in nature we generally see that all males are handicapped. In Graffen’s model it is not a viable option for less-fit males to conceal their inferiority because females ignore them completely.
However, in Graffen, females have no information about males other than the male advertisement. Their choice is either to rely on the advertisement or to have sex randomly. Graffen showed that the advertisement is worth paying attention to when it demonstrates cost and that males must make a strategic choice about how much cost to demonstrate that is based on their fitness. He did not demonstrate that females save time over alternate methods of assessing males because he gave his females no alternate means of assessing males. This is what is missing from his work that is in Zahavi.
As Számadó has pointed out, many things demonstrate cost that are not provable waste. For example, if I were to take an oath on pain of perjury, I have demonstrated cost because I have removed the opportunity to lie and get away with it without spending time in jail. However, it is not a handicap because nothing has actually been wasted. If I am destroying something right in front of you, that is easy to assess and I can save you a lot of time if I do that. If I take an oath on pain of perjury, it is much more difficult for you to verify the cost that is being demonstrated. You would have to understand the legal system, know that I have not corrupted it somehow, and know that prosecutors will actually go after me if I try to lie, which they will not necessarily do. In real life people lie in court all the time and get away with it. Is an oath, therefore, an honest signal of fitness? Maybe it is but it is a lot more ambiguous than the peacock’s tail.
What critics of Zahavi have not pointed out is that Zahavi emphasized both that handicaps demonstrate cost and that they are easy to assess. Graffen missed the part about being easy to assess but Zahavi already had the complete idea.
Graffen’s oversimplified way of thinking led him to introduce errors that are not in Zahavi, which were corrected by Getty. They have to do with Graffen’s interpretation of the statement that “better males do better by advertising more”. Graffen introduced this statement as a condition that would have to hold in any model of the Handicap Principle. From this he concluded that “the marginal cost of advertising must be lower for the better male”. This conclusion does not follow logically from his model, and, in fact, is not true in an example he uses in section 2.3 of his paper. It follows from a simplifying assumption that he makes in the middle section 2.1 of his analysis of the conditions necessary for an equilibrium. He assumed that better and worse males gain the same from an increase in female attention.
It is easy to see why this assumption is false if females can see more about a male than just his handicap because female attention does not necessarily lead to sex in that case. Females may pay more attention to a less-fit male but then realize that he’s not actually fit and reject him anyway. However, the assumption can also be false for other reasons. For example, a less fit male may have fewer additional viable offspring if he has sex with as many additional females as a more fit male.
Getty’s correction is that “better males are better at converting advertising into fitness”, which is essentially a restatement of “better males do better by advertising more”. This means that a more fit male may end up risking death as much or more than a less fit male but he also gains enough in female attention to make it worth it, whereas Graffen’s conclusion was that the reason more fit males can afford to advertise more is because bigger advertisements are less risky for them.
Graffen’s model is insufficient for my purposes because people are able to read and evaluate the content that is posted to a social network. In real life, females can look at a male’s tail and at his body. They will reject a male if his tail is not beautiful enough and if his body is not strong enough. The important difference between tail and body is that the tail is much easier to assess than the body. The tail is the most obvious thing about the male and the rest of him is more subtle and more difficult to understand. A rational female will look at the tail first and the body second. This enables her to reject the males down to a reasonable number that she has time to give a full evaluation. This is analogous to the way that readers of a social network will look at the top N posts, sorted by proof-of-work, where N is the amount of information they are willing to engage with.
Zahavi used analogies and verbal reasoning rather than math to communicate his idea and everything I have explained above is already in his writings. He was not very good at math, so he did not know how to criticize Graffen, as I have done. His idea does not need to be all done in math. It is great that Graffen dealt with Maynard Smith’s objection but he could have done it without math simply by making his argument more carefully. Theoretical biologists since Graffen have been acting like a bunch of idiot savants who can’t understand anything unless it’s written in math. The controversy surrounding the Handicap Principle is undeserved and it has to do with a failure on the part of theoretical biologists to understand it after all this time.
The proof-of-work game is one in which all players attempt to maximize benefit by trading energy for attention. There will be a list of content, like on reddit, organized by upvotes, which is proportional to an expected number of hash operations that can be verified. Anyone can upvote as much as they want and there are no downvotes.
Each player reads as much as they can handle; some players just want the top 10, some the top 100, some the top 10000. Players who want to think more read farther down the list. They are more likely to find unexamined ideas that deserve more attention. Instead of relying on a few habitual sources of information, everyone gets a variety of content that is likely to be worth reading, based on having been filtered by the players of the proof-of-work game.
Someone who simulates the future better is someone who can better predict the amount of energy that they can sustainably spend. Someone who can predict their own place in the world is also someone who can predict the world as a whole. Thus, the best male is the one who understands the most about the whole.
Wealthy players have more influence on the system but they cannot overwhelm it because they have to earn back everything they spend on it. There are a lot more poor people than rich people and they will not be susceptible to divide-and-conquer than as are now. Furthermore, wealthy people who try to scam poor people by giving them a false consciousness are at risk of competition from wealthy people who focus on shared interest with all humanity. It will be impossible to conceal this competition and to trap people in ideological bubbles as it is today. Subverting the system costs a lot more than the cost of upvoting something to the top content; people will read more than just the top content and Proof-of-work is merely the first step in evaluating a meme for reproduction, not the last.
We use proof-of-work as an upvote system in the same way. We look at the top upvoted content, however much we want to read in a day. We do not just believe everything we see is good; rather we expect to be able to find more of the most important information and less of the less important content. We are not excused from using judgement with the ideas that we expose ourselves to; rather we save time ignoring a lot of stuff that’s likely to be not worth reading.
Proof-of-work filters out those who do not speak with genuine love and knowledge. There is no point in talking with proof-of-work unless you want to tell people what is in your mutual interest. Thus, readers benefit from learning and upvoters benefit from teaching. People may not like spending money on upvotes, but the good thing about it is that when you attach proof-of-work, people will actually listen to what you say. You can create a better society by teaching if you know that people will actually learn it. That is a big benefit and it is worth the cost.
Thus, all players collectively work to organize information. The result will be much better than on any other social media platform or any other organization that purports to process information because of the economic incentives. Cooperation prevails because that is the optimal strategy and there is no limit to how big it can get.
| ] | |:--:| | Figure 1 a. Two competing memes desiring to reproduce in a brain. The brain does not know which one to admit. |
| ] | |:--:| | Figure 1 b. The communist meme does not have a beautiful tail because communists only talk about how to be incompetent and hence do not have as much excess energy. The brain does not find this sexy. |
| ] | |:--:| | Figure 1 c. A capitalist meme will be able to display a lot of proof-of-work because people who understand capitalism understand the real world and therefore can sustainably spend energy. |
The most important thing I learned in software engineering is that mistakes are more costly the later they are identified. Today our society experiences great cost because we do not identify bad ideas early enough. Proof-of-work means that ideas will be simulated better before they are put into practice than they are now. Better simulators can reduce their own costs by telling the world how to be a better environment for them. Proof-of-work is a small cost now that saves us big costs later.
Take communism and capitalism as alleles of a meme, as above. Communism has been the excuse for 100 million murders and counting. Yet there were people who knew what would happen before communism was ever implemented. Eugene Richter understood communism as well as anybody today when he wrote Pictures of a Socialist Future in 1893[^7]. Mises explained the economic problems of socialism in 1920[^8], just as the Soviet Union was getting started. As he argued, there are two methods of organizing society: central planning, and capitalism. Communism necessarily leads to central planning because it attempts to eliminate the market. This results in inefficiency because it eliminates any shared concept of efficiency; the economy can only be managed to serve the ends of the central planners and poorly at that insofar as they cannot realistically collect and analyze all the information of the economy into a coherent plan.
Communism has always been a scam promoted by people who want to take everything for themselves. They don’t care that central planning doesn’t really work or that many people will be hurt by attempting to implement it. They just want control over everything. Karl Marx was a useful idiot who didn’t understand that his idea was only good for psychopaths. He may not have wanted to mass-murder people but he was a scam artist himself: he wanted to be worshiped as a genius and didn’t care about the truth.
The ideas which predicted the failure and duplicity of communism did not protect people. They were not transmitted. People were not warned before it was too late. Communism progresses by infiltration, deception, and manipulation, which is exactly what proof-of-work is strong against. As long as people do not rely on proof-of-work, communists will continue to outmaneuver their opponents. They will use propaganda and lies to discredit their opponents and keep attention away from them. They will use manipulation and engineered crises to keep attention on themselves. When we start to attach proof-of-work to memes, expressions of the idea must reduce their own fitness in order to transmit it. Communists will have to extract energy and provably waste it while they destroy society and tell each other how to be incompetent, whereas capitalists, who understand how to provide value independent of cheap talk, will be able to extract energy from growth that they create. They will be able to prove waste that communists can’t match.
Now, as then, knowledge is available that could save many lives but it is not mass-transmitted. Mass media and social networks all follow the hub-and-spoke pattern. Behind them is a group of a few genocidal billionaires who have decided this.
We have been Syble attacked by a group of conspirators that have taken over the Western governments and have put puppets up everywhere. The problem is our system of information transmission. This could have been prevented with a better general understanding of the global state. People might have known that the Drosten PCR test is unscientific[^9] and produces false positives. They might have known that Covid-19 is not dangerous for most people. They might have known that the vaccines are poisonous and that there are safe early treatments that prevent fatalities. They might have that the government and media were lying more quickly. Had more been generally understood, many people would not have died.
If you look at previous videos[^10] I have done to explain boost to people, you can see that nobody understands what I'm talking about! All they ever say is that no one would pay to upvote content. Yes they would! They would do it because they want a better society and because they value other people! It is worthwhile to pay to boost information if it saves lives. Right now we have no way to ensure that everybody sees something. There are gatekeepers for all information that is mass-broadcast. With proof-of-work as an upvote system we eliminate gatekeepers and we put all ideas in a fair contest for attention.
Do we want evolution to work by death alone or do we want to predict death before it happens and avoid it? The earlier we address problems the less damage they do. There is a lot of risk now, we need to optimize helping each other survive.
| | |:--:| | The herd of Bitcoiners. |
Central planning is like a pack of predators and is organized in a hub-and-spokes network with the leaders at the center. These leaders are sometimes called alphas but really they are parents. The betas are their children. The pack must look to the leader to make decisions because they have to work together to take down a big prey and someone must choose who that prey will be. In human society, our governments that acts like a surrogate father and people who want to be leaders act like fathers. In the past, these surrogate fathers were military leaders who led betas against enemies. Today these surrogate fathers have degenerated into brood parasites, like the cuckoo. The prey is no longer rival groups, but the betas who follow him. They only know how to manipulate and they will not stop until they have taken everything.
Capitalists, on the other hand, are like a herd of prey animals, like deer, or like a flock of birds or a school of fish. Their interaction is symbiotic rather than parasitic. They depend on each other. They do not fly together physically, but mentally: the market moves like a herd around a shared idea of society. Nobody controls the market but they all are part of it. Leaders do not give commands in the market; rather they do what other people will do before they have thought of it. Capital markets are a contest to understand new knowledge faster than the rest.
Capitalists today are deficient because they cannot depend on each other for reliable information. What they are missing is antlers. When they learn how to grow antlers, their communication system will no longer be modeled off that of predators and vulnerable to being taken over by predators. Right now their enemy has an advantage over them in terms of its ability to coordinate and plan, but there is a superior style of organization if only people could learn it. Although Neitzsche lamented humanity’s herd mentality, that is what will save us. The human herd instinct is like that of a domesticated herd but we can learn to be wild.
The difference between good ideas and bad ideas is the difference between the rise and fall of civilization. I depict this in my video “Bitcoin: At Scale”. The main character uses proof-of-work to explain to everybody how to prevent a meteor from destroying the Earth. This is a depiction on a dramatic scale of how I envision proof-of-work as an upvote system. It will be better at ensuring that information that is relevant at a global scale is also widely disseminated.
An important paper that applies thermodynamics to social networks called “Phase transition in a network model of social balance with Glauber dynamics”[^11] discusses a phase transformation that can occur between two stable states in a complete graph that represents society. In one state there are two groups of mutual friends that are enemies of each other, and in the other everyone is friends with everyone else. All that is required is enough random changes in the values of the edges.
Right now we are being attacked with a divide-and-conquer strategy. Left vs right, vaccinated vs unvaccinated, rich vs poor, black vs white, male vs female. Any way that they can try to divide us, they will. With proof-of-work upvotes, people will not be able to get trapped in bubbles. Information will transmit across boundaries easily. A proof-of-work upvote system is enough to induce that phase transition from a state of two groups that are divided on major questions that both think the other is lying to one group that focus first on agreement and shared interest, with all disagreement centered around what is common. When we turn on proof-of-work upvotes, the loudest voices will not be divisive, but unifying.
| | |:--:| | The Bitcoin Egregore |
Memes with antlers can be treated as if they are unlikely to have been deliberately crafted for deception. Ideas that are crafted with the good of society and the planet as a whole in mind are more likely to be transmitted when we use proof-of-work. Upvoted content can be treated as if it is as good as ideas that come from inside your own brain. Of courses, that does not mean that people should not use judgment; not everything from your own brain is good! The system does not work without judgment. It is a style of thought that is more cooperative and less adversarial. The judgment that is engaged in it will tend to be employed in a more constructive way than in previous systems. There will be more reliable error-correction from your fellow herd members before an idea arrives at you.
An important topic of discussion is the state of the whole system. How is everybody feeling and thinking in general? What is the overall idea that people are thinking about? Discussions on these topics will lead everyone towards a unity with everyone else on the platform. The result will be a shared consciousness (egregore) that thinks about how to make the world better. This will work because it is not vulnerable to forces that prevent unity.
What I am talking about is not new. Many religions have a shared consciousness. However, what I am talking about is global, not separated into many churches, and does not require religious leaders. Jung said there is a collective unconscious; let’s have a collective consciousness from now on instead.
An egregore is more interesting than virtual reality. It is an experience that is much better and more interesting than entering some convincing fantasy world. It is something that can really make our lives better. I am mentioning this because it has been very hard to get other people excited about what I have been talking about and my friends are all interested in technologies that I do not think are nearly as important, such as virtual reality.
As Grafen says, “the cost of a signal is the key to its meaning”. In other words, the cost that an animal bear tells about what the animal has in excess and therefore about how it is fit. The peacock’s tale and a buck’s antlers are both costly signals but they don’t mean the same thing.
In Austrian Economics, all costs are opportunity costs, which means that when you pay for something what you lose is everything else that you could have bought. In other words, costs are forgone choices and if there is no alternative to something, then it has no cost. A signal that “demonstrates cost”, therefore, proves only that some alternative was made impossible. Thus costs are heterogeneous because there are many kinds of benefits that can be avoided that cannot intrinsically be compared on an a priori scale. A full life requires a balance of many goods. The market may rate prices on a scale, but that is only after people recognize a good as money. What is the cost of proof-of-work demonstrate and what kind of strength does it demonstrate?
The cost that is demonstrated is free energy, which is a thermodynamic concept that refers to energy that can be used to do useful work. Energy is an abstract substance that has no pure form but is inherent in all matter, position, and motion. Physicists describe the laws of the universe in terms of the flow of energy. Energy is neither created nor destroyed, but free energy is constantly being used up. It is converted into heat and cannot profitably be converted back again.
Thus, the ability to use free energy demonstrates a connection between a mind and the fundamental nature of the universe. Useful work indicates purpose. The abstract nature of energy indicates a mind that conceives of purposes. Proof-of-work is open to anyone who discovers new sources of energy. It is not dependent on any specific form. One day the peacock may no longer need beauty and the buck may no longer need physical strength. They will have to develop completely new signals if this happens. However, all purposeful transformations cost energy.
A cost of free energy shows that something is good at living in general. It demonstrates a fitness that is not tied to any specific form, but rather one that is ready to transform itself and its environment as needed. Thus it is about intelligence and knowledge itself. Proof-of-work is antlers for the rational animal.
King Minos thought that he could avoid proof-of-work. He was supposed to sacrifice a divine bull that was given to him by Poseidon but instead he chose to keep the bull and to sacrifice an inferior mortal bull instead. What happened to him? His wife, Pasiphaë, was more attracted to the divine bull than she was to him. She had sex with it and gave birth to the minotaur. Thus, the consequence of a failure to demonstrate cost is mutant children.
They were forced to create a labyrinth in which to keep the minotaur and feed it with children out of the Minoan population. Fortunately, Theseus used a thread given to him by Ariadne to connect the center of the labyrinth with the exit.
The Labyrinth is like information overload, which is what we’re living in now. Deception prevails and parasites feed. The minotaur is like the global elites, the labyrinth is their propaganda and false flag operations, and the children who are eaten are us. The string is reasoning. Like Satan from Paradise Lost, it makes that which is “intricate seem straight”[^12].
Theseus is like a genius who can understand a complicated idea. With proof-of-work, Bitcoiners will be like a slime mold that explores every possibility simultaneously until the optimal path is discovered instead of a lone genius with a thread. All labyrinths will be threaded, all mysteries will be solved, all puzzles unlocked, and everything obscure will have light shed upon it. When we stop offending the gods and restore the sacrifice, we will no longer suffer information overload. All we must do to end the global crisis and ensure that freedom and the rule of law will prevail again is to engage our right brains and grow our antlers.
[^1]: See Leslie Lamport, Robert Shostak, and Marshall Pease, The Byzantine Generals Problem, also see Satoshi’s description of the problem and my commentary called Bitcoin Offers Solutions To All Your Byzantine Generals Problems.
[^2]: The Handicap Principle was originally proposed by Zahavi 1975 and 1977. Also see his book, Zahavi 1999. Later, Graffen 1990 developed a mathematical model of strategic choice. These are the two most important writers on the Handicap Principle. Getty 1998 has also made some important clarifications. See Grose 2011 for an important review.
[^3]: See Dawkins, The Selfish Gene. He developed his idea further in The Extended Phenotype, which is also good.
[^4]: See Back 2002 (a) and (b) for the original proposal of proof of work. See Nakamoto 2009 for its application to Bitcoin. See “Proof-of-Work as a Handicap” for the connection to the Handicap Principle.
[^5]: Modern criticisms of the Handicap Principle can be found in Számadó 2011 and
[^6]: Maynard Smith, 1976.
[^7]: Richter, 1893.
[^8]: See Mises 1920. Mises expanded on his account of socialism three more times, first in Bureaucracy, which is the best starting point for his ideas in my opinion, then in Socialism, and finally as incorporated into his comprehensive economic treatise Human Action.
[^9]: The Corona Investigative Committee has been operating since mid 2020 and has collected testimony from over 150 experts in various fields concerning the covid-19 fake pandemic. I have watched many of these interviews and they have all been very valuable. Dr. Reiner Fullmich has summarized the committee's findings recently. PCR tests are supposed to be used for scientific purposes, not diagnostic. The sarscov2 PCR test in particular uses so many cycles of amplifications that it results in mostly false positives. This test was the basis for the original declaration of a pandemic. There was no excess mortality before the vaccine roll-out. Effective treatments for covid 19 have been suppressed so that there could be a vaccine roll-out. Governments have deliberately promoted panic as part of an agenda to destroy democracy and establish a totalitarian world government run by the global elite.
[^10]: I did a video with Connor that seems to have been deleted, Nicky aka Bitcoin Tramp (divided into 4 parts: 1, 2, 3, 4), and the Numpties and Craig Mason and you can see that none of them understands what I’m saying. How can all of these people be in Bitcoin and not understand what proof-of-work is for?
I did a second video with Craig Mason in which he seemed like he was starting to understand but he still didn’t get it because after we did the video he asked me “what’s the incentive to upvote content”? The incentive to upvote content is that you want an important idea to receive more attention.
People keep acting upvoting content is better than reading content. Do you go on reddit because you like to read the content or because you like to upvote content? Reddit can only survive as long as the information is good. If it wasn’t people wouldn’t go there and it wouldn’t be much use to upvote content.
The only problem is that reddit doesn’t actually work. It can be turned into an addictive propaganda machine, just like all the other social networks. What I’ve been talking about is the only solution to reddit’s security flaw. Proof-of-work prevents it from being turned into a propaganda machine.
Who wins in the handicap game? Females and fit males. Everyone who doesn’t want to pay to upvote content is acting like an unfit male and forgetting the benefit they receive as a reader. If you act like you don’t want to pay to upvote content then you’re like someone who would rather talk than get good information. Why would anybody want to listen to someone like that? You ought to shut up and it’s good that you don’t want to pay. If you think talking is better than listening, you are just some kind of manipulator.
Memes on reddit and other social networks are like males who refuse to grow antlers because of how much people would laugh at them for how unimpressive they are. They prefer to conceal their weakness. This will not work. Against the competition from memes with antlers, females have no reason to give them another glance. Graffen’s model of strategic choice demonstrates that even the weakest males must grow antlers to have any chance with females. As in Graffen, eventually no one will be able to afford not to use proof-of-work upvotes. Someone who tries to avoid it will do as well as a female who doesn’t want to save time.
I just hear the same crap over and over again whenever I try to explain proof-of-work for upvotes to people. “Nobody will ever pay to upvote content.” I’m sorry but I’ve got a math proof that says you’re wrong. Once a few people start doing it then everybody will have to follow suit or they will lose. I feel like no matter what I say, people will not believe economics is real and they will act like they have listened but it is as if nothing I say has any effect on them.
Another one I hear a lot is that wealthy people will overwhelm the system. I’m sorry, but everyone optimizes by demonstrating cost at a level proportionate to their real value. It doesn’t matter how much money you have. If they try to use propaganda they just lose money until they don’t have any anymore. The success of propaganda depends on cheap talk. The biggest problems that humanity faces today would just fade away if people just understood what I’ve been talking about for the last few years.
Nobody has ever come up with a good argument against the Handicap Principle. Everyone who disagrees with it acts like they simultaneously don’t understand it and like less-fit males overcome with Nietzschian ressentiment who desperately want to dismiss the idea, knowing that if it were ever put into practice they would be headed the same way as the dodo. If you understand the theory you know that you’d better start growing antlers now or you’re doomed. That’s what stable strategy means.
[^11]: Shojaei, et al, 2019.
[^12]: “He, leading, swiftly rolled \In tangles, and made intricate seem straight, \To mischief swift.”, Milton 1674.
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