Categories
Culture Internet Culture

Day 1202 and Dazed and Confused

Bayes and I chat

only a few people seem to be thinking clearly about the powerful ai future. if your world model is built entirely off of samples from this app you are going to end up confused. if it’s built with zero samples from this app, you will also be confused

Bayeslord

I was raised by a good hippie so I couldn’t help but reach for a little LED Zeppelin joke about green text training our desires and fears. .

Been dazed and confused for so long it’s not true, wanting AI never bargained for you. Lots of people talk but few of them know the soul of the green text was created below”

Julie who should have asked chatGPT

I’ve got Dazed and Confused playing in my Spotify while I wonder how we remix our way to understanding if we’ve got a clear path through the dark forest.

There are many nodes and each signal you toss to the algorithmic winds sails to exact audience you are calling. Scream loud. Run the solo that shows you are a live one. Act on the systems. Reach out and take it.

Categories
Emotional Work Startups

Day 1193 And Peak Performance

I was really struggling yesterday so I didn’t expect to jump right onto a flow state today. I went into town to eat a hamburger.

“You may not like it but eating a burger in the back of a casino in a strip mall in Montana while reading an economics lecture by Deidre McCloskey is actually female peak performance”

Maybe it was the positive effect of a bunch of fat and protein but I was in the zone afterwards. I was able to pull together a bunch of disparate connections on a specialty niche where I’ve had some very promising investments.

I, for a brief shining moment, realized I was almost certainly one of the most expert and well connected people on the planet for something.

So much of not getting eaten by change is simply accepting that you feel absolutely bonkers an enormous amount of time. Learning to live with it isn’t as easy as it looks

If you are lucky and smart and open minded a straight line can appear through what was other completely disparate things. It’s funny that we call putting a line through things regression right? Simplifying things is funny like that.

Learning to act when you see a through line is almost all of the battle. “Noticing things” is only useful insofar as it something you take action on.

I felt as if I had no clear path at all yesterday on anything and then today I did. I didn’t see some kind of perfect Delphic vision of the future. I just realized that work I’d set in motion three or four years ago has yielded results and if I was able to keep going with other people who saw it too then I had done what I could.

Categories
Finance

Day 1180 and Renting Picks and Shovels by The Hour

The board needs to see that we are doing “something” and so management consultants have done a lot of paddling aggressively. Everyone is making money of artificial intelligence right? Well, wrong.

My belief is that this is a result of not having adequate developer tools at the enterprise level so no processes are repeatable or simple yet. Not for lack of trying in a frenzy of weird media panics around whether chat bots are gods or just malign spirits. Which like lol.

This isn’t something that gets solved overnight. Value accrues in strange ways to very particular forms of automation. Whether that gets bought up in bidding wars over core technologies over time or in simple breakout solutions isn’t actually as predictable as you’d imagine it. It’s very much about people who build things that other people want in reasonably reliable ways.

But right now a lot of software is being built in silly and not terribly repeatable ways. It reminds me a little bit of having been at a specialty retailer trying to figure out ecommerce and making a bunch of mistakes. Eventually the market solves it and then it demands a return on investment.

Categories
Internet Culture Politics

Day 1177 and Binge Monomyths

I spent the day on binging a monomyth in service of focusing some attention on where we might be going if this is in fact a Cambrian explosion era. If you need a synopsis I’ll extract it from Twitter if I can find the toolsets. If you know the toolset please share them.

The fellowship of the ring will not doom the hobbits to torment and death

My assumption that property rights underlined some of this still stands. If you’ve been holed up in Middle Earth (me too nice place unclear though unclear if I’m a Hobbit or an elf or a dwarf or a wizard or an orc Or Tom Bombadil) everyone thinks Mordor somehow their pet theory or sin. It is industrialism or fascism or some combination of horrors because history becomes legend and legend becomes myth. I don’t know. Ask an autist.

Hug a hippie. Be kind to a hipster. But fight to the death for the hackers. Or pick a princess who likes trade disputes in the galactic empire. I can’t translate all the monomyths in one day.

Categories
Internet Culture Reading

Day 1176 and Vernor Vinge

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of one of my information dumps, you know me to be a science fiction reader. It’s one of my true passions and most consistent hobbies.

I am very well read in the space through this love and it has proven to be an enormous advantage for a career in technology startups. It’s very rare to meet a builder that hasn’t in some way come to that love through imagining the future as it could be.

While I love classics from Asimov to Heinlein and I read everything from space opera to hard tech, my first true passion for genre fiction was cyperpunk. I saw a networked world of computation and I fell in love.

So it is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of one of the giants of science fiction, cyberspace progenitor, father of the tech singularity and mathematician Vernor Vinge.

Fellow author David Brin wrote a moving post about his friend’s monumental impact on the imaginations of optimists who believed we could build a better world with technology.

His 1981 novella “True Names” was perhaps the first story to present a plausible concept of cyberspace, which would later be central to cyberpunk stories by William Gibson, Neal Stephenson and others. Many innovators of modern industry cite “True Names” as their keystone technological inspiration.

 David Brin

It’s through the vision of authors like William Gibson and Neal Stephenson that I saw what computing could do to help us build.

Cyperpunk wrote many imaginative paths for artificial intelligence. Gibson’s Neuromancer and gave us early crypto culture. Neal Stephenson showed us a virtual world atop our current one in Snowcrash. The metaverse emerges.

I’ve lived my entire adult life online after an entirely analog childhood. I am straddling that small gap of in-between human. I helped build some small parts of the network of the internet. I am a citizen of the network state. I am all these things because of Vernor Vinge.

Humanity shines with tools and we had found in math a way to give an explanation of the workings the world. That our meager intelligences learned to compute and then to build computing machines astounds me.That we continue to build something more with those insights astounds me further. The acceleration of that started long before me.

At this moment in 2024 all anyone can talk about is if those computing creations might exceed us. Of course that question is fundamentally existential. A Copernican revolution recentering our known world again.

Networking our computation has taken us so far and so fast. It reflects the best and worst of us. Vernor explored “what if“ futures that went far behind our contained cyberspace. We wouldn’t have modern singularity thought about what could happen if artificial intelligence really will emerge amongst us without Vinge’s work. The Zones of Thought series is a mind bender.

I myself have a different favorite. Set in 2025 but written in 2007, I didn’t expect Rainbows End to hew at all close to my reality. And yet. The earliest introduction I recall of crypto’s decentralized autonomous organizations are from this novel.

Vernor is as close as nerds have to a prophet. Here we are seeing the power of artificial intelligence dominate our human great power debates from culture to business to government. Everyone who makes things has an opportunity here to own building this.

I know that in whatever moment we are about greet (singularity or not) that I remember that we humans build technology from the imagination of Vernor Vinge.

No matter how alien the future may seem, we humans have build it first. Don’t you want to be a part of that?

The cover of Vernor Vinge Rainbow’s End
Categories
Internet Culture Politics

Day 1173 and Autism Services

If you are an autist of any stripe still attempting to operate in the field I will broadcast to you. You may need to make a pilgrims and it will just be an information dump but I’ll do my best. You have to put it together yourself but the old web is not fully broken.

The maze of information is winding and the roll ups and bureaucracy winds on and off the Silk Road. Literal and metaphorical. I don’t even know how many of you bought drugs on the old internets and how many of you bought Uranium. I have nothing but Netflix and communist literature. Lots of people have opinions on drugs and whores. I am not one of them truth be told except I’m of the firm opinion whores shouldn’t side with empire but I’m not in Burke’s Peerage so what do I know.

Maybe there is a world where Bridgerton actually happened and some autistic king and some colonial wife really do live in harmony. I don’t know I’m a William Gibson fan. Pour one out for information wants to be free homies. The nerds shouldn’t have been weaponized and whatever capitalism is doing should probably check in with reality.

How to tell what a company does

You are caught in someone’s opinion. None of us know who is influencing us except the sort of dorks who map carefully and most of the nerds have day jobs. The only ones who see it are just doing their best to allocate the attention and resources. Lots of people are doing chaos magic. Maybe stop? Or summon better demons.

Any number of nerds are caught in elaborate webs of inferences. A lot of them are left wingers. Precious view are genuine communists. But also some sincere ones are out there. Most are happy to be in the recursive loop of reality in which we maintain our lives. Some of us are banging on the cage.

Categories
Media Politics

Day 1172 and Inference Ups

Something must have acted as a catalyst on a set of wrongly presumed dormant inputs in my mind yesterday.

A catalyst works by lowering the activation energy required for a chemical reaction to occur, making the process more efficient without being consumed itself

How does a catalyst work PerplexityAI

I delivered a series of schizo-style-poasts so lucid that I turned them easily into an essay on the natural rights basis for the freedom to compute. I barely labored at all to connect the dots. Years of reading, learning and reasoning condensed into form with a few simple connections.

I credit the wide availability of accessible artificial intelligence tools for this magical ease in myself. Programs like PerplexityAI (my preference for asking questions where I need precision in my answer) and ChatGPT (my preference for open ended queries) make it effortless to connect ideas and intuition.

Even a vague input like “story about a town that turns rhinoceros as metaphor for authoritarianism” is enough to get me off to the races with Eugène Ionesco and reopen the intuition library of my mind. This era of easy connections is giving my own inference powers a huge level up.

I can bring up “schizophrenia and capitalism” as a mere footnote and my past reading is immediately available and accessible on my phone with simple cross checks. It’s beyond liberating.

Just a few titles on the topic of schizophrenia in radical poststructuralist scholarship I have in my own library

I can see why it would be disconcerting for powerful institutions and gatekeepers of knowledge that someone like me can go down elaborate scholarship tangents without any guidance.

Sharp readers will enjoy that the examples I use here include Deleuze and Eugène Ionesco. Those who are unfamiliar with why this feels salient and ironic please feel free to go down a few rabbit holes of your own. I’m sure you too will connect the dots as swiftly as I did.

Categories
Politics Preparedness

Day 1171 and Choosing Life

“Since you’ve chosen death I must choose another path” It was a shitpost. I posted an acceleration meme. I happily endorse the bumpy progress of material change and the myriad human lives that choose to grow. The responses to my shitpost show that it’s no longer a joke.

Accelerate or die in style of the American Revolution “unite or die” snake representing the thirteen colonies but in the form of a network diagram.

I live in very clear reveled preferences on this front. My husband and I are accelerating the real world in our home in Montana. In two years we’ve planted a fruit orchard, installed solar grid, use the power from that grid to grow hydroponics and mine Bitcoin, we got chickens and advocate for local growth initiatives that allow people in Montana to live and grow together in mutual freedom.

I also believe those rights in the real world rest on a bedrock of natural rights enumerated in the American constitution.

And yet the constituency of safetyists somehow sees it appropriate to invoke force and the state’s monopoly on violence onto their fellow citizens.

You say “if necessary we will stop you”

And then suggest you want to engage in earnest debate. I find it hard to believe a good faith reader doesn’t immediately see the cognitive dissonance.

I do have the right to do as I choose as I am an American. We have first amendment rights.

Until you can measurably demonstrate proof that access to compute (which is just mathematics) has specific measurable harms you cannot invoke force on your fellow citizen for your personal paranoias.

The encryption wars had the same logic. So I ask people who worry about the consequences of compute power and artificial intelligence to give us what we’ve asked for in the form of measurably demonstrated specific types of harms where access to compute is a threat.

No “what if” hysterics, show me specifics and we can address those in policy. Armageddon in your head isn’t adequate. Being afraid isn’t enough.

If you can show measurable harms do so. We must hew to empiricism any time we seek to align others to our cause. Show me specific harms & we work to redress those harms. Actual crimes that exist already should be prosecuted as such. Seeking to newly criminalize a basic right because of unprecedented circumstances should be subject to the highest of scrutiny.

However if you show me you want the power for yourself to make these decisions I say no. We all keep our own conscience. We have existing rights.

I have shown through my revealed preferences I also believe this transition to more artificial will be chaotic. An age of higher variance is upon us and this can be a good thing with enough energy and intelligence. And we are about to get more intelligence thanks to the tools we have built.

I hope we can mitigate its harms. I believe we can apply ourselves in individual ways coordinated by the best efforts of those who build new tools. And that because we cannot predict with certainty we must hold firm to our principles doubly so then. We must be brave in approaching these problems as the principles matter.

Marxist Leninist thought has proven resilient

I am not advocating for revolution. I am advocating for keeping our heads and our hearts in times of change and protecting all of our freedoms.

We have historically shown the value of this position and the folly of violent control “for your own good.” Consider those classic socialist musicians the Beatles. Even they understood that revolutionary force was bad.

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all wanna change the world

But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out, in

Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right? (Ah, shu-bi-do, ah)
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right? (Ah, shu-bi-do, ah)
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right? (Ah, shu-bi-do, ah)

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We’d all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We all doing what we can

But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is, brother, you have to wait

Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right? (Ah, shu-bi-do, ah)
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right? (Ah, shu-bi-do, ah)
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right? (Ah, shu-bi-do, ah)

You say you’ll change the constitution
Well, you know
We’d all love to change your head (ah, shu-bi-do, ah)
You tell me it’s the institution
Well, you know
You better free your mind instead (ah, shu-bi-do, ah)

If you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow

Revolution 1 – The Beatles

If you want to go around quoting Chairman Mao you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow. How prescient those British Boy Band Boomers were. If you are so certain a revolution is necessary but you will take my compute from me then it’s you who wishes to be the Vanguard not me.

These calls for safety and caution, lest an apocalypse scenario ensue, appeal emotions to seek a tyranny of the majority for a fantasy of control over something that “may” be dangerous but not in any empirical ways we can address together and in specific ways. They don’t want to be accountable. Accountability is a democracy not this pantomime of concern seeking control.

Appealing to fears is control. All of the issues which have been brought up in artificial intelligence and access to computer models have past analogs and parallels in our existing policy tool set and within the enumerated rights.

Feel free to specify those issues into specifics and not act like this is Patriot Act 2^nth Terminator 2 Boogaloo. We have no need to indulge in Tom Clancy level panic about sum of all fears.

To lighten the mood this is an aligned AI for you.

Terminator gave his life to save John Conner T2.

If we are in for a Copernican revolution then do not be the church. We must bring our humanity to whatever happens next. Do not seek to control out of fear.

Embrace the freedoms of affirming your right to choose your own human life. These new tools can we’ve built from mathematics and computation can enrich all our lives.

Lest you not think I take the consequences of this massive change and its potential for dislocation seriously, I live off grid with redundant power and water in Montana. I invest exclusively in solutions to the real problems we face in uncertain times including energy, open source, decentralization & trustless intermediaries. I walk this walk. The choice to make the future is up to all of us. And we should walk it in the most life affirming way we can for each of us.

Categories
Politics Travel

Day 1170 and The Machine

I hate failing. The sense of doomed futility I have when I interact with the broken bits of the American bureaucracy weighs on me. Every time a crucial piece of the business of government fails I feel helpless. Like I am a loser.

I feel deeply that the machine has ground out some remaining spark of hope in me.

“It’s the hope that kills you”

Phrase Ted Lasso ain’t too crazy about

I spent some time today feel like it was the hope thar kills me. I felt it deeply.

But I couldn’t wallow in it. Being made victim to a system is awful but I am not a victim.

Some time passed and I reminded myself that while I can accept finite disappointment, I can never accept losing the grace of an infinite capacity for hope.

“I think it’s the lack of hope that comes and gets you. … See, I believe in hope. I believe in belief.”

Ted Lasso

I’ve written a lot about how broken the process of coming to America especially when you try to do so legally and transparently. It’s a challenge to get even basic travel documents like tourist visas.

I see cases on socially media daily of award winners, brilliant engineers, academics, and simple good faith aspirants who wish to spend time with the American dream and are denied.

I have hope that we can recognize that tourists, students, entrepreneurs and others that genuinely wish to contribute to our nation deserve an efficient transparent system that lets people come to America.

It should be unacceptable that these systems are unaccountable and impossible to navigate. It shouldn’t feel like we are living within a Kafka novel when getting a visa. This is America not the Soviet eastern block.

I believe that the network state is coming for badly run governments. But it cannot come soon enough. It may sound dramatic but consider that venal, impossible to navigate and expensive government serves none of us and harms the markets, businesses and people. It’s an embarrassment to our national character.

The longer we tolerate these state of affairs the closer we edge to anarcho-tyranny. When the government and help you but it can hurt you. We should be ashamed as Americans that we let this monstrous machine do us so much harm.

Categories
Startups

Day 1163 and Women in Tech

A lot of emotional energy has been directed at the “problem” of “women in technology” in the last decade or two. Stupid campaigns get run with degrees of condescension in which it’s insinuated the only way women could see the value in crypto is if we make a perfume. It’s the rankest form of sexism and extremely effective. And I’ve proudly worked in cosmetics. Chemistry is cool.

So today on International Women’s Day I’d like to remind myself that I’ve l been “in tech” since the moment I fell in love with a personal computer as a young teen. I’m on that edge of elder millennial that did things in the real world as children but had access to the virtual early.

Plenty of men mistakenly assume that because I worked in fashion, beauty and ecommerce. I was early before the ease of hosted Shopify accounts or even Heroku instances for an app. It was a lot more roll your own.

And yet some think my experience doesn’t count. Despite it being a clearly sign of capital markets having underpricing occasionally. Ifs a good thing. You go where market rewards you and you learn to learn skills along the way.

I think so much less about my gender now. Almost resent ever having been talked into it. You do it right then you, like an anyone else in the market, can benefit when someone misallocates.

If you are lucky enough to steward your own capital, then get to be part of the investor bases to build the next generation. I do that now. I am still a woman.

I’m proud to use the resources I have to invest in what I believe in based on my experiences and the thesis I invest under. Not as some smoothed over marketing narrative with a gender hook. No I price like an actor you can do business with. I am willing to show my revealed preference.

I learned in previous eras so I may serve the generation that is coming up. And I’m happy to invest in the ares I believe in most. I am happy as a woman to invest in men as I am in women.

The focus I see in founders I have invested in across energy, artificial intelligence and crypto are ones I believe in. I believe in them as people. I believe in them as founders. I believe in them as men.

I am lucky to be seen as an individual with capital and insights that can help them carry a better future forward. I hope all founders are seen as individuals.

Technology innovation has been the driver of improved human life. Material prosperity is good for women. It’s good for men. So I’ll celebrate doing stuff for the boys on international women’s day.

Alex Miller visiting with me at one of our favorite portfolio company Valar Atomics. I believe in Isiah and his team.