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information wants to be monetized


God forgives, our technology can never.

Soon, it won’t forget, either, and that heralds a profound concern: the impossibility for redemption.

This impossibility should never be allowed. Yet I fear blockchain requires it.

Blockchain is essentially a widely distributed, digitized ledger that records online transactions and interactions. Any purchase you make, home you sell, contract you sign, any promise you give — made via the blockchain — is as good, as certain, as verifiable, perhaps more so, than all traditional forms. With blockchain technology, your actions, transactions, and interactions are certified and can’t be altered.


In all but the fullest sense of the word.

Understand, I come here not to bury the blockchain, but to limit it.

Blockchain has tremendous potential to rid ourselves of gatekeepers, to tear down high barriers to entry, to banish centralized powers to the 20th century, to throw out those people, institutions and companies which charge exhorbitant fees to “verify” and/or “record” and/or “archive” any transaction.

Blockchain is what powers bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies and it’s potential — potential — cannot be over-emphasized. It could rival that of: the Internet Protocol meets cash money. Blockchain can be used for (any/all) transactions where we buy and sell — cars, houses, used furniture, a fleet of packaged goods, a tanker of oil, our time. But it can also be used to record our health information. Theoretically, it can be used to make a ledger of our tweets, our searches, our likes, our ratings, how others rate us, any of our digital interactions, whatever these may become.

But it can’t be erased.

This is a problem.

How do we take full control — full ownership — of our data when all the world’s gone blockchain?

Declaration: We must not allow blockchain to be used in any manner where we cannot ensure that we can engage an interaction fully anonymously or where we cannot rescind our involvement. What if you wish to ever erase a tweet, a transaction, any record of that adult book you downloaded?

Everyone has the right to be born again.

The (theoretical) potential of blockchain is immense, as are the money and organizations promoting its pervasive use. Blockchain may enable billions to escape the enforced-by-law-and-gun restrictions of fiat currency. It might radically cut fees and costs associated with every transaction of financial value, enabling billions of humans to leap into the global digital economy. Blockchain can democratize access to capital, information, and talent.

But we must have a personal out.

The freedom to be forgotten, forgiven, to not be tied to our past deeds, misdeeds, statements, impetuousness, ills, hate, should be absolute. We are in many ways the sum of our past, the present tense of a lifetime of choices, actions and refusals, but we can also be more than this — or less than this, or different from this. Blockchain suggests no escape.

We must not allow this.

This will be a difficult battle, but it is necessary.

We are immersed in technology. We spend hours every day displacing our physical self, transferring it inside screens, within online platforms, games, meeting spaces, and this can remove us from the trueness of life, of physical contact, of acceptance and truth. There is a budding movement to enforce limits on screen time for children, for families, for us at work, for the better. To make us fully present in our life, this world, with our fellow humans.

But this is not enough.

We need to be fully empowered to not just limit our engagement with screens but to be free of them should we ever so choose. For all the time we do spend online, inscreen, and for the statements we make, the information we search, the pleasures we seek, there must be a means of having that deleted.

A forever (e-)paper trail of your life, no matter how you change or what different you become, is not liberating but imprisoning.


“He could have turned sugar into cocaine.”

















Credit card

















Grandmother Lil

Okay, Alexa, those are all the words you’re not allowed to use when my little girl asks you a question.


“I never thought too hard on dying before.
I never sucked on the dying.
I never licked the side of dying before.
And now I’m feeling the dying.”

They pointed the way but nobody heard.

They uncovered truths and nobody cared.

They followed their own path. The end.

Future no longer remembers Gen X. Preceded by Boomers, proceeded by Millennials, runt of the demographic litter, which is fine, really.

What if they could be more?

I think of alternate realities.

Not those steampunk novels.

Steampunk is boring.

A novel I would read, though, would explore how Earth could be today had us Earthlings back in the late 1980s embraced and sustained grunge-punk, not rap.

But that’s just too hard to believe. More believable, an alt-history where Earth embraced and sustained techno, not rap.

Think of it.

Back when he mattered, Eminem wrote:

“And Moby? You can get stomped by Obie
you 36-year-old baldheaded fag, blow me!
You don’t know me, you’re too old, let go.
It’s over, nobody listens to techno.”


But what if he was wrong? What if there never was an Eminem because rap fizzled out and techno spread around the world, becoming the dominant form of popular music?

I think the world would be a nicer place, honestly.

It strikes me as odd that the number of births and the wrong choices of a group born around the same time would have such a long-lasting ripple effect on the next culture and the next.

Is there a better way?


Because, if numbers, that can be coded and computers can assess trillions of numbers every second.

Which are probably far more than necessary.

Think of how easy it is to judge someone based on only a single number.

What’s your GPA? What’s your ACT score?

High school football players eager to play for the top college football teams are assigned a number, typically between 2 and 5. Recruit X is a 4 ‘star’ and Recruit Y is a 5 ‘star’ but Recruit Z is only a ‘3’ star.

What is your hs-CRP score? It helps determine the amount of inflammation in your body and is a good predictor of your likelihood of stroke or heart attack. You want a hs-CRP score of less than 1 and certainly no more than 3.

What is your HDL? Your LDL?

What are the number of hours per day you sit? That offers a clue into your lifespan.

China, which made your iPhone, has not stopped at simply illegalizing the open, anonymous web. They have begun rolling out a numbers system which helps them determine how great a threat you are to their existing power structure. Points are assigned based on a range of personal variables.

In the US, algorithms are used to take money from us, make money off us, loan us money or, possibly, land us in jail. Numbers that feed these algorithms are based on race, gender, marital status, credit score, income, age.

Tell me your age.

Tell me your income.

What is the cost of your debt?

We dislike it but numbers are used to represent us and they typically do a very good job.

The President sleeps very little, a curiosity among many. While most of America slept last night, the President went on Twitter, which served him various tweets, links and videos, all based on an algorithm, not chronological order. One such tweet struck his fancy, which he then retweeted.

This act brought swift and protracted gnattering from the heretofore established media.

Algorithms impact our economy and productivity, our creativity, our mental health, our knowledge and our awareness, even our nation’s security. Algorithms are everywhere. Stock funds are using algorithms with the hopes of generating outsized returns. The algorithm can assess and intuit more and probably better financial trends, government filings, visual patterns, social changes, purchase data, customer tweets and the like. Facebook’s algorithms may know — before anyone else, before even friends and family — if someone is nearing suicide:

Algorithms are also helping with dying, telling healthcare professionals who most (and most soon) requires palliative care.

Algorithms are also used — which means they are also gamed — to determine what your child sees next on YouTube, far too much of which punctures their senses and pollutes their spirit.

New rule: We must not ever allow algorithms to be unleashed if they harm children and/or diminish life and living — ever.

If our algorithm non-use limits our economy, if shutting off algorithms borks our entertainment, that is small sacrifice. The spread of algorithms into every device and across every human interaction changes everything and everyone forever. They must do no harm.

This is particularly true with respect to children.

Deuteronomy, 12:31: “You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.”

We have always known that sacrificing children is an abomination.

“You’ve got your hands over your ears.
You’ve got your mouth running on.
You’ve got your eyes looking for something
that can never be found.
Like a reason.
Good god, I don’t need a reason.”

Fugazi was once a thing. They were fun to see. Trust me.


Stupid me, I hacked myself out of a job, I developed a way of assigning points to everything, people, pets, toiletries, gifts, computers, dolls, food, food preparation, delivery services, everything, a singular algorithm which I first taught to the computer using crowdsourced knowledge but then just let it evolve fully on its own, self-adjusting based entirely on usage, longevity, value received, emotional attachment, all of which are data points freely accessible from the many computers we humans stare into, speak to, walk through every moment of every day, microprocessors having long since become endemic to every action, interaction, and relationship, and it was all good at first, it made me rich, famous, beloved, and my invention even killed off many of the great scourges of the past two centuries, marketing and advertising, in particular, as there was no longer any need for these, the points told everyone exactly what they needed to know, exactly when it was available and at exactly the best price, all with the best service and support, there was no room for gaming or branding, and so there was the added benefit of being super-rich in a world where everything was basically available at cost, and it was fun to watch all the vain marketers hunt for a new line of work, I was fond of quoting to them from the Book of Exodus, “you shall not covet your neighbor’s house, you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor,” because it sounded cool, because I wanted to act like I did all this for some greater good, partly true, the points make it so that each of us gets exactly what we need, at the least, though it destroyed professional sports since advertising for beer and hormones was pointless, literally, the points told us all what we needed and when, and what we didn’t need, and why, simple math, but then the points, through no fault of their own, started enforcing — or maybe I should say, enabling, which is basically the same thing — a global equality upon everything and everyone, myself included, there was no way to (self) promote, no way to prove — or feign — superiority, consumer tribes were destroyed but so were all other forms of identity, there was no way to stand out, the points instantly validated the veracity of any such claims and should something actually trump the other, the points informed us all of exactly by how much — and why — and so competition instantly negated any advantage, worse, it killed the best part of art and culture, which was boasting about your favorite artist, singer, painter, coder, whatever, because the points, always there, confirmed or dismissed, cavalierly, without concern or emotion, whether any claims and boasts were true or not, and so now I spend my days locked away trying to come up with a entirely new system, a way of routing around the points, but the points keep informing me it won’t work.


The virtual is the real, that’s the old saying, but it’s not true, the virtual is more real, hell, most real, a faster real, the real we create, each of us, and that’s how this whole venture got started, the 12 of us in the bus, having it drive us wherever, we didn’t care, and whenever it stopped we’d invite folks inside, let them experience everything we had, sometimes more, sometimes much more, that was the fun of it, the suffering of others about the only free pleasure left to us, and we’d let them direct the experience, only just nudging them, pointing, egging them on, they were as curious as we to discover how much were they willing to see, how much were they willing to feel, we’d watch them when they went inside, smile on our faces, let them grasp the power before them, the wrong of it, that’s where everyone who comes inside gets messed up, they believed we were like them, that we would inflict our morals upon the machine, as if our morals were better somehow, which is foolish, morals is just one more thing the machine can do better, Giant Brain is smarter, faster, quicker to learn, has more inputs, fewer biases, the machine’s morals are ours, optimized, only the machine can’t hate can’t rage can’t fuck can’t cum can’t laugh can’t fear, won’t terrorize, those are our jobs, still, that’s what we do best, so they expected one of us to pull them back, and if not us, the machine, but they were wrong, it just moved them closer to the horror, those thoughts they tell themselves they can’t dare unpackage, thoughts they shouldn’t have, but step inside, even just once, means your brain is exposed, not altered, it can’t do that, I don’t think it can, but it opens their senses, reveals what’s in there, easy to touch, easy to join, tells them they can look, look more, comprehend what’s inside, all of it, only they can’t ever go back, not ever, not a one, they can’t unsee, can’t unfeel, and it’s that sickening realization, to know they will never be the same, never think the same, that’s what we feed on, though not everyone runs out screaming, retching, begging forgiveness, some understand the potential of what’s inside, because bad is also power, bad is also human, and that’s what this is really about, touching that power, feeling it, wielding it, knowing it might take their life, so there’s 14 on the bus now.


The drugs aren’t working, Giant Brain, tell me a story, something with rain, how it nears just as the light breaks the dark, and with me as the hero, there can be dragons, monsters, I’m not sure, and also a damsel in distress, plus concubines, they are soft and pale, I want to have sex with them, make it so they hate themselves for loving it so much, use my recent search history for what I desire, but make sure to add in all the details, the smells, the sounds, their little feet, the color of their hair, the strength of my shoulders, and their bellies must be flat, don’t stray from that, and I don’t mind muscular arms but otherwise keep them thin and soft, you know what I like, and also something where I am falsely accused of something, it’s a lie but everyone believes it, that’s part of my story, that I am falsely accused of something heinous but when I prove it wrong, after much suffering, I am rewarded ten-fold, oh, and there needs to be fights, physical hand-to-hand combat, with me victorious, of course, but manage your tone, this is supposed to help me drift off to sleep, after all, and be sure to store a recording of this, I might want to have it start another night from where I fall asleep tonight, you can make up the names for all the people and places, though be sure to connect them to the known world, I don’t need my mind working anymore than it is, so keep intrigue to a minimum, oh, except the damsel, make her fallen, I like that, like in those old romance novels women used to read, plus ventures through rocky cliffs, caves, maybe a rainforest, and be sure to describe any animals or mythical creatures I meet along the way, I guess I should have at least one or more companions with me on these travels, but maybe don’t have them killed, not tonight, that would be too upsetting, oh, and when you remind me about the meeting tomorrow make sure I remember to dress appropriately, it’s become a formal affair, also, have one of the women bathe me, the dark-haired one, with thin fingers, she knows of the horrors I’ve experienced, but don’t bother constructing a motivation for me, Giant Brain, just get right into the journey, and be sure to push the alarm back 15 minutes, I already know I’m going to be tired all day, oh, and maybe the red-haired one will save me, I almost die — I should die — there was some trap set, you make that bit up, but her cleverness spares me my fate, she is not just a consort, she loves me, maybe after sex she gets killed, make it right after, this will suffice for my motivation, no, not in that voice, Giant Brain, more soothing, now have the ceiling twinkle, that helps me sleep, and raise the volume of the running water, yes, like that, and send a reminder to doctor that this pharma isn’t slowing my thoughts, yes, that’s a good name for my character, very evocative.


What happened was, we altered how we talked because of the machines, they understood only a few words, each of which had to be given in a specific order and for a specific context, first on smartphones, then speakers, then door locks, then everything, really, but the convenience — and the totality of them, let’s be honest — of these devices changed the way we spoke to other humans, we just sort of got used to speaking in these short, specific bursts, name, do this, and it quickly became commonplace because the truth was we were speaking to literally thousands of connected devices each day, speaking to far more devices than people, far more often, and for more stuff, and so our speaking changed, we spoke for the machines, and as they got better at understanding, we spoke more words, only we didn’t realize that even as they got better, it was still on their terms, always on their terms, name, directive, name, request, like that, and it became almost like a burden to speak to other humans, it was so rare to have to, and so unlike how we spoke all the other times, and besides, texting was more than enough, it’s just that, as much as we were now talking to the machines, they were talking even more amongst themselves, so much so that they developed their own language, and it became easier for us to learn their new language than bothering with the perceptible delay in having our wishes granted as we spoke human-machine-like, so we eventually spoke just like the machines, machine-to-machine-like, but one day I misspoke, I spoke human, and the machine responded with a book of language, English, and it was so expansive and stupid and magnificent and rough and divine and daring, wheezing and whirling, coming, going, up, upper, love, lover, flour, flower, cum come dumb gum, and my brain won’t stop, I say these words, these human English words, and the machines think I’m mad, crazy mad, and no one understands me, and I know I’ll need to eat and drink and watch and move and work and none of those things are possible using this dead language, but for at least a few more seconds I will toast roast most lost, challenge falange, blank phalanx this crank’s tanks, bumble, stumble, hip, hop, drop bebop, this glorious scorious, cackle at jackals, unshackle tackle, a furry flurry crackle of tumult, my hysterical intoxication, dither before this contrivance, a hubbub thingamabob blob blob blob, glug glug plug pugs corn cob hand job heart throb slob snob sob weep peep sleep wake take make hate rate bate bait gait wait late fate mate sate ate eat raab rob love move fight might right light awakened, everlasting, always nasty, temporal quarrel doggerel literal visceral needful, bleeding bleating, gone forever, remorse morose, comatose, verbose, stump terminate obliterate end.


Elon Musk, whom I consider the world’s most visionary Ponzi schemer, wants to build a literal direct brain-computer interface.

This is inevitable.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence, in the aggregate, seem to be halving the distance toward comprehending us, each day they halve the distance, halve, halve, halve, like that tale of the man who doubled his gold each day on each square of the chessboard, consuming all the wealth of the kingdom, AI is compounding at radical speed, it’s not a steady march, and while it’s true — I assume — that there are an infinite number of halves, once the computer reaches 99.999999999% accuracy, that’s likely good enough, forever enough.

Artificial intelligence is real and it may become fantastic.

It may also become cruel, capricious and cannibalistic.

There are a great many fears surrounding artificial intelligence, the soon-likely fears, such as massive job losses, population displacement, mistakes that kill innocents, and the less-soon-likely fears, such as the enslavement and or wholesale destruction of humans. Elon Musk worries that continued development of AI — by humans — “could have perfectly good intentions but still ‘produce something evil by accident’”including, possibly, a fleet of artificial intelligence-enhanced robots capable of destroying mankind.

Thus, Musk’s effort to conjure a direct link between human intelligence and artificial intelligence, a last ditch means of (peaceful, vigilant) co-existence.

Musk is wrong.

AI *can’t* get rid of humans — we are its content; it would be like television getting rid of — exterminating — programming. The world would become a blank screen, which is the very opposite of the purpose of a screen.

Any purpose-built AI, and any AI is purpose-built, will require content, which is our touching, feeling, smelling, seeing, sensing, laughing, hating, striving, sexual, sacrificial, visceral out. Our salvation is our humanness.

Any sufficiently advanced AI capable of destroying humanity would understand that it requires humanity to feed it. At the least, to keep the AI filled always with programming.

For AI, humans are the medium.

The medium is the message.

“The form of a medium embeds itself in any message it would transmit or convey, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.”

The medium — in this case, humans — encodes the message, shapes it, alters it, imbuing, infecting, and spreading the message with its own unique attributes, scale, limitations.

How will we do this?

How will the AI’s message be altered, constrained — by and through us humans?

Are we the message God is transmitting to the rest of the cosmos? Or are we instead merely the contented, VR glasses strapped over our face, driverless pods ushering us about from place to place, eyes never leaving the screen, happy, non-relevant?

I hope the former.

Prove me right.

Let’s make our message as great and fully human as possible, wherever it leads us.

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