Holochain and Collective Intelligence: Avoiding a Technological Singularity

Raymond D. Powell
9 min readApr 22, 2018


Wikipedia defines Technological Singularity, in part, as:

The technological singularity … is the hypothesis that the invention of artificial superintelligence (ASI) will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization. According to this hypothesis, an upgradable intelligent agent (such as a computer running software-based artificial general intelligence) would enter a “runaway reaction” of self-improvement cycles, with each new and more intelligent generation appearing more and more rapidly, causing an intelligence explosion and resulting in a powerful superintelligence that would, qualitatively, far surpass all human intelligence.

What is intelligence, anyway?

Logic/Deductive Reasoning, Intellectual Intelligence, Social Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence, Spiritual Intelligence, Heart Intelligence, Intuition, Empathy, Psychic Abilities—so many parts of what makes us capable and functional humans. And what about memory? We don’t really understand much about how memory works. And let’s be real, a lot of how the brain actually works is still quite a mystery.

Yet here we are—some of us trying desperately to recreate this thing we call intelligence using digital computing technology. It seems to me that it doesn’t take a deep analysis to realize we ought not move too quickly here. Perhaps we should really be focusing on understanding the depths of our own conscious-being-ness before we get too far down the road of attempting to replicate certain functions of it.

Feedback Loops

Yes! Let’s use digital computing technology to enhance our abilities to comprehend the patterns happening around us, and in our society as a whole. And sure, let’s even let technology have the ability to abstract it’s own processes to the extent it can improve itself. But please, I hope we can always maintain an iterative feedback mechanism that has our technology coming back to us, as higher-conscious beings, with each generation of that “self-improvement cycle”. Is it really possible to teach digital technology to ask questions about goodness or rightness, love and virtue? Can digital technology determine a purpose for existence? The origins of consciousness? And aren’t these really the kinds of questions we ought to keep asking? They are certainly the kinds of questions that I believe we can ONLY keep asking—for there are no answers. I don’t need to wait 7.5 million years to remind me of the obvious truth that you can’t get an answer when you don’t actually know the question.

Higher Consciousness? Really?

To me, “higher consciousness” is not some woo-woo term born from some false new-age religion. I think of consciousness is the ability of a being to recognize it’s participation in the patterns in which it exists. A “higher” consciousness being is one who is able to identify its participation at greater levels of complexity. It seems pretty necessary to me, in order to create a base of sustainability for 7.5 billion (and growing) humans to exist on this planet, we need to “raise our collective consciousness” to levels where far more people are considering how even their smallest actions have an affect at the global level of complexity. Therefore, I am completely comfortable in saying: We must raise the consciousness of our planet, and have that be a scientifically verifiable goal.

Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence

While I can’t claim any great deal of hard evidence to support the theory that Bitcoin was created by an off-planet artificial intelligence, something about the theory really resonates with me deeply. I think it is far more than just the fact that my favorite source of brainy entertainment is Gaia.com. They have certainly invested significantly in promoting the threat of AI. For me, it does not take any great effort to suspend disbelief enough to appreciate their content—which is just as easily the modern equivalent of Philip K. Dick fiction as it is anything provable. Anyway—doesn’t art imitate life, and life imitate art? Do we create reality with the emanations of our own consciousness? Dick certainly questioned reality. And what is intelligence anyway, right?

It just seems pretty reasonable to me, that to some kind of “superintelligence”, those massive quantities of random numbers, being generated at an ever-increasing hashrate, are actually forming thought patterns in the synapses of some massive, artificial brain that we can’t even comprehend. Since there is no such thing as true randomness, it only takes a higher level of consciousness to see patterns in what appears to be random to us. In an example where we (humans) are the higher conscious beings, let’s take a bee colony. Can a bee, or group of bees, really have any comprehension of the chemical infusions and electromagnetic interferences generated by humanity that can so affect their lives? I don’t really think so. Enough said on that.

Holochain: Enabling Collective Intelligence

Hello Holochain! I am so excited to be associated with this project. It truly is enabling a leap in our capacity for sensing and organizing our ever-more complex society at new scales, while removing the need for a centralized control mechanism to do so. And with this leap, comes a great responsibility to honor the highest conscious coming through with discernment. Holochain allows for rapid iterations of greater and greater levels of complexity (higher consciousness) to be curated, creating exactly the kind of feedback mechanism that I have written about in the previous section. And yet, the trickster lurks.

The Infinite Paradox

Can we create technology that embodies a new way of life unless we have embodied a new way of life in the creation of the technology?

I have been writing software since 1980, from the age of 7. By the age of 25, I had enough. What was once a fun hobby turned into a low-paying career opportunity. (I say low paying because in 1992, when I entered the workforce, there wasn’t a lot of acceptance in corporate circles of the idea that a non-college-educated kid should be paid well to write code.) So by choosing to be an entrepreneur, I was able to increase my pay rate significantly, and the result was that there was no real escape from my reliance on writing software as a means to make “easy money”. By my mid-thirties, however, I was able to see the effects of this lifestyle. I had become a very antisocial person—even to the point of a kind of narcissism. I share this personal story to give credence to my judgement that to “make a living” as a software engineer, often, one has to turn parts of oneself sharply away from their humanness. The screen is easy to have a relationship with. It always does what you tell it to do. And if it did it wrong, it is your own darn fault!

So again, I stand for a high level of discernment and as we enter into this new era of elevated digital intelligence! Especially in the “disruptive tech” field of decentralization — let us hold ourselves to the highest consciousness (and conscientiousness) as the standard—especially in the circles of uber-talented software engineers. To do so, new standards of regenerative leadership seem vital. As leaders, especially in tech companies, let’s draw a sharp line that we don’t cross in how far we should push digital intelligence until we see what effects it is having on real life for real people, life as a whole, and the planet itself. If we are to stay true to developing our technology systems holistically, it is critical for the emergent tech fields to be developed from a place of working together as a field of collective intelligence with all the parts necessary to curating human social evolution—a place from which we can begin to provide regular feedback into the design patterns we are choosing to co-create.

Governance: Social Patterns for Curating Evolution

How can we create a mechanism that provides the kinds of human feedback loops that allow us to curate emergence in a way that reflect our highest collective consciousness? I’ve thought about this a lot. And I’ve written about it in a document titled The Digital Co-Governance Web. In additional, while writing some initial building blocks of a software layer I call CoGov, I am also part of building a team and infrastructure to support the kind of feedback mechanisms that are emerging — which at this point seem to be necessary in order to ensure the wise progression of our advance towards potential technological singularity. The New Earth Planetary Alliance stands for embodying a heart-centered approach that I believe is necessary to support our healthy evolution. Nothing is more important in the midst of the rapid advancement of technology, than deep discernment curated by the highest consciousness that can come forth from our collective intelligence.

Identity: The Intentions of Conscious Beings

There is a lot of talk about identity these days. Since we are replicating so many things in the digital environment that are just reifications of our interpretations of actual life, there is this impetus to want to anthropomorphize all of the digital things. I think this completely misses the point. What is important to me is having the ability to use my own judgement about the intentions of one or more conscious beings behind any piece of technology. Or at least, knowing that there was no biological data provided to attach the technology to an actual human or humans. With that kind of information, I can determine for myself what and how I want to interact with that technology.

New Earth: A Grand Framework

I am talking about no less than a framework that provides for the complete transformation of life on Earth. There are many pioneering souls who have been working behind the scenes to put together a presentation of this grand framework— and while that presentation is emerging, this document constitutes some of the first sharing of some of the broad strokes of the goals it represents.

I now ask you to open your mind to the greater possibilities that are awaiting to emerge. You now have the honor of supporting the initial birthing of the first steps in this process. Holochain and Holo are the first to come into being. Through the support of that ecosystem, you will inevitably support the greater plan I have only begun to outline here — but for which, I hope I provided critical insight into the deep sensing that is being curated by our filed of collective intelligence.

Supporting Holo Now

Your support of the Holo ICO not only supports my work (and the work of many brilliant minds) indirectly by allowing this technology to come to fruition in the most graceful and abundant way, but it will also likely create significant abundance directly for all of us who have taken a visible stand by choosing to hold a portion of our assets in Holo fuel (or HOT—the temporary placeholder).

I truly believe that Holochain is possibly the biggest technological breakthrough that humanity has yet seen. While the information age has brought forth the Internet which fostered new modes of communication and a whole new level of access to information for all of us,

Holo enables Holochain applications to come forth now, that enable new forms of scalable social coordination which allow real people to make real use of that information, and for even amateur coders to help build new systems of economics, business, and governance at all scales.

I believe so strongly in the possibility for these projects to completely transform life and business in a sustainable and resilient way, that I took an opportunity to spend a couple months with the dev team in Germany last fall. I have also continued to work with the broader core team in understanding and teaching the fundamental tenants of Holo and Holochain over winter. In addition, I’ve taken the time to pull together some of the best informative content on this holochain.network website, where I plan to continue to support the growth of the broader ecosystem of Holochain application development. And I ask you to consider supporting these projects, as well.

The Holo ICO got off to a great start on March 29th. If you want to purchase Holo Tokens in the ICO, here are some detailed instructions. For residents of The United States, China, and North Korea, there are other ways to play. Please feel free to contact me directly so I can share ways to support Holo in the final critical days of their ICO.



Raymond D. Powell

Lead Fellow, Foundation for the Protocols of Love