Predict
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Predict

Sovereign Digitalisation

Historically, mass digitalisation began with the collection of metadata in the social media space. For users, the net effect of social media is strictly negative. Social networks alienate freedom, time, personal information, money. The quality of content leaves much to be desired and continues to deteriorate. The share of original content does not exceed a few percent. The share of bots is in the tens of percent and continues to grow. Published popularity figures have long been manipulated. Feed customisation creates dangerous semantic pods and conceptual ghettos. Unlike the general Internet space, social networks are not subject to public analysis: they have never had built-in search engines or public archives of previously available content.

Today, digitalisation has completely turned into a toolkit that allows small groups to manipulate huge masses of people. Most countries are partly digitised and are aiming for further digitalisation. Almost everywhere this is happening according to US-centric ideas and technologies, making the local way of life secondary.

In every country except the US and China, digitalisation is not complemented by a publicly discussed image of the national future. Therefore, digitalisation is primarily understood by the public as encouraging the mass use of applications that record who did what, where, with whom, for how much, why, and under what circumstances. Society remains largely passive. But sabotage is on the rise, and retaliatory repressive and prohibitive measures within the country are detrimental to long-term political stability.

Digitalisation is a conduit for a constant stream of outside political attacks. The ethical hysterics of radical feminists, environmentalists, and hundreds of other relatively innocuous, individually marginalised groups are synchronised, like a school of fish, with every new flashy hashtag sponsored from abroad. Peoples and their legitimate governments become hostages to a class of unscrupulous sysadmins. A parallel system of digital power that is not delegated by anyone adds no security; it is mired in political corruption on a grand scale, covered up by petty successes in tax collection, traffic control, and catching burglars.

Digitalisation is broadly similar to religion in that it also promises (only not after death, but right now) health, security, blissful idleness with robots and unconditional income, justice with social ratings, and even eternal life with nanorobots in the blood and personality transfer to computers.

To remain (or rather become) sovereign, every country needs some kind of digital confession in this digital religion. This has become possible because the moment is right. Billions of people are already seeing how the unipolar world order and the oligopoly of the world media suppress free political will. Unique cultures, entire civilizational continents risk disappearing. In the piling up of battles over skin color, gender, and other false components of diversity, real human diversity is dying under the pressure of global clichés. The crisis of meanings and values already has negative economic consequences. The global division of labor has made supply chains fragile. Scarcity and rising prices are increasingly difficult to write off as pandemic consequences. Despite the efforts of ultra-globalists, centrifugal sentiments are growing in the U.S. and the European Union.

Technologically, three components need to come together:

  1. real digital cash and
  2. principally new relevance metrics.

Proxx: a Tool for Sovereign Digitalisation

The proposed platform, Proxx, could be a component of a sovereign digitalisation. Its key technological idea is to mimic the natural behavior of people in the pre-digital era and transfer it to the new technological level. Proxx works as an embodiment of the old tried-and-true ways of human interaction in modern conditions. It used to be that people’s lives consisted of:

  1. cultivated the land on which they stood,
  2. and also traded with each other with physical money, without intermediaries.

It’s all there in Prox.

Proxx is designed for two phases of implementation: at first, it is used completely anonymously, but then, gradually, seeing its benefits, users will link their data, voluntarily. This will increase the final effect compared to the usual (semi-violent) methods of implementation.

You can download and test the application at the link above. Please note that not all of the features in the app described below are working yet. Full functionality is expected by mid-2022.

Meta Universe of Local Connections

The globe is divided into ~10 billion plots. Players can buy and sell them as NFTs.

When two players physically pass by each other, they exchange profiles/statuses (we call them proxxes). On each such event, both players and the owner of the plot where they crossed trajectories get crypto-money from the system.

A proxx contains a unique username, a title, an image, a text (max. 2000 symbols), an Internet link, and a bitcoin (BTC) address (the non-custodial wallet is built-in).

Proxx exchanges happen automatically, on a go. As one player “scatters” the proxx to other players around, the collection of other people’s proxxes also grows. One can sort them in time and on the map.

The app is also a messenger. Each of the previously encountered players can be offered a private conversation.

As the app is a non-custodial bitcoin wallet, players can bet against each other in bitcoins: one player ends up doubling the amount bet, while the other loses it. The winner is who crosses paths with other users more often. There are no house fees.

Each plot can accept cryptocurrencies by itself, regardless of the owner. People can donate to organisations simply by sending money to the plot where the organizations’ buildings are located.

On each plot, its owner can place a limited number of relevant bots and augmented reality objects. Landowners can make money on paid content broadcasted on their plots.

Registering users with an email or phone number these days is tantamount to surveillance. Proxx doesn’t require a login-password pair. Instead, it associates each unique username with a 12-world mnemonic key.

By varying the content of their proxxes, users can choose their degree of recognizability.

Proxx can make our cities friendlier. Proxx breaks the vicious cycle of civil inattention. The feeling of belonging to the life around you increases self-confidence (the phenomenon of fleeting intimacy).

Digital Cash

Gradually depriving people of paper cash without offering them an alternative will not do any good. The central bank’s digital currency is no alternative. Proxx supports the circulation of conventional bitcoins and a new class of cryptocurrency, the National Bitcoins.

Proxx can inject digital cash on a regional level. The national bitcoins used in the app are designed to be distributed among residents of several neighboring states or countries with close ties that compete for each other’s markets and economically form a potentially self-sufficient territory.

Administrative control to create and maintain individual territories through the protocol is difficult to arrange. But there is a workaround: if you issue 80% of all coins in the first block and immediately distribute them to the inhabitants of a certain territory, the areal boundary would form itself. With the movement of people, the borders will gradually blur, but this will not turn off the main effects of such an act of division into currency zones.

More information about National Bitcoin can be found here:

Crowdsourced Relevance

All transactions in the Proxx universe are location-based, where the location itself, being tokenized, can be a transaction actor. All information in the Proxx universe is relevant to the user. Everyone receives data only from those who also happen to be in the same place at the same time.

The theory of Shannon and his followers, which underlies computer science, does not address the problem of information quality at all. Internet protocols have made transporting data cheap. The problem of relevance and quality has simply been shifted to the recipients. Senders (creators) can afford not to care about it, because the fact of content consumption does not depend on its quality. As a result, typical content is very bad and its relevance is debatable because the sender is often trying to manipulate it.

There is no formalised, universal standard for information quality in the strict mathematical sense. But quality can be replaced by relevance, and relevance can be accurately measured. Relevance is defined only in terms of the specific task you have: you are using some specific information to solve a particular problem. In this case, relevance is formally defined as the amount of knowledge you need to acquire about the information issuer, after which no additional knowledge increases the chances of performing the task using this information. The smaller the distance from complete ignorance to complete knowledge, the higher the relevance.

It is possible to divide relevance into element-bricks and allow it to be directly transferred or sold, hand-to-hand, in the form of crypto-tokens. This mutual exchange and cross-pollination of relevance will dramatically improve the quality of information. Landowners have a vested interest in increasing the relevance of their content. And they have a direct physical toolkit to achieve this.

Centralized, detached platforms will never achieve the same level of relevance simply because they do not crowdsource relevance. Millions of people create content that the administration of a social network or game appropriates, but those millions do nothing to improve relevance. Relevance is still the responsibility of the administration and its AI. Just as the USSR Gosplan could not compete with the thousands of farmers who filled the Texas supermarket that so impressed Yeltsin in his time with its shelves, so the relevance generated by AI will never catch up with the relevance created by crowdsourcing.

If you are trying to increase your relevance as a blogger on a modern social network, you choose a narrow topic. You work. The audience engagement gradually increases. To achieve relevance in another area, you need to convert the resulting relevance into money. Money is the only universal vehicle available today. Then, buy advertising, you promote your new blog. There’s a lot of friction along the way; the “exchange rate” is ultimately unprofitable.

Centralized platforms will never voluntarily cooperate. What’s more, they will do anything to make sure cross-platform integration doesn’t happen. In our model, a themed “like” on Twitter could be directly converted into some themed “upvotes” on Reddit. A similar model has already confirmed its viability in the purchase and sale of virtual items and statuses in computer games. Many modern games tokenise game objects, thereby making trading them simple and global.

Today, much of the monetisation on the Internet involves advertising in one way or another. Advertising, in turn, involves advertised goods or services (served somewhere), that is, certain objects or places from the physical world. Since tokens directly represent real-world objects, the “distance” between the information about the thing and the thing itself becomes much smaller.

Bibliography

  • Alfred Kroner, Das Abenteuer, 1911
  • Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 1961
  • Erving Goffman, Behavior in Public Places,1963Elliot Aronson, The Social Animal, 1972
  • Bowers, K. S., Situationism in psychology: An analysis and a critique, 1973
  • Simon Learmount, Conceiving Cosmopolitanism: Theory, Context and Practice, 2003
  • Calvin Morrill, ‎David A. Snow, ‎Cindy White, Together Alone: Personal Relationships in Public Places, 2005
  • Kurt Iveson, Strangers in the Cosmopolis, 2006
  • Jon Binnie, ‎Julian Holloway, ‎Craig Young, Cosmopolitan Urbanism, 2006
  • Kio Stark, When Strangers Meet, 2016
  • Malcolm Gladwell, Talking to Strangers, 2019
  • Angelique Edmonds, Connecting People, Place and Design, 2019
  • Kazuhiko Shibuya, Digital Transformation of Identity in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, 2020

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Lex Ionin

When what I love comes to me, I meet it with serenity. What I don't love, I trash with angry trolling.