Thoughts on Numbers and Elements: Do Integers Produce Diversity In Matter?

After seeing a beautiful rendering of the distribution of the primes via a sorting algorithm on Twitter last week I turned my thoughts to something I have been curious about for a few years now. I wrote a longer jargon filled mathematical philosophy paper on this, but I don’t need to throw around phrases like “material ontology” or “logical positivist” to elaborate on my observations. So here goes:

The Periodic Table of Elements ,that we all know and love, indexes and categorizes all of the knowN physical elements according to their atomic characteristics. The Hydrogen Atom has 1 Proton 1 Neutron and 1 Electron. The Hydrogen 2:2:2 and so on. Yes, there are isotopes and outliers in the heavier elements that contain a different ratio of subatomic particles than the “standard” element, but that does not detract from my argument.

And in Chemistry 101, we also learned that there is no difference between subatomic particles. There does not exist a Sodium Neutron nor a Lithium Electron nor Uranium Proton. All electrons are identical to one another, as well as protons to other protons and neutrons to other neutrons, no matter what element they make up.

So if the elements are separated on the periodic table by their subatomic components and the only distinguishing characteristics of the subatomic components between elements are the integer value of the subatomic particles and shapes that result from the accumulation of these particles, then is the diversity in physical matter dependent wholly on integers?

If so, where do such abstract ideas exist? What domain do these numbers that determine the nature of our reality inhabit?

That Ain’t Mine: Blockchain Secured Evidence Criminal and Civil

Chain of Custody is a fundamental concept in determining the authenticity and identity of both valuable and fungible goods. Distributed ledgers offer many new innovations in industries in which authentication is a paramount concern in order to deter and catch counterfeits, such as valuable collectibles. The most obvious use case being art and many companies are exploring these concepts via various blockchains. Fungible goods (or those that can be freely exchanged among each other) can also be cataloged via a blockchain.

If Echo Pepper puts a durian in the cupboard and then Sylvantine comes along and switches out Echo’s durian with a different durian, there is no proof that these sweet smelling fruit are not one in the same. If they weigh and look the same, then there really hasn’t been a provable theft; Sylvantine replaced Echo’s durian with a very similar yet still different fruit. The durian is considered a fungible good. If Echo wanted that specific durian, unless there is a way she can prove that the durians are in fact different, then she is not going to have much luck in the courtroom if she decides to bring a case against Sylvantine for durian banditry. Being able to prove that a crime has been committed relies a tremendous amount on an accurate chain of custody. This is a cornerstone of most legal systems operating in the world at the moment.

Now durians and random cabinets are fun and all, but fungiblity comes up a lot in court cases, especially those involving possession of evidence in criminal cases. A more transparent and accurate accounting for the location, identity, and authenticity of evidence can provide a universal boon to the legal system. This will provide protection for all parties involved. Evidence tampering is a known issue and many innocent men and women have been incarcerated due to the vulnerabilities in the current system. Some very violent criminals have been acquitted due to issues with the custody of evidence. Using a blockchain to catalog and index evidence would be a step forward in creating a more transparent and fair legal system.

Currently many blockchain companies are looking to private industry first as this will generate the greatest profit as we debut these new ideas. However, there are many applications in the public sphere that can benefit from the use of distributed ledgers, but this naturally entails less immediate profit and forced engagement with politicians and bureaucrats (something that disincentivizes most interested in free market economics).

As the larger multinational corporation begin to develop their own blockchain powered technologies and applications, the small companies trying to carve out ground in the private sphere are going to find an increasingly difficult and competitive market. I think that developing smart contracts and deploying them toward public administration issues will provide economic opportunities for small companies in the blockchain ecosystem that might find it difficult to compete with larger players in the global economic system.

This use case scenario I’ve laid out, has hopefully demonstrated an area in public administration which can benefit from a distributed ledger. Given the direction of the crypto ecosystem, I think that there is still some room for smaller companies to develop blockchain applications that aren’t going to be competing with IBM on supply chain applications.

Moral of Story: Hiding durians in cabinets can cause issues

Decet and the Tezos Foundation

Decet is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a grant by the board of the Tezos Foundation to draft, compose, and structure the documentation for the Tezos network, growing commonwealth, and global ecosystem.   This project will cover developer documentation through guides for those with no prior experience or knowledge of Tezos.

As good access to readable and accurate information is a foundational cornerstone to any successful open source platform, Decet will work closely with the Tezos developer community to ensure that anyone with an interest can find clear and useful information on how to utilize, participate, and develop atop the Tezos network.  

In addition, the technical documentation will include thorough and well organized specifications, details, instructions, and tutorials. In addition, we firmly believe that a joint development of resources for the technical person and the lay person is a precondition to large scale adoption of the platform.  Our project will include resources for those with no prior blockchain exposure so as to continually be able to on board new developers and potential developers. 

Decet and the Tezos Foundation have collaborated in the past and we at Decet look forward to the partnership going forward. Gordon Speagle of Decet, will direct this project and Our team will work closely with the Tezos Developer Community as well as the larger system as this project starts charting its course.  

Congratulations to the other grant recipients :

University of Beira Interior  

France-IOI

Cornell University, and Co-Director of the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts (“IC3”)  Emin Gün Sirer

Who Cares About Decentralization?

Keeping the information routes open is important and I can use this platform to parse out some ideas that are fueling this project and hopefully give the uninitiated an overview of the ideological foundations of decentralization and how they relate to the Eureka Project

 Why should you or anyone else care about Decentralization?

 Fundamentally, decentralization is a mechanism to free the individual person from the unnecessary influence of administrative overreach and corruption. It is foolish and naive to  deny that those two qualifications are not intrinsically bound with our current systems of governance and public administration. In the private sphere, decentralized organizations can eliminate “middlemen” and eradicate  bottlenecks of economic energy and obstructions of market flow.

The true potential of decentralization is not just currency, it is a way to begin to dismantle the unnecessary bureaus and administration in the sphere of public governance and private administration.

Acknowledging that this is a problem is not the same as fixating or harping on it. Administrative errors, either intentional or accidental, are vulnerabilities that can be exploited from both internal and external sources and these cause rippling effects through the system it is supposed to be administrating.  We think that blockchain technology can offer some very specific and subtle solutions to these errors.

 Applying the principles of decentralization will free people to transact with one another without the red tape, overreach, and taxation.  The removal of error prone oversight will free our economic and governmental systems to function in a more natural way.

Distributed Ledgers are the first step.  

Private: The Eureka Project: Letter to Potential Investors

The Eureka Project: A new vision for a decentralized city

The Eureka Project aims to eliminate inefficiencies in both our economic and administrative spheres, so we won’t begin this letter with a sappy, manufactured epiphany narrative.
Instead, we will build a town from scratch. On a remote plot of land in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, we will use the most recent innovations in blockchain and decentralized systems to redefine city and solve some of the more pervasive issues plaguing public administration and governance.

  • Power will be delivered via a decentralized energy exchange and microgrid that will allow residents to generate and trade tokenized power peer-to-peer in a decentralized market. Power Ledger has already began to explore new ways to utilize blockchain technology in power distribution.

  • Property and land deeds will be stored, transferred, and transacted via a blockchain. The murky waters of property and real estate transfers will be cleared through a distributed ledger. A blockchain company out of Kiev, Propy, is already doing some interesting work in this domain.

  • All public records will be stored on a distributed ledger. Storj and Filecoin are two of the many companies already working on the distributed data storage solutions on the blockchain. There are many application of this type of blockchain use case on the horizon, especially in the confidential medical records field. Our engineers will begin tackling issues with large-scale data storage via blockchain as soon as we break ground.

Like any visionary endeavor, The Eureka Project needs capital. Developing rural land requires civil engineering and surveying. We will need to finalize the title, deed, and easement work, as well hire blockchain engineers to start development. We are looking to raise $ 6 million.

As an incentive to early backers, the land we own is already producing revenue: Our property is highly sought out by the mountaineering community. In the spirit of pioneering, The Eureka Project will also become a destination for climbers and adventurers. Early backers will be given an option of revenue sharing immediately from the mountaineering activities while the municipality is designed. Over time, we plan to recruit some of the most energetic and forward-thinking pioneers of this new digital future, and our ultimate goal is to turn over ownership of the Eureka Project to those who have poured their investment and energy into building the municipality. 

The Eureka Project was founded by Gordon Speagle, a University of Illinois College of Engineering administrator and UIUC Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Dr. Andrew Miller. (The Eureka Project is not currently associated with UIUC.) Andrew has advised numerous successful blockchain companies and is an active researcher and expert in cryptography and Blockchain technologies. Gordon has worked as an administrator in higher education for 9 years and his blockchain consulting (Decet Consulting) firm has worked with both Tezos and Hshares on various projects. This experience will be invaluable while guiding the project. 

Cryptocurrency fever is sweeping the nation, and yet currencies are only the most rudimentary application of blockchain technologies. The Eureka Project is the next step in the progression. Our choice to co-develop an alpining community with an avant-garde experimental municipality is both practical and metaphorical. The adventurous spirit of The Eureka Project’s early backers will usher in a new phase of decentralized government, owned and operated by the people it serves. 

Sincerely,
Gordon Speagle
Andrew Miller

Decet/Tezos Event October 2017

Decet co-sponsored a developer event with Tezos, a ground breaking new blockchain platform.  The video, produced by Adjacency in Urbana, Illinois, is one aspect of the behind the scenes quality and exposure to key groups of early adopters and trend setters Decentralized Et Consulting can offer.  Decet founder, Gordon Speagle, is narrating the video.