Are We Offloading Too Many Conscious Thoughts into Algorithms? with Noonies Nominee: rhortx by@rhortx

Are We Offloading Too Many Conscious Thoughts into Algorithms? with Noonies Nominee: rhortx

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rhortx HackerNoon profile picture

rhortx

Human living in the general LA area.

Thanks very much to the HackerNoon community and staff for nominating me for a 2021 Noonies award, Contributor of the year - Writing: https://noonies.tech/award/2021-hackernoon-contributor-of-the-year-writing

1. What do you do, and why do you do it? (tell us your story)

I’m the Product Manager at Monogram Network, a startup that offers investment opportunities in appreciating assets that are tokenized, tracked, and traced on the blockchain as ERC-1155 tokens. So the future of the decentralized web and blockchain technology is a pertinent interest. In my spare time, I write, draw and sometimes do interactive projects.

2. Tell us more about the things you create / write / manage / build!

Right now, most of my free time is spent drawing for a show coming up this December in Silverlake, and I post those on Instagram under the name rhortx. There will be a coloring book of 80 or so drawings put out at the same time.

Otherwise, I write screenplays that get shown around and never bought, write and publish novels, and work on interactive projects like this psychological profiling system I created for a website I’ve been working on.

3. How did you end up on your current career path? Do you like it?

Being a Product Manager is great, at least for startups, because you get to touch all aspects of the project, and you’re never at a loss for something new to do. I like creating things, and startups are where all the creation happens.

4. What tech are you most excited or passionate about right now and why?

Since I’m working at a company that uses blockchain, I’m excited to see how it’s starting to evolve in all the unsexy ways that will fundamentally reorder the way we do things.

But the tech I’m most interested in right now are those new discoveries that might help solve the problems we’re experiencing from the tech we already have. Anything that could help address climate change, rising authoritarianism, or the pernicious negative externalities from this massive reordering of society that we’ve only just begun.

5. What tech are you most worried about right now and why?

What I’m worried about are the emergent properties coming out of our attention economy. If you’re juggling on the pier trying to get people’s attention to sell them patent medicine that’s a pretty clear and straightforward use case.

But develop that concept with modern technology until attention itself becomes the product that you’re selling --and not just attention but conscious focus, regardless of the emotional effect-- then you are naturally going to optimize for fear and anxiety, which are more powerful and immediate than joy and curiosity, and which tend to separate people from each other and their better selves.

I’m afraid we are offloading our conscious thought into algorithms and stunting our emotions to the dictates of the market.

6. If we gave you 10 million dollars to invest in something today, what would you invest in and why?

Give me a million, and I’d invest in the future of blockchain, but give me 10 million, and I’d feel a responsibility to help address one of the two major problems of our time, climate change and rising authoritarianism and control.

I have no idea how to fix the latter, so I’d focus on the former and look for a project with the most impact per dollar spent. Currently, the company I work for is looking into opportunities for tokenizing green energy development and associated carbon certificates, which is pretty interesting.

7. What are you currently learning?

Patience and detachment. Also, facets of the erc-1155 token.

8. What’s the best advice you’ve ever given someone?

Just out of college, I was riding to Mardi Gras in the back of a pickup truck, crashing on a friend of a friend’s floor. It’s the end of the second night, people are straggling home from the parade in various levels of inebriation, and I spot some angry parent yanking on his child’s arm, cursing at the kid, and then finally smacking him in the back of the head.

So I yelled across the street for him to stop, “If you keep hitting that kid he’s going to turn out to be as big an asshole as you are.” He didn’t seem to appreciate the advice, and they both disappeared into the night.

9. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

A direct marketing leader I used to work with would always say, “The only thing I know is that I don’t know anything,” which I’m pretty sure he ripped off from Socrates.

But what he meant was that all your gut instincts and experience can only take you so far. What you’ve got to do is test your predictions and use the data to improve your product; that’s really the only way forward for anything, whether it’s online direct marketing, a website, or your own creative output.


About HackerNoon’s 2021 Noonie Awards

The annual Noonie Awards celebrate the best and brightest of the tech industry, bringing together all who are making the Internet and the world of tech what it is today. Please be sure to check out our award categories, nominate, and vote for the people and companies who you think are making the biggest impact on the tech industry today.

The 2021 Noonies are sponsored by: bybit, Dottech Domains, and Avast. Thank you so much to these sponsors who are helping us celebrate the accomplishments of all our nominees.


Thanks very much to the HackerNoon community and staff for nominating me for a 2021 Noonies award, Contributor of the year - Writing: https://noonies.tech/award/2021-hackernoon-contributor-of-the-year-writing

1. What do you do, and why do you do it? (tell us your story)

I’m the Product Manager at Monogram Network, a startup that offers investment opportunities in appreciating assets that are tokenized, tracked, and traced on the blockchain as ERC-1155 tokens. So the future of the decentralized web and blockchain technology is a pertinent interest. In my spare time, I write, draw and sometimes do interactive projects.

2. Tell us more about the things you create / write / manage / build!

Right now, most of my free time is spent drawing for a show coming up this December in Silverlake, and I post those on Instagram under the name rhortx. There will be a coloring book of 80 or so drawings put out at the same time.

Otherwise, I write screenplays that get shown around and never bought, write and publish novels, and work on interactive projects like this psychological profiling system I created for a website I’ve been working on.

3. How did you end up on your current career path? Do you like it?

Being a Product Manager is great, at least for startups, because you get to touch all aspects of the project, and you’re never at a loss for something new to do. I like creating things, and startups are where all the creation happens.

4. What tech are you most excited or passionate about right now and why?

Since I’m working at a company that uses blockchain, I’m excited to see how it’s starting to evolve in all the unsexy ways that will fundamentally reorder the way we do things.

But the tech I’m most interested in right now are those new discoveries that might help solve the problems we’re experiencing from the tech we already have. Anything that could help address climate change, rising authoritarianism, or the pernicious negative externalities from this massive reordering of society that we’ve only just begun.

5. What tech are you most worried about right now and why?

What I’m worried about are the emergent properties coming out of our attention economy. If you’re juggling on the pier trying to get people’s attention to sell them patent medicine that’s a pretty clear and straightforward use case.

But develop that concept with modern technology until attention itself becomes the product that you’re selling --and not just attention but conscious focus, regardless of the emotional effect-- then you are naturally going to optimize for fear and anxiety, which are more powerful and immediate than joy and curiosity, and which tend to separate people from each other and their better selves.

I’m afraid we are offloading our conscious thought into algorithms and stunting our emotions to the dictates of the market.

6. If we gave you 10 million dollars to invest in something today, what would you invest in and why?

Give me a million, and I’d invest in the future of blockchain, but give me 10 million, and I’d feel a responsibility to help address one of the two major problems of our time, climate change and rising authoritarianism and control.

I have no idea how to fix the latter, so I’d focus on the former and look for a project with the most impact per dollar spent. Currently, the company I work for is looking into opportunities for tokenizing green energy development and associated carbon certificates, which is pretty interesting.

7. What are you currently learning?

Patience and detachment. Also, facets of the erc-1155 token.

8. What’s the best advice you’ve ever given someone?

Just out of college, I was riding to Mardi Gras in the back of a pickup truck, crashing on a friend of a friend’s floor. It’s the end of the second night, people are straggling home from the parade in various levels of inebriation, and I spot some angry parent yanking on his child’s arm, cursing at the kid, and then finally smacking him in the back of the head.

So I yelled across the street for him to stop, “If you keep hitting that kid he’s going to turn out to be as big an asshole as you are.” He didn’t seem to appreciate the advice, and they both disappeared into the night.

9. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

A direct marketing leader I used to work with would always say, “The only thing I know is that I don’t know anything,” which I’m pretty sure he ripped off from Socrates.

But what he meant was that all your gut instincts and experience can only take you so far. What you’ve got to do is test your predictions and use the data to improve your product; that’s really the only way forward for anything, whether it’s online direct marketing, a website, or your own creative output.


About HackerNoon’s 2021 Noonie Awards

The annual Noonie Awards celebrate the best and brightest of the tech industry, bringing together all who are making the Internet and the world of tech what it is today. Please be sure to check out our award categories, nominate, and vote for the people and companies who you think are making the biggest impact on the tech industry today.

The 2021 Noonies are sponsored by: bybit, Dottech Domains, and Avast. Thank you so much to these sponsors who are helping us celebrate the accomplishments of all our nominees.

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