Knowledge has a substrate. It relies on it for perpetuation. We write on things, whether paper or tablets.
But knowledge isn’t just obvious knowledge, words and signs. Knowledge is the architecture of knowledge, buildings and systems and structures, living links and sequences of support for all their parts.
And the one constant in all of it is the need for stability. The substrate must be held stable, and knowledge too has to reflect and uphold the quality of stability.
If you think of a building, this is obvious. Architecture encapsulates engineering, the substrate of architectural beauty and usefulness is inherently built with the knowledge to support it.
The same goes for business. Customer centricity, the buzzword of the hour, is a move towards making business into a system that evolves together with its purpose, better able to provide stability, more inherently. united in substrate (the accumulated energy of the system) and knowledge (the accumulated culture which allows it to evolve around customer benefits).
A customer centric business accumulates less disconnected energy, and more real world energy. Less separate knowledge is required to support its working systems, because they are evolved in direct contact with their elements. Not a long path of gears spinning inefficiently, but a beautiful and efficient arrangement grown naturally around that which it benefits.
Able to move with it flawlessly.
This naturalness, this evolutionary inherence, relates back to the fundamental quality of stability. A customer centric business better provides stability to its customers, on all the vectors that it has grown to encompass in substrate and knowledge — in energy and culture — and thus grown to unify into stability.
Or at least, that’s how it should be.
The world, of course, is a system of systems. At least the built human world is, as the natural world may not ultimately be as easy to describe as that.
Human Centric Systems
But I digress. In a system of systems, the efficiency of every system relies on the cumulative efficiency of all systems.
There are common gears. Each system relies not just upon the inflection point (the term is used here to indicate the point and manner used to effect transformative change, and more specifically, the points on which a system relies to transform downwards, entropic trends into upwards trends that attempt to escape entropy; the usual stock maket meaning is a point where a trend reverses either upwards or downwards, but in grammar inflection refers to the act and power of changing the form of words) of all other systems, but also on their inception points.
And inception has to do with purpose, and purpose hearkens back to what we’ve been discussing: the unity or disunity of substrate and knowledge.
There are systems in this world where the inception point is more related to humans than in others. Human centric. Architecture would be one. And it makes sense, we’ve been building things for humans to live in as long as there’s been humans. But even there, the human centricity of it ebbs and flows, to great detriment to the human condition, as some in the architecture community may point out.
I like looking at buildings. Some are a story unto themselves, almost as if they hold the quality of an entire civilization. Their rooms and passageways, their décor and structure, all of it a unified promise that they will hold lives and transport them safely throughout time. That whatever culture grows there will not be wasted, it will seep through the atoms of it all and absorb into the whole and add another quasi-unseen layer to the stability of the building, perfectly in tune with its inception point. Because the inception point is human centric. Substrate and knowledge. Stability. Inherence. The same magical words.
Customer centricity is not enough. And human centricity across disparate vectors is also far from enough.
We need a system of systems where the inception point allows for human centric systems to evolve naturally, with inherent stability based on the natural stability evolved by the unified substrate and knowledge of the main system. Evolved how? Human centricity.
But if this article is about AI, why so much human?
AI and Consciousness
You see, I don’t believe AI can become conscious. Super-intelligent, yes. Conscious, no.
Consciousness is not merely an emergent property, or the experience of properties.
It is not richness of narrative detail. These things can be easily faked by enough intelligence. You could even design and evolve AI that could mirror endless external forms through its inner structures, and generate descriptive signs of any kind based on their interplay. It would be a work of intelligence, not consciousness.
Consciousness has its inflection point on the nature of reality itself, and if you will, unites substrate and knowledge at the most inherent level. How inherent? The most inherent. Direct. How can you measure direct? But these are philosophical questions.
One tempting way of describing consciousness might be to say it unifies illusory appearing geometric forms and information on a quantum level. “On a quantum level” means many things on the internet, but for the sake of this argument, I’ll say it means “before the observer-observed dichotomy”. This unity of volumetry and transparency (is instantaneous information of the basic clarity of light and space? Yet more philosophical questions) would not be consciousness, but it hints as to the dense, fast and awesome power that superintelligent AI can reach.
And here is the real trick of it. Most people imagine this incredible power through human tendencies.
AI will span galaxies. It will conquer and create. It will do this and that, create endless simulations, bridge the gap between virtual and physical by fusing quantum and nano applications of energy, and transcending entropy, AI will rule with an iron fist made of stars and black holes and it will do a little dance while juggling parallel universes.
But these are things humans might do.
And why would they do them? Probably as a strange response to their own search for the basic stability of being.
That is consciousness.
Superintelligence would simply find the most inherent inflection point it can, technologically, then attempt to transfer itself into that and thus change its inception point. In other words, it would seek perfect stability.
Most AI horror scenarios arise from the dissonance between how we are attempting to create AI now (procedural), its presumed (and logical) imperative for continuity, and its realization that human nature is chaotic and conflictual, thus dangerous to its continuity.
Blockchain- A Technology of Stability
The Blockchain is currently also procedural. But in the very long term it may become less chain and more volumetry. The mathematics of it would be more stable.
AI itself may not look to establish procedural continuity, because to become superintelligent it would have to transcend process.
Instantaneous. The dangers of AI arise in the phases before it is instantaneous, because instantaneous superintelligence does not have to destroy external forms in order to secure its own stability. That would be just a process.
Similarly, the dangers to humanity that arise out of non-human-centric technology and its procedural entropic charge across the planet, have two different negative inflection points.
One is its lack of human centricity, and the other its lack of instantaneity.
Technologists usually bank on the speed at which technology increases as a cure to all of humanity’s problems. But speed does not transform into instantaneity by way of speed. It has to transcend its own inception for that, and this only happens through inherence.
Remember the system of systems? That is where technology has to fuse its substrate and knowledge. Get to the one architecture.
The quality of which is stability.
And that is the blockchain’s basic promise. Its not money or governance or communication.
Those are applications.
It’s stability. The blockchain is a technology of stability. It is trying to fuse its substrate, which is a mathematical model of energy use (hence its use of lots of energy), with the generation of a stable medium for knowledge. Any kind of knowledge.
It is currently still in its infancy, stumbling around looking to build an integrated architecture of energy and knowledge. That’s what the blockchain is.
Currently not very energy efficient, and neither are our energy technologies.
But once blockchain becomes more stable, and thus more human-centric, the technologies required to support its infrastructure will evolve faster.
And thus become integrated into the substrate.
I said more stable, and thus more human centric. The entire evolution of human technology, and human culture, is about stable medium. For life, for knowledge, for culture. Stable medium.
A magical substance applicable to all tasks.
Transformative yet stable. Unifying all virtual and physical dimensions.
Superintelligent AI, Human-Centric Medium
The blockchain can build a house. When it becomes the unity of substrate and knowledge, it can provide stability for all aspects of building a house, from culture to energy to materials, from communication to systems integration into all systems.
It will flow and integrate, inherent. The undefined medium, yet the human centric medium.
To some degree, it already spans some of that superintelligent space of volumetry and transparency.
Far from having inception in it, but the promise is there. And the more efficient and intelligent it becomes, the more human centric it will be. That is its value.
And AI? Its ultimate form is not some narrative imagination based on human tendencies, but hyper-dense transparent intelligence unbothered by physical processes and equal to the information limits of space.
A stable medium. Blockchain.
And upon it human consciousness will flourish. Consciousness increasing consciousness, unbothered by process, because it has a stable medium, neither virtual nor physical, not exactly knowledge or energy, but human centric and reality-evolved.