Saturday, May 25, 2013

The God Bit: Machine Spirituality


Traditional AI paradigms consider consciousness to be a computer program. More precisely, AI tries to model your mind as software. Making an artificial mind is interesting. Hacking your own mind's software is even more interesting.
Let's explore this paradigm. I invite you on an informal Thought Experiment.

Find the God bit in the code in your cranium, and toggle it.
Depending on who you are, you might have tagged it the "belief" bit. Adjust accordingly.

So, if you were an atheist before, you're now a theist.
If you were a theist before, you're now an atheist.

Try switching back and forth.
One setting will probably feel more comfortable than the other. Here's the heart of this experiment -- try living with the "uncomfortable" setting for a few days.

I carried out this Thought Experiment myself.
I imagine everyone's code is unique, so reversing beliefs will produce different results based on identity. YMMV!

Here are my findings from this Thought Experiment:

1. You can change your beliefs as easily as your code. Optimize for fun!

2. Believing ( or not ) does not imply all kinds of things that I once thought it did.

3. I can believe, or not, independently of everything else. That's just how my code is designed.

4. Believing ( or not ) in God, seems to be a highly charged topic for most people, when it doesn't have to be.

5. Editing out the concept of God from your code entirely is not practical today, because the God meme is very much in circulation.

6. Here's some code I wrote recently. It is independent of the God bit. It has made me a much happier person:

   sub is_grateful {
       42
   }


If you try this Thought Experiment, please share your findings! Joy to the World!

:P

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Satoshi Nakamoto: Infinite Suspects, Eternal Suspense



Dr. Ted Nelson and I just now had a pleasant email exchange in which he offered to make a video crediting me with identifying Satoshi Nakamoto, if we turn out to be right. I feel so much better now. I am so glad that a great mind like Sensei Nelson validated my conjecture.

In truth, I don't want Satoshi Nakamoto to ever be revealed.     
If Mochizuki is indeed Nakamoto, then I am sorry to have possibly upset his well-deserved privacy and fortune. It was inevitable that somebody would have posited the same conjecture, sooner or later. 

Satoshi Nakamoto dropped enough clues to narrow this Drake's equation-style search for terrestrial intelligence. Take all the 40-ish, male, Japanese quants, who are fluent in number theory, English, C++, and economics. I'll bet you can fit this league of extraordinary gentlemen in an ordinary room. But would Mochizuki be alone in the room? And even if he were, would that prove that he is Nakamoto?


Hypothesis #1: one brilliant man (intentionally or not) revealed himself. Satoshi Nakamoto is Shinichi Mochizuki.

Hypothesis #2: one brilliant person cleverly misdirected us. We don't know who she/he is.

Hypothesis #3: Satoshi Nakamoto could be Anonymous. Some people in Guy Fawkes masks put on a fun musical show at Bitcoin 2013. I was there, man!

Hypothesis #4: Satoshi Nakamoto is the NSA. At Bitcoin 2013, some knowledgable people mentioned that the lead developer of Ripple worked for the NSA before.


Hypothesis #5: I am Satoshi Nakamoto.
I got a ZX Spectrum+ and taught myself programming in 1984. Now, I am a professional programmer, with a degree in Computer Science. I went through a Nipponophile phase in college, and took Japanese lessons for a couple of years. Next, I worked on a financial trading system on the 102nd floor of the former WTC. I have been hacking away at one of the hardest problems in Computer Science ( the P=NP Conjecture ) ever since I came across the Traveling Salesman problem in the 1980's. I am insanely passionate about the concept of Bitcoin. I would like to work on expanding and improving the Bitcoin economy. ( Got a job? Please contact me. I want to become a global nomad, and hack from anywhere, anytime. Pay me in BTC, and you shall know me by my git commits! )

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Man Who Identified Satoshi Nakamoto?


On May 11, 2013, I posted the ABC-BTC conjecture on my blog. The ABC-BTC conjecture states that Satoshi Nakamoto is Shinichi Mochizuki.

I posted this theory to Reddit, but was censored. I was told that "gossip relating to real life details of people against their wishes is against Reddit Terms of Service."

On May 12, 2013, I emailed Dr. Shinichi Mochizuki, apologizing for the intrusion, and asking him to comment on my theory. He hasn't responded, as of now.

A whole week later, Ted Nelson posted a video to YouTube, rehashing my theory. Reddit did not censor Ted Nelson's video.

These were my feelings:
"Who is this fucker, stealing my thunder? Why hasn't Reddit censored him? Why has he injected himself in the middle, instead of getting to the point? Why the cheap dramatics and the bad Dr. Watson impression? Why is he so certain that my theory is true? It's just a theory, with plenty of plausible deniability. Why has he put Shinichi Mochizuki on a pedestal? Why is he trying to speak Japanese? Mochizuki understands English perfectly well. Gimme a break! I am from India, but if you call me Guru, I'll punch you!"

Now, my feelings have changed.
I realize that Ted Nelson has better established credentials than I.

So it is natural that the mainstream would attribute the theory to him, even though I published it first. Ted Nelson has admitted that he was not the first person to publish this theory online, although he claims that he reached his conclusions independently. This is hard to believe, since Ted could have found my post with a simple Google search for "Satoshi Nakamoto" and "Shinichi Mochizuki".

The dramatics are necessary, so the audience feels the thrill of unwrapping a mystery slowly.
Discovering new things and solving mysteries is the essence of Mathematics.

Check my tweetstream ( @purrperl ) to verify my story.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto Identified?


Here's my wild-ass guess for today: Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto is really Japanese mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki. Let's examine the evidence:

1. Requisite level of mathematical genius; specifically, work on Number Theory.
2. Male, Japanese, 40-ish, living in Japan.
3. Nakamoto is fluent in English. Mochizuki grew up in the USA.
4. Elusive, reclusive behavior.
5. Same number of Hiragana symbols in first and last names of the two identities.
6. Some have speculated, based on v0.1 of bitcoin code, that the creator was someone with a lot of theoretical knowledge, but not a professional programmer.
7. Caroline Chen's article, "The Paradox of The Proof" doesn't mention bitcoin, but gives a glimpse into the mind of Shinichi Mochizuki. Read this very interesting article, and draw your own conclusions.


Sources:

1. Satoshi Nakamoto


2. The Race to Unmask Bitcoin's Inventor(s)


3. The Paradox of The Proof






I am a professional programmer with 20 years of Perl and Web development expertise, available for full-time remote programming work. I live in the USA. Here is my resumé.