From Humans to Blockchain: a Story about Trust

Trust and Transparency shouldn’t be something you ask for. Rather, it should be something you are given, at birth. Like all the other human rights… 

Last year I wrote a big piece on the synergies between the human mind and coding principles, and why I think blockchain is an extension to how we actually communicate. The full story is available on Medium, while the summary will be posted here, along with key takeaways. 

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My mission has long been to share knowledge, and to simplify terms without losing my identity in the process. The purpose of education is to bring people to a higher level. Not to lower them even further – this is something I believe in with all my might.

Synergies Between Coding Principles and Human Communication

Let’s go through them one by one.

1. Cognitive Revolution 

You could say that Trust, as a mechanism, is as old as the first group establishment. In his book (summary available here), “Sapiens: a Brief History of Humankind”, chapter 2, The Tree of Knowledge, Harari discusses the Cognitive Revolution. With insufficient information on the trigger and what exactly caused it, the Cognitive Revolution basically brought abilities such as communication into the daily lives of humans [70,000 B.C.; 30,000 B.C], commonly referred to as Tree of Knowledge” mutation. One of the key purposes of this mutation was to convey information from one individual to another, from one source to another (source1 gossips about source2, and delivers the contents to source3) – allowing “cooperation in large numbers”. History also shows that “gossiping” provided support in calling out “wrongdoings” mostly, and an answer to the eternal question: Can we trust other humans?

In the same line, computers and systems communicate between one another by sharing and distributing information across networks. Same question applies: Can we trust other machines? – this is one of the questions answered by Bitcoin, for example, which minimizes corruption inside its mechanism (Proof of Work). Plenty written about this, no reason to dive deeper.

2. CEST (the Cognitive Experiential Self Theory)

CEST states that humans function on a dual information-processing system:

a) an information processing system predominantly found in Coinsciousness, with verbal and rational elements;

b) an information processing system found in Preconsciousness, based on learning, with automatic and experiential elements.

CEST also states that there are three basic layers in which Change occurs: in a rational system that corrects the experiential system; in a learning sequence where the direct emotionally significant experience is quantified; and in the experiential system’s own medium, where elements communicate (fantasy, imagery, metaphors, projections) (source).

We can see that computers and digitalized systems borrow many of the mechanisms and elements to facilitate network consensus and communication between machines.

Whether you write code or an article,

it’s still a means of communication. 

I’ll skip the world wide web creation history, this part is covered in the original article on Medium.

3. Prehistorical Ledgers

Don’t for a second think the idea of a public ledger is something of the 21st century. It isn’t. Prehistoric record keeping (source: Khan Academy) shows us that Assyrian tribes used clay tokens (about 300 were found in the ancient sites of Blombos Cave in South Africa) in a bookkeeping system, to represent different commodities such as livestock and grain, and even more sophisticated good like oil, wine, wool. The tokens date back to 900 to 600 B.C. Full story via History.com.

4. Trust Consensus

“In a band of fifty individuals, there are 1,225 one-to-one relationships”, mentions Yuval in his book. As opposed to 70,000 years ago, in the same band of fifty individuals, today:

there are (1,225 + n) one-to-one relationships to be explored,

where n = [context + complexity + systems + additional noise].

Can we define the “n” value? The lower bound is prehistorically determined, whereas the upper bound can be determined using AI. However we’re still left to second guess the “1-to-1 relationship” exact value, and have no idea of what complexions are ommitted.

Trusting the Relationship

Today’s complexities, discrepancies, centralization, systems, errors, all contributed to an inability to rely 100% on individual or collective evaluations of the “primordial” 1,225+n one-on-one relationships, for the same 50 individuals in that band. Enter Blockchain. 

The technology in its cryptographic form has the potential of getting us back to the roots and helping us recover the massive debt of thousands of years worth of lies, deceits, and centralization. 

In our current times, thousands of years after we’ve gained bigger better brains, structure, evolution, rights, and opportunities, the cost we paid is that of Trust

Blockchain too implies a one-to-one relationship between blocks, chronologically – and has become the only mechanism in which we can achieve Trust and Transparency once again. 

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