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asciilifeform: !w poll
watchglass: Polling 11 nodes...
watchglass: : ( Alive: (0.082s) V=99999 (/ Jumpers=0x1 (TRB-Compat.) Blocks=630474
watchglass: : Alive: (0.082s) V=99999 (/ Jumpers=0x1 (TRB-Compat.) Blocks=630474
watchglass: : ( Alive: (0.093s) V=70001 (/ Jumpers=0x1 (TRB-Compat.) Blocks=630474
watchglass: : Alive: (0.154s) V=99999 (/ Jumpers=0x1 (TRB-Compat.) Blocks=630474 (Operator: asciilifeform)
watchglass: : ( Alive: (0.106s) V=99999 (/ Jumpers=0x1 (TRB-Compat.) Blocks=630474 (Operator: asciilifeform)
watchglass: : Alive: (0.106s) V=99999 (/ Jumpers=0x1 (TRB-Compat.) Blocks=630474
watchglass: : Alive: (0.232s) V=70001 (/ Jumpers=0x1 (TRB-Compat.) Blocks=630474
watchglass: : Alive: (0.323s) V=99999 (/ Jumpers=0x1 (TRB-Compat.) Blocks=630474
watchglass: : ( Alive: (0.381s) V=99999 (/ Jumpers=0x1 (TRB-Compat.) Blocks=630474
watchglass: : ( Alive: (0.564s) V=99999 (/ Jumpers=0x1 (TRB-Compat.) Blocks=630474
watchglass: : Busy? (No answer in 20 sec.)
lru: where could I find a collection of proof-of-work alternatives? i.e. ideas that were tried and failed
asciilifeform: lru: afaik there is not a convenient encyclopaedia . if you're interested in specific ones, i might be able to find old #t log pointers on subj .
snsabot: Logged on 2020-05-10 21:14:20 asciilifeform: by some defs, it will still 'work' in 3000 a.d. by others, 'never worked'...
asciilifeform: ( i.e. some folx argue that 'bitcoin's proof of work failed' when asic mining took off , etc )
asciilifeform: and, conversely, what 'succeed' would mean.
asciilifeform: lru: imho the biggest headache in studying 'altcoins' is that ~100% of'em were hamhanded 'get rich' schemes by author. rather than earnest attempts to fix 'problems of bitcoin'
asciilifeform: so ~0 signal, and moar noise than you could ever hope to cut through, in subj.
asciilifeform: arguably bitcoin is still 'in the saddle' specifically because of the the 'alt' idiocies , which continue to make it look like a champ in comparison. rather than on acct of anyffin the btc enthusiasts did at any point.
asciilifeform for his part, not convinced that there is a physically possible solution .
asciilifeform: lru: i rec to do what folx used to do, back when engineering worked, and actually pin down the problem you want to solve. here, for instance, was my attempt re subj.
snsabot: (trilema) 2017-03-02 asciilifeform: it is worth recalling the gedankenexperiment where it turns out that all you'd need to build 'martian bank' on earth, is if martians merely supplied an infallible 'martian clock', a service whereby they take a string S , at regular, say, daily, interval, and return its hash H
snsabot: (trilema) 2016-10-20 asciilifeform: ('martian bank' being simply a naive abstraction of 'idealizes swiss bank', where money supply is constant, and i can send from account a1 can send to a2 if and only if i have the privkey for a1, and double-spend - impossible, etc.)
lru: thanks asciilifeform !
lru: sorry for the delay, was deep in thought
asciilifeform: lru: np. lemme know if you have more specific q's.
lru: to pin down the problem, what I'm currently hoping to find is a way to remove the need for so much wasted CPU
asciilifeform: lru: 1st gotta understand where the need orig. came from.
lru: true
asciilifeform: before can think about 'how to remove'
lru: exactly
lru: which is why I wanted examples of "failures" so that I could see what other alternatives missed, as well as understanding the original bitcoin design goals
asciilifeform: the typical failure, in 'attempts to remove waste of mining' is that you get a 'coin' that's in fact controlled 100% by author. and no one w/ half a brain wants anyffin to do with it.
lru: right :-)
asciilifeform: ( typically author is cynical scammer to begin with, and searches for -- and sometimes finds -- idiots. then profits a la 'penny stocks' . )
asciilifeform: afaik ~100% of the 'attempts to remove mining' were simply shell games to disguise the fact that $coin is centrally controlled. e.g. 'proof of stake' (where whoever holds massive amts, controls, and author plays games to try to disguise the fact that he's the one )
asciilifeform: for that matter, 'alts' which had conventional mining a la btc, were 100% 'premined', and author went to great lengths to pretend that they weren't
lru: so far I think I've only managed to shift it from a CPU-winner problem to a storage-winner problem lol
lru: well that link to "mining is a bug" logs yielded the idea that splitting mining/CPU and nodes/storage is a bad thing... good to know
asciilifeform: aha,subj was beaten to death in old #t
asciilifeform: see 'trb-i' threads.
lru: what does the -i mean? trb = therealbitcoin, but I'm not parsing the i
asciilifeform: 'ideal'
lru: thanks
snsabot: (therealbitcoin) 2020-05-15 jfw: asciilifeform: mind expanding on what you mean by leave it the fuck alone and why?
asciilifeform: lru: imho attempts to remove 'winners' resemble search for perpetuum mobile.
asciilifeform: it's superficially appealing, to the naive, but physically impossible, and sets you up for self-deception -- 'really, no winners, in this magical new $scheme!111'
asciilifeform: in reality, someone will always devise 'unfair advantage' . (and , in 'alts', orig. author is 100% guilty until proven innocent of having done so while conceiving the thing)
asciilifeform: i'm not even 100% convinced that 'satoshi' didn't have a shortcut for sha256 in his pocket.
asciilifeform: in schemes where gnarly/ram-intensive pow, the 'winners' were automatically the folx who write virii. (until, in the rare cases where the $alt ended up 'worth something', the folx w/ access to ic fabs caught up)
asciilifeform: but there is always 'winner'. and it's almost (not quite) always -- the author.
asciilifeform: ( most of the time 'no winner' arguably strictly because $alt -- worthless , no one dumb enuff to pay for it. )
feedbot: << A Syndication of Verisimilitudes -- A Review of ``Hackers & Painters'' by Paul Graham
lru: so, best not to try to remove winners, but to design the system to favour the right ones... also a hard problem
lru: I would not have equated "virus writer" == "winner" when I first heard of bitcoin :-)
asciilifeform: lru: it was exactly the virii folx who won from 'anti-asic' crackpotcoinz.
asciilifeform: point being, there is always 'winner'. especially when naive designer tries to make a naive 'fair' whatever.
asciilifeform: lru: w/ bitcoin proper, as late as 2013 there were trojan payloads that (with variable success -- variations in iron/drivers made this nontrivial) gpu mined.
asciilifeform: later on this became exclusive to 'shitcoins' (the myriad 'alts' w/ 'anti-asic' pow function)
lru: what would you consider "naive fair"? I'm thinking, we have the random distributedness of hash functions, surely there should be some way to use them without working against them
asciilifeform: lru: what do you mean 'without working against them' ?
asciilifeform: lru: do you understand what problem 'mining' was solution to ?
lru: a number of problems, but including making it near impossible to double spend
asciilifeform: right. so how do you propose to solve any of'em without a pow ?
lru: well, the pow is really just the network agreeing on a set of rules for determining who gets to make the next block... those rules could be anything, so long as everyone can verify that the rules are being followed
asciilifeform: they can't be 'anything' if you want the item to be of any use. gotta have certain properties.
asciilifeform: starting with '1 fella can't show up and start deciding on a whim what'll go in each block'
asciilifeform: (that reduces to 'slow + expensive paypal' and gets boring fast )
lru: 1) hard to obtain, 2) easy to verify, 3) hard to crack
asciilifeform: correct
lru: even in the pow method, though, the one who finds the block gets to decide what transactions to include, no?
asciilifeform: atm, to properly hijack e.g. traditional bitcoin, you would need to build ic fab + 3 or 4 gigawatt reactors. which aint cheap (and is rather conspicuous.)
asciilifeform: lru: notice that it aint the same people who bake erry block. (yet...)
lru: right, so ideally, the "chosen one" is distributed across the network somewhat evenly
asciilifeform: aha, was the whole point of powism.
asciilifeform: if you want hypothetical replacement, it has to actually do the same job. and at least as well.
lru: correct
asciilifeform: afaik state of art there hasn't in fact advanced, at all, since '09.
asciilifeform: the only known effective pill against 'degeneration to paypalism' remains pow. w/ expensive brute-force puzzlers.
lru: and by "paypalism" I'm assuming you mean "centralized payment processing"?
asciilifeform: correct
lru nods
asciilifeform: and, as in orig. bitcoin, it gotta get ~more expensive~ the more people beat on it.
asciilifeform: which is how bitcoin went from '3 fellas mining on 1kwatt of cpu' to what's there now.
lru: well, either more expensive, or more expensive to crack, which I'm not sure are the same things
asciilifeform: more expensive period.
asciilifeform: if someone finds 'cheap pill' for your pow, you're sunk.
asciilifeform: i.e. if via some mathematical insight you find that no longer need 4gw of reactor, but 20amp mains socket suffices for 'petahash', bitcoin is through.
lru: and so might crypto be
asciilifeform: any crypto that relies on sha2, at any rate
asciilifeform: point being, the expense is not a bug, but in fact the only reason any of it works
lru: I haven't convinced myself that's true yet, but that could just because I'm catching up :-)
asciilifeform: i'd say this is 'pons asinorum' for bitcoin. i.e. you don't actually understand how it worx until it becomes obv. to you how and why this is true.
Apocalyptic: asciilifeform, maybe someone already has a 'cheap pill' for sha256
asciilifeform: the very palpable energy cost, combined with the difficulty adjustment formula ('the more beat on it, the harder it gets') is the only thing keeping the thing from paypalization.
Apocalyptic: yet bitcoin is not sunk yet because they didn't abuse it
Apocalyptic: agreed on that last statement
asciilifeform: Apocalyptic: noted this earlier today and on many prev. occasions
snsabot: Logged on 2020-05-15 16:03:13 asciilifeform: i'm not even 100% convinced that 'satoshi' didn't have a shortcut for sha256 in his pocket.
Apocalyptic: I think the search for a better/more meaningful PoW is doomed
asciilifeform: hashism is intrinsically voodoo, no one has (or , i suspect, ever will have) any proof that particular hash is 'hard' (i.e. has no better solution than brute force)
asciilifeform: for any particular hash.
Apocalyptic: just reacting to "<asciilifeform> if someone finds 'cheap pill' for your pow, you're sunk."
snsabot: (trilema) 2017-03-02 asciilifeform: a 'secure prng' is fundamentally THE SAME animal as the 'secure hash' and the 'secure blockcipher'.
Apocalyptic: you're sunk if and only if the attacker wishes it
asciilifeform: Apocalyptic: this is universally the case in crypto. recall coventry.
Apocalyptic: he can quietly mine along and all will seen "well as intended"
asciilifeform: sometimes the fella with the pill finds it (for whatever reason) profitable to sit on it.
asciilifeform: or make very miserly use.
Apocalyptic: indeed
asciilifeform: ( if you had 'pill for rsa', wouldja tell anyone? i sure as hell wouldn't )
lru: that would make it a suppository
snsabot: (trilema) 2016-10-20 asciilifeform: trinque: see thread. mining is not provably costing all of the participants anything.
lru: yeah, that costing structure is key I think
asciilifeform: was thrd re 'why mining is a bug'. already can observe that it costs some participants less, in effect, than others (not because anyone openly broke sha2, but because large miner can preferentially build on own prev. blocks)
asciilifeform: hence slow cartelization
asciilifeform: i.e. bitcoin is paypalizing and has been for some yrs, simply -- slowly.
asciilifeform: this fact was quite obvious already when you started needing product from $bil ic fab to play at all.
asciilifeform: (expected 'mine 1 block' time via cpu mining is in the thousand years range atm iirc)
asciilifeform: folx who read about this, often immediately start to think 'how might one get rid of mining...' but afaik it's 100% 'squaring the circle'.
asciilifeform: no one has not only answer, but the faintest approach to an answer.
asciilifeform: pow was 100% of the novel item that made bitcoinism a thing.
asciilifeform: ( there were 1990s schemes proposed by various maths folx for 'cryptocurrency' but all of'em relied on idiocies, either 'trusted central throne' or magically untamperable machinery and similar )
lru: bitcoin relies on the network and the rules... everyone in the network can verify the entire thing, which gets rid of the throne and the magic
asciilifeform: except it doesn't, if i show up with 1e7 bots which are now, voila, 99% of 'the network'
asciilifeform: this has to be made expensive. or you have the equivalent of those 'online polls'
asciilifeform: lru: to 'verify entire thing', 1st they have to agree on what is 'the thing' to start with.
lru: has bitcoin not agreed?
asciilifeform: bitcoin -- yes. by asking participants to expensively bruteforce sha2.
asciilifeform: it's the only thing that keeps the network from becoming a plaything of 1 idiot. (and even it, only partially effective, soon enough will be plaything for handful of idiots, if trends continue)
asciilifeform: << i agree, with caveat (see the linked threads, where discusses 'miners oughta have to prove that they're actually storing the chain')
snsabot: Logged on 2020-05-15 21:46:36 Apocalyptic: I think the search for a better/more meaningful PoW is doomed
lru: the actual services to the network should be what gets rewarded
asciilifeform: lru: this is the unsolved problem that was subj of that thrd. right now only some of the services get rewarded.
asciilifeform: the double-spend prevention -- yes. relaying tx, aint. people who run nodes, do it at own expense and it (if done properly, i.e. on hardware you physically own and control) aint cheap.
snsabot: (trilema) 2017-03-01 asciilifeform: what are ~all~ of the places where A has the ecstasy, but B does the laundry, where A!=B
asciilifeform: bitcoin remains a thing because it sorta, partially, solved ~some~ of the problems ('who gets to decide what is a coin?' 'who gets to decide when counts as 'spent' ?' 'what is incentive for participating?') none of the supposedly-competing items proposed any meaningfully different working solutions ( plenty of braindamaged ones tho )
asciilifeform: 'where original, not good; where good, not original' (tm)
asciilifeform: lru: it may help to clear up your thinking re subj if you realize that there is no such thing as 'people' in the network. there are participants, in abstract mathematical sense; but it doesn't cost very much to rent whatever # of machines, w/ unique ips , and pretend 'i'm 1e7 people' .
asciilifeform: ( the term of art for this in distrib. computation is 'sybils' . named for the original sufferer of 'multiple personality disease' . )
lru: right... for every potential solution, I must put on black hat and pretend I had mega resources and break it
asciilifeform: most of the would-be 'replacements for mining' don't even require mega-resource to break to death.
asciilifeform: (typically the author 'pre-breaks' it, simply doesn't tell the victim^H^H^H^users )
lru: and if I am ever in doubt as to the effort people will go to earn a virtual buck, all I have to do is look at the 157 quintillion hashes per second the bitcoin network is currently burning into nothingness :-)
asciilifeform: lru: lemme ask you, do you think the resources that went into making, e.g. hydrogen bomb, were wasted ?
asciilifeform: lotsa folx seem to think this. yet you and i are 100% only alive because of that bomb.
lru: hmmmm, hadn't thought of it that way, but at least the bomb was somewhat efficient... the bitcoin case seems more like chopping down hundreds of trees just so nobody else does first
asciilifeform: bomb monstrously inefficient, for what it does (only small % of the 'fuel', burns)
asciilifeform: but that's rather tangential
lru: when I first heard of bitcoin, many years ago, I was dubious that it would even pay for the power it needed to run
asciilifeform: lru: interestingly, by some calculations, it doesn't (i.e. mining may be a more expensive method of getting coin than other methods)
lru: a farmer that eats more than he can grow is going backwards fast
asciilifeform: there are other incentives to do it than 'it is cheapest method of getting any'
lru: true, but still
asciilifeform: i, for instance, mined at one pt a coin on a fpga. (before there were commercial systems for it on market, simply so happend that i was working w/ fpgas for other reasons)
asciilifeform: did it not because it was easiest way of getting a coin, but because didn't need to ask anyone's permission, or produce 'trail'
asciilifeform: ( this was almost decade ago... )
asciilifeform: and incidentally systems which 'cost more to run than they return' can persist for aeons. for instance, spam.
asciilifeform: spammers are born when some moron hears that someone, somewhere, made profit..
lru: and from a "getting a coin" perspective, that's fine and cool, but the reason getting coin works that way is separate from the idea of independence / anonymity
lru: lol
asciilifeform: lru: they aren't meaningfully separate, is the thing. the reason why bitcoin is interesting, to most of the orig. participants at least, was precisely the decentralization.
lru: again, the cost paid for by others... I'm seeing a theme in this world
asciilifeform: erryone wants 'cost paid by others'. at all times.
asciilifeform: 'all men are brothers, but let the warheads fall on others'(tm) etc
asciilifeform: upstack -- to think meaningfully about bitcoinism, gotta 1st understand what the orig. appeal of it was, that the participants weren't getting from somewhere else
lru: thanks
lru: that's a lot of words for 10:30 at night though lol will have to leave that tab open
asciilifeform also to bed soon
lru: "faint smell of spam and cocaine" lol
lru: so true
asciilifeform: observe that , presently, 1 btc is ~10,000x moar valuable than 1 u.s. $ . it isn't entirely accidental .
asciilifeform: 1 btc has certain very useful properties that 1 usd does not .
lru: it is also only about 12 years old
asciilifeform: 11y ago was already slightly moar valuable than 1 usd..
asciilifeform: try to think about why.
lru: likely because people see a non-inflationary currency
asciilifeform: not only.
asciilifeform: ( tho, this also, e.g. last month usa created $trillion with stroke of a pen. )
asciilifeform: but , say, you want to move $mil across a border. without it being stolen by officials.
asciilifeform: $mil in usd weighs several kg and takes up suitcase. won't fit up arse. whereas $mil of btc can live inside yer head.
lru: yep, that's valuable
asciilifeform: or say you wanna get paid , and have some money, without busybodies knowing about it.
asciilifeform: or, conversely, pay someone, w/out asking anyone for permission .
asciilifeform: traditional money -- unless you bury it, like capt. kidd -- aint actually 'yours' in any meaningful sense.
asciilifeform: not even speaking of folx condemned by judges to confiscation, necessarily. in usa, you can fall down and wake up with empty bank acct, and sold house, and negative net worth in 6-7figures, from coupla wks of hospital.
lru: not sure how bitcoin would help with that
lru: ok, thanks!
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