By analogy to “Big Data is when it’s cheaper to store data than decide what to do with it,” (George Dyson)

you could say

“Big Frontier is when it’s cheaper to experiment with something than determine if it’s a scam”
It’s the flip side of brandolini bullshit asymmetry principle: takes 10x effort to refute it than produce it. The solution is to not try: just cap downsides of buying into bullshit and let the upside from legit things swamp it out.
The biggest risk in civilizational cores is being scammed. The biggest risk in frontiers is not playing.
In cores, the only winning move is not playing. In frontiers the only losing move is not playing.
Cores distribute unpriced negative externalities in proportion to inability to resist. Frontiers distribute them in proportion to unwillingness to play.
Core or frontier, the world is never fair. Yes there are people who will get screwed over at both loci. Quite frequently by people pretending to champion their cause.
One of my medium-confidence conjectures is that intelligence is actually maladaptive on sufficiently rich frontiers. Due to various effects like the double morton effect that lead to survival of the stupidest... for a while science20.com/hammock_physic…
In civ cores, intelligence is adaptive because because uncaptured upside things are rare to non-existent by definition, so spotting scams is a net benefit by limiting losses. Intelligence also helps you win by "not playing" stable rigged games of zero-sum extraction.
I'm mostly a creature of the core, but I realized long ago that successfully spotting and avoiding all the zillion exploitation traps at best adds up to not losing ground. You don't gain any. Cores are set up to reproduce starting positions generation after generation.
A stagnant core has rising inequality precisely because 90% people are slowly losing ground through failing to avoid being extracted, 9% are maintaining position by "not playing", and a 1% minority is gaining ground.
A frontier is essentially a social equivalent of a random number generator crossed with an amnesia machine. Inherited core advantages are sharply devalued, intelligence turns somewhat maladaptive, and mostly outcomes depend on being bold enough to play dumb luck games
The outcome is still inequality, but it is not strongly *reproduced* inequality. The 90-9-1 distribution is not a strong function of the corresponding core distribution of the core that the frontier draws its population from.
This isn't "merit" but it isn't faithful reproduction of inherited wealth and privilege either. There is effectively a bunch of social mobility due to the random-amnesia machine.

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More from @vgr

26 Dec
Has anyone experimented with barter nfts? I borrow a cup of sugar from neighbor and issue him a “cup of sugar nft” … solves dual coincidence of needs problems without a fungible currency. Crypto-hardened IOUs.
Solving for neighborhood favor trading liquidity and market-making, not enforceability. Enforcement is always solved with either guns or mutuality (aka iterated prisoners dilemma)
Idea: token representing line “this could just be a database”

Whenever someone says that, you send a screenshot to a minting contract and it issues you a token if you’re first. Proof-of-backlash blockchain 🤔

Other qualifying comments: “crypto uses more electricity than X” etc
Read 7 tweets
25 Dec
I'm apparently an $SOS millionaire 🥳

Cost me $14 in gas to claim $21 in $SOS 😝

Web3 is so bouba-in-bouba-out. BIBO. Image
If you're gonna do an airdrop, it pays to make sure dollars turn into millions for that extra bouba feeling

happy festivus to me!
Basically it seems like it's impossible to do anything non-trivial on Web3 without making money
Read 4 tweets
25 Dec
VR/AR people… is there a term for the virtual material out of which virtual environments can be said to be built? Like with atoms I’d say “wall of concrete” … I’d say”wall of X”?

If not we should make up a term.

I propose renderium or rendrial or rendril…
In-illusion term, not an illusion-breaking term like mesh.
Not voxels either. No terms pointing to an out-of-illusion design process or tools. If you bought virtual girders at a metaverse store to virtually build something in-world, what would the store call it generally? You can specify further… renderium steel, renderium wool
Read 9 tweets
24 Dec
HGTV is so depressing
I suppose it is among the less painful ways to acquire some home ownership basic literacy but it is also normie hell
HGTV is Karen TV
Read 16 tweets
24 Dec
If this launch goes well, best Christmas present ever… the photos should be unprecedented, since it’s an infrared telescope. Huge gas cloud panoramas and stuff. It will be bigger as when T-Rex got feathers… I think out view of a mostly “empty” sky will change…
I remember being super excited and then super disappointed by early Hubble years when the mirror defect came to light (heh!). There were lot of angry op-eds about $5b white elephant, bad big government mismanagement, etc…. and then they fixed it. The greatest comeback ever.
I admit I was small-minded enough back then to briefly join in the cynical nasa-bashing. Taught me an important lesson of some sort.

But damn, the deep field image alone is worth the whole Hubble mission
Read 4 tweets
23 Dec
When people are bad at spending money it accumulates with people who are good at collecting it. Most people are very bad at spending money beyond the relatively low limit of personal hedonism. By about $4m, most people are out of ideas.
Almost everybody confuses categories of spending for spending ideas. Categories of spending ideas are nearly worthless. All creativity in spending lies in the specificity.
Imo average spending ideas are commodity instances of categories. “Artist collective” is a category of idea. “Artist collective in Austin” is an actual idea.

Good spending ideas are specific and “pop” from parent category.

Great spending ideas are sui generis.
Read 12 tweets

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