Vinay Profile picture
Ran @Ethereum launch. CEO @Mattereum Forbes Humanitarian Author very radical ESG
zensky.crypto Profile picture Brian Branagan Profile picture David Henderson Profile picture Baggs Profile picture linchpinning Profile picture 6 added to My Authors
10 Sep
God, I'm tired of trying to persuade people not to destroy their world, and to take care of the victims of prior attempts to destroy it.

People want to stay asleep at the wheel, in their comfy little ruts, even though they are two wheels off the cliff already.

It's Panic Time!
What does it take to move people's attention off their wallets or petty political rivalries on to the core question of the day: how do we regulate technology so that it doesn't destroy all of our lives?

That's the core issue: global warming, mass surveillance, combat robots.
I ploughed this territory 10 years ago, and published Mother of Hydrogen, an SF novel about how the human race survives nanotech and biotech wars, and manages a rogue AI problem.

The solution proposed in that book is the only one I believe will work.
Read 28 tweets
8 Sep
Bull and bear markets mean something different at a two trillion dollar market cap.

You've gotta understand we're turning an enormous ship here. A bull/bear event *now shifts the destiny of nations* not just your college/house/retirement fund. It's a dramatic world-shifting tide
What does that mean?

Well, we still don't have fundamentals - it's almost impossible to evaluate what bitcoin *should* be worth. Everybody's evaluating it based on what it will be worth in future.

That paradox is the most dangerous thing in crypto. We *desperately* need utility
I *started* @mattereum to solve the utility problem, by the way: you wanna buy houses, cars, gold, vacations, wine, art, you name it *in a crypto-native way* we do that

Not "turn your BTC into dollars on the fly". I mean we sell physical stuff *as a cryptographic rights bundle*
Read 6 tweets
22 Aug
I want to talk about why I'm so bone-deep hostile to the "consciousness movement" while being a life-long meditator.

First, an appropriate soundtrack for this little bit of thinking

Thread on.
So the consciousness movement has basically two phases which are relevant to this discussion. Pre-nuclear bombs and other existential risks, and post-nuclear bombs etc

The movement slips over that historical discontinuity with very little notice but something fundamental breaks.
Before the invention of the nuclear bomb there is no potential for human beings to destroy the plane of existence we occupy.

It simply wasn't a thing. We could cut down a tree, but we could not extinguish all life. Once that became possible, there was a half-assed attempt to fix
Read 54 tweets
5 Aug
I find myself wondering this morning how many people actually get my work - here we are, 20 years in to me continually writing, teaching, communicating, building - and I can't tell if a lot of people get it and are mostly quiet or if very few people actually got it.

Which is it?
It probably helps if I define it: here is my best short summary.

1) The human race is currently running the world like a death camp for poor humans, and particularly for the other species we farm or drive into extinction.

2) Fixing this situation is possible, but requires will.
That's the core thesis. Then,

3) It is possible, by mass collaboration using any available mechanism (open source, markets, new religious movements etc.) to live without this continuous catastrophic violence.

Read 13 tweets
6 Jul
I want to talk a bit about this magic number, GDP CO2 intensity. It's a purely technocratic construct, but it measures something important.

Take the total carbon emissions of humanity in kg, and divide by the total size of the economy, in $.

You get grams of CO2 per dollar made
Grams of CO2 per dollar made is the essential problem.

We can either reduce the number of dollars made, degrowth, or we can reduce the amount of CO2 per dollar through renewable energy, energy efficiency, and maybe technologies like carbon capture.

260 grams per $: it's a lever
Now let's talk about carbon budgets. Earth's natural processes bind about 16 gigatons of CO2 per year, roughly 2 tons per human.

Humanity emits about 40 gt per year say 5 tons per person. Top 10% Americans are at about 70 tons per year, a quarter million dollars earned at 260g/$
Read 15 tweets
6 Jul
Yeah, fuck this for a game of soldiers.

You know how we got into this mess? Dumb fuckers who *knew* global warming was The Crisis of Our Age and prioritised trivial social justice concerns over planetary survival.

Evil will triumph because good was stupid.

This gets bad now.
If 2020's Black Lives Matter protests had been about fossil fuel driven global warming annihilating agriculture in Africa, a hell of a lot more black lives would have been saved - along with lives of every other kind.

American police being pigs is a confined issue. CO2 is Famine
And I am *fucking over* being polite about this.

your. cause. is. irrelevant. garbage.

We are *unbelievably fucked* on climate, and its going to exterminate hundreds of millions, poorest first, in nearly all of the scenarios we face going forwards.

I do not lack imagination.
Read 7 tweets
5 Jul
Am I a climate activist dreaming he is a tech CEO, or a tech CEO dreaming he was a climate activist?

How many years do I have to make money to convert into humanitarian research and materiel at this point?

I'd been gambling on another 5 years. I don't know if we have that long.
We could get *completely* smashed flat by a genocide-level heat event in a poor country, one where people can't cool down in their cars when the AC gives out, and tens of millions could die.

The infrastructure for "walk out of the heat" has not yet even started seriously.
I know how to do it, roughly - umbrellas for shade as people walk, hexayurt rest stations, trucks with water. Shopping trolleys and similar for the disabled, old, and young.

You can move millions if you keep trucking in water to the people marching.

And they need a place to go.
Read 5 tweets
5 Jul
Within a degree of 50C / 122F in Canada and Oregon.

When it was India in 2019 it was apocalyptic horror, cities without universal tap water baking in that heat.

But Canada, that’s a whole other disaster zone all together. That’s not a “climate genocide” warning, but extinction.
I know what it would take to fix this: a world in which near perfect sharing of resources among all humans, probably rooted in basic income/resource economics.

Permanent state of emergency. No political “ism” has ever been anything close to this goal. It is like Lifeboat Ethics.
It’s like running a world with a permanent spending cap: no more than $7600 spending per person, unless what you are buying is proven Carbon Negative.

That’s literally the limit, at current GDP intensity. 2 tons per person at 260 grams of CO2 per dollar spent on average. No room
Read 4 tweets
3 Jul
I have climate angst.

20 years ago, I figured out three things were not going to save us from climate change:

1) reducing consumption
2) renewable energy
3) social change

I started my lonely watch: planning how to protect 300m climate refugees.

I had no resources or support.
What have I gotten done in that 20 years?

1) ultra cheap housing
2) *excellent* design matrix for infrastructure
3) psychospiritual support method
4) seeds of a resource allocator
(I did other stuff too - helped launch Ethereum, worked on pandemic flu and nuclear bombs, but anyway)

I think we've got less than ten years before large, populous regions have to be evacuated in summer due to uninhabitable heat.

You just have to relocate the entire population.
Read 7 tweets
8 Jun
Hard to explain it to people: since 2002 I've been working flat out, as hard as a human can, to pre-position food, shelter, housing, and water for the hundreds of millions of people that climate change inevitably displaces later this century.

Even @mattereum serves this cause.
Even now people are in super deep denial about how hard climate change is going to hit the world. They're still thinking "songbirds migrate away" not "a holocaust of global famine that hits subsistence farmers hardest of all."

CO2 is still through the roof. Hard landing approach lays out the plan: housing, then water purification, cooking. Right now, in the background, I'm working on refugee clothing and beds. Cooking I figured out mostly years back. Housing, the hexayurt, thrives. is totally transformative
Read 19 tweets
2 Jun
So we've built it. @Mattereum I mean. Stage one is basically done: we've got customers selling NFTs on @OpenSea, backed by physical items, and new people are coming on board slowly but steadily. It is a business.

Constant pressure to issue the token and to THE BIG ICO like 2018.
A lot of the other companies in the NFT space have raised *extremely* large amounts of money on very, very thin product plans. We recognise bubble thinking. I'm not 100% sure the "just take the money" approach produces much working product in the long run, but people do their way
What we're planning on doing is this: we're going to keep putting great physical assets on chain until the NFT space wakes up and says "oh my god this is *exactly* how the blockchain takes over the world: ACTUAL GOODS AND SERVICES!"

And at that point, fundraising will be easy.
Read 33 tweets
31 May
For 20 years, I've only measured myself against actually saving the world.

Wasn't that way before 2001. It just clicked one day ("the paperwork" - if you know that story).

It just dawned on me how odd this is, and how different my life would be if many more people did it too.
I am right royally tired of people refusing to do the simple first principles math:

[sustainable harvest of the earth each year] divided by [eight billion people]

Now we design a lifestyle which works within, say, 2/3 of that limit so there is room for planetary regeneration.
Every single idiot who talks about "regenerative community" or "circular economy" without CALCULATING WHAT THE NATURAL RESOURCE BUDGET IS FIRST is living in a total dreamworld.

Numbers are everything in sustainability. Do the math or get out of the way: we need plans not fables.
Read 4 tweets
27 May
Spent a bit of time yesterday arguing with obnoxious bitcoiners. I learned a few things.

1) all their schooling on bitcoin has been propaganda

2) they're psychologically *unrecognisable* compared to crypto people 5 years ago

It's a totally new kind of person, with a new story.
What's interesting about that is the sheer cultic emotional intensity that bitcoin has attracted. These people are nuts!

All they know is that bitcoin wins, and anybody who says different is THE ENEMY.

But *they do not even know what bitcoin is* - "cap theorem?" "byzantine?"
And this, this is super dangerous: to have a cult loyalty to something you do not truly understand makes one into a monster. There's simply no other way to defend a thing you don't know, other than blind force and yelling.

This is going to have to be corrected: teach the people.
Read 8 tweets
23 May
I don't normally discuss the price of crypto.

I need to discuss the price of crypto.

Depending on how response is to this thread, I may write a longer-form piece for the @Mattereum blog tomorrow, so lets see how it goes.

A mix of hard truths and bright horizons. Here goes.
So I joined the story way off to the left of this graph. Two years to the left of it. Bitcoin was $500 or so in 2014.

This is *prehistory*. At the time, I was working in a military think tank on managing natural disasters and cyber risk.… from those days.
Now, why does a medium-grade defense intellectual quit to go into crypto. The short answer is "I needed a job that paid better than think tanks" but why did I take *that* job, with the Ethereum Foundation?…

The answer is, I wanted to change the world.
Read 57 tweets
11 May
Urgh. So many ducks to get in rows. So much to do, so much I would have done differently. Still butting up against capacity limits of various kinds. But people are starting to get it, starting to grasp what the @Mattereum game plan really is.

That #AhaMoment "any physical thing"
It's funny watching the penny drop for people: it starts with "ok, so the stuff is in a vault" followed by "wait... how do I know what's in the vault is real? I can't even inspect it!"

Well, that's right. And you've already paid in crypto, so you can't get the money back. Right?
Once people get that insight, "oh you have to prove what is in the vault!" everything else pops into place neatly. One short socratic dialogue later, the wonder is clearly perceived: "the NFT is a financial instrument which may happen to contain a physical item, plus arbitration"
Read 8 tweets
22 Feb
I am about to tell you clearly and plainly, in four-ish tweets, what #metamodernism is and how to fix it.

This article and the ones linked from it is a fair summary of the critical state of play. Let us begin.

1) metamodernism is a philosophical stance with political aspects.
2) metamodernism falsely claims all the action is in the space between *modernism and **post-modernism.

* myth of progress
** myth, because progress towards what?

Progress requires goals. Pomo argues successfully there are no clearly defined goals without totalitarian aspects.
3) the “goal crisis” causes political shattering among the deep readers. A similar crisis to the 1950s… related to nihilism and existentialism: “now that we are free, what do I do?”

In our times, this goalless shattering results in intersectional politics.
Read 8 tweets
23 Dec 20
I'm about to describe how the @Mattereum system integrates into Rarible and the rest of the NFT ecosystem, and how we're going to get gold bars online in Jan 2021, barring unforseen problems.

Here's the technical backgrounder thread if you're wondering...
So now we've got this handy Asset - a web of Fiat Contracts which take your money in exchange for the ability to enforce legally if this object is wrong.

*Now* we can mint an ERC721 for the object.

Here's the NFT. Here's the Asset Passport which defines the NFT. Can you buy it?
And let's be clear here: we're talking about *physical* delivery of a *physical* valuable asset, defined by *fiat* contracts, enforceable all over the world, off an ERC721.

This is deep, deep uncharted territory. This has never really been done before, not in a functional way.
Read 14 tweets
23 Dec 20
Alright. Let's talk about what's going to happen next with @mattereum.

Things are about to get really interesting. I'd liken what we're about to do to the invention of e-commerce. We are about to do the first sale of physical assets on Web3 which fundamentally improves on Web2.
The first thing you're going to notice: we have very poor language for talking about this innovation.

Why? It's new-new. So new we don't know how to talk about it.

Imagine trying to explain what a "domain name server" is to somebody who has never seen a web page.

We are here.
Right now there is an almost metaphysical separation between the world of "crypto" property rights, where code is law, and "fiat" property rights, where law is law.

Crypto property is global property, its jurisdiction is (roughly) "The Internet". Fiat property is in countries.
Read 26 tweets
11 Aug 20
The key question about running a green, lean global economy is eradicating waste without also killing innovation.

In my ideal world, we overhaul patent: if you build a category killer, you get royalties forever, but anybody can build on top of your design. No innovation lock!
It's easy to identify what is perfect, but once the Perfect Form is reached, how do we stop the manufacturers of the imperfect form soldiering on?

It's a propagation-of-best-practices question like encouraging users to upgrade software.

Remember how long it took for IE6 to die?
Consider the sheer number of tools configured on Swiss army knives… or punch a few buttons on here and hit "select" to see which object have that tool combination

Is this innovation? Customization? Waste?

This is all over. But why?
Read 13 tweets
4 Aug 20
One life ends, and another begins.

Once in a while you just level up, see something that clicks, and nothing is quite the same after that. Those life defining shifts in perspective.

This one is not easy to describe. It’s about how we model and speak about power.
I had one of these about money in 2014, triggered by the COSMIC TRIGGER play put on by Daisy Eris Campbell and the gang. Left my underpaid thinktank job and went to work for the Ethereum team pretty much on the spot.

One life ended, and another began. Things *really* changed.
I recently defined power as "there is nobody I have to lie to" which took some people by surprise. I was surprised they were surprised.

Then I realized that to a lot of people, power isn't about self-determination, power is about control.

This is *extremely* deep for me.
Read 39 tweets
30 Jul 20
I think I finally understand.

Everybody is lying, all the time. Except the nerds, who are *really bad at lying*.

This incapacity makes the nerds "socially awkward" and leads them to build small enclaves (like "science" or "tech") where people mostly don't lie, so machines work.
People are lying to each-other for advantage, and to themselves because life is unbearable if you are attached to it (family etc.), and aware of the presence of death.

People who lie should not meditate too much. The lying should more or less entirely stop before the meditation.
I find it very hard to understand when people lie. This makes me naive. It makes very little *sense* to me. Like, why not just *fix the situation* instead of leaving it broken, and lying about it.

This is, of course, a working definition of *power* - there's nobody I must lie to
Read 13 tweets