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Thoughts On Computronium

Even further research shows the most recent Nvidia RTX 3090 is actually slightly more efficient than the 1660 Ti, at 36 TeraFlops, 350 watts, and 2.2 kg, which works out to 0.0001 PetaFlops/Watt and 0.016 PetaFlops/kg.  Once again, they're within an order of magnitude of the supercomputers.

Thoughts On Computronium

So, I did some more research, and the general view is that GPUs are more power efficient in terms of Flops/watt than CPUs, and the most power efficient of those right now is the Nvidia 1660 Ti, which comes to 11 TeraFlops at 120 watts, so 0.000092 PetaFlops/Watt, which is about 6x more efficient than Fugaku.  It also weighs about 0.87 kg, which works out to 0.0126 PetaFlops/kg, which is about 7x more efficient than Fugaku.  These numbers are still within an order of magnitude, and also don't take into account the overhead costs of things like cooling, case, and CPU/memory required to coordinate the GPUs in the server rack that one would assume you would need.

I used the supercomputers because the numbers were a bit easier to get from the Top500 and Green500 lists, and I also thought that their numbers include the various overhead costs to run the full system, already packaged into neat figures.

Darklight's Shortform

Another thought is that maybe Less Wrong itself, if it were to expand in size and become large enough to roughly represent humanity, could be used as such a dataset.

Darklight's Shortform

So, I had a thought.  The glory system idea that I posted about earlier, if it leads to a successful, vibrant democratic community forum, could actually serve as a kind of dataset for value learning.  If each post has a number attached to it that indicates the aggregated approval of human beings, this can serve as a rough proxy for a kind of utility or Coherent Aggregated Volition.

Given that individual examples will probably be quite noisy, but averaged across a large amount of posts, it could function as a real world dataset, with the post content being the input, and the post's vote tally being the output label.  You could then train a supervised learning classifier or regressor that could then be used to guide a Friendly AI model, like a trained conscience.

This admittedly would not be provably Friendly, but as a vector of attack for the value learning problem, it is relatively straightforward to implement and probably more feasible in the short-run than anything else I've encountered.

The Glory System: A Model For Moral Currency And Distributed Self-Moderation

A further thought is that those with more glory can be seen almost as elected experts.  Their glory is assigned to them by votes after all.  This is an important distinction from an oligarchy.  I would actually be inclined to see the glory system as located on a continuum between direct demcracy and representative democracy.

The Glory System: A Model For Moral Currency And Distributed Self-Moderation

So, keep in mind that by having the first vote free and worth double the paid votes does tilt things more towards democracy.  That being said, I am inclined to see glory as a kind of proxy for past agreement and merit, and a rough way to approximate liquid democracy where you can proxy your vote to others or vote yourself.

In this alternative "market of ideas" the ideas win out because people who others trust to have good opinions are able to leverage that trust.  Decisions over the merit of the given arguments are aggregated by vote.  As long as the population is sufficiently diverse, this should result in an example of the Wisdom of Crowds phenomenon.

I don't think it'll dissolve into a mere flag waving contest, anymore than the existing Karma system on Reddit and Less Wrong does already.

The Glory System: A Model For Moral Currency And Distributed Self-Moderation

Perhaps a nitpick detail, but having someone rob them would not be equivalent, because the cost of the action is offset by the ill-gotten gains.  The proposed currency is more directly equivalent to paying someone to break into the target's bank account and destroying their assets by a proportional amount so that no one can use them anymore.

As for the more general concerns:

Standardized laws and rules tend in practice to disproportionately benefit those with the resources to bend and manipulate those rules with lawyers.  Furthermore, this proposal does not need to replace all laws, but can be utilized alongside them as a way for people to show their disapproval in a way that is more effective that verbal insult, and less coercive than physical violence.  I'd consider it a potential way to channel people's anger so that they don't decide to start a revolution against what they see as laws that benefit the rich and powerful.  It is a way to distribute a little power to individuals and allow them to participate in a system that considers their input in a small but meaningful way.

The rules may be more consistent with laws, but in practice, they are also contentious in the sense that the process of creating these laws is arcane and complex and the resulting punishments often delayed for years as they work through the legal system.  Again, this makes sense when determining how the coercive power of the state should be applied, but leaves something to be desired in terms of responsiveness to addressing real world concerns.

Third-party enforcement is certainly desirable.  In practice, the glory system allows anyone outside the two parties to contribute and likely the bulk of votes will come from them.  As for cycles of violence, the exchange rate mechanism means that defence is at least twice as effective as attack with the same amount of currency, which should at least mitigate the cycles because it won't be cost-effective to attack without significant public support.  Though this is only relevant to the forum condition.

In the general condition as a currency, keep in mind that as a currency functions as a store of value, there is a substantial opportunity cost to spending the currency to destroy other people's currency rather than say, using it to accrue interest.  The cycles are in a sense self-limiting because people won't want to spend all their money escalating a conflict that will only cause both sides to hemorrhage funds, unless someone feels so utterly wronged as to be willing to go bankrupt to bankrupt another, in which case, one should honestly be asking what kind of injustice caused this situation to come into being in the first place.

All that being said, I appreciate the critiques.

The Glory System: A Model For Moral Currency And Distributed Self-Moderation

As for the cheaply punishing prolific posters problem, I don't know a good solution that doesn't lead to other problems, as forcing all downvotes to cost glory makes it much harder to deal with spammers who somehow get through the application process filter.  I had considered an alternative system in which all votes cost glory, but then there's no way to generate glory except perhaps by having admins and mods gift them, which could work, but runs counter to the direct democracy ideal that I was sorta going for.

The Glory System: A Model For Moral Currency And Distributed Self-Moderation

What I meant was you could farm upvotes on your posts.  Sorry.  I'll edit it for clarity.

The Glory System: A Model For Moral Currency And Distributed Self-Moderation

And further to clarify, you'd both be able to gift glory and also spend glory to destroy other people's glory, at the mentioned exchange rate.

The way glory is introduced into the system is that any given post allows everyone one free vote on them that costs no glory.

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