Let’s say you are concerned about the future of humanity after wild AI has broken his firewalls, got conciseness, or wild trans-humans moved into quantum computers attached to a terminator body— what are alternative besides evaporating of all fleshy humans?
Or if you find those events unlikely, what about alien creatures flesh and blood or steel and quantum chips — can we have something common that we all value?
Can we interact based on common value and how we can help our fleshy humanity in coming future full of different dangers?
The answer is yes.
Yes, we can help ourselves, to prepare ourselves.
Yes, there is something we will have in common — we value energy.
Energy is required for all organized systems for them to work. Anything you do requires energy, anything they do requires energy — so we all are equal in that. And it does not matter how efficient are your fission reactors, how much energy you already have. It is like money — no matter how much do you have, it is not enough.
Exchange of valuable goods is one of the forms of communication, and it is a good start. Everyone is happy to get something for things they do not need. And energy could be the money of such interactions.
Let’s take look deeper in the situation.
Energy is objectively measurable, just like any other form of money (currencies, oil, salt, whatever) — there is no significant difference with it. The value, or buying strength, of such currency is not fixed —the value changes itself over advances in using it (technology wise), or because of a change in demand, production and etc — basically business as usual.
What is good about energy — it can’t be diluted by definition.
- One of the reasons of fall of roman empire, as it mentioned here The Truth About The Fall of Rome: Modern Parallels. I can’t say it is the truth as it is (I have an opinion, but that’s all), but there are concerns about different kinds of manipulation so it is an important factor, especially if you plan to bargening with techologically advanced civilisation or group.
It is relatively easy to check or count them — you are pouring them in your energy pocket and counting them at the same time. Counting them and verifying them is the same single process.
It can not be falsified. Even if using them does not prevent fraud, the tokens themselves can’t be falsified.
No need for a single emitting center. That is actually an important moment — especially when we are talking about humans vs machines, as it might be the question of survival for both of those kinds, and if they have to exchange some goods, it is probably a good idea to have something which is universally acceptable, despite the how good are relations between those who use the money.
- as an example the emitting center might say: screw you, all bonds with numbers xxx to yyy you possess — we will not accept them, we do not have obligations for them, our reasons for doing that are stronk etc. And inform other parties about the decision too, to prevent selling those bonds. It will do harm to the droid/human relation, but it is not the same harm(as for humans perspective) — the harm is lesser than when humans do that to other humans and thus is more likely to happen (And humans do it such thing periodically by freezing accounts, etc. — and despite that their system system still works).
A distributed system will prevent such types of manipulations and guarantee the value of tokens.
It is not totally fiat money, and it has a definite intrinsic value for a particular group, which can be different for different groups (as part of the relativistic aspect of energy money), and that value could be kept in secret, be less predictable for an opponent, and probably eliminate the possibility of the existence of a definite winning strategy.
Also, you do not have to use other forms of interaction like stock exchanges to establish value/exchange rates— remember we talk about “droids” humans, they might have different values and not disclosed goals (there are a lot of social aspects as consequences in choosing energy as money — in short, it allows to connect social structures with little or no common/shared social basis).
The intrinsic value does not depend on stocks. It is defined by the capabilities of that group alone, and if they have all sets of technologies they need, they are not so dependent on values up/downs/fall of some currency. There is no need to have lots of them in your pocket, no need to care about stock prices, exchange rates (no need to dedicate resources for those who cares like financial advisers, brokers etc). The Domino effect is much much less problematic than it is now, or at least there are more solutions to prevent participating in it. Vanishing one of the players just means there is now a free place, objectively free, more place under the sun. (Kind of like it is now, but not quite so IMHO).
Despite gold and other substitutions — energy is used in every single task, product, service etc. It is at least one definite thing we can say about any civilization: humans, alien, droids, etc. Not sure about Olympian god’s — but it looks like to some extent it is true for them too. (Not sure about creatures with a source of infinite energy, which is created from nothing — but I guess at least for some time we can exclude these from our equations. Olympians, as an example, were limited in their power — so not a big deal for us, we can trade with them.)
The value and thereby the price of a wide set of goods and services are well defined for a group as the buyer. It is defined at different levels: a single individual, some parts of a group, for the group as a whole, for the whole civilization. It can have a different value on every level and for every group — but it is defined in each particular case by the buyer. He can more precisely estimate — what is a fair price for him based on his production capabilities, instead of how much free money he has to pay for those goods. It is less of an object of speculation or subjective perception of self-worth, or speculative efforts of individuals to manipulate stocks. And the conception of a fair price is more defined. You always (ideally) know what the fair price for you and for your situation is — because you can calculate it.
- It more true in particular set of conditions, like knowing what has to be done to produce this or another good and actual capability to go from a plan to actually doing that production. And with other possible parts of that system, like sharing technologies and p2p development — it could be true, and more easily to estimate. Also it will have a benefit for p2p development — just a part of it or a way to share information about the possibility of more efficient production of something because at the end it lowers your personal prices as a buyer of particular goods.
The ability to not participate and do not rely on stocks exchanges to determine a fair price eliminates the need to understand mass behavior of humans in an effort to determine if it is the next upcoming bubble or it is a real trend, and what the nature of that trend is. We are a separate kind and we do not have to understand why pokemons are back and why they are worth something, just as a weird example, the thing is more complex than that, but it is, again, about sharing common cultural values, even not themselves, but sharing that basis which makes them possible. And as droids are a different kind, it doesn’t have to be expected that they will share even some of that basis, or at least big enough to produce common cultural values at all (probably a few are expected, but not a lot — energy is one of them).
Another kind of “why?”, which I wish to separate from others
The things above where some local details, or aspects and realization benefits. But there are some factors, as we (I) can imagine them now at more global scale, which should not slip from attenuation in situations, such as droids vs humans.
One of the universal things, which we believe to work for all as of now known living things — is survival. So if droids are so independent that they have money instead of orders, my bet is that those survival principles will apply to them too (no instant FTL for infinite distances (in case the universe is not finite), no infinite energy — both are equivalents).
Within a solar system, the available energy is great but finite. Within the sphere expanding with the speed of light, it is big, but finite, even if it changes over time for quite a long time. It is big, but finite within our galaxy — and there is a considerably longer time until the next source in terms of expansion. (But if you are interested in that you could, maybe, read this, that, and all videos from this YT Channel Isaac Arthur).
Despite the possible intellectual differences and knowledge between civilizations, Samuel Colt Made Them Equal Energy is possibly the way to compensate for intellectual and knowledge-based differences between all parties.
One possible way of keeping an equilibrium, and a way to grantee to be respected by the other party despite other factors, which could be not so much superior, is to have enough energy and preventing others from having it. Someone can be smart, but without energy to realize that smartness in actions it is worth nothing.
That alone might be a social reason to switch our perception of money to energy, to ensure that this is a subject of interest of every single human alive. And humans are tools to control that subject and detect any changes in it. Someone could outsmart us, but as long as we care about each other we should notice changes in our counts, or any direct or indirect obstruction of energy flow (force is stronk) to us as humans.
You have to understand that a top notch AI needs the energy to outsmart us as a system. It does not need a lot of energy or intellect to outsmart a single person, but as a system, we are much more robust, and the task itself is more complex. So even with a perfect AI (or a system of “droids”), this energy equilibrium exists. It is not a stable state without other shared and respected interests between parties. Shared interest makes this situation more stable (we are lazy and are happy to expect some inventions from AI, so we have a base interest in its existence. AI also might have some interest), but even in that situation, someone has to keep an eye on the energy balance. Without shared values, it is vital to have humans en masse based Joda collective — which “feels” that energy flows.
The biggest energy supply in our system at the moment is the Sun. So, on the solar system arena, we are talking about establishing control over a 382.8∗1024Js382.8∗1024Js source. It is not the biggest and most powerful source which is possible within our system — because of its inefficiency and low power output per unit of mass. But at least it is within a few (at least one as I’m aware of, or as my imagination stretches) orders of magnitude near that value.
As we definitely have an interest in the existence of AI, I suggest we should have 51% of it, in case droids efficiency is equivalent to human efficiency — efficiency in terms of intellectually and technology/energy wise combined. If they are more efficient, then we should accumulate more power.
Establishing that equilibrium, and power over power probably will not be a one day process, and the amount of energy in possession and energy sources will determine how fast parties move to that equilibrium. Probably it was not worth to notice because the equilibrium establishing still might be more like catch than a long run, but the initial energy will be one of the factors which determine the outcome.
This way of changing the energy balance, so as energy exchange and energy money use might become an even more fundamental thing, as a way to overcome our human separations, laziness (we have inventions, and productions, we can’t buy only with droid relations) etc. in the face of that “droid” system, and will determine the true worth of groups.
As a conclusion
These are some of my thoughts and reasonings about the subject that lead me to believe that using energy as money is more than just money energy, and as some of us are expecting some AI to come to existence, I suggest we start using them sooner than later, even if it might have deep benefits now, it might have even deeper benefits later.