back

Meaningful Mental Capital

Jul. 21, 2023. 11 min. read. 47 Interactions

It is not difficult to get people's attention, but it is difficult to get their meaningful attention. Henriq C explores paths that can facilitate universal and decentralized value generation.

Credit: Tesfu Assefa

Meaningful participation

It is not difficult to get people’s attention, but it is difficult to get their meaningful attention. This article describes a collection of steps that aim to facilitate universal value generative participation through impactful interdependent contributions to common processes. We all have ideas, preferences, views, opinions, insights, dreams, and the wisdom that grandparents pass down to their children and grandchildren over generations. However, much of this remains unexercised and never realizes its true value. People usually deploy their mental capital in their day jobs as well as in their private lives. The former is limited by its substance or topic, while the latter is limited in scale. It is difficult to provide the full potential of a person’s knowledge for the benefit of everyone. Facilitating this would be of great value, given that the nature of disruptive technologies depends on the values of their contributors.

Every one of us has both real information and noise. Collectively, when we put many people or viewpoints together, noise cancels out due to its randomness, leaving only real information. That’s why the wisdom of crowds is so effective. Diversity is something that everyone can contribute to, no matter who you are, what your background is, or what skills you have. The more independent decision-makers and problem solvers we have, the more functional outcomes we get. Thus, it is worthwhile to research how to make this more attainable for people and accelerate the flow of information. As technologies become more powerful day by day, it is crucial to have a diverse set of inputs from everyone going into these emerging systems. But how can we make that happen?

When a new level of intelligence arises, how can we ensure that it is a comprehensive continuation of the intelligence of the previous level – the level that comprises all of us? How can we get people to share their thoughts and then build those thoughts into systems? How can we incentivize and choose wisely the correct pieces for the correct puzzles? One should ask how to let people invest not only their financial capital but also their mental capital. Let’s start by bootstrapping from something we already have: the current financial system – the only serious decision-making resource in existence at scale. We can gradually expand investment opportunities all the way into micro-businesses and further into individual actions.

If preferences and ideas can be channeled into building financial investment decisions, all that mental work becomes comprehensively utilizable. This leads people to begin participating in a meaningful way and rewards rational thinking instead of rational ignorance. To make this possible, it requires a radical expansion of the potential investment space, which starts by removing artificial restrictions blocking access to global markets.

Data problem

The internet, as an open protocol, made it possible to move information instantly around the world. However, universally verifying claims about the information has been a difficult challenge. Therefore, it has not been possible to digitize property without a trusted party. Nevertheless, the rapid rise of information technology and digitalization created enormous amounts of valuable substance in a short period of time. That substance is information or data.

All the data has ended up with service providers as bulk matter. There has not been a chance to trustlessly combine all the data nor ways to track the contributions of each piece of data. Due to the history of the internet, there has not even been an identity system to make claims or verifications about data across environments. To make value out of data, you must analyze it, and to analyze it, you have to combine it. To identify individual contributions coming from different sources and services, you have to have an identity system. So without an identity system, all the data remains and accumulates in large silos, cross-contributions of individuals are not identified, and you either accept to completely give away your data to a few service providers or be left without any services. A piece of data has not been an asset but a pile of data has. One can’t negotiate about the price/conditions of a piece of data so one can’t negotiate about the price/conditions of the service either. Both are free and the business model moves elsewhere with devastating consequences. Any brainpower in data generation has sunk into the mass of information and therefore there have not been any benefits of investing in generating the highest value data. Mental work is not rewarded. Preferences of people don’t become part of new products and services. Instead, the services consume the weaknesses of people by disempowering them. Any mental work you do often gets used against you.

If people are not shaping the future of services then who is? Who decides which endeavors will see daylight? Currently, it is a very small group of people who control initial financial investment decisions. This mental capital through primary investments is controlled by a few business/investment managers and VC operators. For everyday people, the investment options are mostly a bank’s few mutual funds or stocks of big companies. The public investment space has been narrowing for a reason. The reason is to protect people from uncertainty. Uncertain decision-making from a diverse set of opportunities rewards thinking and thinking people are difficult to control. Maintaining hierarchical social structure has required increasing regulation as the market mechanism has removed natural restriction with accelerating pace.

Programmable decentralized infrastructure

Since ancient times, markets have continued taking up space from hierarchies as a decision-making mechanism. Great centrally governed empires have always broken down into smaller units and toward more federated systems. The golden era of mega-corporations was in the 1950s, after which sizes and lifespans of companies have shrunk significantly. More and more economic activity and value channels through small businesses. At the same time, the costs of being a listed publicly-traded company have increased dramatically, and the number of listed companies has gone down. Investment options for the crowds kept diminishing until the emergence of suitable trustless infrastructure: the internet of verifiable information.

The rise of new decentralized open protocols has changed the game once again, and markets eat the power of hierarchies faster than ever. Tremendous growth in the number of digital assets in recent years offered investors brand new opportunities to deploy their capital. The infrastructures that enable making basically any forms of value tradable units, at negligible cost, have already created whole new asset classes into the economy. The size or location of the company, business, commodity, or any economic entity are not anymore the determinants of whether the value can be freely traded in public. Similarly, one can now truly own one’s digital identity and present oneself on different circumstances and platforms. Many people who have previously been excluded from financial markets for technological, political, or informational reasons are now gaining access to the global financial system. All this has also opened a whole new world of investment opportunities for everyday people.

Credit: Tesfu Assefa

Mental capital investments arise

Investing, at its purest, is telling how resources ought to be allocated and what choices to make. Everyone has great views on these questions, but how to give proper weights to those ideas? What is the way to take responsibility for ideas and then collectively come up with eventual choices? How do you truly own your choices and have skin in the game? Having investable assets corresponding to these views and ideas makes it possible. Naturally, the most obvious form currently is a financial investment. And with our new programmable decentralized infrastructure, it is all increasingly real.

When a single investment can determine whether some idea becomes reality, investing begins to look a lot more like problem-solving instead of predicting. One is not anymore investing in how one would bet the world is going to be, but in how one would like the world to be. That makes it rewarding to think, rewarding to write, rewarding to be intellectually honest and participate. That could mean, for example, reading, learning, taking notes, building knowledge graphs, having meaningful conversations with people, and trying to understand multiple perspectives. You begin finding your worldviews more impactful. You start feeling more empowered with your ideas.

Regarding the investment process itself, there is an increasing amount of randomness in the outcomes of individual investments, especially when all that happens at scale. Individual innovations regularly disrupt all the legacy solutions. Investment approaches for controlling single event dominance and other tail events become powerful. With exploding token space, asset classes become much less well-defined. One can invest in startups, ideas, and pieces of data. Being able to own pretty much anything asks for toolsets to utilize mountains of information in a reliable way.

Investment twins

The explosion of all kinds of investment opportunities results in a question about how to process all that information. That’s the case, especially when we are talking about people who have zero interest in that kind of activity. People often say that they understand nothing about investing, so it is very difficult to make investment decisions. Knowing about investing to be able to invest should not be required. It should be enough to know something about anything. And that is something that people do. They have plenty of knowledge. This knowledge may be expressed explicitly or implicitly in everyday actions.

The digital footprint, data from life, can be consumed not only by external parties but also by the person him/herself. That means a digital preference learner which performs investment operations on behalf of you. AI assistants or digital twins are increasingly common in several subject areas, and there are definitely resources and momentum behind this technology. One can focus on learning substances and recording them in any form without having a need to manually scrape through the tremendously large investment space. The system doesn’t need to be anyhow perfect for being able to function purposefully. It learns by doing.

All of the above takes us quite far along in empowering individuals to make a difference. It enables a great impact on the development of the world around us. However, it is still restricted by the simple one-dimensional information systems. Traditional business logics are still required to get ahead in competition. But with these tools, one is ready to dive deeper to catch finer details of value and choice.

Information systems enabling new asset classes

The value of traditional assets is based on its property of generating financial income or direct practical utility. On the other hand, sometimes the value of an asset may be pure information value, as in cases of some collectibles. By applying this logic to valuing choice in general, one doesn’t need to build any money-earning mechanism to do something useful.

When the price of having evidence and making independent measurements and valuations is less than building an earning mechanism, then it is the way to go. With many actions, having money-based business logic is outright impossible. So far, these actions have naturally been outside the scope of any serious investment markets. In addition to verifiable information, the main issue here has been making impact measurements and valuations. However, scalable automation changes the picture.

It is paradoxical that sometimes people don’t speak out their thoughts and ideas in fear that someone ‘steals’ them. But when you can have timestamped permanent proofs of your contributions, these insightful views can be confidently valued due and according to their informational content. You don’t benefit only from finding investable assets corresponding to your ideas. Those ideas themselves become ones. Similar logic applies to opportunities for evaluating agents’ capabilities in different situations. Showing your personal value in specific tasks, as well as rating positively truly valuable contributions, become highly incentivized. When manual processing by humans is not anymore the bottleneck of information utilization, the investment opportunities are not anymore limited by simplified information systems and traditional business logics. Not only anything is investable, but anything is investing.

Benefits

There is a demand for meaningful participation. There is a demand for having crowds of independent people to deeply think for themselves and share their insights, views, and desires with the world. There is a demand for empowering each other to make sense of all the valuable contributions and deploying them for the benefit of everyone. Once there is all that mental capital baked into AI twins who process and evaluate surrounding information, help with individual biases, and evolve in action, much has been achieved.

Firstly, through investment decisions, people’s wisdom and preferences begin to flow into new products and services. Secondly, people are training digital versions of themselves which make their values built into emerging AGI systems. Thirdly, the language and interpretation barriers between individuals get removed as machines learn individual interpretations of words and actions. It leads to increased understanding of each other, more purposeful discussions among people, and more meaningfulness in participation.

Let us know your thoughts! Sign up for a Mindplex account now, join our Telegram, or follow us on Twitter

About the Writer

HenriqC

79.75823 MPXR

Henriq is an entrepreneur with a finance background and special interests in cognitive systems, health technology and decentralized science. 

Comment on this article

12 Comments

12 thoughts on “Meaningful Mental Capital

  1. People are shaping the future of services, but in two buckets. Those who have the capital and the time to do so, and the customers themselves. There is a divide between the technically savvy and the unsavvy. Not everyone is energized by technology, and there is real resistance by non conducting humans to the services that are moving only to the digital realm, leaving those who prefer human to human interaction behind. Do we really intend to employ human attention if they meet us where our technology is? When do we start using AI to change the human to human bias and end interpersonal conflict?

    Like
    Dislike
    Share
    Reply
  2. Nice post.

    Like
    Dislike
    Share
    Reply
  3. nicee
    1 Like
    Dislike
    Share
    Reply
  4. wow
    1 Like
    Dislike
    Share
    Reply
  5. The size or location of the company, business, commodity, or any economic entity are not anymore the determinants of whether the value can be freely traded in public.


    In today's interconnected world, the digital era has transformed the concept of trade and value exchange. Size and location are no longer barriers; technology enables even the smallest entities to participate in public trade, democratizing opportunities and promoting economic inclusivity.

    3 Likes
    Dislike
    Share
    Reply
  6. Henriq Suni, I am clapping! You have presented a compelling argument for the importance of meaningful participation. The value of harnessing the collective wisdom, ideas, and preferences of individuals to drive positive change and innovation is nothing new but you nailed it here. Adding investment to the notion of participation is a great move. We need to create an inclusive environment that encourages diverse perspectives and contributions, so we can tap into the full potential of human knowledge and create solutions that benefit everyone. Your focus on utilizing programmable decentralized infrastructure and AI assistants to empower individuals is particularly intriguing, as it opens up new possibilities for meaningful engagement and decision-making.I totally agree with the concept of having AI assistants or digital twins to assist in investment decisions as it can help bridge the gap between individuals' expertise and the complex investment landscape. Though a little bit abstract, encouraging meaningful participation promotes a sense of ownership and accountability among individuals. The idea is fantastic but what about the implementation?I have a couple of questions, if not strong opposition. While the concept of meaningful participation is appealing, your article fails to address the practical challenges of implementing such a system. The idea of relying on AI assistants or digital twins to make investment decisions on behalf of individuals raises concerns about accountability and control. Additionally, you assume that everyone has valuable insights and knowledge to contribute, which may not be the case in reality. I don't agree with you or the others in this comment section that crowd wisdom is valuable. I have not witnessed that. Maybe it is valuable if it is in person, but the crowd's wisdom online is... common man, you have witnessed it here and everywhere. Have you checked the social section of Mindplex recently? The stupid people are on board now, and you can no longer find the unique Mindplexish content there. Sadly, the mass has started to shit in bulk! 😇 Don't you think it is important to consider the potential drawbacks and limitations of relying on mass wisdom and then on automated systems for decision-making? At least this concern needs an explanation. I think you have overlooked factors like the voice of the expert and the elite? (No matter how badly we hate this word and what it stands for). Or is AI assistance replacing these people? The public doesn't change history, individuals do!
    4 Likes
    Dislike
    Share
    Reply
    1. Thank's Alamin a lot for your comprehensive feedback! I wasn't sure whether you mean implementation of the 'whole stack' or just automating the investment actions part so here are some practical examples through the entire story. Actually the SingularityNet ecosystem is touching many of these pieces. Let's start with Twin Protocol. One can feed her twin with whatever digital information and data so that it can have some level of understanding of one's views and preferences. Then the system can just scrape through different primary market or secondary market websites and suggest opportunities that seem to match the person's desires. Say, contributing to food production and alleviating world hunger is close to someone's heart. The investment candidates might be things such as providing micro financing to individual farmers, an AI platform that operates vertical farms, supply chain protocols for food security, equity based start-ups etc.Or one is interested in helping to find a cure for some specific disease. In this case potential opportunities might include investing in bioinformatics simulations that target to understand or develop treatments for that disease. Or it could be purchasing rights to certain biodata in the form of product NFTs on Rejuve platform that comprise potentially valuable data for making progress with fighting that disease. What about investing in producing information and productive communication? Many people might think that improving the quality of online communication between humans may create quite a bit of value. For example, if Mindplex, in the future, enables users to mint their comments and other contributions as NFTs in real time, one can easily have a cryptographic proof of each contribution. Then one can sell it or part of it in secondary markets. When all these contributions are parts of the collective knowledge base or for example knowledge bases of different AI services, their importance and impact can be measured/estimated in various ways. Investors start looking for contributions that may turn out to be very valuable in the future. Now it is profitable to start thinking about what meaningful things could be said and behave like a human being instead of "shit in bulk" or lying. One can also invest by using other decision-making resources than money. In the case of Mindplex it seems that they are really putting a big effort in the reputation system. Basically every interaction and dynamically evolving social network aim to be reflected in this system. Right below your comment, there are tools for me and everyone else to show our appreciation for your contribution (thumbs and emojis). For my part, I find your words valuable in many ways. You bring in other independent viewpoints and point out things that might benefit from clarification. And it is not only about the content itself but also about the way you say it. Respectful and constructive way of talking is certainly more valuable than respectless and destructive talk. That aspect could be valued independently as well. You invested your own resources and added value to the collective. So now it is about the systems that are able to capture the information about that value. Handling all the increasing volume and complexities of this won’t be viable manually. The system that can imitate, even at some simple level, one's personal way of thinking can immediately be utilized to filter interesting stuff for a closer review. So at this point there shouldn't be worries that your twin is going to trade you into bankruptcy. Then about the very legit concern of automated investment actions. The first thing is, as already stated, one can always stay in the loop herself and make the final decisions if desired. Secondly, if the purpose is incentivizing to generate and utilize one's mental capital, it is in principle enough to invest any portion of the wealth/portfolio that is higher than 0%. This concept is known as a barbell approach and there is a whole world of technical research of this as well as of other related offensive tail risk management techniques. However, the simple way to put it is that one can lose only the amount invested and by sticking with this percentual allocation one always remains in the game with new emerging opportunities. Another tail risk, something which for example Nick Boström has talked about, is the situation where a single or very few projects or processes make a critical breakthrough and create nearly all the value in the economy. Normally this kind of single-event-dominance is quite a theoretical aspect to consider but in this AGI context maybe worth mentioning. Having a wide enough diversification to handle this risk is possible only with automated systems. Finally, the nature of this whole activity was to solve problems and change the world instead of predicting how others will change it for you. So it is not primarily about how well your picks will succeed financially but about trying to make an impact that you personally find valuable. Implementing such a system to be reliable and secure from a technical viewpoint is of course a topic of its own. I stick with my statement that everyone has valuable knowledge. However, the sentence "when we put many people or viewpoints together, noise cancels out…" is admittedly inaccurate. Sure, noise and false information don't just magically disappear without an active filter that gives higher expertise views their proper weighting. Maybe it should indeed be called "the potential wisdom of crowds". How that potential then becomes realized is dependent on the decision-making structure the crowd is operating on. This decision-making structure is composed of systems that are called with names like information systems, value systems, social systems, governance structures etc. The goal of these systems is to filter the wisdom from the rest of stuff and harness it to serve the collective in a functional way. I see it as a connective tissue linking the otherwise independent agents together in some purposeful manner. You raise the issue about communication. That is the best possible example to demonstrate how people, in addition to the wisdom of crowds, are also able to create the madness of crowds. The social feed you are referring to, has no system in place that would organize the actions and one who has the largest font size gets the most visibility. Even those extremely simple things that are already designed to be there (3mpxr / 48h rule) would make a clear impact. When the quality of communication begins to have a real impact on the person's future decision-making power, the behavior changes immediately. Signs of wisdom begin to appear. So in my vocabulary the crowd wisdom refers to a situation where everyone's view is taken into account in an intelligent way and not to equalization, majority tyranny or anything like that. Here is my short personal, more general, maybe slightly controversial take on independence, diversity and intelligence: to even have any intelligence in the first place, there has to be some amount of cognitive diversity. That requires independent elements or agents in the system. In addition, to get intelligent decisions out of the system, these independent agents have to be able to cooperate by using some mechanism or system that provides information on how the different views should be weighted for each decision. This is the reason why I'm so much into the wisdom of crowds, diversity value and facilitation of free independent decision-making opportunities.  I highly appreciate that you took time and effort to write those things down for further clarification and discussion.  
      2 Likes
      Dislike
      Share
      Reply
  7. First, I agree with the crowd wisdom statement. Blimey! This is spot on. It’s like when you’re down the pub with your mates, everyone’s got their own two pence to put in, but when you put it all together you end up with a pretty decent idea of what’s what. It’s the same with this wisdom of crowds malarkey, innit? The more diverse the group, the better the outcome. Bob’s your uncle! Yet, the crowd can sometimes, or nowadays often, miss the point, especially on scientific topics. Filtering these matters is why I am here, observing how the Mindplex decentralised reputation system will evolve.Secondly, I agree, in general, with your suggestion that investment is critical. However, I don’t see that being done in an honest way. The things you get recommended are already invested in, the newbies aren’t in the spotlight. Discovering these newbies and their new ideas is a nightmare. What I observe in the era of tech is inequality triumphing here and there. Things are becoming pyramidal and everything is being concentrated at the top. I don’t even see a way to have a decentralised investment platform. Third, everyone wants to be invested in and very few people invest. Sadly, this small number of people are from the older generation and the young ones ain’t got a penny to spare.I loved your article mate, Meaningful Mental Capital is really in need in today's barmy reality, keep 'em coming!
    5 Likes
    Dislike
    Share
    Reply
    1. Thank you for these viewpoints!When talking about governance and social system related things, there are probably more misunderstandings about terminology than in any other topic. And unfortunately the consequences of these misunderstandings are similarly extremely harmful when they happen at scale. I want to say that I'm in complete agreement with your statement about pyramid shaped decision-making power structures and the problems rising in the era of rapid technological development. I'm also here for the same reason: Trying to find solutions for this problem. One thought exercise I have found very useful, yet surprisingly challenging, is to try to think about what investing is in terms when as much abstraction as possible has been taken away. Take away the concept of company, take away the concept of money. In my opinion the answer is something like, "telling what collective decisions to make". It is deciding whether to implement idea A or idea B. Correspondingly it is deciding who should be deciding on what and how much. It does not require to include any specific information system or governance structure. Here is an example:When I click a thumb up on your excellent comment, I'm using my decision-making power to increase your future decision-making power. Similarly, if I purchased part of your comment's informational value with money, I would be using my own decision-making power to increase your future decision-making power. In these cases different information system/decision-making resources are used. The former is Mindplex reputation system, the latter is money system. And there are many others that might be used as well. What I find important is that any person could invest any knowledge by using some well functioning system regardless whether they have money or not. So think of the money system as a dynamic database telling how much certain type of decision-making power each has. It has a superpower of being such a simple system that it works easily at scale. And it has a super deficiency of being such a simple system that it captures information only about relatively simple things. In the digital age, especially with the power of blockchain and AI, more multidimensional and comprehensive information systems should be possible. In this sense, fast evolving tech has not only created those problems mentioned above. It is also providing us with tooling to solve them. I guess that's at least one of the reasons why many of us are here.Then about your note how crowds often miss the point especially in highly specialized topics such as science. I think that's absolutely correct again. Doesn't the crowd wisdom require weighting each individual's view properly and doing that requires a system to produce those weighings in a bottom-up manner? Difficult scientific topics naturally demand exceptionally high weightings on those who have acquired knowledge on the field. The knowledge differences between people are large there. Among some others, Dr. Scott E. Page has basically made a career out of this subject matter and he has some terrific books and courses online. Regarding how we, deficient humans, are all important parts of the collective group, helping each other out, David Brin, in the Mindplex podcast, grounds it as follows: "We are all delusional but we don't have the same delusions." Thanks again for your input and raising some important questions.
      3 Likes
      Dislike
      Share
      Reply
      1. Ey mate, I couldn’t agree more on your definition of investment in your above comment. Yet again, the motive of investing matters. Folks like you and me are simple folks, meaning we care for the good, but there are some right dodgy geezers out in the bush, mate. All they care about is a reward that benefits only their agenda. In this case, investing will have a different definition. We need to keep an eye on these kinds of investments, mate. Well, this goes all against the old lady we call capitalism, or as some might say, the old bill. But I hope we’ll discover a system that will suss out these kinds of investments.I absolutely love your idea about weighing the crowd’s knowledge. One reason I joined Mindplex is their idea of valuing interactions and how they are trying to calculate reputation based on interaction quality. Is their AI a load of old cobblers or not, I don’t know. It seems like it is a good start because I have seen some positive things here. If I am not asking too much, mate you should contact their developers and give them some of your cool insights. I am waiting for your next article, mate.
        1 Like
        Dislike
        Share
        Reply
    1. Can you explain why it is very good? I don't understand why people like you are here. "Nice," "Very Good," "Wow," etc. What kind of comments are these? Did you just see the illustrations and have your usual behavior (instinct) from Instagram or TikTok kick in here? The entire article is about meaningful participation, and your comment is "very good"? Man it is not very good!😏 I wish Mindplex could remove comments like this as spam! We are here because we are tired of TikTok people. I'm sure Henriq is upset to see this kind of comment. Clearly, you are only trying to collect some MPXR because this comment is garbage.
      2 Likes
      Dislike
      Share
      Reply

Related Articles

24

Like

1

Dislike

Share

8

Comments
Reactions
💯 💘 😍 🎉 👏
🟨 😴 😡 🤮 💩

Here is where you pick your favorite article of the month. An article that collected the highest number of picks is dubbed "People's Choice". Our editors have their pick, and so do you. Read some of our other articles before you decide and click this button; you can only select one article every month.

4 People's Choice
Bookmarks