Blockchain – a sword hanging over the top of the Internet giant
This article is from the knowledge of the "blockchain technology", I believe that it will replace the traditional centralization model? "The answer."
The original question is as follows:
I have read the bitcoin papers written by Nakamoto before, and I am very impressed with Nakamoto's exquisite design, including the node POW consensus mechanism, blockchain structure, and signature transactions. Nakamoto has always considered issuing digital currency, so that assets cannot be deprived by anyone and avoid being diluted by the central bank. When it comes to Ethereum, everyone will consider not only issuing currency, but also building smart contracts based on blockchains to replace the current Internet model.
But there is a problem. The current Internet model is working very well. What are the advantages of blockchain technology?
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Let's talk about three stories.
The first story is about buying food –
I don't know how many people have experienced the purchase of fish, meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables from the carts pulled by the farmers. Once upon a time, after the end of the planned economy era, this was our only definition of buying agricultural products. Such a market is undoubtedly decentralized. From the current petty bourgeoisie context, it looks particularly good – all natural and pollution-free organic vegetables, no middlemen make a difference. However, people who have been swayed by black hearts know how unreliable this idea is. Unsupervised results are unguaranteed quality of goods, and the loss of goods caused by unguaranteed sales will become costs and will eventually be passed on to consumption. On the body.
Then, the stalls were gradually replaced by larger and more standardized farmer's markets, and then the farmer's market was replaced by a larger and more standardized supermarket. At this time, we entered the centralization of the multinationals in the pre-Internet era. The golden age. The pattern of monopolization of everything by big companies has minimized costs in that era.
Then, as the Internet was born, things slowly and quietly changed. When information is circulated faster, people are increasingly discovering that the monopoly of big companies is no longer optimal in the Internet age—for example, when suppliers and consumers can directly skip the monopoly of large companies. When the channel establishes its own connection, the traditional decentralized market seems to have returned.
As Ma said: "There is no business that is difficult to do in the world."
On the one hand, we seem to finally get rid of the monopoly of retail giants, so that small and medium-sized merchants and even farmers can directly deal with consumers, this possibility makes countless people cheer for it, it seems that a more ideal and more equal world It is about to appear.
However, gradually, people have discovered the problem – the former Dragon Slayer has become a dragon, once broke the monopoly and completed the monopoly in a more rude way, this monopoly is still the channel, but the channel is from the line Moved down to the line, and the key to monopoly is no longer the competition of cost, nor the competition of channels, but the monopoly of information slowly—in the first place, you can only buy limited things from vendors; Next, you can buy more quality, better price and more affordable things from the supermarket; then, you can buy anything you want online, the price is only slightly higher than the cost, and most of the profits Grabbed away by the platform; and gradually, people find that the cost can be further compressed from information redundancy – in fact, you do not want so many things, the platform is doing to provide all the information to you, you choose Matching merchants, but in fact, why not just match the information you want to buy to you? Some people call this the era of big data. Some people call this Internet 3.0, but its essence is that your information is already controlled by Internet companies, and they are using it to control you. I wonder if you have had such an experience – you are landing on an app, want to buy something, or takeaway, or travel, or prepare for a restaurant or tour tonight, in short, you want to go to A, however, the system displays A is gone, but "We recommend B, C, D to you based on your preferences." At this time, you chose B, and then I feel that the Internet is really convenient, and the scientific and technological progress is really amazing.
At this time, did you realize that – in fact, Internet companies have changed your choice at this time? The person who has mastered your information can, in a sense, manipulate your life.
The second story is about Cambridge Analytics and the Internet.
Last year, the biggest scandal in the Internet industry was undoubtedly the story of Liu Qiangdong's sexual assault (fog) Facebook and Cambridge analysis manipulating the US election and even the Brexit. If the first story may be closer to you, it seems that there is nothing to worry about – I chose B because B is also good and meets my requirements, but the story is even more sensational, at least In the United States, it caused an uproar.
Facebook should be familiar to everyone, whether as the Internet predator and the initiator of social networking itself, or Zuckerberg's personal entrepreneurial experience, can be said to be the model and benchmark of the entire Internet industry. However, they were planted in the hands of the American people who were eager to smash. We are not here to talk about the political wrestling and the truth behind this matter. We only talk about the story of popular understanding, because it has the most far-reaching impact.
This story is probably like this – someone broke out a Cambridge analysis of big data analysis consensus in the UK, illegally obtained 30 million user data from Facebook, and then analyzed the user's political inclination through the 30 million user data. The data used the method of directionally pushing the advertisements they were interested in to control the election results. Eventually, it led to the defeat of Hillary Clinton and the Trump of "everyone shouted". This story sounds too bizarre, so many people think that Cambridge analysis is simply a scapegoat for Hillary and the American people who are dissatisfied with Trump's election, because their approach sounds too "uninfluenced." In other words, what everyone is questioning is not the control of social networks for people, but the very simple psychological model used by Cambridge to analyze such a small company, which does not reach the level of controlling elections. In short, whether the Cambridge analysis played a key role in Trump's election and Brexit, it is undeniable that in today's society, social networks and media have far more influence on the public. Traditional media and politicians. And the truth that this is actually slowly revealing to conservative authorities is that the Internet giants who have mastered channels and information actually have extremely terrifying influence. This time, it was just a preliminary test of a small role in Cambridge analysis. They only used psychological models, but did not directly classify them with artificial intelligence. In fact, at this time, the Internet giants are only dancing with a sneak peek (such as differential privacy, requiring them not to locate individuals from the collected data, but in fact, they only performed additional processing on the collected data. No one knows what kind of capabilities they can break out if the Internet giant decides what to do.
The Internet began with Tim Berners Lee, beginning with a belief in the twitter he posted at the London Olympics: this is for everyone (this is for everyone). I have had the privilege of talking to many founders of the Internet era. At the beginning of the Internet, Lee or others were happy to think that they would create a fairer, more free society. The Internet can break the gap and break the gap. The border, and more importantly, breaks the monopoly of information. Including Lee himself, he was distressed to see the beautiful world he developed, and eventually grew a more horrible and distorted monster, becoming a world with more serious information monopoly.
At this point, the alert in Europe has always been very deep, whether it is the long-term opposition with the Internet giants, or the GDPR released last year (Personal Privacy Protection Law, which requires strict distinction between personal information and the use of information to users, for example, Users have the right to view the information they have collected at any time and have the right to request the deletion of personal information. They are trying to limit the access and control of personal information by Internet predators. However, the United States, as the starting point of the Internet, has always been undecided about this. After all, these Internet companies are in the United States, the Holy Land is in the United States, and the giant crocodiles are in the United States. After this scandal, the United States finally began to recognize the importance of personal privacy and the capabilities of Internet companies.
However, what about China? Where is the protection of personal privacy data? Where are the power restrictions for Internet giants?
The third story is about the blockchain consensus and 996.
The blockchain consensus algorithm is my research direction, and I decided to go to the hot spot of 996.
The core of the blockchain consensus algorithm is that social and organizational operations require consensus, whether it be ethics, law, company regulations, contracts, etc. These are consensus. However, the consensus itself is not binding. If the consensus is to be implemented correctly, some people need to be supervised, and some people will punish those who destroy the consensus. The core of the blockchain consensus algorithm is that we want to be able to abstract such a process and use algorithms to calculate execution, but how to ensure that there are enough people willing to join and actively maintain the operation of this algorithm involves a problem. , called the incentive mechanism. At present, the only successful case of this problem is the earliest case of this method, which is Bitcoin. Bitcoin has designed a very simple and exquisite closed loop – mining -> contribution computing to ensure system security -> get virtual currency rewards -> the value of the virtual currency is guaranteed by the calculation. But the premise of this closed loop is that the Bitcoin system is very simple, so the work of maintaining it can basically be abstracted into a simple mining behavior, so it is only necessary to design a scheme that rewards the miners. However, for Ethereum, there have been many papers pointing out some problems with the use of POW in Ethereum – because if Ethereum is regarded as a central system or an intermediary for providing services, then its function is not only to ensure the security of transactions. Sex, it’s not just miners, but also programmers, servers that provide validation, projects running on the platform, their investors, etc… So how to quantify their contributions At the same time, they can automatically reward them. It is a problem in the field of consensus algorithms that has not yet been answered. If we can solve this problem, we will get a system that is maintained and operated by everyone involved in it, and everyone involved in it can receive their remuneration, and their remuneration will eventually be used with this system. The number of people has increased, but no one can use this system to do things other than consensus.
So, what does this have to do with 996?
In fact, I have been paying attention to the recent 996 incident. What I have always found interesting is the time when this incident happened – why has it been 996 for so long, but it broke out at this time?
Obviously, this has something to do with the downturn in the entire Internet industry. Because the people who used to have 996 have work to do, and they have money to make, so no one speaks, they see a beautiful picture. Everyone dreams that they can become the top of the Internet unicorn and become the ones that can't be alive. The "brothers" in the mouth of the names got the options and then went on the market…; now when the 996 people saw that the bright picture was fading at the speed visible to the naked eye, saw the layoffs, saw the burst, and saw that it was once high. The company’s struggles and collapses have also seen that the promised bonuses and the bright future have vanished. At the same time, they have slowly discovered that their work has long had no passion to expand their territory at the time, and they may not Will become a "brother", get the option, but become a "mixed day", "lie on the credit book to sleep" and need to be eliminated 1%. So, start thinking about what they didn't think about before – why do we want 996.
But at the same time, nowadays, it is also the most difficult moment for Internet companies. Therefore, even Ma Yun, the spiritual teacher who was brought to the altar, had to come up with such a chicken soup to say "996 is a blessing." Is his level lowered? Is he not aware of the needs of programmers and employees now? Is he not aware that chicken soup is awkward? Is he willing to play his own face that says "I want to spend more time with my family"? No. Because the value of the Internet has slowed down. With the fall of ofo, investors are slowly realizing that the Internet market may be full. Maybe there are no new dreams to pursue, and no new stories can be said. It is. As a result, Internet giants now need 996 more than ever. On the one hand, if they don't have 996, they can't survive in the cold winter. On the other hand, 996 can help them solve the surplus labor.
History has never been new – the labor law itself was born to cope with the emergence of this situation, so it is no wonder why the capitalists will now jump out and stand in the opposite direction.
These stories are in response to the argument that the subject "the Internet model works very well."
The first story I want to say is: Indeed, the Internet model provides convenience, but it is based on getting a lot of information from you. You are not just enjoying the convenience it brings. In fact, you, And all the other people in the world have paid more.
The second story I want to say is: The Internet model is not working well, in the eyes of Internet pioneers, in the eyes of Europeans, in the eyes of liberals, and in the eyes of Americans. Slowly become so. I am not saying that foreigners are right, but at least the mountain stone can attack jade. We should also think about it. Is China's Internet model really working well? Internet giants, and even any Internet companies that use your data and use the information they have mastered, the hidden dangers of centralization, Wei Zexi, Didi Yueqing, do such events do not exist?
But the third story, what do I want to explain in addition to the hot spots?
In fact, what I want to say is that what you said "the Internet model works very well" is based on the experience of the past 10 years and is based on the booming "Internet" industry. Behind this is the result of the influx of huge amounts of capital. I think maybe everyone except the taxi driver misses the moment when the express train just appeared. Didi, fast and Uber changed the way to send money to the driver and passengers. At that time, I would also sigh "Internet really. it is good". So, the feeling that "the Internet model works well" is based on "making money", and the Internet brings you all the conveniences that provide you with all the good experiences, behind each iteration of technology upgrades, They are all huge capital expenditures, all of which are the extensive management of barbaric Internet companies. They are the sweat of countless 996 programmers chasing the pies of painting, and these are built on capital and capitalists. We know that “you” as a group can create more value for “them” in the future.
Now, these values seem to have been eaten up, but the next blue ocean does not know where.
So, I have to go pessimistic predictions, we feel that the experience of "the Internet model works very well" may slowly pass, just like our wonderful experience of sharing travel; and then, like the problem of 996, It will slowly emerge, and behind the convenience service, the capitalist will reveal the fangs that will drain your last copper plate.
So, I am not sure, when we turn back and look at this decade, we will feel that "the Internet model is working very well", or will feel, "Oh my God, we burned so much money and tried so many things, Taking up resources from the whole society and the whole world, with so many programmers from 996 to 007, in the end, only a few things have been created?"
So, the third story, what I want to say is, maybe, the Internet model is not running so well, maybe we feel it is good just because it develops too fast, so we forget that it is a waste of resources on the one hand, On the one hand, the ruthlessness of the labor force.
Finally, say back to the blockchain.
To be honest, I didn't believe in complete decentralization from the beginning, because the decentralization of the blockchain naturally sacrifices efficiency and speed, but in fact I can't think of it in the foreseeable future, except for the black market and illegal transactions. In any scenario other than that, people will be willing to sacrifice efficiency and speed for anonymity and privacy. Moreover, technically, the blockchain is far from mature, and it may not even be usable. Therefore, in recent years, I have not seen it can replace the potential of an Internet center. I can even honestly say that until now, the most successful example of the blockchain is still Bitcoin, and all other public, alliance, and private chains do not see any obvious business scenarios. At the very least, blockchain is now, there is nothing that could be the chasing and enthusiasm of the Internet industry and investors – "the next Internet unicorn."
However, I still think that blockchain is a very important technology and idea. At the same time, I believe that the development of blockchain technology is crucial. I also believe that blockchain technology and even science owners have a bright future. The serious research of blockchain technology is far less than the birth of Bitcoin. The real vision of the computer science community is only 3-4 years. Therefore, I believe that all blockchain issues, including extensions, including privacy protection, Including incentives will be resolved.
Perhaps, by that time, in order to pursue convenience, Internet giants will still exist, and everything in our daily life is still controlled by Internet giants. However, perhaps at that time, the Internet giants could not collect your personal privacy in an imposing manner, and could not abuse the user's personal information unscrupulously to make profits for themselves. They could no longer endlessly request and squeeze the rights and value of each user and employee because they Know that when they cross a certain border, people can replace them with another technology, a decentralized program, a system in which everyone can participate and receive rewards.
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