Nash and the Noise: Using Distributed Ledgers to Make Less Invasive Technology

Expecting a human to deal with all the interruptions, stresses and invasions posed by networked machines is a bit like asking a goat to get through a salt-lick the size of the Eiger. To get around this problem, machines need to deal with these interruptions and stresses on our behalf. This is not a trivial project.

This potentially offers an interesting new source of value. At the fuzzy edges between networks, attention markets would emerge, along with user-specified “interruption gates.” At these points, devices could pay for attention, and advertisers would compete for your attention at a time and in a way that you (or your agent) has allowed.

Why this is important

We humans don’t have enough time in our existence to deal with machines operating at speeds many orders of magnitude faster than our perception. Not at their time scale, anyway. This is why we need other machines to do it for us.

Why DLT?

There are a wide range of applications for this approach:

  • We can limit when something can interrupt based on conditions the user has set for their environment. Instead of dialling in each device individually, the devices submit to a consensus algorithm whose default is silence. We could decide that an emergency class of notifications could break this rule, but a Lands’ End flash-sale certainly could not.
  • By registering individual audio components within a system, we can track and control their validity and health. If something goes wrong, the device is prohibited from taking part in the network. Parameters used could be a single value, a range of values, or a function that approaches a limit. Component ratings such as harmonic distortion, maximum sample rate, or even user reviews or histories of trust (or betrayal) could be referenced using DLT.
  • Shared playout fields offer unique opportunities for real-time sonification and audible notifications. Imagine being able to use an entire suite of playout hardware to reproduce directional and indicative sounds. When playout fields or “audible actors” interact, the result can be more than just interference and addition. These fields could interact on a logical, interdependent level.

Problems and questions

Is DLT really the solution?

So you are condoning a networked-everything techno hellscape?

What does this mean for UX in general?

What if this has horrible side effects?




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