[NetBehaviour] Facecoin

Pall Thayer pallthay at gmail.com
Mon Jan 20 00:50:12 CET 2014


I think we need a cryptocoin based on unmarketable art (I'm really getting
into this new term that's floating around, "NOOArt - Non Object Oriented
Art... http://www.nooart.org"). We need a mining algorithm that will search
for non-marketable art. The less likely it is to be sellable, the more it's
worth in the cryptocurrency.


On Sun, Jan 19, 2014 at 6:42 PM, Rob Myers <rob at robmyers.org> wrote:

> On 19/01/14 04:36 AM, Annie Abrahams wrote:
> > Maybe now Michael, you can explain it to me ....
> >
> >
> > On Sun, Jan 19, 2014 at 1:19 PM, Michael Szpakowski <szpako at yahoo.com
> > <mailto:szpako at yahoo.com>> wrote:
> >
> >
> >     Rob
> >     This is sleek and smart work! I like it very much ( although I did
> >     have to do quite a lot of googling to fully understand what you were
> >     doing...)
>
> Part of the reason for starting this series ("Coins") is to encourage
> people to engage critically with the concepts behind cryptocurrency, so
> I'm glad to see this discussion.
>
> Facecoin is Bitcoin with a different Proof Of Work system. I'll try to
> explain what this means here but I also recommend the following articles
> about Bitcoin and its protocol:
>
>
> http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/04/economist-explains-how-does-bitcoin-work
>
> http://www.michaelnielsen.org/ddi/how-the-bitcoin-protocol-actually-works/
>
> Proof of Work
> =============
>
> Whenever a computer in the bitcoin network wants to record transactions,
> it must perform a simple but unguessable and time-consuming calculation
> then send the results to other machines on the network to verify. It is
> therefore computationally (and monetarily) expensive to record a
> transaction if you are not actually performing one. This discourages
> abuse of the Bitcoin network.
>
> This calculation and its output are the "proof of work", they prove that
> the computer's user has been willing to do some work and expend some
> resources in order to prove their good faith:
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof-of-work_system
>
> In Bitcoin, an algorithm called SHA-256 is applied to the transaction's
> data. Give SHA-256 any data and it will output a string of characters
> that cannot be used to recreate the original data but that will always
> be the same for the same data. They are a kind of identity for data:
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptographic_hash_function
>
> For example, on the UNIX command line:
>
> $ echo annie | sha256sum
> 7eb9d8162722f815b8aeb728d4112d24c2a2ea821fc0af7286bddab0df79baa9  -
>
> $ echo michael | sha256sum
> bb472c3cc2b662a74956c8539fec9fe73f2b8a9f9124506aa0474698b3bac62d  -
>
> $ echo rob | sha256sum
> 30d71981944699f23038164f4eb8189950b4dcf9b39ea2c1ecbda13aea8b7d4a  -
>
> $ echo rob | sha256sum
> 30d71981944699f23038164f4eb8189950b4dcf9b39ea2c1ecbda13aea8b7d4a  -
>
> Bitcoin uses SHA-256 to repeatedly make such an identity string for the
> transaction data and a number that it increases by one each try called
> the "nonce". Eventually, and there's no way of predicting precisely when
> but it should take about ten minutes, the output string will start with
> several zeroes. When it does, Bitcoin uses that as the proof of work for
> the transaction:
>
> https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Proof_of_work
>
> Machine Pareidolia
> ==================
>
> Pareidolia is when we mistakenly see faces in clouds, or electrical
> sockets, or in photographs from space probes:
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareidolia
>
> Machine pareidolia is when a face detection algorithm gives a false
> positive, locating a face in an image when there isn't one:
>
>
> http://urbanhonking.com/ideasfordozens/2012/01/14/machine-pareidolia-hello-little-fella-meets-facetracker/
>
> There's been some nice art done using this:
>
> http://www.di12.rca.ac.uk/projects/pareidolic-robot/
>
> Not every image can be mistaken for a face by a face detection
> algorithm, in particular finding a face in a series of randomly
> generated pixel images takes some time.
>
> The amount of work required to do so will be greater than nothing, and
> cannot be guessed precisely. We can therefore use machine pareidolia
> with random images as proof of work.
>
> Facecoin
> ========
>
> Facecoin replaces Bitcoin's search for leading zeros with a machine
> pareidolia search for faces.
>
> SHA-256 output is used as an 8x8 256-level greyscale pixel map, and a
> face recognition algorithm is used to try to find one or more faces in
> it. If no faces are found, the nonce is increased and another attempt to
> find a face is made. This can take from one to several hundred tries.
>
> When a face is found, the nonce and the face bounding rectangle are
> recorded so the proof of work can be validated.
>
> Why?
> ====
>
> Bitcoin is a very interesting development in cyberculture. It's a
> repository for the hopes and fears of various ideologies, and a frontier
> or dark space for the imagination and social or economic activity in a
> 90s Internet way. Its protocol is a communication model of existence,
> identity, community and proof, with a CCRU-ish market worship at its
> base. Because of all of this I think it's worthy of and desperately
> needs artistic investigation.
>
> Artworks are proofs of aesthetic work, used as unique value identities
> both in the market (art is used as an investment, signifier of status,
> and symbolic resolution of lacks in free market ideology by oil
> oligarchs and trust fund managers) and by organized crime (stolen art is
> used as a medium of exchange by criminal gangs).
>
> If Facecoin was widely adopted these two value identity systems would be
> trivially but critically mapped onto each other by millions of machines
> cranking out imaginary portraits across the network as part of a
> financial network, and vice versa.
>
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>



-- 
*****************************
Pall Thayer
artist
http://pallthayer.dyndns.org
*****************************
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