[NetBehaviour] I hate blockchain plantoids by O’Khaos - that's probably why they are great

Annie Abrahams bram.org at gmail.com
Mon Sep 25 18:07:56 CEST 2017

This email is there to try to pen down some of my very visceral negative
reactions to *Plantoid - The Birth of a Blockchain-Based Lifeform* (p 51
-61)in *Artists Re:thinking the Blockchain*

Let me first say that Plantoid is a great project, because it makes some
implications of the Blockchain technology very evident and poses a lot of

P 54 "All code deployed on a blockchain comes with a guarantee of
execution, by engaging with a Plantoid, people are contractually bound to,
and cannot deviate from the rules stipulated into the underlying smart
contract code."
Building a Plantoid is done by humans, of course they can deviate ... and
if not, they are stupid to participate and become slaves... (maybe there is
something I don't understand here)

P.55 "The Plantoid continuously monitors its Bitcoin balance and whenever
it realizes, that a particular threshold has been reached, the Plantoid
will be able to use this money to initiate it's own reproduction"
A Plantoid has no conscience as far as I know, so I don't think it can
realize something - It's  calculation and rules that trigger an action - a
Plantoid isn't living. Being made of code and rules is not the same as
having a soul.

p 58 " Indeed, the DNA of every Plantoid, that is, all the logic and rules
that govern its growth and reproduction are recorded on the Ethereum
blockchain. These may include certain distinctive aesthetic or physical
requirements ..... that will affect the scope of creativity and the room
for discretion left to the artists commissioned to produce the next
So Plantoid seems to be conservative, reinforcing the characteristics it
started with.

Artists will have to make propositions for the next level Plantoid within
the rules and logic on the blockchain. Contributors can vote the for these
by sending micro-transactions to the Bitcoin blockchain of their choice.
All will be weighted by the amouths contributed and the smartcontract will
process it and establish a winner.
Grrrrrr, automatised decissions Grrrrr anything can come out of such a
thing Grrrrr, no discussion, the winner is not necessary what is wished for

P 59 " ....the reproduction process, the evolution of Plantoids follow a
Darwinist approach" ....
Does it? Darwinism changed a lot over time.
The essential concept of "mutation" (for evolution) doesn't seem to have a
place in the Plantoid blockchain project. Mutation would mean a change of
code, an intervention in the basic rules and logic of the blockchain and
that seems to be impossible .... Adaption to the environment is not the
same as mutation!

p60 "Each Plantoid is forever and inextricably connected to both its
ancestors and its descendants, with whom it can communicate through a
shared blockchain-based network."
I vigorously disagree with the use of the word "communicate" here. Even if
it's use could be correct, it is misleading because of our day to day use
of the word. The block-chain based network exists for us to see, to
conceptualise, but a Plantoid can not communicate inside it. Plantoids are
part of a chain, network of rules and logic, they don't exchange inside it.
Information is linked, coupled, that's all.

winners and so losers, determined by calculation only
not living at all

That's what I understood


*The Laboratory of Networked Behavior* Article by Randall Packer :
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