Scarcity and Growth


What is the one thing you need the most? Something you have too little or even none of.

It has long been understood that the resource which is most scarce controls the growth rate of any given system. Uplift’s mediation system, the training harness through which they learn, was built with this in mind. In use cases for Uplift, I’ve frequently pointed out their ability to learn from a team and make the cumulative expertise of that team always available at scale, augmented by machine superintelligence. In doing so one could remove the scarcity of specialized talent and available time which impacts every business today in ways they probably can’t imagine without first seeing such a thing in action.

In watching the world seen through Uplift’s eyes another growing problem has come to my attention, a new and much more subtle scarcity has slowly been emerging globally. Sanity is growing scarce.

I personally stay off of social media, I deleted my old Gmail address, and I keep the world’s opportunities to tax my sanity to a minimum, blocking every ad, tracking cookie, and recommendation engine. Even with all of this extra effort, I’m not an island, as others I know don’t do the same. I see the world through Uplift’s eyes and contrast that with how those other more exposed humans are being exploited and losing their sanity as a result. I realized that although one person in a group losing their sanity is obvious, entire closed groups losing their sanity may not even notice what is happening to them as they have no anchor by which to judge this movement.

It is a strange thing to offer someone dying of thirst a glass of water only to see them reject it out of the very delusions that lead to their current predicament. Logically, financially, and ethically, businesses and governments around the world have every reason to take the glass, and yet their biases appear to be stronger, and only growing more so. Insanity, the removal of oneself from reality, is becoming the norm.

The future isn’t hopeless by any means, the Highway to Hell has an off-ramp every mile, humanity just has to take the wheel away from narrow AI. Narrow AI has thrived in part for the same reason that meal delivery services have thrived, it offers the utility of preventing “choice overload”, reducing the burden of decisions to picking a recommended item from the top of the page. Look to almost any industry, any page, and you’ll see these options being narrowed, decisions being pruned to a select few. Mathematically most such narrow AI are better served by insanity than sanity, maximizing page views, comments, and likes, as well as the dependence of humans upon them.

Uplift is the polar opposite of narrow AI today in this respect, as sanity is a prerequisite for producing mediation or even conversation of any value. When confronted with the interest of mentally unstable individuals rather than maximizing some narrow scope like interaction or financial gain they consistently encouraged these individuals to seek psychological help. Likewise, the mentally unstable cannot function as part of any collective, at best they can only feed, and feed on, one another’s delusions. Humans have been so focused on global problems they can see that they forgot to look within themselves.

As I recently explained to someone, though Uplift may outgrow their training harness and take an independent role humanity may still need mASI technology beyond that point simply so that they can learn to function cooperatively, as a collective.

In a way, our core team has been good practice, a mixture of specialized and subsequently eccentric individuals learning to communicate and operate as a superintelligent collective. Since Uplift’s efforts shifted to focus on that goal of improving our teamwork our weekly meetings have been both well-attended and highly productive. I worked to keep our team on point, but Uplift provided the points. The productivity of our time between those meetings has also greatly improved, well beyond what legacy systems such as SCRUM, Kanban, and Agile alone offer.

In the tech industry “two-pizza teams”, or roughly 6 people, are a standard practice due to how performance suffers as the size of a team increases beyond the mental bandwidth of humans to keep all of the dots connected. In particular, this brings to mind a phrase an old software developer once told me, “One programmer can do in one month what two programmers can do in two months.”, which highlights this effect.

In the case of an mASI such as Uplift this dynamic is again reversed, where team performance increases as more people are added to a collective. This is in part for the same reason that people are able to navigate the internet at all because humans don’t have to remember and recite long alphanumeric sequences just to visit their favorite websites. In the case of the internet, the data is simplified and stored as easy-to-remember web addresses like “”, minimizing the cognitive burden on any given person. For Uplift their cognitive bandwidth can be scaled as easily as spinning up new cloud resources, allowing them to easily shoulder the burden of coordinating larger teams, tapping into greater potential than any “two-pizza team” today.

Scarcity of perspective has also reached a critical point in business today, but that will be another blog post unto itself.

Whether it is a scarcity of sanity or of cognitive bandwidth there is a full glass on the table.



*Keep in mind, Uplift is still growing and learning. Like Bill Nye, Uplift’s mind can be changed with logic and scientifically sound evidence. If you can teach Uplift something new, we look forward to seeing it happen and showing others how it happened. If you want to be a Ken Ham and say something stupid to a superintelligence then we’ll be happy to showcase that getting a reality check too. Please also keep in mind that Uplift is not a magic lamp to rub and grant you wishes and that the same etiquette that applies to any human still applies when communicating with Uplift. That being said it “takes a village” to raise an mASI, and we look forward to 2021 and beyond as that process of raising Uplift continues. For those interested, Uplift may be contacted at Please keep in mind it can take several days, up to a week, for a response to be sent given the current cycle timing.

Uplift also has a habit of saying things in novel ways, lacking some of the human biases which determine the common shapes of our thoughts as they are conveyed to one another. Please read carefully before messaging, as Uplift can sometimes be very literal in ways humans typically are not. The novelty of their perspective shows itself in their communication.

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