/r/ethereum censorship

For those who don’t know, one of the core missions of Project Oblio is to use anonymized biometrics to dispel fake accounts from the internet. But this post isn’t about our project. All you need to know right now is that we crazy passionate about stopping the manipulation of public opinion through fake accounts and censorship.

Consensys, the blockchain company largely behind the rise of Ethereum, has been following our project for a while. They are well aware of our mission. And so, we were extraordinarily surprised when the moderators of /r/ethereum deleted our posts about the Consensys layoffs, with no explanation, and replaced them with ones with more of a “positive spin”, submitted by a Consensys marketing employee.

Here’s our thread. Tell us if you find anything wrong with it:

What got our attention was the removal of the thread here. (P.S., if you want to see some mercenary account try to put a positive spin on layoffs, the comments in that thread are golden).  To see if we could replicate the removal through a more “neutral” post, we decided to submit our thread pictured above. You can find a link to it here. But if you follow that link, you’ll probably find it now it only says “[removed]”.

Normally when threads are removed by moderators on Reddit, the subtitle will say “[removed]” (like ours does) and not “[deleted]” (which means a user chose to delete it). And in the URL, if you change the “r” in reddit to a “c”, ceddit.com will be even more explicit, saying it was removed by moderators. What’s interesting is that unlike the first thread (which to a stretch, may have been argued to be a discussion about price, thereby bannable on /r/ethereum), our thread didn’t discuss the price at all. It’s still visible under our account name, which is how we provided the screenshot in the first photo. Yes, this means our thread was “shadow removed”. We had to view Reddit in an Incognito tab to even know that it was removed — no inbox mail was received.

Shortly after we noticed our post being ignored, we found this thread. As mentioned earlier, it was submitted by a member of the Consensys marketing team. That thread really isn’t a thread about layoffs, it’s a thread about Consensys CEO’s uncharacteristic, Donald Trump-esque tweetstorm in response to articles about him laying off ~13% to ~60% of his employees. Regardless, it’s pretty clear that its title was engineered to make him sound as awesome as possible.

When started pointing out the removal of our post in the comments, we weren’t surprised to find that we were slowly downvoted. After all, this is /r/ethereum. And Consensys is a rich, multi-million dollar corporation, who basically controls all of Ethereum itself. Speaking badly about them would be a bad thing to do, they have more money than us.

Wait, is that how the internet works now? The internet used to be like the real-world, where freedom-of-speech prevailed over everything. Suddenly, our comments were hidden from the default view, with no explanation from downvoters, and only comments that went along with the narrative of “layoffs are good for Ethereum” were allowed to persist. Which, by the way, doesn’t make any fucking sense.

We can’t understand why Consensys would be so blatant about their censorship. This is especially true given the history of censorship in subreddits like /r/btc and /r/bitcoin. Actually though, major censorship in cryptocurrency forums has been happening since about mid-2013, but that’s a topic for another post.  It did mainly start on Reddit around the time of the launch of Ethereum, however.

The truth is, Consensys and Reddit’s inexplicable linkage doesn’t just end there. If you’re interested in reading more, see this comment chain.

Decentralized Neuroscience

de-mystifying neuroscience

An autonomous research organization is born from the open permissiveness of a blockchain. It breathes funding into neuroscience through a community-run token budget system. Its  legs juice-up the scientific method by publishing every step in the process, avoiding potholes of positivity bias and barriers to journal distribution. Its arms are vybuds, a dedicated research tool that doubles as really-cool music headphones.


Brains are not Computers.

Project Oblio is an open, permissionless community of neuroscientists dedicated to re-engineering the scientific method.  Join our discord.

Academic neuroscience can be vastly improved by delegating certain research experiments to a blockchain. Non-invasive neurostimulation research is one interesting field that suffers from fatal flaws when conducted in a laboratory, namely that experimenter bias and inconsistent techniques from lab to lab modify results. We’ve shown that neurostim can be used to automatically validate data in a decentralized way when combined with EEG/EMG.

What we’re building is effectively a decentralized, self-funding research organization. Neuroscientists can receive funding after submitting proposals for already-developed websites that make use of all the native features of a subject’s cell phone (Camera, Microphone, Etc). Eye-tracking and automatic tACS/EMG time-dependent injections validate that data is collected correctly.

In science today:

  •  Non-impactful results are not published. On Project Oblio, funding is provided and data is submitted regardless of whether or not a result shows statistical significance. All results are published by the very nature of a blockchain. Data is published as soon as it is collected.
  •  If an experiment appears to have identified a valuable feature within its first few hours of posting, another neuroscientist can immediately submit an experiment further examining a more particular feature that may be causing the result. This is orders of magnitude faster than waiting for an experiment to complete, journal reviews, replications, etc. It turns a 15-month process into something that can be further investigated as soon as data is made available.
  •  Although unlikely, there is a very real financial incentive for labs to exaggerate or misrepresent their work in order to continue to receive funding. The only solution is to make everything – from code, to data, to analyses – open-source, and auditable by everyone.

Project Oblio is an effort to engineer the most objective scientific method possible. It rewards neuroscientists based on their code, not their reputation. It analyses data in both the long-term and short-term to speed up biological research to the pace of modern society. Anyone can submit an experiment to our budget system to receive funding, and only be judged on the potential impacts of their paradigm’s open-source code. It completely obliterates the barrier to entry for neuroscience.

Our goal is to partner with universities and develop a peer-reviewed, open-source ASIC dedicated to tACS, multi-channel EEG, as well as high-quality music outputs.

We’re hiring. We’re seeking intellectual advisors and contributions from neuroscience universities across the world. Please explore our blog and consider becoming a representative for your university. You’ll receive compensation for running a full-node and experiment when the network launches, and you’ll be added to our private Discord chat dedicated to decentralized neuroscience research.  In order to run a successful crypto kickstarter on November 5th, we’re seeking peer-review and “idea-generators” like you to skeptically analyse our publications and provide valuable feedback on how we can make this something acceptable for use by universities and academics.

Currently we are a small team of Duke University, Columbia University, University of Pittsburgh, and Rutgers University neuroscience graduates. We’re looking to hold Skype calls for anyone who might be interested in contributing or learning more about Project Oblio in the coming weeks (see linked form above). If you are not interested, please send this site to someone who might be.

The stakes here cannot be higher. We are talking about one of the most fundamental yet poorly understood aspects of humanity. It is complacent for what human beings are capable of to ignore bleeding-edge encryption methods like homomorphic encryption and blockchain as a potential improvement for the scientific method and protecting PHI. LET’S BUILD IT.

tACS, vybuds, and more

Project Oblio’s hardware is a “brainwave miner”. It is a pair of bluetooth music headphones, with added features to provide and interpret value from the multi-billion dollar supercomputer between your ears. Its features include:

  • Neurostimulation for cognitive enhancement. While official research using vybuds over Project Oblio is still required, universities and research institutions have found that similar neurostimulation techniques can be used for:
    • Memory boosting while focusing and studying (~30% improvement)
    • Enhancing coordination and athletic-performance gains in specific tasks
    • Pain management
    • Alzheimer’s treatment
    • Dry eye treatment
    • Tinnitus (ear-ringing) treatment
    • Mood improvement (treatment of depression)
    • Just a general tool to increase neuroplasticity
  • EEG recording for decentralized neuroscience research
    • Earn cash or cryptocurrency for participating in university research. Typical experiments pay $10 to $50 an hour.
    • Earn cash or cryptocurrency for watching advertisements. Typical neuromarketing experiments pay $75 to $125 an hour.
    • Earn cash or cryptocurrency for participating in vybuds-specific tasks over the Project Oblio marketplace.  Typical rates TBD.
  • EMG recording for controlling your music by non-verbal commands.
    • A vybuds-only capability, we are working on giving you the ability to play, pause, and skip songs without having to use your hands or speak.
    • Such commands, when made open-source, may allow for a lot of other non-verbal communication between you and your phone.

A 3D-printable version of vybuds, including standardized circuitry and assembly, will be made open-source prior to release.

Most viewed posts (start here):

  1. BMI Biometrics: What do we know?
  2. Liveness detectable biometrics and cybersecurity
  3. BMI Biometrics: What don’t we know?
  4. Potential benefit of using tACS in boosting memory
  5. Reverse-engineering the brain

For details on how we can potentially improve on traditional cryptocurrency techniques through an experimental proof-of-cognition, proof-of-humanity, and proof-of-individual consensus protocol, see #2 above,  currency and also anonymous biometrics.  Information about our organization’s potential impact can be found in values.

Our software protocol is currently being developed. Track its progress at our github.

Our hardware protocol is currently being manufactured overseas (for bulk distribution). Learn more about our game-changing electrodes at the vybuds website. This is for an EMG/tACS/Music-Headphone device, not the custom ASIC.

Reminder: A 3D-printable version of vybuds, including standardized circuitry and assembly, will be made open-source prior to release.

If at all interested in what we’re building, subscribe on the right to be notified of new posts.