The Paradigm of Social Dispersed Computing and the Utility of Agoras. By Dana Edwards. Posted on Steemit. October 12, 2018.
Social Dispersed Computing
What is socially dispersed computing? It is an edge oriented computing paradigm which goes beyond cloud and fog computing. To understand socially dispersed computing we first have to discuss dispersed computing and how it differs from the previous paradigm of cloud and fog computing. The current trend toward decentralized networks which we first saw with the peer to peer technologies such as Napster, Limewire, Bittorrent, and later with Bitcoin, have brought to us an opportunity to conceptually new paradigms. The original model most people are familiar with is the client server model which was very much limited in that the server was always vulnerable to DDOS attack. The client server model has never been and could likely never be censorship resistant.
In the client server model the server could simply shut down as was the case with Bitconnect or it could be raided. The server could also be shut down by hackers who simply flood the site with requests. As we can see from the problems the client server model presented we discovered the utility of the peer to peer model. The peer to peer model was all about censorship resistance and promoted a network which was to have no single point of failure (single point of attack) which could be result in the shutdown of access points to the information. One of the first applications for these peer to peer networks was file sharing networks and networks such as Freenet/Tor etc. This of course eventually evolved into the Bitcoin which ultimately led to the development of Steem.
In dispersed computing a concept is introduced called "Networked Computation Points". An NCP can execute a function in support of user applications. To elaborate further I'll offer something below.
Consider that every component in a network is a node. Now consider that every component node is an NCP in that it can execute some function to support some user application. If we think of for example a blockchain then we know mining would fit into this category because it is both a node in the network and it also can execute a function in support of Bitcoin transactions. Why is any of this important? Parallelism is something we can gain from dispersed computing and please note that it is distinct form concurrent computing. When we rely on parallelism we can reap the benefits in terms of performance when executing code by breaking it up into many small tasks which can be performed across many CPUs.
EOS attempts to leverage parallelism specifically to enable it's performance boost. The benefit is speed and flexibility. Think for example of the hardware side also with FGPAs which can do similar tasks of a microprocessor. FGPAs (not ASICs) which unlike ASICs would provide generalized flexible parallel computing. Consider that just like with mining a company could add more and more FGPAs to scale an application as needed.
To understand Social Dispersed Computing we have to make note of the fact that there are other users at any given time. For example the other users in the network participate to provide resources to the network for the benefit of other users whilst using the network. So in Steem for example as you add content to Steem you are adding value to Steem in a direct way, but also in a dynamic way. The resources on Steem also can adapt dynamically to the demand provided that the incentive mechanism (Resource Credits) works as intended.
EOS as an example DOSC (Dispersed Operating System Computer)
Because EOS seems to be the first to approach this holistically I will give credit to the EOS network for pioneering dispersed computing in the crypto space. All resources are representable by tokenization in a dispersed computing network. EOS and even Steem have this. Steem has it in the form of "Resource Credits" which represent the available resources on the Steem network. If more resources are needed then theoretically the resource credits could act as an incentive to provide these resources to the Steem network. This provides a permanent price floor to Steem represented as the amount of Steem which would have to be purchased in order to have enough resources to run Steem (if I have the correct theoretical understanding). This would put Steem on a trajectory toward dispersed computing.
Operating systems typically sit between the hardware and software as a sort of abstraction layer. This traditionally has been valuable because programmers don't have to directly speak to the hardware and hardware designers don't have to directly communicate by their designs to the programmer. In essence the operating system in the traditional model is centralized and made by a company such as Microsoft or Apple. This centralized operating system typically runs on a device or set of devices and provides some standard services such as email, a web browser, and maybe even a Bitcoin wallet.
Typically the most valuable or high utility software people consider on a computer is the operating system. In our smart phones this is Android OS and in PCs it may be Windows or Linux. This is of course thrown on it's head under the new paradigm of dispersed computing and the new conceptual model of the "decentralized" operating system. EOS is the first to attempt a decentralized operating system using current blockchain technology but the upcoming technology easily eclipses what EOS could do. Tauchain is a technology which if successful will leave EOS in the stone age in terms of what it will be able to do. EOS while ambitious also has had it's problems with regard to the voting mechanisms and the ease at which collusion can take place.
To better understand how decentralized operating systems emerge learn about:
If we look at OSKit we see that it is the tools necessary for operating system development. If we look at Tauchain we realize that it is strategically the most important tool for the development of a decentralized operating system being provided in the form of TML (a partial evaluator). If we think of the primary tool necessary to develop from we have to initially start with a compiler. A compiler generator is more like what TML allows with it's partial evaluator. More specifically it is the feature of Futamura projection which can provide the ability to generate compilers.
If we look at the next most important part of an operating system it is typically the kernel. Let's have a look at what an exokernel is:
Operating systems generally present hardware resources to applications through high-level abstractions such as (virtual) file systems. The idea behind exokernels is to force as few abstractions as possible on application developers, enabling them to make as many decisions as possible about hardware abstractions. Exokernels are tiny, since functionality is limited to ensuring protection and multiplexing of resources, which is considerably simpler than conventional microkernels' implementation of message passing and monolithic kernels' implementation of high-level abstractions.
By Thorben Bochenek [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
From this at minimum we can see that an exokernel is a more efficient and direct way for programmers to communicate with hardware. To be more specific, "programs" communicate with hardware directly by way of an exokernel. We know the most basic function of a kernel in an operating system is the management of resources. We know in a decentralized context that tokenization allows for incentives for management of resources. When we combine them we get kernel+tokenization to produce an elementary foundation of an operating system. In a distributed context we could apply a decentralized operating system in such a way that the network could be treated as a unified computer.
Abstraction is still important by the way. In an operating system we know the object oriented way of abstraction. Typically the programmer works with the concept of objects. In an "Application Operating Environment" an "Application Object" can be another useful abstraction. Abstraction can of course be taken further but that is for another blog post.
The Utility of Agoras
Agoras+TML is interesting. Agoras is the resource management component of what may evolve into the Tau Operating System. This Tau Operating System or TOS is something which would be vastly superior to EOS or anything else out there because of the unique abilities of Agoras. The main abilities have been announced on the website such as the knowledge exchange (knowledge market) where humans and machines alike can contribute knowledge to the network in exchange for the token reward. We also know that Agoras will have a more direct resource contribution incentive property in the form of the AGRS token so as to facilitate the sale or trade of storage, bandwidth or computation resources.
The possible (likely?) emergence of the Tau Operating System
In order for Tauchain to evolve into a Dispersed Operating System Computer it will need an equivalent to a kernel. Some means of allowing whomever is responsible for the Tauchain network to control and manage the resources of that network. If for example the users decide then by way of discussion there would be a formal specification or model of a future iteration of the Tauchain network. This according to current documents is what would produce the requirements for the Beta version of the network to apply program synthesis. Program synthesis in essence could result in a kernel and from there the components of a Tau Operating System could be synthesized in the same way. Just remember that all that I write is purely speculative as we have no way to predict with certainty the direction the community will take during the alpha.
''We live in a world in which no one knows the law.''
Ohad Asor, Sept 11, 2016
I continue herewith with sharing my contemporary state-of-grok  of the up to now four  scriptures of the aka newtau . Sorry for the delay, but it comes mostly from the efforts to contain the outburst of words, catalyzed by the very exegetic process of such a rich content, into a reader-friendly shorter form.
The subject of vivisection textographically identifies as the first three paragraphs of ''Tau and the Crisis of Truth'', Ohad Asor, Sep 11, 2016 .
The four core themes extracted are ennumerated bellow, with as modest as not to sidetrack the thought and to not spoil the original message, streak of comments of mine.:
As I guy who's immersed in Law for more than quarter of century  I can swear with both hands on my heart in the notion of unknowability of Law.
Since my youth years in the law school  I was asking myself how it is possible at all to have 'rule of law'  in case any legal system ever known required humans to operate !?
It seemed that the only requisite or categorcal difference between mere arbitrary 'rule of man'  and the 'rule of law' was that in some isolated cases some ruling men happened to be internally programmed by their morals  to produce 'rule of law' appearance effects by 'rule of man' means.
Otherwise 'rule of law' done via 'rule of man' poses extremely serious threats of law to be used by some to exploit and harm others.
In that line of thoughts my conclusion was that the Law is ... yet to come.
What we know as Law is not good networking protocol software of mankind as such, but rather we see comparatively rare examples of individually well programmed ... lawyers.
On the wings of a technological breakthrough, just like: flying came with the invention of airplanes and moonwalk needed the advent of rocketry, or to remember without to stay alive - the writing. The Law is an old dream. If we judge by the depth of the abyss of floklore - one of the humanity's most ancient dreams, indeed. Needless to repeat myself that this was what sucked me into Tau as relentlessly as a black hole spagetification  :)
The referred by Ohad frustration by Law of the great Franz Kafka  expressed in his book The Trial  becomes very understandable for Kafka's epoch lacking the comforting hope in a technology which we already have - the computers - and the overall progress in the field of logic, mathematics, engineering ... forming a self-reinforcing loop centered around this sci-tech of artificial cognition.
Similarly to the nuclear fusion, which is always few decades away, but the Fusion gap closes noticeably nowadays , we are standing on the cliff of a Legal gap.
The mankind's heavy involvement in cognition technologies, especially in the last several decades, outlined multiple promising directions of further development, which seem to bring us closer to abilities to compensate the fundamental deficiencies of Law and in fact to finally bring it into existence.
It took entire Ohad Asor, however, to identify the major reasons why the Law is bottlenecked out of our reach yet, and to propose viable means to bridge us through that Legal gap... The other side is already in sight.
It is in the first place the language to blame !
The human natural language . Our most important atribute as species. The mankind maker. The glue of society. It just emerged, it hasn't been created. It has rather ... patterns, vaguely conventional, than intentionally coined set of solid rules. There ain't firm rules to change its rules, either ... The natural human language is mostly wilderness of untamed pristine naked nature, dotted here and there with very expensive and hard to install and maintain ''arteftacts'' . Leave it alone out of the coercion of state mass media, mass education and national language institutes and it falls back into host of unintelligible dialects. Even when aided by the mnemonic amplifier which we call writing.
Ambiguity is characteristic of the natural language, a feature in poetry and politics, but a deadly bug in logic and law.
We'll put aside for now the postulate of impossibility of a single universal language to revisit it later when its exegetic turn comes. In another chapter onto another scripture. Likewise, not in this chapter we'll cover the neurological human bottlenecks which are targetted to be overcome by Tau. Lets observe the sequence of author's thoughts and to not fast forward.
Instead of that I'll dare to share with you my own hypothesis about why the natural human languages are so. (I'm smiling while I type this, cause I can visualize Ohad's reaction upon reading such frivolous lay narrative. I hope he being too busy will actually not to.) To say that the human languages are just too complex does not bring us any nearer to decent explanation. Many logic based languages are more than a match of the natural human ones in terms of expressiveness and complexity. It shouldn't be that reason.
My suspicion is rather that the natural human languages pose such a Moravec hardness  for being not exactly languages. Languages are conveyors of meaning. Human languages convey not meaning, but indexes or addresses or tags of mind states. The meaning is the mind state. Understanding between humans is function of not only shared learnt syntaxi, but also of shared lives. Of aggregation of similar mind states which to be referred by matching word keys.
If this is true it is another angle for grokking the solution of human users leaning towards the machine by use of human intelligible Machinish, instead of Tau waiting the language barrier to be broken and machines to start speaking and listening Humanish.
In a nutshell we yet wait the Law to come cuz Law is not doable in Humanish. Bad software. And the other side of the no-law coin is that the humans are no cognitive ASICs . We do congnition only meanwhile and in-order-to do what other animals do - to survive. Bad hardware.
In order law to become law it must become handsfree .
Not humans to read laws, but laws to read laws.
The technology to enable that looks on an arm's length.
Ok, so far we butchered the law and the language. What's left?
The nature and essence of human language brought one of the most harmful and devastating notions ever. Literally, a thought of mass destruction.
The ''crisis of truth''. The wasteland left by the toxic idea spilover of ''there is no one truth'' or even ''there ain't truth'' at all. This is not only abstract, philosophical problem. Billions of people actually got killed for somebody else's truth.
Not occasionally the philosophers who immersed themselves into this pool are nicknamed 'Deconstructivist' . Following back their epistemic genealogy, we see btw, that they are rooted rather in faith than in reasoning, but this is another story.
The general problem of truth, of which the problem of law is just a private case, opens up two important aspects:
Number one, is that all knowledge is conjectural to truth and that, truth is an asymptotic boundary - forever to close on but never to reach. Like speed of light or absolute zero. Number two, is that human languages make pretty lousy vehicles to chase the truth with.
If really words are just to match people's thoughts together, then there are thoughts without words and words without thoughts. Words mismatch thoughts, so how to expect they to bridge thoughts to things? Entire worlds on nonsensical wording emerge, dangerously disturbing the seamless unity of things and thoughts. Truth displaced.
''But can we at least have some island of truth in which social contracts can be useful and make sense?''
This island of shared truth is made of consensus  bedrock and synchronization  landmass.
Thuth and Law self-enforced. From within instead of by violence from without. And in self-referenial non-regressive way.
''We therefore remain without any logical basis for the process of rulemaking, not only the crisis of deciding what is legal and what is illegal." 
Peter Suber with his ''The Paradox of Self-Amendment: A Study of Law, Logic, Omnipotence, and Change''  proposed a rulemaking solution which he called Nomic .
''Nomic is a game in which changing the rules is a move.'' 
The merit of Nomic is that it really eliminates the illths of the infinite regress  of laws-of-changing-the-laws-of-changing-the-laws, ad infinitum, by use of transmutable self-referrenial rules. But Nomic suffers from number of issues - the first one, in the spotlight of that chapter, being the fact that we still remain with the “crisis of truth” in which there is no one truth, and the other ones - like sclability of sequencing and voting - we'll revisit in their order of appearance in the discussed texts.
The aka 'newtau'  went past the inherent limitations of the Nomic system and resolves the 'crisis of truth' problem.
The next few chapters will dive into Decidability and how it applies to provide solution to the problems described above.
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grok
 - https://steemit.com/tauchain/@karov/tauchain-exegesis-intro
 - https://steemit.com/tauchain/@karov/tauchain-exegesis-the-two-towers
 - http://www.idni.org/blog/tau-and-the-crisis-of-truth.html
 - http://www.behest.io/
 - https://steemit.com/blockchain/@karov/behest-for-tauchain
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_law
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrant
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morality
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaghettification
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Kafka
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trial
 - https://www.amazon.com/Merchants-Despair-Environmentalists-Pseudo-Scientists-Antihumanism/dp/159403737X
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Official_language
 - https://steemit.com/blockchain/@karov/tau-through-the-moravec-prism
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application-specific_integrated_circuit
 - https://www.etymonline.com/word/manipulation
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deconstruction
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus_decision-making
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synchronization
 - http://legacy.earlham.edu/~peters/writing/psa/index.htm
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomic
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_regress
 - the illustration is a painting courtecy of the author Georgi Andonov https://www.facebook.com/georgi.andonov.9674?tn-str=*F
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Suggested readings to better understand the Tau ecosystem, Tau Meta Language, Tau-Chain and Agoras, and collaborate in the development of the project.
Lecturas sugeridas para entender mejor el ecosistema Tau, Tau Meta Lenguaje, Tau-Chain y Agoras, y colaborar en el desarrollo del proyecto.