Consensus Morality and Tauchain | Consensus Gentium. By Dana Edwards. Posted on Steemit. September 15, 2018.
An ancient criterion of truth, the consensus gentium (Latin for agreement of the people), states "that which is universal among men carries the weight of truth" (Ferm, 64). A number of consensus theories of truth are based on variations of this principle. In some criteria the notion of universal consent is taken strictly, while others qualify the terms of consensus in various ways. There are versions of consensus theory in which the specific population weighing in on a given question, the proportion of the population required for consent, and the period of time needed to declare consensus vary from the classical norm.
In the past I made a controversial statement that the law is amoral. This statement I made is based on a simple understanding of legal positivism. Take note that I am not a legal scholar or legal philosopher. My background is in ethical philosophy and political philosophy. That being said if we look at the ideas behind legal positivism it leads to the conclusion that law and morality have nothing to do with each other. In this post I will try to clarify some of my thoughts on this topic and also address a question I was asked about whether Democracy is moral or immoral. I will also discuss the concept of consensus morality and the implications it could have on Tauchain which by design will be permitted to have law(s). Will the law(s) in Tauchain be moral or immoral? Is it possible to align a moral framework with the creation of all laws in Tauchain? Which moral framework and will it be reached by consensus?
In order to understand a lot of my post we first have to consider the question of what is consensus morality? So in order to discuss this topic I will divide morality up into; private morality, public morality. This also introduces the question of whether public morality is authentic or coerced as it depends on how it emerges.
Private morality is what you internally think or feel is right or wrong. This could be because you did some sophisticated calculation as a consequentialist or it could merely be that you feel a certain kind of way about it. In your opinion it is considered wrong. For example you could say: "eating meat is wrong" and this would be your personal opinion. This is an expression on how you feel about eating meat. Now if you say "eating meat is wrong because it promotes animal suffering" this is also an expression of your opinion but you now have a goal attached which is to avoid promoting animal suffering. The goal of not promoting animal suffering suggests that you value minimization of animal suffering as a kind of optimization strategy.
If you still you follow, private morality can also be based on your religious convictions where because the bible says it is wrong or because you were taught the golden rule that it is in your opinion wrong to do behaviors which violate these teachings. The golden rule is an example of a heuristic rule. There are many such rules which people follow including the example from Kant (categorical imperative) but it is still just an opinion based on adherence to a heuristic rule. We can also consider the non agression principle an example of a heuristic rule (a heuristic rule is a mental shortcut which people take because they believe it leads to good results most of the time).
Public morality on the other hand is a different kind of morality entirely. A private individual has a private morality because that individual is only responsible for themselves in their decisions. A public individual is in a position where other people have a stake in what they are doing. For example a CEO of a company cannot simply do what they think is right because the other shareholders have funds at stake. The CEO has a fiduciary duty which outweighs their personal opinions on what is right and wrong. This fiduciary duty is to the shareholders of the company and is both a legal and ethical obligation. In the case of a public company the rightness or wrongness of a decision if the company weighs consequences is based on data. For example a company might rely on focus groups to determine what a customer might want. A company would have to rely on spiritual advisers, ethical focus groups and determine what the shareholders (and customers) would perceive as right. This is because if the CEO does not do what is in the best interest of the shareholders and customers then the CEO will simply be replaced by another CEO who will.
Public morality is reached by some process which results in a moral consensus. The moral consensus of 2018 is not going to be the same as the moral consensus of 1969. This is to say that moral attitudes change over time. A company which seeks to exist and remain profitable for decades must remain in good moral standards for these decades. The only way a company can remain aligned with current moral trends is through a tactic of data analysis. In other words data science is how "right" and "wrong' are determined. For example public sentiment is tracked and from that the marketing team knows where the line in the sand is and what line not to cross in their marketing campaign. The phrase "we went too far" is common in business because going too far simply means to push the boundaries on what is acceptable (or unacceptable). This also can become problematic because if a company bets on a moral consensus in the 1800s (slavery is right) then that company might find after the Civil War (slavery is wrong) and now have to change their opinion. In other words the moral consensus is always changing and is in essence producing moral populism.
Consensus morality on Tauchain
Consensus morality is essentially a publicly recognized framework for right and wrong. Consensus morality on Tauchain for example could be arrived at if we simply have the discussions on topics of ethics. Over time our discussions will converge in such a way so as to produce a consensus morality. That is a moral attitude of the day, of the year, etc as it is merely what is currently the popular opinion and sentiment on what is right and what is wrong. So consensus morality is in my opinion likely to be a very important concept going forward and is a concept which Tauchain (and blockchains like Steem) may enable.
Consensus morality and potential problems
So the question I was asked is about democracy. The idea a person put forth to me was that democracy is immoral because it is a form of coercion. I do not personally buy into this idea that democracy is inherently immoral or inherently coercive. I will say that democracy implemented in the wrong way can become coercive. This is why the emphasis on privacy may be a requirement. If there is no privacy then all votes could be coerced. If the idea is to have a network which is truly moral then we would require that every moral opinion be expressible. Moral opinions which are unpopular are censored or discouraged from being expressed in a transparent ecosystem. This means a transparent ecosystem may in fact under certain circumstances produce a coerced consensus morality. That is that the votes which are public and attributable to certain individual may be mere virtue signals rather than honest (authentic) opinions on what is right and wrong.
As a result this transparency may skew the results of any poll about any subject. A private or anonymous poll can capture a result which in theory expresses some true opinion. In addition there is the possibility of futarchy to allow for prediction markets and other mechanisms to allow for true sentiment on moral questions to be discovered. My answer to the question is that whilst democracy is not inherently wrong it is also not inherently right. Democracy is a tool which when used in the right circumstances may be best suited for achieving the ends. If no better tool exists to achieve the ends then democracy may in fact be the choice which leads to the least bad consequences which compared to other potential choices. That being said the ideal of consequentialism is to over time reduce the wrongness and increase the rightness by measuring the consequences of every choice; such as private ballot voting vs transparent voting.
Privacy has both it's risks and its benefits with regard to consequences. The benefits include coercion resistance. The risks on the other hand include increased ability to bribe and thus coerce. So the idea being that while in theory a person with privacy can express an authentic opinion (have genuine speech rights) it is also true that anyone could be anonymously (privately) be selling their opinion and thus their vote. It is going to be a challenge to determine when privacy is the right tool for the job and when transparency is the right tool for the job.
In the positivist view, the "source" of a law is the establishment of that law by some socially recognised legal authority. The "merits" of a law are a separate issue: it may be a "bad law" by some standard, but if it was added to the system by a legitimate authority, it is still a law.
Legal positivism states that the law and morality are not one in the same. Just because something is legal it does not mean it is moral. Just because something is illegal it does not mean it is immoral. From this basis I reached a conclusion that because immoral laws exist (some laws are moral) that the law as a whole is amoral. That is to say that whether a law can be made or unmade does not demend on whether the law produces good consequences or even desirable consequences. We could for example look at the drug laws and war on drugs to see examples of policies which produce mass incarceration but was that the intended consequence? It would seem the drug laws would have to be immoral according to consequentialism unless the intended consequence was mass incarceration. If the intended consequence was harm reduction then the current drug laws are ineffective. What do these laws actually achieve? It doesn't really matter because the law is amoral. To align the law with morality is also problematic because it would only be able to align with public morality which under consequentialism may also often lead to bad or unintended consequences.
A potential solution is to allow participants in the ecosystem to rate the laws over time. Laws which receive a higher rating or lower rating would provide a feedback loop indicating when a law should be replaced. This is something that we don't seem to have in the current legal system or if we do have it then what is actually done if a lot of people express the opinion that a particular law is immoral or perhaps not moral enough? If every law on Tauchain could be rated, reviewed, discussed continuously, and improved indefinitely, then we may actually get somewhere.
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
― Robert A. Heinlein 
No, it is not a vow everybody to be everything. It is a reflection of the fundamental human fungibility . The average human can be taught to take any human role. The exceptions of true organic geniuses (those who are hard to be replaced) and morons (those who are incapable to replace), only confirm this general rule of shear numbers . This is what makes the mankind so scalable .
''Know'' is synonymous with ''can''. Literally. Knowledge = technology. Even etymologically . Knowledge is praxis . Only. There ain't such thing as impractical knowledge. If it is not a skill, it is not knowledge. I mentioned once  that we're all AIs. Ref.: feral children .
We are not what we eat , but we are what we've learnt. You are what you know/can. And you can what you have learnt. Learning is from the taking side. Teaching is on the giving side. Of one and a same process. We do not have a word to denote the modulus  of learning/teaching, it seems. But it will come.
We are taught by the others, the society. We are the cherry ontop of a layer cake of culture onto nature . We are learning by ... living. We acquire skills in plethora of contexts from family, street, school, job, media ... Learning  is not a monopoly of man, countless systems are also learners. Maybe one of the basic definitions of life and intelligence is the ability to learn . Giant topic, yeah. We won't graze into it here now on what is learning, but on how we learn.
Due to our neurological bottlenecks we spontaneously form hierarchies . This hinders our scalabilty  by forcing humanity to be more or less a fractal of 5. We are close to a number of breakthroughs which to mitigate these innate limitations of ours into a number of ways    . But the general case is not subject of this article - herein we focus on HOW we are taught. How we acquire knowledge, and how this knowledge of ours gets recognized and utilized by society. And the hierarchic emergent structuring is of course in full force upon us in teaching as well as into everything social else.
So comes education , such comes exam , knowledge certification , certified skills application , knowledge creation verification , job fitness testing , CVs and employer recommendations ... etc., etc. With all the bugs and the so little features of this 'map is not the territory' , situation.
It is all centralized and hierarchic - exactly as the global fractal of double-entry accountancy ledgers which we call fiat financial system is. In fact it is so interwoven with fiat finance than it is almost inextricable from it . And as much inefficient and imprecise.
In all these years of talking and thinking on Tauchain  - I noticed - and this suspicion of mine incrementally turns into shear conviction - that Tau, the upscaler of humanity, inevitably also is the ultimate teaching machine. If education is facilitating of learning, Tau is the maximizer of learning. By its very construction, it comes out so.
People talk and listen whenever and whatever they want. Tau has unlimited capacity to listen and attend and remember, and answer. Only limited by the hardware capacity allocated. Tau extracts meaning. Purifies the stream, distills it down to the essence. Detects repetitions, contradictions and all other, ubiquitous nowadays conversation bugs. Remembers changes of opinions of the individual user. And points them out. Sounds like the best tool to know oneself. And the others to know you if you let them.
Your Tau account or profile is what you know. You say what you say and also ask. Say statements and questions. Tau pools you together with the others who state the same and, more importantly, who ask the same type of questions. Knowing what you know, and asking about what you don't know but want to know, maps not only your knowledge state but also maps your knowledge dynamics. Records and drives how your knowledge changes. You even have access to what you forget, and can recollect it. True real time knowledge state reporting. For first time in human history.
If consciousness  is - aside from the clinical state of being merely awake - the post-factum integration of senso-motoric experience , the Accountant of mind, the speaker of the narrative which is you, then Tau is your consciousness booster. That is - stronger than thought.
The ultimate teaching, the ultimate fair testing or exam, the ultimate real-time comprehensive diploma, or certificate, super-peer reviewed paper(s) of you as academic carrer.., the ultimate job interview AND the ultimate ... job of being working as yourself and anything useful you create to be instantly scarcifiable and monetizable - your Tau account is! And all the rest of accessible socoety - being your own workforce. And you to them. In the billions. In a move. In real time.
Including control over the pathways of increase of your skills towards the most productive personally for you learning directions, because it aids you to analyze the you-Tau history and to apply knowledge maximizer techniques and to participate profitably into creation of newer better ones. Maximizer of self. And maximizer of society making it to consist of max-selfs. Ever improving. Merger of education with work occupation. Work-as-you-live.
The literal Knowledge Economy, as described by @trafalgar in his article  from few months ago. Where search, creation, reflection, certification, recognition, commercialization, accumulation, modification, improvement ... everything of knowledge - is all in one.
And it is not only Humans and Tau lonely job. I foresee the other Machines to join the party . Yes, I mean machines capable to have interests and to ask and seek answers of palatable questions.
This - the education amplification - to come down the technology way - has been, of course, anticipated by many. Few arbitrary examples:
- A distant rough-sketch hint for the inevitable tuition power of Tau is Neil Stephenson's  ''The Diamond age''  , with the depicted: '' Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer '' , as an interactive networked teaching device.
- or if I'm right about the inevitable conquest of the natural languages territory  - UX  like in the 'Her' (2013) film .
- Thomas Frey  of the futurist DaVinci Institute  in his book ''Epiphany Z''  paid special attention of this.: down the way of micro- and nano-education, an effective merger of the processes of education, diplomas issuing, job application, exam and actual execution of job obligations. Tom does not know about Tau. But I'll tell him.
With a big smile of irony and self-irony of course... these examples. Just to pick from here and there proofs of the giant anticipation of what's to come. And taken with a few big grains of salt. Cause the reality will be immensely more powerful.
Tutor , tuition , my emphasis via using exactly this wording, comes to denote the economic side of learning/teaching. It is about the cost of learning - the association of tuition with fees, about the placement of the acquired skills, about the business organization of those, about the protection of ownership and security of transaction of knowledge ... Let me introduce here a neologism  which to reflect the business side of it:
Scrooge Factor 
- Simply denoting the money-making power of a technology use by a business. The 'money suction power' of a business entity or organization of any kind coming from the application of a technology, if you want. Technology as socialized knowledge. Scaled up over multiple humans. Over a society. Of course the Scrooge Factor can pump in different directions. The Scrooge Factor of the traditional hierarchic education, governance and everything ... is apparently very often negative - hierarchies decapitalize, dissipate, waste. Orders of magnitude more wasteful than any PoW , but on this - some other time.
So aside from all the niceties of the abstractions of the full supply and value chains of a Knowledge economy, lets round up some numbers:
- We know that a true functional semantic search engine alone is worth $10t. Yeah. Tens of Trills. Trillions. As per the assessments of Davos WEF attendees of as far as I remember 2015 or 2016...
- Also, Bill Gates stated back in 2004  that ''If you invent a breakthrough in artificial intelligence, so machines can learn,'' Mr. Gates responded, ''that is worth 10 Microsofts.''
- Tom Frey  also argued  that by 2030 the biggest corporation in the world will be an online school. Given the present day size and growth rate  of, say, Amazon  this 'online school' should be in the range of good deal of trillions of marcap if it is to be bigger than the biggest corporations. But we do not need such indirect analogies over analogies to access the scale. The shear size of the global education industry is the most eloquent indicator . Note that Tom talks about 'corporation' i.e. for clumsy and inefficient hierarchic human collective. Not for a system which does this orders of magnitude more efficiently and powerfully due to being intrinsically P2P, i.e. geodesic . Even the best futurologists can be forgiven for missing to predict Tau. :)
And this mind-boggling hail of trillions, does not even account for the Hanson Engine  factor.
Tau the Tutor ex Machina is just another unintended useful consequence outta the overall design.
It is nearly impossible to track and contemplate exactly what all these 'side-effects' would be and how they will synergetically boost each other.
With my articles I intend to only touch some lines of the immense phase space  of the possibilia, with neither any ambition to think it is possible to cover it all, nor this to represent any form of advice.
Future is incompressible. Compression is comprehension. Comprehensible only by living.
Failure to go to the geodesic way of learning, will turn these beautiful but trilling words into prophecy:
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age." H.P.Lovecraft  (1926 ).''
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