If Money = Memory, if Society = a Super Computer, if Computation is in Physical Systems, what is a Decentralized Operating System? By Dana Edwards. Posted on Steemit. October 24, 2018.
These concepts are not often discussed so let's have the discussion from the beginning. The first concept to think about is pancomputationalism or put another way the ubiquitous computers which exist everywhere in our environment. We for example can look at physical systems living and non living and see computations taking place all around us. If you look at rocks and trees you can see memory storage. If you look at DNA you can see code and if you look at viruses you can see microscopic programmers adding new codes to DNA. Even when we look at the weather such as a hurricane it is computing.
If you look at nature you see algorithms. You will see learners (yes the same as in AI), also in nature. The process is basically the same for all learning. Consider that everything which is physical is also digital. Consider that the universe is merely information patterns.
If we look at society we can also think of society as a computer. What does society compute though? One way people talk about a society is as a complex adaptive system, but this is also how people might talk about the human body. The human body computes with the purpose of maintaining homeostasis, to persist through time and reproduce copies of itself over time. The human brain computes to promote the survival of the human body. Just as viruses pass on codes to our DNA, the human brain is infected with mind viruses which are called memes. Memes are pieces of information which can alter physically how the brain is working.
The mind isn't limited to the brain. The mind is all the resources the brain can leverage to compute. In other words a person has a brain to compute with but when language was invented this allowed a person to compute not just using their own brain but using the environment itself. To draw on a cave is to use the cave to enhance the memory of the brain. To use mathematics is to use language to enhance the ability of the brain to compute by relying on external storage and symbol manipulation. To use a computer with a programming language is essentially to use mathematics only instead of writing on the cave wall we are writing in 1s and 0s. The mind exists to augment the brain in a constant feedback loop where the brain relies on the mind to improve itself and adapt. If there were no external reality the brain would have no way to evolve itself and improve.
A society in the strictly human sense of the word is the aggregation of minds. This can be at minimum all the human minds in that society. As technology improves the mind capacity increases because each human can remember more, can access more computation resources, can in essence use technology to continuously improve their mind and then leverage the improved mind to improve their brain. The Internet is the pinnacle of this kind of progress but it's obviously not good enough. While the Internet allows for the creation of a global mind by connecting people, things, and minds, it does nothing to actually improve the feedback loop between the mind and the brain, nor does it really offer what could be offered.
Bitcoin came into the picture and perhaps we can think of it as a better memory. A decentralized memory where essentially you can have money. The problem is that money is a very narrow application. It is the start, just as to learn to write on the cave wall was a start, but it's not ambitious enough in my opinion.
Humans in the current blockchain or crypto community do not have many ways where human computation can be exchanged. Human computation is just as valuable as non biological machine computation because there are some kinds of computations which humans can do quite easily which non biological machines still cannot do as well. Translation for example is something non biological machines have a difficult time with but human beings can do well. This means a market will be able to form where humans can sell their computation to translate stuff. If we look at Amazon Mechanical Turk we can see many tasks which humans can do which computer AI cannot yet do, such as labeling and classifying stuff. In order for things to go to the next level we will need markets which allow humans to contribute human computer and or human knowledge in exchange for crypto tokens.
The concept of a decentralized operating system is interesting. First if there are a such thing as social computations (such as collaborative filtering, subjective ranking, waze, etc) then what about the new paradigm of social dispersed computing?
The question becomes what do we want to do with this computing power? Will we use it to extend life? Will we use it to spread life into the cosmos? Will we use it to become wise? To become moral? To become rational? If we want to focus on these kinds of concerns then we definitely need something more than Bitcoin, Ethereum, or even EOS. While EOS does seem to be pursuing the strategy of a decentralized operating system which seems to be the correct course, it does not get everything right.
One problem is as I mentioned before the importance of the feedback loops between minds and brains. The reason I always communicate on the concept of external mind or extended mind is based on that fact that it is the mind which creates the immune system to protect the brain from harmful memes. The brain keeps the body alive. The brain is not really capable of rationality, or morality, or logic, and relies on the mind to achieve this. The mind is essentially all the computation resources that the brain can leverage.
EOS has the problem in the sense that it doesn't seem to improve the user. The user can connect, can join, can earn or sell, can participate, but unless the user can become wiser, more rational, more moral, then EOS has limits. EOS does have Everpedia which is quite interesting but again there are still problems. What can EOS do to improve people in society and thus improve society, if society is a computer and is in need of being upgraded?
Well if society is a computer first what does society compute? What should it compute? I don't even know how to answer those questions. I could suggest that if computation is a commodity along with data then whichever decentralized operating systems that do compete and exist will compete for these commodities. The total brain power of a society is just as important as the amount of connectivity. And the mind of the society is the most important part of a society because it is what can allow the society to become better over time, allow the people in the society to thrive, allow the life forms to continue to evolve avoid extinction.
A decentralized operating system on a technical level would have a kernel or something similar to it. This is the resource management part. For example Aragon promises to offer a decentralized OS and it too mentions having a kernel. A true decentralized operating system has to go further and requires autonomous agents. Autonomous agents which can act on behalf of their owners are philosophically speaking the extended mind. But the resources of a society is still finite, has to be managed, and so a kernel would provide for an ability to allow for resource management.
The total computation ability of a society is likely a massive amount of resources. A lot more than just to connect a bunch of CPUs together. Every member of the society which can compute could participate in a computation market. Of course as we are beginning to see now, the regulators seem concerned about certain kinds of social computations such as prediction markets. So it is unknown how truly decentralized operating systems would be handled but my guess is that if designed right then they could be pro-social, be capable of producing augmented morality by leveraging mass computation, and also by leveraging human computation be able to be compliant. To be compliant is simply to understand the local laws but these can be programmed into the autonomous agents if people think it is necessary.
What is more important is that if a law is clearly bad, and people have enhanced minds, then it will be very clear why the law is bad. This clarity will help people to dispute and seek to change bad laws through the appropriate channels. If there is more wisdom, due to insights from big data, from data scientists, etc, then there can be proposals for law changes which are much wiser and more intelligent. This is something specifically that people in the Tauchain community have realized (that technology can be used to improve policy making).
A lot is still unknown so these writings do not provide clear answers. Consider this just a stream of consciousness about concepts I am deeply contemplating. This is also a way to interpret different technologies.
Tauchain 101: Essential Reading On One Of The Most Revolutionary Blockchain Project Under The Radar...By Rok Sivante. Published on Steemit. August 3, 2018.
Amidst countless blockchain projects hyping themselves up as "the next big thing," there are a few that have been working under the radar that hold the promise - not in word, but in substance - of truly being revolutionary game-changers.
Such ventures have not yet often come into the spotlight. Partly, due to that their founders have focused first on the fundamentals of creating something that speaks for itself versus the all-too-common approach of prioritizing sensationalistic marketing. And partly, because the degree of innovativeness they represent - in tandem with a complexity in scope of the larger visions and implications of their success - does not always lend itself to an easy understanding upfront.
One such project - still very early on in its development, yet holding transformative potentials no less grand than those of Bitcoin and Ethereum as they birthed and evolved the blockchain landscape:
Until recently, with the launch of a new website that has successfully managed to articulate the project's vision much more clearly, understanding what Tauchain is striving to accomplish was a domain only a very few, highly-intelligent technically-inclined dared to tread. And prior to December 2018, there was no code - only an unproven concept spearheaded by a single Israeli developer, Ohad Asor, whom nearly all who've managed to connect with have declared to be one of the most brilliant geniuses they've ever met, possibly ahead of his time.
Just as Bitcoin introduced blockchain as an innovation radically altering the trajectory of our societal, economic, and technological evolution - and Ethereum continued in suit with its upgrades to expand in developing upon the vision with entirely new sets of capabilities for developing a range of decentralized applications and smart contracts - so too, may Tauchain be such a platform whose success proves comparable, the impact of which may bring quantum leaps in the Blockchain Revolution.
How and where to start in describing Tauchain...?
Well, were we to begin with the technical side of things, it'd be likely to lose 98% of the audience. So perhaps, a better starting point might be the bigger picture:
This generalized overview, however, still only barely scratches the surface.
While the intended ends may be that of a generic concept enabling drastically-increased efficiency in global collaboration, the means by which such is to be achieved entails a number of innovative component developments that each hold great significance and implications of their own.
While each may require deeper exploration to better grasp and begin piecing together into the bigger picture, the Tauchain website now offers an overview of key features which account for just some of what it to differentiate it from other blockchain platforms - and enable new collaborative capabilities not currently possible with currently existing technologies:
While it'd be possible to expand upon each in great detail - both in regards to the functionality and implications for their applications - this particular piece of writing is to serve as a basic introduction to some of the best, most-easily-accessible content written on Tauchain to-date.
And as we transition into that content, we shall begin with a quote summarizing the core essence of Tauchain, as approached from but one angle:
This project created by Ohad Asor is really ambitious and aims to create the internet of knowledge.
Some people would label it as an Artificial Intelligence, but according to the creator this is something totally different. Summing up and to understand me, Tau-chain is a tool that knows how to interpret any information and deduce any consensus. This tool can be used in any field, judicial, political, academic, social, scientific and also without limits assembly from 2 people to a million for example.
~ @capitanart, from "My experience with Tau-chain"
The collection begins with two selections from Steemit's @trafalgar.
If anyone has successfully managed to distill the essence of the Tauchain vision into words that'd serve as a foundational Tauchain 101 intro, it'd have been him in these two excellent pieces:
What Is Tau? - My Only Other Crypto Investment
The Power of Tau - Scaling the Creation of Knowledge
Next, come three short articles from @flis, which may not go into any new details beyond the three above, yet offer a slightly different yet simplified perspective to reinforce the clarification of Tauchain's key concepts:
The vision of Tau-Chain, a blockchain based self-amending platform designed to scale human collaboration and knowledge building
How Tau-Chain can be implemented in practice
Tau Chain vs. Tezos - which platform will provide a better solution?
~ design credit: @voronoi
Next, come a few selections from @dana-edwards, who has likely been the single individual who has translated the highly-complex technical vision of Ohad Asor into a more-approachable nature from which non-academics may begin and better understanding a Tauchain.
Quite possibly the first to write of developments and share outside of the project’s IRC channel and Bitcoin talk thread, Dana has one of the most comprehensive grasps publicized anywhere on the project, and his writings continue to serve in establishing bridges for more people to discover and deepen their own comprehensions of the innovations Tauchain represents to not only computer science and the blockchain revolution, but cultural & societal evolution as well.
What follows are a collection of his writings related to the project which excellently piece together key ideas and insights, from which the gaps may be filled in to grasp a firmer idea of just how significant these developments could be and what the bigger picture of their success might look like:
What Tauchain can do for us: Collaborative Serious Alternate Reality Games
What Tauchain can do for us: Finding the world's biggest problems
Tauchain: The automated programmer
Artificial morality: Moral agents and Tauchain
What Tauchain can do for us: Effective Altruism + Tauchain
Collaborative Alternate Reality Games + Tauchain = UBAs (Universal Basic Assets)?
Tauchain and Tezos, why adaptability is the key to surviving in a fast changing environment
My commentary on Ohad's latest blog post: "Agoras to TML"
The following three pieces are not introductory-level, and may likely require a background in computer programming to understanding. However, for anyone reading who might be interested in diving deeper into the technical side of the project, they are included here:
Tauchain is not easy to understand but here are some concepts to know to track Ohad's progress
For all who are researching Tauchain (TML) to understand how it works, a nice video!
More on partial evaluation - How does partial evaluation work and why is it important?
~ design credit: @crypticalias
One other writer covering Tauchain needing to be mentioned: @karov.
While not the easiest to read and understand, the Steemit account of Georgi Karov is undoubtedly one of the most consistent sources of coverage on the project.
A lawyer by-trade and currently one of the three members of the core team, @karov's insights into the project are reliably detailed, expansive into philosophical territory, and fascinating.
Although none of his articles have been included in this introductory collection, those who may be interested to keep up-to-date with coverage on the project would be well-advised to follow his Steemit blog - and/or read backwards through the last few months of his posts there, as the blog is nearly-entirely Tauchain-related content.
Lastly, though not least:
Coming from one of Steemit's most brilliant early-adopter-minds, @kevinwong, this one is a quick read in itself with some key points worth factoring in to a proper assessment of the project. And - far lengthier than the post itself - the comments thread also contains some gold:
Is Tauchain Agoras in Good Hands?
And to wrap up with another excellent quotes from design consultant to the project, @capitanart - who is another to follow for updates:
The goal of Tau is to create a supermind, to solve the limitations inherent in human communication on a large scale.
Able to deduce consensus and understand discussions, Tau can generate and execute code automatically based on consensus, through a process known as code synthesis. This will greatly accelerate the production of knowledge and streamline most of the large-scale collaborative efforts we can imagine in today's world.
~ design credit: @overdye
''Thinking by Machine: A Study of Cybernetics''
by Pierre de Latil 
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company in 1957 (c.1956), Boston.
Foreword of Isaac Asimov (then only 36 years old) ! Recommendation by the legendary mathematician and cyberneticist Norbert Wiener (then 62 years old) ! ... A true jewel! The book is described as:
A review of "the last ten years' progress in the development of self-governing machines," describing "the principles that make the most complex automatic machines possible, as well as the fundamentals of their construction."
Nineteen fifties !! The midway between the first digital computer made by my half-compatriot John Atanasoff  and internet . Almost a human generation span between the former, the book and the later event. Epoch so deep in the past that even television, air travel, rockets and nukes ... were young then.
Same Kondratieff  wave phase btw, which hints towards the historical rhyming of socially important intellectual interests. (On how K-waves imprint on the humanity growth curve - in series of other posts to come).
I must admit here that I've never put my hands and eyes onto this book. But, it is stamped into my mind and memory by Stanislaw Lem  - one of the greatest philosophers of the XXth century, working under the disguise of a Sci-Fi writer, for being caught on the wrong side of the Iron curtain.
''Summa Technologiae'' (1964)  is a monumental work of Lem's, where most issues discussed sound more contemporary nowadays than they were the more than half a century ago when it was built, and for many things also we are yet in the deep past ...
... Lem reports and discussed the following from the aforementioned Pierre de Latil's book.:
''As a starting point will serve a graphic chart classifying effectors, i.e., systems capable of acting, which Pierre de Latil included in his book Artificial Thinking [P. de Latil: Sztuczne mys´lenie. Warsaw 1958]. He distinguishes three main classes of effectors. To the first, the deterministic effectors, belong simple (like a hammer) and complex devices (adding machine, classical machines) as well as devices coupled to the environment (but without feedback) - e.g. automatic fire alarm. The second class, organized effectors, includes systems with feedback: machines with built-in determinism of action (automatic regulators, e.g., steam engine), machines with variable goals of action (externally conditioned, e.g., electronic brains) and self-programming machines (system capable of self-organization). To the latter group belong the animals and humans. One more degree of freedom can be found in systems which are capable, in order to achieve their goals, to change themselves (de Latil calls this the freedom of the "who", meaning that, while the organization and material of his body "is given" to man, systems of that higher type can - being restricted only with respect to the choice of the building material - radically reconstruct the organization of their own system: as an example may serve a living species during biological evolution). A hypothetical effector of an even higher degree also possesses the freedom of choice of the building material from which "it creates itself". De Latil suggests for such an effector with highest freedom - the mechanism of self-creation of cosmic matter according to Hoyle's theory. It is easy to see that a far less hypothetical and easily verifiable system of that kind is the technological evolution. It displays all the features of a system with feedback, programmed "from within", i.e., self-organizing, additionally equipped with freedom with respect to total self-reconstruction (like a living, evolving species) as well as with respect to the choice of the building material (since a technology has at its disposal everything the universe contains).
Longish quote, but every word in it is a worth. When I've read this as a kid back in 1980es ... immediately came to my mind the next, the seventh logical higher effector class.: the worldmaker !!
The degrees of freedom of all the previous six according to the classical taxonomy of de Latil are confined by the rule-set, the local laws of physics.
They are prisoners of an universe. Like birds incapable to reconfig their cage into roomier and cozier ones.
If we regard the laws of nature as code or algorithm, my 7th level effector will be capable to draft and implement itself onto newer and stronger algorithmic foundations. ( Note the seamlessness between computation and robotics in Latil/Lem categorization construct - quite logical indeed, having in mind that software is state of hardware, that matter-form-action are inextricable from each other, but on this in series of other times and posts ... ). Without bond?
So, I wonder:
Where, you reckon, is Tauchain  placed onto the Latil's effectors map?
The vision of Tau-Chain, a blockchain based self-amending platform designed to scale human collaboration and knowledge building. By Isar Flis. Posted on Steemit. January 8, 2018.
The Crypto-Currency Market
With the fluctuation in the price of Bitcoin, there are more voices claiming that the crypto-currency market is a bubble, warning investors about the risks of investing and possibly losing their funds. One of the claims is that virtual coins have no real value. However, by carefully studying this market, the potential investor will discover that some projects include technology, innovation, true vision and strong community, thus creating a fiscal value like that of other successful startup companies.
Today, it is difficult to predict which coin will secure a place among the top currencies on Coinmarketcap. There are large number of projects and buzz-words, used in fancy websites and white-papers, which make it challenging to extract the relevant information and make educated investments. In addition, there are projects that work “under-the-radar” and are very technical to comprehend, discouraging potential investors.
I would like to discuss one of these technical projects that works under-the-radar, without a fancy website or extensive marketing campaign but with brilliant innovation and fast-growing community. The name of the project is Tau-Chain (Agoras tokens on Coinmarketcap), developed by Ohad Asor.
Tau is a collaboratively self-amending program designed to scale human collaboration and knowledge building. To further clarify the explanation, think about a platform that can develop any computer program the user desires, based solely on discussions with his or her team about the program’s specification and development. The use of such a platform can change not only the crypto-ecosystem, but all branches of science.
Tau’s vision has a long way to go. However, Ohad has developed a detailed roadmap to achieve his vision. Tau will be developed in four stages, as follows:
Tau Meta Language (TML): TML is the base language that will enable all users to interact with each other, no matter what computer language they speak. Think about it as the technology behind Google Translate, but for computer languages, or as Ohad calls it: “the Internet of Languages”.
Alpha: Alpha is a social platform that promotes discussions between infinite numbers of users. Today, an effective conversation cannot be held when too many people take part in the decision-making process (that is why democracy was created). However, Alpha will be able to scale these discussions and detect logical points of consensus between users, thus enabling better knowledge sharing and construction.
Beta: Beta will advance Alpha to enable the development of computer programs, based on user discussions in the platform. To make this more tangible, think of Wix.com where anyone can easily develop a website, even without the technical expertise. With Beta, the code for any computer program will be developed based on specific instructions that the user provides.
Tau: Tau is where blockchain is introduced, thereby creating a decentralized platform (the Tau-Chain), compared to the centralized Beta. Tau will be self-amending and will be able to deduce knowledge based on the information submitted by its users. In its final stage, Tau will amplify the creation of knowledge for its users, advancing current human-knowledge, research and development in different disciplines, such as physics, mathematics and computer science.
The reasoning behind designing the roadmap in four stages is that each stage can support the advancement of the next one. This year we expect the development of the first two stages, TML and Alpha, to be completed. Using Alpha’s discussion platform, an infinite number of developers can join the project to build Beta, expediting its go-to-market date. After Beta is developed, it will only be a matter of time until Tau is completed as all technical challenges will be resolved using Beta.
The legal entity behind this operation is called “IDNI” (Intelligent Decentralized Networks Initiatives), which is composed by Tau’s development team and support units.
So, what is Agoras?
While Tau creates a true knowledge society, Agoras is about creating true monetary knowledge, by powering the ecosystem built via Tau. Agoras will be used to execute the applications of Tau, Zennet (Computational Resource Market), derivatives trading platform and further developments to be built as part of Tau’s ecosystem.
There are 42 million agoras in total. Most of the tokens were sold by Ohad during 2017. The sold tokens, named IDNI Agoras, represent the future Agoras coins holders will receive upon the completion of Tau (fourth stage), where the blockchain is introduced.
The current price of one IDNI Agoras is around ~$2 (traded on Bittrex), which has shown a steady growth throughout the development of the project. The initial code that was released as a proof of concept strengthened the confidence of investors in Tau, compared to competing projects.
I foresee huge potential for this project, and urge you to read and learn about this project and its relevant applications. If you find this vision interesting, I recommend that you follow the project on Telegram, Facebook and Reddit, or read Ohad’s blog for further information.
Disclaimer: I have invested in Agoras. Please do your own research before investing in Agoras and/or any other coin or project. Please do not consider this article to constitute financial advice.
What is Tau?
Tau is a decentralized network that can amend itself based on decisions f its users. Tau will provide a platform for users to reach agreements and decisions, in the largest scale seen so far. A social platform to reach agreements: Tau is a blockchain based platform that will allow for on-the-fly logical consensus detection which enables it to scale some of the largest bottlenecks to human advancement including social governance and knowledge creation. By using a self defining and decidable logical framework, Tau is the first platform able to gather data voluntarily submitted by its users and logically deduce valuable knowledge over a network secured with the blockchain technology. What this means is that in effect, we can scale collaborative endeavors between thousands of users to greatly accelerate the production of knowledge. The only dynamic decentralized social network: When Tau’s community will face a decision to change Tau or its blockchain protocol, they will just need to express their opinions and perspectives, like we do today in the social networks, and Tau will self-amend itself based on users’ agreement. Considering the perspectives of the entire community (unlike voting) is the only way to reach a decentralized decision that benefits all users. Tau’s ability to scale discussions is the only decentralized solution to create a true dynamic protocol.
What is Agoras?
Agoras is a cryptocurrency and an integral platform built over the Tau network and will serve as the primary economy. While Tau creates a true knowledge society, Agoras is about creating true monetary knowledge, by powering the ecosystem built via Tau. Agoras will be used to execute the applications of Tau, Zennet (Computational Resource Market), derivatives trading platform and further developments to be built as part of Tau’s ecosystem. Through the power of Tau, we envision the possibility of fully autonomous businesses operating over the Agoras virtual economy.
Special fields: Language, Knowledge, Economy, Collaboration, Discussion, Choice, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Logic, Dynamic Protocol, Decentralized Network, Internet of Languages
Logo by CapitanArt
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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.