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.
Truth vs Consensus
Truth can be thought of either as something which we can prove by experiments or it can be the result of a consensus. A scientific fact is arrived at by the process of conducting scientific experimentation. A mathematical fact is discovered by finding a proof. Consensus is discovered by analysis of sentiment (or by voting) to determine what the majority currently believes at a point in time about a subject. The truth of the scientists might not match up with the popular consensus at the time. The mathematical proof might say one thing but a majority of people might agree to disagree with the math. We have seen this happen in the past and this blog post is a discussion on that topic. Particularly for Tauchain we have the question of what is the truth and what is more important? Do we care more about the truth or more about consensus?
Tauchain offers helpers in the form of reasoners and logic to improve the quality of discussion. These helpers will not necessarily work unless people agree to accept the results generated. In addition, the bias people inherently have could influence what they discuss in the first place which could create a consensus but not necessarily an improvement.
Consensus as Truth
According to the "truth by consensus" paradigm the truth is produced by consensus gentium. Consensus gentium means agreement of the people. In my previous post I discussed exactly this topic: Consensus Morality and Tauchain | Consensus Gentium. To be specific we can think of consensus gentium to mean: "the truth is what everyone currently believes". In this model of truth we can only get the truth by finding out what everyone believes but how do we determine what people believe? It is a challenge to find a way to determine what people actually believe in a blockchain context. One method of attempting this is called Futarchy which provides an economic reward and an economic cost for having correct or incorrect beliefs. In essence under Futarchy the people must bet on their beliefs rather than just vote. Under Futarchy prediction markets are used to apply market elements to produce a market consensus truth.
Consensus gentium in an environment where there is persecution and or coercion can result in widely held "beliefs" which are enforced into existence such as the belief in geocentrism. Victims of this kind of persecution may include Galileo who was forced to recant his beliefs or face the inquisition. Ancient Greek philosopher Anaximander proposed that the universe revolved around the earth and this idea caught on. Once the idea caught on it became the gospel truth and over time it became blasphemous to dispute this belief. We continue to see this happen even now in the cryptospace with for example the belief of "code is law" or that "blockchains must be immutable", but these too are beliefs based on a particular set of values which the holders of these beliefs hold dear.
Consensus as a regulative ideal
A descriptive theory is one that tells how things are, while a normative theory tells how things ought to be. Expressed in practical terms, a normative theory, more properly called a policy, tells agents how they ought to act. A policy can be an absolute imperative, telling agents how they ought to act in any case, or it can be a contingent directive, telling agents how they ought to act if they want to achieve a particular goal. A policy is frequently stated in the form of a piece of advice called a heuristic, a maxim, a norm, a rule, a slogan, and so on. Other names for a policy are a recommendation and a regulative principle.
In this case we have a distinction between the way things are and the way things ought to be. Policies can be directed to shape the way things ought to be.
The problem with consensus as truth | argumentum ad populum
If consensus equals truth, then truth can be made by forcing or organizing a consensus, rather than being discovered through experiment or observation, or existing separately from consensus. The principles of mathematics also do not hold under consensus truth because mathematical propositions build on each other. If the consensus declared 2+2=5 it would render the practice of mathematics where 2+2=4 impossible.
A big problem is that of coercion. Another big problem is that popular opinion can in fact lead to really bad outcomes. If something is true at a point of time merely because a lot of people believe it then we are basing our decisions merely on what a lot of people believe. This can result in decisions which satisfy what is popular yet also unwise. A lot of people believe a lot of crazy wrong stuff but this does not mean they do not passionately believe it. The question of truth is more about what is true even if not very many people believe it. Geocentricism turned out to be false even though a lot of people believed it at some point in time. On the other hand the laws of physics appear to be true for 13 billion years even during times when a lot of people didn't believe it.
The State, or the ruling government, has the special role of taking care of the people; however, what distinguishes the Chinese ruling government from other ruling governments is the respectful attitude of the citizens, who regard the government as part of their family. In fact, the ruling government is "the head of the family, the patriarch." Therefore, the Chinese look to the government for guidance as if they are listening to their father who, according to Chinese tradition, enjoys high reverence from the rest of the family. Furthermore, "still another tradition that supports state control of music is the Chinese expectation of a verbal 'message.'" A "verbal message" is the underlying meaning behind people's words. In order to get to the "verbal message," one needs to read into words and ask oneself what the desired or expected response would be.
The importance of modeling opinion dynamics in Tauchain. By Dana Edwards. Posted on Steemit. October 9, 2018.
The videos I recommend anyone watch to understand the importance of this are listed below:
Opinion dynamics modeling in society (part 1)
How do governments determine policy priorities?
The Hidden Trump Model - Opinion Dynamics w/ Social Desirability Bias - H. Zontine & S. Davies
Tauchain is unique because it can aggregate opinions into consensus and toward synthesis
For those who do not understand what Tauchain is trying to do we have to understand that in the beta network of Tauchain consensus = synthesis. Synthesis in this case is program synthesis. In other words the product of consensus is the software. The consensus emerges based on discussion. During this discussion the opinions will be broadcast in such a way that agreements will be reached. These agreements will form the basis of the specification from which program synthesis can produce or output the software.
The problem Tauchain will face is the same problem which any preference aggregation optimization network will face. In other words just because people have preferences and try to express those preferences it does not mean that these preferences will be effectively expressed. In my other post I identified a specific problem which is summed up in the question on whether or not you can effectively aggregate preferences if there is false preferences being expressed? This problem has been called preference falsification but in general it seems to make the case for why privacy is necessary.
Tauchain promises to scale discussion which is great but the problem is some discussions cannot be had at all. Some discussions are so controversial that people cannot even attempt to start them. For these discussions only privacy would allow for the discussion to take place. Of course this doesn't mean discussions will be equally productive even if privacy was allowed.
What is so important about modeling opinion dynamics?
Opinions have to be formed. How are opinions formed? If a agent must make a decision to be pro or con some specific issue then can we model this process? The utility of this is explored in the video below:
The mathematics of influence is the title of the video above. In other words it might be possible to use Tau not just to scale discussion but to discuss how to better discuss. To improve opinion formation or to at least understand how opinions are being formed in the network could be of utility. The more participants in the discussion, the bigger the network, the more important the mathematical models could become.
How do we deal with problems such as bias? This could include racism, sexism, etc? Any kind of cognitive bias can influence opinion formation but how? Ultimately if we do not understand how to model or think about these things mathematically then it's going to be much harder to examine in depth what is going on. For people who are math inclined and who understand the danger of bias in AI then this may be of interest.
The voter model is specifically interesting. It examines how opinions on who to vote for forms. Under this model a node is picked at random from the network (a neighbor) and the opinion of that neighbor is adopted by the node. Which opinion wins out? The high degree nodes (hubs) which have the highest probability of being connected to. This could mean a lot for an election or for opinion shaping. To me this would resemble the thought leader paradigm where the most connected thought leader expresses their opinion in the group and because a lot of people are connected to them in some direct or indirect way their opinion holds a lot more weight. If those thought leaders are zealots (will not change their mind no matter what new evidence they receive) then these individuals have even more influence on the outcome and on opinion formation.
Tauchain Update: Significant code changes in Github and discussion of progress. By Dana Edwards. Posted on Steemit. September 30, 2018.
Just several hours ago lead developer and founder of the Tauchain project Ohad Asor released his most significant code update yet. This blog post will be to discuss some of those updates and put it into context. In order to make sense of the current codebase : "Tauchain Codebase" I will also discuss a bit about the makeup of the code.
The significant breakthrough - Ohad implements the BDD
First some might be wondering what is BDD? BDD is a data structure called binary decision diagram. This data structure in my opinion is as significant to Tauchain as the "blockchain" data structure was to Bitcoin. For those who do not have a computer science degree I will elaborate on what exactly a data structure is below before discussing what a BDD is and why it is so significant.
Brief discussion on what a data structure is
In programming a data structure is a concept which represents a data organization method. For example blockchain is all about how records are stored as blocks. There are other similar data structures which represent decentralized data management and storage such as for instance the distributed hash table data structure.
A blockchain data structure looks like this for visualization:
By Matthäus Wander [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
A hash table looks like this for a visual:
By Jorge Stolfi [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons
The really good programmers choose the appropriate data structure to meet the requirements of the project. BDD was chosen specifically by Ohad because it provides efficiency boosts in a key area necessary for Tauchain to function as intended. In specific we know Tauchain requires partial fixed point logic in order to have decidability in P-SPACE. We also know Tauchain requires decentralization and efficiency. Efficiency can be understood better in terms of the trade off between time and space. We do not have unlimited time or space so we must sacrifice one in order to get more of the other.
When we look at the code base we know that Ohad can optimize the code either by sacrificing space in which the executable will be bigger (but the code runs faster) or he can choose to sacrifice time in which the code is a smaller executable to save memory but might run slightly slower. This highlights the essential trade off between time and space when optimizing code but of course there is more to it because algorithms within a code base have to make similar trade offs.
Now what exactly is a BDD (binary decision diagram)?
Now that we understand the basics about efficiency and what a data structure is we can make a bit more sense of what a BDD is. In order to understand why BDD as a data structure is so important to Tauchain we have to remember that Tauchain is about logic. We can take the most basic example of Socrates:
A predicate takes an entity or entities in the domain of discourse as input while outputs are either True or False. Consider the two sentences "Socrates is a philosopher" and "Plato is a philosopher". In propositional logic, these sentences are viewed as being unrelated and might be denoted, for example, by variables such as p and q. The predicate "is a philosopher" occurs in both sentences, which have a common structure of "a is a philosopher". The variable a is instantiated as "Socrates" in the first sentence and is instantiated as "Plato" in the second sentence. While first-order logic allows for the use of predicates, such as "is a philosopher" in this example, propositional logic does not.
Based on the rules of first order logic we can have our inputs and receive our outputs. In the most basic example above we an see a bit about how logic works. To elaborate further:
Relationships between predicates can be stated using logical connectives. Consider, for example, the first-order formula "if a is a philosopher, then a is a scholar". This formula is a conditional statement with "a is a philosopher" as its hypothesis and "a is a scholar" as its conclusion. The truth of this formula depends on which object is denoted by a, and on the interpretations of the predicates "is a philosopher" and "is a scholar".
A truth table has one column for each input variable (for example, P and Q), and one final column showing all of the possible results of the logical operation that the table represents (for example, P XOR Q). Each row of the truth table contains one possible configuration of the input variables (for instance, P=true Q=false), and the result of the operation for those values. See the examples below for further clarification. Ludwig Wittgenstein is often credited with inventing the truth table in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, though it appeared at least a year earlier in a paper on propositional logic by Emil Leon Post.
When we are dealing with logic we may find that a truth table helps with visualization.
Now with this knowledge we have the most basic Socrates example:
This can be represented via truth table and is called a syllogism. To solve this we simply apply a kind of reasoning called deductive reasoning. This would indicate that if All men are mortal is true and if Socrates is a man is also true then Socrates is a mortal must be true. If we were to say all men are mortal but Socrates is immortal then Socrates cannot be a man. So if Socrates is a man he must be moral or there is what we call a contradiction. Logic is all about avoiding these sorts of contradictions and in specific binary or boolean logic is to reach a conclusion which always must be one of two possible values.
If I ask you to play a game which we want to guarantee will end with either one of two possible outcomes then we have a good example of a boolean function. 1 or 0, true or false, on or off, a or b.
Some of you may be familiar with data structure we call a DAG (directed acyclic graph). For those of you who understand this concept you can visualize a BDD as being very similar to a propositional DAG.
By David Eppstein [CC0], from Wikimedia Commons
We know from DAGs that it's a finite amount of vertices, edges, etc. We may also be able to visualize topological ordering and if you remember my post on transitive closure you might also remember the visuals on how that can work:
A binary decision diagram can represent a truth table:
By The original uploader was IMeowbot at English Wikipedia. (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
And from these visuals now it should be abundantly clear how this is critical to the functioning of Tauchain. The BDD data structure allows for efficient model checking as well. To understand we have to consider the boolean satisfiability problem.
This highlights the fact that BDD can be used to create a SAT solver.
A DPLL SAT solver employs a systematic backtracking search procedure to explore the (exponentially sized) space of variable assignments looking for satisfying assignments. The basic search procedure was proposed in two seminal papers in the early 1960s (see references below) and is now commonly referred to as the Davis–Putnam–Logemann–Loveland algorithm ("DPLL" or "DLL"). Theoretically, exponential lower bounds have been proved for the DPLL family of algorithms.
Without getting overwhelmed by technical details the key points are below:
To read the code for yourself and track the progress of Tauchain development take a look at Github:
Let's use Tauchain to save our own lives and the lives of others: The life saving potential of Tauchain. By Dana Edwards. Posted on Steemit. September 10, 2018.
In this post I'm going to discuss what I think is one of the main reasons why I want Tauchain to exist. This is a reason I think many or perhaps most people can relate to. It starts with the question of how can we save our own lives using our own effort? It evolves into the question of how can we save lives in general by augmenting our efforts as much as technologically feasible?
1 out of 2 (around 50%) will be diagnosed with invasive cancer
The current statistics reveal that the highest scale we have a 50% chance of developing cancer in our life time. This can be lower according to some recent statistics (closer to 30% or in some cases 40% but still this is very high). The fact is if we are each in a room then about 1 out of every 3 of us in the best case will get cancer someday. And 100% of us will know someone who has cancer someday. So there is a very high chance that someone we care about a lot will develop cancer and do we want to be in a position where we didn't do all we could to have a capability of saving their life? It could even be you who developers cancer and would you want to be in the position where you can say you dedicated some of your resources toward finding a cure?
Cancer is one of those global problems that most human beings want to eradicate. It is not politically controversial to want to cure cancer. It is also something that Tauchain can help with because using Tauchain we can scale discussions, define problems in a precise manner, and most importantly leverage the market. The ability to create markets which are smart (meaning which can adapt to regulatory obstacles) is a potentially unique feature of Tauchain.
Some might say that there are already pharmaceutical companies trying to cure cancer or develop anti-aging treatments. Indeed this is true there are these companies. The problem right now is these companies do not have the new business models which Tauchain might make possible. First is the fact that using an ICO you can let future patients/customers own shares in the company. This allows companies which want to create cures to have the potential to raise billions of dollars necessary to do expensive trials. In addition the ability to do research may improve due to the features of Tauchain as well so that it is cheaper to search for new potential drugs or supplements.
The human genome is very complicated and is an area we know very little about. Cancer is also something we have to study. One example of an approach to defeating cancer is immunotherapy but this again is going to require a lot of research into how to reprogram the immune system to identify and destroy cancer. If everyone can help or contribute in some way to the process then it makes the process much cheaper than it is right now which means the drug or treatment can potentially be cheaper due to lower R&D cost.
Most people want to live long and healthy lives but we still know very little
We know very little about aging. We do have some theories as to what causes aging. We even have some theories on how to slow it down. But we don't understand the mechanism well enough yet to develop a treatment. By aging I'm referring to the process by which cellular function deteriorates over time. We know for example the risk of getting cancer increases with age. But we still are working on the means of developing biomarkers to even determine the age of a person.
What if we could leverage the potential of Tauchain to discover more about the aging process? What if we could develop an anti aging pill or treatment which we could collaboratively develop and own? What if we could make a profit from every pill sold via tokenization? If this sounds good to you then it might sound good to millions of others who could be encouraged to participate in an ICO to develop a pill to slow or supplement the aging process.
The ethical and rational argument
Some people could say that to put an emphasis on saving lives is to seek to do the greatest good for the greatest number. This emphasis could put Tauchain on a fast track to mainstream adoption because utility would be measured in not just how profitable it is to hold a token but in the potential lives that could be saved. To profit from saving lives is an ethical and rational argument. To align the profit motive with saving as many lives as possible is an easy ethical (and rational) argument to make. People who value life will value any technology which saves lives.
Some projects exist which I will list below that already are trying to save lives or end aging. These projects did ICOs over Ethereum and so they currently are Ethereum focused. That being said there is the possibility that some projects could still leverage Tauchain regardless of whether they originally launched on Ethereum. It is also possible that new projects can launch on Tauchain to attempt the same or similar objectives.
What can Tauchain do?
Grunau, G. L., Gueron, S., Pornov, B., & Linn, S. (2018). The Risk of Cancer Might be Lower Than We Think. Alternatives to Lifetime Risk Estimates. Rambam Maimonides medical journal, 9(1).
How Tauchain and the Exocortex can give anyone a conscience and make anyone more law abiding. By Dana Edwards. Posted on Steemit. September 2, 2018.
First "anyone" is not literal. By anyone I mean anyone with a reasonable level of intelligence who is willing to take the advice generated by the network. The network would include human beings and machines. The network would learn and be more properly defined as a complex adaptive system. Tauchain would enable the emergence of this network. This post is about how the network which can emerge from Tauchain. It is also about how people who intend to be as moral as possible whilst also complying with the law as much as possible might leverage the network. This post assumes that the human brain has a finite memory and comprehension capacity. This post assumes that every human being can benefit from enhancing these naturally limited capacities in areas of legal comprehension and risk literacy (under the assumption that most or perhaps none of us know every law on the books but need to comply with the laws most likely to be aggressively enforced).
The Personal Moral Assistant
PMA is a concept I've been thinking about for years now. The idea that we can augment our ability to be moral persons. A PMA is a personal moral assistant and in an ideal world every person born would have one. This would be an interface similar to what we see with Cortana or Siri where you can ask any question pertaining to whether a particular action is right or wrong. This PMA would solve the problem using the same priorities that you would and so you would get a definite right or wrong result.
A Personal Moral Assistant is just one primary use case. But these personal assistants over Tauchain could also include for instance a Personal Compliance Assistant. This is essentially another bot but instead of dealing with moral problems this bot would handle compliance. If you're trying to accomplish a goal this bot would make sure that you do so following all the known laws as your exocortex currently understands it. This would enable people to avoid legal pitfalls whilst chasing opportunities.
In order to go from poor to rich in this world requires taking risks. There is no way around risk taking if you want to get ahead. Risk literacy is essential and very few people who are poor have risk literacy. The PMA might be able to tell a person whether a certain choice aligns with their current values. The PCA might tell a person whether a certain choice complies with the laws. What about opportunities? An opportunity web crawler agent could theoretically search across the entire Internet to find opportunities which match your chosen risk profile.
What are we doing today?
Today we have to make choices often in trial and error. If we aren't lucky enough to have mentors or people who can guide us then the only way to learn is to make the common mistakes. When we deal with moral problems today we often rely on holy scripture interpreted by other human beings who are just as flawed as we are. We simply don't have a bot which could interpret the scripture in a completely logical way. In other words we don't have the digital representation of the mind of our spiritual guides.
We also have a situation where some of us can afford to comply with every law and take the lowest risk approach while others simply don't have the resources available to pay the expensive legal fees. Some people get better legal advice than other people as well. What if we could get at least some level of legal assistance from our intelligent assistant? What if this intelligent assistant can even ask human beings who have legal knowledge to help?
And finally what if we could figure out which risks are worth taking and which are not worth taking? It's one thing to find opportunities but another to be able to assess them. People get scammed because at the end of the day our emotions influence our ability to do proper assessment of opportunities. I'm human and it even happens to me from time to time. What if we could avoid this by using the capabilities of Tauchain to analyze massive amounts of information for us which our brains could never handle?
Opportunity Crawler Bot
I ask a simple hypothetical question: what if you could have set a bot to search the Internet for opportunities that resemble Bitcoin in 2008? What if this bot would be activated and search for an indefinite period of time on an undetermined yet expanding number of networks? If you define "Bitcoin in 2008" in a way which the bot can make sense of then it could search for anything which meets that criteria. We have this technology now but it's extremely primitive. On Google you can set up alerts for certain things but what if you could go beyond mere alerts and look for code on Github, and certain individuals involved with it, and certain growth patterns?
A way to think about these bots / intelligent assistants
One way to think about these intelligent assistants is as part of your extended mind. These bots essentially help you to think better and communicate better. It's still you and what they do on your behalf is essentially as if you did it. So the total collection of all of these agents which are under your control represent your complete exocortex. It will take great responsibility and wisdom to use these abilities in a way which is perceived by the world as ethical, moral, legal, etc. It is for these reasons that I initiate a discussion on how each of you would like to use such technology if it did exist or such bots or how you would think about them?
What is Tauchain & Why It Could Be One of The Greatest Inventions of All Time (Part 1: Introduction). By Kevin Wong. Posted on Steemit. August 28, 2018.
In anticipation of Tau's demo some time around the end of this year, I'd be publishing a series of articles leading up to its release and beyond on Steem. If you would like to get to know what some of us think is going to be one of the greatest inventions of all time, I'd recommend you to check out http://wwwidni.org. It seems like a foundation that we've missed out on building together since the birth of the Internet.
A close resemblance of this project is the Semantic Web although some of us would place Tau as being far more ambitious in scope, oddly in a way that is likely more feasible with its ingenious use of a logic blockchain to power a decentralized social choice platform. I think it's impressive how singular the concept actually is, despite the unavoidable lengthy explanations that come paired with the many first-time features that Tau will provide.
Without further ado, let's explore this world-changing technology that is currently baking in the oven.
What is Tau?
Let's begin by first checking out the opening of IDNI's website at http://idni.org:-
Tau is a decentralized blockchain network intended to solve the bottlenecks inherent in large scale human communication and accelerate productivity in human collaboration using logic based Artificial Intelligence.
Sounds fairly straight-forward at first glance, and to me, it really stands out in the cryptosphere. We now have millions and billions of people using the Internet everyday, yet we still do not have any effective means of discussing and collaborating without being all over the place. Sure, we may have been pouring a lot of our time and effort into various platforms trying to connect with others, but have things been really any different compared to a time before the Internet?
The speed of information propagation has increased by orders of magnitude, and we can reach anyone on the planet now, but it's still really up to us to be present and be able to process information in our heads before turning them into relevant knowledge for our networks.
Expanding our social bandwidth.
Turns out, we have been experiencing a lot of trouble coming to terms with the chatter of billions of people in cyberspace. The bottlenecks inherent in our human bandwidth remain to be unsolved even with near-instantaneous communications. From governments to corporations and blockchain communities, we are all still facing the age-old problem of being unable to scale governance beyond the size of a classroom. It's just difficult to get our points across to many different people, let alone making sense of complex long-term discussions and making network-wide decisions collaboratively.
The introduction to The New Tau written by Ohad Asor explains our situation quite accurately:-
Some of the main problems with collaborative decision making have to do with scales and limits that affect flow and processing of information. Those limits are so believed to be inherent in reality such that they're mostly not considered to possibly be overcomed. For example, we naturally consider the case in which everyone has a right to vote, but what about the case in which everyone has an equal right to propose what to vote over?
So how is Tau actually going to solve our communications bottleneck? It will be through a highly bespoke and non-trivial implementation of a logic-based Artificial Intelligence (AI). It's worth noting that AI in this case is more of a buzzword for marketing-speak, and it is actually not of the same variety as the commercial implementations of deep machine learnig.
The distinction that must be made is that Tau is not the kind of AI that attempts to guess what the world is around them, including that of our opinions and the things we say or do. Instead, we must make the step towards communicating through Tau and what we choose to communicate will be as definite as computer programs. It can be thought of as a persistent logic companion that helps us improve the scale our reasoning, logic, and bandwidth.
We can take the time to share what we want to share on the Tau network and most of the logic-based connections and operations will happen in the background over time, even when we're not paying attention in-person. Again, the use of the word AI is a misnomer here because it usually paints the picture of AI agents attempting to mimic human autonomy. That's not what Tau is about. In this case, thinking about Tau as just a logic machine should provide better clarity on what it actually is.
The power of logic.
To expand, here's the second paragraph found in the opening of IDNI's website that explains Tau's paradigm in logic-based communications, http://idni.org:-
Currently, large scale discussions and collaborative efforts carried out directly between people are highly inefficient. To address this problem, we developed a paradigm which we call Human-Machine-Human communication: the core principle is that the users can not only interact with each other but also make their statements clear to their Tau client. Our paradigm enables Tau to deduce areas of consensus among its users in real time, allowing the network to boost communication by acting as an intermediary between humans. It does so by collecting the opinions and preferences its users wish to share and logically constructing opinions into a semantic knowledge base.
Indeed, Tau will offer a semantic social choice platform where we can discuss and store knowledge in a logical universe that helps us organize information, thereby empowering us in highly relevant ways. If you're worried about privacy, know that Tau is first-and-foremost designed as a local client with local processing and storage. The platform itself will be deployed as a decentralized peer-to-peer network, a place where we can connect and share our knowledge-base with anyone we desire.
The only price to pay in all of these is that we must speak in Tau-comprehensible languages, which can always be added and modified over time. A sophisticated language that can be defined over Tau may closely resemble natural languages, but it is really best to expect Tau as a machine-comprehensible language that only speaks in logic. Fortunately, logical formalism is something that we can easily deal with.
So it will be up to us to communicate with our local Tau client in a way that it'll understand our worldviews. When the machine understands what we share completely in some logical, mathematically-verifiable sense, it can then connect our dots with the rest of the Tau network, effectively boosting communications beyond the limits of human bandwidth, effectively scaling our points of discussion, consensus, and collaboration up to an infinite number of participants.
Code and consciousness.
Finally, we look at the last paragraph of Tau's introduction at http://idni.org
Able to deduce consensus and understand discussions, Tau can automatically generate and execute code on consensus basis, through a process known as code synthesis. This will greatly accelerate knowledge production and expedite most large scale collaborative efforts we can imagine in today's world.
Since Tau is a logic blockchain that powers a semantic social choice platform, we can leverage it to have both small and large-scale discussions about program specifications, detect points of consensus, and even generate software in the process. Being able to go from discussions to the realization of decentralized applications would mean inclusive code development for the masses. It's also a unique addition to decentralization that no other blockchain projects have even thought about.
Now that we may have come to a better understanding of Tau's emphasis on the use of logic in every part of its being, let's revisit the process description found in The New Tau to get closer to knowing what it really is about:-
We are interested in a process in which a small or very large group of people repeatedly reach and follow agreements. We refer to such processes as Social Choice. We identify five aspects arising from them, language, knowledge, discussion, collaboration, and choice about choice. We propose a social choice mechanism by a careful consideration of these aspects.
In short, Tau is a decentralized peer-to-peer network that takes the shape of a social choice platform, and it can become anything that we want it to be, for as long as it's expressible within the self-defining and decidable logics of FO[PFP] with PSPACE-complexity. This precise specification is required to satisfy the very definition of Tau as seen in the excerpt above. Tau is also intended to be a compiler-compiler.
This is taking application-generality into a completely different direction compared to blockchains that are built specifically with turing-completeness in mind, like Ethereum. Relevant literature to check out: Finite Model Theory.
Understanding each other.
While it's all highly technical and difficult to grasp in one seating, perhaps a better way to truly begin to understand Tau is to spend some time studying its main features. Or just wait for the product release. In any case, I will try to explore these topics in the future if my brain can still handle it:-
The more I think about Tau, the more I think that it is (poetically) a logical conclusion to the way the Internet works as a protocol. It even lives and breaths logic. Not just any kind of logic, but specifically, logics that can define their own semantics and is decidable. Tau is intelligently designed to be a truly dynamic and ever-evolving blockchain.
When the Tau community intends to make changes to the network code, rules or protocols, they will simply need to express these opinions and perspectives in a compatible language over the network. The self defining logic of the Tau blockchain network will enable it to detect the consensus among these opinions and automatically amend its own code to reflect this consensus from block to block. Unlike the common method of voting, Tau’s approach will take into account the perspectives of the entire community, where people will be free to vote and propose what to vote for in real time. This unique ability of Tau is the only decentralized solution to create a truly dynamic protocol.
Now you might think: Tau seems like a powerful tool but will it be too difficult to use for most people? There might be some learning curve involved for sure, and it'd be similar to learning a new language in the beginning. Those of us who learn to use it well enough to scale our discussions and collaborative works will likely gain a significant edge over those who are not using the platform. I'd imagine plenty of projects and communities around the world being able to overcome some of their obstacles in development through Tau. Hence, it may be fair to expect that market forces will gravitate towards the platform just like how we're all using the Internet these days.
Until the next post.
I've been thinking about Tau almost everyday for the past many months now, and I will admit that its deeper technicalities are still way out of my league, although I've made sure to word them broadly out the best I can. If you like what I do, please consider sharing this post and voting on my witness account on Steem. For more info, check out my recent witness announcement post.
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''Tau solves the problems from the Tower of Babel to the Tower of Basel''
- an early 21st century yet undisclosable author
Okay, dearest friends, lets pull sleeves up and start with it. Vivisection of the Scriptures? Revelation by transfiguration? Pulling the Tau from the ocean of wisdom out on the dry no-Maths-land? I hope not.
The quote above on first glance sounds so pompously biblical, but in fact it denotes the crystal clear and simple practical and mundane rationale of Tau which I already tried to approach from few angles , .
It is about the hierarchic bottleneck of one unscaling ,  Humanity. Take the hint about leveling of the Towers as a poetic symbol of elimination of the social 'verticality' -- the hierarchies as a so far necessary evil to compensate certain innate neurological limitations , , ,  -- and reforming  the network we are embedded into and usually call mankind or society or economy or world into an as geodesic as possibly possible one . For the sake of its own functional programmatic optimization .
Notice that towers leveling is not by demolition, but by uplifting the overall landscape level to and above the tower tops, turning them into deep roots or support pylons of asymptotically geodesic society .
Apparently, mentioning the Gate of God  denotes the unmixing  of languages & mentioning the apex global fiat settlement institution  - the excelling of the current fiat procrustics  i.e. the economy aspect.
That is: TML to Agoras . The first and last of the totally six identified aspects or steps of the social choice  as addressed by what we call Tau.
''our six steps of language, knowledge, discussion, collaboration, choice, and knowledge economy''
These aspects deserve of course separate zoom-in exegetic chapters and they'll definitely get it. I promise. And not only they.
Any exegesis of Tau unavoidably must start with scroll back and tracking down of the full history of the development so far. As a zoom out to see the full picture and to identify the dominant features of the landscape relief.
You, I reckon, already noticed this retrodictive inclination of mine , that in my mind the notion of ''Timeline of Development'' can not be by any logic just a handful of milestone promises thrown into the future, but it is a must to account for the up to now trajectory, too! No future without past.
It all started as Zennet , continued as Tau-chains  and 'turned' into aka 'newtau' , , , .
Wait! A New Tau?
Excuse me, Ohad, but I personally do not buy that and I said it many times. There ain't old and new Tau. The situation is much more straightforward and grokkable . Here it is:
Lotsa guts, balls, butt, brains or whatever human offal... is required for each of us to admit a mistake made in our everyday life. Generally quite a strength is needed to even look ourselves into the mirror...
It takes a whole Ohad though, to keep all oneself's work totally public and transparent even on the full and unedited live record of the infil  into entire branch of mathematics  and then throwing it all away as untauful. We witnessed that reported in real time!
Did this change the ends? No. But sorted out the means to an end.
Was it a 'mistake'? In no case. It was duly delivered R&D effort.
Was oldtau looking promising on first glance? Yes, of course it did.
Did it survive the Ohad's R&D 'crash-testing'? No, it didn't.
Was it a ''juice worth the sqweeze''? It was.
Was it a job well done? Absolutely.
The oldtau materials are for me legacy jewels. Like those dinosaur bugs trapped into blobs of amber .
Development is a process, not just results shipping. Related like cooking and serving.
Studying the zoom-out dev map we observe these few major landmarks:
The Zennet province is all right. Its gently rolling hills gradually merge into the Tau lands proper with the inevitable realization that a 'world supercomputer' can not be a Tauless thing. Zennet lives in Tau with .:
''... having a decentralized search engine requires Zennet-like capabilities, the ability to fairly rent (and rent-out) computational resources, under acceptable risk in the user's terms (as a function of cost). Our knowledge market will surely require such capabilities, and is therefore one of the three main ingredients of Agoras... hardware rent market...''
We move over through the oldtau wastelands  where the burnt ruins of MLTT  lie scattered - rough oldtau location-on-the-map indicator is the fall of 2015 with
''Tau as a Generalized Blockchain'' - posted Oct 17, 2015, 6:33 AM [updated Oct 17, 2015, 6:49 AM]
and then we reach the fertile gardens of newtau  in the fall of 2017:
''The New Tau'' - posted Dec 31, 2017, 12:27 AM [updated Dec 31, 2017, 12:28 AM]
Hmm. Apparently we crossed a watershed. Which relief feature it was? - The ridge  of:
''Tau and the Crisis of Truth'' - posted Sep 10, 2016, 8:25 PM [updated Sep 10, 2016, 8:28 PM]
Tau sorts out the Towers. I hope that the synopsis in this short chapter of Exegesis helped to sort out Tau dev in time as a navigation lookup tool.
Software is nothing but states of hardware. There is that intimate deep, not yet codified into a neat compact of logic, connection between Gödel , Heisenberg  and Laws of thermodynamics .
Tau keeps us off these traps.
I do not dare to state that someday we won't have the command on infinities and to play with them with the ease  of
''... a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.''
In fact, quite the opposite I'd rather take it as inevitability someday we to conquer the Cantor  expanses and to venture far even beyond that. To transcale  the transfinite. Like Hilbert  said it.:
''Aus dem Paradies, das Cantor uns geschaffen, soll uns niemand vertreiben können. (From the paradise, that Cantor created for us, no-one can expel us.)''
But it takes ... finitary vehicles of DECIDABILITY to conquer the transfinitary outer spaces. Because, in order to dear to dream to tame the infinities, we must first harness and get full command of finities.
Including of ourselves. Tau is ''understanding each other''. Without Tau we are ... others to ourselves.
Imperare sibi maximum imperium est.
Hans Moravec  is the patriarch of robotics . The real one, not the Sci-Fi father. Asimov was just the prophet in this scheme of things.
Moravec to Kurzweil is what's Bitcoin to Ethereum and Satoshi to Vitalik.
Sorry, for the rough joke. No offence, Ray! Back in the earler 2000s I bought your books too .
In my humble opinion - aside from the ''reality intratextualization''  concept - the other wisdom jewel of Moravec's - fruit of a life devoted to robotics - is the Moravec's Paradox .
Explained in his own words:
Encoded in the large, highly evolved sensory and motor portions of the human brain is a billion years of experience about the nature of the world and how to survive in it. The deliberate process we call reasoning is, I believe, the thinnest veneer of human thought, effective only because it is supported by this much older and much more powerful, though usually unconscious, sensorimotor knowledge. We are all prodigious olympians in perceptual and motor areas, so good that we make the difficult look easy. Abstract thought, though, is a new trick, perhaps less than 100 thousand years old. We have not yet mastered it. It is not all that intrinsically difficult; it just seems so when we do it.
or with Steven Pinker's :
The main lesson of thirty-five years of AI research is that the hard problems are easy and the easy problems are hard. The mental abilities of a four-year-old that we take for granted – recognizing a face, lifting a pencil, walking across a room, answering a question – in fact solve some of the hardest engineering problems ever conceived...
As I noted in a previous related post of mine , a system's value dynamics is all about how it scales. Preferable of course are systems which make more good to go around than less. Respectively, to come around.
Humanity is a network, and its scaling is stumbled by our innate attentional resources limitations.
Human social interaction is a skill and we naturally have only as much of it.
For now, in the good old hierarchic way , we can't deny that we scale satisfactory well (as compared, lets say, to our DNA-blockchain-fork-out first cousins the chimps ) for collaborating efficiently on successful execution of trivial tasks like empire building or colonization of the Galaxy.
But not all problems we encounter are simple. In fact most problems are more complex than we are capable to grok and master in the hierarchic collaboration mode, which quickly slams into the Shannon's 'brick wall' 
Ohad Asor's Tau  is intended to be humanity upscaler . This project is the first and only one I've discovered so far where the so obvious (after you know it) problem is even identified, stated and addressed.
This means uplifting the individual humans too, because we are literally AIs serially manufactured by our society (cf. feral children ).
It feels easy for us to attend, to remember, to forget, to think, to talk, to work together - so it is extremely Moravec-hard!
Tau is unique approach towards the Moravec-hardness of these problems in the realization that we do not need at all to waste time and resources to mimic nature and copy ourselves and to create high tech homunculi .
The 'problem' is the solution. Don't 'solve' it - just god damn use it!
It is the people who ask questions, upload statements, express tastes and do all that qualia  crap humans usually do.
The machine distills the semantic essence of all the shared thought flow, treats it as wishes specs, and automatically converts into executable code, incl. its own code self-amendment.
As Moravec found out few decades ago  :
The 1,500 cubic centimeter human brain is about 100,000 times as large as the retina, suggesting that matching overall human behavior will take about 100 million MIPS of computer power.
When these processing brain things are really put together in numbers the result is unprecedented power. An unstoppable force. A glimpse into it by Ohad :
It turns out that under certain assumptions we can reach truly efficiently scaling discussions and information flow, where 10,000 people are actually 100 times more effective than 100 people, in terms of collaborative decision making and collaborative theory formation. But for this we'll need the aid of machines, and we'll also need to help them to help us.
Without application of dehumanizing individual upgrades, without to be necessary to understand and reengineer the billions of years of evolutionary capital, but just harness it and use it. (Scaling itself must be scalable, too, ah?)
In my personal up to date limited understanding it seems that it is indeed the HUMANITY what's to be known as the Tau's 'Zennet Supercomputer', and the machines are the ... collab amplifier media, the 'internet' of it. (Ohad, correct me if I'm wrong, please.)
Like laser configurations of minds.
With performance stronger than thought.
NOTE: I have the honor to be in the Tau Team, but all reflections in this post are personally my opinion.
Retrodictive archaeology is so tempting. It is about what it was, what it is, what we knew and what we know.
Here I present another time travel glimpse of mine:
February 1998. Global Information Summit*. Japan. Robert Hettinga** - the patriarch of financial cryptography wrote:
My realization was, if Moore's Law creates geodesic communications networks, and our social structures -- our institutions, our businesses, our governments -- all map to the way we communicate in large groups, then we are in the process of creating a geodesic society. A society in which communication between any two residents of that society, people, economic entities, pieces of software, whatever, is geodesic: literally, the straightest line across a sphere, rather than hierarchical, through a chain of command, for instance.
A network scales according to the capacity of its switches.
Mankind is a network of interlinked humans routed by ... humans.
The network topology*** of society is dictated by our incapacity to switch - similarly to the way the penguins society is shaped by their inability to fly.
Running the Sorites paradox**** in reverse - humanity does not form a sand-heap by adding grains, but fractalizes into groupings of up to just a few individuals.*****
Big body of research on discussions persistently brings back the result that over a certain threshold of as little as 5 persons the number of possible social interactions explosively exceeds the participants capacity to handle the group traffic of information.
Increase the group size and the 'c factor' - the collective intelligence - abruptly implodes. Bellow the individual human level. So long 'wisdom of the crowd'.
Hierarchy is the only way we know (up to now) for a society to scale. Centralization as emergenta of organic switching limitations.
It is fair to say that we have and have had upscaling exosomatic prosthetics all the time.: language, writing, institutions, specialization... but at the end of the day even within these boosters the social switching is bottlenecked down to just a few humans-strong.
Since recently, cause, you know ... computers. Humans are not only lousy switches, but also tremendously expensive ones to make. Computers - the vice versa: their performance/cost relentlessly bigbangs.
Moore's law****** is not only about silicon wafers. It is a megatrend from the very dawn of the universe as Kurzweil noticed******* long time ago, which goes up and up across all computronium substrata imaginable or possible.
Non-human computation and automated communication promises to break the social scaling barrier.
Here comes the Ohad Asor's Tau.********
The only project I know which asks the correct questions and looks into doable solutions of humanity scaling. And the only meaningful identification and treatment of these problems which seems to lead towards fulfilling of Bob Hettinga's Geodesic visions from few decades ago.
Of course I do not know it all, but lets say that I intensively search the relevant space.
Tau transcends the human switching limitations in humane way. Without to amalgamate individuals out of existence, which some other discussed ways - like direct neural interfacing - seem to inevitably infer. For society is ... human beings.
What's the pragmatics of geodesic vs hierarchic?
What game really the 'flat' p2p networks beat the vertical social configurations into?
It is an easy answer. It is pure physics:
A Tauful geodesic society comprises IMMENSELY richer economy.
Metcalfe's (and Szabo's) law on max!
The combinatorial size of it vastly exceeds the possible arrangements of any traditional social 'pyramid'.
The maximum social diameter becomes ~1.
In fact, it seems quite an ancient archetypal vision, the whole thing:
“Imagine a multidimensional spider’s web in the early morning covered with dew drops. And every dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops. And, in each reflected dew drop, the reflections of all the other dew drops in that reflection. And so ad infinitum.” Allan Ginsberg*********
1. *- http://www.nikkei.co.jp/summit/98summit/english/online/emlasia3.html (the second entry)
2. **- http://nakamotoinstitute.org/the-geodesic-market/
3. ***- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_topology
4. ****- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorites_paradox
5. *****- https://sheilamargolis.com/2011/01/24/what-is-the-optimal-group-size-for-decision-making/
9.*********- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indra%27s_net (image from: https://mindfulnessforhealing.com/2012/12/29/weaving-a-tapestry-of-wellness/ )
NOTE: I'm in the Tau Team, but this post expresses only my own associations and interpretations.
Tau Chain vs. Tezos - which platform will provide a better solution? By Isar Flis. Posted on Steemit. February 10, 2018.
In this article I would like to discuss the self-amending feature of Tau Chain (Tau), which I believe provides a better solution than the one proposed by Tezos.
A short summary about Tau
Tau will be a blockchain based computer network, aimed at supporting collaboration between people. It will be designed like any other social network you know (Facebook, Twitter, etc.); but on Tau, users can interact with each other using machine-comprehensible languages. Specifically, advanced users will be able to define new knowledge-representation languages simply by translating it to Tau’s metalanguage (TML). As the languages use logic, they will be understandable by both machines and humans.
Since Tau can “understand” the entire conversation, it can also translate the discussions into various languages and discover where people agree or disagree; then, it may present the content of the conversation in different forms (languages or formats) for each user, based on specific requests.
The ability of Tau to logically understand discussions (as it will be translated into its TML) will assist users in four important ways:
*For further information about Tau, please refer to my previous article, explaining Tau and its four-step roadmap.
“Tau, is a discussion about Tau”
Tau is a social platform that will assist users with writing and amending code based on users' discussions about a computer program. But Tau is a computer program by itself. Therefore, by discussing Tau, users will be able to amend Tau, whenever they (the community) reach an agreement about changing Tau’s protocol.
When Ohad Asor, the founder and developer of Tau Chain, mentioned that “Tau, is a discussion about Tau”, he meant that Tau is what the community decides when they discuss Tau. Meaning, when the community will face a decision, such as what Tau’s block size should be, they will just need to express their opinions and perspectives, like we do today in the social networks. Tau will organize the conversation in an efficient way to promote a solution that will represent what the community desires. As such, Tau will be the only dynamic decentralized social network.
Why is Tezos developing only a short-term solution?
You probably remember Tezos as one of the biggest ICOs in history, when they raised $232 million (when BTC price was ~$2,500). Like Tau, Tezos is also a dynamic protocol that can change itself based on users' agreements. Tezos considers voting to be the optimal solution to reach a decision between users.
Voting is a good method to include a large number of people in the decision-making process; however, voters have limited influence, as they can only choose between a few solutions/options presented to them. Who will decide when and why the community will vote? Who will decide what solutions the community can vote for? Tezos’ solution is still centralized and is only viable in the short-run. What will happen if some users do not agree with a specific vote? Does that mean that a Tezos fork is inevitable?
Without considering the perspectives of the entire community, we will not be able 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. Tau will enable all users to express their opinions by just discussing or communicating their views. Users will decide when and what to discuss, and Tau will change its protocol based on users' agreements. Thus, Tau will be able utilize all data in the decision-making process; data that is usually wasted when holding a vote.
To make it more tangible, think about the difference between discussing with your family which movie you’re going to watch and receiving a list of two movies to choose from. The latter might not reflect your taste in movies or how you want to spend your time. This is a low-scale analogy for Tezos’ voting solution. Tezos might provide a solution, but the solution is not optimal. When encountering a large-scale decision, the protocol will be changed based on the vote, but the minority might reject the vote and fork the coin.
Under Tau, the protocol will detect the core consensus among the different perspectives and change accordingly. With the assistance of Tau and its knowledge, users will effectively discuss among themselves how to reach further consensus points. With every consensus point, Tau will change itself accordingly.
*As the community members decide how Tau will be developed, they can suggest the majority rule (or a higher bar) as a decision rule. Tau will automatically detect the different perspectives of the community members and will execute their decision to change Tau’s protocol.
Another important aspect of Tau (compared to Tezos) is the fact that Tau will present its users with output about all the network input. All the data/opinions/information that users provide during their discussions will be accumulated to the knowledge archive. Tau will utilize its knowledge to provide its users with a better access for qualitative and quantitative information. Over Tau, the proposals (such as suggestions to change the protocol) that users will raise can be as wise as the information contained in the entire network.
I will end this article by quoting the last paragraph in my first article:
"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, LinkedIn 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-Chain?
The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how Tau-Chain (Tau) can be implemented in practice. I have already presented Tau and its four-step roadmap in my previous article, but I think that further explanation about Tau is required to better understand its applications.
Tau is basically a discussion platform (like any other social network you know) with two significant innovations:
*Just to clarify, knowledge can be facts, lines of code, qualitative and quantitative data, etc.
How Tau can be implemented in practice?
Tau will be a free, open-source platform to advance and execute knowledge. Think about it as a one-stop shop that provides free consulting services, in all areas, to large numbers of people. For example, if you would like to start an enterprise but you lack the relevant business skills, Tau can answer your questions and even perform a market research or analysis (if initial data is provided) to evaluate your business opportunity.
In order to better understand how Tau can improve our society, I am providing below a detailed example showing how I see the vision implemented in practice.
Suppose Alice and Olivia are Ph.D. students in computer science who face a problem with their research. They use Tau to discuss the details of their data, findings and hypothesis. Tau will automatically translate this information into its metalanguage, adding Alice and Olivia’s data to the knowledge archive. Tau is basically the third member in the conversation, and can guide Alice and Olivia to advance their research by interpreting the data and suggesting improvements to their findings. If the students would like to implement the research and develop computer software, Tau will assist them with writing the code in the most efficient way. Using Tau, Alice and Olivia can overcome the limits of their knowledge to quickly complete and implement their research.
But how can people profit from sharing their knowledge?
There is another way for Tau to deepen its knowledge and develop better intelligence. Tau can gain knowledge from the Knowledge Marketplace (Agoras), a blockchain based smart contracts platform where individuals are able to generate income by sharing knowledge and information. With every transaction and exchange of knowledge, Tau will be exposed to the data to become more “educated” and accurate, resulting in a better knowledge deduction capability.
I know that smart contract platforms already exist, but they all lack very important capabilities – the ability to auto-verify the data, run quality assurance tests and suggest improvements to eliminate potential disagreements between the parties to a contract. Tau’s artificial intelligence will support the transaction between the two parties, and will make sure that there will be no fraudulent activities, inaccurate information or low-quality services. This will be the only platform where a computer that acts human (without human deficiencies) will supervise and support such transactions.
The following example demonstrates a possible application of Agoras:
Consider Bob, a software developer who has recently signed a smart contract with David to design a new software program. When Bob shared his code in the Knowledge Marketplace (Agoras), Tau verifies the relevancy of the code and will even suggest improvements to advance the code, eliminating a potential disagreement about quality and fraud. Upon Tau’s approval, Bob will receive his reward, as agreed in the contract. Tau will use the final code as additional knowledge to strengthen the platform’s intelligence.
As described above, the compensation mechanism will incentivize users to contribute their knowledge to advance ideas of others. Thus, we create a society in which individuals’ knowledge and expertise become public domain and can be better utilized to promote social health, welfare and resources.
I provided only a few examples of how Tau and Agoras can by implemented in practice. My examples were computer-science related, but you should realize that Tau-Chain can advance ideas and produce knowledge for every collaborative human endeavor across all fields, including sciences, business and government. Think about a situation where you have a problem and need some help – this is where Tau can assist you with solving your problem and even execute the solution if required and applicable.
Just to clarify, Agoras is also the name of the tokens that users will use in the Knowledge Marketplace (the smart contract platform). Agoras tokens holders will also benefit from developments that will be built as part of Tau’s ecosystem, including a Computational Resource Market (“Zennet”), Distributed Search Engine and a Derivatives Trading Platform.
To end this article, I would like to quote the last paragraph in my previous article, as it is still relevant:
"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, LinkedIn 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.
Ohad Asor the lead developer and founder of Tauchain releases first new blog post in over a year. By Dana Edwards. Posted on Steemit. December 30, 2017.
The new blog post titled "The New Tau" is available for everyone to read. The blog post speaks on the critical topic of collaborative decision making. This is a topic which I myself have been interested in and Ohad's solution is different from the usual solution. In my own thinking I was considering a solution based on collaborative filtering but I realized this would never scale. I then considered a solution based upon using IA (intelligence amplification) by way of personal preference agents and this does scale but requires that the agents have a lot of data to truly know each user and their preferences. The solution Ohad Asor comes up with attempts to solve many of the same problems but his solution scales without seeming to require collaborative filtering or any kind of voting as we traditionally think about it.
Let me list some of the obvious problems with voting which many will recognize from Steem which also relies on collaborative filtering:
Now let's see what Ohad Asor has to say:
In small groups and everyday life we usually don't vote but express our opinions, sometimes discuss them, and the agreement or disagreement or opinions map arises from the situation. But on large communities, like a country, we can only think of everyone having a right to vote to some limited number of proposals. We reach those few proposals using hierarchical (rather decentralized) processes, in the good case, in which everyone has some right to propose but the opinions flow through certain pipes and reach the voting stage almost empty from the vast information gathered in the process. Yet, we don't even dare to imagine an equal right to propose just like an equal right to vote, for everyone, in a way that can actually work. Indeed how can that work, how can a voter go over equally-weighted one million proposals every day?
This in my opinion is very true. In reality we have discussions and at best we seek to broadcast or share our intentions. Intent casting was actually the basis behind how I thought to solve this problem of social choice but I would say intent casting even with my best ideas would not have been good enough because again the typical voter would be uninformed. Without an ability of the typical voter to be either educated continuously which in a complex world may be unrealistic, or for the network itself to somehow keep the voter up to date, this intent casting barely works. It works well for shopping where a shopper knows what they want but does not work so well when a person doesn't actually know what they want and merely knows what they value. Values are the basis for morality, for ethical systems, and this is the area where Ohad's solution really shines.
Tauchain has the potential not only to scale discussions but also morality, because it will have the built in logic to make sure people can be moral without constant contradiction. The truth is, without this aid, the human being cannot actually be moral in decision making in my opinion due to the inability to avoid all sorts of contradictions.
All known methods of discussions so far suffer from very poor scaling. Twice more participants is rarely twice the information gain, and when the group is too big (even few dozens), twice more participants may even reduce the overall gain into half and below, not just to not improve it times two.
This is the conclusion that Ohad and myself reached separately but it still holds true. We require the aid of machines in order to scale collaborative decision making. This in my opinion is one of the major difference makers philosophically speaking between the intended design and function of Tauchain vs every other crypto platform in development. This also in my opinion is going to be the difference maker for the community which Tauchain as a technology will serve because it will enable the machines and humans to aid each other for mutual benefit or symbiosis.
The blog post by Ohad Asor brings forward a very important discussion which has many different angles to it. The angle I focused on with regard to the social choice dilemma is the problem of how do we scale morality. In my opinion if we can scale morality in a decentralized, open source, truly significant manner, then nothing stands in the way of absolute legitimacy, mainstream adoption, and with it a very high yet fairly priced token. The utility value of scaling morality in my opinion is higher than just about anything else we can accomplish with crypto tech and AI. If the morality is better, then the design of future platforms will be greatly improved in terms of how the users are treated, and this in itself could at least in my opinion help solve the debate about whether AI can remain beneficial over a long period of time. I think if we can scale morality in a decentralized way, it will make it easier to design and spread beneficial AI. Crypto-effective alturism could become a new thing if we can solve the deeper more philosophical problems.
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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.