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.
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.
Something Revolutionary In the Crypto Space.
The overwhelming majority of new crypto projects out there fall into 3 main categories:
Now the trillion dollar question is this: is just having a currency or shoving a Turing Complete programming language into the blockchain to allow for smart contracts truly the best use of this decentralized innovation? Ohad Asor, creator and lead developer of Tau, does not think so.
What Is Tau?
Before I start I have to make a confession: I don't truly understand Tau. But I feel that I don't understand it slightly less than people who don't know about it at all, so I'll have a go at explaining it.
Tau is a platform that is designed to scale human collaboration and knowledge building.
Almost every significant piece of technology to date (that isn't about accelerating physical labor) has been primarily focused on the disseminating information or data. The wheel, roads, telephones, the internet are all indispensable achievements that have served to aid getting information from A to B.
But the real value isn't in the data itself, it's from the organization of the information within that data into useful knowledge. While the mere distribution of information is an important step to scaling human progress, it's also only part of the picture. The next step has typically been up to us, the human actors, to use our little brains to distill that information manually until we produce knowledge;
Tau is the first piece of serious technology that is aimed to not only automate the collection of information, but also the production of knowledge, unless you count Netflix's 'AI' recommending 'The Human Centipede' after your toddler has just watched 'A Bug's Life', as successful knowledge discovery made by a machine. Tau is about the industrialization of knowledge creation via taking some of the burden of logical reasoning from us humans and giving it to the machine.
What Can Tau Do?
Ohad has spent years researching and developing Tau. The design is centered around creating a self defining, decidable logic that is expressible under pspace (which is mathematically shown to be the most expressive any self defining and decidable language can be), that will act as a metalanguage for all programming languages defined under Tau.
A trivial example of what this can directly lead to is secure smart contracts. Smart contracts operating under Tau cannot ever give rise to something like the DAO hack - decidable programming languages means one can anticipate the entire spectrum of possible consequences of the code before running it, allowing us to avoid anything unintended. But reliable and secure smart contracts are only a tiny fraction of what the platform can truly offer.
The power of Tau's design will allow it to boast some truly wondrous features including:
Ohad has yet to fully explain how this will be achieved, but by far the most difficult part is creating the initial decidable, self defining logic system that serves as a metalanguage. Many had their doubts but yesterday Ohad announced that the first and most difficult step towards this end has been achieved. The code he has written is a working version of the Tau Meta Language which correctly computed a transitive closure graph. This is a proof of concept of the great things to come!
Now that the initial code is released, Ohad is working on a set of explanations about Tau which will outline it's features and how it'll be able to achieve them in more detail. Tau is notoriously difficult to explain, but it's definitely worth the effort to understand it. I'll keep you updated when his explanations are released.
Who Is The Lead Developer Ohad Asor?
Ohad Asor is a programmer, computer scientist, mathematician and logician from Israel. He attended university at the age of 13 and has extensive experience (30+ years) in programming and mathematics.
Most people know me as the clown on here who just writes jokes along the lines of taking his mom to the prom after his cousin rejected him or some shit, but I sat my university entrance exams at 16 and scored in the top 0.5% of Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank and took a prestigious course at a well known university. I only bring this up to show that I've had no shortage of dealings with what ordinarily would be considered to be extremely intelligent people, but Ohad is on a completely different level.
Ohad Asor is, quite frankly, the most intelligent and knowledgeable person with whom I've ever interacted. There are many geniuses and child prodigies out there, but Ohad has spent virtually every minute of his waking moments studying up until this point in his life, and he likely has an IQ of over 5 standard deviations above the mean to begin with. I have spoken to him and followed his project over the past 8 months, and my assessment and admiration of his abilities has only increased over this time period.
Here is a short video of him explaining the old design of Tau and some of its features. The information is dated as the new design is far superior, but these features remain.
English is Ohad's second language - His native language is C.
How Do I Invest In Tau?
Tau itself has no tokens but Ohad is also building Agoras, the first automated marketplace over the Tau collaborative platform. Agoras tokens are currently traded on Bittrex. It has one of the fairest distributions in the cryptosphere and Ohad is only reserving 3% of the tokens for himself. None of that 20% for the founders, 10% for the developers, 20% for the foundation, 15% for the founders' penis enlargement fund bullshit.
Agoras has made considerable gains over the last few weeks but it's total market cap is still under 100 million at the time of writing, which, to me, represents an incredible opportunity for something potentially revolutionary. If we woke up tomorrow without Bitcoin, things would more or less continue as they did, but if we woke up tomorrow without electricity, the world would be an entirely different place. Indeed Tau aims to be the latter: a truly indispensable piece of technology, which is a status that no crypto project has yet reached.
This article isn't to be taken as investment advice any more than it is to be construed as advice on how to get out of the friend zone without resorting to chloroform. I'm not affiliated nor paid by the Tau team in any way. I have not made a single crypto recommendation in my 8 months of being here until now. I just wanted to share something that I think has immense potential to be truly revolutionary, and it also happens to be the only other crypto investment I hold other than Steem.
Feel free to ask some questions after and I'll try my best to answer them.
Special thanks to @dana-edwards and the Steemit platform for allowing me to discover this project
Tau QQ Group Number: 203884141
IRC for technical questions only, Ohad will generally reply within a day
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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.