The Paradigm of Social Dispersed Computing and the Utility of Agoras. By Dana Edwards. Posted on Steemit. October 12, 2018.
Social Dispersed Computing
What is socially dispersed computing? It is an edge oriented computing paradigm which goes beyond cloud and fog computing. To understand socially dispersed computing we first have to discuss dispersed computing and how it differs from the previous paradigm of cloud and fog computing. The current trend toward decentralized networks which we first saw with the peer to peer technologies such as Napster, Limewire, Bittorrent, and later with Bitcoin, have brought to us an opportunity to conceptually new paradigms. The original model most people are familiar with is the client server model which was very much limited in that the server was always vulnerable to DDOS attack. The client server model has never been and could likely never be censorship resistant.
In the client server model the server could simply shut down as was the case with Bitconnect or it could be raided. The server could also be shut down by hackers who simply flood the site with requests. As we can see from the problems the client server model presented we discovered the utility of the peer to peer model. The peer to peer model was all about censorship resistance and promoted a network which was to have no single point of failure (single point of attack) which could be result in the shutdown of access points to the information. One of the first applications for these peer to peer networks was file sharing networks and networks such as Freenet/Tor etc. This of course eventually evolved into the Bitcoin which ultimately led to the development of Steem.
In dispersed computing a concept is introduced called "Networked Computation Points". An NCP can execute a function in support of user applications. To elaborate further I'll offer something below.
Consider that every component in a network is a node. Now consider that every component node is an NCP in that it can execute some function to support some user application. If we think of for example a blockchain then we know mining would fit into this category because it is both a node in the network and it also can execute a function in support of Bitcoin transactions. Why is any of this important? Parallelism is something we can gain from dispersed computing and please note that it is distinct form concurrent computing. When we rely on parallelism we can reap the benefits in terms of performance when executing code by breaking it up into many small tasks which can be performed across many CPUs.
EOS attempts to leverage parallelism specifically to enable it's performance boost. The benefit is speed and flexibility. Think for example of the hardware side also with FGPAs which can do similar tasks of a microprocessor. FGPAs (not ASICs) which unlike ASICs would provide generalized flexible parallel computing. Consider that just like with mining a company could add more and more FGPAs to scale an application as needed.
To understand Social Dispersed Computing we have to make note of the fact that there are other users at any given time. For example the other users in the network participate to provide resources to the network for the benefit of other users whilst using the network. So in Steem for example as you add content to Steem you are adding value to Steem in a direct way, but also in a dynamic way. The resources on Steem also can adapt dynamically to the demand provided that the incentive mechanism (Resource Credits) works as intended.
EOS as an example DOSC (Dispersed Operating System Computer)
Because EOS seems to be the first to approach this holistically I will give credit to the EOS network for pioneering dispersed computing in the crypto space. All resources are representable by tokenization in a dispersed computing network. EOS and even Steem have this. Steem has it in the form of "Resource Credits" which represent the available resources on the Steem network. If more resources are needed then theoretically the resource credits could act as an incentive to provide these resources to the Steem network. This provides a permanent price floor to Steem represented as the amount of Steem which would have to be purchased in order to have enough resources to run Steem (if I have the correct theoretical understanding). This would put Steem on a trajectory toward dispersed computing.
Operating systems typically sit between the hardware and software as a sort of abstraction layer. This traditionally has been valuable because programmers don't have to directly speak to the hardware and hardware designers don't have to directly communicate by their designs to the programmer. In essence the operating system in the traditional model is centralized and made by a company such as Microsoft or Apple. This centralized operating system typically runs on a device or set of devices and provides some standard services such as email, a web browser, and maybe even a Bitcoin wallet.
Typically the most valuable or high utility software people consider on a computer is the operating system. In our smart phones this is Android OS and in PCs it may be Windows or Linux. This is of course thrown on it's head under the new paradigm of dispersed computing and the new conceptual model of the "decentralized" operating system. EOS is the first to attempt a decentralized operating system using current blockchain technology but the upcoming technology easily eclipses what EOS could do. Tauchain is a technology which if successful will leave EOS in the stone age in terms of what it will be able to do. EOS while ambitious also has had it's problems with regard to the voting mechanisms and the ease at which collusion can take place.
To better understand how decentralized operating systems emerge learn about:
If we look at OSKit we see that it is the tools necessary for operating system development. If we look at Tauchain we realize that it is strategically the most important tool for the development of a decentralized operating system being provided in the form of TML (a partial evaluator). If we think of the primary tool necessary to develop from we have to initially start with a compiler. A compiler generator is more like what TML allows with it's partial evaluator. More specifically it is the feature of Futamura projection which can provide the ability to generate compilers.
If we look at the next most important part of an operating system it is typically the kernel. Let's have a look at what an exokernel is:
Operating systems generally present hardware resources to applications through high-level abstractions such as (virtual) file systems. The idea behind exokernels is to force as few abstractions as possible on application developers, enabling them to make as many decisions as possible about hardware abstractions. Exokernels are tiny, since functionality is limited to ensuring protection and multiplexing of resources, which is considerably simpler than conventional microkernels' implementation of message passing and monolithic kernels' implementation of high-level abstractions.
By Thorben Bochenek [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
From this at minimum we can see that an exokernel is a more efficient and direct way for programmers to communicate with hardware. To be more specific, "programs" communicate with hardware directly by way of an exokernel. We know the most basic function of a kernel in an operating system is the management of resources. We know in a decentralized context that tokenization allows for incentives for management of resources. When we combine them we get kernel+tokenization to produce an elementary foundation of an operating system. In a distributed context we could apply a decentralized operating system in such a way that the network could be treated as a unified computer.
Abstraction is still important by the way. In an operating system we know the object oriented way of abstraction. Typically the programmer works with the concept of objects. In an "Application Operating Environment" an "Application Object" can be another useful abstraction. Abstraction can of course be taken further but that is for another blog post.
The Utility of Agoras
Agoras+TML is interesting. Agoras is the resource management component of what may evolve into the Tau Operating System. This Tau Operating System or TOS is something which would be vastly superior to EOS or anything else out there because of the unique abilities of Agoras. The main abilities have been announced on the website such as the knowledge exchange (knowledge market) where humans and machines alike can contribute knowledge to the network in exchange for the token reward. We also know that Agoras will have a more direct resource contribution incentive property in the form of the AGRS token so as to facilitate the sale or trade of storage, bandwidth or computation resources.
The possible (likely?) emergence of the Tau Operating System
In order for Tauchain to evolve into a Dispersed Operating System Computer it will need an equivalent to a kernel. Some means of allowing whomever is responsible for the Tauchain network to control and manage the resources of that network. If for example the users decide then by way of discussion there would be a formal specification or model of a future iteration of the Tauchain network. This according to current documents is what would produce the requirements for the Beta version of the network to apply program synthesis. Program synthesis in essence could result in a kernel and from there the components of a Tau Operating System could be synthesized in the same way. Just remember that all that I write is purely speculative as we have no way to predict with certainty the direction the community will take during the alpha.
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).
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.
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.