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.
Voluntary compliance as a necessary feature. By Dana Edwards. Posted in Steemit. September 29, 2018.
Voluntary compliance in moral alignment with the participant
Every platform which is decentralized in my opinion should allow it's users to comply with the laws of their local jurisdiction to the degree which each user thinks is moral. The platform should not enforce the laws of any specific jurisdiction or remove the ability of any user to comply with the laws of their local jurisdiction. This means if a user would like to track and pay taxes the platform should provide a means for users to do this. This means if users would like to go through KYC before interacting with ICOs so that their accounts are whitelisted by banks they should be allowed. This also means that if a user thinks that a certain regulation or rule or law is immoral that they should be allowed to make up their own mind and take their own risks.
In other words platforms should not choose for users what is right and wrong. Platforms should simply provide the tools so that each person can decide how much risk they are willing to accept in alignment with their morality. The ability to comply with the law is necessary for mainstreamability. Mainstreamability ability is about winning the long war rather than the little battle. In order for crypto to have the maximum positive impact on future generations it must go mainstream and escape from the fringe use cases. This applies as much to Steem as it does to Ethereum as it does to Tauchain. Mainstreamability are the key elements which enable mainstream adoption success.
Legal contracts as tokens
Compliance can be modularized, tokenized, decentralized. Legal contracts can become tokens. The risk (and it is real) of money laundering or rogue nations violating sanctions can be reduced by decentralizing AML/KYC. At the same time regional locks in my opinion are one of the worst ideas and should not be technically enforced. Once again compliance should be voluntary but always allowed.
What does it mean to voluntarily comply? A participant can choose to comply to reduce their risks. The participant who does not comply is willing to take the risk of non-compliance. This means compliance is a means of risk reduction. But in a decentralized network such as a decentralized exchange the risk is entirely on the users. The users can decide (and only the users) which level of risk is best for them. Developers of the platform should have no responsibility to decide for the users of the platform what is morally right or what risks are acceptable or unacceptable to take.
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
― Robert A. Heinlein 
No, it is not a vow everybody to be everything. It is a reflection of the fundamental human fungibility . The average human can be taught to take any human role. The exceptions of true organic geniuses (those who are hard to be replaced) and morons (those who are incapable to replace), only confirm this general rule of shear numbers . This is what makes the mankind so scalable .
''Know'' is synonymous with ''can''. Literally. Knowledge = technology. Even etymologically . Knowledge is praxis . Only. There ain't such thing as impractical knowledge. If it is not a skill, it is not knowledge. I mentioned once  that we're all AIs. Ref.: feral children .
We are not what we eat , but we are what we've learnt. You are what you know/can. And you can what you have learnt. Learning is from the taking side. Teaching is on the giving side. Of one and a same process. We do not have a word to denote the modulus  of learning/teaching, it seems. But it will come.
We are taught by the others, the society. We are the cherry ontop of a layer cake of culture onto nature . We are learning by ... living. We acquire skills in plethora of contexts from family, street, school, job, media ... Learning  is not a monopoly of man, countless systems are also learners. Maybe one of the basic definitions of life and intelligence is the ability to learn . Giant topic, yeah. We won't graze into it here now on what is learning, but on how we learn.
Due to our neurological bottlenecks we spontaneously form hierarchies . This hinders our scalabilty  by forcing humanity to be more or less a fractal of 5. We are close to a number of breakthroughs which to mitigate these innate limitations of ours into a number of ways    . But the general case is not subject of this article - herein we focus on HOW we are taught. How we acquire knowledge, and how this knowledge of ours gets recognized and utilized by society. And the hierarchic emergent structuring is of course in full force upon us in teaching as well as into everything social else.
So comes education , such comes exam , knowledge certification , certified skills application , knowledge creation verification , job fitness testing , CVs and employer recommendations ... etc., etc. With all the bugs and the so little features of this 'map is not the territory' , situation.
It is all centralized and hierarchic - exactly as the global fractal of double-entry accountancy ledgers which we call fiat financial system is. In fact it is so interwoven with fiat finance than it is almost inextricable from it . And as much inefficient and imprecise.
In all these years of talking and thinking on Tauchain  - I noticed - and this suspicion of mine incrementally turns into shear conviction - that Tau, the upscaler of humanity, inevitably also is the ultimate teaching machine. If education is facilitating of learning, Tau is the maximizer of learning. By its very construction, it comes out so.
People talk and listen whenever and whatever they want. Tau has unlimited capacity to listen and attend and remember, and answer. Only limited by the hardware capacity allocated. Tau extracts meaning. Purifies the stream, distills it down to the essence. Detects repetitions, contradictions and all other, ubiquitous nowadays conversation bugs. Remembers changes of opinions of the individual user. And points them out. Sounds like the best tool to know oneself. And the others to know you if you let them.
Your Tau account or profile is what you know. You say what you say and also ask. Say statements and questions. Tau pools you together with the others who state the same and, more importantly, who ask the same type of questions. Knowing what you know, and asking about what you don't know but want to know, maps not only your knowledge state but also maps your knowledge dynamics. Records and drives how your knowledge changes. You even have access to what you forget, and can recollect it. True real time knowledge state reporting. For first time in human history.
If consciousness  is - aside from the clinical state of being merely awake - the post-factum integration of senso-motoric experience , the Accountant of mind, the speaker of the narrative which is you, then Tau is your consciousness booster. That is - stronger than thought.
The ultimate teaching, the ultimate fair testing or exam, the ultimate real-time comprehensive diploma, or certificate, super-peer reviewed paper(s) of you as academic carrer.., the ultimate job interview AND the ultimate ... job of being working as yourself and anything useful you create to be instantly scarcifiable and monetizable - your Tau account is! And all the rest of accessible socoety - being your own workforce. And you to them. In the billions. In a move. In real time.
Including control over the pathways of increase of your skills towards the most productive personally for you learning directions, because it aids you to analyze the you-Tau history and to apply knowledge maximizer techniques and to participate profitably into creation of newer better ones. Maximizer of self. And maximizer of society making it to consist of max-selfs. Ever improving. Merger of education with work occupation. Work-as-you-live.
The literal Knowledge Economy, as described by @trafalgar in his article  from few months ago. Where search, creation, reflection, certification, recognition, commercialization, accumulation, modification, improvement ... everything of knowledge - is all in one.
And it is not only Humans and Tau lonely job. I foresee the other Machines to join the party . Yes, I mean machines capable to have interests and to ask and seek answers of palatable questions.
This - the education amplification - to come down the technology way - has been, of course, anticipated by many. Few arbitrary examples:
- A distant rough-sketch hint for the inevitable tuition power of Tau is Neil Stephenson's  ''The Diamond age''  , with the depicted: '' Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer '' , as an interactive networked teaching device.
- or if I'm right about the inevitable conquest of the natural languages territory  - UX  like in the 'Her' (2013) film .
- Thomas Frey  of the futurist DaVinci Institute  in his book ''Epiphany Z''  paid special attention of this.: down the way of micro- and nano-education, an effective merger of the processes of education, diplomas issuing, job application, exam and actual execution of job obligations. Tom does not know about Tau. But I'll tell him.
With a big smile of irony and self-irony of course... these examples. Just to pick from here and there proofs of the giant anticipation of what's to come. And taken with a few big grains of salt. Cause the reality will be immensely more powerful.
Tutor , tuition , my emphasis via using exactly this wording, comes to denote the economic side of learning/teaching. It is about the cost of learning - the association of tuition with fees, about the placement of the acquired skills, about the business organization of those, about the protection of ownership and security of transaction of knowledge ... Let me introduce here a neologism  which to reflect the business side of it:
Scrooge Factor 
- Simply denoting the money-making power of a technology use by a business. The 'money suction power' of a business entity or organization of any kind coming from the application of a technology, if you want. Technology as socialized knowledge. Scaled up over multiple humans. Over a society. Of course the Scrooge Factor can pump in different directions. The Scrooge Factor of the traditional hierarchic education, governance and everything ... is apparently very often negative - hierarchies decapitalize, dissipate, waste. Orders of magnitude more wasteful than any PoW , but on this - some other time.
So aside from all the niceties of the abstractions of the full supply and value chains of a Knowledge economy, lets round up some numbers:
- We know that a true functional semantic search engine alone is worth $10t. Yeah. Tens of Trills. Trillions. As per the assessments of Davos WEF attendees of as far as I remember 2015 or 2016...
- Also, Bill Gates stated back in 2004  that ''If you invent a breakthrough in artificial intelligence, so machines can learn,'' Mr. Gates responded, ''that is worth 10 Microsofts.''
- Tom Frey  also argued  that by 2030 the biggest corporation in the world will be an online school. Given the present day size and growth rate  of, say, Amazon  this 'online school' should be in the range of good deal of trillions of marcap if it is to be bigger than the biggest corporations. But we do not need such indirect analogies over analogies to access the scale. The shear size of the global education industry is the most eloquent indicator . Note that Tom talks about 'corporation' i.e. for clumsy and inefficient hierarchic human collective. Not for a system which does this orders of magnitude more efficiently and powerfully due to being intrinsically P2P, i.e. geodesic . Even the best futurologists can be forgiven for missing to predict Tau. :)
And this mind-boggling hail of trillions, does not even account for the Hanson Engine  factor.
Tau the Tutor ex Machina is just another unintended useful consequence outta the overall design.
It is nearly impossible to track and contemplate exactly what all these 'side-effects' would be and how they will synergetically boost each other.
With my articles I intend to only touch some lines of the immense phase space  of the possibilia, with neither any ambition to think it is possible to cover it all, nor this to represent any form of advice.
Future is incompressible. Compression is comprehension. Comprehensible only by living.
Failure to go to the geodesic way of learning, will turn these beautiful but trilling words into prophecy:
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age." H.P.Lovecraft  (1926 ).''
The liquid paradigm, feedback loops, the virtuous cycle and Tauchain. By Dana Edwards. Posted on Steemit. December 31, 2017.
What do I mean by the concept of "liquid platform"? This is merely a re-articulation of the concept of self amendment and self definition. In other words it is very much like an autopoietic design. Bruce Lee once said to "be like water", and the reason is because water can adapt to any environment it is placed it by taking the form of the container it is put into.
So by liquid paradigm I mean that the core feature of true next generation platform design is going to be focused on maximum adaptability.
Feedback loops and the virtuous cycle
How can we have a platform which promotes continuous self improvement? If you have a platform with no hard coded "self" then even the design of the platform is under constant negotiation and creation. This is key because it means Tauchain will be able to adapt quicker than all other competing platforms. Quicker than Tezos because Tezos merely provides self amendment but lacks the virtuous cycle, the meta language, etc.
The Tau Meta Language allows for self definition at the level of languages. This means even the communication mechanism between humans and machines can be updated continuously. This continuous updating is the key design breakthrough of Tauchain because it means Tauchain will always be state of the art in any area. Think of a platform like Wikipedia where anyone can update any part of it in real time continuously so that every part of it is always the state of the art.
Starting at languages, the feedback loop can be created between humans and intelligent machines. Humans must make decision on how to design Tau. These design decisions benefit from the virtuous cycle due to the feedback loop between humans and machines allowing the decision making ability itself to be upgraded. This could even allow for the humans to transcend traditional human capabilities by relying on intelligent machines to assist in design which means better future designs, which means better decision making, which means better future designs which leads to better decision making, this represents the "virtuous cycle" by way of a feedback loop between humans to machines to humans to machines to humans etc. The humans improve the quality of the machines by feeding knowledge, feeding new algorithms, feeding just enough for the machines to become intelligent enough to help the humans to help the machines even more efficiently in the next iteration of Tauchain, over and over again.
Humans and machines will seek more good and less bad for the formal specification of Tau itself. Good and bad designs will be defined collaboratively by the human participants by way of intelligent discussion. As discussion scales, bigger crowds means more human minds involved, which means improved design, which leads eventually to a better and perhaps wiser Tau, which of course would lead to wiser even more intelligent discussions, which can lead to an improved formal specification, and to a better Tau. So that is a loop. It is also a loop between improving Tau, improving society, improving Tau, improving society.
More on partial evaluation - How does partial evaluation work and why is it important? By Dana Edwards. Posted on Steemit. December 23, 2017.
I have been asked the question about what partial evaluation is. Partial evaluation is one of the core components behind the Tau Meta Language. In order to understand Tauchain and TML we have to do a little digging to understand not just partial evaluation but in specific the partial fixed point logic.
Self interpretation and self definition are the core of what makes Tauchain unique, and no other crypto or really any technology outside of academia will have that. Partial fixed point logic will be discussed in this blog post along with Futamura's paper on partial evalulation.
Partial Evaluation of Computation Process--An Approach to a Compiler-Compiler
Futamura's paper discusses partial evaluation as an approach to a compiler compiler. A compiler as many programmers know, is a lot like a translator. A compiler translates "source code" written in a high level formal language into "machine code" which is a lower level language. This translation process is what allows human "programmers" to communicate in a language which the machine can understand without having to speak directly in the machine code at the lowest level. With this in mind we can now understand that a compiler-compiler allows humans to describe, define, and compile a compiler, in essence allowing humans to create new programming languages.
Partial evaluation is a means of building a compiler compiler allowing this. A partial evaluation of a computation is based upon taking the formal description of the semantics of a programming language which is known as an "interpreter", allowing for description of the "evaluation procedure" which is the interpreter, to be used for defining the semantics of a programming language. So to simplify it down, the interpreter allows the advanced users of TML to define the semantics also known as the "meaning" of a programming language. This gives the user of TML a lot of flexibility, to in essence define their own programming language and then compile it (compiler-compiler). A meta compiler is what the paper describes as the ability to compile a particular language, where the partial evaluation process is where the meaning behind the semantics is defined.
A programming language is both syntax and semantics. So for future reference, after parsing is complete (syntax analysis) the meaning comes from the semantics through "semantic analysis". Partial evaluation is a process pertaining to the semantic analysis portion which takes place after syntax analysis otherwise called parsing. So we start with source code, which is input into a parser, which outputs into the generator, which at this point receives input from the partial evaluator just prior to the final stage of compilation into "machine code".
The significance of partial evaluation in Tauchain and the interesting features of partial fixed point logic
Partial evaluation is a bit of a tweak on what is usually called a compiler-compiler or parser generator. Partial fixed point logic is where the magic of TML is supposed to happen and by magic I mean the main selling points such as self defining, decidable, etc. A quick Google search of fixed point logic shows that fixed point logic has a role in model checking which is a critical design feature for Tauchain. We also learn that partial fixed point logic is more expressive on infinite structures than inflationary fixed point logic.
The critical paper comes from Imhof titled "logics that define their own semantics". It is almost magical in that in this paper we are presented with the logic which is self definable by it's nature as well as decidable. So the literature is clearly showing that theory backs TML. TML likey will be used to produce a partial fixed point logic solver which through the unique properties of this logic we will gain the magical properties promised for Tauchain. To understand partial fixed point logic fully requires a lot more in depth study, but this blog post will point potential developers in the right direction so that the most basic questions are answered.
What is the significance of this breakthrough? This is the part which is hardest for me because it opens the door to so many opportunities and so much potential. For example what can developers do with the ability to inject any logic they wish, whether partial fixed point logic or some other? What does this mean for Tauchain which can now support multiple logics? What does this mean for Agoras which can be built using a decidable logic yet be expressive? PSPACE complexity, what will this allow for developers?
I'm unable to answer those questions sufficiently, but I think this is a much bigger deal than mere "Turing complete" status which we see common with the current state of the art blockchain tech. In a way this represents the next level, which is a state of the art meta language and compiler-compiler where flexibility is in the ability to communicate from human to machine.
Futamura, Y. (1999). Partial evaluation of computation process—an approach to a compiler-compiler. Higher-Order and Symbolic Computation, 12(4), 381-391.
Kreutzer, S. (2002, September). Partial fixed-point logic on infinite structures. In CSL (pp. 337-351).
Imhof, H. (1999). Logics that define their own semantics. Archive for Mathematical Logic, 38(8), 491-513.
Fuente / Source: Original post written by Dana Edwards. Published on Steemit. December 23, 2017.
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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.