Holochain Forum

Debate on Trust with Hybrida from Bitlattice

Your gut tells you right. The ideal society would be composed of similarly conscious, independent individuals being able to infer their decisions through reason. Without any hierarchy.

Sadly, biology acts against that. Animal herds are a way in which certain species maximize survival with minimization of expenses. Herds to work efficiently must have a hierarchy, as the flow of information is always a bottleneck and the decision-making process cannot be entrusted to an assembly of all the members. Simply because their cognitive abilities differ along a bell curve. Democracy, while an attractive idea, works poorly in terms of efficiency. Apart from the fact that it’s seldom a real democracy in real life.

So, your gut is right. But that doesn’t solve a thing. Because our world is far from ideal. Non-hierarchical structures can grow to a limited scale. One of the largest examples was Github, before being taken over. But to look for a working solution I’d suggest looking at possibilities to force participants of a system, via specific stimuli, to choose hierarchy-less approach. Because naturally they’ll tend to look for a leader or someone that tells them what to think.

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Good to hear my gut is still functional :slight_smile:

Robert Sapolsky did some research into this area. Will have to look it up again. Could temporary hierarchies offer new solutions? I can imagine this will run into the same scaling issues. And how can you design a system with this in mind?

EDIT:
When a hierarchy functions, the people on top are in a good state and the people on the bottom in a worse state. When a hierarchy is unstable, the people on top experience more stress and the people on the bottom see more opportunities. Something I just read…kind of interesting and makes sense in a way. I wonder how this oscillation works with temporary hierarchies. :thinking:

Good question. Temporary hierarchies can be a potential solution, however I’m afraid people will tend to make them permanent.

Below are few ideas I can share at the moment. They all depend on context and have both advantages and disadvantages. Besides, the issues I mentioned in my previous posts should also be taken into consideration, as they are no less important than the hierarchy one. Eliminating hierarchy is just a step in good direction in some select use cases.

  • pushing for full anonymity. By full I don’t mean random nicks. I mean random identity designator on every contact/voting/whatever. That, however, creates a risk of abuse by creating fake identities (the most common way in rating systems atm). That risk, when constant designators are in use, is lower, as other members can spot manipulation by observing patterns in behavior;
  • push toward non conformist behavior. So, a user is rewarded by being apart from the community. The further the better. First impression is that people will go into extremes. But, if a proper measure is used (dense means with local, narrow scope for instance), going into extremes en masse won’t be beneficial. Then people will be forced to think about their choices several times, to find a way to exploit the system while also expressing their point of view in a most true way. A kind of a game. That approach is very tricky, but also very promising. Even if counter-intuitive.
  • push toward skepticism and rational thinking. The hardest approach, because people are lazy. While I can envision a system where every decision must be logically substantiated (using for instance a simplified language to manage predicates) I doubt that it would attract people. Too much things to do, before I can push on a “the guy is an idiot” button. Too much thinking. On the other hand, it’s the only way to actually equalize cognitive differences in population.

Disclaimer - the above are just rough ideas. Missing many factors, oriented on the hierarchy issue you find important.

As to your edit - with temporary hierarchies the frequency changes :smile:. I don’t think anything else. But we have the Tensorflow for instance, maybe someone will spare some time and link that variable with population metrics and run it through some genetic algo?

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To expand a little on a model that could shed some light into temporary hierarchy.

First step would be to define some boundaries that the population works within. I’d suggest the following axioms:

  1. constant population size;
  2. evolutionary modeled dependence between satisfaction of followers and triggering change (say initially leaders-80/followers-20 and boom);
  3. constant followers’ satisfaction
  4. constant “life-time” of each run. Otherwise, as there may be some stable situations the whole thing will produce an infinite frequency;
  5. variable frequency that is our goal to optimize.

The model of population and internal interactions in Tensorflow (training data generated). Genetic algo for every round inheritance and random adjustments of the second point. The fitness function should depend on a steady frequency of change of leadership. (so two layers, TF and GA)

It’s a very simplified model, but could act as a hint when it comes to a question, what are the best conditions for the temporary hierarchy solution.

Thanks, this is pretty cool and could scale when temporary hierarchies can somehow create temporary clusters. I like the life-time and satisfaction rules. Each hierarchy can dissolve after a goal is reached or if the satisfaction level is diminished. I can imagine this could be gamified within Holochain on application level. Thanks for the great feedback. I am going to play with this idea for a bit and think of use-casus where this could work.

With respect to modeling I’d go even further. Given the debate uncovered some problems with trust and techniques trying to contain it (I hope) and given that your Hackaton is going to take place in Prague in a week from now, I suggest you use the chance and prepare at least a theoretical basis of what you actually want in terms of at least minimally reliable system based on trust. A conceptual model. Further I’ll describe what should you focus your attention on. Then you have two possible paths.

First, to prepare a model and a mutation mechanism on your own. I don’t know whether there are members of your community capable of doing it, but if there are let them write first a simplified version during your event. Simplified, as the more interconnected dimensions are involved the more computing power is needed. But even with a simplified one you could possibly spot some regularities.

The other path is to have some professionals interested in it. Your event may be a chance to meet them. By professionals I mainly refer to academics. They may come from the Uni in Prague for instance. My suggestion would be to invite guys from MPI in Tübingen. In particular their “Intelligent systems” division. Of course, you can invite guys from different academic centers around. They often have resources and knowledge you don’t, maybe some will be willing to have a weekend trip to Prague. That approach is more reasonable, as any more complex model will require machines you probably have no access to. Also, a cooperation could provide you with a solution that at least has some merit. Not to mention a label of being scientifically substantiated.
But to take that path you must prepare something more than just a wish list.

So, let’s see what you need to have your problem being properly described.
Before you start reading further please see this clip, as I’ll refer to it.

First of all, decide what base system you’d like to model. I mean the most abstract one, the one that could potentially be a base for others, more use case oriented systems. In the clip I wanted you to see it would be a bipedal walker.

Next step should address defining a set of things the system must cover. So, whether there should be a rating (I assume that yes), should it address hierarchy and leadership (@AdriaanB), should it be as tamper resistant as possible, or only to a certain extent limited by usability, should it force behaviors or respond to them (or both), etc. Analogy in the clip - two legs, erected body, muscles attached to joints, locking joints, etc.

Next step - defining goals. It’s your fitness function. Analogy in the clip - it walks firmly, doesn’t topple, is able to navigate obstacles. In your case it could be the fact that a user feels some kind of satisfaction. But pay attention to the fact that you must be able to somehow measure it. So, maybe the time spent on using it? The number of interactions? It’s your job. But the set of values must be clearly numerical and as concise as possible. So, no social sciences’ mumbo-jumbo and no multitude of factors.

Next step - defining an environment. Your environment is our population. Because it’s complex, you must build a simplified model. In the clip these are bumps on a path. In your case these could be popularity fluctuations for instance.

Next step - defining your environmental threats. In the clip - boxes thrown at walkers. In yours - malicious actors, aspiring leaders, non diverse community, etc.

Next step - defining interactions between different elements of a puzzle. In the clip these are constraints and routing (dependencies) of muscles. In your case… So, we talked about that. Human behaviors aren’t very simple, but when broken down into atomic operations, as I tried to explain above, some factors are clearly dependent on others. So, for instance, an attitude toward a person, relation with that person impacts on our willingness to trust. It’s probably not linear, but there is a correlation. Maybe there are some papers trying to grasp a scale of that correlation. Look for them. There are other relations as well, for instance between stratification and satisfaction (hierarchy). And many more. Some were researched. Find numbers.

Next step - define a size of your population. Start from small numbers. Analogy in the clip - muscles and bones. Mind that you must take into consideration malicious actors as well.

Next you should decide which factors are constant, which are variable and which a GA should fill with optimal values. Analogy in the clip - the value to look after was a sequence of firing muscles (or its generalized model). You can prepare different scenarios with different constants, variables and values to be looked after.

Before you call it an end, one more caveat. Whenever possible try finding some figures in research papers. There are lots of papers focused on social issues, but focus on those that contain numbers and analytical approach. No mumbo-jumbo, remember? If there is no paper on a particular matter, look for things that may be related. For instance, trust isn’t deeply researched, but belief is. From social, neurological, biological perspectives. Another example - the wisdom of the crowd was researched in many papers. While not directly related to your use case, some rules and values might be useful.

After completing the above steps you’re more or less ready to prepare your model and its evolution. Evolution, because you’d like to find a form that works the best way possible (optimally satisfies the fitness function).

Then you just write a code, run it and depending on equipment and complexity wait from hours to weeks to see the result.

I address this post to all of you, notably to @Brooks who seemed to care about the subject, to @jakob.winter who certainly cares, to @AdriaanB who wants to solve at least one issue and to whoever is interested in the subject of this debate. You don’t have to like me, you can even be emotionally distressed by what I wrote so far, but this advice is free. There is nothing better than a free candy, right?

What I mean with that I respect your integrity, is that I do. You can reject my perspective, I still think BitLattice could benefit from a better social consensus mechanism, Bitcoin and Ethereum have both fragmented socially, and I think you make a false argument when you claim that Bitcoin and Ethereum (and BitLattice most likely) do not rely on trust in their social consensus mechanism, because they do.

To give a longer answer, https://textuploader.com/1r4d8, but since this is a social disagreement and not a technical one, not that relevant.

I can’t help when you’re unable to differentiate between what is internal and what is external. I also respect your integrity, but I don’t respect your attempts to drift away from the debate and try to shape it the way that suits you.
So - would love to hear something about my proposal of the conceptual model I mentioned, but in the future I’ll simply ignore any post by you unrelated to the subject.

A comment of sorts - lyrics in particular: The Sound of Silence.

Respect your feedback and really want to look at this a bit more in the future. When I was thinking/reading/responding I was doing a 9 day hike in the mountains and just came down and have to sort a lot of stuff out. So, limited on time and only my phone at hand.

I have a list of +20 concepts/ideas I am exploring to be valid ideas on Holochain. The list grows by the day because of the valuable feedback from the community. Topics like authority; community; decision making; REA; collective intelligence; version control and content management. And today I got the idea to create a desktop schema design tool :slight_smile:

When I am back at the home office, I will order a gigantic whiteboard and will try to make sense of it all. There are so many concepts I will have to get used to. So, I am not capable to give you some relevant feedback on the short-term.

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@AdriaanB Respect - I never spent more than a day hiking in the mountains. Sea is to me a far less hostile environment (even if it isn’t) :smile:.

As to the concepts - there may be hundreds of them and certainly some may turn out to be interesting. Mind however, that the model I suggested isn’t about another use case of Holochain. It’s about determining the least unreliable application of trust based relations cast on a database plus processing gizmos. It’s general. Let the neural networks find the optimum.

Nevertheless, thanks for your input and looking forward to learning more about your conclusions, let it be longer term if needed.

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Just published an article on Medium, greatly inspired by our debate:
Sustainability and trust.

EDIT: Just after publishing mine I found this article about, in short, poorly located trust in a tech giant. What a coincidence.

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I have not drifted away from yours and @Brooks debate. I share my stance or viewpoint in it. I see the Nakamoto consensus as a social mechanism for popular vote, because that is what it is, vote with CPU, or coins, or people-vote in proof-of-vote. I would assume BL has a similar popular vote mechanism, but I am unable to access proof of that while you are not.

re: unable to differentiate, ad hominem are not necessary.

The parts of BL I have had explained to me sound more like they are improvements (by leaps) of the hash-linking (using a lattice structure instead) and that the proof-of-structure is added to make “sharding” possible, a problem that did not need to be solved in blockchains. The lattice cryptography an evolution of the digital signatures (+ adding new possibilities like homomorphic encryption. ) In all that, I have not seen how BL would select which of two BL networks is the one to form social consensus around.

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“Unable to differentiate” is a statement of fact (my perception of it) not argumentum ad personam. Would be if I implied that it’s due to your deficiencies of a kind. Which I never did.
As to the rest - ignored as promised due to being not relevant to the debate.

My stance in the debate is that the Nakamoto consensus is a social consensus mechanism for popular vote, analogous to popular vote in a nation-state, and that I agree with both yours and @Brooks viewpoints on the benefits of trusting a mob (as in Ethereum or Bitcoin) or trusting a person (as in Holochain. ) Besides social consensus, Bitcoin/Ethereum and Holochain use same technology, both have hash-linking and digital signatures (trustless parts. ) That it is not relevant to the debate… it is my stance in the debate.

Machine consensus in blockchains and Bitlattice is independent on social consensus. While one can use those mechanisms for achieving for instance voting consensus these two levels never mix. A use of a tool is external to that tool. One can use a hammer to drive nails or as a door stopper. The hammer stays just a hammer, doesn’t become “nailing hammer” or “door stopping hammer”.
You start from a prerequisite that the tools you desperately try to pin here have anything to do with the phenomenon we discuss. Then, you present your stance inferred from that prerequisite. It would only be valid given the prerequisite is true. But isn’t.

The Nakamoto consensus as a mechanism for popular vote, is social consensus. It is integrated with machine-consensus like hash-linking and digital signatures, and in Holochain the social consensus is at a smaller scale while the machine-consensus parts are the same. The innovation from Craig Wright was the social consensus part, the rest is much older. His invention is the exact equivalent of popular vote in a nation-state, the first version just happened to vote with CPU because it was technically easy to implement. If you did manage to actually use the popular vote mechanism in a nation-state as a door stopper I guess you could call it a door stopper, a flower pot and a mug are the same object more or less, still given different names.

You are the one who is rejecting my stance in yours and @Brooks debate, and dictating about why I hold it. Stick to the topic instead, ad hominem are not necessary. That the Nakamoto consensus is mob rule (popular vote), whereas Holochain is person-to-person consensus (relationship/community based), is a premise that is valid and true, and relevant to yours and @Brooks debate, and the reason I agree with both your viewpoints, I see benefits to both of the niches you debate about. I see no conflict, and I think you are both just debating based on… false premises, actually. One main selling point of Holochain was that it was “meta” in regards to social consensus, that it could scale to Bitcoin-type social consensus. I ignored Holochain to begin with, and paid a bit more attention to it after you gave it credit on Bitcointalk, and never got the impression that you were against small scale social consensus, your tweet just pointed out a benefit with BL and @Brooks response was that it was “dystopian”, and I do not agree it is, I am very interested in your technology as an “exocortex” for humanity, but I still like relationship-based ledgers, also as part of web 3.0, I see them as two separate niches. That opinion is quite unpopular, I was banned from a Holochain channel once for mentioning it. Overall, I agree with both yours and @Brooks viewpoint.

While both Bitcoin and Ethereum and similar technology are in the public domain, exactly how BL coordinates which history to follow, I cannot access that, only you can. What you have told me about BL seems to just be focused on improving the parts of blockchain technology that existed long before Bitcoin was invented, proof-of-structure seems to be for “sharding”, and I have seen similar ideas for sharding blockchains, just less refined. The lattice structure you use seems to be an improvement of the chain structure in a blockchain (so separate from the social consensus in a blockchain or bitlattice), and the lattice cryptography seems to be an evolution of the elliptic curve cryptography. I would assume, based on Bitcoin/Ethereum as prerequisites, that you have a separate popular vote mechanism, but, proof of that is not accessible to me while it is accessible to you. I respect your integrity, I have thought that I might miss something about BL in how you have designed popular vote into it, but this is my perspective at the moment based on what I can access, mainly based on Bitcoin and Ethereum as public utilities that have been around for 5-10 years.

According to what I said before, I shouldn’t answer your post. However, I found it entertaining to prepare a little analysis. I’m also in a mood for a short lecture of logic.
But the analysis first. I love numpy and mathplotlib - echo of my years long affection toward statistics. It’s so easy to dump huge amounts of data in minutes onto a graphical representation. The results of my recent, little experiment are below:

Consensus seems to be a matter that you are the most interested in. Maybe it deserves another thread? Your almost constant interest in Bitlattice is certainly something that I should appreciate. What bothers me however is your diminishing interest in trust - as it’s still the subject of this debate. The source is here - just feed it with a text file with posts separated by a delimiter. You can apply it on your own - you don’t have to trust me.
The above is of course a situational joke, the sample is very small, so we all know that one couldn’t draw serious conclusions out of it, right?

Before we go toward a lecture I have one warning. You already accused me of wrongdoing - namely, you accused me of using straw-men tactics and argumentum ad hominem. In the first case you weren’t kind to present any substance for it. In the latter you brought my sentence: “I can’t help when you’re unable to differentiate between what is internal and what is external” as an evidence. The problem is that the sentence isn’t a personal attack (as ad hominem should be) - it was a statement of fact. In my eyes you’re unable to differentiate what is internal and what external (what your latest post confirms) and I really cannot help here. If you took it personally it’s your problem - deal with it. But if you continue accusing me (which in practice is a form of ad hominem itself) our dialogue will come to a definite end.

Let’s now head toward a lecture. A Scottish monk, living in XIII/XIV centuries, known as Duns Scotus formulated a logical principle known as the Principle of Explosion. It basically states that from two contradicting prerequisites any conclusion can be drawn and this conclusion will be true. By any I mean anything. Like “the Moon is made of cheese”. That has many consequences, even as far as in logic that our computers use.
Subscribing to both parts of our debate, on a general level, you can effectively and logically draw any conclusion you want. If you only supported specific parts of mine and @Brooks arguments (like @jakob.winter did) all would be correct, as our stances are complex. By supporting both general stances, that are defined in a binary, mutually exclusive form, you are free to discuss anything being always right and it’s almost correct - almost, because there is also the Law of Noncontradiction. But that’s for another lecture.

As to Bitlattice - our conversation about the details was like playing Chinese whispers. I tried to explain you the architecture, you asked repeatedly about social consensus and wanted me to include your proof-of-power. I even went as far as to propose that I’ll help you in implementation of your proof in the dapps layer (I wanted to be nice), because BL core is well equipped when it comes to proving and doesn’t need anything more. Ultimately I wrote “As to Bitlattice - you can consider it whatever. I operate on facts, not considerations” as I lost hope that I’ll ever successfully explain you internals. Therefore, I won’t try again expecting a different result. And I repeat for the last time - I won’t discuss BL matters here anymore.

You have said for two years that you disagree that popular vote in Bitcoin and Ethereum is important in BitLattice. I respect your integrity. I’m unable to access proof of your claims, is all. My best guess based on the technology that is available in the public domain is that BL would have a popular vote mechanism, and it has seemed to me that proof-of-structure as you have explained it is not that but that it is more of a sharding-mechanism. So my stance in yours and @Brooks debate is still that I agree with both your viewpoints, that it can be good to trust a mob like the Nakamoto consensus in Bitcoin, or, a personal relationship like in Ryan Fugger’s Ripple running on Holochain.

I claim that the popular vote issue is not important at all in context of distributed ledgers. The difference is that the structure of tools you mentioned enable malicious actors to manipulate networks (and they do it on a regular basis), while BL restricts such manipulations. I have a proof and you’ll be able to read it straight from a white-paper when it’s published. However, I doubt that it’s going to change your mind. You start from a hard set prerequisite that the popular vote has something to do with consensus mechanism in distributed ledgers. That assumption is a logical fallacy, as I already presented several times in a row. To my example with a hammer you replied with a statement that I can assign any names to a phenomenon. My point wasn’t about names, but about a nature of an object. If I could, citing you “use the popular vote mechanism in a nation-state as a door stopper” it would still be a popular vote mechanism. Names doesn’t matter, nature of a thing/phenomenon doesn’t change with context. The same applies to the consensus mechanism - it’s just a logical mechanism designed to deliver an output based on an aggregate of inputs. Repeatably, provably. Just that - it’s its nature. No society is needed here, no will, trust, mumbo-jumbo. It’s the machine consensus (or better an algorithmic one). What one uses it for is irrelevant. Machine consensus can be used to perform a popular vote, but it remains machine consensus. Being used as a tool, the tool doesn’t magically turn into social consensus.

Therefore, neither existing distributed ledgers, nor BL will ever have a popular vote mechanism as you suggest. Simply because to call something popular you imply existence of a populus that has an exclusive right to use it. Which isn’t a case, because input provided to a ledger can come from different sources, even from a source of ideal randomness with Kolmogorov complexity at infinity (if it exists).

Another sentence in your post gives an insight into your misunderstanding. You found it problematic that the proof-of-structure deals with sharding. You seemingly fail to understand what actually proofs are for (before you call it an ad hominem - there’s nothing wrong in not understanding that fact, most people fail to grasp it). Their only purpose is to properly route data (as distributed ledgers are nothing more than databases). In BL, spatial distribution of data exists to avoid certain expensive operations that plague “flat” systems. No surprise then that the proof aims at proper accountancy in said space.

In my previous post I mentioned the Principle of Explosion and I did it for purpose. It’s because you use a tactic that while being obvious to a trained eye is mostly overlooked by most readers. Again, I don’t impute that you use it for nefarious purposes. More, I think you are honest and don’t even realize its existence.
When people are presented with a natural language example of the principle it’s usually something along: “Water is wet and water isn’t wet therefore, the Moon is made of green cheese”. It’s clearly gibberish.

When in a debate a similar mechanism can be used, but often goes unnoticed. A participant expresses agreement with both stances presented. Is applauded, as it’s so gentle, consilient and universal. Attendees often overlook that both stances are contradictory. Then the participant changes the subject and attendees agree, out of a reasoning that if all was already agreed, there’s nothing to add, the change is justified. The behavior of attendees is based on trust that an all-encompassing individual is likely to provide a valuable input, while in fact the input is unrelated to the original subject. On the bright side, it means that our brains are logical on a deep, unconscious, level as (p ∧ ¬p) ⇒ q stands always true.

That tactic is more commonly used than some could expect, often by politicians. I bet many heard a passage like this: “Our government, by proposing new taxes, is working to provide resources for social purposes, while at the same time ensuring that citizens are not fiscally overburdened. Therefore, the overarching aim of our actions is to ensure an appropriate level of education for our young citizens”. The bs-meter hits the end of scale, but most won’t notice any inconsistency or manipulation.

Your tactic is similar. You have several pet subjects you like to discuss, namely social consensus, your proof, tubulin, Craig Wright and others that you present via Steemit and other mediums. Apparently, you don’t have anything to add to the debate on trust or likely you’re more interested in discussing said pet subjects instead. So, you start from agreeing with two opposites and then continue into your favorite direction. I don’t blame you, it’s natural to pursue matters that one considers important. Don’t be surprised however, that I consider a stance: “We need more trust and we need less trust, so let’s talk about consensus” dubious at best.

But every cloud has a silver lining - our exchange gave me a chance to present one interesting behavior related to trust on a live example. Hence, you deserve full credit for your contribution.

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