Holochain Forum

Vril: The Ultimate Currency Project

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Loved it! Thanks for sharing… I actually got into Holochain purely for their p2p framework, so kinda missed on these great talks like the one you just sent… However, it’s never too late to begin, I guess. Would certainly look deeply into the meta-currency project once I have the time.

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@The-A-Man your post wasn’t flagged by someone, Discourse has a bot that flags posts for review when they have links. A way to prevent scams or risking the community. All good with your doc.

Warm wishes


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Are you sure? It is extremely common that posts are flagged when they critique a project. I mentioned something slightly critical about jitsi.org in their forum and was flagged immediately, along with comments like “if you don’t like it go somewhere else”. And there are precedents for saying “it wasn’t a flag for the content specifically” when it actually was.

Is there any formal documentation of the links == spam flag mechanism? Can people be whitelisted from it or is it always flagging every post, all the time, that includes links?

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I disagree

Also, I flagged your post (1st time ever) mainly because of the title. Why not say "VRIL: [description] or [currency that can help ____]? However, also because:

Based on your overall tone and content on a variety of threads now, I’m not convinced that you have the health of this forum as intention. Constantly mentioning Ripple and what appears to be misdirection in several other conversations, has thus incentivized me to at least voice my vote according to respectful procedures. Afterall, this is a Holochain forum whose immune system is potentially in the early phases, and therefore I do not think flagging this topic is inappropriate. It seems the team disagrees with my flag which is also their choice, so please forgive me if I’m out of line, then I apologize, it is absolutely not my wish to behave incorrectly.

With that being said, I am not going to post on this topic any longer because I do not wish for “Goodbye Holo-fuel” to keep showing up at the top of the feed, and for the same reason I am not going to respond to your messages any longer. I saw you completely bash Art and holofuel (pretty sure that comment actually did get flagged and removed) in the mutual credit category.
While aggressive speech does not offend me, please recognize there is a broader misunderstanding of these new technologies and a lot of speculation about various projects. Newcomers likely do not spend a lot of time diving into deeper technical concepts.

This general issue is one of the reasons I would like to see more participation on the forum by the community as a whole, to strengthen the health and content.

I have love for you and wish all the best in future endeavors.

@resilience-me it seems the mystery is clarified here, it was a community member flagging the post not the bot.

Well then it wasn’t a mystery, because that is pretty normal and expected (and it was what the OP said happened as well. ) Happens all the time. The only mystery about it is when it happens in cultures with a pretense of “openness” that does not actually reflect the actual behaviour (result is a contradiction, or “mystery”. ) The reason actual behaviour does not live up to the ideal, is that the desire for openness is only one factor, and human instincts for closed in-group another.

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I love the name, Vril. And, I agree that multi-hop mutual credit is superior as the money layer of something like Holochain. I had almost identical ideas back in 2014 for something like Holochain + multi-hop mutual credit (inspired by Ethereum that appeared around that time), and have often said that Holochain might not be complete in its design but might catalyze other good ideas (this last part may seem “mean” but it is just my honest take. )

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@resilience-me it might be that what you are experiencing in other communities is a result of cultural differences, in certain cultures your assumptions and stance may be seen as disrespectful. I don’t feel very excited to engage with this dialogue. You might find others in the community that do. Good luck.

Well. Or, it could be that the desire for openness is just one side of the coin. The fact here was that, as I suggested, the post was flagged not by an algorithm by a person. So now you need to claim that two people are being disrespectful as it happened to me one time, and it now happened here to another person. At some point, maybe the idea that it is a “bad appple” (me?) breaks down, and like I suggested, it might be more about that people want openness but they also want their closed community.

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Isn’t diversity a beauty!


EDIT: added some info about cross-cell validation

  • Countersigning will be a framework-level construct that you can use, because it’s difficult to get coordination between source chains right. (Requires a commitment to lock both source chains, plus a mechanism for Alice to roll back her commitment if Bob’s commitment fails to happen for some reason.)
  • Anonymous calls are hard because Holochain has accountability built into it at a very deep level. Agents are identified by their keys, and even if Alice calls Bob using with an ‘unrestricted’ or ‘transferrable’ capability claim, Bob can still see Alice’s IP address and correlate it with her agent key. It’s not easy to do, because there’s an agent→transport mapping in the DHT and no transport→agent mapping, but if Bob was indexing a large enough portion of the DHT he could figure that out pretty quick. (And for all I know, maybe even anonymous function calls still leak agent info; not sure.)
  • Calling remote DNA/zome’s functions in a validate routine, I’m not sure of. It hasn’t been explicitly disallowed (yet), but it would have to be exercised very cautiously in order to prevent non-deterministic results. A few concerns:
    • Given a DNA X whose validation callbacks depend on a DNA Y, all members of DHT X would have to also be members of DHT Y.
    • The remote function being called would have to distinguish between definitive and non-definitive results (where the latter is "couldn’t retrieve entry X yet), maybe a return value something like:
      enum GetFooResult {
      and the validation callback would have to handle that somehow. Currently validation callbacks can only signal a non-definitive result by saying “Unresolved dependencies; I can’t find the data at hashes A, B, and C” and the conductor will keep automatically retrying the function. The conductor doesn’t do anything with those dependency hashes (at least not yet); it just keeps retrying the validation callback until it gets a definitive result. Which meansyou might be able to return UnresolvedDependencies() with an empty list of dependency hashes and signal the need for a retry.

Haven’t got time to review the paper yet; hopefully I can, uh, not ‘flag’ it for later, cuz that’s got bad connotations (in Mattermost, flagging is a good thing; it means ‘remember for later’). I guess the word I’m looking for is ‘defer’ (I’d prefer ‘mark unread’, but whatever!) But I wanted to respond to some of your questions about technicalities and assumptions.

Speaking to the floor re: moderation, I think that one thing at work here is that culture is not a homogeneous thing. I’m quite happy to have you air your currency ideas here @resilience-me even though, as I’m sure you can tell by now, I disagree with you on some points. I feel like a Socratic voice is extremely valuable for keeping a group of people – especially a group that’s highly prone to ideologies like our group here – intellectually honest and nimble. As long as we’ve got the humility to listen, reflect, etc.

As much as I find disagreement cognitively exhausting sometimes, what worries me much more is when everyone is fully in agreement. Then it starts to look like groupthink :wink:

I also think that the heterogeneity, rather than being bad, is actually good, in spite of its messiness. Forces tugging against each other create balance, as long as respect reigns.

Good ideas are tough and nobody owes them anything; they don’t need anybody to stand up for them. If Holochain sucks, let it fall on its own lack of merit. If certain parts of Holochain suck, let them feel the pressure of critique until they improve.


Yes, I like diversity.

I don’t think you seem to be critical of Ryan’s ideas. And they aren’t mine, I was living my own life until 2012 when a Miles Hingston that I connected with over the P2P Foundation forum told me about them. I know since before that Michael Linton is critical of Ryan’s legacy. I know of Michael’s public person from the attribution Ryan gave, and I see Ryan’s work as the continuation of the pretty long legacy of thinking around mutual credit. My own ideas is Resilience, my old idea for a wealth redistribution system on top of multi-hop mutual credit. It is why I’m invested emotionally in Ryan’s legacy.

oh, heh, often I think I’m being super-critical and then I find out people have no clue what I’m getting all worried about. Uber-Canadian here :laughing: :maple_leaf:

You haven’t seemed critical of Ryan’s ideas. Don’t think we’ve talked about Resilience much. Haven’t got impression that Canadians were critical, seem pretty chill, lots of snow, mooses, and stuff. Besides now in the past year with the extreme covid1984 from that Trudeau but life is long and that has not even been a year.

Sorry for being critical or anything, but truth be told, wealth redistribution is a dangerous idea! It kills the very incentive of why we (as a species) have chosen to have a wealth-system in place.

The future we’re (or at least I’m) heading to is best described by these keywords: distributed, decentralized, anonymous, uncensorable, surveillance-free, and most importantly free-to-choose, meaning people would be free to choose whatever system they wanna live in. And I doubt they would choose to live in a monetary system that has wealth-redistribution functionality built-in. Moreover, the very concept of wealth-redistribution requires that it be supervised by some higher authority (the state), which is itself at odds with the notion of decentralized, anti-state “grassroots” control structures…

If I understand correctly, any wealth redistribution system aims to lift the extremely poor from abject poverty to mere subsistence from which they may build the foundation for their bright future. A very noble cause indeed… However, note that the same cause can also be fulfilled via. private-charity. Moreover, when a person personally helps another needy person, the help is not just monetary but psychological too. And often it’s the psychological help, intellectual advice, inspiration, or reassurance they need beyond just money, all of which a wealth-redistribution welfare system can never ever even dream to provide. Humans today have lost all touch with humans… A person financially helped via. the welfare system remains spiritually poor; where a person helped via. private-charity forever stays emotionally obliged to his helpers and does all he can in return for their kindness towards him, a person helped via. the welfare-system thanks none except the ruthless, authoritative cruel characterless state for having provided the help that he wholeheartedly believes was his birth-right in the first place; where a person helped via. private-charity amends to be just as kind, helpful, and nurturing as his saviors were to him, a person helped via. wealth-redistribution votes for more welfare, more control, and more coercion. Love and kindness are all but gone from a welfare-society, and are rather replaced with hatred towards the rich and the evil! The welfare system is nothing but socialism in disguise; and the wealth-redistribution system, therefore, is nothing but the road to serfdom!

As an ancap, I would recommend you look at this article: https://mises.org/library/starving-man-free.

It’s hard to change someone’s mind, especially if they’ve held their notions for decades… I was reluctant too… It’s hard for our reason-seeking minds to accept an idea as counter-intuitive as that; I mean how on earth could something done out of good intentions ever lead to bad results, right? But that’s exactly the case with the problem of lifting people from poverty; only passive solutions stand a chance, the active ones like the one you propose only lead to all being equally poor and equally helpless! I hope that makes sense…

In fact that’s what I was planning to develop as my first (h)app on Holochain: a private-charity app for connecting the needy with those willing to help (was gonna call it The GoodWill Happ)… However, the central obstacle was what the hell would people help the needy with? With Bitcoin? With Holo fuel? No chance! And so I realized we needed a value-exchange system in place before developing anything over the Holochain ecosystem… I hope Vril is the answer to that…

However, truth be told I’m not that proficient in developing stuff on Holochain… Moreover, I’m just a community member, so I don’t get told any of their internal plans for future features, and implementation-hacks, and stuff like that (neither do my github-issues get resolved as timely as theirs)… It’s like the dichotomy that Belinda Noakes was talking about in her “Low Code Zone”: those with economical, literary, theoretical and intellectual interests lack the skills needed to make their ideal monetary-systems come true, and those with the skills lack all understanding of even the basics of economical system-design!

Vril suffers from what some call the public goods problem. That is to say that there’s little to no incentive for anyone to invest their effort and time developing this simple (h)app… It would be best if a foundational (h)app like this (the persona/profile (h)app being another foundational (h)app) is developed by the official team itself… Moreover, neither do I (nor the other community members willing to collaborate) have access to the large pool of testers that Holochain has (as a matter of fact, I test in prod; hahaha).

If only they like the proposal of doing Holo-fuel the Vril way…


[I’m assuming that by open-ledger mutual credit systems, you mean systems that, unlike Ripple, are structured such that all negative balance account holders owe (or are indebted to) to all the positive balance account holders, without anyone being specifically indebted to anyone else. Under this definition, both Holofuel and L.E.T.S. qualify as such systems (although Holofuel should rather be called a private currency and not a mutual-credit economic system, as even @art on one instance agreed to, Questions about DHT, cryptography, and security). Correct me if I’m wrong in my assumption.]

You’re right. Absolutely right. However, this luxury that you address comes at a great cost. It requires us to have access to a benevolent God that grants just and appropriate credit-ratings to individuals in such an economy. Knowing that “God is Dead”, we are left to put this responsibility onto powerful individuals of the society, which, as a libertarian, I see as a nightmare scenario! Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely! The powerful ones (the maintainers of the LETS systems) can and will issue as much credit-worthiness as possible for themselves (and their friends) while in return doing as little contribution to the economy as possible (i.e., defaulting on their debt), causing frequent depressions. The naive solution that such systems take to avoid such problems is to keep the ledger publicly open to all the members (enabling the members to perform audits on the system should they so desire; LETS, unlike Holofuel takes that route; both are equally worse though).

Moreover, as an economist, you gotta be careful about the incentives that you create for the constituent members of the economic system, for that affects the overall outcome of the system. There’s very little incentive for a member of an open-and-publicly-accessible-ledger mutual credit (LETS-like) system to perform thorough extensive inspections (or audits) on the system before staking (i.e., participating) in the system, and any benefits of doing so are far too distributed (the public-goods problem of externalities), neither is there any incentive for the official maintainers (the powerful ones) to be vigilant in assessing the credit-worthiness of the individuals on behalf of the members of the system, quite the contrary. And, on the other hand, the participants are incentivized to go into as much debt as possible (because why not!). All this adds up to imply that such systems are anything but scalable. Even empirical evidence states that such systems did not and can not scale beyond closely-knit community families! And I guess you (@pauldaoust) agree, when hinting,

Regarding such generalized mutual-credit systems,

would be disastrous! So I guess LETS is out of question. @mwl, feel free to present your defences, if any (don’t be offended, please)… I’m just reviewing all the money-related systems in the town…