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Offline Thom

Talk about a comprehensive project!
« on: September 24, 2014, 05:01:36 PM »

I just became of http://www.bitnation.co/, which sounds like a blockchain 2.0 project but I haven't invested the time to check it out thoroughly yet.

The use of the word governance troubles me. Bitnation did popup on reddit too: http://www.reddit.com/r/BitNation/.

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Offline Akado

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Re: Talk about a comprehensive project!
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2014, 05:36:26 PM »
links for whitepaper and bizplan dont work.. for something that has been in a crowdsale for 3 months it seems to lack some more info. 30% to founders seems a bit too much
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 05:40:09 PM by Akado »
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Re: Talk about a comprehensive project!
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2014, 05:41:44 PM »
at first it seemed interesting .. but there is no whitepaper and no indication to what blockchain security they use .. it seems to be POW .. but couldn't find any contra arguments on the site ..

could also be a huge scam with a nice webpage
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Offline Thom

Re: Talk about a comprehensive project!
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2014, 05:58:08 PM »
Yeah, I looked at it in more detail after I started this thread and I don't think there's much substance to it. I looked at an interview of the founder on their facebook page and the interviewer asked some questions which she didn't have good answers to, such as (paraphrased) , why would you expect governments to treat BitNation favorably when it's in competition with it and threatens to divert their tax revenue?

It seems to be smoke & mirrors.

This got me to thinking about whether blockchain technology is the next .com bubble in the making. Thoughts about that?
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Offline xeroc

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Re: Talk about a comprehensive project!
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2014, 06:00:51 PM »
there will be useful blockchains (a few)
and alot worthless blockchains
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Offline luckybit

Re: Talk about a comprehensive project!
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2014, 06:11:40 PM »
at first it seemed interesting .. but there is no whitepaper and no indication to what blockchain security they use .. it seems to be POW .. but couldn't find any contra arguments on the site ..

could also be a huge scam with a nice webpage

1) It's not Proof of Work. It will be blockchain agnostic because it's a platform not a chain.
2) It's not a scam, but it is a very ambitious project with some of the same individuals associated with Swarm.
3) It's not a competitor or friend to Bitshares X. It's trying to build tools to help crypto communities provide government like functionality.

FACT: There is demand for governent functions even in the anarchist community. Governance doesn't mean centralized but instead decentralized. Decentralized government means you can utilize the machinations of the private sector to solve certain social problems to provide education, basic income, private decentralized law, and so on.

So the demand exists and Bitnation is supplying the demand. Bitshares as a community should utilize the code they produce if it's useful and adopt the embrace and extend tactic.

Yeah, I looked at it in more detail after I started this thread and I don't think there's much substance to it. I looked at an interview of the founder on their facebook page and the interviewer asked some questions which she didn't have good answers to, such as (paraphrased) , why would you expect governments to treat BitNation favorably when it's in competition with it and threatens to divert their tax revenue?

It seems to be smoke & mirrors.

This got me to thinking about whether blockchain technology is the next .com bubble in the making. Thoughts about that?

Bitnation is utilized right can allow national governments to cut costs. Imagine all the expensive social programs which could be cut if Bitnation could take on some of that functionality. It would allow national governments to focus on the one thing they are good at (warfare) and let Bitnation handle the other stuff.

I think if Democrats want social programs they should stop looking to the political process to solve the problem. Bitnation could easily forge an alliance with both Democrats and Republicans as a way to make government processes much more efficient. Unfortunately a lot of the time the people in government are not the sharpest and brightest so they might not understand what Bitnation is and why it could be essential to the future of governance.

It is much more likely that we will see something like Bitnation technology beta tested in war torn countries which have obviously failed states.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 06:18:00 PM by luckybit »
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Offline Thom

Re: Talk about a comprehensive project!
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2014, 06:17:05 PM »
FACT: There is demand for governent functions even in the anarchist community. Governance doesn't mean centralized but instead decentralized.

FACT: Governance doesn't mean centralized or decentralized it means control.

The demand for "government functions" is a demand for services, and they should be delivered through voluntary, free market cooperation not at the point of a gun, which is all that government is- FORCE!
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 06:20:24 PM by Thom »
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Offline luckybit

Re: Talk about a comprehensive project!
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2014, 06:22:41 PM »
FACT: There is demand for governent functions even in the anarchist community. Governance doesn't mean centralized but instead decentralized.

FACT: Governance doesn't mean centralized or decentralized it means control.

The demand for "government functions" is a demand for services, and they should be delivered through voluntary, free market cooperation not at the point of a gun.

Government actually does not just mean "control". It means there is an authority which generate the rules of the system. In our system we seek to optimize for decentralization of authority but authority always exists somewhere. We get a choice as to whether we want centralized or decentralized, human-centric or math-based, but rules must be generated even for us.

Do the rules of the Bitshares datachain control the delegates?  It provides order so that transactions on the datachain have meaning. If there were no order at all then there could be no meaning which means you can't have a market. There is no "force" or "control" involved in Bitshares or Bitnation as the rules are in the source code for anyone to read and the arguments you make against government can apply to the source code as well.

This means a free market requires order if it is to function at all. You cannot agree upon anything if you have no order. If you cannot agree upon a price using price fees or some other mechanism then you don't have a way to exchange anything so even Bitshares relies on voting/consensus.

Bitshares X requires delegates or it couldn't function. These delegates are not our bosses. The bosses are the shareholders. That means the shareholders have decentralized "control" over the platform and thus would be the government according to your definition. In my opinion decentralized governance is the best outcome we can hope for.

The idea that you can have a free market without any order is a myth. You cannot even write software without rules built into it. Bitcoin itself has some rules built into it which control how it functions.

I understand a lot of idealists believe that you can have complete and true anarchy. I understand a lot of people here believe in crypto-anarchy or anarcho-capitalism, but even when you have anarcho-capitalism there still must be laws in place to preserve the liberty of the free market. It will not remain free if the design of your system isn't set up with rules to keep it free.

The best we can hope for in my opinion and anyone is free to disagree with my opinion, is that we strive to obtain a state of decentralized authority. Authority should rest with the shareholders or the voters. Democracy is really the only option we have to preserve liberty unless someone can prove there is another viable option.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 06:31:07 PM by luckybit »
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Offline xeroc

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Re: Talk about a comprehensive project!
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2014, 07:08:10 PM »
thanks for clearing this up .. I'd still like to read a whitepaper before even considering throwing a single satoshi at them.

Please let me know once the WP is released!

If it's an ambiguous project I'd like to know more ..
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Offline Thom

Re: Talk about a comprehensive project!
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2014, 07:27:43 PM »
FACT: There is demand for governent functions even in the anarchist community. Governance doesn't mean centralized but instead decentralized.

FACT: Governance doesn't mean centralized or decentralized it means control.

The demand for "government functions" is a demand for services, and they should be delivered through voluntary, free market cooperation not at the point of a gun.

Government actually does not just mean "control". It means there is an authority which generate the rules of the system. In our system we seek to optimize for decentralization of authority but authority always exists somewhere. We get a choice as to whether we want centralized or decentralized, human-centric or math-based, but rules must be generated even for us.

Respectfully, government does mean control, specifically mind control. Look up the etymology of the word. It seems that you conflate the idea of anarchy with the popular but erroneous notion that anarchy means no rules, chaos. It does not. Anarchy = no ruleRs not no rules. A ruler is a governor, a controller a regulator. I am my own authority, I am the ruler of my destiny, I am responsible for my own actions. I agree to participate in voluntary systems of trade, where ALL are beneficiaries.

I agree with you that we need rules, and that without rules there is no order.

Quote
Do the rules of the Bitshares datachain control the delegates?  It provides order so that transactions on the datachain have meaning. If there were no order at all then there could be no meaning which means you can't have a market. There is no "force" or "control" involved in Bitshares or Bitnation as the rules are in the source code for anyone to read and the arguments you make against government can apply to the source code as well.

I agree with most of that except the last sentence. Unlike government, which is always a win-loose proposition to it's citizens, the blockchain is voluntary.Bitnation like bitcoin may start off that way, but we can all see where POW will lead, to centralized control in the hands of the mega minor companies. The same thing would happen to bitnation, but in that context (if the scope of it became as big and broad as they envision) having centralized control over the blockchain might be difficult to opt out of, especially if nation states own the right to mine the coins bitnation would be based on.

Quote
This means a free market requires order if it is to function at all. You cannot agree upon anything if you have no order. If you cannot agree upon a price using price fees or some other mechanism then you don't have a way to exchange anything so even Bitshares relies on voting/consensus.

Bitshares X requires delegates or it couldn't function. These delegates are not our bosses. The bosses are the shareholders. That means the shareholders have decentralized "control" over the platform and thus would be the government according to your definition. In my opinion decentralized governance is the best outcome we can hope for.

Again, I agree with most of what you said except the last two sentences. The delegates are essentially representatives of the shareholders (if the experiment pans out) and the consensus of shareholders establish the rules, assuming changes to the code are managed through consensus of the shareholders.

Based on this old discussion about PTS (https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php?topic=433.0), I'm not so sure just yet how decisions regarding code changes will be made for bitsharesX, especially in the future. At this point the rules dictated by the code are made mostly through consensus of the development team with input from many sources. Stan had alot to say about Invictus' "Prime Directive" and I wholeheartedly support that. But ultimately the final decisions are made by the controlling interests of Invictus. If those interests diverge from my own or from the general shareholder consensus I may withdraw my participation.

Quote
The idea that you can have a free market without any order is a myth. You cannot even write software without rules built into it. Bitcoin itself has some rules built into it which control how it functions.

Think about the words, rules - free. Don't those terms represent dissimilar concepts? Rules reduce, constrain, limit. The only rule required for a free market is participants must be free to trade or not, which implies they are not coerced or forced to trade.

Manipulation is a form of coercion. You cannot device ANY rule that will guarantee people will interact in virtuous ways. That is a matter of how individuals understand and live out the NAP (Non Aggression Principle).
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 07:30:44 PM by Thom »
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Offline Mysto

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Re: Talk about a comprehensive project!
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2014, 07:39:41 PM »
FACT: There is demand for governent functions even in the anarchist community. Governance doesn't mean centralized but instead decentralized.

FACT: Governance doesn't mean centralized or decentralized it means control.

The demand for "government functions" is a demand for services, and they should be delivered through voluntary, free market cooperation not at the point of a gun.

Government actually does not just mean "control". It means there is an authority which generate the rules of the system. In our system we seek to optimize for decentralization of authority but authority always exists somewhere. We get a choice as to whether we want centralized or decentralized, human-centric or math-based, but rules must be generated even for us.

Respectfully, government does mean control, specifically mind control. Look up the etymology of the word. It seems that you conflate the idea of anarchy with the popular but erroneous notion that anarchy means no rules, chaos. It does not. Anarchy = no ruleRs not no rules. A ruler is a governor, a controller a regulator. I am my own authority, I am the ruler of my destiny, I am responsible for my own actions. I agree to participate in voluntary systems of trade, where ALL are beneficiaries.

I agree with you that we need rules, and that without rules there is no order.

Quote
Do the rules of the Bitshares datachain control the delegates?  It provides order so that transactions on the datachain have meaning. If there were no order at all then there could be no meaning which means you can't have a market. There is no "force" or "control" involved in Bitshares or Bitnation as the rules are in the source code for anyone to read and the arguments you make against government can apply to the source code as well.

I agree with most of that except the last sentence. Unlike government, which is always a win-loose proposition to it's citizens, the blockchain is voluntary.Bitnation like bitcoin may start off that way, but we can all see where POW will lead, to centralized control in the hands of the mega minor companies. The same thing would happen to bitnation, but in that context (if the scope of it became as big and broad as they envision) having centralized control over the blockchain might be difficult to opt out of, especially if nation states own the right to mine the coins bitnation would be based on.

Quote
This means a free market requires order if it is to function at all. You cannot agree upon anything if you have no order. If you cannot agree upon a price using price fees or some other mechanism then you don't have a way to exchange anything so even Bitshares relies on voting/consensus.

Bitshares X requires delegates or it couldn't function. These delegates are not our bosses. The bosses are the shareholders. That means the shareholders have decentralized "control" over the platform and thus would be the government according to your definition. In my opinion decentralized governance is the best outcome we can hope for.

Again, I agree with most of what you said except the last two sentences. The delegates are essentially representatives of the shareholders (if the experiment pans out) and the consensus of shareholders establish the rules, assuming changes to the code are managed through consensus of the shareholders.

Based on this old discussion about PTS (https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php?topic=433.0), I'm not so sure just yet how decisions regarding code changes will be made for bitsharesX, especially in the future. At this point the rules dictated by the code are made mostly through consensus of the development team with input from many sources. Stan had alot to say about Invictus' "Prime Directive" and I wholeheartedly support that. But ultimately the final decisions are made by the controlling interests of Invictus. If those interests diverge from my own or from the general shareholder consensus I may withdraw my participation.

Quote
The idea that you can have a free market without any order is a myth. You cannot even write software without rules built into it. Bitcoin itself has some rules built into it which control how it functions.

Think about the words, rules - free. Don't those terms represent dissimilar concepts? Rules reduce, constrain, limit. The only rule required for a free market is participants must be free to trade or not, which implies they are not coerced or forced to trade.

Manipulation is a form of coercion. You cannot device ANY rule that will guarantee people will interact in virtuous ways. That is a matter of how individuals understand and live out the NAP (Non Aggression Principle).

 +5% +5% +5%

Offline luckybit

Re: Talk about a comprehensive project!
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2014, 07:54:51 PM »
Respectfully, government does mean control, specifically mind control. Look up the etymology of the word. It seems that you conflate the idea of anarchy with the popular but erroneous notion that anarchy means no rules, chaos. It does not. Anarchy = no ruleRs not no rules.
If you agree that anarchy has rules then you're agreeing with the point I was making. The point I was making is that all order is based on rules and that even the math is rule based.

As far as having no rulers, if you decentralize authority then you don't end up with a single ruler but you still have rulers of the system. The rulers of Bitshares X are the developers + shareholders. The rulers of Bitcoin are the developers + miners. Bitshares X is more decentralized and democratic because the shareholders are the users and can select the delegates while in Bitcoin you don't get the opportunity to vote.

It's a fair debate whether or not voting is the best way to achieve the ends but it's probably the easiest way we have found to do it.
A ruler is a governor, a controller a regulator. I am my own authority, I am the ruler of my destiny, I am responsible for my own actions. I agree to participate in voluntary systems of trade, where ALL are beneficiaries.
An owner is also a ruler. So whoever owns the BTSX owns Bitshares X right? Yet the code remains free and can be forked if the current owners are deemed irresponsible. So even that is decentralized.

I don't see your point. We agree that having a central authority is problematic but the only alternative is decentralized authority. Bitshares X or Bitnation are both opt-in systems so I don't really get what you're saying by voluntary systems when everything we are discussing is voluntary and open source.

If you don't see the advantage then consider the fact that Bitnation can be forked if you disagree with it yet you can't fork the national government without a civil war. Digital government has the advantage that if it's wrong people can swap it as easily as downloading a new app.
I agree with you that we need rules, and that without rules there is no order.
I agree with most of that except the last sentence. Unlike government, which is always a win-loose proposition to it's citizens, the blockchain is voluntary.Bitnation like bitcoin may start off that way, but we can all see where POW will lead, to centralized control in the hands of the mega minor companies. The same thing would happen to bitnation, but in that context (if the scope of it became as big and broad as they envision) having centralized control over the blockchain might be difficult to opt out of, especially if nation states own the right to mine the coins bitnation would be based on.

If you think that will happen to Bitnation why are you so confident that Bitshares X cannot eventually be corrupted? The answer is you can fork. Bitnation can be forked, the digital nations created on the platform can be forked, I don't see the problem. It's not PoW because it's chain agnostic as I said before so in that way it focuses specifically on the singular problem of digital governance which in my opinion isn't a bad thing when you have a free Internet.

It can turn bad if national governments control the information flow of the Internet itself to manipulate digital governments but that would be trending toward cyberwarfare. Honestly I don't know what will happen with Bitnation but I do think we should support the effort.

Again, I agree with most of what you said except the last two sentences. The delegates are essentially representatives of the shareholders (if the experiment pans out) and the consensus of shareholders establish the rules, assuming changes to the code are managed through consensus of the shareholders.
The above point you make is the exact point I was trying to make. So now we agree.

Based on this old discussion about PTS (https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php?topic=433.0), I'm not so sure just yet how decisions regarding code changes will be made for bitsharesX, especially in the future. At this point the rules dictated by the code are made mostly through consensus of the development team with input from many sources. Stan had alot to say about Invictus' "Prime Directive" and I wholeheartedly support that. But ultimately the final decisions are made by the controlling interests of Invictus. If those interests diverge from my own or from the general shareholder consensus I may withdraw my participation.


In my opinion it's always democratic because if it becomes something the community of users cannot accept then the code can be forked, people can switch over. Imagine if we could do the same with governments? That would bring a tremendous amount of liberty to the world where anyone can choose a government as easily as choosing an app.

And when we can all choose our government as easily as choosing an app we will finally have a market where governments must compete in order to get us to choose them and pay taxes to them. If governments force us at gunpoint to pay taxes when our interests aren't represented then we tend to stop liking that government.

Think about the words, rules - free. Don't those terms represent dissimilar concepts? Rules reduce, constrain, limit. The only rule required for a free market is participants must be free to trade or not, which implies they are not coerced or forced to trade.

Manipulation is a form of coercion. You cannot device ANY rule that will guarantee people will interact in virtuous ways. That is a matter of how individuals understand and live out the NAP (Non Aggression Principle).

I agree. This is why I don't think the NAP is perfect. It's an approximation. It's a current best practice to produce liberty and security for the maximum amount. It is an algorithm which seeks to maximize liberty to the greatest number while sacrificing the least in security.

But that algorithm is not perfect. NAP works well only when everyone else follows it. What works well according to game theory is tit for tat which is not exactly the NAP. Tit for tat in the context of the prisoners dilemma is when you at first attempt to avoid defection to achieve maximum cooperation between you and the other player, but if the other player defects then in the very next game you defect on them.

After that tit for tat cycle it resets, you forgive, and you attempt to avoid defection again until they discover that for every defection opportunity they take to get extra points is going to cost them in the next game. The NAP is like attempting to avoid the tit for tat scenarios and if everyone followed it then everything could be fine but the problem is not everyone lives by the same principles or even by compatible principles yet we must do business with and live amongst it.

In my opinion if we do decentralized identity we will also require decentralized law. You should be able to subscribe to your own legal philosophy and contracts according to your badge. Your badge should represent your principles so that you can make it known to everyone who interacts with your pseudonym what your principles are, what set of laws are compatible with interacting with you, and people who follow principles which are not compatible with yours should be blocked from interacting with you.

All smart contracts, all rules you choose to follow, can be opt in. You opt in by selecting a badge or earning it. Digital governance can form around this and Bitnation can help by providing the tools to allow people to actually "live on the blockchain" with an identity and legal code.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 08:01:22 PM by luckybit »
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Offline Thom

Re: Talk about a comprehensive project!
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2014, 11:54:07 PM »
In general I don't think there is any fundamental disagreement between us.

I push back on some of the language you used and I also am somewhat skeptical of Bitnation for a variety of other reasons. It does sound appealing on the surface. I will reserve judgement until I see more information.

Two other important points:

1) you rely on the idea that if the code embodies flawed rules it is only a matter of forking it and carrying on with code that fixes those flaws. I don't disagree with the principle of that, but I'm not convinced it will work very well in practice. By the time a consensus for an alternative and it's implementation is available those operating under the flawed codebase may have already suffered substantial losses. However, forking the code is at least an option to move forward on a different path. Just as with the development of altcoins, competition is great as are the choices to participants, so I consider that a good thing, tho it isn't perfect (nothing is) and may not be easy to get acceptance of the new forked version, thus fragmenting what once was consensus into smaller markets.

2) I don't know if there's anything that can alleviate my skepticism about who controls the codebase. Although those that control it have an incentive to build it and maintain it according to the consensus of the shareholders, I'm just not sure how well that can be accomplished. Perhaps my skepticism is less from logic than from emotion. I could be totally wrong and quality control, safegaurds etc. may be adequate to prevent back doors and hooks from finding their way into production code. Maybe I'm just a doubting Thom.

Perhaps that skepticism stems in part from observations of how corporate policies are influenced by the government over the objections of shareholders. Most of the U.S. manufacturing capacity was off-shored against the wishes of shareholders and even the BODs. Yet corporations also heavily influence government policies, so why the rampant outsourcing?

Kindof like the people that established the chemtrail program. Do they think they breathe different air than the rest of us?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2014, 12:05:20 AM by Thom »
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