Introducing Value Area Networks - Matched participants by shared values

in tauchain •  3 months ago

This concept is possible only based on the design of Tauchain presented by Ohad. In his design for Tauchain he highlights the fact that any member of the social network will be allowed to input their worldview. It has been discussed by myself previously that moral values could be an important part of Tauchain in this setting.

A Value Area Network is a concept I'm introducing which is designated to mean a kind of network where all participants are matched according to shared values. These participants in the network (economic agents, bots, machines, humans, companies, whatever) should in theory be allowed to outline as much of their current values and as long as all participants are deemed to be in alignment by the consensus algorithm of Tau then they will be considered part of unified network.

The acronym VAN can be designated to stand for Value Area Network, not to be confused by Value Added Network. Unlike a LAN (Local Area Network) which is based on physical geography, the VAN is based on "social geography". People who are closer to each other socially on the moral and "concerns and values" level would represent a sort of shared location. In social science the concept of social proximity is defined mostly in geographical terms but in the digital age with a technology like Tau in existence the idea of closeness might not have to be restricted to the geographical definition.

Closeness in terms of how close your values align to another participant in a network would represent a distinct place on a sort of map. This distinct place would be represented or quantified by a score which indicates it's potential location on a spectrum of possible locations. Of course the mathematics behind this would have to be more clearly defined in future posts but this post is to introduce the concepts for future discussion.

My concerns and reasons behind thinking up VANs is based on that fact that while social media today does a pretty good job connecting billions of people to random people it also does a horrible job connecting socially compatible people to each other. It's not good enough to connect a bunch of random people. People want to connect to people who have compatible values with themselves as their values are constantly updating over time. Tauchain in theory is the only platform which is expected to have the features to make this idea a possibility.

Values in this context could be negotiated from or derived from beliefs or worldview using Tau discussion. The values then would over time be updating as the person updates their beliefs or worldview. This would be to go the emergent route of letting Tau try to identify the values of the participant based on what the participant said in discussions (avoiding contradictions). The other would be to let the participant explicitly enter their current values and over time let Tau help them to constantly update that over time.

These are features I hope to see developed over Tau in some form some day. If I'm in the position to bring these features into development (provided AGRS works as intended) then this could be one of my contributions. The key mechanism behind this feature would be a novel matchmaking algorithm which leverages the Tau Shared Knowledge Base and reasoning capabilities. The social values map feature could be deduced via the discussions had over time or it can simply be a checkbox setting where the participant chooses by checking boxes and sliding scales.

  • I don't know if these ideas have been thought of before or if I'm the first to introduce them in this context. The algorithms to match persons according to values has existed before most likely. The ability to do it on a level of connecting computers or packet filtering level would be more novel. In other words it might be possible to only connect nodes which share values and to only share resources with nodes which share values. This would in theory put social values as the determining factor for resource allocation in a network or for determining favor in connectivity. Is this something people would want? Probably.
  • The mission to bring people closer together is part of Facebook's mission. To connect the right participants to each other is the mission I would designate for a matchmaker algorithm over Tau.
  • Any ideas expressed here depend on Tau getting built, being sufficiently decentralized, having enough privacy so people are willing to express their true values without social desirability bias playing an influence. And of course the social network features of Tau have to be operational before we can add this layer.
Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

Is a VAN an advanced filter bubble -system? A place where everyone can have a safe environment with minimal flows of information between groups? How is it supposed to handle group thinking?

And how does it create trust?

  1. It might create a filter bubble or not depending on the criteria the participants use. My opinion is people should not be forced to invest resources against their values. My opinion is that people have the right to invest their resources in alignment with their values. Agoras is a resource exchange network where knowledge is one of the resources but also computation resources as well.
  2. I don't think it would minimize flows of information. It would for sure filter information if the participants want that. In other words, noise is the information that isn't wanted by the participant because it isn't useful with regard to the values of that participant. For example if you value animal rights then Tau could use deduction to conclude you'd only want to see vegan friendly products. Why would you want noise about the flavor of steak when you're trying to promote animal welfare?
  3. Values matched participants who do "group thinking" would be a problem if thinking is only done in the values matched network. For example, if a person who doesn't share our values contributes something to the shared knowledge base then if what they shared is scientifically correct then what difference does it make if they shared your values? The resource (knowledge) is valuable as an asset to your values network regardless of where the knowledge originated.
  4. Trust is something which cannot entirely be solved by an algorithm on the Internet. It's not really about creating trust. I see humans are inherently unreliable but I see trustworthiness as "reliability". So you cannot "create" trust without finding a way to make the humans you interact with more reliable than human nature allows (if that makes any sense). Even with legal consequences between Alice and Bob for violating the trust of each other it does not prevent it from happening. Alice and Bob are human, humans are irrational, unreliable, but the good news is economic actors dont have to be entirely "human". A business is not a human but is an economic actor. A cyborg could be an augmented human with enough machine intelligence assists that they become more reliable than they ordinarily could be.

So on trust I need more context but I don't see it being solved by any technology we have until the day where mind reading is portable and contracts can be verified on the blockchain as "deception free".


To provide some context for what I was expressing in my original post with regard to NCase.

I have a lot of ideas on how economic agents in a network can have trust but these economic agents would not be "human" specifically as most people think of human.

The Ncase you showed me highlighted these points which I agree are true requirements for trust:


Economic agents in a network can have repeat interactions from what I can see. And some of those interactions can be win win. In fact maybe Tau would be able to help them find out which interactions are clearly win win. There is the problem of miscommunication though. The English is known for being very ambiguous. There can in theory be other languages used over Tau fortunately so maybe this problem will be reduced.

You did ask one important question which I need to study more. Is the VAN an advanced filter bubble system? I think it for sure can be used this way and I don't think filters are negative. I think filters of course can be negative but they aren't negative inherently.

Without filters we cannot even do simple intellectual tasks. We have to filter out the noise. We have to make choices as well and being flooded with useless or bad information does not assist us in our decision making.

A values matched network wouldn't necessarily have to be used in a way where it blocks knowledge diffusion in accordance to values. But it could be used so that resources including knowledge are with priority shared or invested with values matched economic agents.

This has some very interesting implications. For example if we look at economic sanctions what exactly are those? It's the same thing only it's done using complex laws. So what if you decide you do not want to support with your resources any economic agent which does not value the life of children? You should have this right to direct the flow of your resources and to connect with others who agree with or match with you.

Do I think it would be smart if a person only ever connects with those who share their values? Maybe not. Maybe other networks will offer very useful services and win win scenarios so that it will be most rational to interact with them. But if Alice has an economic agent offering a service which shares her values vs an economic agent offering a service which isn't as closely matched to her values?


For context. I have been looking for a tool that would help people with similar values find each other. A VAN would be a great network structure when searching for payment pathways in a large credit network such as Ripplepay classic (this is not the blockchain-Ripple). It would create a more meaningful usage behavior of the payment system by prioritizing paths with people you share values with and let them get the transaction fees.

This is an introduction to the system I am trying to build. It is not based on the blockchain. The ledgers are instead only visible to pairs of people.

I am currently thinking it could be created as a plugin to the decentralized app Signal. And people would be able to connect to search engines for finding transaction paths. And paths returned by the search engines would contain public keys to encrypt payments like an onion all the way between two points. No individual in the chain would know where the payment started or where it is going.