The concept of a smart constitution is something I've been contemplating since 2016. The idea being that you require a self amending layer to the protocol similar to what we have with Tezos but in order for it to be truly smart it has to go farther than this. Specifically Nick Szabo is critical of the "human interpreted wet code " style constitution of EOS and for very good reason; I'm now inspired to discuss the concept of a smart constitution which is inspired directly from Nick Szabo's idea of a smart contract.
The Smart Constitution concept for implementation on Tauchain
What will make Tauchain unique is the fact that contradiction and many of the problems associated with human interpreted wet code can be solved. One of the main issues of debate is on the amorality of the law in human interpreted wet code form which I discussed under the title: "Legal exegesis, the law as amoral, and the justice institution as consequence distribution mechanism". In addition to my discussion is the blogpost from Ohad Asor titled: "Art of Self Reference". In my post I specifically mention legal exegesis and it is important to note that exegesis was a word specifically chosen to highlight the manner in which law is interpreted (it is interpreted in a similar manner to that which religious scripture is interpreted).
This subjective interpretation of the law and constitution is why we have higher courts. The Supreme Court is the final arbitrator of matters involving interpretation of the constitution or the law. Who exactly would act as this function for something like EOS? The problem putting a traditional wet code style constitution into EOS is that now it creates a market from which will emerge a priest class. This priest class will function to interpret the EOS constitution so that we all can agree on what it means. If there is no priest class then concepts such as harassment have to be very narrowly defined with zero ambiguity. We know that the English language and natural language in general includes ambiguity as a feature (but also a curse) and because of this lack of precision there will for sure be disputes as to the meaning of certain words within the EOS constitution, semantic arguments, conceptual arguments, who will resolve these disputes fairly?
EOS also risks recreating a caste system (and I was concerned about this when the matter of privacy vs radical transparency was discussed). What I mean by caste system is you will have the priest roles which will likely be a requirement. You will have politicians (witnesses) who basically have to get votes creating a political role. You will have to also enforce this constitution so will it be self enforcing in code, or legally enforced, or enforced via coordinated shunning campaigns? How will rules be enforced is another question to ask.
What makes Tauchain particularly unique is the fact that many of the problems EOS will face (including the risk of recreating a caste system around moral hierarchy) is that on a fundamental level Tauchain is supposed to be designed to help people with good intentions to become better. If you use Tauchain with a sense of morality then using Tauchain itself you will be able to receive answers to your moral questions. The other unique feature of Tauchain is the fact that there will be no question about how to interpret the rules because the logic and deductive reasoning will be built into the platform. Tauchain will capture our worldviews, our morality, our knowledge, and when we create rules or mutually agree it will be in ways which do not contradict our own interests because of the logic being a built in feature.
So for example deontic logic could be utilized so that the rules can be formulated without ambiguity of natural language. Something is either permitted or it isn't. Something is either obligated or it isn't. This logic can be built into the code itself and discussion about the code can scale so that a lot of the problems which may be inevitable with EOS can be avoided with Tauchain.
So what is a smart constitution exactly? A smart constitution is a concept which Tauchain by it's design will enable. That is a continuously upgraded set of rules which form the basis of how Tauchain is to operate. These rules can be set up in such a way that new future rules can be added which never can contradict these original rules. So it will be very important in the very beginning to care about which rules really are essential to operating the network and which rules are not. From the most essential there will be other rules which derive from these rules.
For example an essential rule could be that Tauchain as a platform cannot be shut down unless certain conditions are met. These conditions could be anything from a threshold of votes or it is also possible that the owners of Tauchain could decide no matter what it should never shut down. If it never is to shut down then any operation which threatens to shut down or damage the ability of the network to keep running would potentially violate this rule.
Another example of an essential rule is that Tauchain most provide some social utility in order to receive resources. This kind of rule would be more difficult because utility is something not objectively measured but we do know that if enough people think Tauchain is somehow harmful then they will not want to contribute resources to the network. The point here is the network itself could be designed to evolve and adapt in such a way so as to always seek to provide a measurable benefit to mankind.
Many potential rules could be formulated or could exist. The point being that a smart constitution would take into consideration the morality of humanity, the knowledge of humanity, and create a sort of consensus. This consensus would govern how Tauchain itself can evolve, how resources of Tauchain can be managed, etc. What would make the Tauchain "smart" constitution smart? The fact that the Tauchain platform itself will help us to improve the constitution based on our preferences and interests.
This topic is: To Be Continued. One post will not be enough to explore the possibilities.