Thursday, July 19, 2018

Acornics - the common parent of blockchains, smart contracting, cryptocurrency, et al

Bitcoin is the first example of a new class of technology that is so fundamental, that it has yet to be properly named. Blockchain, smart contracting, and cryptocurrency refer only to some of the subdisciplines - so what shall we call their common parent?

I propose "Acornics", a pronounceable yet shortened reference to Automated Coalition-Resistant Nash Equilibrium-ics, and where the "ics" suffix refers to a body of knowledge or practice. The concept of a Coalition-Proof Nash Equilibrium is borrowed from game theory, but we dial back the hubris implied by "proof" and thus substitute "resistant", since the stakes might one day merit such intellectual honesty. We add "Automated" to stipulate execution as computer code, since the rules of any society have long been built on a manually-enforced CRNE.

Acornics is a new way of thinking about the relationship between society and computer code. Rather than computer code being a tool of society, it instead becomes a programmable and explicitly engineered part of that society.

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