Thu 14 Dec 2017 9:04PM

Structuring the OAE around agents

LF Lynn Foster Public Seen by 72

All Agents All the Way Down....

This is another thought experiment for how to structure the Open App Ecosystem. The focus here is on economic activity, but it applies to everything people might want to include in an OAE. Feedback and discussion very welcome!

What if we did a radically decentralized version structured around agents (people, organizations)? (This is not a new idea, has been thought about and worked on by others before. But this is to take those concepts and think about using them to structure a whole OAE - the one we are working towards here.)

Every person would operate from their own Person node (which is a personal agent). Every organization/group would be an Organization node (an organizational agent). So the ecosystem centers around agents. Agents are connected to each other by various relationships or activities. Everything that happens is stored by all the agents that are involved, wherever they store their stuff.

So, let's say Jim, Tibor, and Draft decide to create something together which they want to exchange with other people. Like some fig, pig, and goat pizza.

Their Personal Agents will agree on the rules and plans for how to do it.

They will need to create some kind of joint identity which will be an Organization node (which is an organizational agent), so that other Person nodes can order pizza from it, and so that their work and other contributions can be combined into the actual pizzas. Let's call it the Open Pizza Bistro.

The Organization node could deploy Process Bots for each pizza that needs to be created, with the size and maybe some selected special ingredients or variation, like skip the pig and goat, we want vegan.

On request from Jim, Tibor, or Draft, the Process Bot will list the work requirements for this and other upcoming orders. Each of the people will commit to which work they want to do. Since they are not employees, when they actually log their work (using the Process Bot), their work will be an economic transfer of resources from them to the Open Pizza Bistro. If (for example) Bob wants to exchange some dessert for some pizza, then all of the people who had transferred some work to the process of making that pizza will be due for a share of the dessert.

Bob will need to order the pizza from some node, because it is not coming from Jim, Tibor, or Draft individually. And the organization could deploy a bot that takes orders. But sooner or later, some live people will need to do some live work, and maybe one of them will take orders, too, since bots can be a little too rigid about pizza order variations, and this dessert exchange idea might also confuse the bot, so Bob might want to connect with a human. Likewise, when it comes to ordering ingredients, and especially making agreements with ingredient suppliers, a bot might be too limited. So the Person nodes will need to act for the Organization node in many cases.

So the people who created the organization will need to make some decisions about who can do what in representing the organization. This is similar to organizations in real life. An organization can have agency (make agreements with other agents, for example) but the agreements are always executed by people who are related to the organization. So Jim, Tibor, and Draft will need to decide who has what kind of role in the Open Pizza Bistro, so the Bistro can execute its agency.


There is no monolithic system here that Jim, Tibor, and Draft need to use. Each of them is always operating from their own personal node, hosted by them or a hosting service they choose. They probably each belong to several other organizations. From a personal node, the person could potentially see everything they are involved with - their work (job, freelance, for fun, to help out a community), their offers/requests/exchanges, their accounts of different kinds, their social network, etc.

An operational system is composed of all of the resource flows or other connections among all the related nodes. Each organizational node will have in its database records of all of the economic and other events that happened in its scope. Each person node will have the same. It would be possible to look at larger pictures from some overview scope, for example, a bioregion. Or it would be possible to follow a chains of events to see where the wheat came from that went into the pizza, to see how local it was, and how much waste was created. Or to see what your friends are posting about.

So, there wouldn't be lots of different platforms that want people to join them any more, except perhaps transitionally. There would be no NRP, no Odoo, no DigLife, no Communecter. (With all due respect of course!) All the great and useful functionality from those platform apps would be broken out into pieces that could be plugged into the decentralized agent-based apps so people could see and interact with others, either as part of an organization or not. (Like the DigLife bot and diagrams and the Communecter maps and a lot of the UI could still work.)


Oli SB Fri 15 Dec 2017 10:09AM

That's exactly how i see it working Lyn - the OAE needs to be user-centric. It's the same way Holochain is structured and design to work too - I think Holo is going to kick off it's own version of the OAE... it already has an open Twitter clone and a few other open apps which are designed to be user-centric. It's the same structure as I mapped out in PLANET too :)


Lynn Foster Fri 15 Dec 2017 12:10PM

Cool @olisb . Do you have any specific links re Holo OAE?


Oli SB Fri 15 Dec 2017 12:22PM

this should get you to the right place...




Lynn Foster Fri 15 Dec 2017 6:32PM

@olisb thanks for the holochain link; I should have been more clear. (And I definitely also need to get more up to speed on the holochain stuff, I'll try to do that.) What I'm really curious about there is if they are thinking about data sharing between the apps, or just that the apps use the holochain underlying technology. In other words, will the apps be able to form an ecosystem where the pieces talk to each other, or just be a collection of apps? And yes, I could do my own homework, so consider answering optional. :slight_smile:


Oli SB Fri 15 Dec 2017 8:53PM

"will the apps be able to form an ecosystem where the pieces talk to each other"?

That's how I have understood it... yes.


Lynn Foster Sun 17 Dec 2017 7:22PM

It's the same structure as I mapped out in PLANET too :)

Hey @olisb I know I have seen PLANET before, but can't find the link, and search isn't doing it for me. Can you give a link here? And I'm interested in how far you are on it, and what the technical details are. Thanks!


Oli SB Mon 18 Dec 2017 11:42AM

that's what the CTA is good for - helping you find projects you can't find elsewhere! ;)


Bob Haugen Mon 18 Dec 2017 12:14PM

@olisb I'm not clear if any work was ever done to implement Planet, or is it still a really nice set of mockups?


Lynn Foster Mon 18 Dec 2017 12:23PM

that's what the CTA is good for - helping you find projects you can't find elsewhere!

ha, i should have thought of that!


Oli SB Mon 18 Dec 2017 1:15PM

as it says on the PLANET page on CTA:

"PLANET is not actually a software project, it is a vision of an open source operating system, which aims to illustrate some of the concepts and advantages of a collaborative, user owned and managed economic platform." more info on the same page about the concepts it tries to illustrate...

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