How does Leibniz's "polydimensional encyclopedia" align with Ethereum's ecosystem? Lessons learned?

BroudyBroudy New York, NYMember Posts: 3 ✭✭
Having recently re-discovered Leibniz's concept of a "polydimensional encyclopedia" in Umberto Eco's latest non-fiction, "From the Tree to the Labyrinth," I unconsciously associated it's functionality with Ethereum's nodal smart contracts. I'm curious if we can apply lessons learned from the history and development of encyclopedias to Ethereum's cryptographic smart contracts. I'm investigating this topic now and look forward to any future correspondence! Thanks!!

Best Answer


  • BroudyBroudy New York, NYMember Posts: 3 ✭✭
    Thank you for your thoughtful response!!

    I'll need to look into Freebase / RealityKeys more to understand how they would interoperate with Ethereum's smart contracts, and look forward to doing so! My main question is - granted these components are interoperable, would integrating with Google products help or harm Ethereum's goal of becoming a decentralized autonomous organization?

    Tangentially, this morning I started reading about what Eco calls the "Maximal Encyclopedia," which - in conjunction with Leibniz's "Polydimensional Encyclopedia" - might offer insight into how to build a new type of hierarchy that complements Ethereum's smart contracts, maybe even without integrating Google architecture.

    Since this is all conjecture at the moment, I look forward to investigating any potential complementarities more in the coming weeks. Hoping to tease this one out - thanks again!
  • StephanTualStephanTual London, EnglandMember, Moderator Posts: 1,282 mod
    edited March 2014
    @Broudy: Ethereum won't have any 'features' by design, however smart contracts being flexible Turing complete programs can interface with (almost) anything.

    Therefore, it's still possible to imagine user-built applications, leveraging Ethereum contracts, that could be considered partially centralized (say, tied to a static storage layer, or using a traditional website to serve the front-end portion).

    Others applications could be completely decentralized (using Ethereum smart contracts for logic + using TAHOE-LAFS for storage or similar with a random node lottery to serve files segments + using our bittorrent based GUI layer as part of the reference client for the front-ends).
  • BroudyBroudy New York, NYMember Posts: 3 ✭✭
    "Aha!" says the blind man! The possibility of partially centralized applications AND completely decentralized ones makes Ethereum all the more appealing. Thanks for clarifying :)
  • miguelrochefortmiguelrochefort Member Posts: 1
    @Broudy, this is extremely relevant to my interests. This is exactly what Ethereum needs to become sucessful. I would love to continue this discussion.
  • spencermountainspencermountain torontoMember Posts: 3
    i like the idea of a decentralized freebase too.
    in addition to what exists now, an ethereum encyclopedia could do a majority rule, or 'shelling point' for each fact, and also incorporate some sort of economics.
    freebase/wikipedia have been able to do neither, and have suffered without them.
  • JasperJasper Eindhoven, the NetherlandsMember Posts: 514 ✭✭✭
    You could do stuff like betting for Schelling points, but they're tools. Better to try move value for ethers than churning ethers. I think the idea of trying to earn money and send it to authorship involved is better. People seem to be alright with seeing an ad, and otherwise you can allow them to pay a little to make the ads go away.(of course they could use software to remove them, but that is not what we see now either)

    Essentially the earning from authorship is about it. That is a sort-of generalist approach. Likely you can make use of the structure of the platform/data the content is in.(though i dont think they are many niches that need a technically different system?) Something like a wiki/polydimensional encyclopedia has a structure to it. Essentially you author an edit on a page, and then imply it is good in some sense. Then it is accepted or not,(or you are accepted in some fork and not in another) and you are included in some fashion to the recipients from donations and advertising income.

    The stuff has to be robust and be able to attract people and such, of course!
  • JasperJasper Eindhoven, the NetherlandsMember Posts: 514 ✭✭✭
    @BlueMeanie we are serious... The earning from authorship with no middle men is really going to exist. Maybe you shouldnt be so callous with your intelligence.
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