consensus   1262

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How Your Data is Stored, or, The Laws of the Imaginary Greeks
If you don’t work in computers, you probably haven’t spent much time thinking about how data gets stored on computers or in the cloud. I’m not talking about the physical ways that hard disks or…
algorithms  consensus  paxos  distributed  interesting 
10 days ago by djhworld
The Internet Doesn’t Have to Be Bad for Democracy - MIT Technology Review
A new form of online survey uses crowdsourcing and data visualization to reveal the hidden nuances in partisan debates.
survey  democracy  politics  positivity  consensus  participation 
17 days ago by ivar
Fetishizing Process
"Ultimately, he argues that specific procedures — especially consensus vs. supermajority rule — are substantially less significant as long as the practice is open, inclusive, and respectful."
politics  collaboration  consensus 
19 days ago by grantpotter
Center for a Stateless Society -- The Abolition Of Rulership Or The Rule Of All Over All by William Gillis
'#Democracy as Majority Rule: Proponents of such tyranny by the majority love to pretend that the only alternative is “tyranny by the minority.” But anarchist theory is all about removing the structures and means by which rulership can be asserted or expressed by anyone, majority or minority. -- This is probably not the place to list them all like some kind of 101 course, but one example is superempowering technologies like guns that asymmetrically make resistance more efficient than domination. Such technologies are directly responsible for the increase of liberty over recent history. In an era where capital intensive undertakings like trained knights on horseback trumped anything else, you got rulership by elites; when the best weapons are one-kill-averaging soldiers, you just line up your troops and the one with the biggest count can be expected to win. But high-ammunition guns give every individual a veto against the lynch mob outside their door, allowing guerrillas to impede empires that vastly outscale them in capital. Technologies like the printing press and internet function similarly. And on the other side of the coin, the infrastructural extent and dependent nature of modern technologies of control or domination makes them brittle against resistance, easily prey to acts of disruption and sabotage. These tools — along with technologies of resilience and self-sufficiency — allow individuals to reject the capricious edicts of anyone, be they a minority or a majority. -- Ideally anarchists seek to highlight and strengthen such dynamics with the political approaches we take, treating everyone like they have the most powerful of vetoes, capable of destroying everything, of grinding everything to a halt if they are truly intolerably imposed upon. This focus on individuals stops “the community” or other beasts from running rampant, forcing a detente tolerable for all parties. Such truces are far more likely to be attentive to the severity of individual desires, because “one vote per person” is incapable of reflecting just how much a person has at stake: something we could never hope to make objective and would be laughable to try to have a collective body legislate. -- What norms fall out of such an assumption of veto powers are complex (and I’ve argued left market property norms are likely to be one) but at the center is always freedom of association. The consensus society is one primarily comprised of autonomous realms so that individuals can minimize conflict between their swinging fists and maximize the positive freedoms provided by collaboration. But note also the psychological norms. Majority rule treats people as means to whatever ends you want (rallying a large enough army at the polls), whereas a consensus detente can never lose sight of the fact that people are agents with their own particular desires. There is no subsumption of one’s subjective desires into merely being “one of the vote-losers”, a bloc rendered homogeneous and dehumanized by such democracy. -- Okay agree some, but maybe we can say that consensus itself is democracy? -- #Democracy as Consensus: This is probably the most charitable way of framing “democracy” but here too are deep problems. -- There’s a massive difference between consensus that’s arrived at through free association, and consensus that’s arrived because people are locked into some collective body to some degree. Often what passes for “consensus” within anarchist activist projects is merely consensus within the prison of a reified organization. Modern anarchists are still quite bad at embracing the fluidity of truly free association, and we cling to familiar edifices. Our organizations reassure us insofar as they function like the state, simplistic monoliths that exist outside of time and beyond the changing desires and relations of their constituent members. -- Truly anarchist approaches to consensus would prioritize making the collectivity organic and ad hoc, an arrangement that prioritizes individual choice in every respect. Not just the prospect or potential of choice but the active use of it. -- This would mean adopting an unterrified attitude about dissolution and reformation, learning new habits and growing new muscles that have atrophied in the totalitarian reference frame of our statist world. As it now stands, the prospect of going separate ways on a thing if we can’t reach consensus on a single collectively unified path strikes absolute fear into the hearts of most. -- For consensus to be truly anarchistic we must be willing to consense upon autonomy, to shed off our reactionary hunger for established perpetual collective entities. Otherwise consensus will erode back in the direction of majority rules, individuals feeling obliged to tolerate decisions lest they break the uniformity of the established collective. Almost everyone of this generation is quite familiar with the general assemblies of Occupy that endlessly and fruitlessly fought over essentially just what actions would be formally endorsed under a local Occupy’s brand. Clearly in many cases we should have just gone our separate ways, working out not a single blueprint but a tolerable treaty to allow us to undertake separate projects or actions. The brand provided by The General Assembly was a centralization too far, creating such a high value real estate that everyone was obliged to fight to seize it. Surely anarchists should resist the formation of such black holes... #Democracy as Collective Decision-making #Democracy As “Getting a Say in the Things That Affect You” #Democracy as “The Rabble” #Democracy as a Transitory State: Democracy is in almost every definition a kind of centralization and such centralization pulls everything under its control. Just as with other types of states, once you establish a centralized system with far-reaching capacity it starts to become more efficient for individual agents to try to do everything through the state: to capture it for your ends rather than working to build solutions from the roots up outside of it. -- ... Anarchism’s uniqueness is that it doesn’t seek to equalize rulership but to demolish it, a radical aspiration that cuts through the assumptions of our dystopian world. Anarchism isn’t about achieving a balance of domination — assuring that each person gets 5.2 milliHitlers of oppression each — but about abolishing it altogether.'
politics  democracy  statism  voluntaryism  anarchism  consensus  chokepoints  slavespeak  * 
25 days ago by adamcrowe
The Risk of an Unwavering Vision | Stanford Graduate School of Business
"The tech landscape is lush with entrepreneurs whose success blossomed only after the founders had modified or even abandoned their original vision. Facebook became something quite different from the Harvard-specific social connection site created by Mark Zuckerberg. Airbnb? That short-term housing rental juggernaut started as a way for people to find roommates. What eventually became the ride-sharing app Lyft originally offered carpooling software for large companies.

“It’s almost always the case that the greatest firms are discovered and not planned,” says William P. Barnett, a professor of business leadership, strategy, and organizations at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

That’s one conclusion from a study Barnett co-authored with colleague Elizabeth G. Pontikes of the University of Chicago. They decided to gauge entrepreneurial success rates by researching the early choices made by software entrepreneurs operating in 4,566 organizations in 456 different market categories over 12 years.

They focused on the software industry because it’s filled with producers and investors constantly racing to identify the next big thing, and studied how big successes and spectacular failures affect the willingness of entrepreneurs to dive in. They also analyzed how those budding businesses eventually fared. Did they exit the market? Did they generate investor financing? Did they go public?

Barnett and Pontikes found that entrepreneurs who were willing to adapt their vision and products to find the right market often did the best. They also found that those who followed the herd into perceived hot markets, or “consensus” entrants, were less viable in the long run than those who made “non-consensus” choices by defying common wisdom and entering markets that were tainted by failures and thus regarded as riskier.

“We know from studies of human behavior that, as social beings, we want to resolve uncertainty,” Barnett says. “We do that not by doing objective research but by looking at each other.”

That has clear implications for business leaders, he says. “They need to ask if the people who report to them are being quiet about their non-consensus ideas. If the answer is yes, then a leader has to wonder what that says about their leadership if people are afraid to suggest counterintuitive strategies.”

Barnett also says that many of the tech world’s most historic success stories can be traced back to entrepreneurs who pursued a vision that ran counter to accepted wisdom. “If you want to find a unicorn,” he says, “listen for the buzz and run the other way.”

For example, Barnett says Apple continued to pursue handheld technology despite the failure of the Apple Newton, a balky handwriting-recognition device that was released in 1993 to general mockery, including in cartoonist Garry Trudeau’s “Doonesbury” comic strip. Barnett notes that “the Newton’s failure quickly stigmatized the market for smart, handheld devices, making similar innovations taboo for a number of years.”

Apple’s Steve Jobs killed the Newton in 1998 but saw potential in the concept, which eventually led to the 2007 introduction of the industry-changing iPhone and the 2010 introduction of the iPad.

Of course, when non-consensus ideas fail, they often fail spectacularly, which in turn can inhibit risk-taking by others. “The fear of being a fool is stronger than the hope of being a genius,” Barnett says. “So we tend to shy away from non-consensus moves, because we understand the world will look at our errors as if we’re a complete idiot.”

But if humans are bad at predicting, he adds, we’re great at “retrospectively rationalizing” to explain why a business or product succeeded or failed. He says Jobs was particularly good at this, paraphrasing Jobs’ 2008 Stanford commencement address in which the Apple co-founder said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward, only looking backward.”

Nearly every move Jobs made at Apple turned out to be different from what he intended, Barnett says. “These ‘geniuses’ — we think they knew, but they didn’t.”

One thing that wildly successful entrepreneurs like Jobs and Zuckerberg did understand, Barnett says, is how to put together systems “that could discover the future, that allowed for uncertainty, that ferreted out possibilities. Then they doubled down on those discoveries.”"
vision  adaptability  technology  siliconvalley  elizabethpontikes  williambarnett  entrepreneurs  entrepreneurship  stevejobs  conventionalwisdom  consensus  uncertainty  possibility  sfsh  adaptabilty 
4 weeks ago by robertogreco
Consensus Protocols
Explains the problem and the available solutions. Good history.
Consensus  Blockchain  Bitcoin 
5 weeks ago by morgen
Revisiting the Relationship Between Non-blocking Atomic Commit and Consensus
This paper discusses the relationship between the Non-Blocking Atomic Commitment problem (NB-AC) and the Consensus problem in asynchronous systems with unreliable failure detectors. We first confirm that NB-AC is harder than Consensus. In contrast to Consensus, NB-AC is impossible to solve with unreliable failure detectors even with a single crash failure. We define a weaker problem than NB-AC, called Non-Blocking Weak Atomic Commitment (NB-WAC), which is sufficient to solve for most practical situations. A fundamental characteristic of NB-WAC is its reducibility to Consensus. The previous results on solving Consensus with unreliable failure detectors apply therefore to NB-WAC. An interesting intermediate result of this reducibility is that Uniform Consensus and Consensus are equivalent problems. We show actually that any algorithm that solves Consensus with unreliable failure detectors also solves Uniform Consensus
consensus  transactions 
7 weeks ago by mpm

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