The notion of truth has always been a popular target of debate. What exactly constitutes truth? In attempt to answer this question, multiple theories of truth have emerged, such as theories of correspondence and coherence. Correspondence theory, pragmatic in its relation of judgement to reality, in some sense, falls victim to this simple idea that things are not always what they seem — here comes the idea of trust and perspective. Unlike the beautiful relations you'll find in maths, real-life sources are far from perfect. In coherence theory, if all beliefs are intact with each other, it's true. Hence it does not require correspondence. However, there's doubt about whether reality can actually be described by some set of beliefs as we have more insight into it.
To address the aforementioned issues, the Proof-of-Truth system will be built using Distributed Ledger Technology and seeks to bind correspondence and coherence into a single system. The network will consist of connected pieces of knowledge and critique emerges around it. Actors judge the information by means of discourse. This includes scientific publications, reporting, investigative journalism, political activism, public thoughts, etc. Every message in the network has a confidence rating associated with it. Confidence reflects relative truthfulness and is an absolute estimate of its usefulness. This allows us to pick two well-proven pieces of knowledge and instantly be able to tell which one appears to be more trustworthy and to what degree, while further inquest into the sub-trees (think comment trees, but much more robust) of underlying critique provides more granular insight into the matter. The confidence is calculated via “on-chain” computations anyone can verify at any time. Ethereum is a good example of how we can reliably agree on certain computations and use market economy to fuel the process.
That said, computers themselves cannot understand discourse. This limits the range of approaches that could be applied to define truth seeking. The route Proof-of-Truth takes, and we’d like to make this absolutely clear, lies somewhere at the intersection of philosophy, engineering and economics. Recent developments in the area of metamodern discourse, modest epistemology, ideas of existentialism and ethical commitment to metanarratives—fundamental stories—fit well together. On the other hand advances in consensus algorithms such as Bitcoin’s Blockchain, Hedera’s Hashgraph and Cardano’s Ouroboros enable us to build transparent and self-sustainable public networks.
Veritas takes aim at the problematics of disinformation and decision—making. The core algorithm is built upon foundation similar to the concept of Eigenmorality and certain applications of Google PageRank algorithm. The underlying assumption is that more trustworthy actors are generally more likely to produce trustworthy information and we can put much sense into the truth-seeking process for it to be self-sustainable. Turns out, modern market economies seems to be incredibly efficient and for that matter, sustainable enough—for us to be using them. Moreover, we should expect to gain only a better understanding of markets in the nearest future. One of the past developments worth noting is the adaptive market hypothesis.
Andrew Lo looks at the market through the prism of evolutionary processes, which we think is quite reasonable of a way to look at things and is intact with metamodernism, which strives to form certain metanarratives that would create more trust and better cooperation. The tricky part is setting the rules “fair.” This gets even trickier once you attempt to define the rules for larger and larger groups. Another assumption to make is that currently the highest achievable level of responsibility across increasingly larger groups is personal, financial responsibility. In Veritas, “being honest and competent makes you money, while lying only helps you lose it.” As it’s unclear whether “existential” ideas of responsibility can be applied to arbitrary hierarchies, Proof-of-Truth avoids institutions in favour of individuals.
Veritas is the first project to ever plant a financial system in the centre of the truth-seeking process so deeply. You can think of new knowledge emitting new money, while critique is what moves the money around. The amount of money emitted can be derived from its significance, real-time confidence rating associated with it and many other factors. And this of course, converts to real money. Strong individuals could be making a living off their own head and their head alone, proportionally to their competence. And we now have a plan how to make this happen.
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