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Stigmergic operations and attractor patterns

Continuing the discussion from Attractor patterns and attractor tokens:

For the most part you have everything right. Except the last part where you say “allow” stigmergy to happen. Stigmergy happens if you make it happen by following a certain process.

So the key to emergent engineering is adherence to the process. The social consensus and the sharedrop are two critical components in the creation of the swarm.

In Zerostate the Principles are like the constitution. A social consensus could be built up around that similar to how the Bitshares community has a social consensus. The social consensus has value if developers keep their promises and follow it. If they follow it then they gain the trust of the community which is the glue which holds the holonic structure together.

So if you see the community as a hive or colony the distributed rule set is extremely important for cohesion. It’s the foundation from which you can build more advanced consensus mechanisms on top of.

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Attractor patterns are really any pattern which attracts the attention of humans. It just so happens that humans pay a lot of attention to rising stock prices.

Experimental evidence from Google history shows that Bitcoin interest in the media is correlated with all time price highs and tapers off when the price isn’t on an upward spiral. This reveals that attention is at least correlated by the rise in Bitcoin price but whether or not the Bitcoin price alone caused the attention spike is not something I can say with certainty.

My own opinion based on my own experience with Bitcoin is that when the price goes up everyone seems to pay much more attention to it. I don’t think that is an accident and I don’t think I’m the only person who notices this.

But it’s not just stock prices which make good attractor patterns. There are many different things which have a similar effect. People check the time on their clock multiple times a day, check their email multiple times a day, and so on.

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This reads like it’s about how to go about community building in order to make stigmergy happen. So, let’s revisit the last point: “Allow stigmergy to happen and take the idea to completion. Use sharedrops for that purpose.”

In the step before you started with recruiting people into supporters. These supporters, together with the actual and potential stakeholders should form a community around the idea in question, so we need to include this as next step:

  1. Facilitate the creation of a community consisting of supporters and stakeholders around the idea. Creating dedicated communication platforms and channels where they don’t already exist, should support this process.

The stakeholder networks may or may not already have appropriate communication platforms or channels. Where they don’t exist, someone should go ahead and create them.

Out of this community some will be able to push the development of the idea. These will form a core development team. On the other hand, there seems to be this requirement for a core vision and for social consensus. It’s not clear to me how these components should interact ideally. The core vision seems to be required at the very latest at the recruitment phase. But it seems that development and social consensus seem to be two parallel processes which may fail to be coupled correctly. For example if the general community comes to a certain social consensus that is partially ignored by the core development team.

I’m also not clear about how the terms

  • community
  • stakeholder network
  • multi-stakeholder network
  • swarm

relate to each another. How would you go ahead to define these terms?

They are like different stages. In the community stage you just have people gathered at a forum, a forum thread, a Facebook group, where everyone is part of the overall community. It’s like you’re a member of or belong to the community but the community has people in it who don’t all agree or want the same things.

  • Culture binds a community together.

A stakeholder network is the phase you go into when the community finally has a shared stake or shared interest. This is when the community solidifies and focuses on a mission, a cause, usually based on rational self interest but not always. Stakeholder networks in the crypto community would be something like all Bitcoin holders share a stake in the success of Bitcoin as a whole.

  • Stakeholders share success and failure which binds them rationally.

A multi-stakeholder network is basically a stakeholder network but with a diverse group of different stakeholders from many different backgrounds. Culture may not contain them but rational self interest does. They might be from many different communities but at the end of they day they win or lose together so they cooperate.

  • Multi-stake holder networks are diverse groups who might not ordinarily cooperate but who do because it’s in the self interest of all stakeholders.

The swarm is a holonic structure. It’s where every agent is part of of something bigger but are also made up of smaller parts. So for example intention casting would allow you to have a personal preference swarm which is just a personal preference bot network. These autonomous software agents would be robots but they could utilize swarm intelligence to solve problems and coordinate.

  • Swarms have swarm intelligence where complex problems can be solved quickly and easily by the swarm which could not be solved by any particular swarm agent alone.

And of course humans are holons too. Humans would be part of the swarm too. So you have machines and humans working together for the colony. SAFE Network is designed to be like an ant colony and is a good example for study of swarm intelligence. In fact it is the only decentralized platform of it’s type which is designed that way but Storj may also go that route.

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To relate each to each other.

A community of stakeholders can become a swarm. A swarm does not necessarily need a community. All a swarm needs is a shared interest and the stigmergic coordination.

So for example you could have absolutely nothing in common with the other Bitcoin holders politically but still not want the Bitcoin price to go down because you have a lot of Bitcoins. Or you could have a lot in common with the Bitcoin community politically but not have any so you don’t care about the price.