Constellation

Decentralized Knowledge (Academic DApp)


#1

Hi Everyone –

I was filling out the TestNet registration and nearly wrote an essay in the ‘other comments’ section. It’s an idea I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, but have never really expressed it out-loud or asked for feedback.

I’m a scientist by training — think hardcore physics and astronomy — but have been very interested in aspects of blockchain and how dApps can help decentralize ‘the library of human knowledge’ in a way that is immune to attacks or the foolishness of the current regime (e.g. see the Trump administrations’ attempt at erasing climate change by limiting public access to resources on the topic). In my field — and I would assume others — there are services that host pre-print manuscripts of papers submitted for peer-review. This service (arxiv.org) is essentially owned, maintained, and hosted by Cornell University. I envision a future where knowledge is freely available and safe from malicious attacks and foolish government actions. If DAG is half as amazing as promised, I would like to try my hand at setting knowledge free.

Is something like this possible? I’m so used to dealing with centralized repositories I wouldn’t even know where to start. How much data can be shared/hosted by the nodes? Or am I completely misunderstanding the whole DApp thing?

Thoughts, comments, suggestion all welcome. Really excited about this project.

-Astro


#2

Decentralizing knowledge management by liberating accessibility and the peer-review structure is a thrilling idea. To my best knowledge I don’t think too many people are worried about the server status of arxiv (or vixra and alternatives, all the way down to more longform article like wikis), who are ready to download and mirror anyway and the core issue here is not decentralization of open data. The design challenge is with quality evaluation.
As an aside, if you want such an enterprise to catch on, I’d refrain from getting political. Those who side with you on those issues will interpret what you say in that way anyway and so you don’t need to pick more enemies on fronts that would otherwise support your cause. The publishers, who are still able to hold their monetary monopoly despite the internet, would thrive no matter the government situation in the next decade.

I also have a strong interest in decentralized consensus as service for both voting (on various scales) and evaluation (e.g. of contribution quality). I guess we’ll have to wait another 3 days till we get a better hold on the way in which the DAG will be able to capture invocations and then we continue pondering.


#4

Great idea! Thank you for sharing!!!