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21:20:23bsm117532:If I (somehow, unspecified) converted a block chain to a tree, and using PoW on sub-trees to bundle transactions, I wonder if there exists a work function that has the property that the amount of work required to rewrite the tree below a certain point is the *product* of the work done in the sub-trees.
21:21:11andytoshi:well, you'd need "writing" and "rewriting" to be fundamentally different somehow..
21:23:22andytoshi:i'm not certain, but i suspect that implies FTL communication (unless your blockchain is 100% predetermined so it's not usable by economic agents)
21:23:32andytoshi:so gl
21:24:20bsm117532:(I have no idea what FTL could have to do with this)
21:24:44andytoshi:without FTL there is no well-defined time ordering so you can't agree on which version is the "rewritten" one
21:24:52bsm117532:oohhh I see.
21:25:14sipa:and if there was an agreed-upon ordering, you wouldn't really need PoW :)
21:25:16bsm117532:And that's not true...
21:26:28bsm117532:Don't really want to delve into relativity here...but you don't have to violate relativity to have time ordering.
21:26:53bsm117532:I was just wondering if such a work function could exist. I leave how to use it (if one exists) as an exercise for the reader. ;-)
21:26:58andytoshi:you do for spacelike separated events
21:27:32andytoshi:and bear in mind that if you replace "speed of light" with "speed of communication", which is slow enough already and then we add to it that it can be adversarily controlled, you get a lot of the same problems..
21:27:35bsm117532:synchronization cannot happen faster than the communication latency of the system...
21:28:20sipa:bsm117532: if writing and rewriting were different things, we'd just make 'rewriting' illegal, and we wouldn't need PoW
21:28:33andytoshi:and i'm telling you such a work function would violate relativity, unless you introduce a fixed reference frame, in which case it's centralized
21:28:37bsm117532:sipa: I agree. I'm thinking my idea is impossible.
21:28:41sipa:the whole need for PoW comes from the fact that these two are indistinguishable... what is writing for some, will be rewriting for others
21:28:58sipa:s/PoW/reorganizable blockchains/
21:29:07sipa:PoW is just for rate limiting the creation of blocks
21:29:44gmaxwell:Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast!
21:30:01bsm117532:Me too....oh whose quote is that?!?!?
21:30:11andytoshi:douglas adams?
21:30:19bsm117532:Lewis CArrol, alice in wonderland
21:31:20bsm117532:I thought for sure it was a physicist...because we believe lots of impossible things.
21:33:00andytoshi:you are a physicist? you are the first person to react properly when i immediately bring relativity into a distributed consensus discussion, that must be why :)
21:34:38kanzure:synchronization is only necessary for double spend preventions, right?
21:34:54andytoshi:fwiw in most areas of crypto there -is- an exponential difference in the attacker's difficulty vs the honest party's difficulty
21:34:54gmaxwell:kanzure: sure but everything other than double spend prevention is 'trivial'.
21:35:30andytoshi:it's only here because we are trying to define time that we have trouble, because mach's principle prevents us from distinguishing the attacker and the honest party
21:35:41andytoshi:there is no such thing as a "time adversary" because there is no wrong time :(
21:35:45kanzure:i can't double spend outside of my lightcone any faster than synchronization can propagate
21:36:01gmaxwell:kanzure: who says you have only one lightcone?
21:36:06kanzure:oh. sphere?
21:36:24gmaxwell:kanzure and kanzure' could be in different places at the same time with copies of the same wallet.
21:36:35sipa:'at the same time'
21:37:20kanzure:oh, yes that's true
21:37:21gmaxwell:Both can spend, and their lightcones may not over lap for a long time (I suppose forever, assuming cosmic inflation, if they're far enough apart. :P )
21:37:54andytoshi:well, if they never overlap then it's "if a tree falls in the forest"...
21:38:10andytoshi:there is no physical way for anyone to give a fuck
21:38:35kanzure:nah he's talking about upfront negotiation of some protocol or transfer of data
21:38:41gmaxwell:On this basis decenteralized consensus is impossible. Sorry everyone. :) (this was the reason I argued long before bitcoin existed that decenteralized consensus was impossible, and became interested in bitcoin when it stubbornly refused to stop existing)
21:38:51andytoshi:oh, no, i'm wrong, aren't i ... you can see two things that will never see each other
21:39:18gmaxwell:andytoshi: kinda odd that you could have currency which has inflation but only in non-intersecting light coins.
21:40:34andytoshi:gmaxwell: it's a very upsetting idea but i can't articulate why..
21:41:09andytoshi:it's like somebody is getting away with stealing because their theft is ill-defined
21:42:14gmaxwell:I thought I was oh so smart brining relativity a distributed protocol argument; only to find out later that lamport did it first, before I was born. :)
21:42:20bsm117532:Well as a physicist, I say the block time must be much greater than the spacelike separation between any conceivable participants. Worrying about anything else is just silly. :-P
21:43:06gmaxwell:bsm117532: <3
21:43:23bsm117532:(given that one has accepted the "eventual consistency" of bitcoin)
21:43:26gmaxwell:you have no idea how much of my time has been wasted trying to convince people of that.
21:43:27andytoshi:is that + synchronous network + incentives on the "main chain" sufficient for distributed consensus?
21:43:45andytoshi:bsm117532: +1 to gmaxwell's comment, that's the hardest thing
21:43:49andytoshi:the rest is quibbling about econ
21:44:31bsm117532:Sorry to hear that gmaxwell. Sometimes you have to call a red herring...a red herring.
21:44:40andytoshi:amiller: do you have a good idea of sufficient conditions for distributed consensus? i guess if anyone does you do..
21:46:00sipa:andytoshi: i suppose he'll call it probabilistic distributed consensus
22:09:55nsh:/topic delve into the relativity of syncrypticity
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