Books & Videos

Table of Contents

  1. Chapter 1 Promises and Impositions

    1. Promise Engineering

    2. From Commands to Promises

    3. Why Is a Promise Better than a Command?

    4. Autonomy Leads to Greater Certainty

    5. The Observer Is Always Right

    6. Culture and Psychology

    7. Nonlocality of Obligations

    8. Isn’t That Quasi-Science?

    9. Is Promise Theory Really a Theory?

    10. The Main Concepts

    11. How Much Certainty Do You Need?

    12. A Quick User Guide

    13. Just Make It Happen

    14. An Exercise

  2. Chapter 2 With a License to Intend

    1. An Imposition Too Far

    2. Reformulating Your World into Promises

    3. Proxies for Human Agency

    4. What Are the Agencies of Promises?

    5. What Issues Do We Make Promises About?

    6. What Things Can Be Promised?

    7. What Things Can’t Be Promised?

    8. The Lifecycle of Promises

    9. Keeping Promises

    10. Cooperation: The Polarity of Give and Take

    11. How Much Does a Promise Binding Count?

    12. Promises and Trust Are Symbiotic

    13. Promoting Certainty

    14. Some Exercises

  3. Chapter 3 Assessing Promises

    1. What We Mean by Assessment

    2. Kinds of Promise Assessment

    3. Relativity: Many Worlds, Branches, and Their Observers

    4. Relativity and Levels of Perception

    5. Inferred Promises: Emergent Behaviour

    6. How Promises Define Agent-Perceived Roles

    7. The Economics of Promise Value: Beneficial Outcomes

    8. Human Reliability

    9. The Eye of the Beholder

    10. Some Exercises

  4. Chapter 4 Conditional Promises—and Deceptions

    1. The Laws of Conditional Promising

    2. Local Quenching of Conditionals

    3. Assisted Promises

    4. Conditional Causation and Dependencies

    5. Circular Conditional Bindings: The Deadlock Carousel

    6. The Curse of Conditions, Safety Valves

    7. Other Circular Promises

    8. Logic and Reasoning: The Limitations of Branching and Linear Thinking

    9. Some Exercises

  5. Chapter 5 Engineering Cooperation

    1. Engineering Autonomous Agents

    2. Promisees, Stakeholders, and Trading Promises

    3. Broken Promises

    4. What Are the Prerequisites for Cooperation?

    5. Who Is Responsible for Keeping Promises?

    6. Mutual Bindings and Equilibrium of Agreement

    7. Incompatible Promises: Conflicts of Intent

    8. Cooperating for Availability and the Redundancy Conundrum

    9. Agreement as Promises: Consensus of Intent

    10. Contractual Agreement

    11. Contracts and Signing

    12. Agreement in Groups

    13. Promoting Cooperation by Incentive: Beneficial Outcome

    14. The Stability of Cooperation: What Axelrod Said

    15. The Need to Be Needed: Reinterpreting an Innate Incentive?

    16. Avoiding Conflicts of Interest

    17. Emergent Phenomena as Collective Equilibria: Forming Superagents

    18. Guiding the Outcome of Cooperation When It Is Emergent

    19. Stability of Intent: Erratic Behaviour?

    20. When Being Not of One Mind Is an Advantage

    21. Human Error or Misplaced Intent?

    22. Organization: Centralization Versus Decentralization

    23. Focused Interventions or Sweeping Policies?

    24. Societies and Functional Roles

    25. Relationships: What Dunbar Said

    26. Some Exercises

  6. Chapter 6 Engineering Component Systems

    1. Reasoning with Cause

    2. Componentization: Divide and Build!

    3. What Do We Mean by Components?

    4. What Systemic Promises Should Components Keep?

    5. Can Agents Themselves Have Components? (Superagents)

    6. Component Design and Roles

    7. Components Need to Be Assembled

    8. Fragile Promises in Component Design

    9. Reusability of Components

    10. Interchangeability of Components

    11. Compatibility of Components

    12. Backward Compatibility

    13. Upgrading and Regression Testing of Components

    14. Designing Promises for a Market

    15. Law of the Lowest Common Denominator

    16. Imposing Requirements: False Expectations

    17. Component Choices That You Can’t Go Back On

    18. The Art of Versioning

    19. Names and Identifiers for “Branding” Component Promises

    20. Naming Promisee Usage (-) Rather than Function (+)

    21. The Cost of Modularity

    22. Some Exercises

  7. Chapter 7 Service Engineering

    1. The Client-Server Model

    2. Responsibility for Service Delivery

    3. Dispatchers and Queues for Service on Demand

    4. Delivering Service Through Intermediaries or Proxies

    5. Framing Promises as State or Action

    6. Delivery Chains by Imposition

    7. Delivery Chains with Promises

    8. Formality Helps the Medicine Go Down

    9. Chains of Intermediaries

    10. End-to-End Integrity

    11. Transformation Chains or Assembly Lines

    12. Continuity of Delivery and Intent

    13. The Versioning Problem Again

    14. Avoiding Conflicting Promises by Branching into Separate Worlds

    15. Avoiding Many Worlds’ Branches by Converging on Target

    16. Backwards Compatibility Means Continuity of Intent

    17. Assessing a Service by Promising to Use It (Testing)

    18. Some Exercises

  8. Chapter 8 Knowledge and Information

    1. How Information Becomes Knowledge

    2. Knowledge: The Mystery Cat

    3. Passing Information Around

    4. Categories Are Roles Made into Many World Branches

    5. Superagent Aggregation (Expialidocious)

    6. Thinking in Straight Lines

    7. Knowledge Engineering

    8. Equilibrium and Common Knowledge

    9. Integrity of Information Through Intermediaries

    10. Relativity of Information

    11. Promising Consistency Across Multiple Agents and CAP

    12. A Is for Availability

    13. C Is for Consistency

    14. P Is for Partition Tolerance

    15. The World Is My Database, I Shall Not Want

    16. Some Exercises

  9. Chapter 9 Systemic Promises

    1. What Is a System?

    2. The Myth of System and User

    3. Systemic Promises

    4. Who Intends Systemic Promises?

    5. Breaking Down the Systemic Promises for Real Agencies

    6. Why Do Systems Succeed or Fail in Keeping Promises?

    7. Complexity, Separation, and Modularity

    8. The Collapse of Complex Systems

    9. Through the Lens of Promises