AKASHA's Glossary

Efficient communication resorts to some use of specialist words and phrases. Aspiring to effective communication too, we explain those words and phrases right here so everyone can join the party.


AKASHA Reloaded

The name given by the AKASHA Foundation to the process of moving from a social networking app to a social networking framework.

AKASHA World Framework (AWF)

A series of libraries, tools, services and APIs used to build customized social networks.


A next-generation social media network powered by the Ethereum world computer and embedded into the Inter-Planetary File System (IPFS).

AKASHA dapp (legacy)

The AKASHA dapp was the product of the AKASHA Foundation's early experimentation with a social microblogging experience on Ethereum . It was a full on-chain implementation on the Rinkeby testnet.


Agency refers not to the intentions people have in doing things but to their capability of doing those things in the first place. Tools that enhance agency may be described as agentic.


The cryptography community started to use these names ( Alice , Bob , and Carol) in the 1970s to explain their designs. Now the tech community uses the names more widely for greater clarity than say user1, user2, and user3.

Anti-rival good

The opposite of a rivalrous good. When more people share an anti- rivalrous good, each person gets the more utility / benefit.

Artificial Intelligence

Intelligence exhibited by machines, typically developed for specific goals such as reasoning, knowledge building, planning, learning, and understanding spoken and written language.

Atomic design

A process by which you break entire interfaces down into fundamental building blocks and work up from there. This process contains five distinct levels: atoms, molecules, organisms, templates, and pages.


Confirming the truth of some piece of data or information claimed to be true. In the context of identity , authentication is the process of actually confirming that the person claiming to be Alice is indeed Alice .



Metrics related to human characteristics. Biometric authentication may allow Alice to access her device with her fingerprint for example. Biometrics may also help identify individuals under surveillance , for example with facial recognition.


Bitcoin is the world's first cryptocurrency . It is also the name of the underlying system, the world's first application of blockchain technology.


An incorruptible, distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of records, called blocks. Bitcoin was the first application of a blockchain .



Prohibiting or suppressing information considered to be politically unacceptable, obscene, or a threat to security.


A system with one (or very few) central components through which information flows, often with a corresponding concentration of control.


A consistency; more of a unified whole. Often then regarded as being in tension with decentralization and system responsiveness, although other system parameters can ease the trade-off.


To work together based on shared values and a common goal. Divergent production.

Collective intelligence

A shared or group intelligence that emerges from the collaboration , collective efforts, and competition of many individuals. Also may refer to the heightening of an individual's intelligence in a group setting.

Collective mind

When individuals demonstrate thought processes and behaviours that are only manifest in social situations, and the emergence of mental states at that group level that aren’t reducible to the individual states of individuals.


A verbal or written remark expressing an opinion or reaction.


Conveying meanings from one entity to another in mutually understood ways.


A group decision-making process in which group members develop, and agree to support a decision in the best interest of the whole. It represents a broadly acceptable resolution.

Consensus protocol

A means by which a number of processes (or agents) reach agreement on a single data value. Particularly pertinent across distributed networks.

Content addressing

A way to store information so it can be retrieved based on its content (what it is) rather than, as is most common today, its location (where it is).


To work together based on shared values and compatible goals. Convergent production.


Neither surveillance (watching 'from above') or sousveillance (watching 'from below'), but watching side-by-side. Generates an awareness of the disempowering nature of surveillance .


A digital form of money that relies on cryptography . Most everyday money is fiat money, which means it's established by government regulation or law, whereas a cryptocurrency does not depend on either.


The construction and analysis of methods that prevent anyone other than the intended recipient(s) from reading private messages.


A method of networking computers, documents, and people based on cryptographic techniques. This evolved from Bitcoin .



D.R.Y. ( Don't Repeat Yourself ) is a principle aimed at reducing repetition to avoid redundancy. The D.R.Y. principle is stated as "Every piece of knowledge must have a single, unambiguous, authoritative representation within a system”.

DAO (distributed autonomous organization)

An organization represented by rules encoded as software that is transparent, controlled by stakeholders, and not influenced by a central power. They typically use crypto incentives to coordinate governance .

Dapp (decentralized application)

An application with code that runs on a decentralized network and so does not have a central point of failure.


Individual, separate, objective facts representing the properties of objects and events. Computers work with data , but humans do not so readily. (See Information .)

Data protection

The relationship between the collection and dissemination of data , technology, the public expectation of privacy , and the legal and political issues surrounding them.

Data subject

The identified or identifiable natural person to whom personal data relates.


Progressing towards a system that doesn't have central components through which information flows, thereby avoiding a concentration of control. Extreme decentralization is sometimes referred to as fully distributed . (See Distributed .)

Digital identity

The manifestations and operations of human identity influenced or mediated by digital technology.


Decentralization is a system that doesn't have central components through which information flows, thereby avoiding a concentration of control. Extreme decentralization is sometimes referred to as fully distributed .

Distributed ledger

A set of data located and maintained in many different places in such a manner that it's consistent without requiring a central administrator or storage place. Blockchain is a form of distributed ledger .



A person investing time and attention in Ethereum .


A decentralized , open source platform for decentralized applications.

Ethereum World

Ethereum World will be the first network built with the AKASHA World Framework. Its purpose is to unify the  Ethereum  ecosystem by integrating decentralized apps into a simple, delightful social experience. Available at ethereum .world.



A grouping of computing or network providers agreeing upon standards of operation collectively. This may allow different systems to work differently but so they can still work together.


The way a user adds someone to their social graph, enabling posts by another person to appear in their homefeed.

Free software

Free (Libre) Open Source Software — often written as FOSS or FLOSS — is freely licensed to the person who needs to change it and those changes have to be published freely too.


Generative Identity

A label for a set of challenges to self-sovereign identity ( SSI ) and some heuristic principles presented as discussion points in the hope of both avoiding very poor emergent outcomes and creating the conditions to support psychological, sociological, and ecological health.


Determining authority, decision-making, and accountability in the process of organizing.


A react-based framework that provides accessibility, modularity, responsiveness, and theming in a tidy package.



A holon is simultaneously a whole and a part. It's an evolving, self-organizing system (or phenomenon) composed of other holons. Their structures sit on the boundary of chaos and order.



Philosophically, identity asks "What makes it true that you are you?" (See Digital identity and Generative identity .)


Processed data , data made useful, data made relevant. Computers work with data . Humans work more easily with information .


The global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocols to link devices. The Web runs 'on top of' the Internet . (See World Wide Web .)

Interpersonal data

Whereas personal data is a legal definition in the regulation of ' data subject' privacy , interpersonal data is a more human and therefore more social conception, 'living' between those concerned



We build knowledge from data and information by identifying and interpreting patterns. Knowledge enables better understanding.



A social media action conveying a positive response to a piece of content; this may be given for a wide variety of reasons.


Machine learning

A field of artificial intelligence ( AI ) that uses statistical techniques to give computer systems the ability to "learn", i.e. progressively improve performance.


Passed between software for its own purposes, or for the purposes of one human conveying something to another.

Metcalfe’s Law

States the effect of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system.


An interactive software module highly focused on performing just one task and doing it well.


The result of breaking frontend monoliths into many smaller, more manageable pieces, allowing many teams to work simultaneously on a large and complex product.


The subset of governing that structures participation in a community to facilitate cooperation and prevent abuse.

Moore’s Law

The observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years.



Something is non- rivalrous when the cost of providing it to a marginal (additional) individual is zero for any level of production.


Used to describe forms of identity that are unchanging by design — think of those developed for the legal bureaucratization of identity (e.g. birth certificate, passport, national ID card, social security number, Aadhaar identity number), those based on permanent physical features (e.g. fingerprint, face recognition), and those inventions vying to achieve similar permanence or based on such permanence (e.g. Facebook ID , Telegram passport).



Emphasizing transparency, and the free and unrestricted access to information and knowledge .

Open source

Open source software (OSS) means that the source code (the code humans write before it's converted into the code a computing device runs) is freely licensed to those who need to change it.

Open systems

Encompasses processes that exchange material, energy, people, capital, and information with the system's environment.


Peer to peer

A distributed architecture that regards all the things (peers) involved to have equal status and equal power of participation in the network. Such design may entail the peers sharing out tasks between themselves.

Personal agency

Agency refers not to the intentions people have in doing things but to their capability of doing those things in the first place.

Personal data

Any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person — one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, by reference to a name, an identification number, location data , or other identifier, or to factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural, or social identity of that person. (As defined by the General Data Protection Regulation.)


Takes different forms in different contexts, e.g. Bob shouldn't acquire information about Alice , Bob shouldn't interfere with Alice 's actions, Bob shouldn't intrude into Alice 's space, Bob should tolerate Alice 's beliefs, and Bob shouldn't appropriate, use, or exchange Alice 's property.

Public good

A good that is both non-excludable and non- rivalrous i.e. individuals cannot be excluded from use, and where use by one individual does not reduce availability to others or the good can be used simultaneously by more than one person. Also known as a social good or collective good.



A JavaScript library for building user interfaces.


Processes that restore, renew or revitalize their own sources of energy and materials, creating sustainable systems that integrate the needs of society with the integrity of nature.


Something is rivalrous when its consumption by one person prevents simultaneous consumption by others, or reduces the utility / benefit to others.


Self-sovereign identity

Defined as "a term used to describe the digital movement that recognizes an individual should own and control their identity without the intervening administrative authorities." AKASHA contends this vision — see Generative Identity .

Self-sovereign technology

Technology designed to serve the needs of one person / entity under their complete control.

Sign (verb)

Defined as "a term used to describe the digital movement that recognizes an individual should own and control their identity without the intervening administrative authorities." AKASHA contends this vision — see Generative Identity .


A well-documented, React-based, and flexible editor framework.

Social network

A digital platform used to build social relationships with other people who share similar personal or career interests, activities, backgrounds, or real-life connections.


A social ideal that values equality and the rights of people to decide the conditions under which they live and work, and a method of organizing collaborative and productive organizations. Known as Dynamic Governance in N. America.

Software Development Kit (SDK)

A collection of software development tools.


Purposeful monitoring (recording and transmission) by an entity that is not in a position of authority with respect to the intended subject. Typified by so-called 'body cams'.


An open source tool for developing UI components in isolation for React, Vue, and Angular.

Styled components

A way to create React components that have styles attached to them.


The monitoring of behavior, activities, or other changing information for the purpose of influencing, managing, directing, or protecting people.

Surveillance capitalism

A term popularized by Shoshana Zuboff to describe a new type of capitalism that profits from data acquired through surveillance .


The property of biological systems to remain diverse and productive indefinitely. By contrast, the way people use the planet's natural resources today is unsustainable.



The willingness to be vulnerable to the actions of another party based on the expectation that the other will perform a particular action important to the person doing the trusting, regardless of whether the person can monitor or control that other party.



Purposeful watching. The word is most often encountered as part of the longer words surveillance and sousveillance .


Used to describe forms of identity that are changing by design. While in fact dominant in everyday life, digital identity projects and schema typically ignore it unfortunately.

Verifiable credentials (VC)

(Previously known as verifiable claims). A qualification, achievement, quality, or piece of information about an entity's background such as a name, government ID , payment provider, home address, or university degree.



Stores the public and private keys which can be used to receive or spend a cryptocurrency . Available in a variety of forms.

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 refers to websites that emphasize user-generated content, ease of use, participatory culture and interoperability for the people using them.

Web 3.0

There is no concrete definition for Web 3.0 yet. It has emerged from and is made possible by new cryptographic techniques.

Wicked problem

Difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements. Prefixed by "super" when time is running out, there's no central authority, and policies discount the future irrationally.

World wide web

The Web runs 'on top of' the Internet . It allows documents and other web resources to be identified by Uniform Resource Locators (URLs, sometimes known as web addresses) such that any document can link to another with hyperlinks