I'm really super surprised that one of my first "Non-Crypto" writings have been well received here. I'm delighted, because it tells me one thing: I'm not alone. Some of what I propose might diverge with what many of the beliefs my readers hold, but I do appreciate the civility and constructive criticism. Thank you for that. I humbly request from my readers that such consideration continues. This is a project in its infancy, but one which I hope to someday mature and even realize.
If you're ready for some more Asshole Opinion on creating an Asymptotic Utopia, then you're in the right place. If you haven't read part one, please feel free to READ THAT FIRST before proceeding. Bear in mind that I see these posts as merely the initial proposal. Many of these topics that I cover will need to be expounded upon in great detail in order to prepare for actual implementation. This is a high level introduction.
The Major Goal, The Common Ideal, and Its Downfall.
In Part One, I wanted to lay out some of the factors that cause destabilization of communities. Before I continue further into the mechanics of economics and governance, I want to answer the big question: WHY IN THE HELL WOULD WE WANT TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS, ANYWAY? Well, besides the admittedly selfish desire to have my own Wikipedia Article.
The first answer comes from the heart. From youth, I have dreamed of a world where things can be better for everyone. I'm not necessarily unique in this respect. I had noticed that the best and brightest solutions have often been far too abstract to be actionable. Take for instance, Jacques Fresco and his Resource Based Economy. Without saying anything that could be accused of being "Hero Worship", I think it is safe to say that the man was brilliant, and had some REALLY good ideas on anything from Economics to Architecture. He died awhile ago at the ripe old age of 101. Fresco was a definite influencer to my ideas, among others such as B.F. Skinner (No Relation) and his Novel Walden Two as well as modern futurists and science communicators such as Isaac Arthur and John Michael Godier. But I digress.
Fresco had a problem. Cooperation and communication were not his strong suits. Jeff Gore of The Orlando Weekly wrote that Fresco couldn't get his work off the ground because "money is part of the problem, as is an apparent unwillingness to collaborate with others". In the same article, Gore had quoted others that criticized his lack of progress. Filmmaker William Gazecki said of Fresco,
"The real missing link in Jacque’s world is having put Jacque to work...[It’s] exemplified when people say: ‘Well, show me some buildings he’s built. And I don’t mean the domes out in Venus. I mean, let’s see an office building, let’s see a manufacturing plant, let’s see a circular city.’ And that’s where he should have been 30 years ago. He should have been applying his work, in the real world … [but] he’s not a collaborator, and I think that’s why he’s never had great public achievements."
On top of this, I think that particular "collaborations" served as the "Death Knell" for Fresco's work. In a Youtube feature called "Zeitgeist: Addendum", Fresco is featured... along with some other really batshit crazy ideas that have demonstrated to be false. Nothing will kill a project quicker.
A man lived and died without having seen the fruits of his dream, and for whatever reason Fresco was the way he was, one thing is certain: Revolutionary new things are not attained in a vacuum. In order to make the future community a reality, we cannot by any means eschew the outside world, or debase its methods as "below us". We must establish our framework within the context of the framework of Current Society. I call this the compatibilist approach, exemplified in "Axiom" 4:
4.) Progress is NOT made in a vacuum. Interoperability with the current world is necessary to enact actionable change.
Having said this, The major goal is to create a better, more efficient life for people, and to grow within the context of the old system in order to synergize it with the new. The Common Ideal should be something uncontroversial, specifically in light of all that has happened this year and before: we need more than ever to understand that society is an open problem that can be solved, and is worth solving. Its downfall lies in the hands of Axiom 4.
I would also humbly put forth that science and technology serve to help us understand how to do these things. No, They are not the "end-all-be-all" of life, but I think it would be hard for anyone to counter that these things have made life better and will continue to do so. In a previous post, I had written that pretty much everything from the first lever or wheel has been an attempt to make things better, or to "automate" a particular action:
When you think about it, every labor saving device is in one way or another "automating" a particular task. Don't wanna grind grain into flour yourself? Domesticate a horse to do it for you. Don't wanna have a horse to take care of? Set up a water wheel at a running river. Wanna do it faster and easier? Make complex electromotive machines to grind it, run that on automated software instructions.
This might not sit well with the epistemological sensibilities of some of my readers. I am completely fine with that. However, if you find yourself in such a camp, I implore you to look at the world around you. Do not think of abstraction or pure form, but rather what the pragmatism of what I suggest provides; clean water, fast communication, knowledge of any sort at the tip of your fingertips. You are reading this because we literally learned about nature so well that we could make parts of it into something that computes, calculates, and sends information across vast distances. Finally, if you're into crypto, then you know this to be true.
I consider it a grave error of sorts to suggest that we do not proceed upon the path which leads to saving more lives and increasing the quality of those lives in a practical, evidence based manner. That being said, I do not shun those who disagree. You are just as important to me. I wish more than any other to convince you otherwise.
Whew... That's some deep shit. Hey, check out this stupid thing I photoshopped for cheap, comedic relief:
I WARNED YOU, KEVIN. YOU BROUGHT THIS JUDGEMENT UPON YOURSELF.
The Establishment of Trustless Governance.
I have written about the idea of injecting modern distributed ledger technology into government before, and here I want to provide some additional details that might be the starting point for creating such a system. If a group of people can agree upon a few foundational principles such as those alluded to in the previous section, then I think it should be uncontroversial to suggest from there, we can can create a form of trustless government that allows us to implement policy based on those principles and allow it to be "morphed" over time through consensus.
Essentially, that's what people do now, except in a different form. Currently, a city holds elections for public officials. these public officials are granted the ability to arbitrate and preside over official rulings and establish ordinances or other laws. I might add that in many cases (See Axiom 3) this leads to bureaucratic encumbrance, unnecessary and contradictory rulings, as well as corruption. In order to make this more streamlined, I think there's a few things that need to change. A Trustless government, based on similar principles to a Decentralized Autonomous Organization or DAO ( or a DAG, Decentralized Autonomous Governance) can be established:
1.) Individuals within the community should be responsible for running the community. Agreement can be established through consensus of these individuals in an efficient way with the use of a participatory distributed network technology.
2.) The DAG receives consensus through nodes that are integrated into the network, call them "Resident Nodes". Residents with unique identifiers "Vote" on particular instances of policy change or enhancement.
My first intuition to realize this would be to integrate a Smart Contract system with an alternative blockchain concept of Directed Acyclic Graphs. Fortunately, this isn't anything new. Khun Sir on Medium suggested a way this might be done, and could be a springboard for additional development. This is by no means completely thought out... YET.
Without confusing my reader, why have your DAG based on a DAG integrated with Smart Contracts? Simple. Smart contracts are the foundation by which Decentralized Autonomous Organizations are built, and are necessary to implement one. I propose Directed Acyclic Graphs primarily for the reason of scalability; Essentially, everyone involved in this system assists in verifying other transactions, or in our case "votes" in a decentralized manner. The "Resident Nodes" could be as simple as someone with a smart phone. It's energy efficient, scalable out the asshole, and as I already mentioned, places the task of verification upon the other nodes in the network, freeing up resources that muck up other blockchain methods.
It's actually pretty cool to think about. Imagine for a moment; one individual can propose a change and have others vote on it almost immediately. No need to wait for next month's city hall meeting which... oh SHIT was postponed due to COVID-19. If you pissed off one of the aldermen in your town, he/she will vote down EVERYTHING you propose because of petty reasons. No. Not in this system. All proposals are blind. All votes are secure. The changes made or not made are contingent solely on the changes proposed without respect to gender, race, or anything else. One might wanna call this a Double Blind Proposal-Consensus Protocol. Since it is secure within a distributed ledger, we can be reasonably sure that voter fraud is effectively implausible.
This all factors into Axiom 3, and mitigates the consequences of Axiom 3.
Governance can be done by everyone while they sit on their asses watching Grey's Anatomy or whatever. Proposals either reach consensus or do not, with additional infrastructure being put in place where residents can read about new proposals and put in their own two cents anonymously. If something is passed, then it is integrated into the DAG and implemented flawlessly with minimal effort placed on the people it affects.
This isn't set in stone, and I believe that some people might take issue with this. That's okay! TAKE ISSUE WITH IT! We can morph and form and re-evaluate until we find something that does what we need. This is merely the intuition of simple asshole in a town with more cows than people.
I'd prefer to get into the economics of things, but I think this particular post has enough to digest for a single sitting. Therefore I'm breaking up "part two" previously proposed into two separate pieces, where I will next speak of economics in the community. That's gonna be fun, I promise.
And with all that being said, I have successfully integrated some crypto ideas into my intentional community dream. BUT, we are not yet done. There is an ASS-ton left to talk about and it will (more or less) follow this pattern:
Part 3: Economics in the intentional community.
Part 4: Infrastucture and efficient architectural design of the experiment.
Part 5: Roadblocks of Experiment implementation.
Part 6: Growth.
Thank you SO SO much for reading. I really do appreciate it. All of you.