Q: You’re underestimating the importance of physical. How does my network help get the homeless off my lawn?
- A: Think of exit and movement as the most powerful thing. Mobility is leverage against the state. The credible THREAT of leaving is ideally enough to bargain with the local government to make changes.
Q: The interesting challenge is in replacing existing states. Markets allow for organic and distributed organization, while democracy helps to control for runaway power. We’ve brought market-type systems into our networks, but can we bring in democracy? Or will we just be bombarded by sybils?
- A: This is hopefully addressed as the important vote moves from voting with ballots wallets to voting with your feet.
- Voting with ballots is mostly symbolic for most people: very little changes for most. Voting with your wallet via donations gets you more influence if you’re wealthy enough to make a dent.
- Voting with your feet lets you leave and live under new law if the local government is not meeting your needs. Technology can reduce the cost of exit and reduce friction to digital nomadism, empowering credible threats to leave to be made.
Q: I listened to a talk by constitutional lawyer Ilya Somin who wrote Democracy and Political Ignorance. He claims part of nation-state failure is political ignorance, and people are better wired to move around. People in current digital communities don’t really participate in governance right now… what will make that change?
- A: Burning Man proves we can be super effective as a group, but it won’t require everyone to be extremely engaged: as long as there are lots of options, you can rely on social recommendations as to what networks to join and where to live. As long as people can choose not to choose if they so choose, instead of being coerced.
Q: Why hasn’t the internet turned into this already? This has been the dream since the 90s.
- A: It’s happening, we had states and then we got a network and now we’ll get network states!
Q: Enemies of the western enlightenment have been exploiting this power to exit. We see people doing this: groups have been exiting and forming cults. It’s bad!
- A: Well, the Internet increases variance: you’re going to get both Y Combinator and ISIS. The upside is so up, that we can take care of the downside.
- Q: But this is what they always say!
- A: Well, there’s not much to say… the printing press led to the 30 Years War. We’re just getting started in the network wars.
Q: How do we actually create stronger groups? How do I know what my people need?
- A: We’re moving from a social graph to a social tree and network unions. The difference between network unions and online communities now is that there’s an explicit community leader and hiearchy of people with responsibilities.
- You’ll also have these physical clusters forming, enclaves, that will become more feasible as the resource and information sharing tools and tech mature.
Q: If we had a meta-government that folks are choosing to subscribe to, what would you like it to provide to you personally?
- A: A positive sum community of peers that are helping you, learning, resource sharing, crowdfunding, and social defense.
- Money isn’t everything, but it’s quantifiable: “Every religion will be publicly traded.”
- So much wealth will be unlocked and created by these setups.
Seminar notes by James Risberg.