537 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. The move made sense for Reddit, particularly as the company looked toward its IPO. Reddit isn’t profitable, and the infrastructure to support third-party apps costs Reddit $10 million per year. Charging for the API could wipe out that loss and potentially be a net positive on the balance sheet. (Microsoft declined to comment if it would pay for Reddit’s data; OpenAI and Google didn’t reply to requests for comment.)

      Reddit still loses money. Think about amount of funding that supports reddit year on year for over a decade. This is capitalism baby.

  2. Sep 2023
    1. Raising the price of pollution remains the most important, and likely necessary,approach to decoupling growth from emissions (the merits of which are surveyedby Knittel 2012). Unfortunately, it is out of favor in many places. Governments haveinstead turned to subsidizing “green” alternatives. Even if the green alternativeswere carbon-free (which they typically are not), subsidies for green technology arenot equivalent to taxes on pollution. In at least one important sense, the subsidyapproach is counterproductive. Subsidy-favored technologies become artificiallyinexpensive to adopt, which expands overall demand while crowding out profitableinnovation along currently unfavored or not-yet-imagined abatement pathways. Theopportunity cost is incalculable. The countries of Africa offer a concrete example ofthis concern. Their population will likely double in the next century, and transpor-tation demand will increase in concert with a larger and richer population. It will beadvantageous for urban planning to center around public transit and small vehiclesin these economies. Increasing the cost of pollution creates incentives for cleanerurban growth, but cheap electric vehicles does not.

      Yes, yes, yes!

      And we don't do it because the majority of population given their current knowledge, sensemaking, needs and ontological development don't support the action needed here.

      This is an ontological/cultural issue far more than an "economic" one.

    2. worldwide, to the extent they are taking action at all, have overwhelmingly chosenthe path of “carrots,” not “sticks.” In the absence of several favorable draws frominnovation lotteries, this pathway will likely be expensive and characterized byonly partial decarbonization success.

      [Governments] worldwide ...

      Indeed! It is another collective action + cognitive bias point. Voters don't notice / mind subsidies nearly as much as taxes.

    3. The question is whether these regulatory agencies can achieve the decar-bonization goals by leaning on a policy that transmits weak incentives to marketparticipants. In the case of both cars and maritime shipping, the compliance costsmay be sufficiently large as to reduce the aggregate level of transportation servicesenjoyed in the economy. The economic costs could far outweigh the environ-mental benefits, even when approximated by using the most aggressive estimatesof the social cost of carbon.

      What are those aggressive estimates of the social cost of carbon? $1000 / tonne? higher? what if we risk a true catastrophe?

    4. To date, demand for electric vehicles in the United Stateshas been concentrated among wealthy, highly-educated buyers who express concernabout climate change (Davis 2019; Archsmith, Muehlegger, and Rapson 2021).These buyers tend to own multiple cars and live in single-family homes in coastalstates or the suburbs of large cities. To achieve full (or even deep) electrification,adoption of electric vehicles will need to extend into new consumer segments. Twoof these include low- and middle-income households who are interested in adoptingan electric vehicle, and rural Americans who tend to prefer light trucks to sedansand are less compelled to make decisions based on concerns about climate change.Figure 5Per Capita Generation and Electricity ReliabilitySources: Electricity Reliability (World Bank 2019); Electricity Generation (IEA 2022a).Notes: This figure plots electricity quality and annual electricity generation capita by country in 2018.Electricity quality is measured a scale of 1 to 7 and reflects the average response by business leaders to thesurvey question to the World Economic Forum, Global Competitiveness Report: “In your country, howreliable is the electricity supply (lack of interruptions and lack of voltage fluctuations)? [1 = extremelyunreliable; 7 = extremely reliable].” Generation is measured in megawatt-hours per capita. Selectcountries are highlighted.BangladeshCanadaChinaIndiaIndonesiaJapanNigeriaUnited States1234567Electricity quality (1 = worse, 7 = best)0 5 10 15 20Annual Megawatt-hours Per Capita


    5. Electric vehicles are getting cheaper. This is driven mainly by reductions inbattery costs, which fell by 14 percent per annum from 2007 to 2014 (Nykvist andNilsson 2015) and have continued to decline since. Over the past decade, the speedat which battery costs declined exceeded even the most optimistic of earlier projec-tions (as discussed in Knittel 2012).

      Batteries drove electric vehicles and happened b4 Tesla! (not elon)

    6. In Figure 1, we plot the evolution of global greenhouse gas emission esti-mates from these subsectors from 1970 to 2018, based on European Commission(2023). For comparison, worldwide greenhouse gas emissions across all sectorsof the economy were roughly 36 gigatons in 2018 (IEA 2022b). Figure 1 suggeststwo themes that will recur throughout the essay: the centrality of road vehicles inthe task of decarbonizing transportation and the ongoing rise in transportationFigure 1Transportation Emissions by SectorSource: Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (European Commission 2023).Note: This figure plots annual emissions greenhouse gas emissions (in gigatons) for five transportationsectors from 1970 to 2018.01234Greenhouse gas emissions (gigatons)1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020OECD – roadNon OECD – roadAviationWater-borneRail /other

      ongoing rise in transporation emissions in developing countries.

    1. An aptitude test recently conducted in the province of KwaZulu-Natal seems to back up Khusta’s assessment. Fully 298 of 1,944 city and municipal councilors in the region are illiterate – a rate of 15 percent. It looks as though the curse that befell many post-colonial countries in Africa now has South Africa in its grips – a curse that saw politicians take over control following independence despite a complete lack of expertise or thought-out development plans and ultimately run their countries into the ground. The cautionary tale most often told is that of the once booming neighboring country of Zimbabwe, which dictator Robert Mugabe and his one-party government turned into a poorhouse.

      Not great reading for the anti-colonial theorists.

    2. Behind the walls along the tracks in Jeppestown, the imposing skyline of Johannesburg juts into the sky, a metropolis built on gold and a place where mining magnates used to live in vast palaces. Today, many parts of the city center look little different than a slum. Opulent Art Deco facades are crumbling while homeless people are living in abandoned offices and skyscrapers, cooking over open fires. Just last week, a massive fire consumed one of these illegally squatted buildings, killing more than 70 people.Large sections of the city lie in complete darkness at night, the result of widespread power outages and because the streetlights on major arterials have all been stripped of anything of value. Hundreds of trains sit motionless outside the train station, rusting away. Rail travel in the city has collapsed.Fears of crime and violence have grown widespread. Those who can afford it have moved out of the city to the affluent suburbs, living in houses surrounded by high walls and electric fences.Letta scrambles over a stoplight pole that was cut down on the street above, stripped of its insides and then thrown onto the tracks below. He walks along the railroad bed in search of metal that he can then sell for a few rand to a scrap metal dealer. But there isn’t much left. Windows, doors, water faucets, tiles, roof panels, signs, signal poles, switches, overhead power cables, isolators, elevators: It has all been gutted.

      a collapsed state.

    3. "9910. That was the train I used to take to work every day. The last one ran six years ago," an aging Black man says in disgust as he walks past the station entrance. He adds caustically: "We used to have work when the whites were in charge, and life was better."It’s hard to believe: A 60-year-old Black man, who was oppressed and exploited for half his life, misses the Apartheid era?


    1. The dangerous mistake we were making gets to the heart of what people often get wrong about environmental stewardship: the notion that, no matter how rapacious or careless we are, we can always dig or plant our way out through sweat, pluck and industry. Rather than leave a forest intact, we clear-cut it, then plant a new one. My troupe of planters thought we were making things better. I spent this summer watching that youthful idealism literally going up in smoke.


  3. Jun 2023
    1. Ultimately, I’m reminded of the umbrella organisation Stop Climate Chaos that formed in 2005. By 2009, all that its diverse membership could agree on (and this after much negotiation) was a march called the Wave which happened in December to coincide with the UN climate summit in Copenhagen. The numbers on that march? In the same ballpark as the Big One: about 50,000 people. And after the Wave there was only a trickle, for many years.

      What happened to these and why? my guess is that it was hard to breakthrough to the broader public on a complex long-term topic.

  4. May 2023
    1. They work, they go to the pub and while they share cooking duties they’re not against ordering a takeaway on a Friday night. ‘I would argue that quite often intentional communities reflect the period in which they were formed,’ explains Kirsten Stevens-Wood, a senior lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan University and lead for the Intentional Communities Research Group.

      Interesting person to contact Kirsten Stevens-Wood

    1. One Synthesis employee says: “It’s been like a bad trip. I can say that the dissolution of the business was one of the most unprofessionally-handled and emotionally manipulative things I’ve ever witnessed. It has caused a lot of pain for a lot of people, and was nearly textbook 101 of how NOT to do this kind of thing. I don’t sense any intentional maliciousness—just a serious level of incompetence. Turns out you have to build your business on something more solid than a bunch of psychedelic journeys together! Heart-centered businesses can really fuck things up.”

      Indeed, especially that last point.

    2. A medical professional who briefly worked for the company reflects: “High-end wellness retreats for affluent folk was a great idea, but psychedelics ask questions that need more than enthusiastic, good-looking amateurs and delicious vegan food. It was an entrepreneurial enterprise that wasn’t equipped to take the developmental step to more serious work.”


  5. Apr 2023
    1. If you told me you were building a next generation nuclear power plant, but there was no way to get accurate readings on whether the reactor core was going to blow up, I’d say you shouldn’t build it. Is A.I. like that power plant? I’m not sure.

      This is the weird part of these articles … he has just made a cast-iron argument for regulation and then says "I'm not sure"!!

      That first sentence alone is enough for the case. Why? Because he doesn't need to think for sure that AI is like that power plant ... he only needs to think there is a (even small) probability that AI is like that power plant. If he thinks that it could be even a bit like that power plant then we shouldn't build it. And, finally, in saying "I'm not sure" he has already acknowledged that there is some probability that AI is like the power plant (otherwise he would say: AI is definitely safe).

      Strictly, this is combining the existence of the risk with the "ruin" aspect of this risk: one nuclear power blowing up is terrible but would not wipe out the whole human race (and all other species). A "bad" AI quite easily could (malevolent by our standards or simply misdirected).

      All you need in these arguments is a simple admission of some probability of ruin. And almost everyone seems to agree on that.

      Then it is a slam dunk to regulate strongly and immediately.

    1. When I got home, I thought about my four-year-old who would wake up in a few hours. As I considered the world he might grow up in, I gradually shifted from shock to anger. It felt deeply wrong that consequential decisions potentially affecting every life on Earth could be made by a small group of private companies without democratic oversight. Did the people racing to build the first real AGI have a plan to slow down and let the rest of the world have a say in what they were doing? And when I say they, I really mean we, because I am part of this community.


    1. 38.  It does not appear to me that the field of 'AI safety' is currently being remotely productive on tackling its enormous lethal problems.  These problems are in fact out of reach; the contemporary field of AI safety has been selected to contain people who go to work in that field anyways.  Almost all of them are there to tackle problems on which they can appear to succeed and publish a paper claiming success;


    2. The current state of this cooperation to have every big actor refrain from doing the stupid thing, is that at present some large actors with a lot of researchers and computing power are led by people who vocally disdain all talk of AGI safety (eg Facebook AI Research).  Note that needing to solve AGI alignment only within a time limit, but with unlimited safe retries for rapid experimentation on the full-powered system; or only on the first critical try, but with an unlimited time bound; would both be terrifically humanity-threatening challenges by historical standards individually.

      This makes it hard, but it is not impossible and may be your only option. NB: this is not so much about lethality and the difficulty of coordination to prevent further rapid advance ... which now seems the only option.

    3. We can gather all sorts of information beforehand from less powerful systems that will not kill us if we screw up operating them; but once we are running more powerful systems, we can no longer update on sufficiently catastrophic errors.  This is where practically all of the real lethality comes from, that we have to get things right on the first sufficiently-critical try.

      Exactly, we have a probability of ruin and don't have multiple shots. Even the probability of ruin would make this a very dubious and unwise thing to do IMO - what's the rush. Let's get wiser for a few hundred years. We don't have any asteroids coming.

    4. A large amount of failure to panic sufficiently, seems to me to stem from a lack of appreciation for the incredible potential lethality of this thing that Earthlings as a culture have not named.)


    1. Right now, there’s money pouring into this area, but that’s all going to be patient-related77 Meaning for use by patients with a clinically diagnosed medical ailment, not just someone looking to explore consciousness more deeply. — there’s a pathway to medical approval. I do have concerns that we don’t replicate the mistakes that occurred in the 1960s, which over-promoted psychedelics’ use culturewide. They’re so powerful that if misaligned with cultural institutions, they can result in cultural kickback. In the 1960s they became aligned with the antiwar movement and radicalized-youth movement that was terrifying to existing political structures and institutions, and as a consequence, legislation was put up against them, funding dried up, they were considered a third rail in academic research. We need to proceed cautiously.

      Massive 👍

    2. I have a long-term meditation practice,22 Griffiths practices Vipassana meditation, which comes out of the Buddhist tradition. and the focus there is on the nature of mind, of consciousness, and one comes to see that thoughts, emotions, are transient. They’re appearances of mind that you needn’t identify with. That practice — and some experience with psychedelics — was incredibly useful because what I recognized is that the best way to be with this diagnosis was to practice gratitude for the preciousness of our lives. Grasping for the cure wasn’t useful.

      A long-term meditator.

  6. Mar 2023
    1. Mr. Guo, who also goes by Miles Kwok and several other names, held court at his $68 million residence at the Sherry-Netherland with sweeping Central Park views. While buying the apartment, he provided the building’s co-op board a recommendation from former Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain. “Miles is honest, forthright and has impeccable taste,” Mr. Blair wrote in the letter, unearthed by a British tabloid in 2021.

      Mr Blair seems to have quite a few low-integrity acquaintances.

    1. They can generate somewhat reasonable plans for acquiring money or scamming people, and can do many parts of the task of setting up copies of language models on new servers. Current language models are also very much capable of convincing humans to do things for them.

      Woah 2

    2. However, the models were able to fully or mostly complete many relevant subtasks. Given only the ability to write and run code, models appear to understand how to use this to browse the internet, get humans to do things for them, and carry out long-term plans – even if they cannot yet execute on this reliably


    1. As Graeber and Wengrow point out in The Dawn Of Everything this was by no means a directly linear transformation


    2. I believe that overlaying this same concept (of hierarchical stages) at the level of cultures or worldviews can lead us in some unnecessarily undesirable directions

      What directions?

      And agree on skilful speech point ...

    3. Map Of Worldviews

      Strong parallel with Jeffery Martin approach to mapping waking up dimension - away from stages and to locations.

    4. Developmental Stage Theories

      Worth noting that there are clear subgrouping / connections here e.g.

      • "Spiral": Graves => Beck/Cowan (direct inspiration / citation)
      • Wilber Integralists: Wilber, Terri O'Fallon
      • Metamodernists (Freinacht): direct taking from Wilber / Spiral (IMO and based on their own statements e.g. "symbolic" segment of Listening Society)

      Gebser is a kind of root kind of for all of the "grand theory" cultural evolutionists.

      NB: Kegan and Cook-Greuter are more classic individual developmentalist (specifically ego-developmentalist). They aren't so worldview/culture oriented.

      That said, that strain of research (Kegan, Cook-Greuter etc) sort of mixes stuff up (as does the academic adult / child developmental literature - e.g. work on morality and critique of Haidt etc)

    5. Map Of Worldviews

      Worldviews = cultures (at least in academia)

      e.g. academics will talk about cultural evolution (e.g. Henrich et al), cultural values (e.g. Schwarz, Inglehart etc)

    6. They include the venerable Hanzi Frienacht, Clare Graves, Don Beck, Christopher Cowan, Susanne Cook-Greuter, Terri O’Fallon, Jean Gebser and Ken Wilber

      These are basically the "integralists".

      What about the more "mainstream" (i.e. conventionally academic) work on worldview (usually in the form of "culture and values") e.g. Inglehardt, Schwarz etc.

    7. few terms

      I'd say a worldview was views and values and what makes a worldview is that it is comprehensive.

      Mirriam webster has:

      a comprehensive conception or apprehension of the world especially from a specific standpoint

      For the kind of worldviews we are interested in I would emphasize the ontological aspect: i.e. it includes core views (often implicit) about the nature of the world and the nature of human beings (especially the latter is what i mean by ontological).

      Wikipedia has (oddly following)

      A worldview or a world-view or Weltanschauung is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the whole of the individual's or society's knowledge, culture, and point of view.

      Wikipedia cites a source which has another, even better, definitional quote:

      In his article on the philosopher Wilhelm Dilthy in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, H.P. Rickman writes

      a Weltanschauung [worldview], or philosophy, in which a picture of reality is combined with a sense of its meaning and value and with principles of action ...

    1. The answer varies according to my mood and circumstances — how can I pick just one? — but most consistently it’s “La Dolce Vita.” I wouldn’t necessarily call it the greatest movie ever. It might not even be Fellini’s best movie. But I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen it — for pleasure, for work, as an assignment in classes I’ve taught — and there is always something I’ve forgotten, never noticed or remembered wrong. I still hope Marcello gets his act together, and I still don’t understand why he can’t.
    2. But I’m not a fan of modern fandom. This isn’t only because I’ve been swarmed on Twitter by angry devotees of Marvel and DC and (more recently) “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” It’s more that the behavior of these social media hordes represents an anti-democratic, anti-intellectual mind-set that is harmful to the cause of art and antithetical to the spirit of movies. Fan culture is rooted in conformity, obedience, group identity and mob behavior, and its rise mirrors and models the spread of intolerant, authoritarian, aggressive tendencies in our politics and our communal life.

      Interesting point.

  7. Feb 2023
    1. At the same time, you had this big wind at the back of less power for employees, less labor unions, less anti-competitiveness regulation, less antitrust, more and more things that allowed prices to keep coming down and more and more to go into profits. Big, big, big forces in this direction. And what’s happening today is you’ve kind of let this run its course. There aren’t a lot of pressures that can keep lowering and lowering prices.One exception to that could be the pace of technological development, which, while it has been very deflationary for many decades, we don’t really know what’s going to happen with it going forward. But I think it’s hard to believe that you’re going to get the same kind of deflationary pressures from technology that you have for the last 40 years. Just look at what technology was like in the ’80s.

      on the money

    2. One way of thinking about those pressures is that a lot of decisions were able to be made by entities all around the world with the purpose of getting more efficient and reducing costs. So if you go and you outsource your workers to China and all of China comes online, you’re spending money to literally make things cheaper. So globalization, outsourcing, all of these things, these were multiyear processes, multidecade processes that kept lowering and lowering and lowering prices in a way that was very efficient, productive. Companies were doing it because they would say, “I want to move my costs over there because it will be cheaper.”


  8. Jan 2023
    1. I confess that this screed reflects my own experience. For the past decade, being a finance professor meant being asked about crypto or about novel valuation methods for unprofitable companies — and being smiled at (and ignored) when I would counter with traditional instincts. Every business problem, I am told, can be solved in radically new and effective ways by applying artificial intelligence to ever-increasing amounts of data with a dash of design thinking. Many graduates coming of age in this period of financial giddiness and widening corporate ambition have been taught to chase these glittery objects with their human and financial capital instead of investing in sustainable paths — a habit that will be harder to instill at later ages.


      I'm running out of +1's here.

    2. For these purposes, magical thinking is the assumption that favored conditions will continue on forever without regard for history. It is the minimizing of constraints and trade-offs in favor of techno-utopianism and the exclusive emphasis on positive outcomes and novelty. It is the conflation of virtue with commerce.

      techno-utopianism indeed.

    3. I have come to view cryptocurrencies not simply as exotic assets but as a manifestation of a magical thinking that had come to infect part of the generation who grew up in the aftermath of the Great Recession — and American capitalism, more broadly.


  9. Dec 2022
    1. It included a shared public ledger with crypto-provable integrity that recorded all this stuff. But no blockchain because we just couldn’t convince ourselves that the real world wanted zero-trust; so there was a transaction manager you had to trust. Dear Reader: I think that at some point, in a civilization, there has to be trust. I think that’s maybe the main reason we have civilizations. Call me crazy.

      Trust is an achievement not a burden.

  10. Nov 2022
    1. “We’re at war. This is a political war, a cultural war, and it’s a spiritual war,” Ogles said after he won his primary. “And as we go forward, we’ve got to get back to honoring God and country.”
    1. In his videos, Mr. de Hek treats all of these and other twists in the Hyper plot with a light touch, one befitting a farce. That’s especially true when the topic is Mr. H, a figure who now appears on HyperNation videos as some kind of spokesman, wearing a gold mask and a black hoodie and uttering slogans — “HyperNation will be an equal, fair and transparent platform that can solve the pain points of today’s society” — in a variety of slick studio settings. It’s like getting lectured about utopia from a character in “Squid Game.”

      this use of the utopian twist is what is so fascinating.

    2. “Everyone in the Jehovah’s Witnesses loves other members, and it’s that sense of community that is the most precious thing to them,” he said. “Everyone in those HyperNation Zoom chats keeps talking about how much they love each other. And in both cases, there is no talking anyone out of their faith. For the Witnesses, it’s faith in the Bible and in end times. For HyperNation, it’s faith in the blockchain.”

      Cult like aspect of crypto.

    1. In a world that’s heating up, speeding up, and increasingly interconnected, there’s so much that can’t wait—and can be made better. We believe that a more sustainable, equitable future is for all of us to design. Here’s the work we’re doing to get there, and what we’re learning along the way.

      sustainable, equitable future! Yay!

    1. Other countries do things differently.Canada has undertaken steady changes to improve its election system. In 1920, the country put federal elections under the control of an independent official who does not report to any government or politicians and who has the power to punish rule breakers. Responsibility for setting electoral boundaries was turned over to 10 similarly independent commissions, one for every province, in 1964.Taiwan and more than a dozen countries have also established independent bodies to draw voting districts and ensure that votes are cast and counted uniformly and fairly.The approach is not foolproof. Nigeria, Pakistan and Jordan all have independent election commissions. Many of their elections have still failed to be free and trusted.But in the places where studies show that turnout and satisfaction with the process are highest, elections are run by national bodies designed to be apolitical and inclusive. More than 100 countries have some form of compulsory or automatic voter registration; in general, democracies have been making it easier to vote in recent years, not more difficult.

      Notice the structural-solutionism. Structure is important but what ails the US is cultural (ontological) - though structure may exacerbate it.

      As evidenced by the exceptions they then list. See Putnam on Italy.

    1. If you squint, open source could be seen as a very generous charitable donation to some of the largest and wealthiest corporations on the planet.
  11. Oct 2022
    1. Peter Kalmus, Data Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory: [Update 23 August 2019: This comment was updated for clarity.] What science projects under plausible scenarios of human courses of action is varying degrees of further disruption of fundamental planetary life support systems (e.g. water, agriculture, ecosystems) needed to support the nearly 8 billion humans currently living on Earth. This disruption poses some degree of existential risk to civilization as we know it—with the amount of risk likely still depending on how rapidly we reduce radiative and ecological forcings—but these degrees of risk are not quantified with any certainty. Ice models have had difficulty projecting the melting rate of the Greenland ice sheet; predicting the mechanism of the collapse of civilization and the number of lives lost as a result is a far more complex problem, and there is no scientific consensus that six billion lives will be lost. On the other hand, models have tended to underestimate ice sheet melting, and model projections in general have been systematically “conservative.” I unfortunately don’t see how the possibility of six billion deaths can be ruled out with confidence, especially when the intrinsically unpredictable but real possibility of climate-related war (which could include nuclear weapons) is considered. In other words, Hallam’s claim is speculative, but given the depth and rapidity of anthropogenic change, so is confidently ruling it out. While I don’t agree that “science predicts” the death of six billion people, in my opinion Hallam’s broader warning has qualitative merit and in the context of a lay translation of risk his use of “six billion” might reasonably be interpreted as figurative, an illustration of a worst-case scenario (again, that I don’t think can be ruled out). Whether to interpret this claim literally or figuratively is a question perhaps best left to humanists. Given this ambiguity I judge it “unrateable.”

      He is basically saying this is plausible. And his is the most sensible answer here by far IMO.

      The whole point of "bad case" scenarios is that they involve feedback effects and breakdown of "civilization" as we know it.

      This article as a whole is an illustration of the narrow, conventional thinking.

      NB: i came here via https://passivehouseaccelerator.com/articles/building-our-solarpunk-future where they are citing this as evidence future won't be too bad:

      For many of us, it’s all too easy to imagine the terrible, particularly as we witness the damage caused by just 1.2°C of global heating today. We’re also bombarded by Doomist messages.

      For example, Roger Hallam, the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, recently said this of climate change: “I am talking about the slaughter, death, and starvation of 6 billion people this century. That’s what the science predicts.”

      Only that’s not what the science predicts. According to the fact-checker website, Climate Feedback: “Research shows that continuing climate change results in a broad array of serious threats to humans and other species. However, counter to Hallam’s statement, published studies have not predicted 6 billion human deaths this century and there is no credible mechanism referred to justify how this could happen.”

  12. Sep 2022
    1. Ideally, the green and digital transitions reinforce each other. For example, distributed ledger technology, which underlies blockchain and thus cryptocurrencies, can be used in material tracing, aiding the circular economy by better maintenance and recycling.
    1. Leftists, who won more than two-thirds of the seats, took full control of the process; they did not need a single vote from conservative convention members to approve additions to the proposal.

      Wow, how did the electoral process allow that?

      And how did the "leftists" think that was going to work out?

  13. Aug 2022
    1. “Once you go to one, you become addicted to this feeling that the hotel can achieve in you,” said a frequent guest who didn’t want to be named because she and her husband don’t want people to know how much money they make.


    1. Most fundamentally, though, the reigning model of liberal education — opening doors without helping us think about what lies beyond them — prevails because it reprises a successful modern formula. Agnosticism about human purposes, combined with the endless increase of means and opportunities, has proved to be a powerful organizing principle for our political and economic life. It has helped create the remarkable peace, prosperity and liberty we have enjoyed for much of the modern age.

      Yes, there was much about "orange" and "green" that were good. At some point though the scales turn.

      Also note that "orange" still did have an up: the agnosticism about purpose and technological achievement are quite distinct though partially run together here.

    2. Thomas Aquinas, another author on our syllabus, calls the reason that is the orienting point of all your other reasons your “final end.” Those who discover that they have such final ends, and learn to assess them, see their way to the exit from the fun house of arbitrary decisions in which the young so often find themselves trapped.

      The fun house with its illusions and hall of mirrors is a good metaphor for the shallow temptations and ultimate emptiness of relativistic (narcissistic) hedonism.

    3. Once students are freed from this idea, they can consider the possibility that people can reason together about the best way to live.

      though here, in their (sensible) reaction to simplistic relativism reverse into reason which is also ultimately insufficient - that is why we ended up in relativism. The path of plato ultimately leads to nihilism - and relativism. "Chacun a son gout"

    4. Students’ first reaction to the “Gorgias” is incredulity, sometimes even horror. It is the dialogue’s premise that alarms them: the idea that we can seriously argue about what constitutes the human good. Everything in their education has led them to believe that such arguments cannot bear fruit.“But happiness is subjective!” someone will exclaim, expecting to win over the room. We decline to affirm such assertions, which reliably astonishes the class. Our reticence is intended, in part, to dislodge our students from the idea that life’s purpose comes from some mysterious voice within. Once students are freed from this idea, they can consider the possibility that people can reason together about the best way to live.

      Ah the poison of simplistic relativism.

    5. Colleges today often operate as machines for putting ever-proliferating opportunities before already privileged people. Our educational system focuses obsessively on helping students take the next step. But it does not give them adequate assistance in thinking about the substance of the lives toward which they are advancing. Many institutions today have forgotten that liberal education itself was meant to teach the art of choosing, to train the young to use reason to decide which endeavors merit the investment of their lives.

      👍 and well put.

    1. Kesler was especially devoted to theorizing about what he saw as the menace of progressivism. As he wrote in his 2021 book, “Crisis of the Two Constitutions,” the takeover of the country by the “administrative state” marked a fundamental change in the understanding of the purposes of government and was “based on a new view of the nature of man.” The figure who “prepared this revolution” was Woodrow Wilson, who served as president from 1913 to 1921. Though the framers had constructed a government “to display the laws of nature,” Wilson argued that the laws of nature were antithetical to human freedom. Because history is progressive, each new generation might find that the definitions of liberty and happiness, and therefore the appropriate forms of government, would change as well. In Kesler’s reading of Wilson, the Declaration of Independence could “therefore have no teaching concerning the best regime or even ranking legitimate regimes,” putting the country into a chaotic and potentially disastrous tangle of relativism.

      Ontological politics strikes again. "based on a new view of the nature of man"

    2. Much of the scholarly work at the Claremont Institute stems from the belief that the American founding is the culmination of centuries of Western political thought. But, thanks to a century of liberalism, the principle of self-governance has been replaced with a permanent class of unelected experts: the regulatory bureaucracy otherwise known as the administrative state. Members of Claremont wish to see the right take control of all three branches of government for a generation, dissolve certain federal agencies — break up the C.I.A., get rid of the Department of Education, shrink the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — and also stop, as Anton wrote in “Flight 93,” the “ceaseless importation of Third World foreigners with no tradition of, taste for or experience in liberty.”

      There is an odd core of truth mixed with a lack of appreciation of both the collective action problem part of governance and the simple scale of the US which renders a traditional liberal polity completely infeasible.

      The point being that the state has in many ways become incredibly overgrown and sclerotic. That mass democracy at such a scale is necessarily corrupt in key ways. That underneath a polity is a shared culture that underpins and supports the institutions and ensures adequate trust -- and that was already weak in the US and is now weaker.

    1. Will this work? Ask a pessimist, get a pessimistic answer. So don’t ask. Ask instead: is it worth trying? Is it better than the alternative? If you can’t say, forthrightly, “yes,” you are either part of the junta, a fool, or a conservative intellectual.

      Boy is he going for it e.g. "or a conservative intellectual".

    2. He departs from conservative orthodoxy in so many ways that National Review still hasn’t stopped counting. But let’s stick to just the core issues animating his campaign. On trade, globalization, and war, Trump is to the left (conventionally understood) not only of his own party, but of his Democratic opponent. And yet the Left and the junta are at one with the house-broken conservatives in their determination—desperation—not merely to defeat Trump but to destroy him. What gives?

      This is actually a pretty good point. Trump policies on these points were leftists.

      You can have cultural progressivism / nationalism along with economic progressivism (hey the Nazis were national socialists). This is a reversal of the modern right in america which largely did right wing economics whilst doing little in terms of culture (though cloaked in cultural conservatism).

      My contention is that the progressive left should be doing this rather than leaving this to the right. Take on genuninely economic progressively policies whilst adopting a more culturally evolutionary perspective (or even culturally conservative).

      Oddly the author does not consider than those disliked scandinavian social democracies are actually extremely ethnically and culturally homogenous. See https://rufuspollock.com/2016/04/11/ill-fares-the-land-by-tony-judt/

    3. This trend has accelerated exponentially in the last few years, helped along by some on the Right who really do seem to merit—and even relish—the label.

      And acknowledgement of how the neo-reactionaries aren't helping themselves on that nazi front.

    4. For two generations at least, the Left has been calling everyone to their right Nazis.

      Unfortunately partly true.

    5. A Hillary presidency will be pedal-to-the-metal on the entire Progressive-left agenda, plus items few of us have yet imagined in our darkest moments. Nor is even that the worst. It will be coupled with a level of vindictive persecution against resistance and dissent hitherto seen in the supposedly liberal West only in the most “advanced” Scandinavian countries and the most leftist corners of Germany and England. We see this already in the censorship practiced by the Davoisie’s social media enablers; in the shameless propaganda tidal wave of the mainstream media; and in the personal destruction campaigns—operated through the former and aided by the latter—of the Social Justice Warriors. We see it in Obama’s flagrant use of the IRS to torment political opponents, the gaslighting denial by the media, and the collective shrug by everyone else.

      Ah here are the (petty) resentments and slights. The Davoisie is a wonderful coinage (no doubt not due to him).

      As is often the case in a horse-shoe world i would share (some) of his concern with the Davoisie and their policies.

    6. Conservative intellectuals never tire of praising “entrepreneurs” and “creative destruction.” Dare to fail! they exhort businessmen. Let the market decide! Except, um, not with respect to us. Or is their true market not the political arena, but the fundraising circuit?

      He's really going after those "middle of the road" conservatives 🙂 It feels like the Judean People's Front vs the People's Front of Judea.

    7. Whatever the reason for the contradiction, there can be no doubt that there is a contradiction. To simultaneously hold conservative cultural, economic, and political beliefs—to insist that our liberal-left present reality and future direction is incompatible with human nature and must undermine society—and yet also believe that things can go on more or less the way they are going, ideally but not necessarily with some conservative tinkering here and there, is logically impossible.

      See the ontological politics there:

      to insist that our liberal-left present reality and future direction is incompatible with human nature and must undermine society

      What is the assumed "human nature" that liberal left approaches are incompatible with? That is a fascinating question and key to much of this discussion.

      It is perfect evidence of the central but hidden role of "ontology"[^1] to politics.

      [^1]: i.e. beliefs about human nature.

    8. Continetti inquires into the “condition of America” and finds it wanting. What does Continetti propose to do about it? The usual litany of “conservative” “solutions,” with the obligatory references to decentralization, federalization, “civic renewal,” and—of course!—Burke. Which is to say, conservatism’s typical combination of the useless and inapt with the utopian and unrealizable. Decentralization and federalism are all well and good, and as a conservative, I endorse them both without reservation. But how are they going to save, or even meaningfully improve, the America that Continetti describes? What can they do against a tidal wave of dysfunction, immorality, and corruption? “Civic renewal” would do a lot of course, but that’s like saying health will save a cancer patient. A step has been skipped in there somewhere. How are we going to achieve “civic renewal”? Wishing for a tautology to enact itself is not a strategy.

      Brilliantly written and accurate from that point of view.

    9. If conservatives are right about the importance of virtue, morality, religious faith, stability, character and so on in the individual; if they are right about sexual morality or what came to be termed “family values”; if they are right about the importance of education to inculcate good character and to teach the fundamentals that have defined knowledge in the West for millennia; if they are right about societal norms and public order; if they are right about the centrality of initiative, enterprise, industry, and thrift to a sound economy and a healthy society; if they are right about the soul-sapping effects of paternalistic Big Government and its cannibalization of civil society and religious institutions; if they are right about the necessity of a strong defense and prudent statesmanship in the international sphere—if they are right about the importance of all this to national health and even survival, then they must believe—mustn’t they?—that we are headed off a cliff.

      A breathless paragraph that does articulate well and generously the conservative (nay) reactionary position of those who year to return to an "orange" (or even amber) order before the arrival of green.

      The issue is they want to go back rather than forward which is the only option. We need to "transclude" green -- and orange and amber. Yes we do want virtue, and values, and (probably) a reduced government -- and more. And we need to recognize difference and systematic injustice and a multiplicity of perspectives. And go beyond that into something new.

      This ultimately is simply reactionary. One can sympathize and appreciate it. One imagine what it was like for Catholics in their old ordered world with the all good things of the high middle ages bemoaning the arrival of the protestant heretics. But there is no going back. We can go forward -- and still take much of what was good from that past.

    1. In a normal society, when politicians get investigated or charged, it hurts them politically. But that no longer applies to the G.O.P. The judicial system may be colliding with the political system in an unprecedented way.

      When you are in a culture war, trust breaks down. When were the last great culture wars. Think of the Dreyfus affair as France came into modernity or further back to the English civil war.

  14. May 2022
    1. The mechanics of KlimaDAO are incredibly complex and, if they are successful in accomplishing their goals, we could very well be witnessing the birth of a powerful new economic system — a regenerative economic system.

      Are they that complex?

    1. The worker cooperatives organized in the era of artisan labor paralleled, in many ways, the forms of work organization that are arising today.  Networked organization, crowdsourced credit and the implosion of capital outlays required for physical production, taken together, are recreating the same conditions that made artisan cooperatives feasible in the days before the factory system.  In the artisan manufactories that prevailed into the early 19th century, most of the physical capital required for production was owned by the work force; artisan laborers could walk out and essentially take the firm with them in all but name.  Likewise, today, the collapse of capital outlay requirements for production in the cultural and information fields (software, desktop publishing, music, etc.) has created a situation in which human capital is the source of most book value for many firms;  consequently, workers are able to walk out with their human capital and form “breakaway firms,” leaving their former employers as little more than hollow shells.  And the rise of cheap garage manufacturing machinery (a Fab Lab with homebrew CNC tools costing maybe two months’ wages for a semi-skilled worker) is, in its essence, a return to the days when low physical capital costs made worker cooperatives a viable alternative to wage labor.

      This is the same old delusions cf commons based peer production. Isn't it obvious that capital expenditures are still substantial - if anything perhaps higher (cf. google, facebook, microsoft etc)

    1. While the traditional web-based architectures that have predominated in the first decades of the 21st century are built upon pre-existing societal and economic structures, cryptocurrencies and the blockchain represent an entirely new ecosystem of human transaction.

      These bold claims are made with no substantiation e.g. "blockchain represent an entirely new ecosystem ..."

      Note, that i would argue that it was the internet (and its costless copying) that was by far the more substantive transformation.

    2. The blockchain is the mechanism that permits and facilitates this potential. It represents both an evolution and a revolution of the transaction of consciousness. The blockchain is the medium through which crypto and its accompanying consciousness is transmitted and exchanged. The assets known to the world as crypto do not exist in any tangible form. There is nothing actually there that materially exists. Only a footprint of their existence can ever be detected—as a transaction hash recorded on the blockchain. Like consciousness itself, crypto is non-material, elusive, ephemeral, and ethereal. Yet both consciousness and crypto may be tracked through the traces of codes that it impresses upon the material world. And it is the blockchain that reveals these hidden codes that are the essence of the asset. It is the blockchain that decodes the kryptos, the movement of attention and intention that is at the heart of each and every transaction.  

      What happens to people when they get into crypto? They get to project all this weird stuff onto it. Kind of like people projecting their utopian visions onto marxism. Utopian visions are good when grounded ...

    3. Crypto consciousness represents an awakening to this cryptic phenomenon of our essence, and in a crypto play on words, to its encoding and tokenization into an essential asset of our being. Just as consciousness is transmitted and transacted through the seeming mundane exchanges of words, touch, glances, goods, and monies, it is our crypto consciousness that animates the underlying economy of attention and intention that is at the heart of our individual and collective human experience. The potential of crypto consciousness is thus to transform our consciousness into an asset of attention and intention, capable of illuminating the blockchains of life with more transparency, freedom, and collective wellbeing.


    4. This brings us to consciousness. In this context, the term consciousness refers to the living substance of our being, or of any life form. There is also a collective consciousness, which is the living substance that is shared by any conglomerate of life forms. Unlike exclusively material forms, consciousness also includes our inner atmosphere with its amorphous, ethereal and essential nature. And our consciousness expresses our inner will and its attendant qualities through external behavior. Thus, our attention and intention, along with all our associated inner aspirations, affect the quality of our consciousness and its expression. 


    5. When it comes to transacting assets, the blockchain itself is agnostic. It does not care what crypted hash is being transmitted across its chain of records. There are likewise infinite possibilities of the kinds of assets that can be transported across its technological grids. It can be a monetary asset such as bitcoin, a work of art such as an NFT, a smart contract, a tokenized wish, prayer, or intention, or a set of community covenants encoded into a protocol. The blockchain thus has the potential to subvert those societal systems that have long been used to control wealth, power, information, and resources. Since the mechanisms of human transaction on the blockchain are solely up to the individual and the community of one's choosing, intermediary entities such as banks, religions, and governments cannot manipulate, regulate, or control the flow of assets through the blockchain, be them of the monetary, aesthetic, or contemplative kind.


      Subversion of these systems how exactly?

  15. Apr 2022
    1. The basic structure of the trade is (1) Ponzi, (2) acceptance, (3) diversification, (4) permanence. I feel very dumb typing that! But I guess it works.

      This is a very good summary of the steel-man version of this thesis.

      The history of foreign-currency runs makes me dubious of success on many of these.

    1. Dominic Williams, founder and chief scientist of the Dfinity Foundation commented in a statement: “The NNS now means the Internet Computer is feature complete. It represents a seminal moment in the history of the internet. For the first time, internet services will be governed in a completely independent, decentralized manner. It is the technical solution to the systemic problems Big Tech has created with its monopoly over the internet, a public utility that should be completely open — bringing back the concept of the programmable web. The NNS is the catalyst for the open internet we were promised in the 1990s, and it ensures that the future of the internet remains open and free.”
    1. The only way the rest of us improve our lives with cryptography is to use it as a temporary, provisional shield to shelter our organizing to redeem democratic accountability, not abolish it.


    2. Which brings me to the other problem with financial secrecy: dark money and its role in undermining the rule of law. Dark money funded the dismantling of tax on the wealthy and anti-monopoly enforcement. Today, we have monopoly-funded billionaires who keep the dark money faucets open, doing everything they can to make guard labor cheap, and corruption profitable.They are probably immune to rubber-hose cryptanalysis, because they have something even better than the rule of law. They have the golden rule: Them that has the gold makes the rules.Can cryptocurrency resist tyranny? Sure. Of course it can. It’s not hugely practical for this purpose, but cryptocurrency has some utility in defeating financial censorship.I was raised on my grandmother’s tales of her girlhood in Leningrad and the boxes of barter-goods an uncle in the USA would mail to her. This was a hugely inefficient way to transfer financial aid to a distant relative, and there are probably people living under despotic rule for whom cryptocurrency transfers would be easier to convert to useful goods than unreliable deliveries of barterable trinkets.But any accounting of the peripheral role cryptocurrency plays in fighting despotism has to also include the central role that financial secrecy plays in promoting despotism.

      That last part is spot-on

      But any accounting of the peripheral role cryptocurrency plays in fighting despotism has to also include the central role that financial secrecy plays in promoting despotism.

    3. The primary role of cryptography in human rights struggles is not to exit from society, but to provide a robust, temporary shield for those who would reform it.


    1. The prevailing belief in the business world is that if you don't obsess over the bottomline, you won't see the profits others see. But what we've seen is that steward-owned companies’ long-term profit margins outperform traditional companies. They are 6x more likely to survive their first 40 years. Returns also tend to be less volatile and more resilient in the long run. Employees are happier and stay longer. What’s not to like?

      I suspect this is a highly misleading stat and said so to Armin 😉

      Almost certainly suffers from serious survivorship biasing. AFAICT from looking at the study there was no random selection of firms into these groups at the start of the study so you'll get major bias in that the only visible stewardship firms were successful ones.

  16. Mar 2022
    1. A free economy The goal of all this is to allow people to participate in a free economy thanks to a free currency. What is a free economy? Relative Money Theory defines it through 4 economic freedoms: The freedom to choose your currency system: because money should not be imposed The freedom to access resources: because we all should have access to economic & monetary resources The freedom to estimate and produce value: because value is a purely relative to each individual The freedom to trade with the money: because we should not be limited by the avaible money supply Those 4 economic freedoms should be understood together, not exclusively. Plus, "freedom" has to be understood as "non-nuisance". So here, freedom does not mean the right to take all of a resource (like water source in a desert) so no more is available to the others. Now you get it, this is the goal: free economy through free currency.

      The goal of this ... is "a free economy thanks to a free currency". And then freedom is defined pretty broadly ...

    2. Now you get it, this is the goal: free economy through free currency.

      But how are those two linked? This is the classic logical fallacy / sleight of hand of most currency oriented blockchain stuff ... how on earth does creating your own currency give anyone more freedom?

      Created money (including us dollars etc) only get value to the extent they are convertible into something with "use-value". Sure, control of the currency gives some power but it is relatively minor compared to the big question of the "real economy" where production and exchange of "real" stuff actually happens.

    1. evolution

      He seems to be using evolution in this context for cultural/structural evolution e.g. competition between groups of humans with their associated onto-culturo-techno complex and then the selection of those.

    2. Importantly, the emergence of a cooperative, sustainable global society does not require a fundamental change in human nature.  It does not require all humans to suddenly become saint-like.  Past evolution has repeatedly shown how to organize self interested individuals into cooperatives through the institution of effective governance.  A society with a high proportion of wise, compassionate and altruistic citizens would be much easier to govern, but evolution shows that the achievement of a cooperative and sustainable society does not depend upon it. 

      Really?? This is an explicit statement against primacy-of-being - in the name of pragmatics (we need to move fast and onto-cultural evolution is slow ...).

      Plus isn't a straw-man to say everyone must become saints? Maybe not but we may well need a substantial cultural shift for this to work.

      What evidence is there that:

      Past evolution has repeatedly shown how to organize self interested individuals into cooperatives through the institution of effective governance.

      What we now know is that for markets and democracies etc to function we actually do need quite bit shifts in people's onto-cultures. cf WEIRDest people in the world etc.

    3. Further major challenges will be to ensure that global governance does not constrain the interests of participants any more than is necessary to align interests (i.e. it must maximize freedom); and to ensure that the interests of those who exercise governance are aligned with those of the global society. 

      Indeed, that is a pretty big challenge - any answers here? 😉

    4. This brief analysis of past evolution points to what is needed to establish a unified, cooperative and sustainable global society.  A system of global governance will be required to continually align the interests of all citizens and organizations with those of the whole.  When this is achieved, nations and multi-national corporations will benefit in proportion to their positive contributions to the global society, and will suffer in proportion to their harmful effects on others.  Corporations driven solely by the profit motive will search for ways to advance the interests of the society. 

      yes ... and ... that's a) hard to do b) the dysfunctions of governance just described get worse as you scale.

    5. Evolution has previously met these challenges successfully by implementing systems of constraint.  These constraints punish or restrain members from free-riding, cheating, or thieving.  They also can reward actions that benefit the organization but are not part of reciprocal exchanges (e.g. the provision of public goods).  In human societies, these constraints are our systems of governance.  They align the interests of individuals with those of the society.  In order to be effective, these systems of constraint need to be more powerful than the members of the organization.  If they are not, members will be able to escape their control, and act contrary to the interests of the organization (e.g. corruption in human societies).  However cooperation can be undermined if these powerful processes are used by some members to advance their interests at the expense of the organization.  Because of this possibility, a major challenge for evolution at all levels of organization has been to prevent power from being used to further the interests of a minority at the expense of the organization.  For these reasons, much of the history of evolution at all levels of organization has been about what humans describe as exploitation, the abuse of power and class struggle.  But past evolution has dealt with these challenges by constraining the interests of the powerful so that they are aligned with the interests of the organization as a whole. 

      OK, so he acknowledges some of the major issues of governance (structural) solutions:

      • You need strong constraints to align incentives of members with the group
      • But once you have that you have a risk of abuse whether of the majority of the minority or a minority of the majority (corruption, authoritarianism etc)

      This is a tough problem to solve.

      Furthermore, I think it misattributes the major driver of greater cooperative scale which has been onto-cultural rather than structural (though of course the two resonate and reinforce each other).

    6. The role of governance in organizing cooperation 

      And it seems like we are going for structural solutionism i.e. we will solve free rider by governance ...

    7. Significantly, the emergence of cooperatives does not depend upon the surrender of self-interest.  This would be as impossible at all other levels of organization as in human affairs.  As biologists have long known, organisms that take the benefits of cooperation without cooperating in return will generally out-compete those that cooperate.  Cooperation emerges only when evolution discovers a form of organization in which it pays to cooperate.  To an extent, this form of organization can be achieved through reciprocal exchanges between members.  Members will benefit from providing goods and services to others if they receive benefits in exchange.  In human societies these exchange processes take the form of economic markets.  But these processes alone will not align the interests of members with the organization—there is nothing to prevent members from taking benefits without reciprocating.  Those who cheat in this way tend to end up in front.  Cooperation will be undermined.  Furthermore, systems of reciprocal exchange are unable to deal effectively with goods and services whose benefits can be obtained freely by anyone—i.e. where the benefits cannot be restricted to the individuals participating in the exchange (the ‘public goods’ of human economic systems).  In these cases, ‘free riders’ will be able to obtain benefits without giving anything in return, again undermining cooperation. 

      So we acknowledge the free rider problem 👏

    8. As a result, members who pursue their own individual interests will also pursue the interests of the organization, as if guided by an invisible hand.  Cooperation pays.  Members capture the benefits of anything they can do to assist the organization.  Within the group, they therefore treat the other as self. 

      Within the group, they therefore treat each other as self.

      But what about when they don't - when people "free-ride". That's a key question. I agree that should we really treat others as ourselves suddenly completely new levels of cooperation would become possible and become easy. However, I think that needs quite a profound ontological shift and that isn't easy.

    9. Intentional evolutionaries are energized by the knowledge that these outcomes have been achieved time and time again during the past evolution of cooperative organization.  They are not naive ideals.   Repeatedly, evolution driven by blind trial and error has overcome these types of challenges.  The prevention of war between nation states is no more difficult to achieve than the near eradication of conflict between cells that had previously spent millions of years in destructive competition, or between the ancestors of social ants who had been programmed to kill each other whenever they met, or between the members of the United States of America or the members of the European Union, all of whom have a history of conflict and reciprocal destruction.  Evolution has organized warring individuals into harmonious cooperatives by aligning the interests of the individual with the interests of the organization.  This ensures that when a member’s actions advantage the organization, they also advantage the member.  And when the actions harm the organization, the member is harmed.   As a result, members who pursue their own individual interests will also pursue the interests of the organization, as if guided by an invisible hand.  Cooperation pays.  Members capture the benefits of anything they can do to assist the organization.  Within the group, they therefore treat the other as self. 

      Big +1 that such breakthroughs in levels of cooperation are possible ...

      And, that this isn't easy and in e.g. multicellular organisms took a long time ... (and still goes wrong e.g. cancer).

    1. Should the transaction fees dry up, your UST is now backed by air and you're back to betting the project grows in the future. Looks like it's reached a critical mass though and is continuing to grow and can easily support the current burn rate.

      Woah! "Your UST is now backed by air"

    1. There was no sole beneficiary from the incident besides those who sold TITAN on its all-time-high price.

      And ... who were they.

    2. However, it failed during the second sell-off due to a design flaw: there were no incentive for arbitrageurs when TITAN token price was falling rapidly. I’d like to emphasize this: it wasn’t a code bug, it was a design flaw. The stabilization mechanism based on arbitraging they described on their website and implemented in smart contracts has failed because it couldn’t handle rapid price dropping of TITAN.

      A pretty serious design flaw and one, importantly, that drove the initial massive appreciation in IRON (which no doubt created a lot of excitement and payouts ...).

      It's hard to create market and financial systems - we've iterated for decades to get where we are.

    1. -from competition and scarcity-based fear to cooperation and abundance-based trust and sharing

      Yes ... and how.

      Also what is the underlying diagnosis: Why is their competition and scarcity-based behaviour? How do people experience that sense of abunnance?

    2. -from ownership and possession to access, use, and relation

      But isn't ownership just a way of bundling this rights together especially residual rights that aren't explicitly allocated. cf property rights theory of the firm etc.

    1. Our elders, sages, indigenous, shaman, and anyone who has seriously practiced have come to see that there is only now. So, maybe we should re-orientate around this perspective and live, act, and do in a positive way from here, now, and allow through thoughtful and purposeful experimentation and innovation, the new to emerge through our heart-felt and heart-driven participation.

      Be careful: they also realised there was a relative dimension. In the ultimate there is only now ... and in the relative we have to wash up the dishes. Of course we need to act in the now ... and with awareness of the (relative) future.

    2. The German idealist philosophers had a name for this spiral: Bildung. 

      I thought Bildung was more the process of enculturation - the capacity beyond formal education. The formation of a character. This vision is about a cultural level process to shift paradigm (?).

    3. Developing individual transformative capacities through inner growth and societal structures which support and nourish inner exploration.   …makes possible…The adaptation of a more holistic worldview. …makes possible…The collective co-creation of a new collective imaginary capable of solving our meta-crises.…which in turn supports even deeper development of individual transformative capacities.

      Yes and all the devil here is in the detail. Can you give some real examples of how. And why not just cite wilber and the spiral folks.

    4. A third example cold be experiments with new organisational forms like ‘TEAL' or self-organising organisations. More and more organisations are finding that the old hierarchical way of organising are just to slow in the fast-moving world of today. Through experiencing with different structures of decentralised decision making, organisations can increase their adaptability and their capacity to transform in rapidly changing markets. 

      And how does this relate to the primacy of being stuff we mentioned below. This is all structure stuff.

    5. Another example could be experiments with different forms of crypto currencies. One example of such smart money could be SEEDS, a payment platform and financial ecosystem designed to empower humanity and heal the planet. 

      Hmmm. I'm very dubious that SEEDS is going to go anywhere and represent this bizarre "let's sprinkle it in crypto dust phenomenon".

    6. One example of experimenting and prototyping could be UBI: universal basic income.

      Really??? I see this all the time from idealistic types and ... I don't see any solid proposals that have actually done the math. It sounds great ... and if it so great let's demonstrate it in our own progressive micro-communities.

    7. The growth that matters in twenty years will be our inner growth.

      +10. Primacy of being.

    8. It has nearly become cliché to say

      Amongst whom? I hope this has become a cliche but only within a narrow group (?). Would be great to see examples as it would be powerful in demonstrating to others.

    9. The important thing to remember is to not repeat the mistake after financial crises of 2008 where most help and rescue packages just went into just propping up the old, sick system.

      The reason that happened is not because we didn't want that but because the majority of people are still in orange or earlier hence there is no popular support for this kind of radical change and in the west we live mostly in democracy.

      It will take something special e.g. a new political movement and/or a highly effective vanguard and/or a cultural majority in a given country to make something happen and then others copy.

      Also cf https://possibilitynow.lifeitself.us

    10. A bit like everyone now becoming familiar with epidemiology and its language and models, we need all to become more familiar with anthropology and sociology and their languages to understand how deep this shift is going to be. 


    11. We need all to become more familiar with anthropology and sociology and their languages to understand how deep this shift is going to be. 

      I would say the two disciplines are ontology (encompassing spirituality, psychology, cognitive science etc) and culturology which encompasses a lot of anthropology, sociology, economics, social psychology etc.

      IMO Wilber still represents the most ambitious synthesis on the first. On the latter we have very little.

    12. This change is deeper that anything we have seen the last 100 years.

      The obvious analogy is the last great socio-techno-cultural transition from pre-modernity to modernity. (From amber to orange in wilber/spiral terms).

    13. And, third, we see belief and trust, two of the corner stones for healthy functional societies; transform from the command and control leadership style which we’ve had for centuries and morph into something vastly flatter, decentralised/distributed, and perhaps even autonomously self-organising. Perhaps this is a reason for the ‘Disinformation Age' we find ourselves in. The distribution of information has become democratised in the sense that anyone with internet access can create and upload written, audio, or visual content with a click of a button. The problem though is that not all content is equal. Anyone with a YouTube account and a smart phone can suddenly appear as a subject matter expert on just about any topic in ten minutes or less. We have now entered a time of post-experts and post-trusted informers; we find ourselves awash in a war of contradicting narratives vying for the support of the masses as justification of their validity. And many of the new voices are driven by motives other than sense-making.

      +1 on the basic thrust ... and why did that breakdown happen ... and what can we do about it. Accurate diagnosis leads to good prognosis.

    14. Second, as we saw above, systemic shifts have emergent properties. Even if we could predict tech - which we can’t - from systems science we understand that these large systemic shifts have emergent properties that cannot by definition be predicted in advance.

      Need to impact this in a bit of detail. We can have chaotic systems yet have broadly predictive properties e.g. the dynamical system stays within this basic of attraction even if path within it is not predictable.

      Emergence is waved around a lot in complexity without a lot of precision.

    15. The technology that will have the largest impact on our societies in twenty years, is not AI or nano-tech; it is going to be a technological field that has most likely not been invented yet. 

      Really? I'm not so sure. Change isn't yet that fast. Most of the things that impacted the last 20 years existed before that time.

    1. What we perceive to have the greatest value has no tangible value, only abstract representational value. And all things of tangible value are seen as purchasable and replaceable commodities, which decreases their perceived value. So we will harm things of real value to accumulate more tokens of abstract value.

      I'm not sure this logic fully follows from the abstraction of money (tho' not sure that is exactly the thesis):

      So we will harm things of real value to accumulate tokens of abstract value.

      • What is harm? Is cutting down the tree harm? Is using some of its bark? Is harvesting fruit harm etc? Clearly destroying an ecosystem is harmful (though animals also do that by accident ...)
    2. In the modern developed world’s economy where goods and services are always readily available and storage of physical surplus is an unnecessary difficulty, currency is a proxy for all things of value and thus, for choice itself.

      First part makes sense. Not sure how it is a proxy for choice itself though?

    3. Profit is another word for extraction. It is the value taken out of the system minus the value put into the system (revenue minus expenses).

      It could also be another word for surplus generation. Think of a cook: they take ingredients and make a delicious soup. They have added something beyond the raw ingredients and that is the surplus they collect as "profit".

    1. Niles Niami, the mansion developer who built The One, and described his aesthetic, simply, as “badass”, had floated increasingly desperate plans to avoid auctioning it off, the Los Angeles Times reported, including turning it into an events space for boxing matches and holographic appearances of dead celebrities such as Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, and making a cryptocurrency called “The One Coin” backed by the value of the property.
  17. Feb 2022
    1. It aims to build a decentralized, scalable cloud-like platform that can store data, perform computation, and support community-driven governance. It’s addressing the issues plaguing traditional internet, such as relatively low data security and an oligopoly consisting of big tech companies.
    1. Don't get me wrong. I am not a fan of centralization. I started building a decentralized, permissionless system almost a quarter-century ago. It would be wonderful if we could figure out how to build a Web that would resist centralization. But all the technical and financial cleverness that's been poured into cryptocurrencies hasn't succeeded in doing that. Why? It is because It Isn't About The Technology.

      Exactly ... (hey you technosolutionists out there). It either does not have solutions or if it does they are likely a) structural and, even more likely b) ontological in nature ...

    1. In June, discussing Permacoin, I returned to the issue of economies of scale: increasing returns to scale (economies of scale) pose a fundamental problem for peer-to-peer networks that do gain significant participation. One necessary design goal for networks such as Bitcoin is that the protocol be incentive-compatible, or as Ittay Eyal and Emin Gun Sirer (ES) express it: the best strategy of a rational minority pool is to be honest, and a minority of colluding miners cannot earn disproportionate benefits by deviating from the protocol They show that the Bitcoin protocol was, and still is, not incentive-compatible. Even if the protocol were incentive-compatible, the implementation of each miner would, like almost all technologies, be subject to increasing returns to scale. Since then I've become convinced that this problem is indeed fundamental. The simplistic version of the problem is this: The income to a participant in a P2P network of this kind should be linear in their contribution of resources to the network. The costs a participant incurs by contributing resources to the network will be less than linear in their resource contribution, because of the economies of scale. Thus the proportional profit margin a participant obtains will increase with increasing resource contribution. Thus the effects described in Brian Arthur's Increasing Returns and Path Dependence in the Economy will apply, and the network will be dominated by a few, perhaps just one, large participant. The advantages of P2P networks arise from a diverse network of small, roughly equal resource contributors. Thus it seems that P2P networks which have the characteristics needed to succeed (by being widely adopted) also inevitably carry the seeds of their own failure (by becoming effectively centralized).
    1. Witness the hundreds of millions of CPE (customer-premises equipment) boxes with literally too much memory for buffering packets. As Jim Gettys and Dave Taht have been demonstrating in recent years, more is not better when it comes to packet memory.1 Wireless networks in homes and coffee shops and businesses all degrade shockingly when the traffic load increases. Rather than the "fair-share" scheduling we expect, where N network flows will each get roughly 1/Nth of the available bandwidth, network flows end up in quicksand where they each get 1/(N2) of the available bandwidth. This isn't because CPE designers are incompetent; rather, it's because the Internet is a big place with a lot of subtle interactions that depend on every device and software designer having the same—largely undocumented—assumptions.

      Good example of complexity and ecosystem behaviour in a human system - the Internet ...

    1. In conclusion, the fact that stablecoins or Bitcoin itself acquire the aura of saviours in countries hit by inflation, like Turkey, is nothing more than a measure of the desperation of the people: they will clutch at straws. Stablecoins offer Turks no respite from inflation that buying euros or dollars cannot offer. So, why buy Tether instead of dollars or euros? Why rely on the shadowy characters running a private currency board? Only because the latter deploy good marketing to exploit desperate people.


    2. But, and this is a gigantic but, DAO-like tools will not bring about this new society in which DAO-like tools are useful. (Nb. We can already see how DAOs are being usurped by regressives and real estate moguls in the United States.)

      Indeed and spot on ...

    3. To think that Bitcoin can solve the problem of money, or the problem of the state, is to misunderstand what money is or what states do. Every exploitative socio-economic system is predicated on what the minority running it can make the rest do for them (who does what to whom, as Lenin famously put it). Money and the state are epiphenomena of this system. To believe that you can fix money, or that you can fix the state, is to demonstrate a devastating innocence regarding the larger exploitative system with which they are integrated. No smart contract can, for example, subvert the labour contracts that underpin society’s layered patterns of exploitation. No NFT can change an art world where art is a commodity within a universe of commodified people and things. No central bank can serve the interests of the people so long as it is independent of the demos. Yes, blockchain will be useful in societies liberated from the patterned extractive power of the few. However, blockchain will not liberate us. Indeed, any digital service, currency, or good that is built on it within the present system will simply reproduce the present system’s legitimacy.


  18. Jan 2022
    1. Our challenge to American philanthropy is twofold. First, it must use its power, influence, and money to dismantle“techno-solutionism”—the idea that technological solutions are the key to strengthening American (or any) democracy. Technology is not and never will be the solution to social and political problems, but the fetishism of technology in the public sector has been extremely lucrative for many private companies. All too often we have seen how technology, adopted in the name of progress, actually exacerbates and entrenches society’s problems.


    1. The Uni­verse is a dark and fore­bod­ing place, sus­pended be­tween alien deities. Cthulhu, Gnon, Moloch, call them what you will.

      That's the essence: the universe is a dark and foreboding place. rationalist materialist almost always end us as dark nihilists (in the spiritual sense). Ultimately there is no meaning, no buddha nature for them. (I was one once!)

    2. And if that en­tity shares human val­ues, it can allow human val­ues to flour­ish un­con­strained by nat­ural law. I re­al­ize that sounds like hubris – it cer­tainly did to Hur­lock – but I think it’s the op­po­site of hubris, or at least a hubris-​minimizing po­si­tion. To ex­pect God to care about you or your per­sonal val­ues or the val­ues of your civ­i­liza­tion, that’s hubris. To ex­pect God to bar­gain with you, to allow you to sur­vive and pros­per as long as you sub­mit to Him, that’s hubris. To ex­pect to wall off a gar­den where God can’t get to you and hurt you, that’s hubris. To ex­pect to be able to re­move God from the pic­ture en­tirely… well, at least it’s an ac­tion­able strat­egy. I am a tran­shu­man­ist be­cause I do not have enough hubris not to try to kill God.

      I get the argument ... and I don't agree with it.

      Aside: i would love some editing on these posts. It reminds me of that aphorism: "sorry this letter is so long, i didn't have the time to make it short"

    3. And the whole point of Bostrom’s Su­per­in­tel­li­gence is that this is within our reach. Once hu­mans can de­sign ma­chines that are smarter than we are, by de­f­i­n­i­tion they’ll be able to de­sign ma­chines which are smarter than they are, which can de­sign ma­chines smarter than they are, and so on in a feed­back loop so tiny that it will smash up against the phys­i­cal lim­i­ta­tions for in­tel­li­gence in a com­par­a­tively lightning-​short amount of time. If mul­ti­ple com­pet­ing en­ti­ties were likely to do that at once, we would be super-​doomed. But the sheer speed of the cycle makes it pos­si­ble that we will end up with one en­tity light-​years ahead of the rest of civ­i­liza­tion, so much so that it can sup­press any com­pe­ti­tion – in­clud­ing com­pe­ti­tion for its title of most pow­er­ful en­tity – per­ma­nently. In the very near fu­ture, we are going to lift some­thing to Heaven. It might be Moloch. But it might be some­thing on our side. If it’s on our side, it can kill Moloch dead.

      Wow this seems to me both dark and naive at the same time.

    4. Sup­pose you make your walled gar­den. You keep out all of the dan­ger­ous memes, you sub­or­di­nate cap­i­tal­ism to human in­ter­ests, you ban stu­pid bioweapons re­search, you def­i­nitely don’t re­search nan­otech­nol­ogy or strong AI. Every­one out­side doesn’t do those things. And so the only ques­tion is whether you’ll be de­stroyed by for­eign dis­eases, for­eign memes, for­eign armies, for­eign eco­nomic com­pe­ti­tion, or for­eign ex­is­ten­tial cat­a­stro­phes. As for­eign­ers com­pete with you – and there’s no wall high enough to block all com­pe­ti­tion – you have a cou­ple of choices. You can get out­com­peted and de­stroyed. You can join in the race to the bot­tom. Or you can in­vest more and more civ­i­liza­tional re­sources into build­ing your wall – what­ever that is in a non-​metaphorical way – and pro­tect­ing your­self.

      This is always the argument on this side: it's hopeless, there will always be a "defector" and they'll destroy you. That's why there is no point trying to limit AI research - instead let's work on the control problem.

      But this isn't true for certain. We don't know what coordination is possible and, more importantly, we do know the other route is (more) doomed to failure - if we can't coordinate to stop strong AI how can we coordinate to implement the control system (even if we found one ...).

    5. As tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance in­creases, the rare con­flu­ence will come to an end. New op­por­tu­ni­ties to throw val­ues under the bus for in­creased com­pet­i­tive­ness will arise. New ways of copy­ing agents to in­crease the pop­u­la­tion will soak up our ex­cess re­sources and res­ur­rect Malthus’ un­quiet spirit. Cap­i­tal­ism and democ­racy, pre­vi­ously our pro­tec­tors, will fig­ure out ways to route around their in­con­ve­nient de­pen­dence on human val­ues. And our co­or­di­na­tion power will not be nearly up to the task, as­sum­ing somthing much more pow­er­ful than all of us com­bined doesn’t show up and crush our com­bined ef­forts with a wave of its paw.

      Wow, this really is the nihilistic despiritualized desolation. There's good points in there ... and this is Weber "the magic has gone out of the world" come true.

    6. Co­or­di­na­tion is what’s left. And tech­nol­ogy has the po­ten­tial to se­ri­ously im­prove co­or­di­na­tion ef­forts. Peo­ple can use the In­ter­net to get in touch with one an­other, launch po­lit­i­cal move­ments, and frac­ture off into sub­com­mu­ni­ties.

      Erm ... what about cultural evolution.

    1. Try as we might, we cannot take responsibility for ourselves, come into right relationship with our technology and occupy our proper position as “custodial species” of the whole of the natural world using teams/tribes, institutions or markets.

      That's just not true - it is possible and even reasonably plausible. e.g. so2 pricing did help address acid rain etc. Now, we've struggled to do carbon budgeting / pricing at planetary scale but we got close and we are getting closer (alas, perhaps rather too late!).

      Furthermore, the irony is all the web3 stuff i've seen is built on the same models - but just imaging we don't need to go via the UN (when we almost certainly do).

    2. The other two tools more or less emerge to help us scale coordination: institutions and markets.

      Yes ... and we are wearing "structure goggles" here. We are entirely ignoring culture (and being). We scaled coordination for example through religion - which isn't a corporation or a market. Furthermore corporation and markets only work because they are embedded in trust networks and cultures.

      And the problem is once we are wearing our structure goggles we are limited to a certain kind of (mistaken/very limited) diagnosis and cure.

      the basic point is we aren't going to innovate much in governance (at least not in structural terms). Democracy, markets, hell even companies, have been around pretty much "forever". We can invent tools that help them scale in informational terms - but most of the other scaling is going to come from other areas most notably culture and being.

      cf https://lifeitself.us/2017/09/10/four-types-of-problem/

    1. Software can’t single-handedly solve for the “completeness” of every contract, but it can help — and through token enabled ownership, it can help communities overcome the bootstrap problem to fostering innovation. 

      Indeed to the first part. ... and how can it help? Plenty of good answers to that e.g. software and tech allow us to track more things making them observable to all parties and hence contractable on. But how does that relate to the blockchain?

      And similarly on token-based ownership: how does that overcome the bootstrap problem (and what is that problem? A lack of capital, a lack of cohesion etc?)

    2. But if we accept that contracts are simply decision logic — akin to computer programs, then contract theory gives us a framework for thinking about different types of smart contracts and crypto-enabled projects — and how they can scale (including governance of them).

      That's a very big "accept". What do they mean by "decision logic"? Most contract systems seem quite different from decision logic in that there are whole sets of institutions and stuff (courts, laws, constitutions, governments, culture) dealing with that which is "incomplete" in most contracts including enforcements etc

    3. Let’s start by identifying projects that are (mostly) “complete”. These projects aim to specify a system end-to-end, minimizing the need for subjective interpretation, renegotiation, and external governance. In software terminology, the goal of these systems is to be “correct by construction”. Bitcoin’s proof-of-work mining is one such system. Bitcoin’s completeness is a function of its verifiable computation — deterministic hashing algorithms plus hard-coded game-theoretic incentives. Together, these consistently drive the system towards the outcome of producing a correct chain, while minimizing the need for human interpretation or external decision-making.

      Right ... a few questions here. First, what happens if someone steals my bitcoin via fraud or similar? Then we suddenly need enforcement etc.

      Second, how is that different from current banking system that also largely runs without human interpretation. The key difference (as i understand it) is the "decentralization" i.e. no central authority. But why does that make it more complete (if anything it makes it more incomplete as bitcoin is so similar).

    1. An aside on tether This shows why in the event where USDT breaks its dollar peg, a near-instantaneous market crash would happen. Because USDT denominates the volatile futures price but not the spot price, an arbitrage gap opens up. However, those bots are wired to assume the dollar parity, and thus are broken in this case. They will be quickly turned offline.The bots turning offline cause a low-liquidity environment in which the USD/USDT price parity correction happens.


    2. We can’t know which orders in this chart are liquidation orders and which are “real” ones – Binance doesn’t provide this data anymore since the April 18th liquidation event.


    3. An aside on NFTs Because they’re “unique” objects, NFTs are a perfect vehicle for wash trading. You can easily ensure you only wash trade to yourself. The common scheme is to wash trade with yourself until some credible dunce buys the NFT from you at your manufactured “fair” value, leaving you to walk away with real money.
    4. Offshore crypto exchanges like Binance offer absurd leverage in the 20-125x range. But the exchange is both a broker offering leveraged products and the clearinghouse of the leveraged trades. This can easily create “failure to deliver” situations from the clearinghouse side. Take this example:
    5. While people think the main innovation of cryptocurrencies are public blockchain ledger transactions, the vast majority of crypto trading happens on private centralized exchanges.


    1. The Uniswap Labs core team keeps a closed Slack for internal coordination and is not active in the Discord. This is not problematic per se, but is representative of how updates to the protocol are shared (or not) with the broader ecosystem. The core protocol roadmap is exempt from oversight of community governance, and updates are designed, built, and released without community input. Occasionally, forthcoming features and other internal updates are shared with the Discord moderator team when relevant, but not to Discord users prior to a formal announcement.

      Right, b/c they need to "get stuff done"

    2. Uniswap's protocol, and the product offerings built on top of it, are widely used in the crypto space, driving a need to provide a high quality user experience on the product and support front. This is compounded by prominent forks such as Sushiswap, which additionally place Uniswap Labs under significant competitive pressure. But treating community members as end-users conflicts with the desire to treat them as stakeholders, discussion participants, or governance leaders. This conflict is visible in the Discord where support crowds out other conversations, but also in the fragmentation of stakeholder types across different platforms, as we address in the next section.


    3. These challenge illustrate a larger problem: the fundamental tension between the pressure faced by Uniswap Labs to have a coherent and competitive product offering, and its aspiration to create a thriving community culture.


    1. Imagine if a portion of that 12+ trillion USD that central banks made went to set up local food systems that sequestered carbon and ended world hunger.

      Forgetting the wild numbers: just ask ourselves, most of that money went into buying government bonds ... and what did (democratically) elected govs do with that? They chose to spend it the ways they did ... presumably because at least in part it reflects what their citizens wanted ...

    2. With SEEDS the people become the de-central-ized bank — and instead of creating trillions to subsidize oil and gas (4.7 TRILLION!!!) and other harmful industries (like war ~2 TRILLION!) the people (that’s you) can decide what we as a society direct our shared wealth towards (like solving our climate crises, hunger and inequality for starters).

      Just a bizarre statement: central banks aren't creating money for either of those, govts are taxing their citizens to do this ...

      Re the first number most of that number are implicit subsidies i.e. not pricing in externalities ...

      Also there is a reason people have militaries e.g. to defend themselves. I wish we didn't need them but there is a reason most places have them that isn't just aggression ...

    1. Now let me just preface this next bit by clarifying that I don’t have any idea what I’m talking really. I’m not an investor and I don’t understand the stock market beyond generally that it’s there to make rich people richer and fuck over poor people.

      ? there is a bit more to the stock market than this. As usual there are big grains of truth ... and this is a significant simplication.

    1. The prototype elaborated by P2P Models is called “Open.Smart”. Basically, the prototype is designed as a transparent database which serves to collect and order Smart member data. This data is supplemented by other records and documents required for subscription and is saved and encrypted in the blockchain. Open.Smart is an external app that relies on a digital wallet called Metamask that makes it possible to interact with the Smart platform (Figure 3 illustrates the beta version of Open.Smart)

      But ... why have it on the blockchain vs a normal database?

    1. What I learnt from Francesco Nachira and his interest in constructivism and theories of language and cognition is that decentralisation can never be just about decentralising infrastructures. One always needs to have a requisite strategy for decentralising institutions as well.So that’s why we always aimed at the decentralisation of economic and political power as the necessary condition of possibility that was needed to deliver on the true emancipatory potential of decentralising digital infrastructures. When I look at the promises made by the proponents of DAOs and NFTs, they seem to believe that technology itself would somehow do the job: once we code a DAO correctly, it will ensure a new institutional form and that form would have revolutionary effects, etc. This seems to me short-sighted and also very inward-looking.It’s not, of course, only about decentralising power. It’s also about creating new institutions to keep old power – which, by now, has taken on new forms – in check. Where are these new institutions when it comes to crypto and Web3? Everyone seems to believe that big tech platforms and Wall Street and Hollywood will just stand idle as they are being disrupted by “crypto.” Does this really sound plausible to anyone?

      Exactly: they believe that "technology itself would somehow do the job".

    2. Well, first of all, I don’t see how Web3 – focused as it is on the creator economy and tokenisation – would allow us to deal with questions regarding infrastructural power and the industrial policy of the future… things like broadband, 5G, data centres, cloud computing, AI, quantum computing, microchips, the next generation of batteries. It’s not just the advertising business models of Web 2.0 that should concern us. What does Web3 offer us here? Not much. The Web3 discourse accepts today’s status quo as a fact and moves on to discuss all these other aspects.Most of the stuff about DeFi seems to me just a temporary phenomenon – the result of central banks’ inaction and delay in grasping the threats that come from leaving this industry unregulated. In this sense, China seems to be seeing through all the Web3 rhetoric and asking the right strategic questions, both in terms of controlling the whole stack, from batteries to AI, to establishing control over the FinTech sector in a way that would reduce risks to the country’s overall financial system. Europe, of course, doesn’t operate in the same political climate, so acting so resolutely about Web3 might not be an option (also for geopolitical reasons). It’s hard to imagine Chinese policymakers spending any time discussing Dogecoin.
    3. I’m not. What I find so suspicious about DAOs and tokenisation and Web3 is the idea that they want to tie every institution to the logic of the stock exchange: if things work well, the value goes up – and this creates some kind of a disciplining mechanism. Do we really want to “optimise” our healthcare or education this way? Even when it comes to companies, we still have public companies that have a public mission, and even if they have been privatised this doesn’t somehow eliminate that mission.Tokenisation, for me, is the latest manifestation of what we could call the super-financialisation of everything, enabled by the digitisation of physical processes and objects. Now one can attach IP rights to everything; make smart contracts out of everything; enable transactions in everything. We fought that logic early on, with Decode, when people started making arguments about data being an asset class, something that accrues to individuals, to be bought and sold. We always argued that one could also have a much more social and public take on data, and specify collective access and ownership rights; data doesn’t have to be treated as something proprietary, but as something that can create public value and redistribute wealth and rewards.Can blockchains and crypto be of some help here? Maybe, but one would need to change the entire technological system, then. One would need to say that, instead of using blockchains to create smart contracts that enforce property rights, we want blockchains that enforce the “right to informational self-determination” or “the right to knowledge”? Or even the right to inspect the algorithms in order to assess their impact… for example, this is very relevant today when it comes to collective bargaining and platform workers’ rights in the gig economy. This would require transforming quite a lot of jurisprudence and reining in our notion of the public good and then also somehow fitting it onto the blockchain.

      So basically she is saying that blockchains and crypto won't be of help here ...

    4. What I find so suspicious about DAOs and tokenisation and Web3 is the idea that they want to tie every institution to the logic of the stock exchange: if things work well, the value goes up – and this creates some kind of a disciplining mechanism. How could we deliver on the promises of decentralisation, decarbonisation, the Solidarity Economy, the new welfare state through the companies that will be created and funded? Likewise, when we think about enabling political participation – to help people fight climate change or even solve their own local problems – how do we do it in a way that goes beyond the logic of the market and doesn’t require turning everyone into an economic agent responding to financial incentives of some kind? How do we do that without financialising politics?

      Indeed ...

    5. There were, of course, failures. While we managed to scale projects like Decidim, we didn’t manage to achieve a common pan-European initiative on technological sovereignty, linking political, economic, and geopolitical dimensions in a coherent way. There’s still no coherent vision of a digital industrial policy that could liberate even half of the stack that Europe needs, not to mention its entirety. In our defense, we also had very little money; 5 million Euro – this was Decode’s budget, spread across many partners in the project – is not so much given the ambitions.

      Similar to D-CENT which I actually participated in!

    6. This purely technical effort at decentralisation also falls short in thinking about the political and social institutions that are needed to take full advantage of this decentralisation. The big questions that I – and you – have been raising over the past decade, with regards to the political economy of data and infrastructures, of technological sovereignty, of the geopolitics of the stacks, all seem to have dropped the agenda completely. What is being “decentralised” is the ability to extract value and make money, incentivising even further the financialisation of social behaviours. Worse, it seems that people pushing the Web3 agenda have learned very little from the experiences of all the other movements, from free software to Indymedia to the rise of digital democratic cities, that did try to build a more decentralised and democratic digital sphere.

      Nails it pretty well and there is probably something inherent in the technical approach that guarantees falling short here.

    1. DAOstack[13] is a platform that aims to tackle the governance scalability problem.Matan Field, co-founder of DAOstack, states that the bigger a DAO is, the harderit is to manage it [44], which mimics the classical issues of governance in groups. Inprinciple, we can specify DAOs where all decisions are taken by voting and a 51%majority is expected for a proposal to pass. Such model is feasible for small DAOcommunities, where the number of proposals does not escalate further than whatthe number of members can study and decide on. However, the higher the number ofmembers, and thus the number of proposals, the more proposals need to be reviewedby each member in order to participate. A naive solution to this matter could beto reduce the required quorum (i.e., pass proposals with a relative majority), butthis introduces new flaws. For example, an attacker could spam requesting the DAOfunds, i.e. send plenty of proposals in a small time frame. Thus, it may overwhelmthe community, making it easier to get the funds using a lower quorum. Thus,increasing the number of DAO members may reduce the DAO resilience.

      These are classic issues in group decision making that show up in liquid democracy etc.

    1. Because we can codify the ways in which it is possible to cheat, we can also write executable software rules, with deterministic results, that prevent cheating in the protocols we use to define and transfer value.

      Techno-solutionism. You can partially do this but there are big limits in code.

    1. Kernel conversations are about humility, presence and a genuine attentiveness towards others, not because you stand to benefit from them, but because cultivating these three capacities within yourself is its own reward, which may allow you to see clearly the complete and perfect sacred core of every person you encounter.

      Wonderful tao-esque spiritual aspirations more in keeping with a retreat than a blockchain learning program.

    1. There can be no doubt that it represents an incredibly important moment in the movement towards money as a protocol, the development of new means to create or describe value, and new media by which we can relate that to and with one another in an agreeable fashion.

      Why can there be no doubt? Was private banking in the 19th century an "incredibly important moment"?

    1. This is a fantastic bounty, and opens the door to a new kind of philanthropism.

      How? How is this a new kind of philanthropism? What's peer to peer compared to say crowdfunding? Vs traditional philanthropy isn't there a reason most stuff is organized into projects with actual professional orgs etc.

    2. Simona Pop at the Bounties Network is doing great work bringing awareness to the human potential of the blockchain. She is behind the first social impact bounty, #BountiesForTheOcean, which is live now on the Bounties Network.

      This link no longer works. It looks like bounties.network got acquired by consensys based on the careers link. https://bounties.network

    3. These issues include minimum economy size, optimized curve parameters, identity/reputation, UX/ease of use, herding, free-riding, collusion and more.

      Indeed ... and why is crypto relevant to this problem.

    4. The true benefit of a model like this, however, would be opening up the ability to create these movements to absolutely anyone in the world, with permissionless, direct, incentivized global participation.

      What about all the crowdfunding platforms we already have ...

    5. There is plenty of evidence that we have reached the effective limits of traditional organizational structures.

      What evidence? I generally agree ... but the next few sentences don't evidence this at all but instead provide examples of institutions that have scaled us beyond the dunbar number.

    1. With the exception of deliberately fraudulent schemes, this is a good thing. Speculation is often the engine of technological adoption [2]. Both aspects of irrational speculation — the boom and the bust — can be very beneficial to technological innovation.

      This is a very dubious claim. It has been made repeatedly by those who benefit from these booms and busts but the arguments against are also strong ...

    2. This is a big shift. The combination of shared open data with an incentive system that prevents “winner-take-all” markets changes the game at the application layer and creates an entire new category of companies with fundamentally different business models at the protocol layer.

      How does it prevent winner takes all results? I guess because the protocol is owned by the token holders ...

    1. Anyone can issue tokens for free in a matter of hours - skipping month-long paperwork and massive costs required to list assets on traditional secondary markets.

      Isn't there a reason there are limits on asset issuance like this in the "real world"? e.g. to protect retail investors etc etc.

    2. Tokenholders can access the rapidly developing set of tools for decentralized organizations and 10X their ability to find each other, create a sense of mission and belonging, and coordinate action across geographies.

      10x their ability! Wow that's pretty amazing.

    3. Mint tokens by depositing collateral to be used at settlement.

      ... this is the hard fundraising part ...

      Plus setting up metrics and measuring them without accidental bad consequences is complex ...

    4. KPI options are synthetic (ERC-20) tokens that will pay out rewards if a KPI reaches predetermined targets before the given expiry date. Every KPI option holder has an incentive to improve that KPI because then their option will be worth more.

      Yes ... and what about free-rider problems? We all have an incentive but my incentive may be minimal if i have a very small share. This is basic econ theory of teams and principal agent problems.

    5. Crypto has transformed grassroots-level organizing. For the first time in history, it is possible to economically align networks of strangers into working together by using programmable incentives and providing them with tools to make decisions and govern shared resources in a decentralized manner.

      How? How has crypto transformed this? Why and how is it "the first time in history to economically align networks of strangers"? Didn't markets do that?

      Or if the emphasis is the 2nd part of the sentence then it begs the questions of: "how". How are programmable incentives doing that?

    1. Over time, the gap between the ceiling (buying in) and floor (selling out) will get larger. The value of this, for example, is that if the floor is not mapped 100% to the ceiling, it means that buyers aren’t immediately in a profit as soon as new participants enter. They have to keep the tokens for a certain period to ensure they are in a profit (in case they want to exit).These curves are currently exponential curves in order to incentivize early adopters, but it also doesn’t mean that it has to exponential. They can also be linear if there’s a belief that exponential curves will cause unnecessary churn at critical mass.

      Woah but this is kind of a reverse ponzi where the central fund accumulates value against investors ... and clearly this can't last forever either unless there is a continuous inflow of new investors ...

    2. This setup means that #projectTokens will form and dissolve as necessary. If everyone leaves, all ETH will be refunded and all #projectTokens will cease to exist. If you buy in early, you will get more tokens for the same price. If you buy in later, you will get less tokens for the same price. If you sell back into the pool, you will get less ETH per token vs selling back into the pool when the outstanding supply is higher.The value derived from curved bonding is that it rewards participants for being early and buying tokens in that project. If they leave at a later point, selling their #projectTokens back into the communal pool will net them a reward. The reason you want separate tokens for separate projects is so that it more easily fits the value being produced from these separate projects. The crypto-economic feedback loops necessary to sustain certain systems will only work if the value being produced is mapped to its own token. For more info, read here:

      Isn't this just the same as any equity investment model where later investors get less than earlier investors ...

    1. When I first read this explanation in the OlympusDAO documentation, I laughed and laughed. “Well yes right,” I thought, “the way a Ponzi scheme works is that early ‘investors’ get rich as long as later investors keep buying more.” Sure, (3, 3). “If we all keep buying this thing its price will go up and we will be rich” is absolutely the main financial theme of 2021, but it is an irreducibly silly theme and I would be embarrassed to formalize it with game theory. 

      (3,3) = ponzi scheme ...?

    1. The world experienced a sort of collective delusion around the worth of what is, essentially, a fabric sack of beans. In hindsight, bubbles rarely make sense. “It’s a flaw in the human character,” says Jeremy Grantham, market historian and bubble expert. “No one is immune, no matter how smart you are.”
    1. I don’t think it would have taken off because this is a gold rush. People have made money through cryptocurrency speculation, those people are interested in spending that cryptocurrency in ways that support their investment while offering additional returns, and so that defines the setting for the market of transfer of wealth.

      Yep! This is a gold rush and the main thing driving it is there is a big bubble plus a large part of that bubble has to spend in crypto as they can't exit to fiat due to regulatory barriers.

    2. Partisans of the blockchain might say that it’s okay if these types of centralized platforms emerge, because the state itself is available on the blockchain, so if these platforms misbehave clients can simply move elsewhere. However, I would suggest that this is a very simplistic view of the dynamics that make platforms what they are.

      Indeed ...

      However, I would suggest that this is a very simplistic view of the dynamics that make platforms what they are.

    3. MetaMask doesn’t actually do much, it’s just a view onto data provided by these centralized APIs. This isn’t a problem specific to MetaMask – what other option do they have? Rainbow, etc are set up in exactly the same way. (Interestingly, Rainbow has their own data for the social features they’re building into their wallet – social graph, showcases, etc – and have chosen to build all of that on top of Firebase instead of the blockchain.) All this means that if your NFT is removed from OpenSea, it also disappears from your wallet. It doesn’t functionally matter that my NFT is indelibly on the blockchain somewhere, because the wallet (and increasingly everything else in the ecosystem) is just using the OpenSea API to display NFTs, which began returning 304 No Content for the query of NFTs owned by my address!

      Indeed ...

    1. Leeds parlayed YouTubes of herself literally playing video games -- The Sims -- into Roblox content into making games into a 1mm+ YouTube following, $8mm game studio, and a $1mm online store. Her quote in Rex Woodbury’s thread captures the Great Online Game beautifully:There’s nothing I’ve done that anybody else can’t do. It’s about learning—learning the code, learning how the game works, & creating. All you have to do is start.

      The incredible lie of entertainment capitalism. Yes, in a trivial sense anyone can win in the same way anyone can win at the slot machine in Vegas ... it's egalitarian gambling (and the house always wins). More significantly it is not a reliable way for anyone to make a living or for us to develop ourselves or our society ...

    1. Last year, the New York Times named Todos Santos one of its top 50 travel destinations thanks, in part, to the impending opening of the hotel, and more recently the retailer Madewell launched a partnership with the property. On the weekend I visited, all 32 rooms were fully booked with blissed-out couples in their 20s and 30s wearing colorful serape kimonos and sipping mezcal margaritas by the long, turquoise-tiled pool.

      Who is this group? What is their worldview?

      key aspets: nomadic, wealthy at an early age, experience oriented etc.

    1. The Grind — Most investors at hedge funds work at a sociopathic pace, especially relative to the west-coast cultures of most VC firms. It is very hard to regularly compete against a team of people who work ~16 hours a day 6-7 days per week.
    1. History will remember technology's leaders not just for exceptional financial results, but for the values and integrity of the companies they built.

      Yes ... and "Fitter, happier, more productive". Where is the systems change.

    1. A great board member, Dan, called me to say, “Ryan, I’ve never in my career seen a CEO as worn out as you. Please, you need to take a sabbatical — at least six weeks”. He, and other board members, tried so hard to do the right thing and convince me to take care of myself. But after a lifetime of gritting things out, I told myself I didn’t need to take a break. I think an element of my reaction is what Jerry Colonna calls “false grit” in Reboot.

      Uh-huh. And guess what it worked: you were successful.

    2. Why I chose to step down as CEO of CircleUpOver the past year, when I began telling team members, investors, LPs and other stakeholders about my transition, their first question was, inevitably, “Why?” I typically explained that the average founder/CEO of a startup is in the seat for less than five years; I had been with CircleUp for nine, and I was exhausted. But there was so much more to it than that.I don’t remember the first time I told our board that I was exhausted and needed to step down as CEO. I imagine it was around 2016 or 2017, a period defined by stressful business decisions and physical and mental health issues. I later realized that the board interpreted my complaints as “typical founder/CEO exhaustion”. I blame myself for that lack of clarity. For years I did a poor job of communicating the depth of my stress and exhaustion, a problem only compounded by the fact that, at times, I wasn’t even sure of my own feelings. There were stretches of time where I felt horrible — lonely; terrified; depressed. Depression exacerbates exhaustion. But I tried to put on a brave face to make sure the board felt comfortable.

      Massive "work life" imbalance. stress. suffering.