Wednesday, September 02, 2015

VR Chains and DAC Brains: Upload your mind as a VR AI DAC

Blockchain thinkers or DAC Brains are the notion of having DAO/DAC entities running with smart contracts on blockchains for the purpose of conducting thinking operations. The genesis of blockchain thinkers could be organic or inorganic: human mindfile lifelogs and uploads, and any variety of brain emulations and AI ML/DL algorithms (artificial intelligence machine-learning deep-learning algorithms). One idea is to instantiate your mindfile on the blockchain as a lifelogging tracker and standalone ideation tool: your own mind as an AI DAC. Some key enablers are coming together to make personal AI DACs possible. Idea chains (lifelogging your ideas onto a blockchain) could auto-record your ideas through 1) QS (quantified self)-attached gamma wave spike tracking (recording when you are having an idea), together with 2) cortical image recognition and thought identification (what the idea is about), logged into in a 3) personalized blockchain-based VR consensus reality (coordinating ideas into your own ongoing reality view).

Immersive Virtual Reality is Digitized Experience
Immersive VR (virtual reality), like with the Oculus Rift, is not just video games, virtual worlds, or 3-D CAVE environments, it is digitized experience. Qualitatively different, immersive virtual reality is a means of making physical world experiences real in an alternative medium. VR metaverses then, are parallel realities, as distinct from multiple digital worlds. If you and I go into WoW (World of Warcraft) or SL (Second Life) separately, we see the same world. Even if different levels of views are enabled or locked (like Karl Schroeder’s tech locks in Lady of Mazes [1]), they are just different lenses on the same world. However, if you and I construct our own digital worlds, we see and create different worlds, possibly on the same basic platform, but the realities can be fundamentally different, with different participants, events, and historical records.

Reality Unity in the Physical World
Consider the physical world - there is one platform, and we each have varying reality maps or views of the physical reality platform in our heads. There is one consensus reality and historical event record, and conflicts arise out of different views of the consensus reality trying to hew to one (e.g.; “What happened? X punched Y first. No, Y shoved X first.” – we seek a unique consensus reality of events (Probability Moon further explores the notion of societal shared reality)). Centralized virtual worlds have been the same; there is one reality platform, and centralized event engines record the consensus in one shared events ledger, the game history, even in OpenGL self-hosted models. Now, however, with decentralized models powered by blockchains and dapps, DAOs, and DACs, reality multiplicity is possible. There can be simultaneously existing parallel realities. The multiverse exists, and one place it can be created is in cyberspace.

Blockchains enable Simultaneous Multiple Realities
Just as blockchains are the critical enabling technology for digital cryptocurrencies, so too are they a key facilitator of VR multiverses. Blockchains could serve as the backbone infrastructure for multiple parallel realities (VR multiverses) by coordinating the chain of event histories in these multiple realities. The transaction history is not just for transactions, but more broadly comprises the historical event record. Blockchains consensus-generate the historical record, and allow any number of separate and parallel historical records to be created simultaneously. Blockchains are the mechanism for creating and coordinating simultaneous multiple realities. The altcoin space is already an example of simultaneous separate realities.

The Selectability of all Reality Features Blockchains consensus-generate the historical record, and further, make it clear that all parameters of reality can be malleable and selectable: time, participation, reputation, memory, history (historicity), economic models (hierarchical or peer-based), and political operations (governance and decision-making). These are all selectable parameters of a reality environment. One recent revolution in economic liberation sensibility is that blockchains allow individuals and communities to self-determine economic systems. Now seen in the VR multiverse context, blockchains are revealed to be much more: they could enable all parameters of a reality environment to be selected.

Blocktime Time Malleability
One example of reality feature selectability is blocktime. The timeclock in blockchains is blocktime, the time it takes for blocks of transactions to confirm. The easiest way to specify future time moments (t+n) is via the internal time system of the blockchain, blocktime. For example, the term of a certain decentralized dapp loan might be 7000 block confirmations. Blocktime is the clocktime of blockchains. Certainly blocktime converts to physical world time, but differentials could arise and give way to arbitrage opportunities or other divergence-as-a-feature possibilities. The key point is that all reality parameters, including time and space, could become malleable in blockchains and especially in blockchain-coordinated VR metaverses. Further, if blockchains become the mechanism for keeping time and event histories, de facto they become memory, where memory is a critical functionality that feeds back directly into lifelogging and Brain-as-a-DAC idea chains.

A World of Multiple Realities
All of reality can be made malleable, personalized, self-determined, personally-constructed, emergent, and a thing of multiplicity not monolithicity. There can be an end to the tyranny of a sole reality. “End reality tyranny, create your own VR multiverse!” Deleuze's multiple inner views can bloom as described in Proust and Signs. In the new sensibility of VR multiverse reality multiplicity, an imaginable query to alien intelligence could be a Kardashev scale parameter: “To what extent do you have multiple realities in your world?

Right to Self-Determine One’s Own Realities
The earlier positions in human liberation have been the right to self-determination in certain contexts, in different parts of life and the experience of reality. These include the right to self-determination in governance, legal systems, IP protection/sharing regimes, software business models, neural data privacy rights, cognitive enhancement, and most recently, the emerging sensibility of the right to self-determine one’s own economic systems. These are all important steps in the liberty of the individual, but they are all in some sense intermediary positions on the way to the now-visible bigger position which is the right to self-determine one’s own overall reality, and really, realities (plural). A new sensibility could be seeing the right of each individual, entity (human and machine/technology entities), or group to self-define its own personal consensus reality (realities). The central component of the self-determination of organisms could be the operation of its own consensus reality(ies).

Blockchains as a Historicity Mechanism and Collaboration Space 
Blockchains are a means for consensus-generating the historical record (a historicity mechanism) to facilitate reality multiplicity, and they are the means of enabling value flow. In network economic theory, this is beyond the transactional sense of the value flow of currency from me to you, where unleashing the creation and transmission of many kinds of non-monetary value flows is the bigger picture of what is at stake and possible in creating multiple realities. Non-monetary currencies (like universal human needs for connection, contribution, mattering, and understanding) can be registered and tracked as blockchain-based smart assets. One reason for VR realities, what we are really wanting in creating new realities (via VR multiverses) is creating spaces that are free of the limiting constraints of physical realities. These constraints pertain to both the physical world and human limitations, including matter, gravity, time, illness, disability, impairment, sleep, recovery, distraction, cognitive bias, etc.) such that more freedom, exploration, collaboration, expression, creativity, fun, serendipity, progress, and contribution can be enabled. We want to cognitively enhance proximately for a better memory, sure, but ultimately to be 'bigger' in the sense of being more able to grow and participate beyond our initial position of self. We want more of the creative yes-and collaboration space of new energy and idea generation. The ‘economy’ of the future might be measured based on non-monetary value flows like ideation, which could be orchestrated by public and private reality blockchains.

Convergent Integration of Multiple Simultaneous Realities
Now possibly having a situation of multiple simultaneous realities, what is there to do with them? There are several implications for the future of privacy, sharing, and collaboration. For example, there is a question about when and how to cohere and merge VR DAC brain realities. Therefore, within realities, there might be sub-threads or other means of parsing and segmenting sub-realities.
Colored coin threads in your brain DAC could be the way to permission subreddit mind ledgers to cloudmind collaborations
Mindchains could be a means for how to safely mindshare or collaborate in a cloudmind, for example by permissioning your subreddit ledger for ideation related to certain areas as opposed to your full mindfile or meat-brain….“here, let me share everything with you I’ve thought about crowdsourced genomic studies,” or "here, join the mindslack channel for this community."

Blockchain apps could auto-merge shared realities in the way that topical queries are ambiently processed in the background now. There could be situations analogous to Hayek’s competitive currencies where reality views compete. There could be reality ecologies where repetitive threads across individual realities converge into shared group realities (the unobtrusively representative politics of the future). Right now this happens manually with the blunt tools of the physical world; we search for other individuals, groups, and institutions with our own shared values and reality view, and blockchain DACs might facilitate the automatic canvassing and convergence of all of this.

We might know that VR metaverses and the human-machine collaboration are really working when VR NPC DACs self-create in our realities per sensing our human needs (actualization, contribution, growth and learning, exploration, creation). Blockchain-based VR AI DACs could auto-sense and create whatever 'Tuscany houses' are needed to grow an entity (like a human or machine mind) in its progression. For example, in an ideas 'economy,' the most important inputs are anything which facilitates the development of ideas, and attending to this could be one purpose of a an NPC VR AI DAC in your personal VR metaverse, operating via smart contracts on your mindchain. Ideas are the demurrage-redistributable basic income of a blockchain thinker Brain DAC. Blockchain thinker Brain DACs then become another Ubiquitous Grid Resource, an important one, for idea generation, in the overall picture of the future Network Economies of Abundance.

Acknowledgement: This post was inspired by ideas from Maciej Olpinski regarding consensus in virtual reality worlds.

[1] POV HUDs are a mechanism to accommodate multiple levels of technology adoption within a society; e.g.; through my HUD, I see unimproved nature and birds tweeting; through your HUD, you see propositional nanotech 3-D printed finery self-mutating in utility fogs.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Economic Liberation: Network Economics of Abundance

Economics as API: System Design
The possibility of creating true network economies of abundance and designing personalized economic systems raises a host of issues about what kinds of behavior might result from programmed economic parameters. In moving from indirect advertiser-supported models to direct peer-supported models, for example, one first issue might be the business model - which parts of the system should (can) be free and which paid? For any paid parts, certain externalities and artificial behaviors might be created.

P2P Business Model
One of the great values of peer-produced commons goods like Wikipedia is that it is group-generated content, in part because participation has been free and easy. Further, peer-production not only powers the generation of commons resources but also flexibly shapes them into better products per multiple voices and crowd-structuring of the content. The ethos and objective of crowd-based content has been towards more participation not less. One risk is that the introduction of p2p economic system parameters might inhibit peer production by asking payment for actions that were formerly free, even if users gain more control over how their own personal data is used. Donated resources in p2p networks, freely contributed gift-economy content and hosting, are already the norm and this could persist.

Hybrid Economic Systems (economics as a system parameter)
Personalized economic systems are an equality technology and an illiberty eradication strategy, reversing the lack of liberty of not being able to self-determine one’s own economic reality. Instead, there could be greater empowerment for all individuals in being able to choose and design the economic models in which to participate. As individuals and communities, we might now be able to select the economies that correspond best to our own value systems. This could include specifically selecting a centralized or a decentralized web property or software platform. The floodgates are only just starting to open on the degree of economic system experimentation that might happen before specific models in the decentralized space become standards. Hayek advocated for each financial institution having its own currency as a market barometer of health and competitiveness (The Denationalization of Money (1976)), and this could be extended such that each individual and community has its own currency too.

Migration Plan to Hybrid Economies – Icons identify Economic System
For existing web properties, there could be a strategy to test and explore decentralized models, and ways to incorporate centralized and decentralized economic models simultaneously. This could lead to a propitious migration over time from centralized to decentralized models. One way that this could work is that the landing page of a news website could have the usual content modules of a headline and a few lines of text. This could be accompanied by two (or more) icons at the upper right of the headline identifying the economic system, for example centralized and decentralized. The user could then decide, if wanting to read the full content, whether to click for free content knowing that their data might be monetized however the site wants in the backend, or having control that their data is not going anywhere (confirmed via an inspection of the open-source software) and peer-supporting the content with a micropayment in a pre-specified and known amount. The key point is an overall sense of parameter malleability and feature-selectibility in economic systems, where the user has the freedom to decide. Users can now select economic system like any other parameter in content consumption.

Community-Voted Multi-tier Programmable Economic Systems
Economic system as a selectable parameter might be applied at different levels. For example, at the level of the content item, web property community or vertical (like Stack Exchange or Stack Overflow’s hundreds of communities), the overall website, or the collection of websites in a media consortium (all the ‘Yahoo properties’ or ‘Google properties’ have a certain economic model, for example). Each newly launching sub-property could have its own economic model, specified by the overall site owner, community moderators, facilitators, or organizers, or the community itself. Why not enroll community votes to select the economic model, or maybe launch with one model and then vote at certain liquidity intervals (e.g.; the community now has 100 or 1000 members) regarding economic model to allow different community economic models and preferences to develop over time.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Network Economies: Economic System as a Configurable Parameter

We personalize everything else, why not economic systems too? Starbucks selectability comes to economic system participations! Some interesting implications for personalized economic system design arise per a recent post about ‘Decentralized Reddit.’

The New World: Network Economies of Abundance (chart)
There are two archetypal economic systems. First is the usual indirect model that we are used to as consumers: content is free to consume, and supported by advertising, where personalized data might be sold in the backend to other parties in any number of undisclosed ways; this is true for radio, TV, and Internet content. Second is the direct model of content producers and consumers existing in a network where users (content consumers) might pay for content or for certain premium actions they can do with content like up/down-voting it. The business model is that consumer micropayments support content providers and the cost of content-hosting – this is a true peer-to-peer network ecology. The direct model is now possible due to having large and available liquid networks where supply and demand can meet in an automated auto-discovered way. Examples of decentralized p2p network concepts have been Tor, Napster, the Internet itself, and also now Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain technology. One way to implement the direct model is through micropayments, where users click on icons to allocate pre-specified amounts of Bitcoin or token to take community actions. The central issue in decentralized p2p content systems to be prototyped and tested is user willingness to micropay for content operations.

Economic System as a Configurable Parameter is engaged in developing a software platform for decentralized content hosting communities. Conceptually, this could be like a standalone decentralized reddit. The software platform could also be deployed by existing centralized content communities (like Stack Exchange and Stack Overflow) as an offered parameter at the launch of new communities. Community participants or facilitators could choose the economic model for their community, either 1) advertising-supported (the centralized indirect model), or 2) peer-supported (the decentralized direct model). Other web properties could experiment with this platform to test both kinds of economic models, for example offering private-labeled decentralized versions of Instagram, Twitter, etc. Already-existing blockchain-based decentralized versions of social networking properties like Diaspora, Twister, Gems, Reveal, and BitCloud could further extend their functionality with the decentralized content-hosting platform.

What is decentralization?
In this potentially burgeoning era of personalized economic system design at every level ranging from individual agents to group participations, there is a questioning and defining of key parameters. For example, an ongoing question is ‘What is decentralization?’ Decentralization is more than peer production. While peer production and peer participation might be a feature in decentralized economic systems, true decentralization connotes that the model itself should be decentralized, with decision-making made in a flat, non-hierarchical manner. For example, ‘peer production properties’ like AirBnB, Wikipedia, and Reddit are still centrally organized, hosted, and coordinated, and users or community participants are not able to participate in decision-making, for example about how the content they contribute is monetized, or if some of that monetization could be returned to them as content creators. The content is produced by decentralized peers, but decisions about the economy are centralized.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Personalized Economic Systems: Self-Determination and Economic Theory

In addition to blockchain technology, another clear node of current innovation is in self-determined economic systems. Increasingly, as individuals, we are consciously examining the economic systems into which we were born by default, and questioning their validity, utility, and reach; and proposing alternatives. In some sense capitalism is the new feudalism and there is a finally starting to be the conception and realization of a viable postcapitalist position. The new sensibility could be that economic systems are determined at the level of the individual as opposed to the level of the nation-state, and further that different economies might be appropriate at different levels of scale in an overall world of economic multiplicity. Further, economics means discovery and exchange more generally and conceptually as opposed to exclusively transactionally. As individuals we have become our own selection node for the news, information, and entertainment we consume. The same could happen with economic systems and governance systems: downscaling the locus to the level of the individual as another context for personalization and right to self-determination.

Personalized Economic Systems: Platforms and Features
There could be a new world of ‘let a million economies bloom’ (in an esprit of self-blossoming not socialism). As every individual might have their own social media platform with a channels like a blog, Twitter feed, YouTube channel, and Instagram stream, so too as individuals we might have our own personalized economic platform, with our own personal currency and economic system. A common set of feature functionality could coalesce in these programmable economic systems. The core feature set could include token issuance, exchange, and conversion mechanisms; transaction validation, confirmation, and tracking; identity and reputation management systems; bounty, reward, and appreciation systems; consensus protocol; node on-boarding/off-boarding; and basic income systems mechanism including with redistribution (demurrage) parameters.

How these features are implemented in different individual and group economies could be via a combination of pre-specification and emergence (including via community prediction market voting) through the ongoing operation of the economy. Some emerging platforms for personalized economic systems for individuals and communities include (a decentralized reddit for any user-content created community), Ethereum CIRCLES (personal economic coinplatforms for creating user-specified self-determined economies), HyLo (social network based on intentionality of asset-mapping, intent-casting, and crowd-resourcing), and those integrating direct democracy with economic empowerment like D-CENT, LiquidFeedback, and Citizen Code.

Qualitative Economics: Registering Values as Smart Assets
Blockchains are not essential but are the obvious and contemporary information technology to include to facilitate personal economic systems and enable new kinds of functionality. For example, qualitative parameters such as group values and group needs could be registered as blockchain-based smart assets to which community coin is booked, spent, or voted to indicate the level to which the group values and needs are being met. This could be an integrated and minimally-obtrusive feedback mechanism for awareness of how community values are evolving, and the extent to which they are being embodied. There could be multiple community tokens: quantitative coin for the usual basic exchange, and qualitative coin for tracking ideas, inspiration, and other values, benefits, or needs of the community registered as smart assets. Overall this is what is meant by ‘the new economic theory’ as being a means of acknowledging and attributing value in a relevant context like an individual, group, or community.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Smartgrid Life: Blockchain Cryptosustainability

The contemporary era of blockchains as an implementation mechanism for decentralization suggests a new overall conceptualization of life as being supported by any number of smartgrids. Distributed network grids is a familiar idea for resources such as water, electricity, health services, and Internet access, and might be extended to other resources, literally and conceptually. One example is on-demand microcoaching, for example guidance for playing a certain guitar solo with Piano++. Jeremy Rifkin, in Zero Marginal Cost Society and other books, outlines the grid paradigm, contemplating three smartnetworks: Internet communications grids, energy grids, and logistics grids. Evelyn Rodriguez adds another grid, local fresh produce, in the notion of Food as Distributed Commons, possibly in the form of a blockchain-based PopupFarm Grid DCO (distributed collaborative organization).

PopupFarm Grid
The idea of the PopupFarm Grid is that the 'urban farm grid' or 'fresh food grid' is like an energy grid. As the energy grid could be participative with solar panel installers selling unused power back to the grid, so too could urban fresh food be a peer-based collaborative production. Anyone could purchase a hydroponics unit and make capacity and outputs flexibly available on the urban food grid for community consumption. There could be an Uber-like mapping app to find the local hydroponics units with items fresh and maturing today, in an on-demand real-time updating reservation-taking system. This could lead to better utilization of fresh produce, improved health, and local community sustainability, knowledge-transfer, and self-sufficiency.

Consumers could own cryptoshares in virtual food cooperatives (like permacredits, the concept of a global affinity currency supporting local operations), and arrive and pay with community token. There could be dynamic supply-demand management and rebalancing at the community level. A series of smart contracts could onboard/offboard the diverse use cases and bridge time gaps. For example, land permitted for 2018 could already join the P2P network (similar to Lazooz drivers pre-earning token), to start earning community participation against future capacity. The paper-route of the future could be kids learning and participating in container maintenance for neighborhood urban food units. There could be decentralized exchange with software from OpenBazar or BitMarkets (decentralized versions of CraigsList). Another piece in the value chain could be idle Uber drivers (Lazooz in the decentralized model) and TaskRabbit, etc. gophers fulfilling delivery on-demand.

Cryptocitizen Mentality and Cryptosustainability Communities
The emerging cryptocitizen mentality is a new level of self-responsibility-taking: designing, iterating, and participating in community sustainability initiatives, including self-defining economic models. Cryptosustainability means sustainability in low-footprint mindful use of environmental resources, and also sustainability in human society organization models, where the idea is to build, prototype, and iterate new and innovative ways of doing things at various levels of scale. There can be a lot of energy when a community comes together at the beginning of a project, but keeping the energy resident over years and different phases of the project can be elusive. Blockchains are useful for this because they can help to build community trust and transparency by keeping information and record-keeping accessible. Blockchain-based cooperatives can build trust through the transparency and auditability of community operations. Anyone can check the record anytime. This could be useful for distributed decentralized governance and the coordination of cooperative shared ownership. Blockchain smart contracts can also help facilitate ongoing community processes, for example with modules for voting and decision-making with liquid democracy (e.g.; on-demand participative democracy) in proposal development, coordination, and voting; demand-planning ahead of time regarding the amount and type food wanted this year with a prediction market like from Augur; and a P2P dispute resolution and moderation with a PrecedentCoin module.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Popup Dining as Distributed Autonomous Space

Popup dining could be a fun new idea in the trend of popup experiences - on-demand serendipity and practicality ranging from popup entertainment, co-housing, and co-working to popup farms on disused land.

Any range of food providers ranging from existing restaurants to individuals building cooking brands could sponsor on-demand popup dining tables in city streets and at festivals.

Consumers could pre-select the menu (including a blind prix fixe menu), and the time and location of the popup dining experience. At the appointed time and location, ad-hoc P2P urban delivery service contractors could deliver the table, food, and dining experience.

Uber-like, the Popup Dining app could show the progress of the popup table to the consumer location, and be the payment mechanism at completion.

You can even do your own guerrilla popup dining now, just order your Caviar restaurant courier delivery to a non-traditional location like a street corner (bring your own stool) or bar. 

Everything about popup dining as distributed autonomous space is modularized, including the basics of a table, chairs, food, service labor, location, labor, and level of service. Expansion modules could include engaging a local artist, musician, or lecturer from that neighborhood, a live chef station, a sommelier, a chocolatier, a vodka infusion expert, etc. Blockchain-based smart contracts could further facilitate the validated automation of service delivery for popup dining.

Popup as a life style and life as performance art!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Future: Ephemeralities running on Quantum Smartnetworks

The future could be one of pluralistic digital societies running on consensus-confirmed smartnetworks. There could be many kinds of entities, those with human-roots, technology entities, and any variety of hybrids. Blockchains could be the coordination mechanism between these entities, based on attestation variables like capacity and reputation. Further, eventually the digital societies of the future could be post-entity ‘entities’ or ‘whats’ – ephemeralities, presences, capacities, reservoirs, resources, like capacity in reserve: processing, memory, consciousness, ideas, associative processing, analysis, feedback, support, and critique. Perhaps all in the future is just capacity.

The ontological unit of intelligibility could be resident capacities in reserve, not resident entities already instantiated but available capacities, energy fields, potentialties. This is not even already-intentioned propensities (as contemplated by Popper ), but the uncollapsed waves and particles of quantum mechanics catalyzed into reality through intention, need, interaction, and imagination. Ephemeralities could automatically coalesce into actuality from virtuality to respond to a purpose, and continually meta-self-evaluate to monitor for ongoingness and finality of purpose.

Like photons, electrons, and maybe gravitons exist as wave packets at more than one place and time, only manifesting into reality when an observation is made, and the concept could be extended so that capacities too might coalesce into reality when an observation, conscious choice, or other motivator to action is made about the need for the capacity.

Quantum Smartnetworks
The notion of Quantum Smartnetworks is twofold. First, there is conceiving of some model, like blockchains, as a universal mechanism for measuring, administering, exchanging, tracking, monitoring, recording, finding, and interacting with all manner of granular quanta of anything; any entity that is dividable into essential quantized constituent building blocks. Second, there is the application of quantum principles to smartnetwork instances, in the sense of quantum smartnetworks as the orchestration of post-entity capacities or energies existing in potentiality (Deleuze’s virtuality) into reality.

Science fiction examples can lead the way, for example Accelerando features distributed trust networks and reputation markets, where one use of blockchain models could be digital copies “watching over their originals from the consensus cyberspace of the [smart] city [2].”

[1] Popper, K.R. (1959). "The Propensity Interpretation of Probability" The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10, 37, 25-42.
[2] Stross, C. (2006). Accelerando. London: Ace.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Post-entity Society of Instances

In digital smartnetwork societies, entities wanting to conduct smartnetwork operations will likely need to be independently confirmed and validated through mechanisms like consensus trust. Consensus trust and reputation structures have been conceived as grounded in a fixed and persistent entity.

However, there is the possibility of progressing to a post-entity society. Humans are currently constrained to an embodied form, but this may not be the situation in the future, and there is no such requirement for technology entities in the realm of digital identity. Digital identity might become so distributed, portable, copiable, open-sourceable, sharable, malleable, and shardable, that it no longer makes sense to think in terms of entities.

The question would then be how to enable smartnetwork operations in a post-entity society, perhaps one in which ‘ephemeral instances of capability and creativity’ have replaced identity-bounded entities. The answer is that reputation could still matter. Even if not a full-fledged identity-entity, any instance, any measurable quantum, any participation no matter how ephemeral could still have a reputation.

Reputations could become a lot more complicated, measuring different levels like actor, action, and intention, and also line-item credit for contributions and new ideas; and calculate composite team reputations for sharded cloudmind group participations. All this is could be possible because blockchains give us much more granularity in record-keeping.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Antidote to Holacracy: Blockchain Smart Assets

New Strategies needed to Meet Group Needs in Holacracies
The failings-to-date of holacracy have to do with career growth, compensation, and capacity (in the sense of codification and deployment group knowledge). This is exciting news for learnings in prototyping decentralized flat governance models in groups. After the fact, it is quite obvious that career growth and compensation would need to be redefined in a holacratic model since they are still in the mode of the old structure. The needs behind these areas need to be elicited and addressed via other means. For example, the needs behind career growth could be learning, variety, and contribution, where previously career progression was a strategy for meeting these needs. Now, the needs are still there, but different strategies for meeting them in decentralized models need to be innovated, such as switching responsibilities with some frequency and the ability to learn about and contribute in new ways. Similarly with compensation; the underlying needs could be financial security, status, and being acknowledged, and now in holacractic models, these would need to be met differently. This would also be trued for the codification and deployment of new capacities emerging from the group operations.

Group Needs registered as Blockchain Smart Assets
One great benefit of blockchains is their potential agility in coordinating soft processes like ongoing group orchestration in a flat collaborative model. Blockchains can be a heightened level of holacratic operation that attends to the fundamental needs underlying group operations. Once elicited, registering group needs as blockchain-based smart assets can be a way of keeping the needs of the group alive on an ongoing basis. Participants could anonymously vote community token as to what group needs are being met/unmet and these addressed in the community meeting. Each group need, (like autonomy, collaboration, agreeing to the same rules, privacy, and creativity), could be registered as its own smart asset, with an address, thus community token could be anonymously voted to this address to indicate groups needs met/unmet.

Group needs as blockchain-based smart assets is an outgrowth of the Convergent Facilitation model for effective group operation. Convergent facilitation is a model for collaborative decision-making, a way to correct the paradigm of ‘no one makes a decision’ or ‘someone makes a decision for everyone else.’ The reason that convergent facilitation can an effective means of collaborative decision-making is both 1) quick and efficient use of everyone’s time in making initial decisions and 2) the quality of buy-in that keeps decisions sustainably alive in facilitating the group’s operations after the decision is made. This is because each person is encouraged and empowered to take stewardship and ownership of ‘our needs as a group.’ Instead of a begrudging compromise (‘it wasn’t really my decision’), this leads to a willingness to stretch to meet our group needs in empowerment because ‘it was my decision.’ Convergent facilitation helps us as a group to get into the highest mode of why we are here, to create something together that matters to all of us. It is a process based on principles that allows groups to make decisions together in cooperative manner, not win-lose, majority wins, or unwilling consensus.

One part of convergent facilitation is transparent decision-making. Probably not everyone wants to participate in every decision, but everyone might want to know what is going on. Thus, all decisions that need to be made can be listed, and community members can indicate their interest in leading, participating, and not hearing about different decisions (Figure 1). In this way, transparency, and trust in community decision-making are created. Everyone knows what is happening.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Smart Contract Cryptolaw to accelerate the Automation Economy

Smart contracts are agreements between parties posted to the blockchain, possibly for automated execution. The agreements can be and among humans and technology entities (like machine to machine communications). Smart contracts don't make anything possible that was previously impossible, but rather, allow solving common problems in a way that minimizes trust. Minimal trust often makes things more convenient by allowing human judgements to be taken out of the loop, thus allowing complete automation. Ethereum and Eris Industries are open-source software projects developing smart contract platforms. Some examples of smart contracts are betting on the high temperature tomorrow, without an intermediary, automated mortgage rate resets, inheritance payouts, and peer-to-peer insurance.

Economy Outsourced to Smart Contract DAOs/DACs?
Smart contracts bring up the distinction between technically-binding and legally-binding frameworks, where code contracts run inexorably even if conditions have changed whereas human contracts are more flexibly binding. The quintessential example of a smart code contract is a vending machine. If the vending machine is not broken, every time you put in money, you get your selected item. The machine is not thinking of when or how to comply with your request, there is no discretion, the machine always complies. The key shift is that we want to be aware of is that we are starting to have a world not just where we have vending machines, but where smart contracts might be running big sectors of our economy, for example the whole mortgage industry.

Cryptolaw: intersection of Technological and Legal Frameworks
Cryptolaw then is the intersection of technological and legal frameworks. One key question is whether we want a separate legal system for smart contracts since they may be unenforceable in our current legal system. For example, a decentralized program already launched and running is difficult to control, regulate, or sue for damages. Further, smart contracts impact not just contract law, but the notion of the social contract within society more generally. What kinds of social contracts do we humans want with technological entities?

Compliant and A-compliant Smart Contracts
As with blockchain applications being in two modes, enterprise and individual, the thinking is that there may be two modes of smart contracts: compliant and a-compliant. Compliant smart contracts would have the four parameters of mutual assent, consideration, capacity and legality, and features such as a kill switch, automated consumer protection, assurity funds escrowed, and identity transparency. The other mode, a-compliant smart contracts, would be operating outside but not necessarily in opposition to, the current legal structure. Another way of looking at this is by the counterparty, are these human-human, human-entity, or entity-entity contracts? We may have a future world where there are new forms of legal entity status like personhood granted to smart contract entities like with corporations.

Material inspired by: Primavera de Filippi and Gavin Woods.
More Details: Cryptocitizen: Smart Contracts, Pluralistic Morality, and Blockchain Society