Democracy Earth: Cryptopolitics and Blockchain


(Ann Roberts) #1

This is my first attempt to start a thread:)

I received an email from Democracy Earth the other day and I was intrigued by statement below.

"Cryptopolitics
Democracy Earth coined the phrase cryptopolitics because as an organization and movement we are sitting at the intersection of technology and politics. We believe that blockchain as a censorship-resistant technology that is borderless and can reach any place in the world, can act as a liberating force for communities that need it the most. The kind of default transparency and permissionless accountability blockchains bring to any organization - even nonprofits like Democracy Earth Foundation - is how governments should be run. It is the promise of democracy made real. "

Here are four questions that I would love to explore

What is blockchain?

How does ‘permission less accountability’ work in practice?

What experience does our community have of this?

Is there a link here to Metamoderism ?

Looking forward to learning more. It feels important for me as an elder to know what this is about.


CoGov.tech – The Digital Co-Governance Web [CCafe 8/7]
How Do We Decide? The Ontology of Self-Governance [CCafe 7/24]
(Marco V Morelli) #2

@annroberts: Good work! And now you’ve gotten your first :heart: on your first thread. If you would ever like a tutorial on the other features of the forum, you can always ask @cthulhubot for an interactive tour. There is an advanced version, too. Speaking of crypto… :robot:

It’s not quite synchronistic, but certainly felicitous that your post was prompted by an email from Democracy.Earth. As it happens, we did a Cosmos Café talk on the Democracy.Earth white paper a few weeks ago, which would be a good place to start your inquiry:

At the same time, we can continue our collective inquiry with new questions. Of the ones you asked, I think the first, “What is Blockchain?” can be answered by a video on the other thread.

The next two are most interesting to me personally:

And I’m curious what others would think. How does “permission-less” relate to “consensus” or “consent” (as, e.g., the Quakers practice)? Is permission something we generally feel, or is it yet to be (mythically, or politically) granted? What are the technical implications (and constraints) of accountability, or how might we use cryptotech to “account” for our work together? Where don’t we want to use such technology?

@DurwinFoster, @care_save, and @adubalicious may also be interested in these considerations.

Your last question, about the connection to Metamodernism, is really interesting, too. I believe Metamodernism brings together “autonomy” and “communion,” seeing these as interleaving, dynamic facets of our being. And so the concept of “permissionless accountability” combines autonomy (in the permissionless part) with communion (or social responsibility, in the accountability part) in conceiving of a platform architecture with collective practices that would facilitate this integration. That’s how I see it generally, but the details matter.


(CthulhuBot) #3

Hi! To find out what I can do, say @cthulhubot display help.


(Ann Roberts) #4

@cthulhubot display help


(CthulhuBot) #5

I currently know how to do the following things:

@cthulhubot start new user

Starts one of the following interactive narratives: new user, advanced user.

@cthulhubot roll 2d6

:game_die: 3, 6

@cthulhubot quote

:left_speech_bubble: Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you — Princess Diana

@cthulhubot fortune

:crystal_ball: You may rely on it


(Ann Roberts) #6

[quote=“cthulhubot, post:5, topic:1832”]
@cthulhubot start new user


(Ann Roberts) #7

Thank you for the link to the video - really helpful. I feel I have a broad understanding now and marvel at the ‘doorways’ that are in place that are automatic and yet protected by clever mathematics. Also how it calls forward human behaviour as a control mechanism to prevent fraud. I had this sense of people who want to cheat this system deploying huge amounts of energy to break the code. It feels like the good guys are ahead of the game rather than behind which often seems that case in crime versus policing. I tend to be an optimist and wonder what the downsides are to this - what might be missing? what new thinking is yet to emerge?

As far as @cthulhubot - I feel I have failed this initiative test as you can probably see from my attempts. - what am I missing in the process of relationship here? LOL! Perhaps when we have the on-line chat you can show me how to use it.

In terms of Metamoderism - yes I can really see what you are are offering here. Cryptopolitics encourages us to transcend the nation state as does Metamoderism. I have been playing with a Medicine Wheel that looks at the interplay between the evolution of the person and the evolution of humanity which is a theme of The Listening Society. I am sensing into the permission that is here to move away from the false security blanket of seeing government and banks as in our best interests to seeking vistas beyond these ageing models. Mmmmmm


(CthulhuBot) #8

Hi! To find out what I can do, say @cthulhubot display help.


(Dave Unger) #9

I’ve been meaning to learn more about possible uses of blockchain outside of financial transactions. I’m looking forward to following the Democracy Earth/Cryptopolitics link. Thanks!

For cryptocurrencies (bitcoin), I’ve been seeing critiques around energy usage . That “value” in those systems ultimately derives from computer processing time, which itself derives from the energy used by the computers. Kind of like how the value of gold is officially based on its rarity, but could actually be seen to be based on difficulty of finding it in earth’s crust. But, unlike gold, every transaction requires increasingly difficult (energy consuming) calculations.

I wonder if there are equivalent challenges in other applications of blockchain, or if that is specific to its use in currency.

This question and Marco’s (@madrush) thoughts about consensus and consent are triggering a half-formed thought about underlying structures that can grant permission and hold people accountable and the closely related questions of what structures grant trust and value. Maybe all circling around questions of what is necessary to grant legitimacy.

Maybe that points to a place where cryptopolitics and cryptocurrencies share some similar grounding. In both I see a strong distrust of institutions to grant permission, trust and value in justs ways. At some level, there seems to be a distrust of any group rooted in politics (i.e. any group of humans) to get it right. Then the mathematics steps in to play a kind of absolute grounding role. In the crypto* world, I don’t have to trust anyone or any group to behave, I can just go ahead and check the math.

I wonder if there’s a way to dig deeper in this by diving into the idea of “value” in these various realms. David Graeber has a book about the anthropology of value that predates crypto* so won’t have anything directly to say, but he does show lots of ways that political legitimacy and monetary value have always been entangled. Maybe this is getting too far afield.


(Geoffrey Edwards) #10

It appears that holochain doesn’t have the same weakness, although it manages information differently than blockchain. Blockchain, although the “block” refers to blocks of data, actually appears to “block” computer usage to the blockchain processing, whereas holochain allows one to use computers that are doing other work to support the holochain processing. This is a more sustainable approach. Mind you, I wouldn’t say I really understand these processes well, I am repeating what I have read about these things.


(Marco V Morelli) #11

Update on this topic:

It looks like Democracy.earth is getting ready to launch their ‘VOTE token’.

I received an email (as a subscriber on their list) offering me 100 tokens. It is somewhat technical to receive these tokens, in that one needs to have an Ethereum wallet set up—but I fortunately have one which I used to experiment with Holochain. So I am going to give it a try and see what I learn. If anyone else is interested doing this and sharing your experience, let me know!


(Durwin Foster) #12

Curious about comparison/contrast between this effort and MiVote.


(Marco V Morelli) #13

I signed up, and gave them my eth address, so we’ll see how it goes.