#121 - Networked Societies
Network States, Digital Civilizations & The Future...but also the usual; chainlog & other news
It was brought to my attention that the intro to the previous newsletter was discrediting MetaGame & possibly discouraging new contributors.
I want to make it clear that the point was to be honest about the mistakes of the past & to highlight that, despite of it all, we are still here, proceeding & closer than ever to realizing MetaGame.
In case its unclear: I’m still optimistic as fuck.
This post was sparked by the book Network State & Vitalik’s post about it titled “What do I think about network states?”. Given this is the kind of thing I’ve been thinking about (and building) for a while, thought I’d write my take.
I know “societies” isn’t as punchy as “states” but calling them "states” feels like trying to fit societies of the future into concepts of the past & it comes at a cost. Eg. “state” kind of presupposes homogeneity & exclusivity, a fixed state for “this kind of people”; whereas the interconnected global world is more so fluid, permeable & diverse.
So, are Network States the next big step or just a step in-between now and truly global coordination & support systems?
Rather than further separation & token-gated gardens, I argue it's time to start acting across all imaginary borders & seeing the world as a whole; a delicate ecosystem we kicked out of balance 🤷♂️
The right to exit
Things to keep close to heart
Why supporting existing structure matters
Tech stacks & future economies
Dafuq are networked societies?
🏃 On Exitocracy
Exitocracy has been the norm throughout history. From the archetypal rebel sons leaving oppressive patriarchal households to tribes forking & the people who appreciate freedom over convenience (or oppression), moving away.
Migrating into the hills & outside the reach of the state, where it costs more to send soldiers than they can extract as tax.
Adopting subsistence techniques that allowed them to up & leave when they wanted as well as social structures that made it hard to extract from.
There's a book about it called "The Art of Not Being Governed" written by James Scott (Sound familiar? It’s the guy that wrote Seeing Like A State).
These days people who want to exit their states generally migrate to freer or more bountiful states - where they are sometimes referred to as “immigrants”; as if those states weren’t a blip in the long history of human migration.
Anyhow, if dirt poor people were able to practise exitocracy hundreds & thousands of years ago, so can they now. But whether they can join us in our brave new worlds, is up to us.
Are we building just a green future or are we building a solarpunk future? Will these utopian places be planned & built top down for the well-off people, where the poor may only come in as service - or are we building truly solarpunk societies that are bottom up & participative?
If we’re exiting shitstates, I think the most important thing would be to make sure these societies aren’t escapist;
if human development, ecosystem regeneration & existential risk mitigation aren’t at the core of these new societies, what are we even doing?
For me, the biggest potential of Networked Societies is as proving grounds for new technologies, for experimenting with new socioeconomic models & new ways of running societies; seeing how they work, producing knowledge & empowering others.
In fact, imagine what could happen if the whole point of building these networks of emerging societies was precisely to try to self-organize & build/improve technologies that are regenerative for the environment & nourishing for human wellbeing?
A whole lot of good shit, that’s what.
Starting in the digital sphere means we can experiment with much less risk of things going fatally wrong but moving into the real world comes with significantly more risk. As long as there’s freedom to exit & a focus on wellbeing, we should be good.
But, can we really afford to give a fuck about gaining political recognition as a state while the world burns? Instead of the goal being simply gaining autonomy & closing off into our perfect privileged utopian bubbles, why not take the bigger picture view?
There is no exit from the metacrisis.
We’re in this shit together.
You may say “officially becoming recognized as a state means we can be in this shit together with other states, our seat at the table”
Do international corporations have a seat at the “nation states” table?
And yet they are more powerful than some of the nation states.
But in a way, they do have a seat at the table. You know, the good old revolving doors between the senate & the fortune 500 corps. Many are the states whose governance has been completely hijacked by private interests.
Now, I’m not saying there should be no Network States that officially become recognized as states by the nation states, but I do think it would instead be more fruitful to gain influence among existing host states.
Why waste all that time trying to gain recognition as being autonomous & powerful, when we can instead just be autonomous & powerful.
Concentrate on countries with most favorable crypto regulations, push further. Showcase & inspire. Write playbooks & empower more people. Develop tools for more transparent & democratic governance of institutions/states/public goods. Repeat.
Inspire & empower
So, I propose that’s exactly what we should do - make Networked Societies revolve around empowering humans to level up, take action & do good, no matter the niche.
Some societies are doing this by serving specific local demographics, some by focusing on solving specific niche problems & some by teaching specific skills - but all sharing this common thread of empowering humans & helping them do something good for themselves & the society.
Reinforcing The Wheel
If we’re building new kinds of societies, it goes without saying we either think the current ones are in some way deficient or at least that we can do better in some way.
Well guess what? A lot of people think so.
So rather than just trying to buy a huge plot of land & build a new city, why not focus more on connecting & helping as many of the existing places; combining existing network societies with existing physical societies like self-sustainable/eco villages?
Imo, it shouldn’t be about "finding people like yourself & supporting each other" but just "supporting each other".
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should all just be one huge society where everyone loves everyone regardless of their values - though we kind of should; Networked Societies will always be comprised of thousands upon thousands of niche societies with unique values, interests & ways of relating to each other.
Mainly what I mean is that we shouldn’t close off in these “societies of people like me”. Instead, we should always continue trying to bridge this divide. Trying to understand other perspective & keep in mind that we really are all in this shit together.
We are all humans trying to cope with difficulties of life in a world where a lot of things have gone wrong.
And their tech stacks?
I think both network states & networked societies will be running at least parts of their infrastructure on the blockchain &/or other decentralized technologies.
If we want to build a network civilization, we need societies that make it up to be interoperable & composable; if we want to avoid exploitation & corruption of the past, we need things running transparently & without central points of failure, without the unaccountable god mode (admins) etc. etc.
The best (and only?) decentralized socioeconomic infrastructure is being built on blockchains. From decentralized currencies, decentralized identity, decentralized finance, decentralized autonomous organizations to decentralized applications, non-fungible tokens, fungible tokens & tokens of all kinds!
My guess is that we’ll be tokenizing (or at least trying to tokenize) almost everything.
And I don’t mean just shares in organizations or soul-binding skill attestations - I mean anything from natural resources, over houses to labor.
Imagine a DAO of developers, a DAO of community builders & a DAO of marketers all having a token which you can use to redeem their service. Same goes for plumbers, builders & carpenters. A factory producing bricks? Suppliers of raw materials? A house NFT? Apple orchard tokens? Village tokens?
All of this & you end up in an economy where money itself plays a lesser role. Who needs money if you can exchange tokenized goods & services directly? Need money anyway? Why not use some of your tokens as collateral?
Instead of meme coins & jpegs, we could be investing directly in food production. Imagine investing in the apple orchard tokens that yield real apples.
You get more people investing in food production & local economies. In turn, you get societies that are a lot more resilient to global supply chain disruptions.
DAOs… I think we’ve barely scratched the surface of what we can do with DAOs.
I think DAOs will be one of the most fundamental building blocks of these new societies & states. Service DAOs, project DAOs, DAOs of DAOs & DAOs of DAOs of DAOs. DAOs all the way down.
Some compare DAOs to co-ops but I think it goes deeper than that. I think DAOs are here to turn businesses into co-ops & governmental services into something more transparent & accountable. I think DAOs are here to merge users/customers into investors & loyalty points into shares. Maybe even merge private, public & business sectors into one.
They are here to usher in a more collaborative & equitable era, where people have more of a stake in organizations they work for & say in products/services they consume as well as what their government does. Where organizations that make up our societies & civilization are more democratic or at least more transparent & less corrupt.
Gonna take a while though…
Also, I think we need a sort of an operating system/UI for composable & interoperable communities/societies, where each may customize it to their own needs, but the basic infra such as profiles, tasks & tokens as well as more complex like DAOs & DeFi may work across.
Pretty much why we’re building MetaOS.
Interested in using it or helping build it? DM me.
Besides technologies not being ready for prime time, the regulatory landscape is a big uncertainty preventing a lot of cool experimentation from happening. This might be the best reason for establishing experimental states but doing so is far from the only option.
So, Dafuq Are Networked Societies?
Basically just groups of people & DAOs forming societies, then those societies networking, connecting & aligning into bigger networks. In MetaGame, we call them alliances.
Networked societies are holonic, fluid & overlapping; meaning that the big networks, societies that comprise them & DAOs that comprise them may all be whole on their own & members of each other with no clear borders.
They are a product of the digital age, enabled by technologies such as the internet & the blockchain. They are a transition from a world of nation states clinging to their own territories, bureaucracies & control into a fully digitalized & borderless civilization.
They are unable to find any fucks to give about being recognized as states because they got more important shit to deal with.
We went through:
Network States vs Networked Societies
Exitocracy then & now
Things we shouldn’t forget
Improving & helping existing efforts vs building everything anew
Some speculation on technology use & a bit of sci-fi
Wrapping it up into a somewhat coherent vision, hopefully
My main point is that we’re living in a vastly different world than we did a few hundred years ago. You may exit temporarily but global problems will eventually catch up.
My hope is that networks of voluntarily gathered people will voluntarily connect into bigger wholes which will eventually lead to an emergence of a more caring & connected world.
These crazy new technologies are allowing us to build new socioeconomic systems to coordinate at scale like never before; circumventing multipolar traps, collaborating across organizations & states to create a more unified yet decentralized civilization.
What’s the best or most likely outcome? No idea.
What I can say is that there’s an allure to creating perfect little utopias & although living in bubbles won’t solve global problems, experimenting in bubbles might 🤷♂️
Let a thousand societies bloom!
Props to Misanth for getting vid and HHH back in the game after they mysteriously disappeared from the server 🧧
A weird discord bug? A bot gone rogue? All we know is the moderation logs show nothing & it seems to have affected many servers.
👉 Is MetaGame missing in your Discord server list? Click here to come back and go to #⁉️-ask-anything to get your roles back 👈
The latest MetaRadio podcast is out, featuring Stefen Delev talking to peth about the importance of DAOs for crypto adoption. Click here to listen.
Mainnet Seed transfers are back 🔥🔥🔥
Polimyl fixed a bug in the Gnosis safe that was preventing mainnet Seed transfers and bridging then helped luxumbra deploy the fix and accompanying multisig transaction.
Questchains … now with 3D NFTs for all who complete a quest chain.
dysbulic and tenfinney kept fresh ideas coming in the Builders Align meetings, and their pair programming work on Chievmints is almost complete.
The Quest Chains team showcased new features and a swish design.
dan13ram implemented purchasable premium quest chains, currently supporting updating of the quest chain’s NFT badge
Welcome to their new Solidity dev Parv, who upgraded smart contracts to support simultaneously accepting & rejecting multiple quest submissions and creating & editing of multiple quests
vid added the possibility of uploading custom NFT pictures
beti created an awesome 3D NFT for patrons of the upcoming Quest Chains yeeter
Alec tweaked the xp calcs to make sure xp is counted season-by-season. 🧮
Latest Coordination Frontiers episode with Stefen Delev edited by eowulia, show notes by Vanessa Gil, promo by Anna and the Shillers Guild⚡
Missed out on MetaFest2? eowulia is working on editing the MetaFest2 recordings – keep an eye out for when they’re ready for a re-run.
peth made further updates to the Web3 onboarding game while Luxumbra is getting ready to build it out
Anna … just tweeted it out. Props for the promo magic ✨
Newsletter subscriptions grew by another 500 to >5500 since the last issue
Twitter following finally well over 5k
‼️ Quest Chains ⛓️
Quest Chains is going to bootstrap a DAO through Y33T, officially becoming MetaGame’s first free floating octobaby.
Help them kickstart their DAO by yeeting!
Perks for supporting:
Chain Lorddiscord role
Eternal Whitelistfor any upcoming sales
This sexy 3D NFTfor every donation above 0.1 ETH 👇
What’s new in the MetaAlliance?
The Bloom Network whitepaper is out!
Commons Stack has an email newsletter option for updates, if you prefer email to scrolling Twitter.
You thought MetaFactory just made clothes? They’ve made MF OS, for coordinating decentralized production and compensation.
0xJoshua from Opolis dropped details on how he built a career in Web3 in a 20-minute interview with DAO Heroes.
EthicHub has partnered with TheStandard to launch a Green Yield Bond to benefit unbanked farmers in South America - read the announcement on TheStandard.io.
EthicHub also got a mention in James Beck’s talk at EthCC – read a Tweet thread on ways to help Web3 reach wider adoption.
Raid Guild - State of the Raid 🔥 August 2022
1Hive has brand new ENS domains.
dOrg’s Daniel Cooper wrote on How to get stuff done in a DAO.
Happy Birthday to TokenEngineering Academy.
Atlantis World added an Optimism integration.
Complete Giveth’s crypto philanthropy survey for a chance to win some $nice. What’s $nice? Read about it here.
CRE8R DAO revenue hit two commas.
TokenEngineering founder Angela Kreitenweis received the #TECStars special guest treatment in this Tweet thread.
Find out how Panvala’s Stamps can help fund your community.
DAOHaus explained how you can use a Moloch DAO—read more on Mirror.
Deep Work Studio proffered some tips on avoiding burnout in remote teams.
Giveth was at the Sustainable Blockchain Summit, presenting on Regen Economies and taking part in a panel on capitalist incentives and Web3 democracy.
RnDAO published the conclusions of their DAO Units/subDAOs research project with Sobol.
Opolis is looking to hire a full-stack dev – more on that here.
Trusted Seed/Commons Stack was the DAO of the week in the Gnosis Chain Weekly.
The Bloom Network is now all over the world.
Commons Stack shared a Giveth mega-thread on public goods creation
What’s happening outside the MetaAlliance?
After running a victory lap around CeFi, CT has been stirring about the $190 Million Nomad Bridge Hack & the Solana Wallet Hack
New Kernel batch starting 9th of September, apply now
Front-running The Regen Opportunity by Owocki 🌱
10 Ways to Thoroughly “Solarpunk” Society by Franzi Freinacht
Russia And China Officially Announce A "New Global Reserve Currency"
The Metacrisis with Daniel Schmachtenberger | Part 1 | Green Pill #26
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We are also considering unbundling it into multiple publications & potentially even turning into a DAO of its own at some point.
Or should it merge with MetaRadio & the MetaMedia youtube channel as MetaMedia DAO…? 🤨
Would actually love to hear your thoughts on this & whether you know anyone who would be interested in getting a little ad placements across these channels 🤷♂️
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🎩 Open Roles 🎩
Here are some of the open roles 👇
🛠️ Builder - Are you a TypeScript wiz, a React.js virtuoso or maybe a data structures nerd? Frontend or backend, devs and coders are the life-blood of this space and the doors are always open if you are one. Come and introduce yourself in 🛠️-builders-guild or get right into the action😇
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🧙 Adoption Wizard - With MyMeta ready & the rest of the platform almost ready, its time to go out & talk to more communities that might be interested in joining MetaGame or using the things we’ve built.
‼️ Note: Got any questions about any of the roles? Don’t hesitate asking!
Due to a misunderstanding, the last newsletter was written hastily & I forgot to include a bit about UniPuff. 😬
You are not forgotten, fren!
No Anon, he’s not “resting in peace”. Our dear Uni went offline partly to do some summer introspection & enjoyment (guess you could say he’s resting in peace, huh 🤷♂️) but mainly to prepare for his relocation to another country in pursuit of more knowledge & a PhD!
Hope you enjoyed the previous X newsletters written by him & hope you’ll soon enjoy more of his writing soon. Meanwhile, you’re stuck with me - peth.
In case you already miss’im, here are some of his pieces:
As mentioned in the previous letter, UniPuff is not the only one taking a break.
MetaGame octopi have taken to the sea, healing their bear blues, regenerating & enjoying the summer days - maybe you should too.
We have decided to put a pause on Community Gatherings & all other guild/raid Align calls for the rest of the summer.
Remaining calls: Champions Ring & Builders Align.
Work continues behind the scenes to ship the full version of MetaGame by the end of this season (September 22nd) & prepare for Season 8 (revamping season) as well as the transition to Phase II 👀
Props to Hhh & nintynick for reviewing my rant,
Props to dysbulic, tenfinney, Hhh, eowulia, luxumbra, Vanessa & Alec as well as the Quest Chains crew for continuing to push through the summer, y’all rock ✊
Going to MCON or Burning Man? Get in touch @petheth!
Much love ❤️,
Hhh & peth
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