Distributed Governance Challenges (dgov council 1 transcript)


“Distributed Governance Challenges” Open Space Discussion at DGov Council

27th January 2019, 17.30PM

(This Interview is pseudonymized)

Speakers: Thomas, Anton, Liam, Florian, Emma, Martin, Ian

Sponsored by TabooKey (Israel)

Florian: Which sessions is this?

Thomas: Distributed governance challenges defining challenges we can solve which lead to roadmap of success. So like the Google open AI challenges and you know like other challenges we feel that it’s very important that we start to define those challenges so that we can actually start to allocate resources to it.

Liam: Are you doing the…

Thomas: Distributed governance challenges so how to define challenges we can actually solve like the Google open AI challenges or like the Hyperloop challenge so that we can actually move forward in building those systems.

Martin: I guess no one’s doing the antifragile systems.

Emma: Self healing systems.

Thomas: Antifragile isn’t it healing systems? I put it up for tomorrow.

Liam: Well from the legal or…

Florian: From the organizational aspect. I was studying business and initially it was just exploring what you can do with blockchain in general. Come to crowdfunding and then looking for the general, like of how it’s new organizational concepts or decentralized organizations, classify them. What are those mechanisms. Partly inflation funding, certain activities and building that public infrastructure.

Thomas: I think the most valuable things for me was accepting the challenge for defining the distributed governance challenges. Because: did anybody started to do that?

Liam: What here you mean?

Thomas: In general for distributed governance systems.

Liam: No.

Thomas: So I think that’s very very effective, I think I will bring a lot of clarity over the time but we can start to…

Liam: It’s a way of coordinating the efforts of many different people, let’s talk a bit what we are trying to achieve.

Anton: What are we doing right now?

Thomas: Can we maybe, I try to give a short pitch and then you give a short. Let’s pitch to each other the butter. So how do we build systems for governance which are distributed and I think we have to clarify a bit what we mean with distributed governance systems. For me it’s like they’re scalable and they are able to adapt and they are better than the existing ones so I think it would be good to include more opinions in those systems which would make them more considerative or omni-considerative and if we enable to make decisions which are actually sustainable that would be great as well. So how do we ensure that they have emerging patterns of including external costs because…

Liam: Can you define this, the criteria for a successful solution.

Anton: There are a lot of concepts already in the last minute. Let’s keep it more simple. Try to have like two concepts.

Liam: What are good problems that are easily understood. So because you also want participation in the process of coming up with [distributed governance]. So what we define the simplest possible distributed governance challenge. What is the simplest possible like the toy example.

Anton: Not more like two concepts.

Thomas: Treasury, I would propose. How to distribute money for purpose.

Liam: Like a single purpose.

Thomas: In a distributed governed world.

Liam: For a single purpose? Like we have thousand Ether, we need to come together and decide what to do with it. Like for one like where it goes for one thing.

Thomas: It’s not only governance, it’s distributed governance, right, which means that we need to include the concept that there is no central authority. But I would also go and say that every agent has equal rights or permissionless rights to engage.

Anton: I think what you’re asking is: It is not enough just to say that how to distribute say water between five of us but saying how to distribute for what purpose. Like the same water for tourists will distributed separately for putting it on our head if it did (I don’t have hair) but if you want to be differently, so the context in which…

Emma: Right, like who is doing what if like five of us just gonna be continuing to sit here and one of us is gonna go run a marathon then it make sense that that person she get more.

Martin: Exactly.

Thomas: To come back, can we try to define the scope, the minimum scope?

Liam: So my, so here is the challenge: I don’t think that the distribution is the benefit. I think where the reason for doing what you we’re saying distribution, the distributed governance you’re going after like a benefit and I don’t wanna show the benefit, because I think you know, you mentioned participation, you want people to feel committed, but what is the benefit of the benefit? Why are we doing this, because then maybe if I understand the benefit of being go back to say why distributed governance. Is just because this is blockchain and want so see how we can apply blockchain?

Thomas: I defined another concept why I personally believe in the benefits of it, because there are omni-considerative through agency of permissionless, you know, that excess of agents so everybody can engage. This is reason why we have more opportunities to put more information into the system, which allows us to make more informed decisions. That’s one aspect of it.

Liam: Better, so more, higher productivity and more engagement.

Thomas: Why is it the decision: because better information landscape. Think about it, like we have a socket where all the information come together, right? So how do we ensure that we have more sensory data? This is what I would say in distributed governance systems is the ability for a lot of agents to engage.

Liam: I think it will be really helpful somehow…

Florian: Somehow that’s also the marriage or it’s being described to the marriage of the market, come to realize the sensory to handle a lot of sensory input that’s being aggregated in the market. So what’s the… would you contrast a market based system? Or would you maybe even classify it as a distributed governance system of resources.

Thomas: Absolutely.

Liam: About a toy example before we weren’t trying to do like a really dumb two examples, that one now I want to bring on, wanna throw that out there…

Anton: It’s getting really abstract.

Liam: I would like to give you. We are a group of people that have pooled our resources to commission a work of art. And the way we define the quality of the art is the free market price of that art after it’s been commissioned. So let’s say afterwards, we’re trying to sell this piece of art, see, like, how much we fetch for it. And then there are alternative ways we could give all the money to a very unsuccessful artist, we could give it to someone else. And like, if I understood, I’m trying to make what you’re saying more concrete, if you would want as many people involved in finding like the best artists, and…

Thomas: I just said that everybody should be able who wants to engage to engage. So it doesn’t say anything about the size of the group that just says that everybody could engage in a permissionless way, which seems to be very aligned with like, the concept of distributed systems.

Liam: So is that a good example, though? Like a commitional work of art?

Thomas: Yeah, I like it. Also, like treasury distribution in bounty systems is something where we are facing as a real problem in a lot of places, in a lot of projects. And it’s similar easy, you have a shared resource, which you need to, like, distribute, and you have some people which hold agency and deciding how to do that. And then we have, obviously, governance functions, which determine how we do that. DAOStack for example has a very specific way in doing it, right?

Liam: But where’s like, the problem we’re trying to solve is coming up with the the challenges. So we like we don’t we can talk after we define the challenges or series of challenges. Basically, we’re trying to take inspiration from the open AI project.

Thomas: Yes.

Liam: Like they said we’re not going to talk about what a solution to an AI system looks like. We’re just going to set a series of challenges and talk about.

Anton: We’re asking the right questions, not the answers.

Liam: We’re not saying what the right answers are just what are the right questions? And that constrains us into having a very good, we talked about how would we commission a piece of art and we can, you know, we can think about a very concrete way, what would be involved in that, like finding the artists, right? Once we start talking about the more abstract way, it’s easy for us to get attached. So commissioning a work of art, that’s an ok example?

Thomas: If we would define challenge in which…

Liam: Maximizing the product, the price.

Thomas: Maximizing the price, so we try to commission something when we resell for a better price?

Liam: Okay, so it’s like maximizing the market value.

Anton: Maybe we can delete the screen so…

Thomas: Yes we can.

Anton: So it just clean our thinking ways up. When I see them I think shit: What are you doing? Pretend you’re not a techy.

Thomas: I think we are very specific with this one. Maybe we should do a short brainstorming how we would do that in a non distributed way.

Liam: That that’s a great way like, you know, centralize centralized but this is already coming up with answers because we’re coming up with those questions.

Thomas: Do you like to find more examples for challenges? Or do you like to go deeper?

Liam: You know, we haven’t really tapped the full potential of finding better examples.

Emma: There might be something more challenging, like where you have multiple groups of people that have different interests, and you’re trying to come up with some sort of a solution that…

Liam: Where should we go for dinner?

Thomas: Yes, it’s a good one.

Emma: So okay, yeah.

Anton: Where should we go for dinner happens all the time.

Emma: And there’s like six vegans, 20 non vegans, two people for celiac with a gluten allergy.

Martin: Everyone just handle yourself then.

Anton: Go home and cook. Forget the people cook your own food.

Liam: Yeah, where should we go for dinner is good.

Martin: You lost me at vegans.

Thomas: I would like to, maybe I’m the only one who stuck here. But maybe you can help me. I have the feeling that’s not only about how we go to dinner, because there could be the way that I would ask everybody and I consolidate all that information, I made the decision because you trust me, there will be like a hierarchy like centralized system making the decision. So I think the constraint in addition to those challenges is how they are solved, resolved, right and I think we need to…

Anton: I just wanted to write all the questions for…

Martin: Why is it that we would want to systemize the question gathering process, instead of it be just completely open to anyone saying like…

Thomas: Because it’s not related to the distributed governance, then it’s the wrong challenge.

Martin: I just think anyone in the system should be able to propose the initial question like…

Thomas: What I’m saying is, there is a constraint when we speak about, for example, managing Ethereum or governing Ethereum that we don’t want to have monopolistic stakeholders or conglomerates, which like influence the system, you know, like in a conspiracy. So I think when we speak about distributed governance challenges their additional concerns and constraints we need to like set to define the challenges in a meaningful way.

Liam: So I agree with that. But I’d also say there’s a problem of attention scarcity right? We could talk about each of us could have his own toy like pet problem, and then we would all when we come back together to talk about our solutions, we would all be talking a different language, right? So if we managed to consolidate around a few good examples and we’re speaking the same language, I have another proposal of how you coordinate where we could have dinner, okay, then it’s much easier to have a discussion and you’re always trying that into something that’s really sort of, you know, mentally imagine. So where do we go to dinner? I like to think about conflicting interests, maybe their…

Florian: Budget allocations.

Thomas: Specific example, for budget allocation. So I mean, who’s paying for the dinner? How do we pay for dinner?

Liam: Where do we go for dinner and how do we pay for it?

Anton: Who is paying, handwriting is terrible.

Martin: Distance willing to…

Liam: That’s part of it.

Thomas: I think it’s part of it.

Anton: Who is paying and how?

Thomas: I love that one.

Anton: Using constraint about debts.

Thomas: So this is a different opinion thing. But this is really a separate question.

Liam: I have one in mind, that’s actually a real world problem. So there’s a decentralized community in Switzerland, and they have a house and they’re getting like government subsidy, but they’re still limited. So they’re trying to figure out the problem of how do we manage this house? Like, who do we let this…there’s a hotel is basically like a Hotel Decentral and you don’t want to have like, right now it’s managed centrally, of course, one person calls all the shots, or I think this project is better. But how would you manage hotel decentral without that. So deciding who gets who stays in what room for how long. So just like better understanding with a real world problem, maybe you can find a simpler version of this. But the real world problem was that we want to set up at the center like this house this meeting place and when people could work on projects together, and if the community valued the output of that they would get some sort of increase social capital what increase their like maybe decision making ability within the system. So the people who are the best, who contributed the most they would get the most influence. On deciding who to let in the in the house. So if you did a really good job and you produce something that the community valued you would be for example re invited or you could invite someone else to the house or so forth.

Emma: So there’s some sort of a reputation system, non monetary reputation system that people get stars or whatever.

Liam: We don’t really figured out that. How do you manage a shared space. Shared space is a fixed amount of room and it costs money to run this place. How do you manage the shared space?

Thomas: Would you agree that we could start a challenge with one step before. That we buy a house together.

Liam: I like buy a house together.

Thomas: And then how we manage it as a shared space. You know, this seems to be for me to be more coherent. And actually this was a real problem we had heavily discussed previously because I believe berlin would be a perfect location for doing that. Because we have a lot of crypto people which would like to be here for certain amount of time in the shared crypto co living space. So I think this is a viable model. If we identify a model for that I think this would spawn in multiple cities, Toronto, Montenegro, New York.

Liam: And then they get your solution where do we go for dinner every day?

Thomas: Absolutely. This is this or do we, I think that another one is which events do we organize In the shared space.

Anton: So basically, we live together, we are we eating together? We have events together it’s a good life […].

Thomas: I love that direction.

Liam: I think that’s related to the How do you manage the shared spaces, that’s the same.

Thomas: Come up for the challenge.

Liam: What about risk related challenges? For example, it’s I have an Airbnb. So I have an apartment I want to rent to rent it out. If I’m doing that just by myself. And maybe I’m assessing individually the risks of different participants, people who would run, but then if we’re doing it together, we would…

Thomas: Ensure the systems. Isn’t it?

Liam: Yeah, there’s some sort of like risk transfer? Possibly. I don’t think I decided it’s not a clear example. So let’s drop that.

Thomas: I like the Ether Risk example that just made an implementation, but the question is, is it a distributed governance example? What does the if it’s just a clear rule of insurance everybody has a clear defined, you know, like shared risk, I don’t see that there’s a lot of decision making, proposing and so on involved for shared resources…

Florian: So if there is some incentivize system to refer for people to to get rewarded with some inflation for staking on…

Thomas: I personally believe like this goes in the direction which I’m not interested in exploring, because it already includes again incentive system and it’s like, takes away sovereignty and agency and those systems don’t, as far as I can tell, at the moment.

Anton: If understand distributed governance, you mean like is that a governance thing that means is that actually happening and distributed isn’t like a participatory decision, right? So if you wanted to concrete, maybe buy a house in that case, if multiple people are buying a house, there are decisions being made, of course, where to buy the house or kind of space and all those decisions and distributed is if all the people who live the house do they have corresponding say the matter of compared or in relation to the amount of money they pitching in. So let’s be concrete. So the budget is 1 million? And if each participants I can only be starting with them and it can be sending really, will it be fairer to have the 70 million people think…

Liam: It is as simple as possible.

Thomas: For me, it doesn’t seem to be like working in that situation and challenge me on that place. It’s like a why do we need a distributed governance system we can just negotiated between us to…

Liam: Because the principles for two people might be the same for three people…

Thomas: I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that the principles for two people or five people are the same like for thousand or ten thousand people. So for operating at scale, and making it a distributed governance challenge I believe we need to buy one house in one city but like multiple house in multiple cities with enough like big enough shareholder group to actually create a like crowd which is very homogeneous and which has interests in like governing the spaces because they’re traveling multiple cities. What I’m saying here is that I challenged ideas that I believe that we can extrapolate same principles and patterns from two people to thousand.

Martin: What’s the minimum number of people were this mode switches?

Thomas: 150 people plus.

Liam: Okay so I have a real world example of that. Let’s say you’re staging a wedding. So we have a wedding and both family these are funding it, how do you decide where to have the wedding?

Thomas: The question is, do you really include more than 150 people…

Anton: No but this problem will actually solve, we run the company. So for example, when I started up, there was two people, three people who started one table, it was all of that little to secrecy, because, I mean, we just said, do you do this, I do that and then we started having millions and lots of people that of course, the need in terms of difficult shitty boring conversations. And so of course, I mean, and we have to solve it. So the point is, if the stakes are really high then of course, we need more distribution distinction. That’s my parameter.

Thomas: I agree. That’s the whole point of distributed governance systems.

Anton: Two people the stakes are very high because I knew you and I can just punch your face if your not…

Thomas: And the communication protocols are totally different because we could have a very specific language we could go really deep with it and we can’t do that with like a group of people, fifty people in one room is just becoming a big mess, especially when the stakes are high. So this is what we try to optimize we try to solve the management problem. I believe. Like distributed governance is for me to solving the management problem, the need for having like abstraction representation and other people managing people through protocols.

Liam: I have the thing that you want to scale. So let’s say we’re community and we want to stimulate economic activity in our community. So we want to give out loans to people are worthy. So we want something like a decentralized bank. So you have a pool of resources like you could have the pool of resources just run by one rich guy but they need like you know he doesn’t even care about stimulating in the community just like maximize profit wherever the community wants to have it’s like a coop bank. How would you run that. How would you run that coop bank.

Thomas: It’s the same question as DEx, decentralized exchanges, how to govern a decentralized exchange. I believe it is a challenge and it’s also the same like running a distributed bounty system.

Liam: Right but it’s not. So the thing is I like examples. This my personal preference that I can visualize without using any technology. Like I can, if you could set up the system using paper notes you can translate and let the blockchain you know track the paper they instead of having paper notes you have tokens and you have a smart contract but in principle like if you…

Thomas: Is there any example you’re aware of massive scaled effective coordination in groups for governance which are off chain without technical support today.

Anton: Yes, in Bangladesh they have a microcredit system the banking for the board of directors what poor people want. It’s run mostly by woman. They have like a ring structure of management so twelve ones in the center the other outside. 24 like that and they have a fishbowl system so they have empty chair in the middle, someone will get inside, will then say some, it’s incredible…

Liam: So what they solve the micro financing? That’s amazing!

Thomas: I feel we should study that. What you said is you know it even has feedback loops the fishbowl, it has responsibilities which are distributed.




Anton: I haven’t really […] shouldn’t be going a little deeper to […] went once but I will…

Liam: A working mechanism to take.

Anton: Actually take the next time to meet the people when the condition actually since with those women…How does it find out the poorest people…

Liam: Is this a decentralized bank?

Anton: Would say yes.

Thomas: This was super interesting and I would like to ask the question again: How do we end up in surfacing that? Because I think this is what we’re looking for

Liam: You asked a good question.

Thomas: I asked for like scalable massive engagement, right, so I think we should look for those patterns what allow massive scaleable engagement. That’s really awesome.

Anton: They’re doing really interesting work.

Thomas: Can you contribute with additional links and so on later on because I think it would be create. You are on the record.

Martin: Is this a Grameen Bank?

Anton: Yes and also another thing historically which is my interest they had it kind of distributed decentralized system of also women where they doing incredible stuff was the pirates in historically where mostly woman right and mostly the Chinese so they had one of the largest breach of contract enforcement with other institutions with an interesting book called the invisible book it’s a reference in this hand of capitalism. Because they had incredible enforcement capacities without having central authorities in there are so effective and efficient that the Chinese emperor was scared. That’s why the Chinese families historically in South Africa which is impossible because the pipe and also witches economy very interesting how did witches a while for because you know only never had place in history unfortunately so you have all the alternative forms of economy…

Liam: So the micro loans in Bangladesh, what they’re maximizing for if we turn on the micro loans with maximizing for…maximize the number of people taking out of poverty.

Anton: I haven’t studied completely so I mean I know…

Thomas: The reason why I asked the question was because I expected not really an answer.

Anton: I’m sorry.

Thomas: No that was interesting because I think like distributed governance systems at scale which work are not there. That’s the reason why it’s super hard to find the right challenges and why it’s hard to find the right examples. But those things they’re like they’re fractal structures. What you described is a fractal structure. Which is working and because of it’s fractal nature it scales. So I think this is another pattern that we are looking for fractal patterns.

Anton: It’s true, it’s very working example and I lived there for some time for some reasons and Tibet and to Thailand and those kinds of places so where what we should do is we have very interesting system of fucking with the world so when you do when the doors were open people who come from the temples we had hierarchy there I think that’s a hierarchy but when the doors would close the first thing is laughter because we can see we have to play the game, they call us crazy. And then the system was the person who sold the person who was the cook was the highest of the temple cook. And also the person who clean the toilets, you know the most important and the newbies they were the ones who will be a president he has an extra will they will be talking to people like because the thing is the most physically exhausting work you can do the more awakened enlightened you have to be because only an enlightened person can clean toilets in a very mindful passional happy way. I mean If you are not awaken you would feel terribly boring. So they would turned down so and that’s probably the door open and you saw it will be so funny. Like I’m talking to somebody given traditional…but they don’t know my teachers teacher is basically the thing the thing give him food to them. The tuning badly like the food…

Thomas: It’s parenting, you know, like it’s they are parents for them, right?

Anton: Exactly. When you are a cook. You’re literally doing you’re making bodies because the food is our body, so you have to be awaken. If you’re cleaning the toilets, you’re actually cleaning the shit that comes…

Liam: I have another one.

Thomas: Can you please, is there any way to share more of this? I mean you could do an interview with Euvie and Mike then.

Anton: I’m already sharing more that I could. Supposed to talk about these things.

Thomas: I mean that’s very insightful. Thanks for sharing.

Ian: That sounds like exactly the opposite of the army. You know like in basic training the youngest soldier is usually the one cleaning the toilet, all the shitty stuff. So it’s like basic training. But the opposite.

Anton: That’s why I think we should always have some Israeli. I told you don’t know why. But there was always the most Westerners who would come to Israel from the army. I just love that shit out of it. It is the army. But it’s funny because when the doors closed, it is the opposite.

Thomas: You had another example.

Liam: I was thinking the one but it’s really a hard one. Like how do you. Say you wanna run a soup kitchen. Or any charity. How would you run the charity? That’s just like a treasury management problem. It’s very, very complicated. It’s not that concrete.

Thomas: I think that’s especially interesting for distributed governance challenges is that they need to be independent from the agent or the agent needs to be replaceable. So what I’m saying is, if the challenge breaks down to a real world power structure, which is stable, it kinds of eliminates the need for the challenge.

Liam: No so not necessarily, what if not, what if you can don’t need any technology to implement something with 20 people, but then if you implement technology, you can use the same structure, but scale it to 1000 people.

Thomas: If it’s fractal and if it’s through that scalable I agree. But I haven’t… I agree if this is given, right.

Liam: Just think about like favors, right? So favors…

Thomas: Checks and balances is a global system, which works very well called money.

Liam: Exactly. So money is a scalable technological version of giving favors to each other.

Thomas: I mean, when but I think about distributed governance challenges for me it includes sense making and choice making and includes distribution of resources.

Liam: You attached only answering solutions that have that as part of them?

Thomas: I would say if it’s a distributed governance challenge, it’s definitely not solving one particular small aspect of it, maybe it’s useful to do that because then we could develop the different organs have different like, purpose in the distributed governance system. I’m having different, I’m not very strong opinionated, I would say there are different aspects to it.

Liam: I’m saying that we might not get to something that’s very useful, but by examining toy problems on its own. But if we can extract principles from that, then we can map that out. Now we understand what the principles are. Now we understand risk versus power and solution versus explicit.

Thomas: So what makes us this sample successful fractal organizational structure?

Liam: No, I think it makes it because there’s actually a working system, that’s what makes it successful.

Thomas: But why is it working? Because it’s a fractal system which has feedback loops and so on.

Liam: That’s the theory. But we just know, we know for sure we trust him that it’s working. Maybe we don’t, I think we should defer the part where we think we understand why until we really understand this solution.

Thomas: Okay, I would said everything, what I said were assumptions, which are based on say, concepts, which I believe are valid for the design of the distributed governance systems. And I think it makes sense to validate concepts, based on real world examples and also to study those real world examples or, you know, we can relate to, to confirm concepts.

Anton: I think we want concrete thing is really, I feel the key principle in all these things really works is the time to polish…to study some African tribes, they have a similar thing where, like, what I told in the monasteries on here, which is like, you don’t get to restore me, you don’t have to prescribe again, that you’re not part of. You don’t have to be the Minister of something,you don’t actually paying a similar tax and living in the house that you just described. So like, in the case of the monasteries, you would switch roles. So you actually have the personal agenda now, open doors open, because opposite. So what happens that even in this case, you are actually living with the people in Europe support others being poor. And in the case of Africa, that I forget that when they will do is they will have two systems. One is they make a lot of jokes around the leader, and the leader will be round robe in fashions. So they would be referred to one and then they will be a normal person, and they will become so this in distributed governance, if you let everybody play the same game, or at least be the victim of their own decision making. That’s it because then you’re distract, you cannot just not like those people who are not in Mercedes, they get to, you know, as a…

Liam: Leader election is something that…

Thomas: What I heard there is more that we all play the same game and the people which are called leaders in those systems are just in a role, right. So just for me is what I feel represented through permissionless, everybody takes part of the game and everybody could take the role, right? And take agency.

Anton: What’s really interesting if you have a system where you know, that you have a job that you actually also mind, even a normal person, you move into the miners house a miner is moving to your house, where you can to get some of the reward. So then what happens you really get more, it’s not like you think of the miners do it as soon as, you know, to the miners things, those people with food on the table. So this kind of like not having the same identity as I understood and I’m just the full node all the time, either a miner or, I am airport, I am not a you know, like this is problematic because we are multiple things.

Liam: So I don’t value originality a lot in the setting when we can’t really have a lot of time to explore ideas. So far, the thing that seems that’s been most promising everybody’s been most excited about is finding that example from Bangladesh…

Anton: Yes.

Liam: Of a distributed system, because that’s exciting like that works. And the concrete example I would give a week because you asked like what’s the point if something already works without blockchain, with technology? Like, why would you need it? But you could have a small community of 50 people just keeping track like a favors with pebbles. Like they have seashells and they’re just using shell money.

Thomas: But we know how money systems work.

Liam: No sure this is like a principle. But then once you understand how money works like at the level of 50 people with shells, you could implement a global system like Bitcoin because you understand this is like how money works.

Thomas: I agree. So these are like the prototypes, right?

Liam: Yeah.

Thomas: So when we spoke about other things, I felt that we had also some emerging patterns, you know, like, not every system scales, but they have specific attributes to scale, I think we can formalize them, I believe one of them, or I assume one of them is fractal.

Liam: Mighty, let’s talk about that.

Thomas: Because, you know, it’s a healthy system, because it has all elements it needs to be a healthy system.

Liam: I the context of the money?

Thomas: Let’s talk about it in the concept of this complex microcredit example.

Liam: But I don’t understand that example.

Thomas: The point is money works already. There’s nothing else from my point of view, we need to explore. And for me it’s not a distributed governance system at all. It’ll also checks and balances system.

Liam: Wait, so.

Thomas: Because it doesn’t include additional choice and sense making, it’s just a checks and balances system.

Liam: I think it’s really interesting assumption. So the most important issue in the 20th century has been, how do we allocate resources in a society.

Thomas: I agree.

Liam: And you had one model, which was central planning, where just like, we have a committee and the committee is going to side we, you know, we produce that many shoes and that much steel, then on the other side, we had something closer to the free market. And it’s like an intuitive game. Even if it starts out with random distribution, people are placing their chips on different investments. And then if you make good investments in each round, you get like, capital will concentrate, taking your hands, the means of production will concentrate in your hands make bad decisions.

Thomas: It’s a power representation.

Liam: Yeah, so let’s say after 20 years, suddenly people are fleeing from East Germany to West Germany, okay, because just West Germany is consistently more productive. Why? Because money decisions, resource allocation decisions are not made by bureaucrats are made by people who are improving themselves.

Thomas: It’s more efficient.

Liam: That’s distributed governance.

Florian: Yeah, that’s what I was trying to say earlier. That is a market based system, a distributed governance system?

Liam: Absolutely. You have the fractility want there.

Thomas: So maybe then need to give myself more constraints because I believe it’s not only about building distributed governance systems, but building highly adaptable say, governance systems, which are capable of actually insurance survival and adaptivity omni considerative behavior, because I believe they make decisions which do not kill us.

I will add an additional constraint and I want to explain why. If we think about, for example, Ethereum as a platform, and we think about it in terms of, we play a money game where somebody like a monopoly wins, then we have one central authority, which controls the platform. And that’s, I think, not what is desirable for interconnectivity platform like Ethereum and tell me if I’m wrong.

Florian: So you want to avoid the decentralization of resources over time.

Thomas: Yes, because there was like, there was the article for example of Vlad “ [Blockchain] Governance 101”, capture of platforms like Ethereum are actually creating strong negative incentives for every participant on the platform, because they become an object of the say, will and the governance of the one monopolistic party. And that was why they voted in the first place, and why we have all the anti government people in the blockchain space, because they don’t want to be regulated, or they want to be regulated differently.

Liam: So the thing is, challenges, if you did set up like a very resource intensive Think Tank, you could come up with original research. But I think the best we can hope for in a much more of a resource constraints setting is coming up with the best principles that work and then applying them like stealing the best ideas.

Thomas: I agree. But for me personally.

Liam: Ignore all original research is what I would say like for this setting, until we get to the point where we processed everything that works no original research, it’s very risky.

Thomas: For me there’s an additional constraint because it’s not only about distributed governance system. Distributed governance or governance system in general will come along with notice, there’s no way of like doing that with all the other. So we need to speak about the ethical model, what we try to achieve that we try to optimized for, and I believe that the game you played last 2000 years brought us where we are, in existential threat situations. And that’s not what I like to build, or I like to participate in building and that might be a totally valid to just, you know, have different future developments, trays of distributed governance also in the blockchain space. That’s an ethical decision.

Liam: We are talking about a very specific problem of like the tragedy of the commons

Thomas: I’m speaking about that we with I believe with Ethereum try to avoid capture, and that we want to have omni considerative decisions.

Liam: What is omni considerative?

Thomas: This means that we have all the different stakeholders, and then we try to find the best solution for every stakeholder involved. So what does it mean? Least negative impact for every stakeholder, maximum positive impact for every stakeholder for longest amount of time.

Other: So it’s seven o’clock and James he actually told the restaurant we’ll be there 6.30.

Thomas: Oh, let’s go there.

I think we should continue the conversation. I would love to continue conversation.

Liam: So we can continued it on the way to dinner.

Thomas: Absolutely.

Liam: I think it’s so like the more constraints you add…

Anton: I think that are already solutions, like the one I said. I think partly we don’t want to see the solutions that exist in the world, and also with this large partner with us in treat modern narrative and solutions outside of that he knows who knew about the pirates. For example they have been there for 400 f****** years…

Thomas: I think we should explore that. It’s super valuable.

Martin: Mostly women, pirates?

Anton: Mostly women! It’s not the part of the Caribbean accent.

Thomas: It’s super interesting

Anton: You know, and how do you enforce…just super and even witches. Do you think about it, witches, how do they survive to make money? What are they doing? It won’t be just come to contact with other witches, you know, as well, it’s just fascinating do you know, I mean all kinds of alternative people who were not considered to be mainstream, they have different solutions.

Liam: We need to mine history.

Thomas: I would love to hear a short check out from the rest.

Martin: I’m really I haven’t been struggling to understand the parameters and the questions you’re trying to set so that we have some productivity to the end of this discussion. So I would have liked to see exactly what the criteria are that you’re looking for in order to move to the stage.

Thomas: We need to find consensus on those criteria to find challenges together, I think

Martin: So that just abstracts at one level. So it’s just what the first question is, what is the set of criteria? How do we find the set of criteria?

Thomas: Yes, this is an other session by the way I put up for tomorrow. So defining those criterias. And then I think it makes sense to go back in that session. I would propose the same session with to set of criterias to find in the other session.

Emma: On my comment was going to be the same as his, feeling a little bit lost in what is the criteria? What are the questions that we’re trying to solve? Or how do we pick the questions? For me, what’s been probably the most helpful is the historical examples, because then I can actually understand the context and perhaps starting there would be useful, like so at some point in human history, this is how something was done, what can we learn from these people? Because, you know, we can’t imagine that we’re the smartest people that have ever existed on this planet. It’s quite unlikely actually.

Liam: I think not but I do think like, right now, society has never been more specialized. So it depends on how you define smart. You know, when people were hunter together, they had to be a lot more independent than we are. So you know, they could collect their own food, they could hunt, they could make clothes, they could do everything, but they weren’t specialized. And because of that, there were a lot for and I think…

Thomas: We have specific knowledge and we have specific skills…

Liam: We have been specialized.

Thomas: But it doesn’t mean that we are more…anyway, I would like to get your feedback before we…

Ian: But is is entirely possible that you have the world expert on something very specific.

Liam: Yeah.

Emma: Maybe. But in terms of self organizing, I think perhaps there’s quite a lot to learn from people in the past. Or for technology where they had to when there was also evolutionary pressure to self organize, and they just did it. So How did they do?

Ian: Learning from history is always a good idea. Otherwise you’ll repeat it.

Thomas: So just a short question, because I’m super hungry and super tired. I Would love to hear it to check out and then would love to go to dinner together. Do you like to add something?

Florian: I feel a bit lost in gathering the example I guess we could have drill down a little bit earlier and just decide on.

Liam: Maybe we were in exploration mode for too long.

Thomas: Short question there. Do you had the feeling that we had a clear framework of constraints and requirements for the challenge?

Liam: No

Thomas: I personally had not the feeling. I feel incapable of going down the challenges for doing it.

Liam: So I feel that we’re pulling like you want to solve a much harder problem?

Thomas: Yes.

Liam: Yes. So I’m like, how do we take the examples that are working and how do we apply them to other situations? How do we encourage, forgot but my free markets work by encouraging specialization. Rewarding people for being productive. Maybe we could take that principle and reapply the specializing in political decisions.

Thomas: I agree but I don’t have the feeling that with the concepts I think are relevant for distributed governance that this applies. So I think this is a different game.

Liam: No because you have a different definition of distributed governance. You don’t include free markets in distributed governance.

Florian: I would be super interested in what differentiates the differentiates the governance you have in mind from a free market.

Thomas: So the core differentiation is human agency from intrinsic sense making versus human agency which is like overwritten by extrinsic motivations. Which are set by architects.

Liam: I would love when you translate that in a concrete example.

Thomas: You know there are many people in this world which would…can give a very easy example there are many people which would sell everything for the right amount of money. I mean like everything. If you give them the right amount of money they do everything you want or anything. And this is from my point of view of the world which is crazy because it overwrites the sense making off this person what makes sense at all.

Liam: How would you prevent them…

Thomas: The point what I’m saying, we can design systems where we pay people what they want to do or we wanted to do but I think these are not the kind of systems I’m interested in, me personally because I believe they’re stupid. They’re as stupid as the architects because they are setting how we make sense.

Liam: But realize if you have enough constraints, the solution space might be empty. There may not be…I’m not sure. I don’t know.

Thomas: I believe it’s not empty but you know, I think it’s a valid critic. And I think it’s a valid speculation to say it’s empty.

Liam: I’m not sure. I haven’t thought about this so much. Just saying that if you don’t have a working example…


Dgov council #1 report

I’m new here, and am very interested in this topic. Did anything come of these long discussions? I just watched this great “State of Ethereum Governance Discussion” YouTube put up by Lane Rettig which was very informative. He put up a list of challenges at 31:38 in the video.

I really like Thomas’ term: “omni considerative”. It sounds similar to what I think is important: Finding out, concisely and quantitatively, what EVERYONE wants.

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