How do we organize society for a whole-systems approach for developing the Internet?



Hmm. This does remind me of @matthias’s Paycoupons. Am I wrong?


Where such Holochain currencies are issued and accepted by one party each: yes, then these would be very similar to coupons.

The reason we could not use any public ledger protocol for PayCoupons’ coupons was however that our coupon exchange algorithm (network bartering) could not be implemented in a privacy-protecting way with any current blockchain technology. Without that algorithm, coupons are not really useful though. So in case that Holochain has coupon-like currencies I’d be interested how they facilitate their exchange …


At this point, there is a lot of material about commons-based governance out there based on the work of the Nobel Prize winning Elinor Ostrom.

We need off the shelf frameworks, templates and software that make it easy to adopt commons-based governance for projects.


@Peer At the same time the educated middle-class is more busy than ever with work days consisting of 8-11 hour workdays (including about 2 hour commute for some), taking care of kids, having Netflix competing with its main competitor being a biological need called Sleep and hours of “sousveillance” looking at other people’s lives instead of interacting with each other and society. I think you’re on to something but I believe that all people have an inherent will which there is a constant battle from different actors to attract.

@johncoate Definitely. Maybe the narratives around these issues such as the planet’s ecosystems health and overall system health are erasing the motivation when the narratives need to enable people’s will? Regarding the driverelss car-narrative I believe big reason to the belief in this is that it has strong compelling arguments for investors and politicians interested in growth and maintaining current mainstream policies connected to measurements like GDP. This is simply because it requires to build new (electric) superior cars/vehicles (for few individuals), infrastructure, support and maintenance systems as well as autonomy systems which is more attractive than the more financially cost-heavy investments of big transit system which are less flexible, more capital intensive and has less revenue per person (one car/person vs one train or hyperloop/many people). This is more interesting even though it’s admitted that it’s much more difficult and complex (i.e. people being involved in traffic) to build self-driving systems for cars than for airplanes as there are more vehicles and objects on the ground than in the air.

@2RowFlow Thanks for the tip. As I understand it, Holochain is a technical solution trying to replace the Internet, dependant and within this technical and social infrastructure that the solution wants to replace? It would need to be housed within an alternative physical and social infrastructure than the current Internet in order to replace it right (and then have a surge of users onboarding Holochain instead of the platforms on the web as we know it)?

@zaunders I’m thinking my post is more perspectives and merely asking: what if we would try things differently as a society, based on what we are learning from the current state of affairs? And I’m trying to not jump to the solutions be it technical or social ones. :slightly_smiling_face:

@johncoate I’m not sure it’s “winner takes all”, I’m thinking it is more like everyone takes everything? Regardless of ideology, it seems that responsibility to consider and act for the wholeness of the system is abscent.

@alcinnz Yes there are two issues and the primary is on how we run the Internet as a whole and an infrastructure. You’re right about BDFL, when starting something on one’s own initiative that becomes a BDFL scenario - however starting with together others, I’m not sure it has to be a BDFL scenario. How this alternative way of governing and developing would work - that’s what I would like to research if I get the fellowship with bursary. :slight_smile:

Interesting! How has these materials translated into real-world practice? I know there are practical examples which her research was connected to - but how has it developed?

It might work with the off-the-shelf solutions but the implementation of those - they depend a lot on the process in which they are implemented right? Are they convincing enough as governance systems in comparison to existing systems? How have they been convincing societies and communities so far?

My proposal is to research: How can we organize for a big, complex and social multi-stakeholder challenge like the development of the Internet? A challenge which at first seems like a web of technical challenges and where it seems every issue can be solved with technical solutions - but in reality perhaps in essence is a social issue at its roots?

My proposal for a track at the distributed conference would be to try to arrange distributed participatory processes to try to build the coalition throughout Europe needed to take on the challenge of reshaping the development of the Internet.

(I have not replied to Holochain-replies, unsure how they relate as a technical solution.)


@mattiasx what’s your definition of “infrastructure”? Do you mean the communications hardware on which digital signals travel between devices? Or are you using a different definition?

I’m curious because to me preventing things like Cambridge Analytica’s data peddling is a task more at the level of data governance rather than at the level of infrastructure governance. Maybe I’m using a different definition?


I don’t even know what “loss of information” means. And if I did, I might believe loss of information is a feature, not a weakness.


No, the DNS root servers are spread out over the planet. One is in my home town, Stockholm.


Over a long time – decades, or centuries. Governing the Commons lists, if memory serves, six long-term stable of managing (limited, renewable) resources without top-down control: water management in the Philippines and Eastern spain, forestry in Switzerland and Japan, fisheries in Eastern Canada and so on.

Since these governance arrangements evolved over a long period of time and tend to have no recorded history, Ostrom never gets to observe such an arrangement gel. The book ends with conditions and even “design principles” that increase their chances of success. Highly recommended.