Balaji S. Srinivasan: The Network State
6:53AM Feb 18, 2021
We have in the last session with Robin and Mark together, suggested that as a sort of civilization via the use of volunteer cooperation, we are increasingly can create a preferred hills. That was much of what we discussed in chapter two of the book, which I'll share. Today we'll be moving on to chapter three, and which I'll share after the call. And today, we'll suggest that within a minimal set of rules of volunteerism, we can really lay the groundwork for others to construct and join complex cooperative arrangements in the physical and digital world with other rule sets. And many of you I think, are aware of the talk. And the computer security is the future of law that Mark Miller gave in 1997, which foreshadowed much of the coevolution between the legal world and the cyber world that we see today. And in that talk, he suggested that while legal systems are kind of gradually emerging, and to insulate us from the vet in tooth, and claw laws of biology, and we have increasingly markets, laying the rules of the game with different properties such as civilization emerge. And while legal systems are evolving, they are increasingly competing to establish neutral systems of rules that support cooperation without vulnerability. But I think as we are all aware, they are very imperfect. And for instance, they struggle to insulate us from any of the actors within that increasingly lead to corruption, and cyberspace. However, we have almost perfect realization of a neutral, simple framework of rules. And Mark suggested that we can gradually supplement our legal systems moving from a system of smart contracts, to distributed secure systems to voluntary virtual communities to experiment with new rules that can then translate again into the physical world. And habitat, which chip and who's on the call was working on was mentioned as one of the first virtual communities for experimentation along the way, in which from very simple beginnings, people founded religions, waged wars protested against them and experimented with self government. It's a really great write up, I'm going to share it here as well in the shed. But this talk was 24 years ago. And so since then, a lot of a lot has happened. And we are already part of a bunch of different physical and digital communities that shape much of our lives. And in fact, many of you here on this call are part of them and are actively shaping them, and maybe to name just a few. They're ambitious projects like seasteading, charter cities, startup societies that seek to cover territory to experiment with indoor space. And then even recently, some municipal governments such as Nevada and the US have even found legislation that could enable companies to form governments, we have dirt space. While that's really contested, we have a lot of cyberspace alternatives, emerging from second life to Earth to.io to decentraland, in which one can hold property that corresponds to made up or we will coordinate, we have physical communities that many of you are part of, such as the embassy network, or parallel polars, in which its members experiment with many new governance systems and financial systems. And we have even the first tools for creating transferable legal templates such as you legs, and with Tom Bell emerging. And I think whether or not any of those alternatives become self sustaining, sooner or later, they do already build an increasing menu of different polycentric communities that mesh, the physical, the digital, and by joining different respective hierarchies, and each one, I think we are helping to uphold voluntary interactions and corporate increasingly across circles. And so one really incredible effort that apology has started is the network state, and it already seeks to uphold its members, right, and use the digital to carve out space in the physical world. And the network states seeks to start with a virtual community bootstrap a digital economy that can then be fought to create new opt in policies. And these cloud cities eventually should allow their members to collectively negotiate with existing jurisdictions and crowdfunded territory in the real world. So he's really using the digital to then translate again to the physical. So I do. Thank you so much for joining today. I know that the whole group was very excited to have you here. And thank you very much for taking the time and we're super eager to hear about your product.
All right, well, so I will project in a second. Um, so basically, just as, as kind of a prequel here, you know, I'm actually coming out with a book and an app. And so unrelated to all this, if you go to Balaji s.com, front slash sign up, you can, you know, just sign up for the email, it'll be free and everything, I'll just send out a my book link and app link when that's ready. I think I'm building something which I think of as the first book app, where imagine you had a Bible, which had calls to action embedded in the middle, right, an obvious concept that I don't think anybody has done, where, you know, like the, the to dues and so on, you don't just have the 10 commandments. You have a checklist and you have tasks and so on that are actually within that. I think it's going to be I think it's gonna be cool. So basically, how does every country become a software country? Can you see the screen? Yep. Okay, great. Yes. All right. So just to jump right in, right in, you know, we, we know, the technology allows you to start your own company, that's Google, search your community, Facebook, short, your own currency, Bitcoin, aetherium. And the current, you know, crypto, boom, I think the fourth or the fifth, depending on how you count. And I think eventually allows us to start our own cities and countries. And that's what I'm going to talk about. Right now we are here. And we are going here, in the fundamental construct that think about in this context is something I call the network shape. And the idea is that digital currency is part of a fundamental shift in human organization, really a return from sheer geography to share to dears. So the left you have a nation state, you know, like Russia, where the geography is primary, and the ideology is secondary, you know, the same country was running the intellectual software of communism, and swapped it out for nationalism, you know, but the geography remained constant, and the ideology change. By contrast, on the right hand side, we have what I think of as a proto network state, like Ethereum, where you have a large group of people organized by a shared belief. And the belief is primary, but the geography is secondary, they can mass in China or in Mexico, you have a community of millions of people that are transnational. And they're unified by social networks and cryptocurrencies, and shared belief, as opposed to necessarily shared geography. And the thing about this is, I think that the first step towards actually building a physical network shape is we'll come to is that what we're doing is we're using technology to facilitate collective bargaining with existing governments. Now, I actually created this slide, you know, four or five years ago, and I've talked to these concepts like almost for 10 years, and you're starting to see things like, for example, Wall Street bets, right? Where you have a collection of millions of people that are actually able to exert leverage on existing institutions where it's like a bottom up organization that forms it's something that that has a kind of leverage. I think one of the biggest things conceptual things for everybody here to think about is this concept of crowd choice, which is not the sovereign individual, it's a sovereign collective. Okay. It's a group of people who gets together and who aggregates their preferences to facilitate collective bargain with existing governments to give some examples, Elon Musk got a bunch of people to or a bunch of states to compete for Tesla's factory. That's like protocol choice, where you have 1000s of Tesla employees effectively collectively bargaining with the state with Elon Musk as the you know, union leader.
And, you know, you have, you know, the Free State Project where you have crowd migration, and you have sites like teleport.org, or Nomad list, which are search engines for digital nomads, if you put those three concepts together, right, a the concept of a leader who collected bargains on behalf of his people be get your mass migration for belief, and see new search engines and social networks that are based around mass migration on the basis of ideology, you get this concept of crowd choice, where you can move from what I call 51% democracy to 100% democracy 51%. Democracy is what we currently have, where you have 51% can outvote 49% and impose their will. And then four years later, it switches and now the other 2%, switches sides, and then it switches the other way. And so you have something where it's like a Fosbury flop, it's a minimum consent to operate a state 51% consent. The alternative is something where you go for like 100% consent, because the root of democracy is consensual government, you know, the consent of the government, the consent of the governed is what would legitimize it. So if you could get 100% democracy, that would actually be better than 51%, the way you can get that is with crouches with crowd trace. And again, I'm just giving an overview, I'll go into a lot more detail. I think we can build the semi autonomous startup cities that are permitted by existing governments, if we have enough people that can collectively bargain. And eventually we can get to like the sea sheds and Mars colonies. But step one is just getting people online to group together to think themselves as a people and to start collectively bargaining, even with companies By the way, to get 100 people to click the bargain with the company to get a lower price for masks. Right. And this is something where, you know, you take to seemingly oppose things, you know, which is the progressive concept of unions, and the libertarian concepts of mobility and competitive government and the individual and you, you take this thesis and antithesis, and you have the synthesis of the sovereign collective and I think that's a really important concept. Okay, so what is that's just a preview, let's talk about how we actually go into more detail. So what are the technological drivers of the network shape? Why is sexually feasible today? So, you know, you, you're probably familiar with this book, you know, the sovereign individual where the concept is that technology is the driving force of history. And technology determines what political ideas are feasible at a given time. So this is very different than many political thinkers who, you know, think that the ideas are what's important. In a sense, all these ideas have been floating around forever. And it's just what's feasible at a given time. So in the 20th, century, technology favored centralization, you had mass media and mass production, that's what caused, you know, a few folks be able to, you know, set up these Geiger states of, you know, the US and the USSR and China and whatnot, and in favor of centralization. And if you go both backward and forward in time, it favors decentralization, you go backward in time, let's say 1950 is peak centralization, you know, so you have one telephone company and two superpowers, and three television stations, and like roughly 1950s, you go both backward and forward in time, and you decentralize, you have, you know, lots of power centers, you have the robber barons, you have private currencies, you have private banking. And eventually you go all the way back to 1776. And you have a bunch of pseudo anonymous people who started a new state with the Federalist Papers. And then you go forward in time, and you get the decentralization of media, and the internet and cryptocurrencies. And that's what's happening now, right. And once you think of technology as the driving force of history, you realize that any idea you come up with, you want to actually assess it for its technological feasibility, or look at any institution and ask yourself whether it is still technologically competitive. In many ways. What's happening is, we have these 20th century, 19th century 18th century, paper based institutions that simply were not set up for the internet, very few institutions that predated the internet will survive the internet. So technology is driving force of history. And as again, the cities you're probably familiar with, but the ability to organize violence is changing. If property is cryptography, it doesn't matter if you have a million person army, no amount of violence can solve certain kinds of math problems as Sanjay put it. And just to give you a bunch of headlines, you know, Bitcoin means capital controls are now packet filtering. 3d printing means regulation is now DRM, the state is less capable of intimidating the possession of physical objects from, you know, drones, to prosthetics to 3d printed guns.
quantified self is actually changing the doctor patient relationship, your medical license is becoming your software license, as more and more of the data becomes local, you can swap between different doctors to interpret it via telemedicine, which is finally being legalized in the US, you know, due to the whole COVID shock. And so it becomes something also where a significant amount of interpretation of that data is actually done by algorithms. This is when people tell me Oh, you know, how can computer scientists get to medicine? I say, well, what's the doctor actually doing? They're prescribing lab tests, they're reading charts. Do you know who wrote the code that actually produces those those diagnostic reports? Well, that's increasingly a software CEO that's running the clinical lab or a biomedical co that does a lot of software. And so more and more medicine is actually being taken over by software, you know, who's programming the instruments of, you know, Boston Scientific, or what have you, you know, who's who's programming, the MRIs, or the CAT scans, those are all software engineers. And then you're making the decision, the doctor is making a decision downstream of that. But there's an enormous amount of the actual supply chain that's going into this, which is basically, you know, software as opposed to a government granted medical license, a significant amount of the decisions that are being made in this supply chain, this information supply chain are being made by software engineers, it's not really perceived yet, but it means over time, your medical license becomes your software license, as more and more of your genomic data, other data becomes data local. Okay. Another concept telepresence versus borders, your immigration policy is now your firewall. And again, I gave a talk on a lot of this stuff in 2013. It's it keeps coming coming about, you know, the sovereign individual was even earlier, of course, but you know, Edward Snowden moving across borders for telepresence, you know, the remote economy, you know, which COVID is catalyzed means that work is not just doable, you know, around the corner, but around the world. And, you know, for a long time, I thought what was going to be the step function for remote, you know, because slack and other things are making it better year by year. And I thought it might be VR or something like that. And it turned out to be a cultural step function. And so one of the consequences of that, if you take the Boston Dynamics robots, and you take this, you know, Edward Snowden, this these telepresence kind of things, and you put them together by 2030, or there abouts, maybe sooner, we will be able to step into like a VR suit and just animate a robot on the other side of the world. Right. And I don't know if there's a movie called circus gets, it's actually a pretty good sci fi vision of this. latency is a concern, of course. But you can do compensation, a lot of video game stuff actually be helpful for this, where you can do prediction most of the time, you're not doing something where you immediately jerk like this. So maybe you might not be able to do robot fighting, but a lot of robot walking and other kinds of things, you could probably make it feel very natural. And that changes all kinds of immigration conversations, because you could, you know, teleport in a laborer, for example, who could do tasks and then come back home, and that person wouldn't have to leave their culture, they could stay at home and still earn cryptocurrency or something like that cross borders, they could come and tell it presently. So this changes all kinds of immigration conversations. That means your immigration policy is now your firewall. Another example of GoPros versus police testimony. So body cams mean that video evidence is more trusted than the sworn word of an officer of the state. So the state is just less trustworthy than the network, the network is taking over. Encryption versus search warrants. You know, encryption means that your ability to perform a search is your ability to decrypt a file, right? So you know, the FBI Director lashes out at Apple and Google for encrypting smartphones, you know, going dark on encryption is more powerful than even the federal government social networks versus a jury of peers. So this is a great article from actually almost 12 years ago, where a Facebook status update provide an alibi. And so your most indisputable exculpatory evidence is now online. It's not your peers in the physical world testifying that you didn't do it? It is your status update. It is that cryptographic eventually cryptographically verifiable timestamp. You know, with healthcare.gov, you know, you have the state basically failing, and you have half a dozen technologists out did all of the US government's efforts on healthcare.gov.
Um, with warfare? Okay. There's a great clip over here from 2014, you know, versus the suspected North Korean cyber attack. It says Mr. Obama has been hesitant to use the country's cyber Arsenal to retaliate. Because for fear of North Korean retaliation, right, now, think about that, by the way, you know, what a huge shift versus the war in Iraq, there was no fear that Iraq was going to I mean, maybe there was some paranoid kind of thing. But there was no real fear that Iraq was going to be able to, you know, launch missiles or something against the US. But when it comes to cybersecurity, network security, a small country can defend itself or rather more precisely, everybody can play offense. Defense is, it's harder, but small countries suddenly, you know, start to become able to defend themselves against the aggression of large states, like the US. You know, you think about the Navy's newest warship is powered by Linux. What is happening is gradually, as more and more stuff switches over to drones as more and more stuff sort of robotics, as more and more of these military systems which are being software controlled. It's not about who has the most manpower and material and guns. It's about who has the best engineers who can hack the other side's drones, and when and so the return on having huge numbers of people is diminishing. You know, I like a lot of what Matt Iglesias says, but, you know, I think 1 billion robots will definitely beat 1 billion Americans, I don't think you need lots and lots of people anymore. 12 people from Instagram, were able to defeat I think, the least 12,000 from Kodak. And so I think that the leverage in warfare is changing, the entire logic of warfare is changing the way states are set up is changing, and that the legacy will still be operational for a while. But this is a 10 2030 year kind of process. Maybe shorter, maybe longer attention, it tends to accelerate things. Okay, you put all these pieces together? And what do we get, we essentially get something where a new Leviathan is entering the picture.
The way I think about this is that the most powerful force in the world, the Leviathan is shifting, it is moving away from the state to encrypted computer networks. And the only states that survive are those that become fused with a network that game properties of a state. So are properties of the network. So this is this kind of triptych, this Trinity over here, this progression of life into something I think about a lot, you know, God state network, and the network has an ex Leviathan, the irresistible force hovering above that makes fallible men behave in pro social ways. Okay, so just to understand this, on the left, we have God and 1800s of white and people steal, they didn't steal because God would smite them. The most powerful force was the church. And people actually believed in God in a way that we you know, modern people don't fully understand the thought of God is like an active force in the world, you know, and that's kind of why it was Sort of adaptive to say, Oh, that's a God fearing man, you know, because this powerful man, this powerful person who you know could do things and nobody could watch them or really check them. If they still feared God, if they truly feel Hellfire for doing something wrong outside the view of someone else, their private decision making might be better, they actually really believed in fear that punishment right? So that's why a God fearing man, even if you didn't believe in God, you might want somebody who believed in a traditional view of God, because they might be better behaved. And it's, it's conventional, of course, for atheists to say, Oh, well, where are you saying without God, you wouldn't behave well. And then many of those same atheists will say, What do you You crazy libertarians, you want to remove the stapler? It'll be anarchy, everyone will shoot each other. Right? So that brings us to the next Leviathan as by the late 1800s. You know, enough intellectuals no longer believed in God, you know, Nietzsche wrote God is dead. Well, you needed a new force to keep men in order. And that was a state that's, you know, the, essentially the uniformed police forces, the boys in blue, the military, you know, even if you don't believe in God, you believe in, you know, the guys with guns. And so by the 1900s, why'd you steal because the state would punish them, of course, some of those states themselves would punish you and steal such as, you know, the USSR, so it's the total state. And you know, you have an example in the USSR where the state was against God. You know, like the USSR with dynamite churches, Stalin famously donated dynamited this gigantic church in Russia and turned into a swimming pool. So that people would sort of trample upon, you know, the previous, you know, beliefs of Russians. Later, the Russians after, you know, they shut off communism, rebuilt that church, you know, from photos, which actually really amazing. So that's the state versus God. restage is going head to head hammer and tongs against the prior Leviathan, or you have the 1950s us, which is like a god state hybrid. If you think about what is the Marine Corps at that time, it's for God and country. Right. And you know, forgotten country is basically the god plus tape kind of hybrid. So these leviathans aren't necessarily always exactly opposed to each other, they can be synthesized. And now in the 2000s, we have a new force in the 2000s. Why don't you steal, because the network won't let you either you lack the private key or your social network will have opprobrium or give your program or both, right. And now, whereas in you know, the 1800s most powerful force was the church, or the analog within, you know, another society. In the 1900s, most powerful force the US military, right? Well, in the in the 2000s, the most powerful force is encryption. And I mentioned a god state hybrid. But there's other hybrids, for example, a god network hybrid would be like, the Jewish diaspora prior to Israel, okay, so people who all believe the same thing, they were distributed around the world, in a social network, that was connected by the low bandwidth mechanism of sending, you know, physical mail back and forth and packages, and and that's like, you know, a god network hybrid. And you have a god state network hybrid, if you think about something, you know, this a bad version is the Islamic State, where they use the internet to recruit lots of people to build a religious fundamentalist state, and, you know, the middle of what used to be Iraq. And I think that you also have
now and this is, you know, kind of the topic is you have the network state hybrids, and there's at least two forms. One is the former a little more familiar with, which is China as as a, maybe a bad version in Estonia is a good version, where an existing state gains the properties of effectively a software company, it's as if it's run by a software CEO, and fuses with the network, the good version of that is Estonia with putting all of its services online, x road, and so on, and so forth. Perhaps a bad version is the Chinese total surveillance state where AI is watching everything now, you know, the Chinese government has actually delivered material results for its people. So it's, um, you know, it's, it's something where a lot of folks are loyal to the state because of that, you know, their living standards actually have improved dramatically. And the rule is basically simple, just do not contest the Chinese government anything. But what they've built, where they've got cameras that can track you from room to room is similar to the all seeing all knowing God of old, you know, with AI, with constant monitoring, you may not be a God fearing man, but you are God fearing man in China, because AI will know if you've done something wrong, it has qualities of computation that are beyond any human. So that's like the state fusing with the network. But there's also networks that can take on in our, in my view, state like properties. And so obviously, we're seeing you know, Facebook with lots of users, then you get a higher level of command, not just be a daily active user, but a daily inactive hodler. Right, that's Bitcoin You know, that's cryptocurrency. And by the way, this is also something where people, you know, I think just everybody's prone to kind of thinking that the this revolution is similar to last. Aaron says, Oh, you know, cryptocurrencies, well, who uses them? Well, with social networks, the the knock of them wells, oh, everyone's using them but they're not making money. Right. So with social networks the use predated the monetization. And with cryptocurrencies the monetization predated the use. In the most literal sense, they made money first, before getting users now they've got 100 something million users, it's going to get to a billion, it's very clear. But so you know, the next big thing never looks quite like last just as a digression. So we have these networks that have got communities and they've got currencies, but how they get geographies, cities and countries all come to this point. Okay, so encryption is now the most powerful force in the world. And the thing is that it is the basis for a new theory of property rights, you need to go back to Locke and the legitimate state is the one that protects property rights. Now, I'll name a state that doesn't and that San Francisco, and I'll name a state that does, and that's Bitcoin and aetherium. Right. And so that's really interesting, you would much rather have your property on the Bitcoin or Ethereum blockchain, then under the tender mercies of the government of San Francisco, which will allow 30,000, heartbreaking zere and you can't leave anything outside property rights are simply not guaranteed by the state, you know. And encryption is not just about property rights and protects freedom of association, you know, you can do meetups communication, hardware development, software development, crowdfunding, you know, remote control of drones and robots meetups and territory scattered by robots. So the full scope of what it means to have truly encrypted networks communicating peer to peer, I don't think people have fully thought through.
So you know, the rise of networks yet, you know, with encryption is the foundation of a new system of property rights, we can project how things are going to play out. So you know, we have virtual worlds of digital currencies, you know, VR and cryptocurrency that's an obvious thing, virtual reality plus virtual currency, because you have people in this virtual world who are from the US and Brazil and India and Japan, and so on, and they're not going to have their traditional currencies there. You don't want to do some silly interbank conversion every single time someone pays each other in the game. So the game currencies become virtual currencies become transactional currencies, this is already happening. This an obvious thing where, you know, all the people who were working to make World of Warcraft, gold are actually now earning real money. It's funny, there's a farside cartoon from the 80s, which is sort of mocking the idea that this kid will grow up to play video games for life. It's got classified ads, it's like, you know, save the princess, you know, $15 an hour, are you great at jumping over roombas, you know, $3 an hour. And it's a, it's parents who are looking at those classified ads. And it's, it's meant to be a joke that, of course, this kid is not going to have a job playing video games and in 10 years, or 20 years when they grow up. But actually they do, because eSports is a big thing. And actually many, many jobs are becoming gamified. So virtual worlds virtual currencies. And I think, you know, people will talk about the consumerization of enterprise, they'll be the gamification of enterprise, not just with emojis, but little micropayments, little crypto credentials earned for many kinds of task completions. Okay. So third is the spread of cloud community. So transnational associations, Trump local ties, you know, our states have failed, you know, in the in the West, in particular, I should say, the state has failed in the sense of whether you're talking public health, talking public schools, police, fire, you know, property rights, basic personal security, power, you know, it's just total collapse. And, you know, it's not like when I say that, it's something where you're just at the beginning of that you essentially have the generation of people, you know, my friend, you, Sean Long's talking about this generation of people who thought about and built things like public infrastructure, without, you know, turning everything into a political game. Those folks are dying and are leaving the scene. And you just have a whole group of folks who just inherited a society, they could never have built, right, they could never have founded it. They could never have created it, because it's, it's too hard to build anything from scratch. And if you can't build something from scratch, you also don't know how to modify or upgrade existing systems. They're just fragile. And they're particularly fragile when a new shock, like COVID comes in. And people just flail. So I think, you know, I was warning some of my friends that like, you know, what's in San Francisco is also going to come to Austin and Miami because Austin had adopted San Francisco's homeless policies, for example. And now they've managed to bring in California's you know, power, power outages and whatnot. And, you know, probably the fires and other kinds of things, you know, natural disasters. All of those types of things are in part just a function of a poor state. You know, bad government that can't plan. And I think we're gonna see more and more of that in the West. So as the state feels as it becomes a collective that doesn't deliver anything to you, but asks much of you, I think transnational associations Trump local ties,
though, I will say this, I think, you know, within, you know, Austin or San Francisco or something, if you wanted to reform the state, what you do is you start a local media company, meaning basically a blog, right, you just crank out a bunch of articles, even at $10 per customer acquisition, that's only about less than $10 million to acquire every single person in San Francisco. And then what you do is used to organize a parallel shadow government online, a social network, that's not just a Higgledy Piggledy network, but a social tree with a hierarchy, as basically the shadow Mayor of San Francisco, and a bunch of shadow folks underneath are the CTO and so on and so forth. And you just LARP, right? You this network union delivers goods to its people, and you join the network union, and you are part of this hierarchy. And you just live action roleplay it as if it was real thing. And as it gained scale, it's able to deliver more and more goods by convincing people rather than compelling people. And of course, there's certain goods that you can only deliver with coercion, like police forces, and so and so forth. But it's remarkable how far you can get with convincing people. This is not a corporate context, this is a social context. And you don't quote run for mayor in the sense of wait for this sort of, you know, Kabuki two or four year election cycle where there's all these personal attacks, you start building up the backlinks today, where your community organizing, and you build this up online, and you become a quote, community leader. I think this is the future, we're used the network to organize outside the state. And that's a common theme here. Okay. So as you start building these, you know, communities, these network unions, these social trees, as opposed to just a social graph, there's an organized hierarchy. As you start building these both locally and nationally, the cloud starts taking physical shape. So those online groups that are delivering useful goods online to their people, for example, tutorials, for example, just boosting people's launches, or product announcements, or whatever on social media, you know, like helping promote their their new initiative, helping defend them when they're attacked by other folks, those those groups online, start meeting up offline, and being a bit larger, larger scale. And what this does, you know, it like 10 people getting together in a city with 10, different Ubers, coming to a dinner is on a continuum with 10,000 people creating a new city and meeting there. Okay, and we know this from Burning Man, you can see that 100,000 people can come together in a day. And this also shows by the way that there's actually a third axis, people often think of this as NIMBY versus yimby. But it's really NIMBY versus EMB versus what I call him B. And the reason is, the NIMBY says, Don't build anything in the NBA says build vertically. But there's also hemby, which says build horizontally, and build horizontally outside of the context of cities, as cities used to be built, where you could just roll up an RV on a plot of land, and that's your new home. And you have the MVP of what a building is you just radically reduced the startup costs of starting a new city. They're the rules are basically just someone has a private plot of land, and they just set the rules. And that's going to be just one person who decides whether you can build something or not. Ideally, if it's out in unincorporated land, whether it's Wyoming or someplace that is actually very easy to build. And when you do that, you know, like a Burning Man sell thing. Guess what you can just horizontally spread sprawl, maybe actually good. Why is sprawl good, it radically reduces building costs, you don't need to do all this stuff to build steel and glass and so on vertically, you can just spread out horizontally, and you can iterate, you can move an entire city block around here. And then you you grew up over time. And this is how, of course, cities arose originally didn't have skyscrapers in the 1800s. When all these cities were settled, we're kind of going back to the future.
And what that does is it means that people now start to organize in the cloud, organize these hierarchies, take physical shape. And now once that, that happens, once that process happens more and more, you know, starting the cloud and on land, you know, meeting the cloud meetup on land, once that becomes more and more routine, and you need actually apps around this because bringing 10,000 people to a location is harder than bringing 10. Now you can start doing things where those 10,000 people can negotiate with states, they can say, hey, we've got 10,000 software engineers, we will all come to Miami, if you legalize, you know, like like this COVID vaccine, for example, you say it's the sanctuary city for versus the FDA, or you say, Hey, you know, make this a crypto capital, which is actually already happening with France as far as is doing and this concept of collective bargaining with governments. We know it works. AWS, Amazon did it with HQ to, you know, with just 25,000 people, New York and other places were putting in bids. And York is 27 million people, why would they care about 25,000? That's only point 1% of the population? Well, yeah, but it's probably like one or 2% of the revenue that comes in, and it's got knock on benefits. So maybe it's like five or 10%, if it compounded there. And so a relatively small number of people can have enormous leverage if they collectively bargain. I think that's an important insight that a lot of put a consider ideological libertarians Don't think about, they don't think about the collective. In Congress, a lot of progressives are sort of blind to the idea that states are dysfunctional, though, they're always into the collective. And I think putting both those insights together, is how you get binocular vision, you know, rather than just having one color of the spectrum on its own. Okay, so combining all of these, we can start doing once you start collective bargaining with governments, is, you have states that start to compete for citizens or groups of citizens. And you join various when I call these network unions, which are social networks that are organized like unions, which have clear leaders, but you can opt in, right? So basically an influencer, an online influencer today is kind of person that becomes a leader of a network union, you stand for something, you have some beliefs, you have an opinion on how society should be organized, you have followers, you hopefully have some management capability or a friend who can manage, you organize them into a hierarchy, and you have just digital tasks, do he, this is what I'm doing next, by the way, so you can sign up for the book and the app when it comes out. And if you guys want to do your own, you can do that. And there's basically three paths, right you can a be a citizen of an existing, you know, state, that's fine be you join one of these new network unions, and maybe found your own network CSL come to, or see, you actually found your own network state, and you become, you know, the CEO of a new network state, you found your network union. So, um, in order to make all of this happen, in order to make this migration feasible, people need to be able to move. And an important part of that is the need to actually become to become financially independent. So I'll get to that part in a second. So the thing about the network state, the reason that it's, it's coming about, where you have these cloud formations that take physical shape that crowdfund cities, and then then states and so on, is that smartphone mediated mass migration is going to apply the same pressure to countries that software has applied to companies. So if every company is a software company, basically the best companies are run by software savvy leaders, if they fail to adapt their customers leave. Every country becomes a software country, the best countries are run by software savvy leaders, and they fail to adapt and their citizens leave. Right? So you think of actually exit as the most important, right? In fact, actually, if you go look at the UN Declaration on human rights in I think 1948, it talks about the right to emigrate as fundamental right? as distinct from the right to immigrate, you know, you want to allow someone to leave your house unless they're in, you know, in their in prison or something like that. But for them to, to immigrate to come into your house? Well, you might have something to say about that, right? So right to emigrate, the right to leave is a fundamental right, that's probably more important than the right to merely vote, the Soviet Union granted the right to vote, it had all kinds of procedural nonsense about it, but it didn't grant the right to leave. And, you know, the right to leave is,
is something where, you know, that that's actually more fundamental. That's why Jackson vanik was put into place to shame the Soviet Union into allowing some of its people leave at 1976 Jackson vanik. So this is going to cause By the way, a new form of Interstate conflict, it's interstate competition. And normally, you know, with geopolitics, the states that compete are the states that are geographically near each other, you know, like they are fighting over, you know, a mountain range or something like that. Now, just like Google News, put every newspaper in competition with every other newspaper in 2002, the remote economy, and, you know, the ability to be remote and work from anywhere, is putting every city and every country into competition with every other city and country. Folks, like nurse Suarez to figure this out. He's a software savvy leader, he'll be pulling folks in, it may turn out to be like Google knows, where, you know, essentially, most local newspapers just died. They were simply not set up to compete in this environment. And the very, very best just pulled in all of the talent. It's possible. That also happens where you have, you don't need 10% of the world to be like Mayor Suarez, you need 10 and those folks will just suck up tons and tons of talent from other places. And those other places won't be able to, you know, adapting time that's a possible outcome. We will see what happens. So that's the fundamental driver immigration will form network states and also reform existing states and it is because of so This is becoming possible because these encrypted networks are forming, because these people can kind of mass migrate together. Okay, so the concept of crowd truss mobile is making this more mobile, if you think about every kind of technology for everything we're doing, the technology's cutting the obligate tyst land, for example, a social network, you know, even the question, where are you? That is a very modern question, if you went and looked in old books, right, in the year 1700, why would someone say Where are you? Like, maybe they'd send a letter to somebody, and you know, but they kind of know the addressing the other side. So they know the guy is basically in this in this place? Where are you is a very, very modern question. And because where are you I'm on the other side of the table from you, okay, you know, like, usually just ask that when someone's in person. So one of the things that social networks has done, which people don't usually think about is, it's reduced the cost of moving because your friends don't even know that you've moved unless you've announced, this is completely different from the world that many of us grew up in, in the 80s, and the early 90s, where, like, if you move, you would fall out of touch with people now, the only way you fall out of touch with people is if you just decide not to contact them, they're always available, you know, or you block them or something. And you go down the list. And what many people don't really think about are things like, you know, for example, we talked about remote work, but video games have enabled Remote Play, right, you don't normally think about that. But just the fact that you can do it online that you can play video games online, well, that means that they are remote capable play, and they've got billions of dollars that have gone into them. So you don't have to socialize with a zoom coffee, which sort of an artificial thing, you can all play just call of duty or fortnight together, right, which a lot of companies are starting to do. And you can just go down the list of all these things, and everything they just put on the internet has just removed the tide obligate title, location. And I've got dozens and dozens of examples of these from, you know, accessing any any entertainment from anywhere to digitizing your bookshelf, to, you know, more futuristic things like drone delivery, which is actually operational, by the way in China, you know, like, drones will come to your hotel room door with snacks and stuff, you know, especially in COVID, a lot of that stuff has been accelerated. So all these things, you know, mobile is making this more mobile. And, you know, translation, for example, that's going to come online being built into phones where you can speak to people and they can hear in the foreign language, all these things. You know, if mobiles make us more mobile, well, law is also a function of latitude and longitude. And so as you change your x and y, you change your governing law because you know, tax rates, income tax, property, tax, state, gasoline, tax, sales, tax, all those things vary by geography. So you put those together. If mobile's make us more mobile and laws changing laws, the function of latitude and longitude is going cheaper to change the laundry, which you live.
Okay, so as you change your x&y, you change your governing law, not just moving between states, but moving between countries, this also applies internationally. And we haven't really thought about this, you know, like the remote economy is now pushing this up. I mean, you guys are talking about this a lot of folks in this community, but most of the world has not thought about this. And what we need to do is make the moral case for it as something which is about individual autonomy, but also about groups having collective self determination. And, you know, we make the first case, we don't really make the second one. And the second one starts to become harder to argue with, because you have 1000, people who are in one voice, who are pushing back against some institution that would try to de legitimize their desire for self determination. And at first, that might sound silly, oh, you're a people are you? Well, you just grouped in a social network, you know, a few days ago or a few weeks ago, but once it becomes a few years ago, and there's a consistent kind of culture that's formed there becomes harder to dismiss, you know, many ways. You know, religion is just a cult that stood the test of time. That's, that's, that's probably true. And so, you know, for folks to take you seriously in terms of your aspiration for national self determination, you're going to need to show some staying power. But over time, if you're consistent enough, if your evangelists stick enough, people will capitulate. That's the story of Bitcoin. That's the story of aetherium. You know, we're seeing essentially folks give in to this stronger, smarter, more, more convincing, more convinced social network that actually has a sense of what it wants to to build and what it wants to bring to the world. And so don't underestimate that power of collective belief. This is one of the biggest things I think a lot of libertarians have a blind spot on. Okay, so last question. latitude longitude. As you change direction, when you change your governing law. This applies internationally and this applies to collectives. And it's becoming easier to coordinate crowds online, billions of people are now familiar with social networks, messaging apps. This is this great post, which shows you know, Facebook, the nations of world Facebook, China, India, WhatsApp, etc, etc. and setting up a million person social network is really not that hard nowadays, you all know folks who have done it, it's actually remarkable the scale of that. We don't really perceive it because we see a number on a screen we don't see an auditorium With all of your million users in one place, we're gonna see that with VR. So VR will make these crowds tangible. They'll make it make people realize how many folks you can see at the same time in VR. And that actually starts to build kind of a national identity online as another piece of the proto network state. So all the prerequisites are in place for t bow starting, if you think about t bows, assumptions from the team, our model of you know, 50 years ago, all the practices in place to gather group online and cheaply move it to a new location, if you look at his prerequisites. And that's what enables Croucher specific collective bargaining agreements, take 1000 workers at 100 k per year, aggregate the preferences and start trying to negotiate with mayors and governors. Okay, so now what you can do. Now this is applicable to some of you, not to others. This is more geared for maybe folks the beginning of their careers. But you know, anybody can become financially independent by maximizing your personal runway. And you know, in 2005, the playbook for becoming financially independent was come to Silicon Valley found a company raise VC, Paul Graham wrote stuff on exactly this. But the 2021 playbook, really, this is 2017 playbook, when I first gave this particular slide is leave Silicon Valley, don't found a company and don't raise VC, instead, just get a remote work cable job, save money, and now your personal runway goes up. And the reason for this is that
it's way easier to reduce your burn rate by five x, increase your net worth by five x, if you're willing to move to the middle of nowhere, and cut your expenditure and just read Kindle. And you know, like, live on like not super tasty, but super healthy food, like you know, tomatoes and you know, fresh fruit or whatever. Well, fresh fruit can be kind of expensive, but you know what I mean? Like, like, you're not, you're not spending a lot you're you're you're basically reducing your consumption to a level of gratitude. Well, you go for making, let's say, 120 in San Francisco and spending 100 k of it a year and having no savings, to making 120. But only spending 30 or 40 a year in Bali, Indonesia and having a better quality of life. And so long as you deliver your stuff on time, and maybe have a small community, a co working group that that helps you give the social support that some people need. So as you deliver your stuff in time, well now you're banking 70 or 80 K a year and your expenditure is only 40 K a year. So every single year you work, you're you're building up one or two years of time off, right? That's time off that you can use to start a company, your angel investing in yourself, you're becoming financially independent and becoming financially independent. You know, here's just a basic calculation on this, you know, if you you know, reduce your expenditure, becoming financially independent building a personal runway, the number of years you can go without working also makes you ideologically independent, you know, there's tools like Nomad list and teleport that will let you do this. They're basically search engines for you know, like finding places to live, you know, co founded teleport, we sold that a few years ago. And the thing though, is that financial independence is also personal and ideological independence. You know, if there was a scene from Batman, you know, but but we downvoted you on social media, right? And, you know, you can just respond to the bane voice, you know, you think that gives you power over me, right? And the reason is that if you have financial independence, the the passing crowd can't economically cancel you, you can just give the square jawed Chad Yes, you know, and they'll lose their focus in a day or two, you know, because they're just looking for some target to attack for, you know, it's like the Coliseum except it's on Twitter. And you'll go, you know, hiss in dismay. But they'll move on to the next thing. And nobody remembers anything that happened like a month or two ago, what was the scandal of August 2020? Who remembers right, like, you know, what, what about like, March 2019? Who knows, right? Like, someone got canceled then, right? But no one's passionate about it, because it's all about the surprise more than the event itself, right. And so if you have the economic cushion, which anybody can build by cutting consumption, right, if you had the economic cushion, you can write out this right. Okay. So, um, let's see. Now, in summary, right, technological factors have changed the balance of power, mass migrations of individuals will discipline states, should we say you should get financially independent, which you can do by cutting consumption? And I've got much, much more on this, and a better version of everything, but you can go to Bob Jessa comm and sign up there. Okay. And I'll send out, thanks.
Thank you. Wow, okay. That was, that was a lot of digest. But I think people have been keeping a tab. Thank you so much. I'm going to just kick off the questions and you tell us when you have to leave, it's totally fine to be on the hour, but I'll just kick it off. And then and then we see how far we get. And you had the first question and you want to unmute yourself and make perhaps a few words about who you are and
your perspective. Yeah, I'm
Alan Carr. I'm a real technology Bits and Bytes kind of geek. I have a PhD in astronomy, but I'm not been playing with computers for 40 years? My overall impression is I think you're, you're under estimating the importance of physical. You know, my I have my online community, we've got my network state, and the mayor of San Francisco says, homeless people can camp out on my front yard. My network state, I mean, how does my network state give me any recourse?
Great question. And the answer is, reserve posts for call Diem, right? You know, for colds whole thing is you can just deconstruct anything. And you know, if enough people will say something, you can just change the software in people's heads. And what I've realized is actually, you can let me give a somewhat longer answer that the short, short answer a short answer is, your network state, your people in the cloud can collectively exert leverage on that local government to either shame them into providing police forces or eventually start a city of their own. So I actually do believe the physical is very important. You're right, that we can't get reproduced very easily remotely. I guess you could do mail order, you know, IVF, or something, but it's not that easy. So you're absolutely right, the physical is important. I think the key concept for me is that polities, are a social technology, which is installed in our brains, and networks, computer networks allow us to organize and say what society we want to build, and then we can materialize that offline.
That's no good, there will be there will be other people putting pressure to allow homeless people to camp on my front yard.
Sure. And so so what you I think what happens is, we want to do is move faster escape things. You want to basically think about exit and mobility as the most important thing. And what this means is reducing consumption, reducing possessions, reducing, like, like, the bigger the house you have, the more stuff you have, the less leverage you have. Mobility is leverage against the state.
Okay. I don't buy it. But I'm an old guy. Maybe I'm just not seeing it. Okay.
Thanks, Alan. Next one up, we have Chris Webber and Chris perhaps, towards about you as though he can put you into perspective.
Yeah, so I, I work on decentralized social networks. And actually, my present work is on moving the work that we've done on decentralized social networks, such as mastodon, chloride, etc, to being able to move into virtual worlds type spaces. So I do think a lot about the governance type structures that this might enable, and especially experimental, cooperative, low, basically, like a low risk of experimentation, virtual worlds, where you can try some of these things out and see if they actually work. One of the things about as in terms of replacing physical governments that we have the traditional state, that I think is an interesting challenge is that if we look at what's been done, as in terms of the particular roles that markets and democracy have traditionally placed side by side, where markets allow for organic and distributed a organization that doesn't take a top down approach. But democracy in terms of one person, one vote, can help prevent against runaway effects of plutocracy, where it is, it's possible for those who have accrued so much power to basically just stamp out everyone else who is you know, at a certain be below a certain threshold, right? So if we've done a good job of importing, the network's takes us to the market type systems into our networks. But we haven't seen that those types of importing of traditional democratic systems, is it possible to import them? Or are we going to find ourselves just incredibly vulnerable to civil attacks, if we even try to bring them into the network, because of the way that it's very easy and cheap, often to create online identities? In that you're not necessarily kind of, let's say immersed in meatspace in the way that we've used to be able to set up the one person one vote type scenarios. So sorry, if that was a bit rambley.
No, so let me let me actually so you actually helped me articulate something which is democracy is vote with your ballot and capitalism is vote with your wallet. But one of the things I argue for is radically increasing our conceptual weight on a third force which is vote with your feet. Okay, and it is the right if you think of these three sliders, right foot with ballot, the wall vote with feet, you have different kinds of governance systems that are set up to accommodate each of these right, and all three of these are actually factors in for example, The American political context, if you if you have a graph, for example, which is the cost to vote in this fashion and the effectiveness or efficacy of the vote, in terms of probability of changing the the law under which you live. So let's say you vote with your ballot, then you have a very low cost, it's like an hour or something to fill out the ballot, maybe go down to the polling station, whatever. And a very low probability of changing the law under which you live, it's like one over n to be the tie breaking vote, and so on, it's more symbolic than anything else for most people, then you can go up this a little bit, and you can say, Okay, I'm going to make a political donation, I'm going to make 20 $300, or whatever the limit is, are going to donate to a pack, and you're now voting with your wallet. And that is probably somewhat more effective than voting with your ballot, you know, the exact number of votes per dollar as gauche as that term sounds, something that every candidate calculates, and that the Washington Post occasionally publishes on like, how many votes Do you buy per dollar with this donation, as probably more than one, so you're buying 10, or 100, or whatever with your campaign ad purchase or indirect campaign ad purchases. So that's a slightly larger chance of changing the law under which you live, but it's still fractions of a percent, you know, fractions of fractions really. And then you have the third which is vote with your feet. And now that's the most expensive that may cost you not a few $1,000, but $10,000, or more to like, migrate, right, and pack all your stuff, and so on and so forth. But it's by far the most efficacious and changing the law under which you live, which is say it's like 100% chance that you change the law, because you're going from, you know, California to Texas, or from you know, Texas to Singapore, or from you know, Miami to or New York to Miami or from Oklahoma to Switzerland, right you, you you know what the law is on their side, you're actually purchasing the law with your with your move. And there's two things that technology can do here. The first is you can reduce, we can reduce the cost, we can reduce the barriers to exit. And we're already doing that if you saw my like, kind of 40 things, which I'll make all this nice. By the way, I've got tons more content, Allison has seen much more content, this actually isn't even my best talk, I've got a lot more. So at least i think i think i've got better stuff, you'll have to be the judge, technology can do it to at least two really important things. First, you can reduce the cost of exit, because nothing that says it has to be 10s of 1000s of dollars, you can have really cheap moving services, you can have digitization of your books, you could have you know, for example, clothes that are in a new place, you can really push digital nomadism harder than we have, you know, and I think COVID is going to do that. And the second way you can do it is with when you start talking about collective bargaining with governments, you might be able to get into the golden upper left corner where there's a very low cost to vote in a very high probability of changing the law under which you live. That is to say, if you can get 10,000 50,000 people in San Francisco to credibly commit, they're all going to crowd migrate to Miami, unless the local government changes something. Well, I mean, San Francisco government is completely, you know, like, they're not responsive. So it probably won't work there. But for a bit, let's say, Austin, the Austin Mayor might be actually concerned that a bunch of his citizens were going to move. Now you might say, why would the mayor care because they're still be in power, even if the citizens move? Who cares? Well, the thing is that eventually they'll realize that they'd be king of nothing. Right? If you if you're best citizens, if you're artists in your, you know, computer scientists and so on all just find the city unlivable. And leave, that's a huge black eye for you, that is a continuous vote of no confidence, right? Which can be done at any time, as opposed to, rather than doing a recall and this whole 20th century model of like a waterfall, where it's this process and so on, you just snap vote of no confidence, boom, get a bunch of people online, give a list of demands, and if they're not met, move, right. And that's actually operating at the speed of the network. And so it's by including that third force of physical immigration. Right. I think this also addresses Alan carps point, hopefully, which is the physicality is critically important, but you can do is sort of digitize the, the credible threat of moving right. And that also gets you leverage, and that reduces the cost of actually, you know, changing the political outcome. So let me pause there, get my thoughts. Okay.
Thank you. And next one up, we have Justin.
Hi, I'm Josh. I'm a PhD student at Oxford and see us and also runs something called the meta Governance Project. The I guess. Okay, so there's, I guess I two small questions or two points. One, first is there's actually there was a talk by a constitutional lawyer named Ilya Soman. And he was, there was a couple years ago, he wrote a book that I'll link to in the charts called democracy and political ignorance. And it actually in that book, he makes like a very similar arguments to what you're making here, which is that you know, Why will kind of smaller government? Or how do I say like, what's the kind of issue with nation states, it's partly like he claims political ignorance. And the solution to that is essentially voting with your feet. Right? So he's making a connection between this idea of the fact that like, a lot of people like voting these national elections, but they don't really know that much. They're much more suited to making decisions where they're like voting with their feet, because they're more incentivized to do certain kinds of research. That's an argument for smaller governments in certain ways where he makes that connection. But I'm kind of curious one, like, Are people really incentivized to do like to inform themselves in these online settings? in mice kind of research and sort of like experiences that typically, like, there's so many decisions? In these online communities, people don't really participate in like the governance features of the existing sort of like networks, like Bitcoin or aetherium? We're only a very small subset of them. So like, in what sense? is this? Like, really? You know, are we really pioneering new things? Are people actually going to actually participate? The second question that
Well, let me let me, let me answer that one quick, short before I forget. So um, so basically, what you're saying is, would people be informed consumers of these numbers dates? Yes. Okay. And my answer to that is, I mean, you know, as long as you have a lot of choices, and I mean, some of these will be very visible, right? Like, in the sense of, they'll be skyscrapers. Sorry, it'll be skyscrapers coming out of the Midwest, you know, in a place, that was nothing, and you build it like Bernie, because Bernie man shows that we're basically 10,000 x, or more, less effective than we could be. It says that you can build 100,000 person city in a day in San Francisco's building, like one unit of housing a day or something like that, right? So. So the thing is that the proof is in the pudding, and our audio visual system is actually pretty good at determining tangible outcomes. So that's what I would say. Now, with that said, is if somebody doesn't trust their own judgment, you can you're effectively doing the liquid democracy thing where you're asking this smart friend's opinion and saying, Hey, is this a good one to go to? Is this a good one to go to? But um, yeah, I think so long as there's choice of leaders, I'm not saying everyone needs to make their own choice on everything. But I want them to choose to not have a choice. You don't say like, you're sort of choosing the, the, the, what's called the prefix a menu, as opposed to all a cart, right? Your biscuits, the Kamikaze menu, right? Like where the chef choose everything you choose not to choose? That's great. Go ahead, knock yourself out. But the macro, you must retain the consent to essentially give power of attorney to somebody else. Where's your second question?
Second one is, I guess I should own up to the comments in the chat. So it's, I'm referencing someone like Barlow's original declaration, and kind of a follow up piece. Asking like, okay, so you'd kind of declared the internet as an independent state 20 years ago? Why hasn't it actually happened?
It's happening. I think, I guess,
what's changed since like, the original 996 version of this? Well, that makes me think it's so good. To know just what makes you think it's gonna, it's gonna happen this time, this idea of like, it's kind of like a cyber kind of libertarian ish state on the internet.
I mean, so well, first is a lot of the things. Alright, let me put this. I've seen a lot of Barlow stuff was actually very good and very prescient. I think insofar as there be any critique of it, I'd say, you know, there's the Hegelian dialectic, right thesis, antithesis, synthesis, right. So thesis, you have the state, antithesis, you have the network synthesis is the network shape. And you have right states to take on properties and networks, and networks to take on properties of states. So simply him being bold enough to put that out there, as like, the total opposite of this is often in that fusion, that you can find some interesting where you take the good pieces of each, you know, for example, like just it shouldn't say a prosaic example. But, you know, Coinbase is something which Why did it do so? Well? Well, it took Bitcoin, you know, the, the trustless, digital currency, and it said, we're going to be the most trustworthy name and digital currency. Right? Where it took the thesis of, hey, you're going to trust your bank and then to the system of digital currency, we don't need to trust anyone and say, Okay, we're going to be the Bank of digital currency, the trustworthy entity in this space. And I think folks who think very ideologically, it's actually useful to identify polls, but folks who think pragmatically can make blends and not just take the pure primary colors of red, green and blue, but actually make paintings out of them. I mean, this is an obvious point, you know, Chinese culture has cons of yin and yang and you know, what have you right? Like, this is something many cultures have, but Basically, you know, the concept of a balance. And, and a combination of things is one of the biggest things that American culture has recently lost us used to be something where, you know, folks would quote, talk, talk across the aisle, there was a recognition that there was something to offer from different schools of thought that you'd blend together. But where you do see this, by the way, is SEO, right? SEO, you realize that, you know, many libertarian founders end up rebuilding the state, you know, you come in as CEO, and you have this strong will this founders, like screw the bureaucracy, I hated being told what to do, I'm going to do it my way, etc. And as you start, if you're successful, many people fail, of course. But if you're successful, and you start building up a revenue model, and it starts working, and you start getting customers, and you start getting employees, well, as you go from one person to 10 people to 100 people, the 100, and first person who joins, wants more structure, they don't want to figure out everything for themselves. The whole reason they're not founding the company is they wanted to come into something with more structure. And so they want rules they want to bureaucracy. And what you find is that you switch over from burn rate to bus number as the most important figure you're monitoring, and you start up with the burn rate where every single person has to be incredibly unique and pulling their own weight, because you're trying to minimize burn rates have to be super unique killers. And then you get to a multicellular organism where you flip over and you need to actually minimize, or rather maximize a bus number, a number of people can get hit by a bus, so the company doesn't die. And now every person cannot be unique. If they're really unique and indispensable, then if they go away, your company dies. And so a CEO, you actually need to make yourself and all of them dispensable. And this is what causes the alienation of people from their jobs within these larger companies. And and then eventually the cycle of life begins and a founder leaves and start something new. And so in that context, you have the, you know, the progressive, the conservative, the libertarian, various schools of thought, all interplaying. And I think that folks who think too ideologically don't mix us together. And so the john Perry Barlow thing is a very important component. But it's like, okay, it's electromagnetism, we also have gravitation. And we have, you know, other forces, and we put them all together, right?
Thank you very much. Okay, W. David, you're next. Oh,
I've unmuted myself. I was thinking about the physical element that somebody else raised. About 47 years ago, I spent some time interacting with fellow libertarians in the Los Angeles area. And it eventually occurred to me that I've been visiting a village of about 100 people spread over an area perhaps 50 miles across, that's socially speaking, that set of people was a village, this was pre internet. But nonetheless, there were other communication modules. And I'm wondering if that might be the best solution to the problem of physical interaction. And I was thinking, especially in the context of universities or colleges, that the actual education is something you can get pretty easily in other ways. And I think a large part of what a college is providing is a whole bunch of young adults interested in interacting with each other flirting with each other, maybe finding a mate, maybe getting into arguments, maybe setting up a future partnership, stuff like that. And I'm wondering if you could construct that by having a network college as it were, where everybody was living within, you know, 20 miles of each other in multiple different legal jurisdictions. And using the network plus the fact that at 20 miles was easy enough to have a party on Saturday night. And more generally, I think, I think hybridizing as it were, physical interaction with virtual interaction may be a fairly powerful tool.
Yeah, I think so. I mean, I think also, the unit COVID has just killed universities, and they're, they're not going to be the same after this. And so I think we have a real shot at unbundling a lot of those features that you mentioned, that are all there, and then maybe re bundling them into something. I think that yeah, it's, I think there's several different experiments on this, you know, this is not exactly college, but I funded something called kibow.com k IBO comm which is basically gives people a van that they can live out of, and they just have base stations around the US and you drive back and forth and there's base stations that you can kind of be at and you basically are going back to like a nomadic peripatetic life and you can work from anywhere you know, the kind of person wants to see the Rockies today and be in Vegas tomorrow. Maybe see some friends in Austin the next day and so on and so forth. That's like almost like a gap year like touring Europe kind of thing. Not exactly University, but it's similar. And you can certainly meet lots of people you know, your your Tinder is now geo unlocked, you know, a different phase of life for me, but but for some young folks might be interesting. So yeah, so David, I do think that structures like that I'm not sure if that specific one will work, or rather, I'm not sure if that's going to be the only one that will work. But I think we can try that as well as others.
If David Britton next,
yeah, it's a it's a compliment that I am just I have been typing away and have 12 points here. And I'll just stick them in the chat and just see how far I can go before Alison proves that that actual palpable, virtual reality exists by reaching out and smacking me. There's an awful lot that's wonderful here like the right to leave. That's absolutely important and cutting consumption can save us. And yes, banks are refusing to look at their fundamental business. But simply liberating criticism to citizens to leave and reassociate is important for the reasons you described. But enemies of the Western enlightenment, have been exploiting exactly this thing. And this is what happens to every revolution in what we can know what we can see and what we can pay attention to going back to the printing press glass lenses, always the worst uses come first, and it's happening to us now and enemies have encouraged incantatory Nuremberg rallies where people in vast numbers leave they leave and self organize exactly as we were told they should do in Snow Crash and all the Bruce Sterling and Cory Doctorow and even I in earth in existence, I talk about self organizing networks. And I'm going to link you to David Ron felts books about this. He's done a lot of theoretical work on this, but the fact is, that most of these incantatory Nuremberg rallies have clustered in clades that chant incantations more primitive, in fact, free than almost any Cult of the past, and are just as immune to refutation. And your model by itself recreates feudal fiefdoms of devotion to the best hypnotizes that is what's going to happen, because that's exactly what we are seeing happen. So that we have
on David, go ahead,
cat cage show. So I'd say three or four things. One is, arguably, we've been under the best hypnotizes for a long time in the sense of mass media, or, you know, what have you, right? And so like, there's, there's always storytelling is how any society comes together. And you can frame it negatively or frame it positively. I think, you know, let me give something to your point, though. And let me see if I can relate it to one of my one of my fundamental laws of physics, which is, the internet increases variance. So there's more upside and more downside and everything. And the that's a phenomenological observation. I think the underpinning of that is that the internet disintermediate it's sort of removes mediators, so removes moderators, so removes moderation, because every node can connect to each other p2p. So the centralizing systems that we're enforcing mediation, moderation, mediocrity, each of which are terms that have a different connotation and tone to them. You know, something like moderation is good, but mediocrity is bad, right? Each of those things, these decentralized entities, now all the nodes can just, you know, connect to each other outside of them. And so you get, as you said, some clusters that are terrible, and some clusters that are aetherium, or the polymath project, right? Or, you know, Y Combinator, or, you know, things like that, right. And so it is like a, you know, if you've done any chemistry with you, like fractionate, you know, you centrifuge something, and you centrifuge and you get different layers out of the supernatant, and so on. And so that's what's happening, where you're right, there is more downside, I'm not saying there, you know, you're going to get ISIS, right. Like that's, that's like one of these kinds of things. You're talking about crazy people chanting slogans, but you also get yc and Ethereum. And I think, and here's my belief, I believe that on balance, the upside is so up, that we can use it to fund things that buffer and take care of the downside. And that's
what optimists have always thought about every one of these revolutions, and they always proved right.
Yeah, sure. pessimists were right.
Right, well, so then your, your bait, I think we're basically aligned, then. I mean, you know, the thing is also that, you know, I think to bet against technology is to be on the wrong side of history, you know, to kind of remix a famous saying, and so, we, you know, like David Hilbert, we must, we will write, we're going to dry the future. And yes, the printing press led to the 30 Years War. And what we're in the middle of now, I think, will be seen as the social war, where it is essentially a war of networks versus each other global networks. And that's just starting by the Like, Democrat, Republican or whatever in the US is like, you know, that's like the 1619, or whatever of the of the the Protestant, you know, versus Catholic thing. There's all of these transactional networks that are going to be slugging it out from crypto to, you know, social networks and so on. And they're all expanding and contracting like this. And eventually, they're going to reform into fiscal policies that have a degree of stability, and that block all communication from non partners, just like you block, you know, transactions from non partners in that except from partners, and then that always shifts over time. So I think that's what's going to happen. And, you know, whether it's, what we should do is steer it in a good direction. You know, that's like the thrust of history. And maybe we can make marginal changes on the sides.
I'm going to drop a whole lot of slug of text and some of these points into the chat. You can find them if you want, or email me, and I'll send it to you. More. Sure.
No, I appreciate the feedback is great. It's really
inspiring. Very, very interesting.
Two more, folks.
Is that okay? Or Sure? Sure. Sure. Yeah,
yeah. Okay, then. Okay, next one up. We have jazzier. And then Danielle,
hey, Balaji is here, a founder of a token called Thor chain, and a nuance of Sorry, go ahead. I said, awesome. Go ahead. Oh, and the new one called Safe chain, which is coming out soon. And I have a question for you. around something I've been thinking a lot about in relation to, like getting these actual communities to like, really exist in real life in a way that like you do want to have sex with, or have deep conversations with, or whatever, all these people, as opposed to just like, we all seem to have similar interests and so on. To me, what it makes sense to do, like something I've been fixating on is this concept of like, knowing what everyone in my tribe actually needs, getting them to make them better off. And then, as a part of that, you know, if we need to move, or we need to do something in relation to our network state, or a nation state, or whatever we do that, and I'm wondering what you think about, you know, ideas, like, you know, having a much deeper understanding of what the the 150 people in your tribe need, and then providing that for them or vice versa as a way to, to really like, create stronger groups.
Yeah, so so something I'm thinking, I've got to actually one of the chapters in this book is removing from, I think, the social graph to the social tree and the network union, right. So a social graph is just everybody organized Higgledy Piggledy, you know, you're friending this person or whatever you friend to this person from, like, 17 years ago, whatever, right? And then you move from that into a structure where there is a community leader. And there's accountability. And there's, you know, there's, there's someone who's a decision maker that people, you know, appoint by basically opting into this network, right. So you have a social community leader, they have folks folding into them, who are folks folding into them, and they deliver goods to everybody who's in this hierarchy, just like a company does, but outside of a company context. For example, you know, with these power outages that are happening in Austin, they would organize food, that organize shelter, that organize blankets, that type of stuff, right? As the state feels, you have these, you know, community organizations that arise, and even when the state isn't failing, they're helping you learn things, earn, you know, with your career with social defense online, you know, and so on, right. And I think then what you do is those things start meeting up and they start building physical connection, people start going in saying, Oh, I want to live near that community, maybe I already do, or maybe you know, there's 30, people who are in a group house, or a few group houses near each other. And now we'll kind of move to there. And you might have a few clusters, by the way around the world, they may not all be in one place. There may be different clusters of this, you know, sort of social tree around the world. And we start to get there. One of the things that, you know, I've talked about with in some of the lectures Allison has seen is I think that people really underestimate how much the Internet has increased the viability of enclaves. So an enclave is like a piece of territory that is surrounded, it's landlocked, right? And the reason an enclave historically was bad is without access to the C, the C was original peer to peer network, right? Is is still the original peer to peer network. Because you know, you're once you've got access to the C, Portugal can ship stuff to Brazil or to Macau, or whatever, and no other nation can get in the way. Right. And once you have these enclaves today, if you've enclave stay, if you go and crowdfund territory here and here, and here, you can network them together. And you actually have a more functional, like, like physical piece of land. And one of the things that I think can happen over time, and Allison's has some of these lectures is, if you look at the, you know, list of UN countries, right, about 30% of them have a population less than 1 million and about 60% have a population less than 10 million.
Many of us have built social networks that are larger than that. And a next step would be to have a dashboard, which is showing not just the size of this social tree that you've built, right, not just you know, all the things they've done, but also the total amount of land that they own, and all these enclaves around the world, and you start comparing that to UN countries, and you start rising up the ranking, just like there's this website called Fiat market cap calm, which is showing how Bitcoin is rising versus other fiat currencies, right. So you'd actually show how your decentralized country has more land and people and GDP and so on an actual un recognized countries, and eventually get recognized, that's a totally crazy thing to say right now. But that's actually how you do it. You know, that's how you take the Internet, and you use it to pull a bunch of pieces together. And so that's like, this is just like a piece of, you know, like, maybe much more practical and thought through strategy. But one of the concepts here is, we start actually funding, not simply company founders, but community founders. A community founder is somebody who is essentially the manager of a piece of real estate, who governs who can come in, who educates disputes, who does the culture formation, and so on, and so forth. And all those community founders fold into the CEO of the network state. And basically, those are all pieces, you might have a ranch here, you might have an apartment building here, you might have a, you know, like a like a, like a cul de sac here, and so on, and so forth. And those are all pieces. And then members of this network state can migrate back and forth. And over time, it's got like the footprint of, you know, the Google offices worldwide, where there's like, you know, 100 offices of Google worldwide. And you can go in with your card key antennae office, and you're in a piece of Google, in the same way that you've got like embassies worldwide, you can go into any embassy is a citizen of that country, and they'll welcome you, you've got these pieces of your digital state worldwide. One of the things this does, by the way, is it makes you nukeproof. It's kind of hard to nuke all of these territories at the same time, right. And it means that actually you push it from nuclear weapons being the big thing to cyber attacks being the big thing. It also means that you have some robustness to 20th century states, because if a local enclave gets attacked by its surrounding state, well, the citizens can move to other states or other other pieces of your network state and other enclaves. And all the members around the world can kind of gang up and, you know, returned fire, if that state is actually, you know, attacking your enclave illegitimately. There's more to it. But this is how you start to actually have the internet bleed into the physical world and start taking territory.
Thank you. Okay. And one final one. For you. We have Daniel and David here.
David is not currently here he is here but behind the door. So just won me today. Hi, I'm Daniel Lieberman, one of the many Lieberman brothers and sisters who do favors the businesses together since 2005. Currently, we are directors of product at Snapchat, but in our transitions out, all four of us at the same time. And so my question is, I'm like, I already asked some question in the chat. But I think that maybe a more interesting question would be imagining that we already are having a meta government, like someone is for women, I met a government. And there is this part of the government's right now, which is, we believe important is taking a share of the income of its citizens as a as a group funding, like, for good for all the group or maybe in the world, but let's that's based on the values of the of the meta government, which people joined. And therefore, if we have this right now, and let's say, we are just forming this on top of the existing governments, like let's say, you, you pay whatever taxes and you, you follow whatever rules of the countries, you leave physically right now, just because you have to obey the law. But at the same time, you can add on top of a meta government, which, let's say gonna charge you additional 5% of your income. What would you want this government where, where will you be ready to pay this 5% of your additional taxes? What What does governments should? What services this government should provide to you?
It's a great question. So by the a good analogy that is like tithing, you know, for like a church or something, right? Like it.
Exactly. It's like Mormons Mormons basically charging this done percent and they have all the structure of additional education, guys. guarantees these guarantee this guarantee and that guarantee so so basically imagining that we are having met the government right now, we are obligated to subscribe based on the values, which this meta government going to provide us and the service, which meta government is going to provide us what going to be those services for which you personally, we will be ready to be 5%
of this great question. So, I'm not sure you know, 5%, or whatever the pricing is the right number, you know, but but let's just say let some surcharge, right. So here's a few things I think a lot about. One is a positive some community of peers that actually are helping you in many different ways, for example, you're working out with them, you are, they're helping you professionally, you know, in terms of job introductions, and so on, you know, collaborations like that you're learning from them, you know, you may do open source projects with them, you may read books, you may hang out like this. Maybe it's childcare, you organized childcare, so that, you know, you have round robin childcare, so that everybody gets some time off, and so on. There's collective insurance pools for things like health insurance and other kinds of things, or even credit unions, because with crypto, you can actually form a credit union within a large enough group of people if they opt into it. And their social self defense. Basically, if one of them is canceled online, then the community can both rise up and defend that person, as well as potentially crowdfund, you know, or we're, you know, bring that person into the fold, because they're being attacked by somebody outside, right, once we start actually thinking about external attacks, being attacks of other tribes, then, you know, that's actually a pretty important thing for people. And maybe they can reboot under a pseudonym or something like that. And then, you know, crowdfunding land, right, like actually getting together and then crowdfunding land. And you know, what, I've flipped it as, by the way, is, I think there's the 5% cost, I think you might also get significant benefit, right? Because, um, you know, it's one of the things that's been amazing to me about crypto is just the scale of the money involved. that's now been there for 10 years, and it just keeps going up, like the scale of the money involved, when you can actually align collective belief is astonishing. It's just actually crazy. And so just getting 1000 people to agree on something could unlock way more money. The thing about that is, money is not at all everything. But it is something that's tangible and quantifiable. And in our secular world, it's now a signal of the strength of belief, right? Every religion will be publicly traded, you know, in the sense of, you'll have Christian hodlers. And Christianity is basically our you know, do you believe while you're still huddling, you know, I'm kind of being tongue in cheek, but not exactly right. Like,
God doesn't really believe that every human being can be public and tradable. And yeah, publicly tradable, we'll be able to connect our future value as companies do today, like for the next 30 years, let's say and there and through these basically, we can pilot start forming the similar like through the method government's dissimilar mechanisms as a state that but that is basically on the on the future income of the participant of this mega government. And therefore, we will be able to collect a much larger capital to finance whatever infrastructural or, or scientific r&d, educational expenses we we collectively meet.
That's right. And I think, what the one thing I will say, though, is I think that you want to start out, I mean, maybe maybe I'm, I think it'll be 50 different business models, you know, for this, but and you need a business model, because you got to eat, you got to have it propagate. But I actually do think that once you start thinking about crypto and the things that come out of crypto and things that come out of encrypted networks, as social technologies, for kind of aligning human beings and having them do things between themselves that they couldn't do at smaller scale, that unlocks so much money, that so much wealth, that it's a it's something where it's not that they have to pay 5%, but they actually gain by joining the network, I actually think it's going to be that much larger. So, um, we'll see, but, but that's, that's my strong hypothesis.
Thank you. Hey, without I will give an apology. I just put in the chat. If it's okay. I will give my final comments to Bruce and I will just shut up and if that's okay. Yeah. Do you mind?
Sure. Sure. Yeah, sure. Absolutely. This is the Internet Archive.
Yes. Hi. Oh, thank you for doing it. Oh, hey, welcome, Paula J. Okay, completely mind blowing fabulous. You every sentence counted really impressive. And hello from Vancouver. You've woven together some of my favorite things. embassy network
the internet, Burning Man, decentralized web, you're writing a book, which I kind of love, and, and intentional living communities. And so, you know, it's just like you you've, you've sort of made the things that are that have been defining the me sort of make all sense together good way to go and added to it in meaningful ways. Thank you.
Thank you. Well, I appreciate that. I think, I think that's exactly what I've tried to do is a synthesis, you know, of a lot of different strands and technology, because we actually have a culture, right, we have, you know, like, I almost call it an implicit religion, you know, with Satoshi Nakamoto, as Jesus Christ in artificial intelligence as God, and, you know, life extension, as, you know, reversing age or living forever, rather as reversing aging, you know, eternal life, Heaven, space exploration, and, um, you know, and so on, and so forth. And we, we have a culture, and we have a set of things that we believe in, that haven't actually been explicitly articulated. And people, it's almost like a set of training examples that have been given by, you know, to an AI, and you kind of mimic them. And you know, it's it's not, not you, but one one does move them. And, and what I've tried to do is kind of explicate them together. Because I think it's a it's a positive culture, which gets beyond a lot of the infighting around the world and actually refocuses technology and what it is, which is not the technology industry, but it is miracles, you know, it is curing the death with cochlear implants and restoring sight. With bionic eyes, it is reversing aging, with life extension it is reincarnation, with, if you saw my tweet on this, where basically you can do eukaryotic chromosomes synthesis, so you can go and sequence people. And if they have high karma in their community, when they die, chromosome census is getting better and better. We've made it work for bacteria, we can do it for smaller eukaryotes, you could resynthesize Brewster 2.0. In the future, I think that's actually much more practical than cryonics. Because you'd have the DNA sequence, and you'd be able to basically clone yourself in the future. And then maybe you replay your experiences to that person, and they've got actually Alright, do this, do this. And don't do this, you know, just like advice from the older you to the younger you write. So pulling all those things together. You know, that's, that's a positive culture that I think the world needs. And I think it's something where you can do forks of that you can have, you know, for example, rodri her writes about, like the Benedict option, you could have, like the Christian version of a network state, you could have the vegan version of Eric state, you could have the CrossFit version of a network state, being the very first network state is going to be the true technology version, which ties in all these, these these threads that you've talked about. Plus especially transhumanism, you know. And everybody in the last decade, who talked about old things we're doing, we're just doing apps, and so on, like, you really ain't seen nothing yet. And, and I think that the key thing for that to innovate in the physical world, is using everything we've done in the cloud, to group a bunch of people together who have common strong belief, and then push hard enough to change the laws in the physical world, right? Starting with crowdfunding territory, with lobbying with media, with whatever political stuff we need to do, we need to realize that actually, you can only get so far with individuals. And by a collective of folks, even outside of corporate structures, we can we can make a lot of things happen. So that's, that's how I think about a lot of this.
Thank you. Well, that I think we should just finish it now. Because this was finishing on a really, really high note. And there's nothing one could possibly say to make it better than this. So thank you very, very much. But I do. Thank you all for staying on for longer. Thank you, especially for giving us a lot all of your time. And yeah, I can't wait to see everyone out for the next one. I think the next one up, it may be telephone, but I'll be finished. I'll be following up with you. And I'll be I'll be sharing a few apologies links. Okay. Thank you, everyone. And Okay. Thank you very, very much for joining. It's much
Thank you. And oh, and remember, the signup if you didn't already the, maybe you can send out that link. I'll send
it out and as soon as you have other things to share and regarding the book and such also make sure that and people here, I can follow up on it. Okay, cool.
Thank you very much. Okay. All right.