We are all experiencing a lot of uncertainty and loss during these troubling times as our own government here in America begins to target American parents for resisting the wrong approach to combatting racism (mainly, by perpetuating it). We live in times when our own government is fighting in the courts to acquire the power to force Americans to get jabs or lose jobs.
The ability of those on the top of the power pyramid to control narrative has never been more powerful in human history than it is right now. The consolidation of most of our major commerical, cultural, and social institutions seems all but assured, as the aggressive ‘left’ infiltrated and shut the door behind them wherever they went.
But fret not, friends, for right before the leviathon known as the Catholic Church of Western Europe was splintered into a reformational splintering of priestly power it was at the height of power and held the most amount of control across Western Europe than it ever had up until its fall, which we’ll loossely date to the 16th century. The printing press did in the central power of Rome, which relied on its exclusive access to the Word of God in the Vulgate Bible, the Latin translation from the Septuaginate translated by Jerome near the end of the 4th Century.
After the West received Hebrew and Greek texts from the East, partially through Muslims and partially through the Byzantines, even before Martin Luther printing presses were cranking out books of the bible in native languages translated from Greek and Hebrew texts older than the Latin Vulgate itself.
From Wycliffe in the 14th Century with his Lollards, who translated the New Testament from the Latin to English, said his plowmen with bibles printed on secret printing presses knew more about the scriptures than the priests did. He wasn’t wrong.
The center of power was unable to contain the free flow of priestly power, a high commodity in those days. Most people still overwhelmingly lived spread out in the countryside, so coercive power was largely a matter of willing submission to a presumed divine authority that alone could wield such power over others. That power was priestly power.
Today, the state controls us through a new priest, our reliance for products and services from a select few centers of power, be they the state or the corporation, both of which have a love-hate relationship that mostly comes together when assuring no competition rises from amongst the poors for the seats of power in either sphere.
Vitalik Burtin is hoping to combat this new priest in our lives by offering potential uses for blockchain technology that could enable communities at micro-scales to self-govern efficiently. The most ambitious proposal is to design cities around crypto-technologies. For now, some of these projects are already being experimented with governments that still rely mostly on our dependence on these monpolistic providers of human services, in a manner of speaking, but so was the printing press first used by the powers that be, but yet could not be contained.
Vitalik might be testing the bounds of self-governance technology, but he’s also hinting at something that others have suggested is possible, the creation of whole new notions of product and value for product through the new properties inherint in blockchain technology. NFTs are one of the earliest unexpected product with value to emerge from the unique properties of blockchain.
For those who fear automization of the work that grinds bones, you might be comforted in the notion that unexpected opportunites for ‘work’ that pays is sure to emerge, not just from blockchain but many other emerging techs as well. Who knows what unexpected products with value will emerge from the unique properties of reliable, cost-effective quantum computers?
But byeyond this news blurb about Vitalik Buterin’s push to expand blockchain’s usefulenss to empower self-governance, there are other technologies that we reguarly follow here on the Freedomist that also create more printing press threats to the powers that be.
The Catholic Church of the Middle Ages had to contest with the printing press. The powers that be of today have to contend with blockchain, mesh communications, 3d printing, aquaponics, nanotechnology, and more. Just within the 3D printing category there are numerous longterm threats to containing the access to these technologies that, despite all of your IP Laws, will not be contained where the necessity to avoid tyranny emerges.
The harder they press us, the more innovative we get, and the world is our oyster as far as the technologies available to us today to build among the Empire our own safe havens where a Bill of Rights people can live free.
The following submission statement was provided by /u/lughnasadh:
I’ve long hoped blockchain tech is going to be used for the kind of things Vitalik Buterin is talking about here. My problem with the current blockchain world is that it is absolutely overrun with get-rich-quick Ponzi scheme merchants. Blockchain badly need a not-for-profit sector. The global Green movement is dominated by not-for-profit NGO’s and they have done enormous transformative work on a global scale.
Please reply to OP’s comment here: r/Futurology/comments/qotpci/vitalik_buterin_the_founder_of_ethereum_explores/hjp6jrk/
One interesting trend of the last year has been the growth of interest in local government, and in the idea of local governments that have wider variance and do more experimentation. Over the past year, Miami mayor Francis Suarez has pursued a Twitter-heavy tech-startup-like strategy of attracting interest in the city, frequently engaging with the mainstream tech industry and crypto community on Twitter. Wyoming now has a DAO-friendly legal structure, Colorado is experimenting with quadratic voting, and we’re seeing more and more experiments making more pedestrian-friendly street environments for the offline world. We’re even seeing projects with varying degrees of radicalness – Cul de sac, Telosa, CityDAO, Nkwashi, Prospera and many more – trying to create entire neighborhoods and cities from scratch.
Another interesting trend of the last year has been the rapid mainstreaming of crypto ideas such as coins, non-fungible tokens and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). So what would happen if we combine the two trends together? Does it make sense to have a city with a coin, an NFT, a DAO, some record-keeping on-chain for anti-corruption, or even all four? As it turns out, there are already people trying to do just that:
- CityCoins.co, a project that sets up coins intended to become local media of exchange, where a portion of the issuance of the coin goes to the city government. MiamiCoin already exists, and “San Francisco Coin” appears to be coming soon.
- Other experiments with coin issuance (eg. see this project in Seoul)
- Experiments with NFTs, often as a way of funding local artists. Busan is hosting a government-backed conference exploring what they could do with NFTs.
- Reno mayor Hillary Schieve’s expansive vision for blockchainifying the city, including NFT sales to support local art, a RenoDAO with RenoCoins issued to local residents that could get revenue from the government renting out properties, blockchain-secured lotteries, blockchain voting and more.
- Much more ambitious projects creating crypto-oriented cities from scratch: see CityDAO, which describes itself as, well, “building a city on the Ethereum blockchain” – DAOified governance and all.