AbstractA summary of week 3 on the hunt of a decentralized social network, providing answers that were requested from the twitter QA. Highlights include why I’m moving on from CAW in pursuit of a pure vision, why I think humanity would benefit from cryptographically incentivized dis-tributed social medias that are structurally designed to incentivize users to ’think slow’,
How do you determine and how do you implementethics in a decentralized social network? Will moder-ators make this determination?
I do not attest to the assertion that ethics can be technologically imple-mented. In fact, in review of attempts to do so, I have witnessed an unvirtuouscycle where increased attempts at ethics implementation create more idiocracy,which in turn reduces ethics, creating more demand for ethics implementations.For example, the censorship of text deemed hate speech, has made individualsmore sensitive to speech in general, reducing resilience to more neutral tonessuch as sternness or earnestness, all while polarizing those who fall under the banhammer. the information siloing of tribal-like communities has reduced toler-ance to not only the counter dialectical perspectives, but apprehension towardsunbinary, synthetic or bridging thinking as well. The institution of fact check-ing dismisses and filters out the unknown-knowns and the known-unknowns inpursuit of a reduction towards a binary true or false answer, inhibiting the cre-ation of new known-knowns. In short, just like Jordan Peterson says, there isno substitute for character, and the best thing one can do to implement ethicsis to begin to tackling at the root of the problem, not a symptom, which in theend is an introspective journey each individual on earth has to find the will toportain- by cultivating environments that are better suited towards the buildingof character.
This is at the heart of why I am building a decentralized and cryptograph-ically incentivized social media, to break the unvirtuous cycle by offering adifferent set of tools that have the potential to aid an individual in the dis-cernment and construction of their own character. When the only incentive isthe like button, one doesnt’ need Kahnemans Thinking Fast vs Thinking Slowto know it is positively reinforcing visceral, emotional, unconscious, automatic,reactionary type responses that entrench ignorance. When there is monetaryincentive however, it now becomes possible to incentivize alot more ’slow think-ing’ behaviours that are deliberate, effortful, rational, self-aware, logical, andseeking of new thinking. By adding in smart contracts, we can even begin toimagine a whole new sort of incentive structures, eventually perhaps being ableto target a decentralized peer review system that rivals major academic journals.
A user is either confined to a singletech stack, or can have a choice in a free market which parts of the tech stackhe wants slotted inThat isn’t to say that decentralized social networks will be without mod-eration. One key difference from centralized systems is that the responsibilityof hosting content now falls on the individual, not the company in control of amonolithic server. If that server can be written too by an unknown third party,there are many combinations of bits that can be injected that makes legal own-ership of that database impossible to host. The filtering of illegal content than,is a security problem just as its an ethics problem. The key benefit from adecentralized social media over the centralized ones is the break down of thevertical integration that occured on these systems. If one is unhappy with themoderation a major platform, there really is no where else to go that keeps yourconnections and maintains your reach, a form of monopoly all of its own. De-centralized social media opens the door to horizontal integration, if one doesn’tlike the moderation service, just swap out the moderation service component,if one doesn’t like the platform, all connection data is in a global meshnet so you can transition from facebook to something else while keeping your network.If one doesnt like the material being manifested they can change the incentivestructure. Every piece in the centralized tower now becomes exposed to com-petition in the free market, and can be made much more composable. So, toanswer your question, I envision many moderation services competing for usageon many different social medias, all connected under a meshnet, giving alot morechoice to users on the content they see, and the content they feel impassionedto produce.
Can you tell us more about your future plans?
From a young age I was deeply impacted and inspired by technologies likeLimewire and Bittorrent. The many seeders to many leechers informationmodel, as opposed to one seeder, many leechers that makes Web2 did not justmake more technological sense to me, but it was a creed. A creed for open ac-cess to information, a creed towards the commitment to both consumption andproduction of knowledge, A creed towards the ultimate futility and illogicalityof copyright and proprietary bitstrings. The difference of HTTP and Bittorrentto me, is as stark as Big Brother vs Athenian Democracy. Projects like GuerrilaOpen Access Manifesto by Aaron Swartz is what inspires me to create technol-ogy that can fund sci-hub, buyout academic journals, and create a decentralizedpeer review system.At the heart of what I’m doing is hunting for a decentralized social media,finding the individuals who have an appetite for it, focalizing around communi-ties looking at the technological and socialogical hurdles to its implementation,and manifesting a network to create online social spaces that are more conduciveto the culturing of individuals of outstanding character. I am looking to build aschool of Athens for those who grew up on Tik-tok, a Library of Alexandria forintellectuals concerned with the foundations of knowledge that cant get fundingby traditional means, and a Senate of the Roman Republic for individuals todebate and hone their rhetoric. By previous generations was the lapis quadratisbeheld onto only the select and most astute philosopher, it is my dream to laya cornerstone by which an environment is beheld to create it together.In the near future I intend to keep writing an IPFS pubsub EIP-712 signaturechaining system, regearing my socials towards the pure vision, drawing up
a real white paper and deploying an official site. After which I will be huntingfor new focal points, perhaps in unexpected places, with a keen interest in thepotentiality of heterogenous L2 networks like the Flow blockchain for the liteversions a decentralized social media.
Developer Update: Moving on from CAW andMoving into a Pure Vision
CAW was an interesting experiment and perhaps an idea even its manifestocreators failed to truly appreciate, but unfortunately the dynamics of having tofloat an ERC-20 before any earnest development on their manifesto has reallybegun created an environment which made it difficult to community dev. Simplyasking questions in that chat that could even slightly be taken as doubt in thecommunity was met with apprehension by those focusing on hourly candlesinstead of the manifesto. This lead to claims that an internal developmentteam was building in stealth towards the target, I never met the devs, and thegithubs were cold so i could not attest to their contributions, but this made ittoo difficult for someone on the outside to get feedback on the admittedly vaguetechnology spec defined in the manifesto, and thus build effectively towards thetarget. Perhaps the right way to play it was beast raven, simply deployingthe code myself and attempting to wield in users on the implementation ofCawUsernames.sol I created instead of waiting on an anonymous dev that wasinactive for 2 weeks, but i was there to learn about the team, and to work withthem, c’est la vie.I did however scavenge an incredible amount of feedback and network con-nections that hopefully carry through onto a true vision of decentralized socialmedia, and am thankful for their support and interactions throughout this jour-ney, I hope we cross paths again. But now, equipped with a much clearer idea of what is to be built, and a good barometer for community sentiment towardsorganization and decentralization, I will be able to procure an even better de-centralized social media in the months ahead. Still expect to see this technology,just produced and shown with a ”dont talk, just act, dont say, just show, dontpromise, just prove” mentality, no trying to front run beliefs of a technologystack by hoisting an ERC20 before one knows if their tech is even viable.
Never an uneventful week in crypto, after prototyping an omni-account signaturechain system I sought guidance from the community on how to move forwardas the other claimed developers were not community developing, but privatelydeveloping, but these attempts at facilitating consensus were not met well bythe inner circle of CAW who seemed more concerned about hourly candles thana robust implementation of their manifesto. So in light I have left the CAWproject to pursue a pure vision of a decentralized social media. Hopefully bythis QA that individuals are inspired and feel a call to action to join us in thisjourney together, just without the perverse incentive of token go up and whenlambo (until the time comes, of course ;))