#217 Gathering the Memes of Production:
Building Co-ordi-Nations with Josh Dàvila
of Blockchain Socialist podcast
What happens when communities of passion and purpose come together across long distances and create new entities beyond the boundaries of nation states? Coordi-Nations are a new idea for our times, to wash away the old war-bound structures
Those of you who’ve followed the podcast for any length of time know that I feel our capacity to connect across long distances, to share ideas in real time, is one of the things that has shifted our culture from being complex to super-complex, or hyper-complex, or whatever adjective we want to create that intimates a massive increase in the complexity of our communications and our actions.
One key part of this is the evolution of blockchain, particularly in its Ethereum incarnation. Most of us know blockchain, if we know it at all, as the core of Bitcoin, but it’s progressed far beyond this in the last decade, not only in the core technology, but in the thinking around it. Once, a libertarian playground, there is now a whole infrastructure of interconnected mycelial webs of progressive, regenerative communities who are building on and with Ethereum. I know this can often feel as if it’s not part of our world – and it isn’t an integral part – yet – in the way mobile phone technology is, or Zoom, or using a banking app, or a meditation app, or measuring your blood glucose in real time… but it’s going to be a part of things in the same way these are soon. In the same way mobile phones became indispensable, I think some of the experiments in smart contracts and ways of hooking up currencies are going to become integral to our lives. And even if I’m wrong, there are a few certainties: The old paradigm is crumbling; the superorganism has to be dismantled; we do need to learn to live more regeneratively, connected more deeply to ourselves, each other and the web of life.
And it’s this connection-between-people, the networking of our various tribes, that inspires our guest today. Josh Dàvila is host of one of my must-listen podcasts, Blockchain Socialist, where he holds fascinating, deep, thoughtful conversations that take me right to the edge of my understanding so that I have to listen to each episode three or four times to really get to grips with the ideas. Josh is also an author. His book ‘Blockchain Radicals: How Capitalism Ruined Crypto and How to Fix It’ is essential reading for anyone who’s remotely interested in this space. Like Diana Finch in last week’s episode, he has the capacity to take mindbendingly complex ideas and render them straightforward and even obvious – and in Josh’s case, he’s rendering social concepts of how our culture is run and how we can change it, in parallel to the evolution of blockchain, the nature of Ethereum and what can be done with it. And then he and Primavera are right in the middle of a whole host of conversations about the concept of Coordi-Nations – which are what I would have called communities of passion and purpose, as opposed to communities of place (though there’s nothing to stop a community of passion and purpose arising in a specific geographic location. In the end, I think that’s likely to happen).
If I’m right that 2024 is the year when the tipping points become obvious even in the mainstream, then we need the ideas that will shift us out of business as usual and into new ways of being. Josh and his co-thinkers are having those ideas and I dearly wanted to share some of them on the podcast. So here we go.
Manda: Hey people, welcome to Accidental Gods. To the podcast where we believe that another world is still possible and that if we all work together, there is time to create a future that we would all be proud to leave to the generations that come after us. I’m Manda Scott, your guide and fellow traveller on this journey into possibility. And those of you who’ve followed the podcast for any length of time, know that I feel our capacity to connect across long distances, to share ideas in real time is one of the things that has shifted our culture from being complex to super complex, or hyper complex, or whatever adjective you want to stick in front of it, to let us know that we have a massive increase in the complexity of our communications and thereby our actions. And a key part of this is the evolution of blockchain, particularly in its Ethereum incarnation. And most of us know blockchain if we know it at all as the core of Bitcoin. But it’s progressed far beyond this in the last decade, not only in the core technology, but in the thinking around it. It was, at its inception, a libertarian playground, but there is now a whole infrastructure of interconnected mycelial webs of progressive, regenerative communities who are building on and with Ethereum. And I know this can often feel as if it’s not part of our world, and it isn’t an integral part yet in the way mobile phone technology is, or zoom, or using a banking app, or a meditation app, or measuring your blood glucose in real time.
Manda: But it’s going to be a part of things in the same way these are quite soon. In the same way mobile phones became indispensable, I think some of the experiments in smart contracts and ways of hooking up currency are going to become integral to our lives. And even if I’m wrong, which of course, is entirely likely, there are a few certainties running down the line. The old paradigm is crumbling. The superorganism of predatory capitalism has to be dismantled because if we don’t dismantle it, it will crash. And dismantling it and replacing it with something better is going to be a whole lot easier than trying to survive when it goes off the edge of the cliff. On a similar level, we do need to learn to live regeneratively, to connect more deeply with ourselves, with each other, in the web of life. And it’s this connection that inspires our guest today.
Manda: Josh Davila is host of one of my must listen podcasts, Blockchain Socialist, where he holds fascinating, deep, thoughtful conversations that are right at the edge of my understanding so that I have to listen to them 3 or 4 times to get to grips with what’s actually being said and how I can begin to think about it. And on top of this, he’s also an author. His book is called Blockchain Radicals; How Capitalism Ruined Crypto and How to Fix It. And this, too, is essential reading for anyone who’s remotely interested in this space. Like Diana Finch in last week’s episode, Josh has the capacity to take mind bendingly complex ideas and render them straightforward, even obvious at times. And in Josh’s case, he’s rendering social concepts of how our culture is run, really sharp critiques of capitalism, alongside ideas of how we could do things differently in a way that would be so much better for the overwhelming majority of people. And he’s running these in parallel to descriptions of the evolution of blockchain and the nature of Ethereum, and what we can do with it and how we can do it. And then on top of that, he is quite often joined on the podcast by Primavera De Filippi, and the two of them are right in the middle of a whole host of conversations about the concept of coordi-nations. That is coordinated nations, nations coordinated by the technology that we’re talking about. Which are what I would have called communities of passion and purpose as opposed to communities of place. Although I think there is nothing to stop a community of passion and purpose arising in a specific geographic location. And in the end, when people want to settle down and have kids, I think it’s likely that the communities of passion and purpose become communities of place as well. I could be wrong on that.
Manda: Anyway, we are getting ahead of ourselves. If I am right that 2024 is the year when the tipping points become obvious, even in the mainstream, then we need the ideas that will shift us out of the old paradigm, out of business as usual, and into new ways of being. And Josh and Primavera and their Co-thinkers are having those ideas, and I really want to share some of them with you, so that we can begin to formulate our own coordi-nations our own communities of passion and purpose. So that we can begin to build the small islands of coherence in the sea of chaos that Ilya Prigogine talks of. Any of you who’ve had an email from me recently, that is my sig file for now. So here we go: Building small islands of coherence. People of the podcast, please welcome Josh Davila of the Blockchain Socialist Podcast, author of Blockchain Radicals.
Manda: Josh, welcome to the Accidental Gods podcast. It is a great honour to have you on. I absolutely love your Blockchain socialist podcast, it’s one of my must listens and I’m hoping it becomes one of the must listens for everyone who listens to Accidental Gods. So how are you and where are you as we speak this Monday morning?
Josh: Sure. Well thanks a lot for listening. I’m doing great. I’m in Spain right now, it’s where I’m based usually. And just having a nice morning, productive morning, is where I’m at.
Manda: Super. Thank you. We have so much to cover. Basically, I would like to cover your entire book and the entire concept of coordi-nations, which is going to be hard to fit into an hour, so we’ll do our best to edit. I want to start with a quote from the middle of your book, because I think it encapsulates everything that we want to know. So you say: ‘The solution will not be found in making better individual consumer choices or backing one billionaire over another, but through collective action against those who profit from extraction of the Earth’s limited resources. We should not waste time shaming others for making the wrong consumer choice when their options are limited, but instead be trying to build systems that satisfy people’s basic needs’. So building systems that satisfy people’s basic needs. That encapsulates everything that I think needs to happen as we attempt to dismantle the superorganism and build something that actually works, hopefully overlapping the two so that there isn’t a crash. So really, briefly, this is not how most people think, and it’s certainly not how most blockchain people think, or it didn’t used to be. How did you come to be the person who wrote Blockchain Radical’s book, who set up Blockchain Socialist Podcast and began to think so far outside the mainstream?
Josh: Yeah, sure. So my story is a little bit strange in that I graduated university and soon after took a job that was not very well paid and was also in this moment in the United States in particular, was the beginning of the rise of Bernie Sanders. I was already more progressive for maybe my generation and was interested in universal health care, as something that I think in the United States is absolutely obscene that we don’t have. After growing up in an era of intense neoliberalism, I felt that this was quite insane thing for us not to have. And then kind of through that process, with the rise of Bernie Sanders, became a little bit more radicalised and began to think more about the politics and what are the overarching systemic structures that have led to the crisis that we find ourselves in now. And with my not very well paid job, I realised that I needed to to make enough money to make ends meet, which I was not. I was doing the math in my head and I was not going to make it if I needed to pay for everything. And I needed to pay for my student loan debt, which is going to come six months after I graduate.
Josh: So I started doing Uber and these types of gig work stuff to supplement with my full time job in order to make ends meet. It was not a great experience to have to do that. I grew up from a family with not very much money so I didn’t have savings or a safety net behind me. So it was quite an intense period for me, knowing that any big mistake could lead to some pretty bad consequences if I’m not careful. I needed to make quick money. The only way for me to fix my problem fast is to have money fast. So I was interested in maybe I could use my knowledge, because I graduated a degree in neuroscience, to use that to my advantage in like biotech stocks or something like that. Turns out I’m not a very good stock picker or trader at all. But in that process came across cryptocurrency.
Josh: Bitcoin of course I had heard of before, as mainly a thing that I heard friends of friends use in order to buy drugs over the internet. It wasn’t something that I was particularly interested in, but that’s how it was just presented to me. But it was also the same period when Ethereum was becoming bigger, was becoming more technologically advanced and like becoming an actual thing. And Ethereum was a very interesting kind of alternative cryptocurrency blockchain network to Bitcoin that offered a lot more kinds of interesting features and functions. Especially for me at the time as I was also radicalising my politics, reading directly primary socialist literature and being like, wow! I’d been looking for a long time, trying to find answers to a lot of things and this was the most interesting that I had read thus far. And so to me, there was a lot of connections between the idea of smart contracts and decentralised autonomous organisations, that we can talk about maybe a bit later, or maybe other people on your podcast have talked about before. This idea in relationship to what’s called the socialist economic planning problem or socialist calculation debate. On one side, you had liberals and libertarians saying ‘we cannot possibly plan our economy. We need to use markets to do everything because that’s the only way we can. There’s too much information out there. We can’t possibly calculate all of this.
Manda: And the market is God.
Josh: The market is God. Yes, that’s an important ideological assumption in that one. And then the socialists saying we can calculate things and we can provide for everyone, that is something that we can do as a society. And so for me the core assumption about capitalism and markets under capitalism in particular, is that by going under this intense competitive game between corporations, that you ultimately come up with a better outcome for everybody. That by going after your singular interest or by everyone being greedy, everyone gets the best, I think has been the assumption that we’ve been going with for a very long time. And it has not panned out in the way that these liberals and libertarians thought it would, I think. But it is still a pretty strong ideological assumption in a lot of people.
Josh: So for me with DAOs and smart contracts it offered tools for going beyond, not just assuming or thinking that we can simply take over the state and then create socialism as a type of way, but that we can create autonomous infrastructure that is fairly robust, so that we can begin to create like the scaffolding for a kind of socialist politics and economy, whether or not the state is involved. So that we can not think about this question of needing to win over the state or something like that, but that we can do it ourselves and begin to create these infrastructures ourselves for us to use.
Manda: Excellent. So what we have is stepping away from this concept of Marxist revolution and saying the state is essentially redundant now as a concept. That the capacity to connect across distance and time means that national boundaries are broadly irrelevant and therefore the governance of those national boundaries, the kind of Hobbesian concept that a nation state is that political entity which maintains and retains a monopoly on physical violence within its borders. That doesn’t necessarily have to apply. And that if we could set up networks of connection through communities of purpose and passion, however we define those, then we can create what we need in spite of the governance. Is that a reasonable precis of what you were thinking and where you’ve got to?
Josh: Sure. Maybe I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the state is redundant, but there are very clear problems with the state under the current neoliberal model. The state is essentially an actor of corporations, I would say, or like it is essentially run by corporations, whether that is direct or indirect. They often create legislation in the interest of larger corporations and for profit entities. So whenever that is such a prevailing ideological force and the infrastructure and the system of like governments and nation states themselves don’t offer many openings or opportunities for even incremental change in a positive direction.
Manda: They wouldn’t be there if they did. I would say that current governance systems, certainly in the West, the kind of Western educated, industrial, rich, democratic, weird global north, governance is a wholly owned subset of the major corporations. And there aren’t very many major corporations. Somebody on one of the other podcasts that I listened to and I can’t remember off the top of my head who it was, but he said that they got a 222 to 1 payback. So every dollar they spent on lobbying, they reckon they got $222 back. So we have the best democracy money can buy, which is not going to get us through the biophysical crunch of whatever bottleneck we’re heading to. So, I mean, you’re being very kind if you think governance isn’t redundant. I think we need to make them redundant quite fast. But maybe I’m heading off into a radical edge that we don’t need to get to. What I would like to know from you is if you can really precis, and you go into much more depth in your book, what is a Dao and why is it useful? And what are smart contracts and why are they useful? And how can we, who are on the edges of this, begin to understand them so that we can help them move forward to creating this, under the radar? What we’re all aiming for is regenerative, it’s no longer sustainable. We’re not just trying to do less harm, we’re trying to repair the damage done and provide for people’s basic needs. How can the technology that we have currently and that we are evolving help us towards that?
Josh: Over to you. I would first preface that I tried my best to not, uh, like in the book, you’ll notice that I’m a fence sitter. A bit like on one side, you have hype men who will say that blockchain and crypto will solve all of your problems. Your father will finally love you. And then on the other side, that there’s nothing it can do. It’s all a scam. Throw it away. And I’m trying to be like a nuanced in between.
Manda: OK. And you are very nuanced.
Josh: I try not to oversell.
Manda: And I probably am on the non nuanced side, so yes, thank you. Josh is extremely nuanced in the book.
Josh: I’m the nuance haver in the conversation oftentimes. So maybe it’s important to understand a couple of other basic fundamental things, about this idea of peer to peer infrastructure, maybe briefly for people, if that’s helpful as to how this kind of creates?
Manda: Yes, because even the concept of peer to peer is probably new to people.
Josh: Right. Just think about any kind of social media platform, the vast majority of any platform you use actually. We’re using Squadcast right now for recording this podcast. All of these applications are run by companies that own the server, where all of the data is stored about your interactions that you are having with other people on their platform, right? The architecture that this is oftentimes is called a client server model. You have a server in the middle, Twitter, Facebook, insert big tech company here. They own all of the data. There is, of course, some regulation about how they can use it, what they can do with it to some degree. And then all of us have a client or the application on our phone or the web app on our desktop, and we interact with their server. We make a request to say, I want to post something, I want to tweet, I want to retweet, I want to start a video podcast. Like we are asking permission for them who have ultimate control, and they have the property rights essentially over all of that data. If you think about it, this is a technical instantiation of a very particular social relationship in which they have the vast majority of the power within this paradigm, and users don’t have much of that power. They are given some features and functions by the company that they design, but it’s within their paradigm and how they design it.
Manda: And they can take it away. As we as we all know, everyone knows someone who’s been completely blocked on Facebook and they’re not given a reason why, and they have no access to anyone to ask if they can be put back. So yes, they have total control and they can then in a way frame the reality that they are choosing to support.
Josh: You can be de-platformed if you say something or you are working toward something, you’re organising around something that the company doesn’t like, or maybe the government doesn’t like, which they just tell the company, hey, can you get rid of them? Then it’ll happen because they want to. They need to legally comply with laws and in such cases and such things. And of course this is like a double edged sword. It can be like oh we’re getting rid of neo-Nazis or oh, we’re getting rid of socialists. So a lot of people can be targeted under this system. And it’s a hard problem to solve, moderation in general. But we do have to admit that it comes with these certain risks. And if you are someone who is a radical that wants to fight against capitalist institutions, then it is something to consider that any platform that you use is under a capitalist organisation that is following the laws of a capitalist country. And so this is the client server model, is the major model in how people architect technical systems over the internet.
Josh: The other option is what’s called peer to peer, in which data that users are creating is not necessarily owned by a single entity, but it is shared or split across many different entities or many different servers or many different nodes, peers, in which they are sharing data with one another. So that there is some amount of redundancy about that data, and you are able to then have more control over the use of that data in your data.
Josh: So a blockchain uses a peer to peer model as its architecture, which is fundamental to being able to solve this problem that a lot of these people were interested in, like how do we make a monetary system without a government or bank needing to intermediate between it. instead we can do it with a peer to peer system. That’s where Bitcoin came about. And then there have been many iterations, many improvements that are very, very different from the specifications of Bitcoin, which is important to understand. Because oftentimes you’ll find critics who will say, oh, well, all cryptos are this and that, but usually they’re just describing Bitcoin in particular, in which case a lot of other cryptocurrencies or blockchains don’t have those properties. And that’s that’s an important like facet to understand I think. And so the difference with Bitcoin and Ethereum. Let’s say that Ethereum was a very big leap in technological improvement or advancement as far as the functionalities and features that a blockchain is now able to do. With Bitcoin it was saying that we can track Bitcoin between all of these different users and ensure that there is no double spending of any bitcoin. That nobody is able to trick the system into thinking that they have more Bitcoin than they actually do. That’s essentially how the international monetary payment system works. You have trusted entities that track who has spent what and how much money each person has. And there’s assumptions of trust in those entities. And maybe there’s some kind of checks and balances in some way or another, and maybe there isn’t.
Josh: Blockchains were basically the name after Bitcoin was created for describing this technological structure, that was able to solve this problem. So Bitcoin is able to send and receive bitcoins between people and is able to track it and you can have this assumption that nothing has been stolen, no one has double spent, no one is cheating the system. Ethereum added another assumption, saying that if we can create this ‘monetary system’ that is able to be trusted using cryptography and using all these fancy math, then we can also program that money with our computers to do things based on certain conditions being met. So you can say if X happens, then send our magic internet money here. And these are called smart contracts. They’re essentially a computer script that is always running, because it’s always running on a blockchain, and a blockchain is continuously running because of the peer to peer system in which these computers are constantly talking to each other. And so a smart contract is essentially an executed piece of code that is automated all the time, is a piece of script that is constantly looking for conditions to be met and to satisfy them. And it may be something that is continuously looking for conditions or maybe just immediately finds conditions for it to communicate.
Manda: Could you give us some real world examples? Because I can feel already, I know what you’re talking about so this makes total sense to me. But I’m imagining people for whom this is new. What might the conditions be that would then trigger, and what would they potentially trigger? You could use bread chain if you wanted as an option. But you know, if you can think of a better one, go for it.
Josh: Sure. I think maybe the first kind of example that people generally use was the ICO. The initial coin offering, this was a big thing in 2017, where you heard about people raising millions and billions of dollars within cryptocurrency, because they made smart contracts that said send cryptocurrency here, and then we will give you a new token which will be used in our new protocol or application, then that token you can use and hypothetically it will raise in value and you will make money off of it.
Manda: I hate to say this, but to most people in the outside world, that is basically a Ponzi scheme.
Josh: Sure. But my spicier take is that a lot of capitalism is based on Ponzi schemes.
Manda: Yes the entire stock market is a Ponzi scheme.
Josh: Not a problem specific to cryptocurrency.
Manda: That’s true.
Josh: It’s in a lot of markets in general. I use that example just because it was the first very common use of it at one point, like people speculating. But you can also imagine smart contracts being used for different types of conditions, because computer programming languages are Turing complete, which is basically meaning that you can design whatever you can potentially compute, that is humanly possible. You mentioned Bread Chain, which is a project that I co-founded with a bunch of other people. It’s a cooperative. It’s a federation of different projects that work together building what we call Post-capitalist kind of blockchain applications. And we have a smart contract where you can send a stablecoin called Dai to the contract. It is pegged to the US dollar. That Dai gets sent out to generate interest on a DeFi application, decentralised finance. So this is a different type of application that other people are speculating on, but which generates income for the cooperative. And then the cooperative gives you, as a user who gave a stablecoin, a token called bread, which basically we think of it as a digital local currency, in which you can use that bread to send and receive to anybody else. You can use it almost like we were talking earlier about the Bristol pound, like a local currency, that is pegged to the US dollar, essentially. But it’s also at the same time generating yield for the collective. So you’re not donating anything, but you are allowing for a collective to be funded in some way.
Manda: Right. So I want to dive a little bit more deeply into this, because I think how you organise bread chain and how you organise the collective is a really interesting example of how you can get a disparate group of people with broadly similar aims and help them to make decisions. Because that seems, if we’re going to look a little bit down the line at Coordinations, the actual coordination of a coordination seems to me to be the sticking point. Everybody wants to group up with other people, but when it comes to actually making decisions and you don’t want to end up with magnolia walls, how do you decide what colour are you going to paint the walls? But before we do that, I still want to step back a bit and look at basic concepts.
Manda: I heard somebody say recently that money is commodified grief, which I thought was a really interesting concept. And you can unpick that because you’re looking doubtful. But it seemed to me, I think money is commodified pain, actually. But that’s splitting hairs. We have existed for at least 2000 years, certainly in the UK, since the Romans arrived with a fiat currency that they imposed by violence and on which they exerted interest. You arrive in an island where nobody’s heard of money before, and you go, here, I’ll give you this bag of silver bits with somebody’s head on, and I’m going to come back two years later and expect you to give me more of them back, or I’ll take your children and enslave them. Oh, gosh. Guess what? You have no more money. Thank you, I’ll have your kids. That is the imposition of a fiat currency by implicit violence and explicit violence. Everything at the moment in the Western world is tied to the US dollar, because the US made a lot of very interesting military decisions that ensured that the dollar was the currency that everybody links to. And still links to. Your bread chain is still linked to a stablecoin, and a stablecoin is stable because it is linked to the dollar. And the assumption is that the dollar continues to remain stable. So this leads me to two questions.
Manda: And this is first, how long is the dollar going to remain stable? And that’s a question that is probably unanswerable, but I think not very long is quite high on the list of answers. And the actual time scale is to be decided. And it won’t necessarily be obvious that it’s going down until it’s gone. And then the question that arises is, how can we create forms? Because what you said is you’re creating a digital local currency, and you’re creating it within a locale. Bristol pound was within the city of Bristol. This is creating a currency that is valid across however wide we want to be. It could be someone in Australia, someone in Singapore, someone in the UK, someone in Portugal could all be a part of the area that this coin funds. How do we make the bridge? Because at the moment, money, commodified or not, is the value exchange system that we have. And by its nature it accelerates upwards. People who have money get more money. People who have very little end up, as you discovered, spinning on a hamster wheel that is designed to stop them thinking about anything other than how can they get more money? How can we structure this digital local currency to have value in the real world, to supply people’s basic needs? Does that make sense as a question? Okay. Over to you.
Josh: So I would say to your first question, yeah I would agree it’s very difficult to to say for sure. I think there is there’s an interesting kind of thing happening, where actually cryptocurrency has actually expanded the use of the US dollar in the form of euro dollars because of stablecoins. At least that’s what I notice. I don’t know exact numbers, but it seems to me that stablecoins are a very common asset to hold in countries like Nigeria and Turkey or other countries where they experience very high inflation. They will want to stay in the US dollar. To me, it’s like if you are a sufferer of imperialism, sometimes the best place to be is inside the imperial core because you want to get away from being bombed or whatever else from them.
Manda: Extraction at the periphery that is what imperialism does. And yet, I don’t know if you listen to Douglas Rushkoff and Team Human?
Josh: I’ve had him on before.
Manda: His most recent book was called Survival of the Richest; The Escape Fantasies of Tech Billionaires. And, you know, they dragged him to a room in the middle of nowhere, in order to ask him how to control their private armies when the dollar ceased to have any value. So these guys are expecting the dollar to go down within their lifetimes. And these were I would imagine white haired, mega rich people that we never hear of, because they’re so far behind the scenes. So that’s interesting. Do you think the dollar as a stable feature of stablecoins would survive the collapse of the US as a creator of fiat currency?
Josh: Yeah, I mean definitely if the US collapses, then all of these stablecoin fiat currencies I think are going to have a really big problem for sure. But I think we’re going to have many big problems if that happens.
Manda: That might not be top of the list.
Josh: Yeah, that’s lower on my priority list maybe. So I think that’s a very, very tough problem to solve and think about, because there is so many factors. There are already BRICs and all these other kind of periphery entities, in the process of trying to create their own currency, as a way to fight against dollar hegemony. But then the purpose with bread chain and using stablecoin based on the dollar, one, it is much easier to to program on it. It’s much easier to build on top of it. Because of that, it provides a way for people to be able to judge how much do I have in relation to what I need to purchase for my needs with it, because of the stable value. So I think of it as a membrane around our locality. Our locality being based on our values, essentially, not based on a particular location. And that we’re trying our best to suck as much wealth as possible, over time, from the kind of capitalist standard economy into a post-capitalist, more egalitarian form of economy and a collective form of relationships with one another. To begin to build those alternative infrastructures that we will desperately need going into the future. I think there is this much bigger problem, that is it’s very difficult to prepare for, like, what is the app that we need to create for the destruction of the United States? That’s a problem that’s very difficult to solve.
Manda: So, yeah, and it might not be just an app.
Josh: So the easiest place to start is where can we subvert the US dollar, to be able to fund and begin building the things that we need in preparation for what is potentially the next step. Which may not include the United States, but at the moment it very much does and it is very much there. So how can we best do that?
Manda: How can we do that? So we’re heading into the realm of coordi-nations. Why don’t we take a step back, because I still want to look at decision making. And in the end we’re still looking at how can we exchange value. I would like to move on to hollow chains and the concepts of value and currencies and what is it that we’re exchanging? Because it seems to me that endeavouring to pull in dollars, essentially, works in the current paradigm. And I’d be really interested in how that transitions over into forget what happens with the dollar, but how do we move to a different paradigm? But can you tell us a little bit about what a coordi-nation is? How it differs from a network state, and how both of them differ from what we are all used to and what we all exist in at the moment, which is nation states?
Josh: Sure. So coordi-nation is a little bit of a play on words, a pun, for a coordi-nation, with a little dash between coordi and nation. So this is a concept that I’ve been working with a bunch of people from blockchain gov, which is an academic group mostly based in the EU, led by Primavera De Filippi, who was one of the first academics to really take on blockchain as her main subject, especially in law. But this concept comes as a kind of response to the book and the concept that’s been brought forth by Balaji Srinivasan, who is a big American venture capitalist. He was a GP at Andreessen Horowitz, CTO of Coinbase. He made a lot of money in Silicon Valley, but he had put forth this idea of network states. And now Balaji, is very openly libertarian and has been a very big proponent of libertarian seasteads, micronations, like starting bases on the moon and these kind of like wild fantasies. Kind of like techno utopian libertarianism. And he proposed network states saying that we need to create… I mean, it’s sometimes a bit difficult to explain the idea, because it’s also a little bit absurd and very contradictory in many ways.
Josh: And I have a sub series on my podcast that focuses on that. But essentially, in my words, I would say think about the Start-Up playbook, which is raising venture capital, a whole bunch of money with very high expectations for return, and creating a tech Start-Up that is based in Silicon Valley. Take that playbook and apply that to the creation of a country, a nation state, or a network state. That’s basically his plan in a nutshell. And this is actually not a very new idea. It’s actually quite old. It’s a remix of kind of already existing ideas that existed in the past. There’s a lot of right wing fascistic influences in this, because there is this assumption of free market fundamentalism behind a lot of this idea. That we should have like a free market of countries to choose from. So to me it’s a free market of dictatorships, right?
Manda: With no regulation, I mean, it’s going to be very, very good for very rich white blokes and very bad for everybody else, as far as I can tell. Because, I mean, it’s Ayn Rand taken to its ultimate conclusion. It seemed to me, and I’m only covering this peripherally, that it’s basically for people who really don’t like paying tax. We’re going to create a taxless regulation of free space. And we can do whatever the heck we like in there. It feels a lot like blockchain in its early start, which made a bunch of assumptions, which were everybody is selfish. Everybody will work only in their own interests, and we’re all straight white blokes who basically want to get super rich. And then the Chinese move in and go, look, we’re all going to work together. And look, we own 52% of blockchain and we’re going to change the rules. What do you think about that, guys? And everybody’s heads explodes and the Chinese government comes in and goes, no, actually China’s not going to do this at all. At some point I want to talk to somebody about how that sequence of events happened. But leave that aside. It’s straight white, read a lot of Ayn Rand and read a lot of science fiction when we were a kid, and probably played a lot of Warcraft. And we just want to create a world where we make the rules and we like the rules.
Manda: And I would actually really like to see one in action. I would like to write the book where there’s one in action, because I think it falls apart very, very fast. Unless it has one dictator at the top. Right wing people like hierarchies, and it’ll live in the way that bunches of Europe, you know, Tito had a really good (I mean, good as in effective, as in he got to say the rules and everybody else followed them until he died). And then the whole of the Balkan area fell into quite spectacular revenge taking. And I think this will work exactly as long as the guy who has the charisma to set it up lasts, and the moment they’re not there, because it will be a bloke, then it all falls apart. I could be wrong. I tend not to be as on the fence as you. Given that and that is the the network state, and up to a point I’m creating a strawman for us both to knock down; how does the coordi-nation differ from this?
Josh: Yeah. So while Network State is really this libertarian ish idea that we need to create states in order to fight states. Their reasoning is almost like a realist libertarian. He’s not like a complete anarcho capitalist type of person, but we need to create states to feed states. He’s very anti-state when it comes to paying taxes and regulations and the annoying things that rich people have to deal with. So coordi-nation is meant to say that the issue is not per se about the state, that we’re not accepting the assumption of ultimate sovereignty, that you need to have ultimate sovereignty over everything and yourself in order to be able to put forth change in the world. That you can do that in many different ways that don’t involve having to interact with the state per se. With the network state it kind of makes this assumption that I think a lot of people make, that the world is separated into two parts: the public sector, which is the states, the government; and the private sector, which is corporations Start-Ups. And depending if you’re left or right, will determine if you prefer the one or the other.
Manda: You’re either like one or the other, because they’re both extractive. They’re all based on an extractive paradigm, it’s just how you share the bits.
Josh: So we’re saying that there is actually this third sector that is often ignored, which is called many things, oftentimes: civil society, autonomous sector. It is essentially a type of social organisation, which does not follow the logic of a corporation in which it needs profit in order to continue its existence in private markets. And neither the states in which it needs to develop ways to continue its own existence. It has its own process of social reproduction, which is different than both of those. And I think what’s difficult about this third sector is that often it is not like an easily standardised template for how to continue its social reproduction. Which therefore, under neoliberalism, which has standardised a lot of things towards the for profit model, it has chipped away at the existence of these types of third sector institutions. You could put cooperatives, labour unions, the church, community organising, community gardens, all these different things that don’t exist with the for profit motive in mind. And it is neither a state would be this third sector.
Josh: And so we’re saying that where blockchains and this type of technology for creating autonomous infrastructure can be very interesting and very good, is to help supplant and support this third sector, that neoliberalism has really done everything it can to destroy as much as possible. For people to organise for themselves, to allow for a type of self-determination, self-governance, that you can already start doing without needing to take over the state, without needing to create a new state. Without needing to do all these things that Belargi takes as an assumption that needs to happen, while we think that it absolutely does not need to. While also acknowledging the observations that maybe he’s made, that a lot of people have made…
Manda: They aren’t unique to him.
Josh: Yeah. They’re not unique to him. We can connect with each other in ways now that are not limited to our locality. You can connect much, much more strongly with someone in a completely different country, that’s super far away, thanks to telecommunications, thanks to the internet. Like you can talk to each other, you can make connections and then you can meet up and whatever. You can form this bond and this relationship that would have been incredibly difficult to do before the advent of the internet. That is definitely a fairly recent phenomenon, but it’s not a new observation. So we’re saying that we can build solidarity and networks of mutual aid with one another to create our own autonomous infrastructure, in which we can create our own sort of economies or ways of supporting each other that don’t involve extracting resources in the private market or needing to enforce some type of authoritarianism via the state. And that we can do this in like a more democratic and civil way, and that this is actually useful and important because neoliberalism has destroyed a lot of these previously existing infrastructures and structures and organisations that would have supported things. And also maybe even the state would have done in the past, but because of the destruction of the welfare state, it no longer exists anymore. It could be interesting to have these types of organisations, of kinship, of people who come together and feel that they have kinship with one another, to begin to have the scaffolding for their own institutions that they can create and that can coordinate for them.
Manda: So a lot of my thinking comes from books that I wrote ages ago, particularly the Boudica series. And particularly looking at indigenous cultures in what Francis Weller calls the initiation culture, as opposed to the trauma culture. And the trauma culture is predicated on money being the central feature and on the concepts of scarcity, separation and powerlessness. Whereas initiation cultures are predicated on concepts of connection, exactly as you said, kinship, sufficiency, and agency. And within an initiation culture, which I think is probably coterminous, almost, with a coordi-nation, the governance was also coterminous with wisdom. The people who had the wisdom had the power, and the people who had the power had the wisdom. And so things like provision of basic needs, food, shelter, health care, were integral to the success of the entire culture. And health care was a lot less complex. I think this is probably a separate conversation, but in the reductionism of the trauma culture, we also created a very reductive health care system that is frankly very, very good if you break your leg, you do want someone to put a plate on it. If you get type two diabetes, you’re probably better off not getting too close to the existing health care system, because you’re going to end up popping a lot of pills that are being pushed by the pharmaceutical industry, that may in the end, be acting against each other. So we’re very good at acute medicine, and we’re very, very bad at chronic medicine because of the reductive mindset. If we are going to move into an initiation culture, which I think is going to be very close to your coordi-nation. And it may be the way that you guys are thinking about how to structure this, how to make decisions, how to create the membrane that encloses the coordi-nation across space and time. What are the fundamental value systems that you see forming the base of your coordi-nation?
Josh: Mhm. So with the actual concept of coordi-nation, part of it was the word normative; where you have a particular goal that you want to reach, you have certain assumptions about what is a positive direction to go to. We certainly have that, but we’re trying not to be too normative by assuming that every coordi-nation should be this way, or have these assumptions. So one of thought experiments that we were having is when thinking about coordi-nation and what is and is not a coordi-nation. So we thought of controversial examples, one of those being is the Ku Klux Klan a coordi-nation? Because although they have principles and a value system that we would not agree with at all and is quite racist and fascistic, they probably do have a sense of kinship with one another. That someone may be in the Ku Klux Klan because they have a bunch of people that they feel a connection with, although that connection is maybe problematic for larger society. They do feel that kinship with other people, and maybe they would have solidarity with other people in the Ku Klux Klan because of that. So we were trying to play around these different examples, but the example that we were more interested in looking at was Rojava and the Kurdish movement there, and how they were not subjecting themselves to the borders in which they live in.
Josh: Because Kurds are split up amongst four different countries in the Middle East and they’ve created Rojava, which came out of this critique beforehand, where the KKP wanted to create its own Kurdish nation or Kurdish state. They have decided that isn’t the direction that they want to pursue, and they want this non-state solution to the Kurdish problem. So we’re really interested in that and how they go about creating their own governance systems and institutions that have no support from the states, in which they are also like actively bombed by Turkey and these other things. So these are some of the different angles we were looking at, on where coordi-nation goes. There’s definitely a normative assumption that we want people to have more mutualistic kind of relationships with one another, and hopefully that are not based on like fascistic ideas on race and whatever else. So my coordi-nation, of course, would not be based on something that the Ku Klux Klan would be based on. It probably wouldn’t necessarily even be based on something that Rojava is based on, because I’m not a part of that type of ethnic group, that has these very particular kinds of problems and history. So it’d probably be something else. I mean, I would probably choose something that is much more egalitarian, much less based on actual nationality, but a new sense of nationality, which is kind of where we’re going with coordi-nation.
Manda: Okay. Fascinating areas to go. Because I think the Rojava are really based on Murray Bookchin, and a lot of his ideas have fed straight into their… I think they’re probably quite compatible, but let’s not go there now. I’m looking at the Medium post that you sent me earlier about Coordi-nation, which I definitely will put in the show notes. So you have the seven steps. I’m just going to read them out so that people know what they are. And guys, I’m putting a link in the show notes so you can find these on Medium. So step one is build or join a community of kinship. And as we said, the Klan might be a community of kinship, but there are lots of others. Identify other related or resonating communities that thereby share your value sets. Encourage these communities to support one another. Create a collective identity by naming it into existence; that feels really important, and I want to unpick that one. Pool resources in common and collectively manage them. That is, how do we decide? This is very much we’re going to create the opposite of a tragedy of the commons. We’re going to create an un-tragedy of the commons with this! Organise into a group capable of collective action and increase interdependence by interweaving communities. And this seems to me really exciting and really good. I have a core question though. So one of the definitions of fascism is that there’s an in-group that is protected but not constrained, in an outgroup that is constrained but not protected.
Manda: And this is endeavouring not to be fascist, and yet is creating networks of community, which is an in-group. What seems to me to be the core difference is that there is no constraint of the outgroup. We’re not othering the Klan, or the network state people or anybody else. Well we are a bit; I am, you aren’t. But we’re also not endeavouring to tell them what they cannot do, except that we are up against biophysical limits, whereby, let’s suppose in the UK the Tory government is endeavouring, they’ve got eight freeports which they’re going to turn into charter cities, I gather. Which basically are going to be rule free. You can do whatever you like within the boundaries of, say, Plymouth. And if the people within the boundaries of Plymouth decide to pollute the entire ocean, we are going to have to constrain them, because we are up against limits whereby you cannot keep chucking stuff into the seas and expect them to recover. In your thinking, because you guys seemed to have thought about this at more depth and in more detail than anybody else I have found. How do we create a network of networks, a kind of meta network, that is generative and what we would call decent, and moving into living in a less extractive way with the earth, and then in the end, living in a genuinely regenerative way where we’re healing the earth, that isn’t creating outgroups that we constrain.
Josh: Hmm. Yeah. For me, a core feature of fascism as well is there are different levels. There are fascistic groups in which they want fascism to occur and be the dominant kind of governance system, and then there is fascism as it exists, which you can look at plenty of different countries for that example and their histories. I’m in Spain and there used to be a fascist dictator.
Manda: Quite near to Hungary, where there is currently a dictator who is very close, although not calling himself that.
Josh: Yes, sure. So I think with the idea of Coordi-nation, where the Ku Klux Klan may not fit under the coordi-nation definition, although I would have to ask my peers how they think as well, because we don’t all necessarily agree. But is that they have this need to impose on others, their existence or not, or what spaces they should be in or not.
Manda: Whether they should live or not, actually, with the Klan, often.
Josh: Yeah, yeah. So I think that comes from a very selective solidarity and a very selective anti solidarity in that mindset. That part of their solidarity comes from needing to hate another group, needing to stop another group that is not necessarily hurting them. My general feeling is that in order to create networks of networks, of people who come together, these principles that we need to have need to be founded on solidarity. A recognition of the human condition that we have much more in common than we have differences and that we actually do live in a world of abundance. But of course, we are reaching a point where that abundance has been taken advantage of by too few people, actually, for too long. That these kinds of feedback loops in which we have been assuming to continue to exist forever and that we’ve been taken advantage of, may not exist in the future because of how we treat our environment. And those things might change. And you can see billionaire bunkers and I don’t know, there are all these signs of people…
Manda: Facebook digging up half of Hawaii to build themselves a bunker down there. It’s gonna be a fun world, guys, when you’re just in your bunker and everywhere else is underwater. But, hey.
Josh: So I think it’s just this fundamental need to recognise solidarity with your fellow human being that isn’t based on race, nationality, the state that you come from. I think there needs to be this fundamental recognition that there is going to be conflict always, as humans always will have conflict. But we need to find ways to overcome that conflict in a way that doesn’t involve a kind of fascism.
Manda: So we get to how do we self-organize, then? If we’re going to create coordi-nations and we’re going to define them as networks of kinship and networks of provision. Starting with the contention that there is abundance, I totally agree, the web of life is the web of life, and it’s survived for a very long time creating sufficiency. Here in the West, what we consider to be sufficient and what somebody in the Global South would be considering sufficient, are very different. And up to a point we may have to constrain what people consider to be sufficient in order for there actually to be sufficient for everybody. And it seems to me a lot of the conflict comes from that dichotomy of people recognising, probably at quite a limbic level, not necessarily at a consciousness level, but really far down in their amygdalas, that the lifestyle they have is not sustainable globally. But if they can ‘other’ enough people and crush them, they might then be enough to sustain their private yacht. Or even just the car and the supermarket full of food. How are you planning to create the consensus building, such that the decision making and provision allocation is under consensus?
Josh: Um, I think that is ultimately a $1 million question. You know, it’s also not an easy one to solve. I think we’ve been living under the assumption, under capitalism, that there are people above us who know way more than us, who make all the big bucks because of it, and they will manage how those resources are allocated between us. And we don’t need to think about it. And so we’ve become almost like subjects who live, under a political democracy in which every 4 or 5 years we get to vote or something like that.
Manda: To choose between one lot of neoliberals and the other.
Josh: Right. But we live under an economic dictatorship. And that is, I think, fundamental to the creation of our mindset. To me, this means that we don’t really live under a democracy, where we have no say in how our resources are allocated. That we don’t think of our resources as a commons, as something that is given by, if you want to say God, if you want to say nature, by whoever. That is given to us as a right of being human beings, as being alive. We have no say in it unless we have a lot of money, a lot of capital. We do live under a planned economy, even under free market fundamentalist’s ideology, in that the people who plan the economy, we just call them billionaires, right?
Manda: They plan to continue to be very rich.
Josh: Yeah, exactly. And they will do whatever they can to plan to continue being rich. If they want a billion widgets to be created, they send the capital for the factory to create widgets. And they can massively change how the makeup of our economies are made up. So I think that in order to solve this problem of how we allocate resources, I think we have to… I mean, for me, I feel like the assumption is always going to be 1. not 100% of people are always going to agree on every thing. So we do have to make some concessions about like, yes, something may not be happening for you as an individual, maybe not agreeing, but maybe there can be spaces where there is an allowance for expression of that disagreement or expression of perhaps wanting to take a different direction for certain things. But there has to be consensus by the majority or by many people.
Manda: There’s a difference between consensus and consent. Can you unpick that for us a little bit?
Josh: Consensus is more about everybody agreeing on a particular direction. And then as far as I understand, I believe consent is as long as there isn’t someone who thinks that something should not happen.
Manda: Yeah, it’s an absence of disagreement, which isn’t the same as agreement. You don’t have to agree with something, but you have to not have a good reason to disagree with it. And if you disagree, you have to explain why you’re disagreeing and you have to put forward a better solution, which tends to crush the disagreement somewhat in my experience. But a good enough solution, I think, is consent is yes, this is good enough for us at least to try it. And then we’ll come back and review and see is it working? And if it’s not, what’s our next step. So it doesn’t require as much total agreement. I still don’t quite get how you decide the colour of the walls by consent. It’s always my thing. Nobody wants magnolia walls, but that’s what you end up with because no one can agree on anything else. I think you just repaint the walls every time you come back to them. But yeah, that’s a minor thing compared to how do we grow and distribute food? How do we create and distribute power, as in electrical power? How do we create and allocate a sufficient health system?
Manda: Because the web of life provides. But the web of life also has redundancy, which is to say that a wild dog has ten puppies, of which only one will survive. And humanity has got to the point where if somebody has ten kids, they expect all ten of them to survive. And that’s not how we evolved, but we’ve got to the point of zero redundancy in terms of our assumptions of how we will live. So as we’re heading towards the end, I understand that consent and consensus are different, and that what we’re probably aiming for as a viable working option is consent, rather than always requiring consensus. So as we’re closing, is there a Coordi-nation in existence? And if there is, how does it work? And if there isn’t, how could we imagine one into existence and how would it work? Over to you.
Josh: Sure. So the kind of consensus, actually, that we came to when doing our coordi-nation workshops and thinking about the concept, was that there doesn’t exist yet any coordi-nation in the way that we have fully described it. In the same way that actually there is no such thing as any network state that Balaji has described, even though they will often kind of stretch the definitions that they use for what a network state is, to fit their narrative.
Manda: And pretend that there is one.
Josh: And to get investor money. But the kind of organisations that we look at for inspiration include Rojava, like I mentioned previously, where we look at how they have come together in spite of difference. Because although they are the Kurdish nation, they are quite diverse in that they may speak Kurdish, they may not speak Kurdish, they may speak Arabic, they may be Turkish, they may be Christians, they may be Muslims. There’s a lot of diversity, even within Kurdish people, in which they still find kinship with one another. So we found that the network state is really focussed on singular identities for creating a network state. Like not believing that the FDA should exist, as a major example that Balaji gives, as the reason to form a network state. Which is basically just a description of a charter city like you mentioned, or like a special economic zone. But we’re more interested in is how can we bring people together from diverse perspectives, from diverse places, who come together for not necessarily just a singular shared interest, but that they are able to develop kinship with one another to proceed after greater collective goals that they want to achieve.
Josh: And so this would, in our mind, inherently require democratic institutions for governance. Whereas the network state is really something that is impartial to that question. And largely actually, if you read between the lines, assumes like a very authoritarian kind of governance structure. Although people who like network states will say, no, no, no. But if you read it, it kind of assumes it. Whereas we are being more explicit that a coordi-nation requires democratic input. So the idea is that you would need to find and create more levels of collectivity, which means that you interweave, meaning you create real connections. We also use the phrase like you share blood with other collectives that have similar goals as you, to combine forces for greater types of collective action. And that you have a kind of shared identity at some point with various different collectives, in order to go about larger forms of collective action that you may want to go forward, that has real sharing of real resources and in which it is actually very difficult to break apart. The kind of assumptions in a network state is that it should be very easy for you to leave your community. But we’re saying that if you can very easily leave your community, then it wasn’t a community.
Manda: It’s not a community. Yeah.
Josh: So a community is inherently something that you decide to go into, in which you are, perhaps in some people’s minds, maybe giving up some amounts of freedom in an individual sense, but so that you can achieve greater forms of freedom in a collective sense. And to have this shared autonomy requires some amount of, uh, what can I say? Like a removal of ego, I guess maybe.
Manda: Yeah. I don’t know if you’ve read Graeber and Wengrow’s The Dawn of Everything? One of their three fundamental principles of almost a communist libertarianism, particularly in North America within the tribal structures there, where nobody tells me what to do and yet I am a functioning part of a really egalitarian tribal structure, was the capacity to leave. That if somebody started to become authoritarian, you could go. You could just pick up and leave, and they would be left with their three followers talking to nobody and you’ve all gone off somewhere else. And it seems to me that if we’re… We… I am assuming that I’m creating one of these somehow. The capacity to leave if it starts to oppress you would have to be inbuilt. What really struck me with what Graeber and Wengrow were saying, was that there was a kind of meta structure where, as I understand their comment, that throughout the Americas, North and south, there were three meta tribes, I think elk, bear and coyote. And if you were Elk Clan and you left your tribe and you went to the next people, even if they were technically at war with your tribe, the Elk people had a duty to take you in. So you were leaving a small collection of people, but there was a meta collection that would take care of you. So this not leaving, I can completely see if you’re in a community that functions, but there has to be some capacity of if somebody is trying to take over that community and it no longer fits with your values, that you have a means of walking away. Otherwise we’re in dodgy country again. Is that something that’s been considered?
Josh: Yeah. Of course. I think what’s fundamental to a coordi-nation is solidarity, versus network states doesn’t really have a real sense of solidarity. Imagine the same scenario, but you’re in a world of network states. What will determine where you go? Because there’s this free market fundamentalist kind of idealism behind the entire thing, you are only going to be as safe as the amount of capital you are able to buffer yourself from danger. That’s it. Which is already in large part how the world exists today. There is some amount of arguments that people can say about the creation of capitalism, giving people certain freedoms to be able to exit certain societies or not. But that’s because it comes at the cost of taking part in the capitalist system and having capital to buffer yourself, which is a very individualistic pursuit.
Manda: Yeah, you’re as free as the amount of money you’ve got. Yes. If you’re Musk, you’re free to go to Mars. Most of us are not free to leave the job that we’re in unless we’ve got another one to go to. Okay. But whereas in the coordi-nation, because it’s shared values, presumably if there’s conflict in a locale, even if it’s a digital locale, there are others with shared values that you can ally with and still be held. Because we’re assuming the provision of not just values, but food, water, shelter, health care and connectivity as our basic services, I guess.
Manda: Okay. I’ve probably held on to you long enough, Josh. Is there anything big or small that you think would be useful to say? I particularly would like to find a way to let people who just don’t get the blockchain ethereum thing, is there a way to connect with what’s happening in what feels to me like one of the most exciting areas of generative thought in the whole progressive movement?
Josh: Yeah, sure. So I would say that one of the easiest things you can do is to check out my website, theblockchainsocialist.com, where I have been producing content for around four years now. Both in written form and in podcasts and in videos, so kind of whichever you prefer is there. I’m hoping to do a lot more video going into the future, but that is a place to start. I have a section on the website for blockchain 101 if you want to start there. Of course, I think where I’ve written my best work is in my book Blockchain Radicals; How Capitalism Ruined Crypto and How to Fix It.
Manda: I will link to that in the show notes. Which is also coming out as an audiobook on the 6th of February. So if you want to listen to it, I’ll put a link when we have a link for that. But honestly, I think people should read it. And also you have a Patreon account. If people want to support Josh, I will put a link to that in the show notes as well. And you have a Discord and a Reddit. I love cruising your Discord. I haven’t really got connected deeply because of my book, but for those who are into that, Discord and Reddit also. Other than that, the general coordi-nation, I will put the link to the Medium post. Is there any other resource for that that people could connect with?
Josh: With Coordinations, I would say the best spot would be the blockchain gov discord server. So you can have discussion there. I mean, also if you join the Crypto Leftists discord server as well, we have conversations about that as well. So I think those two are probably your best places for discussions about that. And I think for me or for a lot of people, what’s nice about these communities I’ve been able to curate and create is that it’s where you can ask questions about these types of maybe slightly complex technical concepts, and trying to apply them within your life. Or actually just learn practical things on how to use it, in a space where you don’t have the same types of ideological assumptions that a lot of other spaces in crypto have. So you can kind of avoid avoid that mess if that’s really not your thing.
Josh: The thing that I struggled with the most when I was first coming in, is that even if I wanted to learn the basics of blockchain, oftentimes not all the time, oftentimes there would be this libertarian assumption that I had to get over with. I had to get over it and then rethink. I’m like, I know that’s wrong and there’s something else there, so I had to create this space to allow those conversations to push.
Manda: So other people don’t have to go through what you went through. They can start from a different point. Which is perfect and brilliant. Right, in that case, I think that’s a wrap. Josh, thank you so much for giving us your time and your thoughts and for all of the work that you’re doing, because this does feel really exciting. And if we’re going to go forward, I think this has to be one of the planks of our future regenerative place that we would be proud to leave to the generations that follow us. So thank you very much, and we’ll hope to talk to you again sometime.
Josh: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me.
Manda: And there we go. That’s it for another week. Huge thanks to Josh for being at the cutting edge of the change that we need. For being one of the people who lifted the whole concept of blockchain out of the hands of the libertarians, and shared it with those of us who want to see a more equitable, connected, harmonious world. He’s done a lot of the heavy lifting and the early thinking, and now he’s doing the real sharp, cutting edge thinking. So I’ve put as many links as I can in the show notes. Please head over to his podcast. Totally worth a listen. Read his book if you’re remotely interested about any of this area. Even if you think you’re not, Josh’s book is one of those where I turn over the corners – I’m sorry, I do Disfigure books – and literally 90% of the pages have their corners turned over. I’ve got yellow highlighter all over it. I started writing myself notes in red pen in the early pages, and there just isn’t room. So get a copy and read it and it is coming out in audio if that’s your preferred way of listening. And then let’s explore Coordi-nations. I don’t know what they look like. I don’t know what they feel like. I don’t fully understand how we coordinate in ways that give everybody the freedom to be themselves, and yet allow us to create sufficient connection that we can get things done.
Manda: But we’re going to need to learn this, and we’re going to need to learn it in real time quite soon. Feeding ourselves, generating power, finding ways of having shelter and clothes, and basically surviving while connecting, I think are going to become rather more challenging than they have been. And the more groundwork that we can lay while we can still lay it, the happier we will all be later on. So let’s see where this goes.
Manda: And that apart, we will be back next week with another conversation. Enormous thanks in the meantime to Caro C for the music at the head and foot. For Alan Knowles of Airtight Studios, for the production. To Anne Thomas for the transcripts. And to Faith Tilleray for coping with all of my tech disasters, smoothing them all over, making them all work. Thank you. And on top of that, as ever, enormous thanks to you for listening, for caring, for getting it, for being there. And if you know of anybody else who wants to get to grips with what’s happening at the leading edge of technological change, then please do send them this link. And that’s it for now. See you next week. Thank you and good bye.
You may also like these recent podcasts
This week, I spoke with James Plunkett, a man who has spent his career at the intersection of policy and social change. From the halls of Number Ten to the charity sector’s front lines, James’s unique perspective has birthed a book that critically examines what’s wrong with our society and offers tangible fixes. Together, we dissect our societal challenges, from outdated institutions to the technology of gods, and discuss structured ways to mend a fractured system.
Democracy is broken. We keep electing the people least suited to governance when what we need is a way to empower those with the most wisdom and bring wisdom to those with power. So what can we do? The Humanity Project is exploring exciting, living, vibrant answers, right at the emergent edge of inter-becoming.
How does each of us find our sovereignty, our sense of what it is to have agency and be alive in the world, and align this with the part in all of us that is anchored in compassion, connection and empathy? How, in short, do we encounter and encourage our own sovereign feminine?
How do we renew our relationships with ourselves – our bodies, our minds, our hearts – that will allow us to connect with the web of life in ways that are generative at all levels?
STAY IN TOUCH
For a regular supply of ideas about humanity's next evolutionary step, insights into the thinking behind some of the podcasts, early updates on the guests we'll be having on the show - AND a free Water visualisation that will guide you through a deep immersion in water connection...sign up here.
(NB: This is a free newsletter - it's not joining up to the Membership! That's a nice, subtle pink button on the 'Join Us' page...)