, 49 tweets, 30 min read
i gave a talk at @efdevcon entitled ‘The Future History of the Open Internet’

this thread is a few dozen slides of eye candy! 🍭 👇 read it on the airplane home from Japan :)
@EFDevcon As an engineer; abstract talks like this are out of my comfort zone.

But this topic is important to me; as our industrial age institutions crumble + we migrate to the information age... We should articulate what kind of networked species we want to evolve into.

@EFDevcon Lets start by talking about the PRESENT History of the Open Internet

@EFDevcon Richard Stallman’s work in founding the FSF in 1985 was foundational.

The goal of the Free Software Movement is obtaining and guaranteeing certain freedoms:
•run the software
•to study and change the software
•to redistribute copies with or without changes

@EFDevcon Why does freedom of software matter?

Is the creator of the device in your pocket serving your interests as a user?  Or is it serving the profit driven interests of the Apple Corporation?

Software increasingly intermediates our lives.. This is about control/influence.

@EFDevcon Next up; Linus Trovalds in 1991 created the Linux kernel.

Linux was important and is important today because its the most widely used computer operating system in the world.

It set the precedent that an open source project could be more successful than commercial software!

@EFDevcon NEXT - In 2008; the founding of Bitcoin in 2008 by the individual or group of individuals collectively known as Satoshi Nakamoto.

For the First Time Ever a group of p2p individuals can send value across the internet without an intermediary or it being double spent.

@EFDevcon This was followed on in 2015 by the launch of Ethereum; which has many of the same properties of Bitcoin; but now allows developers to build programmable applications on top of the decentralized money layer of the blockchain.


@EFDevcon That is the history of the free and open internet from 1985 to 2019.

We are in a historic time; TODAY we stand where we are because of the rich history of our predecessors fight for an open internet.

@EFDevcon What does the future look like? 

As the stakes are raised by the world being more networked and more connected, what does the future history of the open internet look like?

Imagine you are retiring in 2035; what is our collective legacy at that time?

@EFDevcon There is a famous story of blind men, who learn what an elephant is like by touching it. Each man feels a different part of the body. They describe the elephant based on their limited experience & their descriptions r different.

Understanding this space is kinda like that.

@EFDevcon I conceptualize the journey into this space through a narrative I call “The Heroes Journey”.

@EFDevcon Like many of you I grew up in a small town with small town values.  Community. Family. Peace; Brotherhood

@EFDevcon And things change as you grow up; go off to college..  You travel the world..

@EFDevcon Move to a big city for your first job with nothing.   Just trying to make it.

@EFDevcon Then you work your way up some corporate ladder. You have a boss and you please your boss so he or she can please their boss.

But what hill are we really climbing here? I found this path kind of distasteful.. Like I was doing work that didnt reflect my own values..

@EFDevcon In order to feed your family in the modern world you have to work for some fat cat.. Who has a monopoly over some service..And they will pay you to help keep that monopoly… But they’re really in service to their shareholders.. Not to the values that you started off with.

@EFDevcon This is why people are so excited about Ethereum.   Its a design space where you can marry your career goals w your values..

Instead of climbing the local maxima of choosing between your values/economics; you can choose both.

This Heroes Journey is all of us. /18
@EFDevcon Ethereum at its core is about creating games with transparent rules that can't change on you. That's the founding myth of Ethereum and it's still true to me.

With immutable/transparent rules we can provably create alignment of all stakeholder interests..   /19
@EFDevcon The internet changed our politics, entertainment, etc bc it allowed computers 2 send info over a network

The internet of value could change ANYTHING that relies on money bc now we can send value over a network. Banks, Jobs, etc.

Scale of this new economic system could be huge!
@EFDevcon I’m hopeful that using this new system we can scale past Dunbars number.

Dunbar's number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships
@EFDevcon For example, you can have stable social relationships with
* 5 people in your kin
* 15 in superfamily
* 50 in clan
* 150 in tribe

@EFDevcon It’s generally accepted that in order to create stable social relationships you can design a system that has these properties:
- Repeat interactions
- Possible win wins
- Low miscomunication

@EFDevcon These are attributes of my interactions in the locl community in Colorado; and they work in our local community (#shillcolorado). My grand hope is that we can design economic/social systems that deploy these design principles beyond geographic constraints!
@EFDevcon The internet allowed us to interact with people across the world; but it didnt allow us to have stable social relationships across the world. We can generate economic relationships that create social norms that approximate whats working in our local communities.
@EFDevcon My great hope is that we can use Ethereum’s attributes of immutability/transparency scale to prevent/reverse the matthew effect.

@EFDevcon The Matthew effect of accumulated advantage can be observed in many aspects of life. It is sometimes summarized by "the rich get richer”. The concept is applicable to matters of fame or status, but may also be applied literally to cumulative advantage of economic capital.

@EFDevcon One of the great things about DeFi is that it allows access to financial instruments that were previously only available to those with the accumulated advantage of being rich/in the west.

@EFDevcon All of these tools exist out of the box and ARE LIVE TODAY.

- Bounties on @ethBounties and Gitcoin
- Funding for Public Goods on Gitcoin Grants and @oscoin
- StableCoins on DAI @MakerDAO
- Return on Investments on @compoundfinance

@EFDevcon BUT- DeFi is at risk! What if the existing players create blockchain based solutions that deploy Ethereum-like technology but without Ethereum values! (cough Libra, cough)

@EFDevcon We are designing the power structures of this new world today.

@EFDevcon Will our next-generation economic relationships default to privacy as a human right; or the surveillance capitalism of the old world?
@EFDevcon Will we shrink banks and put them in our pocket? And how will that change our relationships with finance and with each other?

@EFDevcon Will we be shaped by the contours of the existing bull/bear market, or by the existing oversight of the political machine? Or will the Ethereum community shape them?

@EFDevcon What will the power structures of humanity as a networked species look like? Will it be driven by dictators who consolidate power and all economic relationships depend?

@EFDevcon Or will it be an oligarchical network?

@EFDevcon Maybe it will be a representative democracy...

@EFDevcon How cool would it be if we became a completely p2p networked species!? A world where you can get a mortgage from your friends/family instead of a bank.. To work for the open internet instead of a corporation who has a monopoly on your employment?
@EFDevcon @gitcoin is working to build this world for software engineers . Our network of value has power-nodes; but it also has emergent p2p economic activity.

@EFDevcon @gitcoin Remember: each of these nodes are actual 3 dimensional humans.

We can forget that online where everyone is an avatar, but.. these people have unique histories/values/backgrounds.. Will our networked relationships have empathy 4 each other or will we commodify each other?

@EFDevcon @gitcoin Most importantly; What will the incentive structures that we create for each other be?

@EFDevcon @gitcoin We are collectively building a something new together. The decisions we make today, through the attribute of immutability, could be precedent setting for generations. /40
@EFDevcon @gitcoin We are building EthereumOS -- The distributed financial operating system of our networked species.

@EFDevcon @gitcoin Each of us can create a dapp on the dappstore without permission from anyone.

@EFDevcon @gitcoin At @gitcoin, our mission is to help accelerate your work with hackathons/bounties/ethical ads/grants... To accelerate the growth of Open Source.

Many of these dapp developers are our customers, friends, and community.

It is a great pleasure to be building this together.

@EFDevcon @gitcoin In a world that can feel hopeless, the Ethereum community is a shelling point for the hopeful. 🙌

Hope that we can challenge the status quo; transcend our industrial age institutions; and create a fundamentally more open/free world in the information age. ✊

@EFDevcon @gitcoin I hope that you'll honour the rich history of the struggle for a free/open internet with the weight of this perspective:

Were standing on the shoulders of giants; and future generations will stand on the work that we do today.

Peace out Devcon✌️ See you at @EthereumDenver

@EFDevcon @gitcoin @EthereumDenver oh; one last thing. 🖼

all the artwork for this talk was created on @gitcoin and is is Open Source/ licensed Creative Commons. please steal it + use it yourself

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