Social scalability is the true promise of Ethereum


Lane Rettig borrows ideas from Nick Szabo to support a more inclusive ethereal future. He also created a website for Ethereum people to talk about it.

Today at Devcon4, Ethereum's chief developer, Lane Rettig, gave a talk titled "Towards a socially scalable etheric future". In it, Rettig announced the launch of an online forum for the social scalability of Ethereum,

The first discussion thread of the site begins with a statement on the purpose of the forum, which is "for high-level discussions, weighting and intrigues", in particular on the topic of how ethers can contribute to the positive evolution of social, political and inexpensive systems.

Since the launch of Bitcoin 10 years ago, it has always been understood as a revolutionary technology that can radically change the way humans do business, especially for those alienated from the government and existing financial structures. From day one, blockchain has appealed to people with libertarian, anarchist and other anti-establishment ideologies.

Likewise, from the beginning, it was understood that Ethereum offers the opportunity to decentralize the internet, as well as all financial and government systems, and to reorganize societies around the values ​​of self-sovereignty and decentralized coordination. . This is the central promise of blockchain to many in the world of Ethereum, as well as to many in the cryptographic ecosystem in general.

But in the past Devcon has developed the technology. The impact on social, economic and governmental systems has been more implied than central to the conference. This year is different. For the first time, there's a whole track of talks about "companies and systems" looking for address governance questions: who makes decisions, how, to what effect and for what purpose?

As part of the company and of the tracked systems, Rettig poses the question of the anterior and central purpose. He started with the question, also placed in that first thread on, "What's your profound why?" For him, the answer is social scalability.

Social scalability, for those who do not know, is a term made popular and borrowed from Nick Szabo, which is credited with having invented smart contracts and laying the conceptual foundations for Bitcoin. Szabo defined social scalability as follows:

"The ability of an institution – a relationship or shared effort, in which more people participate repeatedly and have habits, rules or other characteristics that limit or motivate the behavior of the participants – to overcome the shortcomings in human minds and motivate or limit aspects of this institution that limit who or how many can successfully participate Social scalability concerns the ways and the extensions to which participants can think and respond to institutions and participants as the variety and number of participants in these institutions or relationships grow ".

Rettig did not mention Szabo, perhaps because many in the world of Ethereum prefer not to publicly agree with a man who regularly retweets the inclusion of anti-immigrant, anti-gender, pro-Trump. At this point, during his presentation, Rettig's presentation showed a rather ugly image of the president while arguing that democracy in America was no longer what it used to be. However, I do not intend to insinuate Rettig's dishonesty. he to recognized the source of his ideas when requested. Rather, I think that separating a person's valid ideas from those that are aberrant is exemplary of the anti-tribalism that so many in the Ethereum community, including Rettig, are pushing for.

Rettig and Szabo both use the same references as Robin Dunbar and Adam Smith to illustrate the concept of social scalability. The number of Dunbar, coined by the anthropologist Robin Dunbar, states that an individual is not able to build relationships of trust with more than 150 people. However, as both Szabo and Rettig point out, technological innovations make it possible to coordinate on a large scale between people. Both cited Smith and pointed to the production of clothing as an example of a business that requires various technologies and significant human coordination.

In his speech Devcon, Rettig claimed that the nation state it is, for the moment, perhaps the most effective technology for social scalability. This framework, developed only in the last hundred years, has provided a mechanism for human coordination on a large scale. Some countries, Rettig pointed out, have more than a billion people working with this single system and has also provided a framework for international relations and exchange. However, he also said that the nation state it is starting to become obsolete, using the American low civic engagement and the presidency of Donald Trump as exemplary of this point. The crowd seemed to love it, though I think it's worth stating that those particular examples are actually the failure of American democracy, not the nation's state as a concept.

He has a point, though: the nation state it is a relatively new development in human history, and "it is a mistake to assume that this system should, should, or could be with us forever." And moreover, even if the nation state has been successful in allowing extreme growth of the human population and technology, it has also allowed those billions of people to coordinate to use that advanced technology to destroy one another and the planet. Perhaps a different structure, one explicitly built around incentive mechanisms, could be more fortunate in facilitating coordination for the benefit of terrestrials – plants, animals or otherwise.

And this has brought it back to its purpose: that Ethereum, or the Ethereum community and its momentum, could offer a valid update to a technology that could one day become obsolete and is already showing signs of usury. The online forum, hopefully, could act as a reference point for people on how to actualize that potential.

Source link