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Digital-Native Building Blocks
And why clean slates are just the first step.
Network states solve the exit and the clean slate problems of society formation.
But, they do not solve the institutional governance layer.
Starting with a clean slate and new rules is a good approach, and in fact, it is a requirement. However, unless we update our mindset to build new types of services based on new assumptions, we will still fall into the same old problems.
For example, when the internet emerged, we had a blank canvas. And what happened? Most companies simply reproduced what had been built offline into the digital realm.
Physical encyclopedias were digitalized. Ads were digitalized. Classes were digitalized.
But what they didn't realize was that the basic assumptions of that industry had changed forever. Just like their business model.
Wikipedia is an excellent example of a digital-native institution that has understood new social and technological assumptions. You no longer needed expensive specialized contractors to write for your encyclopedia. With the internet, you have access to a global community of experts who are willing to work for free. This new basic premise was enough to disrupt an entire industry.
But the key point here is that the invention of wiki technology was essential for this to happen. It provided a base layer technology that enabled collaboration, reviewing, moderation, versioning, and publishing remotely at a global scale.
There was no Wikipedia without this technology.
So the power of innovation lies in combining a clean slate with native solutions for this new environment. That's a very important concept.
We are now moving towards a world of startup societies and network states, where work, social graphs, money, finance, personal ID, social scores, credentials, property rights, etc., are not tied to a specific territory and most cases not even to a typical jurisdiction. That represents a massive transformation in how society works and a profound change in society's basic assumptions.
Do you believe that our institutions will continue to rely on analog centralized political technologies as their most fundamental building blocks?
Of course not. That is why we need new tech primitives that are better suited for this new world.
Cryptocurrency is a perfect example. It is a digital-native solution that is ideally suited for decentralized network states.
But what about laws? Will we still rely on the nation-state tech stack (legislators + paper) for writing and passing laws? I don't think so. With AI, smart contracts, and VR, we have better alternatives.
For instance, imagine an open-source smart contract that connects to open-source hardware for monitoring traffic speed. If the driver exceeds the limit, the system automatically issues a fine along with all the relevant metadata, such as location, photo, and speed. The driver could even enable their AI assistant to warn them in advance and ask them to slow down. Alternatively, AR glasses could display overlay signs about speed radars. Once both solutions are open-source and on-chain, anyone could audit them.
This is just one example out of an endless list of potential new ways of building institutions.
Why are these innovative solutions important?
Because hardness is something crucial to keep society cohesive and reduce conflict.
Relying on centralized political institutions and analog technologies will not take humanity to another level.
As the startup society landscape grows and new clean slates are born, we can't forget about building new tech primitives that are suitable for internet-native, global, and decentralized societies.