Is there a prophet amongst us?

I came across this excellent essay and wanted to share it with the MetaGame community to hopefully spark some deep thought amongst us.

I believe we are all here because we can sense a better future is possible, and that this project is oriented towards it. But do we actually believe it? Can we articulate it?

Is there a prophet amongst us?

Can we live this future now, and thus manifest it?


Hey Alec here is a rambling splurge for ya…started off as thoughts about Sourcecred… not edited or Prophet material but, hey, fuck it! Why not share anyway right? :thinking: :rofl:

I guess as with ourselves as individuals, so with communities – self knowledge and boundaries are crucial. Upon first encountering SC and how it works with Crypto minting, I was astonished! It is definitely a kind of powerful alchemy and this is also it’s challenge. A victim of it’s own success? Or is it? I mean all this desire for ‘trustlessness’ began with the creation of money. Not that, that is WHY money was created as such, but it is a powerful side effect. I see money as a new elemental that is peculiar to humans. It is the neediness, greed and fear that are the dangers however, not the elemental itself.

The world is always looking for new ‘magic bullets’ to cure our ills. The magic bullet, a specific and simple remedy that is curative without side effects is what I mean here. It is a very powerful narrative. The amazing uprising and technological possibilities of Cryptocurrencies form another perfect target that we can expect too much from. An ETHtopian Global Village for example. We all want to see more Utopia in the world after all! I see Sourcecred DAO as being mechanics of this aspiration (and many other less grandiose, more grounded ones) at a ‘value metrics and fluidity solutions’ level.

The possibilities of this are super interesting yet, these systems allow us to become more remote still, more isolated from human contact if we choose. In this isolation we are confronted by our shadows increasingly and more at risk of mental health issues arising, these can isolate us further. We may find ourselves in strange echo chambers with people dotted all over the planet and losing our relatability to the people living next door to us. Is this on Sourcecred to ‘engineer out’?

If only it were so simple!

This is where I am becoming increasingly wary of the sort of ‘religiosity’ of some of the DAOists shilling new community structures as the future and ‘salvation’. This appears to increase pressure on the Web3 space to have to be some kind of ‘final answer’ or healing revolution. An extreme lack of boundaries around what can reasonably be achieved can likely cause an ongoing state of dissonance which is unhealthy and cause communities to try and over reach into burn out. Like there is a non-specific longing to create something better and some pretty weird tools for attempting it and a bunch of developing blueprints. I would imagine for Sourcecred there needs to be a cut off point where the message is something like…?

We can help facilitate implementation of ‘your’ value systems
We can provide insights and suggestions where we have experience of how specific system changes might affect your economics and/or community. Every situation will be unique.
We are dealing with highly complex systems and our role is on implementation and facilitation of value capture, calculation and distribution.
We cannot be held accountable for effects arising from how you choose that we implement these value systems.

THEN… a bit about Community Ethics… who you will and will not work with because … philosophical misalignment. This may already exist?

To me however, it seems there must be a burning desire somewhere within all this to try and find a socio-economic magic bullet - ‘The Value Code’ ummmm……

The Value Code is a nebulous potentiality that bridges the world of money and morality, locking the two things together and delivering us from the evil of inequity. This code is a value mechanism that is so amazing that it can generate a sustainable source of fair wealth distribution that is incorruptible, immutable, consistently outcompetes all alternatives exponentially as it makes obscene amounts of sense… like the equivalent of the discovery of antibiotics and vaccinations but, at the level of equity… poverty is cured, the wealth stockpiled by greedy corporations is seduced back into collective hands by it. Greed is discovered to have been an artifice created from a lack of understanding of human core values and becomes progressively deleted like a nasty virus. One super sneaky, complex equation that becomes a resilient, freely distributed, perpetual, harmony generating, financial device for all!

Sound far fetched? Shoot for the stars and reach the treetops…. Renaissance thoughts reflecting the aspirations of Alchemy, I believe, are very much with us and driving us.

Biologically the ‘Elixir of Life’ concept echoes the aspirations of humans and medicine to go beyond curing disease to the creation of life extension and possible forms of future immortality.

The Philosophers Stone with it’s prodigious abilities of transmutation and mastery over all elements and energies, to me, provides a ‘symbolic lamp’ of the aspirations of the physical sciences to become all powerful, reaching beyond the quantum, to make all science fiction old news.

So where is the economic equivalent? Is it to be found only in fables like The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg? Maybe biology and physical sciences are easier to aspire to as they are based on real phenomena? This makes money an epiphenomena for sure. A derivative promissory note that references something real, even if forgotten or interchangeable. The value of money seems so tied up with human work and judgement and yet betrays both at times, it is already an ethereal essence in some ways, or the material base of such an essence at least. Money is already an alchemic miracle! Next we are able to have it zap from block to block at the mere flash of an ID chip or the addition of an emoji to a post! Phew…

How much of the less palatable side of human desires, fear and greed, can be made obsolete with reward and motivational mechanisms and what of consequence? Without consequence what have you got to lose and is there a death of meaning and value when things are inconsequential? Are there codes for an accountability (-xp) engine at Sourcecred? If we are to create a new world don’t we need a kind of socio-economic gravity? A ‘META’ Physics. Some edge to the container, so that it does not always leak?

Can we ever reinvent new digital laws that exert a reverse macro force from our digi-communities back out into the world of finances anchored to real tangible assets and fixed timetables…? On a fundamental scale that is?

Surely we still need all the systems that generate fixed prices and values and if we cannot ever reconcile what is currently a subjective-pseudo fuzzy-currency to be able to crystallise into hard structures and systems, then I fear it will be grossly limited in it’s reach. Slow social selection is way too unresponsive/unreliable to be a competitive and fast form of efficiency generation.

To me the success lies in returning into the murk from which we may be running. Where consequence is simply your sensory nerves telling you to move away from fire, rather than some sado parent/teacher/priest enjoying their pathetic ounce of control.

Without this built in ‘gravity’ I fear we have little chance of getting or staying grounded. Without ground we can try and conduct lightning but find it ultimately futile and possibly just get burnt away

What are the things that are rejected? Centralised Control… imagine if your arms just did whatever they wanted though? So we should be centralised after all? It is about shifting the balance a bit more towards people power for sure right! The thing is in nature, everything is an expression of the gene. The gene is at the centre. It cannot do a lot tho without getting organised, drawing on resources of its existing environment, defining where it ends, removing dysfunction and waste and reproducing. Here we seek to make the meme be the informational, evolving core, however, we are still humans with a biological hierarchy inside us. Essential organs are saved beyond peripheral elements in starvation. Does a decentralised system not know what to save in an emergency, be unable to respond in time and go extinct like a Panda perhaps? How effective is a slime mould, a mushroom, a flower? What determines it’s success and persistence?

Of course the idea of centralisation seems repellent and is associated with corruption because we see the people ‘playing the brain role’ fucking over it’s own body time and again! However centralisation is also at the very core of all lifeforms and societies. Maybe we are actually a WAO or a HAO? A w/holistic autonomous organisation? One that is not a knee jerk against all forms of structure? Rather an honest revisiting of the importance of every part of the organism. So who is the ass and who is the heel?

I think we all recognise that ‘the meek DO NOT inherit the Earth’. Rather they are all too often trampled upon. So for me I wonder how transition might occur from the harsh realities of tooth and claw Capitalism to a Crypto Utopia without there being the third element of Synthesis. With synthesis being the most that can be achieved, as it is a new equilibrium. In being balanced and Holistic we must acknowledge the limiting factors and actually seeing the interplay, rejoice from some of them. The natural ones at least. We do not say ‘my brother was killed by gravity’. We say,’he fell off a cliff’. We do not curse gravity, as it holds us on the planet! We are cursed with prior knowledge of our own mortality, while lacking values that promote spirituality and meditation, ways to be ok with it all.

So how can we create a system that is separate from reality, from nature, simply because we have some digital tech? Of course we cannot and thankfully most of us aspire to have a closer connection to it. We may still yet, even as massive escalating population forces ever greater globalisation for distribution of all the things we ‘want’. It is not just living for the things we need that is being so destructive to the planet, after all. We likely live once and want and want before it ends… except who? maybe the humble heel, the humble ass? Humility is dead. It was used as a tool of coercion and control by those who scorned it, OR was enforced with violence arbitrarily. It was a fantasy of mass effect. If we are ALL humble, then we might actually inherit the Earth it turns out!?

So how do we encourage a connection to the Earth, the body, a nurturing alongside an edge? The consequences… someone who said they would feed the animals failed to and now we all starve… but, they were known to do this for a long time… so… how was it allowed to continue? Because no one had the power to disallow it? This is a form of corruption. Not one of too much control but one of too little.

I dunno, IF it were possible to use this blockchain tech to create a transparent world of holistic harmonious collaboration. IF this is done in a way that is incorruptible. Then maybe we could gradually over generations, re-learn a humility, appreciate our innocence and find joy in simple things once more. All this might be possible even while being global and non-local beings as well as being rooted deeply in our immediate and local communities. If we can find a way to be at peace with our mortality and responsible with our fertility, respecting nature then good right?. What then is to stop another from coming with force and taking what we have, enslaving us? Seizing the control and replacing this system once more? Do we in fact have to be militarised also. Then we are back in the same game… so how do borders become dissolved?

Here we have something really important… forms of sovereignty, their reach and power. We build a ‘decentralised’ world and what prevents a centralised power from conquering it again? Even if this is centralised around an ideology and not geography.

So what we make must also have centralised elements… So then, are we unwitting agents of the Illuminati and NWO after all? Building out a borderless and cashless infrastructure to unify it all one day under one brain? If so then how can we embed enough holistic intelligence in these systems as they form so that the brain does not feel threatened by it’s own body? Could the brain love the body even though it sees it as a source of the weakness that is decay, old age and death?

Or will we have the technological S.M.I.L.E. occur in time? That is: Space MIgration, Intelligence³ and Life Extension…constituting some kind of singularity event that transforms life beyond recognition… even with such feats becoming possible, what is the nature of the consciousness that will inhabit these beings of the future, their memetic intelligence? It will no doubt be rooted in their past. Just like my attempts at insight here are so heavily influenced by the past, that we learn from or repeat apparently…

All these ideas seem so lofty and far flung from life as we know it today and yet, decentralising influences breaking down borders and electronic money drawing together a global community, do look uncannily like narratives found in almost any familiar pre Utopian/Dystopian Sci Fi scenario…

In the meantime I reckon if we can be part of creating less suffering and more joy in the world then that is pretty damn sweet, wouldn’t you agree?



Phew, thanks for diving in! Always excited to level up the conversation a few layers!

OK, since you bit I will too. Here goes.

Utopia is impossible. At least any utopia heretofore conceptualized. There will always be conflict amongst human beings, and that is OK, in fact it is what makes us human. How we handle these disagreements is what matters. The best we can aim for is a Protopia, as loosely defined here. The good news is that each incremental improvement, as you mentioned, will be “creating less suffering and more joy in the world” which indeed is pretty damn sweet.

I have spent the past four years in the rabbit hole of “what’s happening in the world, where are we headed, and what can we do about it?” and it is increasingly difficult to put much effort into anything that doesn’t at least indirectly answer that last question. For western civilization, I believe that our economic system is where the power lies, and such is where system-level approaches for change should focus. Politicians largely buy themselves into office (either directly by getting on the ballot to begin with, or through massive media purchasing power) and then keep themselves in office by pandering to those funding their campaigns. Since the flow of money underpins our political system, I cannot endorse putting much effort into electing leaders to change things from the top down (although at least in the short-term I believe political activism is essential). Thus building a new economic system that better serves all humans is needed. It must grow organically by proving itself as superior to the current system, and must scale slowly whilst not being captured by the current system — no small feat. For technical details I refer to Daniel Schmachtenberger’s Design Constraints for a Viable Economic System.

I do not view DAOs or crypto to be any sort of “magic bullet”. There is no such thing, as you say. For me, any systemic improvement that allows people to more easily appreciate the extraordinary beauty around them is a step in the right direction. This could be something like UBI, which could free up enough of people’s time to start to think about the world they live in and its peril. MetaGame could serve as a means of healing people’s trauma through community and various psychotechnologies. Already we are seeing the Ethereum ecosystem functioning more and more independently as a separate economic system. Personally, I am especially interested in crypto as a frictionless way of funding public goods and the organizations dedicated to them.

On the point of de(centralization), the conversation seems to be largely around ideology, which is never fruitful. The answer is always somewhere in-between. The cell, the organ, the limb have all co-evolved to strike a balance between each entity taking care of itself while simultaneously supporting one another. So must we with each other, with all beings, and our planetary home. There can be no externalities.


The fact its open source, mainly. I think this is the only thing that will keep us or whoever builds it in check ultimately. Even if we try our best to be the most decentralized & most caring, there will probably still be dozens of forks.

Utopia doesn’t exist & metagame is ever changing. You can never build metagame almost by definition, because as soon as everyone is metagaming, meta is no longer meta & new metagaming strategies are required. People will also always be metagaming or attempting to metagame metagame, unfortunately.

I’m not fooling myself in thinking this thing has an end goal that is static & once we reach it, we’re there. Its the sort of thing that will always need to get rebuilt again & again. :grimacing:
Does it still make sense to do it anyway? Fuck yeah it does! I mean, what else is there to do? :upside_down_face:

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